The Project Manager Blog

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Help Your Team See The Big Picture

We spend a lot of time putting our project management documentation together. It’s not an easy job and it almost hurts our feelings when others don’t take the time to read it or worse yet, ask questions that you know are answered in the document. The following sheds some light on reasons why this happens and what you can do to help others see your project documents in the same way you do…as works of art! A mosaic is a pretty interesting form of art. It’s where a pattern or picture is produced by arranging differently colored, small pieces of material such as stone, tile, or glass. Tech...
6

3 Interview Questions You Need to Be Able to Answer

Interviewing for a project management position can be exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. There’s the potential for a lot of opportunity on the other side of the interview process if you are hired, but there’s also a lot of anxiety and stress as you meet with different interviewers. One way to reduce that anxiety is to be well-prepared. Here are three questions that may come out of left field, and which are good to have answers for. Once I’ve been hired onto a company and I’ve settled in for a couple of months, it’s always intriguing for me to dig into the details of why...
57

3 Ways To Help A Struggling Colleague

Projects can be very stressful. I saw this for myself once when Martin (not his real name) started acting differently at work. The project we were assigned to had ambitious deadlines and he started to withdraw from discussions and become quieter than usual. Normally an outgoing, vibrant member of the team, I noticed that his behavior had changed. In particular, project tasks that he used to be able to do without worrying about them became a problem and he seemed to lack confidence in his own ability to do work to the right standard. As a result, he asked people to check his work more frequentl...
53

Be A Project Management Volunteer

PMI credential holders have to undergo a program of continuing professional development. This makes sure that their knowledge is up-to-date and that they keep on building their skills over time. It’s a great way of staying current with developments in the field of project management but sometimes people find it hard to know what to do to get their Professional Development Units (PDUs). Volunteering is a simple and fun way to earn PDUs. And it’s free! PMP® credential holders can earn up to 45 PDUs in the ‘Giving Back to the Profession’ category (Category E) over the 3 year recertifi...
145

6 Steps For Setting Up A PMO

A Project Management Office (PMO) is a beautiful thing. A PMO can bring order, structure, and peace of mind to your company. Yes, that’s right, peace of mind. The following article shows how this is possible and provides 6 steps for setting up a PMO in a relatively short period of time. Years ago, one of the companies I worked for had a number of project managers spread throughout the organization. One focused on network projects, another on projects for clients, and yet another on projects related to the software application the company built and maintained for customers. Plus, a smatte...
80

One Trick to Make Your Project Management Job Easier

It’s easy to become overcome by events the longer we are with a company. Years may pass and we are not quite where we thought we would be, or it gets harder and harder to get things done. Do you know what can help? A change in attitude. Read on to find out one simple mental switch that can make all the difference in the world and reignite your level of productivity and effectiveness. I am surprised by how many times I have to have the you’re-not-the-victim-here conversation with peers, colleagues, and resources assigned to my project But then again, the longer someone is at the company,...
136

Conflict Management Tips For Projects

Whether the project sponsor is complaining that they don’t understand the Gantt chart, or a team member refuses to work with another specialist on a shared task, projects are full of situations that give rise to conflict. It can be anything from a low-level issue that is bothering someone to a full-scale battle of wills over a critical project requirement. And – guess what? – it’s the project manager’s job to sort out conflicts on the team! Conflict management can be hard work, but there are some things that you can do to make it easier. The most important piece of advice is to ta...
89

3 Types Of Estimating

I was looking at some project reports the other day and I wondered how the project managers had come up with the figures for their projects. In one case, the estimates for the project budget looked huge, so I rang up the project manager and asked him how he had calculated how much the project would cost. “We just made it up,” he said. In other words, the project team had no idea so they had guessed. Luckily this project was in the very early stages and it wasn’t too late to review the figures. Because guessing is not the best way to work out how much your project will cost! Hopeful...
90

Project Communications On A Budget

Project communications is really important: there’s a section in the A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Fifth Edition that focuses on stakeholder management and communication is a big part of making sure that stakeholders know what is going on. I know from personal experience that it’s important to get project communications right: too little communication and people worry that they don’t know what is going on or they fail to understand the project objectives. It’s hard to do too much communication, but it can feel like communication is all you do ...
78

How To Make Your Team Miss You

There was a time when people would stay their entire career at just one company. Those days are, for the most part, gone.  It’s not unusual for people to put in five to seven years at one place and then move on to scheduling projects somewhere else. The downside of this trend is that there is more pressure for a project manager to retain their value.  The following article discusses what you should be doing NOW to make sure you’ll be sorely missed when you move on to your next opportunity. A number of years ago, back when leasing vehicles was all the rage, I made one of the worst auto...
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