Making Projects Successful in an Uncertain World

As the Project Manager, you guide your team in planning and executing their projects.  Managing risk appropriately is what makes projects successful in an uncertain world. Think about it. How often is a project implemented in an environment that isn’t filled with instability, assumptions, change, unexpected circumstances, and risk? Probably never. That is why project risk management is essential to successful implementation and in setting realistic expectations. Risk management provides the basis upon which to identify risks, estimate the amount of cost and schedule contingency reserves that are needed to cover risk responses, and to provide a level of confidence for meeting project objectives. At each stage of your project’s… Read More

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Validate Critical Data

“Validate Critical Data”.  I don’t remember what wise mentor I learned this from but it is one of those sayings that always goes through my head when I’m jumping into a new project. After many years it continues to be an important part of my project management success (when it is done right) and an unfortunate contributor to my project failures when it is neglected. Below are some keys to correctly validating critical data. The word critical is not excess fluff in this phrase. You shouldn’t try to validate all information – just the information that has been handed to you that affects your project approach. Usually, it involves getting the right information about the project deliverables, scope, schedule and… Read More

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Love Learning on Your Own Terms

Yes, I admit it, I love learning.  I’m an avid reader and I enjoy both in class and virtual learning experiences but I must say, I prefer the online environment to the physical classroom environment for project management learning. I know the arguments that critics have about it … it doesn’t have the same social bonding benefits as meeting face-to-face, it’s hard to demonstrate skills, it’s not as fun, etc. And I admit that there are some people it doesn’t work for. But to many others (especially those who are computer savvy, good readers, and self-motivated) it is a valuable learning method.  Consider the benefits! The Internet is the Work Field for Project Management Learning… Read More

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Are You Striving to be a Better Project Manager?

Seven Helpful Tips Let’s face it, we all want to be the best that we can be. But, sometimes we need to take a breath and make sure we are doing the things we need to do to help us be at our best.  Here are seven helpful tips as you strive to be a better project manager. Take Care of Yourself Physically and Emotionally Tom Peters says that every project deserves to be a “Wow” project. So if you don’t start each new project thinking, “I can’t wait to get going on this project!” you are doing your project a disservice, and you probably need to recharge your batteries. Your lack… Read More

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Hold a GREAT Meeting

Ask most people to describe meetings at work, and they will probably say “boring,” or “worthless.” But, holding a great meeting isn’t unattainable with these tips in mind. G – Goals for the meeting should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound.   SMART goals are very appropriate for meetings but often not the best approach for people’s goals. People’s goals should be HARD: heartfelt, animated, required, and difficult. R – Roles and Rules: Roles should be rotated among project team members so that everyone gets an opportunity to show leadership. Make sure to invite someone who is a decision maker.  Ground-rules for discussion should be agreed upon beforehand so the items discussed get accomplished. E… Read More

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Personal Time Management

Personal Time Management is a subset of project time management, but an important topic for project managers where tips can be tremendously useful.  Our brains need to focus and remember in order to be productive in our work. So with today’s technology, how do we discipline ourselves to focus until we complete a task? Here’s some great tips: Separate the projects from the tasks on your to-do list.  Projects do not belong in your task list. Projects will have surprises, and need to be broken down into tasks to be worked (which do go on the task list).  Tasks take less than a few hours, and can be completed alone in one sitting. If… Read More

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