Motivating the ‘Who Cares?’ Resource

by Andy Jordan

Not everyone shares your enthusiasm for the project, and that's a problem that can impact the entire team. But you still need these unmotivated managers. What can you do when someone on your team is determined to do as little work as possible?

Topic Teasers Vol. 29: Ugly Team Emotions

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

Question: I feel quite confident in my project skills and hold several certifications. However, my team seems to frequently have ugly emotions present themselves to me, pass between teammates and appear in our group meetings. How do I deal with these to keep them from destroying relationships and impeding the work of the project?
A. Send offending team members to Human Resources and ask that they be given a free psychological evaluation. Since the behavior is impacting project work, this will be company money well-spent.
B. Go to the individual and ask if he or she would prefer to work on another team. Take the responsibility for their behavior, as it must be a negative response to you as a project manager.
C. Ignore the offensive behavior. Your job it to get the deliverables of the project completed in a timely way. Any time you spend dealing with misbehavior is time stolen from productive project work.
D. Write down the emotions you surmise are behind the negative behaviors and think through appropriate responses ahead of time so that you are prepared when they occur.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Bear in Mind: Influence and Leadership for Stakeholder Management

by Michael Nir

It's vital to never forget the significance of stakeholder management. This chapter from Project Management: Influence and Leadership Building Rapport in Teams presents a discussion about stakeholder management and the notion that stakeholders differ in their perceptions, and also offers strategies for influence.

Back to Basics: Keeping it Simple

by Andy Jordan

For experienced PMs, sometimes the hardest job is to go right back to the very basic stuff. So how can you maximize your chances of success? And how do we manage team members who have absolutely no experience or understanding of project work?

Methods to Managing Customer Expectations

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

How you manage your customer’s expectations will to a great extent determine the relationship you have with them. There are many different methods and ideas on how to manage customer expectations. Which one will you choose?

Build a Virtual Team Work Infrastructure to Avoid Collaboration Misfires

by Joe Wynne

Virtual teams have special communication obstacles that are not necessarily solved elegantly by the communication tools available in your project. You must combine multiple applications to create an infrastructure to meet the needs of virtual teams to interact and to complete project deliverables.

Managing Virtual Projects with Success

by Jiju (Jay) Nair, PMP

A virtual team can be effective by adopting proven virtual collaboration tools, establishing team performance metrics and promoting supplementary processes that align with the organization’s project management methodology.

Remote Control: The Virtual PM

by Andy Jordan

Can a project manager manage their team virtually, and if so what adjustments are necessary? To be successful, a virtual PM has to overcome many communication-related issues. Here we explore an effective approach.

4 Virtual PM Challenges

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

A virtual project manager is physically separated from the project team, the stakeholders and perhaps even the client. How can PMs make sure they are effective in this role?

The Fortune Cookie Wisdom Guide to Project Management (Part 2)

by Ian Whittingham, PMP

No project manager would ever be so foolish as to leave the outcome of their project to chance events and simply hope they might get lucky. So it might appear odd for our guru to be looking inside a fortune cookie to find project management wisdom. But as we saw in Part 1 of his series, those simple mottoes can sometimes offer up more wisdom than first meets the eye...

Four Tactics for Attaining Vital Stakeholder Contributions

by Joe Wynne

Four proven tactics can help you engage stakeholders better--and obtain their essential contributions to make the changes required by your project. With these new ways to manage stakeholder relationships and to drive your project, you can propel your career to new heights.

Virtual Team = Project Disaster? (Part 2)

by Andy Jordan

If a project manager cannot successfully deliver projects where at least some of the resources are working virtually, then that PM won’t have a job for very long. Can projects be successful when they are run by virtual teams, and if so, how? In the concluding part of our series, we look at the remaining four steps.

Achieving Virtual Success

by Patti Gilchrist, PMP

The nature of today's workplace no longer requires workers to be bound to a physical location. The following tips will help you manage your virtual team so that your project does not instead become a dreaded nightmare due to the significant challenges of managing remote resources.

Why Wiki?

by Mike Donoghue

Wikis can be great communication and sharing tools, as well as helpful for collaboration on solving problems. But are those good enough reasons to start one? When it comes to creating a project-based wiki, how can you determine the need and energy required?

Leading the Unbalanced Team

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

The nature of the business world today often leads to unbalanced teams where the project manager or others on the team do not have the experience or expertise that is represented by their peers. How can a project manager lead effectively in this unbalanced environment?

Communicating Well with Your Virtual Team

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Nearly everyone deals with virtual teams in the current business environment, so you are already communicating with virtual resources. But communicating well is a key part of managing a project with a virtual team.

How to Be Better at Stakeholder Management

by Michelle Stronach

People’s interests, attitudes and authorities change constantly, and your project is only part of the many things influencing these changes. As a project manager, you need to continually understand your stakeholders, assess the landscape--and use that knowledge to guide the planning and management of your project.

Managing Virtually, or Virtually Managing? Personal Connection at a Distance

by Mark Mullaly, PMP

Technology, mobility and the sheer expense of office real estate has taken distance working from daring and uncertain trend to fully embraced reality. What this has mostly produced is a state of affairs where many of our most meaningful professional interactions are mediated by technology, rather than face to face--and that's where the danger lies.

Virtual Teams: Do the Challenges Outweigh the Benefits?

by Michael Wood

With virtual projects come virtual teams and the associated tradeoffs. The question that looms large is this: Do the challenges of virtual teams outweigh the benefits? There are advantages to virtual teams that go beyond merely saving money on travel. Consider the following tradeoffs--advantages and disadvantages--when pondering virtual teams...

Topic Teasers Vol. 27: Empowering Your E-Mail

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

Question: Many recent articles on trends lead me to believe that e-mail is being phased out as a project management tool. In my organization, we still rely on it and everyone knows how to use it. Is there a way to enhance its use so that we keep it?
A. Use a different form of communication for each person you need to contact, depending on the preference they have expressed. Keep a chart next to your keyboard so you don’t get confused.
B. So much information needs to be sent between team members, product owners, vendors and customers that it is best to include everyone on each e-mail. Add as many attachments as possible to this single e-mail so that there is only one line item from you in their inbox.
C. There is no need for e-mail any longer as most contacts have their mailboxes so full that there is a tremendous delay before you get a response. Move to instant messaging or Facebook to get your answers and convey your ideas.
D. By changing the way you use e-mail to make your communications more effective, you may stave off the need for management to move to a new system…although you may find there are supplements that you find useful in specific circumstances.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Stakeholder Strategy: Finding the Pulse and the Power

by Jiju (Jay) Nair, PMP

Most of the strategy and technique that need to be developed in the critical area of stakeholder management will come as part of the practitioner’s experience negotiating real-world project issues. However, it is always a good idea to pay heed to some proven practical pointers that can come in good stead.

The Fortune Cookie Wisdom Guide to Project Management (Part 1)

by Ian Whittingham, PMP

Is your team aligned with your strategic vision? Are you tailoring messages to stakeholders? With a New Year upon us, we offer a small selection of mottoes as a kind of fortune cookie wisdom guide to project management...

Do You Speak Stakeholder?

by Andrew Makar, PMP

Speaking Stakeholder seems easy at first since it's rooted in English. However, the challenge is the language can differ from project to project. Here are a few examples and key lessons learned in stakeholder communication.

Cap the Project Blame: The Shared Responsibility Approach

by Craig Curran-Morton

Are you operating in a blame environment? Your project may be at risk. In this article, we examine the concept of shared responsibility and identify some steps you can take to start moving your stakeholders in a positive direction.


You suffer for your soup.

- Kramer