The Project Manager Blog


5 Things You Forgot To Schedule for the New Year

You’ve worked hard on your project scheduling for the year ahead, even during the mayhem of the holidays. You're just finishing up a few things before you head out for your own vacation. You're pretty sure you included absolutely everything. But have you? Don't despair. Planning for blind-spots is difficult for the most skilled PMs. Here are 5 things you may have missed in your project planning for the new year. 1. International holidays I was stuck on a project once when a team of resources in India wasn’t available on the days I expected. They had national holidays, hadn’t tol...

How to Plan the Perfect Snowman… Using a Gantt Chart

Gantt charts are a project tool that help you instantly communicate about your project in a visual format. They are a staple technique of project management and you’ll find yourself using them on your projects too. No project is too big or too small. You can even use it to build a snowman. Here are 8 essentials that you should definitely include to plan the perfect snowman using a Gantt chart. 1. Task name: Frosty the Snowman This one is pretty obvious! Frosty the Snowman. Or Fiona the Snowwoman. You decide. You need to include the name of the task on the Gantt chart as this shows you...

5 Pitfalls To Avoid With Holiday Communications

How many of your team members are out celebrating right now? If you're one of the lucky ones holding down the projects during the holidays, you may encounter a number of challenges working with remote team members. Read on to learn crucially important pitfalls to avoid with remote and vacationing team members. 1. Assuming Colleagues Are Enjoying Their Holidays You'd be surprised by how many team members are suddenly available to come in to work or to take that Skype call they had previously been unable to attend. While you're missing celebrations, your colleagues might be actually missing yo...

PM Trends of 2014: How Stacks Up

It’s the time of year for all of us to reflect on our past successes and areas for growth. We’re looking back at what the pundits predicted for project management in 2014 to see how our software supports these emerging tools, tips and trends. Trend #1: Project leadership Elizabeth Harrin predicted that leadership would be on the agenda for 2014 and that’s certainly been the case. We’ve noticed a lot of chatter about building project leadership capability from PMI groups and members of our LinkedIn community. Successful project delivery relies on having executive support so leaders...

5 Brilliant Ways To Learn Lessons From Projects

“Oh, I can’t make the lessons learned meeting,” one of my project team members said recently. “I’ve got a workshop for my new project.” I thought: But we haven’t even finished this one! The lessons learned meeting happens towards the end of the project, but it’s (in my opinion) a compulsory part of the project. Otherwise how will you ever get better at delivering projects successfully? Learning from your mistakes is an essential part of career development and I didn’t see why she would want to miss out on that. Unfortunately for me several other team members had the sam...

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...

The Year in Review: Project Management 2014

It’s been a busy year here at 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...

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...

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...

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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