The Project Manager Blog

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How To Make A One-Page Project Summary

When I was starting out in project management, I used to hate being asked for reports. Producing a report was a major deal. It took ages to pull together all the information and normally the feedback I got was that it wasn’t what the requestor wanted anyway. Then I discovered a one-page project summary report and my life changed! Essentially, you put all the key data, project progress, milestones and other things on a single page. As you don’t have more space than that it forces you to think about what is important. It doesn’t really matter what you include on the report as long as...
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The Year in Review: Project Management 2014

It’s been a busy year here at ProjectManager.com. We launched our U.S. office in Austin, Texas, expanded our team and kicked off our plan to taste every taco at Torchy’s Tacos. But we’re not the only ones making huge strides in our field: 2014 was a banner year for project management around the world. Join us in celebrating some of our industry’s successes this year. Events Nearly 1000 people attended the PMI Global Congress EMEA in Dubai—one of the largest project management events in the world. The turnout was even higher for the North American event in Phoenix, Arizona wh...
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4 Reasons Change Projects Fail

Ironically, project managers are sometimes the worst people when it comes to changing things – whether that is new project management tools, a restructure in the department or something else. I’ve seen plenty of project managers resist the introduction of a new methodology or process! If you fall into this category, you aren’t alone but it does give you a great insight into how people think when it comes to change projects. That’s really helpful in your job! Not everyone loves change, and if you are working on a project that will change the way people do their jobs then it’s wo...
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How To Cope When A Team Member Leaves

Sports teams seem to be changing their members a lot at the moment. Players come and go, coaches are asked to leave and new ones join. It must be disruptive for the team, especially when the details of transfers and payments are made so public – there is pressure on the new players to perform and pressure on the existing players to accept them instantly and work together as a new unit come the next match. It’s not that different in business. Project teams are transient in nature, and people come and go from time to time. As a project manager, you’ll get used to bringing new people onb...
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Top 5 Holiday Gifts For Project Managers

What do you give the project manager who has everything? We’ve searched high and low to create the perfect PM gift guide for 2014. From the careerist to the coffee snob, who wouldn’t love to find any of these in their holidays stockings?   1. Project management books Books make excellent Secret Santa gifts, as you can easily find something that will suit any interest. When it comes to project management books, there is a dizzying array of choices, so we’ve pulled from our list of top 10 project management books. The PMBOK® Guide from the PMI Institute is now in its 5th edit...
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5 Tips For Project Testing

“We’re a week behind plan,” said one of my project team members. “But I think my workstream can catch up. We’ll just use a bit less time for testing.” Whoa. Cutting down on testing time on a software project – or any project – is asking for trouble! And what made her so certain that they wouldn’t need the time? If the development phase is running late then surely that isn’t a great sign that the team has confidence in how the code has been put together? I thought they would need the full allocation of testing time and I told her so. She wasn’t convinced. So I asked ...
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6 More Tips For New Project Managers

Being a new project manager isn’t without its challenges, and on this blog in the past we’ve shared our tips for new project managers. How to get started and make an impact as a new project manager is something that comes up time and time again in our conversations with readers and in the comments we receive on social networking sites and directly. So, I felt it was time to share a few more tips for those individuals finding themselves with new responsibilities for projects! Let’s get started… 1. Agree A Reporting Schedule An important role for the project manager is producing pro...
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How to Keep Your Project On Track During the Holidays (Without Being a Scrooge)

You’re a mean one… or so it feels that way. A common problem for project managers at this time of year is keeping people on task, what with all the eggnog, shopping frenzies and wacky sweater holiday work parties. Plus, there’s vacation creep—that pesky trend where vacations are only communicated to you at the last minute. You want to allow your team to have a work/life balance, but you also have to keep them focused and the project on track. You don’t need to feel like a Grinch or a Scrooge in the process. Here are some suggestions for how to mitigate risks, keep your team happy ...
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5 More Behaviors of Successful Project Managers

I’ve shared previously 5 of the behaviors I’ve seen in successful project managers. Here are 5 more things that successful project managers do that you can do too. 1. Leadership Do you lead your project or just manage it? It’s often said that managing is doing the work right, and leading is doing the right work. In other words, managing is about following processes and standards so that the work produced is of an acceptable quality. Leading is more about assessing what should be done and ensuring that the team can work effectively regardless of the circumstances. It is much more about ...
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Easy Ways To Delegate

Ever found yourself doing so much of the work that you haven’t got time to manage the project? Yes, I know you are the project manager, but too often we think that means we have to do all the managing and the actual tasks ourselves! I know I have certainly been guilty of taking too much on – it’s so easy to say yes to actions and then only at the end of the week realize what a massive amount of stuff your task tracking software is flagging up as your responsibility. If you do feel as if you are drowning under the burden of doing the project as well as managing the project, then you ne...
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