The Project Manager Blog

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10 Personality Traits of Great Project Managers

What does it take to be a great project manager? A degree in project management? A pile of certificates? Think about the great project managers that you know and have worked with. I’m sure they did have credentials and qualifications but they also had something else, didn’t they? You wanted to work with them because they were nice to be around, pleasant to work with and professional. But what exactly does that mean, when you break it down? Being a great project manager is more than simply having an advanced knowledge of project scheduling tools or an encyclopaedic knowledge of estimatin...
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5 Ways to Prevent Holiday Delays with Issue Management

During the holidays, improperly managed issues can cause serious project delays. “We’ve got so many issues on my project,” one of my colleagues said to me at lunch the other day. “The log is so long I’m almost scared to read it.” It sounded to me as if he hadn’t been actively managing the project’s issues and had let things get out of hand. Then he confessed that he was going to have to stop the project to sort out the issues before they could start work again! So I was right – things were out of hand, but at least he was taking active steps to get things back on track....
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Project Management Trend Watch: 2015

What a year for the project management world during 2014. One might think that the industry would be taking it easy in 2015, but that’s not going to be the case. There will be more positive developments in 2015, and that’s fantastic news for project managers. Here are some of the top trends that project managers should be watching out for next year. Data Visualizations We are in the era of big data, and while that might not touch our work directly, the broader impact of the public’s increasing appetite to make sense of large sums of data and our new love for data visualizations has ...
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New Years 2015: Resolve to Make Your Projects More Flexible

“Project management is all about following processes,” I heard someone say the other day – and this was a trainer delivering a change management course! I was surprised, to say the least, because I know that isn’t true. There’s a lot more to managing projects successfully than following a process. And project managers have to be a lot more flexible than simply pulling out a checklist and ticking the boxes. Why flexibility matters The flexible project manager takes those checklists and processes and adapts them to fit his or her project. That makes the whole working experience bette...
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5 Things You Forgot To Schedule for the New Year

You’ve worked hard on your project scheduling for the year ahead, even during the mayhem of the holidays. You're just finishing up a few things before you head out for your own vacation. You're pretty sure you included absolutely everything. But have you? Don't despair. Planning for blind-spots is difficult for the most skilled PMs. Here are 5 things you may have missed in your project planning for the new year. 1. International holidays I was stuck on a project once when a team of resources in India wasn’t available on the days I expected. They had national holidays, hadn’t tol...
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How to Plan the Perfect Snowman… Using a Gantt Chart

Gantt charts are a project tool that help you instantly communicate about your project in a visual format. They are a staple technique of project management and you’ll find yourself using them on your projects too. No project is too big or too small. You can even use it to build a snowman. Here are 8 essentials that you should definitely include to plan the perfect snowman using a Gantt chart. 1. Task name: Frosty the Snowman This one is pretty obvious! Frosty the Snowman. Or Fiona the Snowwoman. You decide. You need to include the name of the task on the Gantt chart as this shows you...
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5 Pitfalls To Avoid With Holiday Communications

How many of your team members are out celebrating right now? If you're one of the lucky ones holding down the projects during the holidays, you may encounter a number of challenges working with remote team members. Read on to learn crucially important pitfalls to avoid with remote and vacationing team members. 1. Assuming Colleagues Are Enjoying Their Holidays You'd be surprised by how many team members are suddenly available to come in to work or to take that Skype call they had previously been unable to attend. While you're missing celebrations, your colleagues might be actually missing yo...
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PM Trends of 2014: How ProjectManager.com Stacks Up

It’s the time of year for all of us to reflect on our past successes and areas for growth. We’re looking back at what the pundits predicted for project management in 2014 to see how our software supports these emerging tools, tips and trends. Trend #1: Project leadership Elizabeth Harrin predicted that leadership would be on the agenda for 2014 and that’s certainly been the case. We’ve noticed a lot of chatter about building project leadership capability from PMI groups and members of our LinkedIn community. Successful project delivery relies on having executive support so leaders...
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5 Brilliant Ways To Learn Lessons From Projects

“Oh, I can’t make the lessons learned meeting,” one of my project team members said recently. “I’ve got a workshop for my new project.” I thought: But we haven’t even finished this one! The lessons learned meeting happens towards the end of the project, but it’s (in my opinion) a compulsory part of the project. Otherwise how will you ever get better at delivering projects successfully? Learning from your mistakes is an essential part of career development and I didn’t see why she would want to miss out on that. Unfortunately for me several other team members had the sam...
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How To Make A One-Page Project Summary

When I was starting out in project management, I used to hate being asked for reports. Producing a report was a major deal. It took ages to pull together all the information and normally the feedback I got was that it wasn’t what the requestor wanted anyway. Then I discovered a one-page project summary report and my life changed! Essentially, you put all the key data, project progress, milestones and other things on a single page. As you don’t have more space than that it forces you to think about what is important. It doesn’t really matter what you include on the report as long as...
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