The Project Manager Blog


A Quick Way To Categorize Project Risks

Looking at my jumbled online risk log, I realized I needed a way to categorize my risks so that they were easier to find, understand and manage. I played around with a few ways to categorize them: by biggest impact, by department, by owner and so on. And then I figured out that I already knew how to organize them. I would use PESTLE. It’s a mnemonic: P for Political, E for Economic, S for Social, T for Technological, L for Legal and E for Environmental. These are great categories for risk, so I could arrange my risk log by putting the risks into those groups. Every risk falls into (or can...

Managing Stakeholder Expectations

Despite the sometimes divergent expectations of multiple stakeholders it is important when managing stakeholder expectations to ensure they align with your project. ...

7 Signs That Your Project Will Be Successful

You might be busy looking out for things that will cause problems on your project, but have you ever stopped to think what you should be focusing on to ensure that your project has the best possible chance of success? Of course, we can’t guarantee your project will be a success, but you can give it a head start by making sure that you have identified these 7 signs. And if your project isn’t showing these signs, then start working towards getting all these elements in place! 1. You Have A Project Plan A project plan starts with a project task list, and if you have one of those, you are on...

4 Giant Project Problems To Avoid

I watched a fascinating show that shared a new theory about why the Titanic sank. I’m not technical enough to get into all of the science, but suffice it to say it had something to do with the way light was refracted that evening. It answered the questions about why, when two very capable and professional watchmen were on duty, something as obvious as an iceberg could be missed until the last 30 seconds before the ship plowed into it; or, how a passing ship could totally ignore the flares that were being fired, and continue in the opposite direction. The super light refraction theory has ...

4 Ways To Improve Your Emails

Have you ever seen a nature show discussing piranhas? These small fish are the stuff legends are made of, with a reputation for being able to tear the flesh off cattle in mere moments. Bad guys in movies often dangle their victim over a piranha tank to coerce them to talk; if they remain silent, they come up as a skeleton seconds after being dipped into the carnivorous swarm. Due to their somewhat justified reputation, people are scared to death to wade into waters where piranhas are known to exist. Can you blame them? They fear coming out with one less toe, finger, or maybe even something ...

How Professionals Schedule their Projects

The project schedule is probably the most important document a project manager will put together. I print mine out (I know, I should be looking out for those trees) and carry it round with me. Then I can refer to it and make notes on it. You could do the same, or stick with accessing your schedule online (which is far, far better for the environment). But how do you make sure that your project schedule is going to be worth carrying around? With these 10 top tips you will soon be scheduling like a pro. 1. Start With A Task List All good project schedules start with a project task list. Aft...

6 Steps For Recovering Your Project Budget

Watch this short video for some suggestions and a six-step recovery process to mitigate project budget blowouts. ...

How to Improve Your Project Communication

“I don’t think our stakeholders are reading the reports I send,” said one of my project team this week. “They don’t seem very interested.” Unfortunately, this is a common problem. As project managers, we have a lot of stakeholders and spend a lot of time managing expectations and carrying out project communications. However, I’d estimate that plenty of documentation, emails and reports that are sent out by project managers don’t get read by the people who really should be reading them. Don’t worry if you think this happens to your documentation – it is actually quite eas...

15 Resources to Build Your Career

I’m often asked: “How do I get my next job?” Well, there are as many ways to land a job as there are candidates, so it’s best to find an approach that works for you. Here are 15 ways that you can build your experience, increase your training and make yourself a fantastic candidate that any employer would be lucky to hire! 1. Training Videos Many companies, including us, provide project management training videos about all aspects of managing projects and the tools and services they provide. You can learn in your own time, on any device capable of playing back video. Many of the video...

5 Types of Project Costs

I am mentoring a junior project manager, and she asked me for help building a project expense management spreadsheet the other day. “What sort of things should I include?” she said. She had already put in the major costs – staff salaries, and a piece of equipment that the team needed to buy to make the product. But she figured that there must be other things that she should be taking account of. She was right – and it’s also fine to ask for help if you think you have identified a weakness in your own skills. Together, we went through the five types of project cost and made sure th...
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