The Project Manager Blog

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5 Reasons Why Project Requirements Are A Must

“So what’s your project all about?” I asked a project manager I had just met at a conference last month. “Oh, we’re having to be very flexible,” she said. “We don’t have formal project requirements so we’re adapting as we go along, but it’s generally about improving sales of our flagship software product.” That sounded a bit vague to me, so I asked her more about it as we nudged our way forward in the lunch queue. She’d been asked to improve sales but without any formal guidance about exactly how to do it. There were no requirements, and the stakeholders didn’t ...
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Your First Day At A New Company

So you’ve got a new job? Congratulations! Moving to a new firm is a big career decision but I’m sure that you’ve thought it through and made the best choice for you. Getting through the interview stage is the first step, and you’ve managed that. Next up is your first day at the new office, meeting your new colleagues and boss. Walking through the door in the morning as a visitor and leaving as an employee makes it a very special day, so to make the most of it, here are my top tips for getting off to a good start and settling in. Meet Your Manager Your manager is likely to meet you on...
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3 Ways To Influence Disgruntled People

Project Managers are a brave group of people. They need courage to go up against all the forces that can bring their project to a grinding halt. Aside from that, there are times when we can become terrified. The following article discusses how a project manager can turn a nightmare into a pleasant dream. I’ve had a recurring nightmare over the past years. You’re reading about it today because I had it again last night. I woke up in a cold sweat and sat upright in bed to shake off the horror and disgust. Let me share … It starts in my humble project management office. I’m checking...
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Advice to Project Managers Changing Industries

The days of staying in one company for your entire career—let alone a single industry—are long gone. This is good news because it exposes you to a much bigger world and different ways of doing things. It can also be challenging if you decide to switch to a new industry. The following discusses the pros and cons of industry experience vs. project management experience, and offers ways to make the switch gracefully. The debate has been around for as long as Henry Gantt put two bars next to each other and called it a day. It gets people even more heated than discussing Apple vs. Windows, K...
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7 Non-Financial Benefits For Projects

Many project business cases focus on the financial benefits of doing the project: more products sold, the ability to save money somehow, cutting the company’s running costs or increasing profits. But those aren’t the only reasons to do projects. While it’s tempting to think that in a difficult economy, projects that make or save money float to the top of the priority list, there are a number of other good justifications for doing project work and over your career you’ll probably work on a number of initiatives that don’t rely on generating cash as their main rationale. Here are 7 ...
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More Conflict Management Tips For Projects

Is your project team a happy, harmonious place? Where nobody ever argues and everything is done with a smile? I’d be surprised if it was! In fact, there’s a common management model put together by Bruce Tuckman that shows the different stages that a team goes through when they come together for the first time – and there’s even a stage called ‘Storming’ which is where the team members clash and compete with each other! So it would be naïve to think that you will be able to avoid conflict on your project. It can take many forms, from executive stakeholders arguing at the Project...
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5 Reasons To Get the PMP® Credential

Thinking about going for PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential? Recognized around the world it is a professional qualification that shows you know what you are doing when it comes to managing projects. However, it is a lot of work and you have to prove that you have experience in the field, so it can be time-consuming too. The effort involved in going through the application process and then studying for the exam does put some people off, but there are huge career and personal benefits to getting the PMP. Read on to learn more about 5 of the top reasons why project mana...
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4 Ways To Deal With Project Stress

Have you felt muddled, exhausted, emotional and worn out because of your project? That could be stress. It manifests itself in different ways with different people, so you might feel as if your confidence has dropped and that you are letting people on the team down, even though you can’t help it. It can also show itself through feeling as if you can’t switch off, so if you constantly check your smartphone for project updates through the night that can also be a sign that you are feeling overwhelmed with work. There’s no escaping it, projects can be very stressful environments, especia...
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Help Your Team See The Big Picture

We spend a lot of time putting our project management documentation together. It’s not an easy job and it almost hurts our feelings when others don’t take the time to read it or worse yet, ask questions that you know are answered in the document. The following sheds some light on reasons why this happens and what you can do to help others see your project documents in the same way you do…as works of art! A mosaic is a pretty interesting form of art. It’s where a pattern or picture is produced by arranging differently colored, small pieces of material such as stone, tile, or glass. Tech...
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3 Interview Questions You Need to Be Able to Answer

Interviewing for a project management position can be exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. There’s the potential for a lot of opportunity on the other side of the interview process if you are hired, but there’s also a lot of anxiety and stress as you meet with different interviewers. One way to reduce that anxiety is to be well-prepared. Here are three questions that may come out of left field, and which are good to have answers for. Once I’ve been hired onto a company and I’ve settled in for a couple of months, it’s always intriguing for me to dig into the details of why...
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