The Project Manager Blog

134

Stop Wasting Your Time with Gradual Escalations

You are going to encounter the need to escalate an issue to management on nearly every project. Do you find that it takes a long time to get these issues resolved, simply because you have to go through layer after layer of management? I have some insight into why gradual escalations take so long and an alternative that will allow you to get issues resolved quickly. I worked on a project once where, unfortunately, non-responsiveness was considered the norm. Thousands of stakeholders throughout the country needed to perform a particular task in order for this project to be complete. Although ...
166

Give Feedback When Asked

How many times have you asked for feedback on an email, presentation, or report and received nothing but silence? Your first thought may be that nobody cares about what you are working on. While that’s usually not the case, it still feels like you’re being ignored. Now, look in the mirror: do you provide others with feedback when asked? Learn how doing this one simple thing shows how plugged in you are as a project manager. You have spent a few days obsessing over an email you want to send to one of your company’s clients. You have a great relationship with this client, but recently t...
66

Change Management

Change management or change leadership? if you've ever wondered about the difference check out this video defining change management, specifically as applied to the triple constraint. ...
122

Worst Day Ever

What’s the worst thing that can happen to you as a project manager? I’m sure my worst day ever ranks up there in the top five. It wasn’t funny at the time, but I can laugh about it now and appreciate the lessons I learned. Learn from my experience with what to do after a really bad day as a project manager. There was no love lost between myself and this particular client. Our companies had worked together for a very long time, and no one in my company had worked with this client more than me. They were one of our larger clients, keeping me on site as a project manager. As with any rel...
46

Why Your Project Needs a Testing Phase

This week, I downloaded a new app for my iPad. It looked great, but I should have taken more notice of the online reviews. Several users had reported that the application crashed often, and sure enough, it does. That’s because it hasn’t been tested properly. I’m sure that you have had a similar experience – a website that didn’t perform as you expected, or a product that didn’t do what you thought it would. You don’t need a product to make testing to be important; it can even happen with processes. If you have ever tried to get something done through a government or regulatory...
114

What to Expect from a Project Sponsor

One of the first things that you will be keen to find out on any new project is who the project sponsor will be. It makes a huge difference. A ‘good’ sponsor will help you steer the project to success. A ‘bad’ sponsor won’t turn up to meetings, won’t make decisions and will generally act as if they don’t care. The working relationship between project sponsor and project manager is a critical one for the project and the team overall, so it is important that you find a way to work professionally with them, even if you don’t much like them on a personal level. But personality a...
57

What is a Portfolio Office?

If you work in a large-ish company with many projects and project managers, you may find that you have a Portfolio Office. Typically, this is a department or team that sits alongside the work on projects. The people there don’t always directly manage projects, but they can be really helpful to you in your work as a project manager. Portfolio Offices in their current guise haven’t been around in the industry that long and they can be a bit of a mystery. So what does a Portfolio Office actually do? Let’s start with looking at portfolio management, which is essentially what the Portfolio Of...
90

Controlling Project Change Requests

Without a clear process for managing change, project managers can quickly lose control of a project. Watch this project management video to learn from an expert about the process for controlling project change requests. ...
111

Improve Time Management with Timesheets

Ever felt that there aren’t enough hours in the day? We talk about managing time as if we can somehow control it, but time is fixed. You can only manage yourself to get the best out of the available time, and this is something that many project managers struggle with. It might seem like completing employee timesheets is yet another task to fit into your already busy day, but a timesheet can be a valuable tool in making the most of your working time. Timesheets can help you identify where your time is being spent and with a bit of analysis you can use the data to work out how you could carve ...
108

How to Identify Project Stakeholders

Project management is about getting things done through other people. As the project manager, you will end up doing some of the ‘doing’ work yourself but a lot of what you do is actually organizing the work of others. Those others are your project stakeholders. When you are asked to work on a project, you may already have an idea of who needs to be involved. Your project sponsor (the person who is championing the project and who is generally the one who benefits from whatever it is that you are delivering) may also have had some thoughts about who would be the best people to work on it....
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