The Project Manager Blog

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What Changes When Your Friend Becomes Your Boss?

Friendships come and go in our professional environments. People move on from one company to the next, transfer to a different state or location, or we may just lose touch with them. There is a time, however, when a friendship may be strained to the moment one of two friends receives a promotion. What does that dynamic look like, and how can you make the most that change? Ah, those were the good old days, when you had an empathetic friend at work. You enjoyed heading into the office in the morning and chatting about the television shows you watched the night before. You talked about your pl...
122

How To Deal With Difficult People

Do you ever feel like banging your head against the wall when it comes to working with a particular person on your team? They seem to block every step you take and you don’t even enjoy being in the same room with them. There may be a reason why and it’s up to you to uncover that reason…and fix things. I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. But, I do know this…some germs are more resistant to drugs and antibiotics than others. Think about the new strains of flu that seem to come out of nowhere each year. As each fall approaches, we begin to see and hear ads for flu shots about ...
39

How To Implement Time Tracking

Timesheets have come a long way since the days a pterodactyl would chomp Fred Flintstone’s slate time card. It’s up to you as a project manager to make sure the value of your team’s time tracking is not left in the Stone Age. The following provides challenges you may experience when implementing a timesheet solution, and ways to overcome them. Early on in my career I worked at a job where I was paid by the hour. Every morning I would go into the office and head toward the timeclock first, which hung on a wall in the back hallway. Next to it was a rack of timecards, each carefully nes...
137

How To Avoid Project Failure

No one wants to work on a project that fails, but thousands of projects fail to hit their targets and deliver anything of value every year. Working on a failing project is practically a rite of passage for many project managers and executives. I was talking to some senior executives from global firms the other day and the general consensus in the room was that some projects will fail – as long as we learn from them and move on quickly then that’s life. I don’t buy that. Well, I know that projects fail and that sometimes there’s not much that the project manager can do to stop that f...
44

3 Ways to Keep Your Numbers Accurate

Numbers tell project managers a lot. They let us know if we are behind on our project, under budget, or have too many people working on the same thing. But numbers can be tricky. The following article provides some insight into the slippery slope numbers can go down and what you can do to make sure yours are accurate. It’s been said that 50% of all statistics are wrong. I’ll let the irony of that statement settle in for a second… Think about it. How many times have you asked someone about their numbers, whether it's for expense tracking purposes or resource assignments or someth...
102

3 Principles for Negotiating as a Project Manager

We are expected to be a lot of things when it comes to being a project manager. We need to be good planners, communicators, and motivators. Add negotiation to that list, because it is a big part of what we do day-to-day as project managers. The following three principles of negotiation can help you successfully negotiate your way through your next project. I recently had the opportunity of spending a week in Jamaica. How was it? Of course, I have to say “it was no problem, mon!”  The weather couldn’t have been better and the week just flew by. We were able to head out on a couple of...
65

4 Things You Must Know Before a Project Resource Goes

Here’s a fact of work life: people come and people go. The people on your project team today will not be the same people who are on your project team a few tomorrows from now. You don’t notice the drastic changes until you look back over two to three years of projects in your company, but depending on the turnover rate, the number of new faces on your project today compared to old faces that are gone could reach over fifty percent. That’s a lot of change! There are a number of reasons why people leave projects and teams. However, the core reason generally fits into one of the followin...
15

How To Deal With Negative People

Do you know there may be people on your project team that have quit their job but are still working? That’s right. They still come in to work, but their mind is elsewhere. It may have happened a week ago or maybe even a couple of months ago. What gives? People typically don’t wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “Today is the day  I am quitting.” No, it’s a much more gradual process. Discontent builds up over months and sometimes years before somebody says that they’ve had enough. The day that they tell themselves that they aren’t going to take it anymore, or realize...
26

5 Key Issues For IT Projects

IT project management is different to normal project management. Watch this short video to learn about the different project management methods used to manage IT projects. ...
76

Who is the bad cop on your project?

Picture a client sitting on one side of the desk, and a project manager on the other. The project manager takes a look at the project management software that they have open on a tablet in front of them. The atmosphere is tense. What's the problem? Has the client has asked for something they shouldn’t have, failed to approve the necessary paperwork to move forward, or worse yet, has fallen behind on their financial commitments? If this was a cop show then we'd all know what would happen next. We’ve all seen the procedural crime dramas where the perpetrator is taken into custody and thro...
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