Stay Sharp: Honing PM Skills At Home

Joe Wynne is a versatile Project Manager experienced in delivering medium-scope projects in large organizations that improve workforce performance and business processes. He has a proven track record of delivering effective, technology-savvy solutions in a variety of industries and a unique combination of strengths in both process management and workforce management.

Learning on the job is effective in many ways. It gives you real life experience and tells you what your less-successful tendencies are so that you can align them with best practices. The downside is that you make mistakes on the job. That's not necessarily good for your project or your career. But where can you get practice in "safer" situations to stay sharp? Just look around your home. 

Here's a scenario using a backyard landscaping project to show how to know where to apply project management tools and techniques.   

Build-or-Buy Decisions
A landscaping project is like many others where you will have “build or buy” types of decisions. Refine your understanding of how these decisions are resolved by doing careful calculations. These questions are appropriate for a landscaping project:

  • Do you outsource the whole thing? 
  • Do you do the work yourself with help from a big box home improvement store? 
  • Do you split outsourcing and your own work? 
  • Do you buy something off the shelf and make it work? 
  • Is there some overriding financial or expertise issue?

Design: In a backyard landscaping project, there is a design component. Details like placement of the hardscaping (rocks, bricks and concrete) and location of the shrubs and plants can become complex, so…

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You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, "My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!

- Dave Barry