The Project Manager Blog

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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 ...
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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 ...
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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...
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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. ...
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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...
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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...
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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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5 Project Collaboration Tips

My team just don’t get it,” a colleague said to me recently. “How do you get your project team to stay so motivated and engaged with all their tasks? Mine do the minimum and then go straight home. They don’t care about the project at all.” The project he was talking about was a high profile, career-enhancing, strategic initiative. I very much doubted that the team didn’t care about the project at all. We had coffee together and I told him what I was doing on my (much less strategically important) project. He was amazed. The difference was basically that I involved my team as muc...
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5 Project Management Trends

What are your thoughts on these top project management trends, as identified by our project management expert? ...
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10 Tips For Working On The Move

Are your project team members scattered across the country? It’s more and more likely these days that you’ll be working with a distributed team. That’s great, because it means you can draw on expert resources, wherever they are based, but the downside is that you’ll probably spend some time on the road. So how can you get the best out of your traveling time? Here are 10 tips to help you work effectively while on the move. 1. Store Your Files Online Use an online file storage solution to ensure that your documents are available from wherever you are. Before you leave the office, make ...
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