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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

What Could Happen

When you are facing a difficult decision sometimes the best thing to do is to sit back and analyze the potential outcomes from your decision. What path will each outcome create for you? Trace that path to its natural termination. Are you OK with this path? In other words:

 

If you do X, what is the worst thing that could happen?

Now, what is the best thing that could happen?

Are…

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Added by Margaret Meloni on November 21, 2011 at 8:00am — 4 Comments

Success and Stakeholders

I have been considering the relationship between success and stakeholders.

One potential conclusion is that success is gifted to you by your stakeholders, you have to earn the gift but there is no way of knowing for sure if it will be granted. This means as a project manager, sports person or business executive, you have to put the effort in to ‘win’ by delivering ‘on-time and on-budget’, finishing first or achieving the planned objective; but achievement on its own does not translate…

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Added by Patrick Weaver on November 27, 2011 at 5:13am — No Comments

Did You Expect Thanks?

A top de-motivator at work is lack of recognition or lack of appreciation. This is not a new fact nor should it be surprising to you. It surfaces time and time again employees who feel under appreciated experience low morale and many move on.  Even in a difficult economy when in theory it is an employers market, people are not just hanging around thanking their lucky stars that they have a paycheck. If they feel truly under appreciated they are already looking for their next…

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Added by Margaret Meloni on November 7, 2011 at 10:34am — No Comments

Learning from your Mistakes

I have had to confront a couple of different aspects of people getting things wrong recently. The experience triggered 2 or 3 thoughts……

The first was the advice given last century by (from memory) Fred Daly MP to a new member of parliament ‘always leave the back door unlocked’ – no matter how sure you are of the correctness of your position in an argument always have a way to back out gracefully.

Every one wants to employ experienced people but very few employers…

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Added by Patrick Weaver on October 25, 2011 at 6:01am — No Comments

The Adventures of Dan the Project Manager Man - How Much is Too Much?

Are you working on tasks efficiently as possible? How much is too much?

On Monday, I had been working away at several new projects that had come my way.  I had had several meetings on my calendar.

Tuesday was more of the same.  Existing projects needed to be updated.  Administrative work needed my attention.  Carol, my manager, invited me into her office and asked me to consider documenting a new process for posting our timesheets.

By Wednesday, it had been a long week…

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Added by Dan Vickers on October 25, 2011 at 3:36pm — 1 Comment

It is Not Just the Language

Three travelers were on a tour when they became separated from the rest of the group. They found themselves alone in a strange area of a strange land. They each spoke a tiny bit of English but did not speak the language of the area and other then their little bit of English they did not share a common language. They did all agree that they were hungry and they agreed to pool their money to purchase some food. This is when the arguing began.



One traveler kept insisting on a…

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Added by Margaret Meloni on October 24, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

Is good project management software enough?

What constitutes ‘good software’? A recent blog by ‘Dan the Project Management Man’ reminded me of an on on-line survey that looked at purchaser’s satisfaction with project management and business analysis software tools. Only 1.2% of the 270 respondents felt their software purchase had exceeded expectations and another 9.3% felt the software had met all…

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Added by Patrick Weaver on October 17, 2011 at 12:07am — No Comments

CPI Stability Myth

There is undoubtedly the equivalent of an ‘urban myth’ still in circulation within the general project management community, arising from US Defense based research from the early 1990s, that the Earned Value (EV), Cost Performance Index (CPI) always stabilizes at the 20% completion and the final outcome will be within 10% of this value and usually worse. This myth has been extended by some authors to all projects in all industries; and I would suggest that this is demonstrably false in at least… Continue

Added by Patrick Weaver on October 3, 2011 at 9:02pm — 3 Comments

The Adventures of Dan the Project Manager Man - Carefully Worded Answers

My distraught client, who didn’t pay attention during training, sent me an email in all caps, in 18 point bold font, “I HATE YOUR PRODUCT!!!” 

We have the number one product in our market.  We are part of a large global firm.  If he truly hates our product then he is in the minority of users – namely him and maybe a few others.  My first feeling was one of disappointment, then frustration and then anger. 

This user preferred to fiddle with his phone during training…

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Added by Dan Vickers on October 3, 2011 at 11:22am — No Comments

The Adventures of Dan the Project Manager Man - Why Not Me?

I had just gotten a bad review; some of my colleagues got promotions.  I worked as hard as they did and I had a strong knowledge of our product and processes.  Apparently I had made some mistakes in my focus.  I didn’t think that I was a poor project manager, but my manager did.  Others got recognized and promoted.  Why not me?

I was disappointed.  I was working hard, long hours for what I thought was the best interests of the client.  Apparently I needed to also focus on the best…

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Added by Dan Vickers on September 26, 2011 at 1:15pm — No Comments

The Little Things DO Count

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” - Leo Buscaglia

 

Have you ever started to pay someone a compliment or to say something nice to them and then stopped yourself? Why did you stop? Did you think it seemed silly or too sentimental or that perhaps they had already heard what you had to say?  Next time you have…

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Added by Margaret Meloni on September 19, 2011 at 11:21am — No Comments

Thinking Alike or Not Thinking?

It sure is easy when everyone agrees with you and tells you what you want to hear. But sometimes what we want to hear is not what we NEED to hear. This is when you need a dose of conflict or opposition or a contrarian.



Unless you and all of your ideas are absolutely perfect 100% of the time, it is unusual for everyone to agree with you. If they do, is it because they are afraid to tell you what they really think? Are they apathetic? Or have you surrounded yourself with ‘Yes People’… Continue

Added by Margaret Meloni on August 22, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

Would the REAL You Please Stand Up?

Mary Carol read the email from Tisha and was really annoyed. She had just met with Tisha yesterday and everything seemed fine. Now here was this really harsh email. It made no sense.



The most puzzling thing was that working with Tisha was like working with two different personalities all wrapped up into one person. She probably did not suffer from multiple personality disorder, yet there was this really odd disconnect. In person Tisha

was as sweet as pie; nice, friendly… Continue

Added by Margaret Meloni on July 11, 2011 at 1:50pm — 2 Comments

COMMUNICATIONS LESSONS FROM A BOYS FOOTBALL GAME

It was one of those rare 30 degrees C, grey cloudy days in Bahrain as I sat and watched my son play after school footie. The young lads jostled, tumbled, puffed and panted with full expression as they pounded up and down the field tirelessly after the ball.

 

My PM mind began wondering and drawing parallels with adults and project team dynamics back in the office. The referee, alias the Project Sponsor, was pacing up and down eyes fixated on the boys, blowing his whistle as and…

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Added by Saira Karim on June 30, 2011 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

To Hop or Not to Hop?

I have a confession to make. Early in my career I was a bit of a job hopper. If I did not like how things were going or I felt it was time for a bigger raise, off I went. Of course that was a much different time and lucky for me, jobs were plentiful. I was also new enough to the field that each move did guarantee me a 10% or even greater salary increase.

 

By the way if you are still wondering what is the big confession? The admission that I was a job hopper is it; sorry if you…

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Added by Margaret Meloni on June 20, 2011 at 6:33pm — No Comments

Things to Do Today: Ask for Help

“Go ahead and tell me the steps you will take to complete this assignment.”



This is the question that none of my early supervisors ever asked me on the job. And boy was I relieved that they never asked this question. Why? Because I had no clue! When I was new on the job I was afraid to ask questions or to admit what I did not know. I would run back to my cubicle and frantically search for the information I needed to complete my new assignment.



I share this story when I… Continue

Added by Margaret Meloni on June 6, 2011 at 10:47am — 2 Comments

The Adventures of Dan the Project Manager Man - Risky Communications

We were nearing the end of a lengthy and complex implementation.  If we missed our deadline, an impending lawsuit was looming over our efforts like an angry cloud thick with rain.  It was team meeting time.

We reviewed the list of deliverables again to ensure nothing was missed.  There were two ancillary deliverables for this project that had not been discussed in awhile because they were both marked as…

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Added by Dan Vickers on June 1, 2011 at 2:09pm — 7 Comments

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