The Project Manager Blog

70

Auditing a Project

Learn the two things you as project manager need to look for to ensure your project is on track. Watch these tips from a project management expert about how to audit a project. ...
37

How To Prepare For Promotion

Every so often I sit down with my annual objectives and work out whether I’m on track to achieve them. It isn’t any good leaving it until the end of the year – my brain will have forgotten all the things I achieved during the first 9 months of the year, so unless I make a concerted effort to write them down and check my progress, I will miss out lots of things. This is also the time when I start thinking about my next job. I’m some way off making a bid for promotion, but reviewing my objectives gives me the time to think about where I want to go next and what skills I will need to g...
135

How To Create The Perfect Task List

At the end of each day, I write the three most important tasks for the following day on a sticky note. Then I stick the note to my laptop and lock my laptop in a drawer for the night. The next morning, I see the sticky note and I don’t have to spend any time at all wondering what my priorities are for the day. While I was in a working frame of mind, I sorted it out. In short, I wrote myself a short task list the evening before, telling myself what was important and what I needed to work on that day. Three tasks is a short list, but I think this shows the power of task lists. I can start e...
243

Managing Conflict On Your Projects

It would be great to think that everyone on the project team will work happily together all the time, but that rarely, if ever, happens. People fall out, little factions spring up amongst the team members, resentments and blame bubble under the surface. All of which make your project a very miserable place to be. Conflict is inevitable, and the earlier you realize that, the easier it will be to deal with it when it comes to your project. Because it will come! It’s a natural part of human interaction and it can actually be pretty healthy. I’m sure that you can think of some scenarios whe...
169

How To Set Clear Project Objectives

“This project will improve our results,” said my sponsor, “so put that down as the project objective.” We were sitting together working on the project charter. When it came to the section where we were supposed to record the project objectives, ‘improve results’ didn’t fill up half the available space on the document template. “What, exactly, are you looking to improve with this project?” I said carefully. It’s important on projects to work out what you are letting yourself in for at the initiation stage – in other words, what does your sponsor really expect to get out...
35

Managing Daily Tasks

Watch this short project management video to learn about  managing daily tasks without becoming a micro manager. ...
132

How To Manage With Few Resources

“Sorry, but you can’t have Claire on your project anymore,” my sponsor said. “She’s needed on that marketing initiative. And don’t forget that Freddie goes back to Finance when his secondment finishes at the end of the month.” People are a scarce resource on projects now. It’s not easy having to manage the same project, with the same deadline, objectives and targets, but with two fewer people. How am I going to get everything done? Where are the extra hours of effort going to come from? After the initial panic (and a quick entry on the risk log), I tried to come up with s...
144

How To Delegate Project Tasks

You look down the list of project tasks and the amount of work to do starts to feel a bit overwhelming. There are so many different strands to organize, activities to plan and people to involve. How will you ever get it all done? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to get it all done yourself. As a project manager, your role is to co-ordinate and organize the work. There may be some project tasks that you do take on yourself, but in the main your chief responsibility is to ensure that other people complete the project activities that they have been assigned to. And that means deleg...
49

How To Get Your Team To Use PM Software

“What’s my password?” “How do I add a new task?” “I can’t get that report that you showed me last week, can you show me again?” All these are the sort of questions you’ll get asked if you are starting out with a new project management software product. You’d think that as the tool is designed to help your team members do a better job, more quickly, that they would be falling over themselves to adopt new ways of working. They should embrace the new tools that will ultimately save them time and effort! But in real life, that rarely happens. After all, humans aren’t parti...
162

5 Project Management Mistakes to Avoid

Even experienced project managers make mistakes. Trust me, I’ve made my fair share. From double-booking meeting rooms to formula errors on spreadsheets changing my budget by thousands, I’ve come to realize that mistakes are just part of working life. Luckily, I’ve always managed to find a way out of my mistakes, and none have been so bad as to cost me or my company anything serious. Sometimes mistakes are inevitable, and sometimes you can avoid them. Project managers who are relatively inexperienced can end up making mistakes that they don’t even realize are errors, simply because t...
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