The Project Manager Blog


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...

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 ...

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? ...

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...

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...

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...

Managing a Request for Proposal

To most businesspeople, RFP stands for Request for Proposal. This is when a company submits requirements and specifications about a project to multiple companies to bid on. The company will then award the job to the most appealing proposal based on price, time, quality, and adherence to their requirements. Notice I said that RFP stands for Request for Proposal to most businesspeople. To me, RFP stands for Ready for Panic! Here’s why… An RFP typically comes in to a salesperson. Eventually, they get around to looking at the details, but it may sit in their inbox for a day or two or even u...

Enhancing Project Planning with Social Media

Watch this project management training video to discover how you can enhance project planning with social media. ...

The Perfect PM Job Interview

Playing piano well requires a great deal of practice. It’s rare that someone can sit down in front of a keyboard of 88 black and white keys and make anything meaningful come from it without having spent some serious time studying theory and learning how to play. Now, there are exceptions to the rule; small children have been known to climb onto the piano bench and hammer out a Bach or Beethoven classic with relatively little introduction to either composer. However, those incidents are few and far between, as few amongst us are actually prodigies. Most people have to dedicate years of pra...

4 Steps to Prevent your Projects from Stalling

When we hear the term stall we usually think about a motor vehicle that stops running while we’re driving it. While there’s no good time for a car to stall, there’s nothing worse than stalling while changing lanes in the middle of rush hour traffic on a busy interstate. Actually, come to think of it, there is something worse: a plane that stalls mid-flight. An aerodynamic stall is a bit different, in that it’s not that the engines give out (which is pretty bad as well), it’s that the lift that is necessary to keep the plane in the air is no longer there. This is caused when the an...
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