While we all generally know what a pitfall is in the business world and understand that they should be avoided, the most obvious traps are still sometimes the ones we fall into—especially when managing projects with dozens of competing priorities that distract us and take our eyes off the trail ahead. This two-part article series identifies the top 10 reasons projects fail and focuses on how to avoid these common project management pitfalls.
In a crisis, stakeholders look to the project manager to remedy the situation. The authors manage a team of critical situation managers in a large software and services company and share a list of best practices based on their team’s collective experience in dealing with similar situations over several years.
Collaboration is a buzzword that has multiple meanings depending on who you ask. However you define it, it’s pretty well established that improved collaboration means improved project outcomes. So how are project managers collaborating to improve project outcomes?
Saboteurs are everywhere, but they aren’t enemy infiltrators—they may even be well-intentioned staffers who unwittingly convert everyday activities into acts of sabotage. This article is a review of the book Simple Sabotage: A Modern Field Manual for Detecting and Rooting Out Everyday Behaviors That Undermine Your Workplace, which is based on strategy that the U.S. Office of Strategic Services outlined in 1944’s “Simple Sabotage Field Manual.”
A project manager has to make sure that stakeholders’ demands are aligned with the project’s objectives. Here are five steps that can help you perform this balancing act and ensure a successful project outcome.
Sometimes, a little confrontation goes a long way. For HR departments, having information on these conflicts can thereby make an organization more adept at understanding its political system--and provide additional knowledge so that not all political actions become actionable conflicts.
The best results come from the most integrated and tightly knit project teams, and it only takes one or two people to see themselves outside of that group to damage the entire team. There is inevitably a psychological element to project leadership, but how far should that go? To what extent can “mind games” be part of a project manager’s tool set when managing a team?
Continuing to develop a failing project is a big challenge. Improving the environment and culture to ensure successful delivery requires integrating the bottom-up approach from a small task level with a top-down orientation of strategic management. Learn how to diagnose failure and implement useful techniques.
Most people have heard of the term "learning organization." However, do we know what it has to offer project planning management? Before a proper discussion of how it can be employed throughout the project process groups, we must first discuss the five components that form LO.
Many project managers struggle with managing conflict especially when it is being heated by emotional extremes. The author shares his top-ten lessons of real-world conflict resolution known as: Appeaseddd, with three Ds, to help you meet the challenge.
Do you have team members that don't want to be seen as negative thinkers, thus hindering your risk management efforts? This PM decided to turn things around and came up with a technique that turns finding a threat into a positive thing.
How can something that is fundamentally quite simple be so difficult to understand? How can a skill that is the foundation of project management, and in fact all business, become so difficult so quickly? And why do we often make it so challenging to do something so easy?
Communications that represent the output of collaborative activities have much more meaning and a much higher degree of influence and effectiveness than communications that do not. A fun and interesting activity would be to measure your project’s level of collaboration by developing a metric.
People often avoid difficult conversations, or they botch them. Do you need to confront people about their behavior, but you aren’t sure what to say? Don’t put it off. To plan for difficult conversations, remember to use the “WAC” technique.
We often collaborate with other people in our teams or in our organization, but how do you collaborate with clients or other organizations—or even with people not engaged in your project?
For a project team to provide results, satisfy project goals and then meet final delivery expectations, an effective and shared communications effort needs to be incorporated into its everyday operations.
In the last article, we introduced some complexities of mining projects, and thoughts on how those impact the first of “The Three Cs of Success”—coordination. This article will continue to explore complications related to mining, communication and collaboration, and then end with a few suggestions on strategies that might help.
Are command-and-control undertones hurting your organization's performance? Are people getting the passion and desire to contribute slowly crushed out of them by project management bureaucracy and prescriptive process? Then free them to be hyper-productive by emphasizing collaboration.
With respect to the mining world, there are additional distinct challenges that impact the success of applying the three Cs (coordination, communication and collaboration), compounding the potential risk of project failure.
No matter how much money or people are thrown at a project, it will not be successful without the proper amount of preparation. There is much that can be accomplished prior to the work beginning, and throughout the project there are key activities that must be done in order to support the project correctly.
Project teams are the engines that drive businesses forward. In this increasingly competitive world, we need to make better use of those engines. So why has there has been very little focus on how the organization can improve collaboration between project teams and other stakeholders and business areas?
What can you do to assess and enhance communication skills that you will need to be a successful collaborative leader? Let’s consider a few questions; think honestly about how you would answer these...
We are social beings. So why is it so painful to collaborate in real life? Why does collaboration look so great in theory—and hurt so much in practice? How conflict is handled has a great deal to do with how groups do and don’t work.
You are in the only role that has the power to enable the constant flow of communicating details in a timely fashion to keep a project humming. This simple technique can help you stay on top of all the details.
All conflicts—no matter how big or small—are harmful to projects. They all impact time, cost and our credibility. Let's bring into focus the importance of managing conflicts to ensure that our projects succeed.