The Project Manager Blog

158

The Danger of Spreading Yourself Too Thin

The viscosity grade of motor oil indicates its thickness relative to ability to flow. Thin oils have a lower viscosity and flow more easily; thicker oils with a higher viscosity do not flow as easily. Now, I’m not an automotive expert, but I imagine there is a point where the viscosity of oil is too low to properly protect the engine from the heat, stress, and friction that occurs with daily use. Each vehicle is designed to require a particular viscosity of motor oil to keep its engine running at optimal efficiency. Otherwise, the oil could be spread too thin, which ultimately would result i...
165

Sales Traits for Project Managers

I have a confession to make. Salespeople used to drive me crazy! Their high-fivin’, back-slappin’, loud-laughin’ antics would put me over the edge whenever they came into the room. They would say things like “Hey buddy,” when they couldn’t remember your name. Or reply with “Living the dream” when somebody asked them how they were doing. They seemed oblivious to others around them and only appeared to talk about themselves and their exploits. What’s more, they made my job as a project manager exceedingly difficult by over committing and over promising to a client in order t...
92

The Triple Constraint of Project Management

If you've ever wondered what people mean when they talk about the triple constraints of project management then watch this short video for a PM experts definition; a model of the constraints introduced of a project. ...
145

Gold Plating Projects

Gold-plating means to provide more than the customer or project specifications require, thus spending more time and money than necessary to achieve quality. In project management circles this is a big no-no! The principles of project management compel us to provide no more and no less than what was agreed upon at the outset of the project.  Here’s what can occur if something is just thrown in for free to a project: You Break It, You Own It I worked at a web development shop a number of years ago where we built admin tools that allowed people to manage their own content on the web. This is...
161

Mistakes Happen

When was the last time you made a mistake as a project manager? It’s a horrible feeling, isn’t it? Your mistake could negatively impact many people and the financial repercussions could be substantial. But, take heart. It’s not the end of the world. Read on for some ways you can recover from a mistake and put things in perspective. I was responsible for anything and everything that went back and forth between our two companies. Meeting occurring? I knew about it. Issue with a project? I knew about it. Question about implementation? I knew about it. In other words, I knew about everyth...
379

How to Create a Project Management Schedule

Hands up if you have ever forgotten to add a task into your project schedule. I expect that’s most of the people reading this, and it includes myself! The schedule is probably the most important tool when it comes to successfully running a project, so knowing how to produce a good schedule, based on reality and including all the activities, is a critical skill for project managers. Struggling with where to start? Here’s our quick guide to producing the perfect project schedule. Step 1: Write Down Your Tasks First, work out what it is that you have to do. It might sound obvious, but th...
233

How To Create A Document Library

I gave my project sponsor the latest project communication to approve. “We never promised that feature,” he said. “Yes we did,” I replied. He didn’t believe me, but within minutes I had found a copy of the scope document (that he had approved) listing that as an essential feature. How could I get my hands on that document so quickly? Because I have an excellent document library! Project management creates a lot of paperwork (electronic or otherwise) so it’s essential to know how to find things. We spend countless hours looking for files or sending files to people who have lost t...
147

Get More From Your Project Team

Learn how to get more from your project team with our project management expert, who shares advice in this training video about setting your team up for success. ...
124

Using Project Management Templates

Project managers are busy people. We have to produce a lot of documents during a project: everything from a Project Charter to Risk Logs, Status Reports to a Project Closure Document. While a lot of project management is about communication and team work, there is also a lot of administration! That bit might not be much fun, but it is essential to make sure that the project moves ahead smoothly, with everyone on the team knowing exactly what they have to do. We are busy enough running the project without having to create documents from scratch, and that’s where project management templates c...
166

Top 3 Ways to Tick Off a Professional

A professional is someone who is engaged in a certain activity or job as a career, not just as a hobby or a past time. They have undoubtedly spent years in developing their education, and continue to pour time and money into maintaining certifications and licenses. Doctors, lawyers, and engineers typically come to mind when you think of what a professional, entering the ranks in recent years are technology and knowledge workers. Professionals focus on end results, solutions and innovative new ways to doing things. They take their careers and reputations seriously and are typically self-motivat...
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