Topic Teasers Vol. 63: New Manager No-Nos

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

Question: I have recently been assigned to manage a group of project managers. Unfortunately, I have no background or experience in project management, let alone the training and certifications they hold. In addition, I really have little experience in business at all…just a tangential college degree. What can you tell me about managing PMs that will help me survive in this new position?
A. Immediately get a book on project management and read up on this profession. A general overview will allow you to see that all projects are so similar that implementing your own new procedures can be equally beneficial for all the projects in progress when your start date occurs.
B. You are in a perfect position to manage project managers because you will have a fresh outlook and not be influenced or limited by what has been happening before you came. Make as many changes as you can in the first few months before you are dragged down into how things have been done in the past.
C. This is a more common situation than you might think. The best thing to do is familiarize yourself with the most common new manager mistakes and at least avoid making these. Lay low until you can figure out what is going on.
D. You should never have been hired. There is no way that a person who is not a project manager can successfully supervise those who are. Contact your boss and ask if you can be moved to a department that has people with more generic skill sets. You can be successful there.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

A Matter of Style Matching

by Andy Jordan

As project managers, so much of our job relies on personality. A recent event at a client made one PM realize how little some organizations think about the style and approach of a particular project manager. Here’s why it’s important.

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.

Project Bullies: Are You a Victim?

by Paul Pelletier, LL.B., PMP

Bullying can be as harmful to projects as it is in schools and other areas of society, causing well-understood health impacts for the victims, plus a long list of challenges for project managers and the organizations where it is taking place. Learn how to implement concrete anti-bullying action plans to ensure a zero tolerance policy for bullying individually and across projects.

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".

An Introduction to Servant Leadership

by Syed Moiz

The purpose of this article is to bring forward one of the very well-known leadership practices called Servant Leadership. We'll explore its prominence in today’s project management world and how it can benefit emerging project leaders in managing teams, projects and organizations.

Buddy PM: Improving Project Management through Paired Reviews

by Debasis Roy

This article introduces a concept for project management improvement through the use of existing project management resources, without the need for disruption. The concept intends to avoid costly overheads in implementation and running--and introduces optimal use of project managers for review of projects, bringing down risk and involvement of costlier management overhead.

The Balance Between Customer and Project

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

The expectations and the needs of the customer do not always balance the needs of the project--and the project management processes. Project managers often have to walk a fine line between the customer and the project. Keep these tips in mind.

Getting Strategic with Resource Management

by Andy Jordan

There is increasing recognition that resource management needs to occur at a more strategic level. When you manage your resources, do you only consider the project, or do you look at the organization as a whole?

Information Sensitivity and Employee Sanctions: Getting the Message Across

by Mike Donoghue

With increases in data breaches, there is a strong need to get the complete attention of staff and define how to make them more accountable. How does a company handle this problem? When these events occur--and with repetition--there needs to be an introduction (or reintroduction) to rules and repercussions that apply to all employed bodies within an organization.

Accurate Resource Planning

by Andy Jordan

The need for accurate resource plans is not new, and yet we still consistently get it wrong. Why is that, and how can we change things?

Teachable Moments: The Best Person for the Job

by Susan Kennedy, PMP

Teachable moments are formed when you have done something--regardless of the outcome--and learned from the experience. Learning makes us better at what we do and provides a great opportunity to develop others and sharpen skills. We’ve compiled our best Teachable Moments from our community members for you to learn from and share with other project managers. In this installment, we learn how one conversation changed the way a PM thought about project staffing.

Achieving an Effective and Functioning Project Team

by Marcelo A. Briola, MBA, PMP

Projects without a focused strategy for an effective project team will be disordered--and made up of professionals who lack the required motivation. To reach this goal, a project team should be based on two building blocks and three critical success variables.

Leadership and Stewardship: Is There a Connection?

by Michael Wood

Ever wonder why effective leaders almost always see themselves as stewards of something far bigger than themselves, a keeper of a sacred trust? There is a connection between leadership and stewardship that would-be leaders need to understand if they are to mature into someone who can lead people--and organizations--to success.

Telecommuting Time

by Kevin Coleman

Telecommuting has been called the future of work, even for program and project managers. Like it or not, we had all better prepare for this as it is highly likely that within the next few years, it will impact all of us.

Your New Priority: Retaining Project Workers

by Joe Wynne

Economic and demographic trends are requiring project managers to prioritize certain workforce management skills to avoid replacing workers during the project. Make sure you understand these four relevant trends to help you avoid problems.

Developing Talent: The Next Frontier for Project Managers

by Bruce Harpham

The talent and creativity of individuals are the next frontier for project managers to manage. The unique nature of project work presents a major talent opportunity. With some thoughtful planning, project managers can build the talents of their team members: a win-win-win situation.

Sponsor and PM: The Perfect Leadership Team?

by Andy Jordan

The sponsor and project manager should form a powerful leadership team that creates a positive environment. In reality, that often fails to occur--and the fault frequently lies with a “broken” relationship. Get some help in maximizing these roles.

Leadership Means Never Having to Say You're Bored

by Mark Mullaly, Ph.D., PMP

Project managers face an awkward and interesting leadership challenge. What do we do in these situations? What strategies are available, and what resources can we draw on in order to navigate our way to success? And what do we need to know about ourselves, our teams and our organizations if we are to genuinely lead effectively?

Transitioning Leadership: A Personal Story

by Michelle Stronach

When you take over an in-flight project, it's important to know the circumstances of the change. This article is a personal story about taking over a well-managed project that was necessitated by unfortunate circumstances.

The Splintering of Leadership

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

In the business world, leadership can be splintered to varying degrees. At times, this works to the benefit of the organization--but it can also cause a great deal of confusion.


"The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer."

- Henry Kissinger