The Project Manager Blog

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4 Steps To Convincing Presentations

I’m lucky in my project management career in that I’ve had to do so many presentations over the years that I’m no longer worried by having to stand in front of a group of colleagues or strangers and talk. But I know (and research shows) that public speaking is not top of most people’s list of fun things to do with their time! Many project managers are fearful of public speaking and having to put together a presentation. It can be a scary thought, but it doesn’t have to be. You can put together a good presentation and practice it to the point where you feel confident about standing...
35

4 Flexible Working Options

I saw an advert for a laptop the other day and it was illustrated by a person using the device on a beach. It looked great – plenty of sunshine, soft warm waves, the gentle shade of a palm tree and waiters on tap to bring cocktails. If only I had the flexibility to work from the beach, I thought. Then I realized that I did have, I just wasn’t using it. OK, my local beach doesn’t look anything like that ad and it’s not the kind of place that I would want to spend 8 hours a day. And cocktails and project work probably don’t mix that well. But there are other options for working flex...
63

What Your Project Sponsor Needs To Know

Not all project sponsors have loads of experience, and some project managers find themselves working with project sponsors who have never sponsored a project before. This can be a tricky situation for the project manager: you want to educate your sponsor and tell them what their role should be and how they can help, but at the same time you need to respect their senior position in the organization and act accordingly! However much experience your project sponsor has, there are some things that they need to know about every project. When you first meet your project sponsor, which should be a...
60

6 Ways To Train Project Stakeholders

“It’s a great product,” said a colleague recently, “but the users don’t know how to use it.” He looked despondent. “Whose fault is that?” I asked. “The managers,” he replied. “They haven’t bothered to show the staff.” Actually, I thought it was the project team’s fault and I suggested this to him. He looked surprised but I said that if his project plan had included training then it could have been delivered, monitored, and checked to see if the users had learned what they needed to all before the project was signed off as complete. He agreed that including traini...
73

What Resources Does Your Project Need?

Projects need more than just you at the helm to get done. A good project manager is the starting point but you need to equip yourself with the tools of the job to be able to deliver on the objectives of the project. There are three types of resources that projects need to progress: people, assets and money. Let’s look at each of those in turn. People You can’t do a project without involving other people. Managing a team can often be the most stressful part of managing a project. After all, the actual deliverables are pretty easy to achieve – it’s the people and the office politics th...
21

What New Project Team Members Need To Know

Project teams are put together at the beginning of the project, but they don’t always stay that way for the whole duration. People leave the project team for a variety of reasons, anything from retirement to a new job, or simply that they aren’t needed on the team any more as their particular tasks are completed. People also join the team at different points. You’ll find that your project is likely to have someone new join when the rest of the team is quite established. Getting that new person up to speed so that they can contribute effectively is your job as the project manager, and ...
125

5 Top Tips For Prioritizing Project Tasks

Putting together your project task list is one of the first things that you’ll do as a project manager on a new project. But too often, task lists become a big dumping ground for everything you need to work on, without any structure and without any sense of what is most important. How do you prioritize what should be done first? Here are our top 5 tips for focusing on the most important work. Tip #1: Use Task Management Software However good you think you are at keeping your To Do list in your head, task management software will show you that you can be far more effective if you use some t...
41

Creating Reports is a Time Waster

How much time do you spend preparing project reports every week? Someone asked me that question recently and was genuinely surprised when I said hardly any time at all. She spent several hours per week customizing her project reports for different audiences, and I know she isn’t alone. The problem with spending so much time on project reports is that by the time you’ve finished writing them, they are out of date. The project has moved on before your sponsor has even opened the latest status email and that’s really frustrating when you’re trying to use the information to solve a prob...
51

Help! My Supplier Isn’t Doing Their Part

I’ve been having difficulties with the internet service at home recently, so I rang to see if their customer support team could help. You can guess what happened next – being kept on the line for ages while the agent worked through their script, then being handed off to another team, answering the same security questions again, only to be told they would look into it and someone would call me back. They didn’t. Talking to friends and colleagues, this happens all the time with communications providers, so I don’t know why I was surprised. It was annoying, and the problem still isn’t f...
73

How To Choose A Training Course

I’ve got the go ahead to sign up for a training course! Hurrah. Training is great as it keeps your skills up-to-date and is also a good way to recharge your batteries outside of the office. You’ll meet new people and hopefully come back to work fully energized and ready to put your new skills into practice. The caveat is that I have to research and find the right training course for me. While it might sound easier for my company’s Human Resources department to simply tell me what course to go on, having the flexibility to select my own training is far better as I can make sure that it...
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