The Project Manager Blog

140

5 Risks To Your Project Schedule

Project managers rely on their schedules. The project schedule is the one document that tells everyone what they should be doing, when it needs to start and how long it should take. It is also used to track progress, so managing a project without a schedule is virtually impossible if you want to achieve the agreed milestones and delivery dates. However good we think our schedules are, there are always risks when it comes to managing tasks, resources and the project scope. Here are 5 scheduling risks that you could be facing – how will you manage these on your project? 1. Not Scheduling Vaca...
44

How To Host A Lunch And Learn

“That’s so interesting,” one of my team members said the other day. “Can we do that as a lunch and learn? I expect the rest of the team would like to hear about it.” We were discussing the lessons learned from one of my recent projects. There was some good stuff that had come out of the project that was worth me sharing with the rest of the team, and maybe even wider than that. Perhaps some other people in different departments would like to come along and hear what we had done differently on this project to make it such a success. I agreed that hosting a lunch and learn sessio...
58

How to Get Noticed For a Job Promotion

If your ultimate goal is to get a promotion – whether it is to senior project manager, program manager or another step up – don’t rely on other people to hand it to you on a plate. If you want to go for your next career move, it is up to you to plan it out and take steps to achieve your goals. Unfortunately, too often we see project managers managing multi-million dollar projects who are passed over for promotion. That doesn’t happen because they aren’t any good (on the contrary, they are some of the most experienced, professional people I know). It happens because hiring managers...
49

How to Earn PDUs

If you hold the PMP® credential from PMI you have to sign up to doing professional development activities in order to maintain it over the years. These activities are measured in professional development units (PDUs). You also have to gain PDUs to support the PgMP®, PMI-SP®, PMI-RMP®, and PMI-ACPSM credentials. It may seem daunting to effectively be asked to carry on learning when you’ve only just received the approval to use the letters after your name, but it is actually quite easy to gather PDUs. The main thing is to not leave it until the last minute! Put together your own persona...
46

How To Manage Under-performers

Learn to make the most of the resources you're given because as a project manager, you will not always be able to pick and choose the best people for your project team, sometimes you're just going to get the best people available... ...
63

Dealing With Conflict On Virtual Teams

These days, most project managers work with virtual teams. A virtual team is one where the team members are based in a number of different locations and they communicate through online project management tools and over the phone. It can be harder to manage conflict in virtual teams because you can’t see people when they are speaking and therefore you can’t pick up on their body language. As a result, conflicts can be quite far advanced before you even realize that there is a problem. When your team all works in the same building it is easy to bring them together for meetings and discuss...
96

How To Prepare A Great Project Schedule

“Here’s my project schedule” one of my workstream leaders said the other day. He showed me a task list. There wasn’t much information on it, just a few key dates. Some of the tasks didn’t even have that. I wondered if he'd had to prepare a project schedule before. What he had produced certainly wouldn’t give me confidence that he would be delivering his section of the project work on time. “Can we add a bit more detail?” I asked. “I think that would really help me understand what you and your guys are working on.” He was happy to sit with me and take me through the ta...
199

4 Things You Need to Know BEFORE You Start a Project

I saw a funny sign the other day that read, “For Good Health, Wash Your Hands.” It wasn’t so much the common sense hygiene tip that struck me as funny, as much as it was where it was located, above a waste basket in a client’s restroom. And there wasn’t anything unusual about that, either, except for the fact the basket was tucked away in a dark corner of the restroom. Essentially, the only way you would see that sign would be AFTER you already washed your hands. Beyond that, if you don’t even use a towel (as many don’t) or the dispenser is empty, there’d be no reason to even g...
22

Top Challenges for Project Managers

What do you see as the top challenges for project managers? Our expert offers her top five so watch this video to see if you agree with her insights. ...
143

6 Steps For Process Improvement Projects

We’ve all heard the time-tested, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and have probably applied it to many situations. If something is working, why go in and make changes? On the surface, this statement seems valid; in the context of today’s marketplace, it is very flawed. Companies can’t afford to wait until a product or process breaks in order to fix it or make it better. There are times when something that is working just fine needs to be thrown out the window and something new needs to take its place, such as updating systems and processes to introduce efficiency and profitabil...
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