The Project Manager Blog

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What to Do When your Meeting is Hijacked

You are going to lose control of your project meetings every now and then. No matter how hard you try, there are forces at work intent on knocking you off your agenda and taking you down an entirely different path. The following article will explore some things you can do to not totally lose control when this happens. My colleague leaned over to me in the meeting and whispered, “You’ve just been Miked.”  I looked at him quizzically, having no idea what he was talking about. He pointed to Mike, the VP of Sales, who was standing in front of the PowerPoint projection on the wall, going...
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5 New Ways To Engage Your Team

You’ll often hear people talking about ‘engaging’ their team or ‘engaging’ stakeholders. This is supposed to give you better working relationships and build trust amongst individuals, which is great in theory. But how do you actually do it? What does ‘engagement’ look like? There are lots of ways to involve your project team members in the project, but some are more engaging than others! Here are 5 ways that are designed to help you engage with your team – ideas that you might not have thought of before. Why not try them out? 1. Make It Easy To Communicate Projects live or...
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5 Project Management Career Options

Feel like you are stuck in a rut? We would say that project management is a great career with lots of options open to you, but we have to acknowledge that sometimes you want a change or at least to feel as if your career is moving onwards instead of stagnating. If you feel as if it is time that you moved on, what are your options? Here are some future career paths that you might not have considered. Bigger Projects If you have lots of experience managing small projects or multiple projects at the same time, it could be time for you to take on larger commitments. Companies have projects of...
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How To Create Project Management Reports

Ergh, project reports. In the past, when I was actively managing projects the task that took up the most time was project reporting. Every stakeholder seemed to want different information at different times and getting the data from my team members was virtually impossible. Unfortunately, project reports are a key mechanism for managing a project and letting everyone know what is going on. You can’t avoid them, but you can make the overhead a bit easier on yourself. The tips below will help you think differently about project reporting and make sure that your reports are great. Good Repo...
36

Avoid These 5 Delegation Disasters

Delegating work is one of the main tasks for a project manager – after all, we can’t do everything ourselves. The project team is essential for getting work done, and it’s part of the project manager’s job to allocate the right tasks to the right people. That means that we have to be good at delegating work to others, whether you use a resource management app to do it, an email or an old-fashioned conversation. Delegating is all about giving consistent, clear information to the people you work with. Some people will need detailed instructions, especially if you are giving them a tas...
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How To Work Effectively With Your Boss

Project managers spend a lot of time working with their teams, the project sponsor and other key stakeholders, but they don’t often work directly for the person at the helm of the project. How about that ‘other’ manager? The one that approves your expenses and vacation time? He or she also has an important role to play in your career and knowing how to work effectively with them, even if you don’t do day-to-day project work with them, is really important for a peaceful and happy life at the office. Here are our top tips for working with your boss. 1. What Are They Like? Who are yo...
109

4 Things You Can Say On Projects

Certain phrases or expressions are difficult for project managers to utter, as they could leave us feeling weak, vulnerable, or heaven forbid, make it look like we don’t know what we’re doing! The following article will discuss what those expressions are, and why it’s okay to occasionally include them in your project management repertoire. It’s a bird, it’s a plane… Nope, it’s just a project manager with a laptop, pad of paper, pen, and a project to manage.  Yet, we walk around our offices with such focus, drive, and zeal that we convince ourselves we are superhuman as we ...
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How to Track Your Project Expenses

Have you got your project budget set up? For many project managers, managing project expenses is a scary proposition. Somehow it feels like there is more responsibility involved in a project when there is cash attached to it and you are accountable for how it is spent! Even after years of managing big budgets, the first time my project expenses went over a million I was nervous! There’s no need to be. Here’s everything you need to know about tracking your project expenses. With this guide you’ll start off right and it will be easy to stay on top of changes as the project progresses. ...
78

4 Considerations For Building A Team

The first time I had the chance to put together my own project team I can’t say that I did a very good job. I chose people that I knew, people I had worked with before. That meant that while I had a project team that I trusted and that I knew would work well together they weren’t always the best people for the job. Luckily, since then I’ve had the chance to put together a lot of project teams and I’ve learned from that experience. There’s more to putting together a good team than simply picking the people you like. On the other hand, I have found that it really isn’t as complica...
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3 Project Situations You Shouldn’t Ignore

They say the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. However, there are very few straight lines that will get you from start to finish on your project. Every project is fraught with navigational detours that range anywhere from sorting out small issues with your Gantt chart to major project issues. The choices you make in dealing with these issues will ultimately affect the outcome of your project, and your reputation as a confident project manager. One of my colleagues has a sixteen year old son who he is teaching to drive. He’s been regaling us with white-knuckle storie...
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