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Effective Steering Committee Meetings

by Michel Wagner, PMP

To achieve the best results, a project manager needs a steering committee functioning in a supportive and effective manner. You are the captain of the ship but some of the steering committee members may enjoy watching you “walk on the plank,” as if they want to throw you out to the sharks. Sound familiar? Here are some tips and techniques that may help the next time you encounter this situation.

Translating the Business Needs: The Role of the Project Manager

by Craig Curran-Morton

Project managers play many roles on projects--negotiators, coordinators, schedulers, planners…so many roles all crammed into a solitary person. We are complex beasts, and it's time to acknowledge another underappreciated role we play...

Droning On and On: When We Force the Robots to Take Over the Earth

by Mike Donoghue

Both the commercial and military sectors are looking forward to the next generation of drone use, with increased development and research into new technologies. Within the near future, there should be significant innovation as drones can do wonderful work at inspecting and testing the hard to reach, far away and dangerous.

Tips for a Stronger Project Presentation

by Peter Davidson

Chances are good that you’ll have to give a presentation at work at some time in your career. Creating an effective presentation can be a challenging situation. In order to keep the attention of your audience from start to finish, you should ensure that you are following some key strategies.

Improving Problem Processes

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Complacency should be combated anywhere it occurs--especially on projects. Nothing creates stagnation better than processes that are used just because they’ve always been used. Keep these five tips in mind to help.

First Step to a Successful Project: A Complete RFQ

by Ethan Wei, Max Li

It’s safe to say that the project management skill set is most profoundly used in the realm of business. The completion of each project, whether profit or non-profit based, creates building blocks to allow further growth and opportunities. For business-related projects, the process usually starts with a Request for Quotation.

Technology Impact on Communication Management: Q&A

by Beth Spriggs

In the webinar Technology Impact on Communication Management with Beth Spriggs, she talked about technology’s impact on communication management. She explored with attendees how communication behaviors and preferences have changed, and examined how these changes create both opportunity and risk in our projects. She also discussed ways this impacts our current project communication plans, explored ways to adjust our communications to be more effective and shared some practical communication tips. Here, she answers attendee questions.

Harvesting Innovative Ideas

by Debasis Roy

Need a new way to reach across bureaucratic confines and uncover innovative ideas in your organization? Try peer sourcing, a great way to get the best from your team.

The Next Level of Big Visible Charts

by Klaus Nielsen, MBA, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PMP

Information radiator is the generic term for any of a number of handwritten, drawn, printed or electronic displays that a team places in a highly visible location. It conveys the latest information at a glance. Learn how your team can foster collaboration through visible project management and implementing radiators.

Topic Teasers Vol. 61: Taming Team Testiness

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP

Question: With more teams (some agile and some waterfall), more customer and management involvement, and younger workers who are not as subservient to position power, the team landscape in my department has become a minefield. It’s not just the project manager or ScrumMaster who needs to know how to tame the conflicts--it’s each and every one of us. Short of major psychotherapy sessions, how do we start?
A. Complaining and unhappiness are a necessary part of working with other people. If it happens to you, just back down and you can vent your frustration at home tonight. Addressing conflict at work is unhealthy and will derail your career.
B. There are some simple techniques and verbal steps you can learn so that you are prepared to soothe troubled relationships regardless of whether it’s colleague to colleague, team member to customer or manager to employee. Study them.
C. Ask the Human Resources department to arrange for a counselor to come into the department and work with all the employees. The ones that really need it won’t realize it’s for them, and the rest of the people who don’t need it may find something they can use at home.
D. Go online and download a series of positive posters, sayings and cartoons to post in your workspace to lighten the atmosphere. If people can identify with one of the printouts, they may realize how they look to others and stop their disruptive behavior.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Motivational Action Plan

PREMIUM deliverable

If you're having trouble with your team, this might be a good time to check in on their motivation and take some positive action. Here's a plan to get everyone back on the right track.

Project HEADWAY Project Issues Log

PREMIUM deliverable

On projects where you have more than a handful of issues, it is helpful to have a log that you can use to easily track and understand the status of an each one. The log keeps issues at a very high-level while the details are left to the project issue identification form. Project Issue logs are often used on medium to larger projects.

Project HEADWAY Project Team Status Report

PREMIUM deliverable
by Interthink

On many projects, each team is required to submit a status report indicating their progress on their portion of the project. The report ensures the key information required by the project manager is captured from each team in a consistent and complete fashion.

Employee Feedback Planner

PREMIUM deliverable

Use this form to prepare and organize more useful feedback for team members and other people involved in your team.

Project HEADWAY Communications Plan

PREMIUM deliverable
by Interthink

This template allows the project manager to fully understand the communication needs of stakeholders on the project. Stakeholders expectations and requirements can be documented ensuring there is a clear understanding of the why, when, how and what of the project’s communications.

Communication Before Big Project Change (Part 2)

by Joe Wynne

When big changes are afoot, there are two points where communication is critical. The key success factor is to get information out as fast as possible. Before you know it, it will be time to pass on another wave of information at the next critical point--the focus of our concluding installment.

Criticizing the Right Way in Projects

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Nothing stops a project team faster than negative criticism. While there is a time for criticism, it is important that it not stop the project team or derail the work that has been done. In order to do this the right way, the project manager needs to be working closely with the project team and stay aware of what is going on at all times.

The Seinfeld Strategy

by Patti Gilchrist, PMP

As a project manager, do you have a recognition strategy in place? If not, you may want to tune in to repeat episodes of Seinfeld to learn the consequences from Jerry's mistake of refusing to say "thank you".

Change Management: Keeping It Off the Agenda!

by Paul Baumgartner, PMP

Change management should be straightforward and natural for the project manager. So why does it become a much-discussed topic in so many lessons-learned workshops? Where do we go wrong as project managers?

Communication Before Big Project Change (Part 1)

by Joe Wynne

When big changes are afoot (or rumored), there are two points where communication is critical. Waiting until more is known will simply result in workforce issues, stakeholder anger and reputation problems. Instead, be ready to stay ahead of the issues by knowing the two critical points when communication is possible--and how to know what to communicate.

Agoraphobia: The Fear and Loathing of Open-Space Offices

by Mike Griffiths

Agile methods recommend co-location and face-to-face communications, but studies of office workers show high levels of dissatisfaction with open-plan environments. So, how do we make agile work and minimize the issues surrounding open-plan environments?

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