The Project Manager Blog

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The Beginner’s Guide to Project Management

Learn the basic steps to kicking-off and managing a project successfully, with this brief beginner's guide to project management. ...
150

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...
54

5 Ways To Deal With Difficult 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 afterwards. The homebuilder had told me to put everything in a huge pile in the middle of the lot. Then he said he would come back and burn the pile of branches, leaves a...
155

Avoid These 3 Project Ownership Problems

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 online 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...
20

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...
44

Learn How To Create Project Communications Plans

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. ...
53

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...
147

How to File Project Documents 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...
30

How to Plan Project Procurements

Procuring services on your project is a common occurrence but it can be a risky procedure for project managers. The problem is that you have very little say over what a supplier does or how they do it. Once you’ve outsourced the work, they are responsible for managing the process to deliver it, and they might not do it exactly how you would like. That’s why procurement planning is so important as it helps mitigate the risk that something goes wrong. Every project should have a procurement plan, and this will give you confidence that you have put the processes in place to make the pro...
90

Make Your Project Team Meetings Better

Your diary is probably full of meetings, if it looks anything like mine. Meetings take up a lot of our time and they can be unproductive if they aren’t planned properly. Given all the experience that we have of sitting in meetings, you would have thought that we’d be pretty good at running them efficiently! Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case and I’m sure you have sat in plenty of meetings wondering why you were there and what the point of the discussion was. That’s a real waste of time, and time is something we don’t have to waste on                            ...
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