The Project Manager Blog

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5 Behaviors Of Successful Project Managers

Sometimes I find myself looking at successful people and wondering what they’ve got that I haven’t. what makes someone a success in their field? Was it being in the right place at the right time, or a mix of skills and experience? Or both? When it comes to project management, there are certain behaviors that contribute towards someone being successful in the role of project manager. Luckily, it’s not a case of whether you’ve got it or you haven’t. You can learn successful behavior, and I’ve spent a lot of time studying those people whom I admire and working out how I could copy ...
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Managing Your Project Team’s Holidays with the ProjectManager.com Calendar Tool

During the holidays, many project managers are bombarded with project emails that go a little something like: “Oh, and don’t forget I’ll be off next week!” That can really throw off your project planning. Keeping on top of your team’s vacation time is tricky, especially when they don’t report directly to you. You don’t approve their time off—and their manager neglected to tell you. Your project slows down when team members are away because it’s often easier to leave work unfinished than it is to hand it over to someone else. Tasks simply sit on to-do lists until team me...
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Project Manager Salaries: The Definitive Infographic

We all want more of it but we don’t like to chat about it. Yes – we’re talking about money. There’s more to job satisfaction than a fat check at the end of the month, but money certainly helps. How Does Your Salary Compare? As a project manager, your job title, role, location, and project-size all influence your salary. To help you understand how you compete with your colleagues, we’ve researched industry salary trends to create this infographic on the state of project manager salaries. Want to use this? Embed code is at the foot of post Your title counts Your job title make...
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Avoid These 5 Security Risks

I heard on the radio the other day yet another story about sensitive data that had gone missing. Whether it’s personal data files being left in a taxi, confidential financial information being left on train, or someone stealing thousands of user names and passwords for online accounts, it seems like there are plenty of people who have put their clients’ or colleagues’ initiatives at risk because of poor project security. Your project might not involve safeguarding the personal bank records of thousands of customers, but it is still good practice to make sure that you are keeping your ...
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Solve Project Puzzles The Sherlock Holmes Way

I was reading Sherlock Holmes the other day – I thought it would be interesting to go back to the original books that I read as a child since the fictional detective seems to be on the television and big screen frequently at the moment. I love detective stories and Sherlock Holmes does seem to be able to unpick some big problems. His approach to solving cases, whether it’s a murder, a piece of lost jewellery or something a bit more out of the ordinary, is very similar to the approach we take on projects when it comes to diagnosing and resolving issues. So here is my guide to solving ...
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Risk Management 101

“How am I supposed to know what’s going to happen?” one of my more junior project colleagues asked me the other day. “I don’t have a crystal ball.” There have been many times on projects where I have wished for that crystal ball and the ability to be able to see into the future. I could have prevented lots of problems with one of those! But unfortunately project managers aren’t blessed with second sight and we have to make do with risk management processes instead. Risk management might seem a lot like guessing what the future will bring, and essentially that’s what you are ...
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How To Say No!

Saying no is one of the things that I am really not very good at. It’s in my nature to want to be helpful, so when my colleagues ask if I can do this task for them, or go to that meeting for them, I inevitably end up saying yes, even when I don’t want to. As a result, over the years my own project work has suffered as I try to fit in things for other people. It isn’t a sensible way to work and this year I have resolved to be stronger and to say no more often! But how can you do it and not seem awkward or unhelpful? I have been doing some research about the best ways to politely refuse...
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57 Things We’re Thankful For at ProjectManager.com

It’s Thanksgiving in the United States this week. To celebrate our new US location (we’re expanding our global presence with an office in Austin, Texas), we are listing the many things that we appreciate. Feel free to comment and tell us what would be on your list. Here are the 57 things we’re thankful for here at ProjectManager.com: Good health Friends and family Happy customers http://www.projectmanager.com/who-trusts-us.php Pets Coworkers with a sense of humor http://www.projectmanager.com/about-us.php Learning from mistakes A good night’s sleep Breathing fresh ...
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5 Ways To Keep Your Team Motivated

Have you heard the anecdote about the janitor at NASA who was asked by President Kennedy what he was doing and replied, “I’m helping to put a man on the moon”? That’s one motivated individual with a clear understanding of the organization’s goals! How many of your project team members would respond in a similar fashion if the CEO asked them what they were working on? Keeping your team motivated so they feel inspired to respond in that kind of way is part of the project manager’s job, but it can feel very difficult sometimes. When your project hits a problem, or your issues log i...
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How To Add Contingency Time To Your Schedule

Contingency time is what you build into your project in case the project tasks take longer than you expect. I’m often asked what amount of contingency time is appropriate to build into your schedule and I’m sorry to say that I’ve never come across a scientific, foolproof method of calculating how much extra time you should add to your project. The answer, unfortunately, is always: “It depends.” Factors to consider include the level of confidence that the project manager and project team has in the task estimates, how complex the project is, whether or not the company has any exper...
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