The Project Manager Blog

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4 Tips for a Great Virtual Presentation

Most project managers have presented in front of groups ranging in size from just a few to up to a couple hundred people. It takes a lot of preparation on the part of a project manager to make sure a presentation is just right. It’s important that everything flows, transitions are smooth, the message is clear, and the audience remains engaged. However, there is a whole new level of complexity in a virtual presentation. It is more than just standing up in front of a group of people, plugging your laptop into the projector and talking. Dozens or hundreds of people are dialed in and online; ...
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Project Team Buy In

Project team "Buy In" is fundamental to project success. Our project management expert offers advice to help project managers get teams engaged and working proactively on projects. ...
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How to Thicken your Skin as a Project Manager

You know when you’re about to get a healthy dose of criticism when you hear, “Don’t take this personally, but….” The words that follow are meant for you and you alone, and are indeed meant to be taken personally. Criticism is not necessarily a bad thing. In the right amount and in the right manner (aka constructive feedback), it is something that helps us step up our game. It’s easy to become complacent and satisfied with the way we manage our projects, so a jolt of criticism every now and then shouldn’t hurt you. But there are times when criticism is unwarranted. Not only ...
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6 Things to NOT DO When You Start Your New Project Manager Job

Congratulations on your new project manager job! Your resume, project management portfolio, and engaging conversation during the interview did the trick. You said all the right things and asked all the right questions. In just a matter of days, you heard back from the company that your start date would be the end of the month. You can’t wait to get started and put your best foot forward. To make a solid first impression, DO NOT DO the following during your first month or so. These are lessons learned from my recollections of Steve’s behavior, a project manager that had been brought on b...
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4 Questions You Should Ask on a Project Manager Job Interview

The interview is going great. You are sitting across the desk from the hiring manager, and it feels like you are hitting it out of the ballpark. Conversation is flowing, you are quick on your feet, and know just the right things to say. Your resume is outstanding, a friend of a friend called in a good reference to the hiring manager before you came to the interview, and you have a great portfolio that shows off your project management skills. Then the interviewer asks you a question that stops you dead in your tracks. “Do you have any questions for me?” they ask. You pause and say...
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3 Ways to Add Form to Your Project Management Function

I’ve been thinking a lot about form versus function this past week. Clearly, it’s been slow if this is what’s occupying my thoughts. I guess it has been on my mind because I recently had to use a software application that was designed by a developer. Anyone that has used an application that is straight-up, 100% designed and built by a developer knows exactly what I’m talking about. For those who have not had that pleasure, I’ll expound more upon that in a minute. First, a few definitions. If something has function, it means that it does what it’s supposed to do. If something ...
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Project Scorecards

Implementing project "scorecards" requires you, as a project manager, to consider the sometimes ugly truth about your projects performance. What, if any, would the repercussions of your "score" be? ...
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Project Management in a Small Company

The company was growing so fast and had so many projects it was decided that it was time for a PMO. Since it’s hard to have a project management office without project managers, four of us were hired within the span of a month. It was an exciting time as we all got to know each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and peculiarities. We all came in different flavors. The Businessman was laser focused on billings, ROI, and the value each project was going to bring to the organization or client. The Street Fighter’s mantra was, “Let’s get this done, people” and would employ scrappy, brut...
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4 Critical Success Factors You Can Learn from Your Computer Screen

Creating a beautiful, engaging, and intuitive user interface (UI) is more of an art than a science. The UI is the way the user interacts with the application onscreen. It’s the connection between the outside world and what’s whirring inside the little black box on the desk. That’s why companies go to great lengths to make sure that a user’s visual and kinetic experience is appealing and enjoyable. The design of application, the colors chosen, the size and location of the buttons, menus, icons, and even success and error messages all play into the usability of an application. You may ha...
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The PROs of Face to Face Project Meetings

People who work in large companies have acquired some pretty amazing coping skills. For example, to deal with the onslaught of relentless meetings, they now take meetings from their desk. Here’s how it works. A meeting invite is sent out to a dozen or so people to meet in a particular conference room at a particular time. A dial-in number is included for those in a different location or on the road. While the dial-in number is not intended for those who are at the office, some rationalize that it is for their use as well and phone into the meeting as if they weren’t even in the building...
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