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Featured Blog Posts (357)

Remove Barriers to Change

Even though we know all know change is needed, it can seem as if many of our change initiatives take a long time to adopt or completely fail to take root. Here's why:

 

Even the most motivated employees will fail to change

when we do not remove the organizational barriers that make changing difficult.

 

Boulder blocking road

 

This is the focus of John Kotter’s fifth step, “…

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Added by Yvette Harms on March 5, 2012 at 9:59am — No Comments

Avoid Communications Chaos

We have so many different ways to communicate with one another. We can pick up the phone and call using either a land line or a cell phone; we can send an email or a text using our computers or our various handheld devices and we can ‘tweet’ and ‘friend’ and make all kinds of connections AND we can still send a written note on an actual piece of paper. Does having all of these options make communications easier? Not necessarily. Sometimes we still experience communication…

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Added by Margaret Meloni on March 5, 2012 at 11:05am — No Comments

Project Management Book Club

Do you read books about project management? Do you want a way to study project management books online with other project managers and project team members? Then the Project Management Book Club might be for you!



The Project Management Book Club is the online book club for project managers and project teams. But it isn't…
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Added by Thomas Kennedy on March 11, 2012 at 11:41am — No Comments

Remove the 'subjectivity' out of your project cost reserves.

Here’s a common Project Manager story: You, the Project Manager is creating the budget for your project. Your high level WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) is ready and you have the high level estimates needed for a budget baseline.

 As a smart Project Manager, you will add a contingency (20-25%, which is common practice nowadays) to account for unknown events that may add to your cost. In that way, you save your project from going over budget. So far so good.

It seems like you…

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Added by Anand Chittoor, PMP, CSM on March 1, 2012 at 3:46pm — 1 Comment

Complex project management and learning

Last year I attended a conference where one of the subjects was complex project management and four speakers gave talks and shared work they have been involved with.

One of these speakers was Stephen Hayes the CEO of the International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM http://www.iccpm.com/) and gave an interesting overview of how the member organisations are dealing with complexity in projects. Although illustrating his talk with…

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Added by Paul Summers on February 27, 2012 at 9:08am — No Comments

Project Risks vs Issues

Risk and issue are two words that are often confused when it comes to their usage. Actually there is some difference between them. The word ‘risk’ is used in the sense of ‘chance’. On the other hand, the word ‘issue’ is used in the sense of ‘matter’.

Uh-Oh!  This is a show-stopper.  We can’t complete the project on time because the server needed won’t be available for another month! What can…

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Added by Anand Chittoor, PMP, CSM on February 16, 2012 at 2:36pm — 5 Comments

Likeability

Likeability – That which makes someone likeable or easy to like, easy to be with, considered pleasant to be around.

Now a good search on the word ‘likeability’ will show you that this is not a new term nor is it something I have made up. You will find all kinds of materials about likeability, for example this book by Tim Sanders, ‘The Likeability Factor: How to Boost your L-Factor & Achieve Your Life’s Dreams’.   As with Emotional Intelligence or…

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Added by Margaret Meloni on February 20, 2012 at 9:38am — No Comments

Strategy to Action Control - A Method for Statistical Control of Business Processes

Metrics and measures are a significant part of a good Business Value Framework because when used they are the most effective tool to evaluate and control performance to plan.  If you are following a Business Value Framework, you know how to establish metrics and measures for strategic objectives, portfolios and action plans.  But how will you know how well these objectives, portfolios and action plans actually perform; how will you know if they actually meet expectations and stay within…

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Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on February 25, 2012 at 3:24am — No Comments

Please Interrupt Yourself

You know that interrupting someone when they are speaking is really rude. If you have children you have probably worked very hard to teach them to say “Excuse me”, before they break into conversations. What about interrupting you? I wish you would.

 

Be honest, every once in a while you have a strong and immediate reaction to a person or a situation. It could be something they do or it could be something they say. In the best case scenario, it causes you to burst…

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Added by Margaret Meloni on February 6, 2012 at 8:45am — 3 Comments

You're a Project Manager - Not Superman

As Project Managers, we are  commonly assigned responsibilities that can impact other projects and deliverables. So it's not uncommon for us to feel tremendous pressure to meet the project scope within the deadline and handle everything on our own. I know because I felt that with my last project. I handled majority of the tasks on my own to completion with a tad bit more time. What did I learn?

I'm not Superman. Try as I might, I am no Superman...I am a Project Manager. And as my…

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Added by Safinaaz Rawji on January 26, 2012 at 1:00am — No Comments

Narrow YOUR Focus, Increase YOUR Impact

I do not know about you, but every once in a while when I think about all of the different causes I could join I start feeling overwhelmed. We have so much to do for our planet, our creatures and our people. Where do I start? Where do I place my focus? How can I make a difference? Then I remember this quote, a quote I love and use:

 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever…

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Added by Margaret Meloni on January 23, 2012 at 12:53pm — No Comments

Charity Begins at Work

You may have heard the saying, “charity begins at home”. The idea is that before you take care of others you take care of those who are closest to you first. Don’t give away your last dime if you have no money to feed your own family, don’t give away your time and energy to others if your own family is waiting at home for your time and energy. Today I would like to propose to you an updated version of this expression, one for our professional lives – “charity begins at work.”

There…

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Added by Margaret Meloni on January 9, 2012 at 10:32am — No Comments

Managing Agile Projects

Traditional IT project management has grown up around and closely aligned with the Waterfall software development methodology. As with most engineering projects the final product to be delivered is scoped, designed, built, tested and implemented – in that order. This is OK if the client knows what it needs precisely and the number of changes is relatively small. Waterfall falls down (pardon the pun) if the project is a quest to achieve an objective and everything changes…

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Added by Patrick Weaver on January 6, 2012 at 5:36am — 5 Comments

De-Projectising IT Maintenance

Not everything in IT needs to be a project – by de-projectizing maintenance work major improvements in delivery are possible.

In particular, the ‘Scrum’ variant of Agile offer the interesting option to de-projectize a lot of IT maintenance work in much the same way a large amount of physical maintenance work is undertaken by a team of ‘maintainers’ working through a backlog of prioritized issues. Where an IT shop uses stable teams, ‘scrum’ to plan work on a monthly basis and ‘sprints’…

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Added by Patrick Weaver on December 30, 2011 at 4:17am — 6 Comments

Don’t Be a Jerk to a Jerk

Sometimes you find yourself working with someone and no matter how kind and compassionate you try to be, you still think they are a jerk. Maybe they yell all the time or they are condescending or a back stabber. It might be tempting to yell at them more loudly than they yelled at you or to answer them with sarcasm or to plot your revenge.



Don’t do it! You don’t want to answer jerkiness with jerkiness. Sure, it feels great – at first. You sure got them right? You really showed…

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Added by Margaret Meloni on December 27, 2011 at 3:22pm — 1 Comment

Project Manager Challenge: Influencing in Lieu of Oompa-Loompas

by Dr. Andrew Makar



Project managers are often put in the challenging position of having the responsibility for a project but limited authority over the people actually working on that project.  Can’t you just imagine a world where all of the project teams would work with the efficiency of the orange-faced Oompa-Loompas from …

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Added by Liz Pearce on December 15, 2011 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

Keeping Others Down

"As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might." Marian Anderson

This is so obvious when you think about it from a physical perspective. If you were physically holding someone down, unless you have really long arms or really strong legs or some other technique; you have to adopt a posture which keeps you lower to the ground. I think this is only a good thing in…

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Added by Margaret Meloni on December 12, 2011 at 12:00pm — 4 Comments

PMP Exam Tip: Be a planner and practice project management in the process

If you are preparing for the PMP or CAPM exam, you need to have a study plan. As an experienced project manager you know the value of a project plan. So practice what you preach as you prepare for the exam. Be a planner, and apply good…

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Added by Cornelius Fichtner on December 8, 2011 at 9:33am — 4 Comments

The Adventures of Dan the Project Manager Man - A New Perspective

The Adventures of Dan the Project Manager Man

A New Perspective

As a project manager it is easy to get caught up in meeting deadlines, holding status calls, ensuring tasks are completed and driving towards go live dates.  It is sometimes easier to be the driving force instead of thinking what it means to be the driven one.

Carol, my manager, asked me to get involved in a project to develop project management training material as a resource, and not as the project…

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Added by Dan Vickers on December 5, 2011 at 9:42am — 4 Comments

There’s a Method to the Madness: From Business Strategy to IT Project Portfolio Management

For IT organizations with tight budgets and scarce resources, new projects are difficult to justify as most of the available funding goes to keep existing applications and systems performing.  But IT can enable businesses to meet strategic objectives through innovation and continuous improvement.  Today’s IT organization is a major contributor to corporate strategy development and execution through IT as a service.

There is a method to the madness and the first step involves a clear…

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Added by Barb@Vyrtunet on December 6, 2011 at 1:51am — No Comments

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