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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.

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.

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.

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!

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?

The Project Manager as Knowledge Broker

by Paul Baumgartner, PMP

Does project management just boil down to the right knowledge getting to the right people? Project success hinges exactly upon that, with a highly empowered project manager leading the way.

Communicate, Collaborate and Worry!

by Subhash Nigam

Who said worrying was unhealthy? Project managers must maintain a healthy amount of skepticism going into any project. It prepares us to be better “event planners”--and even better managers who must overcome hurdles to deliver value for the project's stakeholders.

Methods to Stop Meeting Madness (Part 3): Why You Need Process Agendas

by Dan Furlong, PMP, PMI-ACP, MBA, CSM

For any meeting--such as those using method or adaptive agendas that require steps, materials or supplies to be used--a process agenda is critical to your success. The process agenda provides the “how” of a meeting, whereby the meeting agenda itself defines the “what”. Get some help in the concluding installment of our three-part series.

Methods to Stop Meeting Madness (Part 2): What’s Your Agenda?

by Dan Furlong, PMP, PMI-ACP, MBA, CSM

As our series continues to help you alleviate meeting madness, we talk about the various types of meetings we attend and how the agenda format should take the meeting purpose into account--and how nearly all meetings can be grouped into one of four categories.

PMOs: You Must Have Presence!

by Dan Furlong, PMP, PMI-ACP, MBA, CSM

PMOs frequently find themselves in front of an audience--sometimes as a meeting facilitator, sometimes as a presenter and sometimes as a motivational speaker. It is critical that as a PMO you have “presence” if you are to be the most effective leader you can be--and why would you want anything else?

Methods to Stop Meeting Madness?

by Dan Furlong, PMP, PMI-ACP, MBA, CSM

As project managers we are often asked to attend “urgent” meetings on short notice. More times than not, these meetings are poorly run, inadequately attended, stray off topic and include too many topics to manage in the period allotted. Life does not have to be this way.

Knowledge Sharing on Agile Projects: Absent or Abundant?

by Mike Griffiths

Some people see agile projects as knowledge transfer deserts where information is hoarded by key individuals and no useful documentation produced. Others believe agile projects are all about knowledge transfer. So why the disagreement? How can smart, experienced people have such different views about the same topic?

Stakeholder Integration: 3 Critical Factors

by Marcelo A. Briola, MBA, PMP

Stakeholder integration is vital to achieving project goals. In order to achieve successful integration, the project must be based on three critical success variables.

Preparing for the Exam with PMBOK Guide—Fifth Edition (Part 9): Communication Management

by Bruce Garrod

Do you need to study how to communicate in preparation for the PMP exam? Really? With only three PMI processes based around the function that every project manager does every day of their life, it may feel that studying this chapter in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)—Fifth Edition is a waste of effort. Not so fast...

5 Technology Trends Project Managers Should Know

by Elizabeth Harrin

Technology is revolutionizing how we work--and it’s not just Big Data. Here are the five technology trends that will influence how you manage projects in the years to come.

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"If you can't convince them, confuse them."

- Harry S. Truman