The Project Manager Blog


5 Things NOT To Say To Your Project Team

I get to travel to lots of different office locations and I’ve worked and consulted with many companies over the years. It’s given me a great insight into how different firms work (or don’t work), and I’ve got to spend time with plenty of project management teams. While I’ve seen lots of examples of good practice with teams working well together and project managers taking the lead and managing effectively, I’ve also seen some shocking examples of poor team management. Mostly, this takes the form of people not knowing what to say and saying something completely inappropriate or ...

How To Get Work-Life Balance As A PM

Ahh, the relentless pursuit of a work-life balance; it’s hard to achieve and even harder to maintain. Rather than trying so hard to allocate nice little slices of time throughout each day for certain activities, the following article provides a different view of obtaining and maintaining work-life balance. Do you remember the see-saw you used to ride as a kid at the park or schoolyard? What a blast! It’s really quite a simple contraption—just a long board perfectly centered on a support in the middle—with a handle near at each end to hold on to for dear life. The more thoughtful pla...

5 Ways to Respond To Difficult Emails

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 ...

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 ...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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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