The most critical skill set for a PM to possess is the ability to communicate creatively. So perhaps the art community can offer some tips to improve our ability to communicate creatively and visually. Take it away, Pablo Picasso!
Project managers have a problem in how we visualize--and visually present--information about our projects. Over time, there has been very little innovation in how we depict and portray information about our projects.
Friendlier communication tools can help to bridge the gap between project management and other business areas. Are you harnessing some simple yet effective visual aids to get crucial information across to your staff and stakeholders?
Solving problems is an integral part of any PM's job. But how do you solve those problems? The honest answer is, “Not as well as I’d like to.” And this is where being freaky comes in, as a way of improving our ability to solve project problems.
Across the world, there are traditional project managers with dirty little secrets--they are embracing Kanban concepts. What is it that's leading traditional PMs to embrace an agile tool so readily? Well, to understand that we need to understand what Kanban boards offer project managers--something that works.
Taking a lesson from the automobile industry, some project managers have found ways to improve project team and stakeholder communications through the use of tools that help people better visualize the status of projects and related issues. Here is a primer on Visual PM--its origins, use and more...
What happens when the consultant falls short of their billing as an industry expert? Here is a humorous look at some of the consultant characters that you may have encountered--and survival tips for dealing with them.
It’s not uncommon to have an individual assigned to multiple projects at the same time. Organizations need to maximize the utilization rates of their employees--which brings its own set of challenges. Read on to get some help managing partially assigned resources.
Does a project manager responsible for client-facing initiatives need a different set of skills from other PMs? And if so, what are those differences? What makes a good professional services project manager?
Cause and effect at the executive level can cost millions, but prevention is cheap! How can we prevent executives from making unrealistic promises--ones that can come back to harm everyone?
If there is one thing almost guaranteed to make a project manager cringe, it's the idea of having to give a presentation to the executive or board of their organization. What is an executive-level audience looking for from its presentations, and how can you develop and deliver an effective presentation with confidence and credibility?
Being a sponsor is a role, not a position--and with the role comes responsibility. How do you ensure optimal success for the project? How do you go from being a good sponsor to a great sponsor?
There will always be a reason why some team members just don’t believe it’s possible to give you the information you need in the way that you need it. So how do we deal with the "everything’s an exception" belief without damaging the relationships within the team?
Your ability to properly anticipate risk executives’ needs and involve them into the management of your projects will set you apart from those who do not have this ability. These tips covering justification, communication, vendor selection and more will help you build this important skill.
As project managers, we need to pay attention to disengaged employees. We should know why it’s happening and learn how we can re-engage our teams. This is where neuroscience becomes a valuable resource. Here are four suggestions on how neuroscience can help improve your project management.
The executives of an organization are not interested in the details of a project, but they do want to know what the roadmap is for the project. How are you going to present that to them? Keep these four tips in mind.
Presenting the status on an entire portfolio can be very different than the status on one project or program. The portfolio manager must learn to condense and tailor the message for the audience.
While there is almost unanimous agreement on the importance of teams, the vast majority of people don’t like to belong to them. This raises a loud warning for you and your agile team, one you must address proactively, because an agile project succeeds or fails on the health of the team. Maybe the GCCR Plan can give your team members wings that fly.
|A.||Management does not care what team members believe as long as they turn around work more quickly than they did in the past. Leave people to think what they will.|
|B.||In addition to the team rules and the agile methodology process rules, tell people each day what they are to think about the work they do and how they should view others.|
|C.||You can’t mandate change. You can only find a fun way to demonstrate and remind people on the team about the premises of agile philosophy.|
|D.||If your team won’t quickly adjust to knowing and following the agile philosophies, this approach to doing projects will fail. Return to traditional project management practices.|
In our technology-rich activities, it is important for companies to enact a social media policy in order to protect sensitive data, corporate networks and other important online information. Keep these recommendations in mind when creating a policy.
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?
Status sharing is key to PMO success, and newsletters have become the favorite transmission for managers to stay on top of milestones. Get help with your communications using TEAPOT--every PMO chef’s magic potion.
|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.|
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.
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?