The Project Manager Blog

81

How to Make Your Project a Success

I was preparing dinner the other day from a recipe book (yes, there are still such things, you don’t have to rely on the internet to find recipe suggestions!). It made me think that it would be great to have a recipe for project success – something that guaranteed project managers a great outcome on their projects. So I started thinking about what that recipe would look like, and here it is. Below are 6 things that will help make your project a success. How many of them does your project have? 1. A Comprehensive Project Schedule A comprehensive project schedule starts with a detailed ...
63

How to Improve Your Project Meetings

“Right, what do we need to talk about today?” asked a fellow project manager of her team. She was running a project status meeting and I was sitting in as a subject matter expert. Her team looked blank, but eventually the updates and problems starting pouring out. The meeting took half an hour longer than planned and at the end I wasn’t exactly sure what had been discussed or agreed. It all seemed a bit rambling to me, and without structure it wasn’t possible to be clear about the actions that had been taken, what was still to do and how the team was making progress towards its goal. ...
45

Help – My Project Sponsor Is A No Show

“We’ll just hold on a few minutes because I’m expecting the project sponsor to come to this meeting,” said one of my colleagues. I was at his meeting because I was contributing to the project and had been invited along to discuss how my department could help. We waited. And waited. Where was this sponsor? In the end, after 15 minutes of sitting around pretending it was normal to start a project meeting this late, my colleague decided that it was best to get started. I’m glad he did, as the project sponsor never showed up. “I don’t know what happened,” he confided to...
59

A Quick Way To Categorize Project Risks

Looking at my jumbled risk log, I realized I needed a way to categorize my risks so that they were easier to find, understand and manage. I played around with a few ways to categorize them: by biggest impact, by department, by owner and so on. And then I figured out that I already knew how to organize them. I would use PESTLE. It’s a mnemonic: P for Political, E for Economic, S for Social, T for Technological, L for Legal and E for Environmental. These are great categories for risk, so I could arrange my risk log by putting the risks into those groups. Every risk falls into (or can be mad...
71

Managing Stakeholder Expectations

Despite the sometimes divergent expectations of multiple stakeholders it is important when managing stakeholder expectations to ensure they align with your project. ...
196

7 Signs That Your Project Will Be A Success

You might be busy looking out for things that will cause problems on your project, but have you ever stopped to think what you should be focusing on to ensure that your project has the best possible chance of success? Of course, we can’t guarantee your project will be a success, but you can give it a head start by making sure that you have identified these 7 signs. And if your project isn’t showing these signs, then start working towards getting all these elements in place! 1. You Have A Project Plan A project plan starts with a project task list, and if you have one of those, you are on...
58

Titantic Type Project Problems

I watched a fascinating show that shared a new theory about why the Titanic sank. I’m not technical enough to get into all of the science, but suffice it to say it had something to do with the way light was refracted that evening. It answered the questions about why, when two very capable and professional watchmen were on duty, something as obvious as an iceberg could be missed until the last 30 seconds before the ship plowed into it; or, how a passing ship could totally ignore the flares that were being fired, and continue in the opposite direction. The super light refraction theory has ...
36

How to Avoid a Bloodbath

Have you ever seen a nature show discussing piranhas? These small fish are the stuff legends are made of, with a reputation for being able to tear the flesh off cattle in mere moments. Bad guys in movies often dangle their victim over a piranha tank to coerce them to talk; if they remain silent, they come up as a skeleton seconds after being dipped into the carnivorous swarm. Due to their somewhat justified reputation, people are scared to death to wade into waters where piranhas are known to exist. Can you blame them? They fear coming out with one less toe, finger, or maybe even something ...
25

How Professionals Schedule their Projects

The project schedule is probably the most important document a project manager will put together. I print mine out (I know, I should be looking out for those trees) and carry it round with me. Then I can refer to it and make notes on it. You could do the same, or stick with accessing your schedule online (which is far, far better for the environment). But how do you make sure that your project schedule is going to be worth carrying around? With these 10 top tips you will soon be scheduling like a pro. 1. Start With A Task List All good project schedules start with a task list. After all, ...
48

Project Budget Blowouts

Watch this short video for some suggestions and a six-step recovery process to mitigate project budget blowouts. ...
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