The Project Manager Blog

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7 Tips for Great Project Management Reports

I could hear Stephanie grumbling under her breath in the cube next to mine. “If they read the report I sent them they wouldn’t have had to ask me this question again in email. Grumble, complain, whine,” muttered Stephanie. “Why do I even bother putting these reports together if nobody ever reads them? It’s a total waste of time.” I’d heard this remark before. She would then do something that I found even less professional. She would pull up the original email she’d sent (with the report attached) and attach it to her reply back to the person that asked the question. “As yo...
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How to Socialize an Idea

My company’s strategy underwent a substantial shift as a result of the competition making inroads and negatively impacting our business. In order for the company to shift directions, we would have to stop work on a number of projects, and ramp up brand new projects. The president called a company-wide meeting, asked my boss to deliver the bad news, and I prepared myself to deal with the general chaos and uncertainty news of epic change would create among employees. The meeting got underway, and my boss stood up in front of the group and started the discussion. He talked about the reasons ...
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Beginners Guide to Project Management

Learn the basic steps to kicking-off and managing a project successfully, with this brief beginners guide to project management. ...
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How to Prioritize Project Work for Your Team

“Wow, that’s a lot of tasks,” one of my project team members said the other day. “That’s a huge undertaking.” I didn’t think it was that much – after all, I have managed projects with hundreds more tasks in the project schedule. But my team member was looking worried. And when I went to the next team meeting, I realized that the rest of the team were looking worried as well. As we went round the table reporting progress, I started to notice a trend. They weren’t making any progress. A few team members had started some of the easier things. One developer had started codi...
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Five Ways to Cool Down a Flaming Email

I did a lot of odd jobs when I was a teenager. One of the more memorable was the week I spent clearing brush out of a lot where a new home was going to be built. It wasn’t that the job itself was memorable. The work was actually quite miserable. It was hot and humid, the tree sap on the branches was sticky, poison ivy was all over the place, and the days were long. No, it wasn’t the job itself, but rather what happened after my job had been completed. The homebuilder had told me to put everything in a huge pile in the middle of the lot. Once I had completed that, he would come back and ...
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The Silent Project Manager

I recently was part of a team managed by a pseudo-project manager semi-assigned to a down-and-dirty, two-week project. It wasn’t that this guy was a bad project manager; it was just that it was not a full-blown project with all the trimmings. There was no need for a comprehensive project schedule, communication plan, or even a risk assessment. It was a proof of concept that needed to be put together quickly for a potential client, so that they could validate our competence in delivering on their requirements. There wasn’t a need for the usual project documentation, because by the time i...
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What is a Post Implementation Review

Project post implementation reviews are called many things, so if you don’t recognize the name, don’t despair. Maybe in your organization they are called project post-mortems, or post-project reviews. Maybe you just know them as an acronym: PIR or PPR. Or maybe you don’t have them at all! It may come as a surprise, but plenty of companies don’t bother to assess the success (or otherwise) of their projects, and that is the main reason that we do post implementation project reviews. In the simplest form, they are a meeting or workshop which is facilitated and has a structured agend...
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Project Communications Plan

The project communications plan defines when, where, how and with which stakeholders / audiences that you want to communicate. Watch this video to learn a few simple steps you can follow to create a communications plan for your project. ...
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What Does A Project Board Do

Does your project have a Project Board? While some small projects manage with just a project sponsor, it is common for projects to have a Project Board. This is a group of senior managers who all have an interest in the project. It is usually made up of the project sponsor along with the main customer for the project and any other senior business, vendor or client representatives. In short, it’s the decision-making body for the project. Project Boards normally meet once a month and the project manager will attend. The agenda for the meeting can vary, although it is usual for the project s...
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How to File Project Documents More Easily

Project management creates a lot of paperwork – electronic these days, of course. I spend far more time than I’d like to admit searching for project files. There’s the Project Charter, my schedule, the requirements documentation from the customer, team resource plans, a training log for team development, meeting minutes, my summary list of risks, paperwork to do with changes…the list goes on and on. And all projects are the same. It takes a lot of management to run a successful project, and that requires a level of administrative overhead. As a result, there are dozens of project do...
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