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Forging a Sponsor/Project Manager Bond

by Laura Burford

Project managers realize an engaged and supportive sponsor is instrumental in ensuring project success. However, many PMs struggle with building a collaborative relationship with the sponsor. This article presents three sponsor/project management relationship concepts.

A Simple Stakeholder-based Competency Framework to Reach Success

by Nicolas De Dobbeleer

During a time of ever-increasing productivity needs, training should be extremely focused to ensure high return on investment. It seems important, therefore, to focus on a few key competencies rather than an all-encompassing set of competencies that are needed in different situations.

Rules of Engagement for Project Resources

by Paul Baumgartner, PMP

Resources assigned to your project vary in experience with projects. Communicate these proven rules of engagement at your kickoff to equip your team for top project performance.

The Economics of Compassion in the New Economy

by Mike Griffiths

Being nice is not a courtesy or even a basis for competitive advantage anymore. In today’s connected workplace with a less loyal and more mobile workforce, the economics of compassion are very real. See what smart companies are doing to recruit and retain the best talent.

Setting Up Sponsors for Success

by Andy Jordan

Good project sponsorship is critical for success, but that accountability starts long before the project itself is approved. So why are sponsors frequently set up for failure by their organizations, and how can you change that?

4 Traits for Being a Good Sponsor

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Whether you are a sponsor or a project manager looking for a sponsor, you need to know what makes a sponsor good for a project. Look for and exhibit these traits to give you (and others) peace of mind…

When My Team Members Speak, Do I Listen?

by Roger Kent, PMP, PMI-ACP

Of course I listen. Well, okay…maybe not all the time. This is a confessional. Here’s how I’m trying to listen better--at least when people are directly in front of me or in a face-to-face meeting…

The Best Defense is a Good Offense?

by Andy Jordan

When project teams or project managers become territorial or confrontational, the situation needs to be addressed immediately--and professionally. Here we look at some of the causes of what is a fairly common communication problem, and how to address it.

The Key to Communicating with 'Non-Project' People

by Andy Jordan

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?

Skills Tracking: An Unattainable Ideal?

by Andy Jordan

It’s very difficult to assign the right people to the right tasks, to ensure that the right training is delivered to the right people at the right time, and hire to fill skills gaps. How can you effectively track your resource pool’s skills efficiently?

Three Essential Leadership Practices that Improve Team Ownership

by Pollyanna Pixton

Why is team ownership important? It is essential to agile team success because individuals thrive on ownership. With ownership, you have a stake in the game and push to find the best solution. The difficulty is that most corporate cultures have command-and-control leaders. Here is some help...

Consulting Characters

by Patti Gilchrist, PMP

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.

Managing the Shared Worker

by Andy Jordan

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.

Outlining Resource Needs

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

One of the first questions when starting a new project is: What resources do you need? Outlining these needs to executive management is paramount in securing project success, so keep these four tips in mind.

The Consultant vs. In-House PM

by Michael Wood

What's the difference? From time to time, organizations find themselves in a dilemma trying to decide whether they should use an in-house PM or PM consultant to manage important projects. Being aware of the tradeoffs and making conscious decisions on each is the best way to minimize unintended consequences.

Excuses, Excuses! Managing the 'Yeah, but...' PM

by Andy Jordan

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?

4 Ways Neuroscience Can Enhance Project Management

by Andrew Filev

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.

Topic Teasers Vol. 30: Changing Agile Attitudes

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

Question: My agile team does okay with the new structure of how we do things, but it seems like we’ve just replaced one set of rules with another. How can I get them to change the way they think about things, not just follow the new processes? I understand that is the underlying key to agile success?
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.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Social Media Policy: Protecting Yourself and Your Project Team

by Mike Donoghue

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.

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!

Hiring for Cross-Functional Teams

by Esther Derby

Many hiring managers have practice in assessing broad technical skills. But strong, creative and capable teams result only when those T-shaped people can work interdependently, self-manage, solve group problems and learn together. That implies another set of skills to look for when hiring for a cross-functional team--interpersonal and collaboration skills.

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.

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"If they have moving sidewalks in the future, when you get on them, I think you should have to assume sort of a walking shape so as not to frighten the dogs."

- Jack Handey

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