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What do you wish someone had told you early in your PM career?
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What good advice did you receive early in your PM career?

Or what do you wish someone had told you, that you learned only later?

(I'm gathering ideas to use for mentoring someone...)

Thanks for any input! :-)
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Network:1558



John -

Focus on people first, then on processes and tools. There's enough of the latter in our profession that it's easy to obsess about those and forget that it's talented, motivated team members and engaged stakeholders which result in successful projects.

Kiron
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1 reply by Adetokunbo Lawrence
Sep 11, 2019 5:23 PM
Adetokunbo Lawrence
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Kiron,
I already like you!

I can tell your teams always deliver value and enjoy working with you.

This advice is golden.
Thank you.
Network:204



I have to agree with people first. Figure out how to relate at all the different levels, speak their languages, understand what drives them. You need to the ability to set down with the CFO and the BA, QA tester and developers. If you can't communicate openly, all the forms and processes in the world aren't going to make someone do something they don't want to or can't.
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Lead by Example - Golden Advise.
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1. Learn your audience (their nature, behavior, likes, dislikes)
2. Project Manager works for the Product Owner, even though they don't report to them, as much they work for their reporting manager
Network:118447



Thank you all for the feedback on this topic.

I would add something along the lines of
"Perception is reality" or "It's all in the presentation"

Meaning that a project manager is expected to "have it under control", and should exude that quality to the outside world. Calm and in control, not panicked or uncertain.

And then go figure out how to get it under control, if it's not... :-)
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2 replies by Bob Thomas and Karan Shah
Apr 12, 2018 12:23 AM
Karan Shah
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I really like the duck analogy to explain this.

On the surface of the pond, the duck seems calm and still - floating around as is its wont.

Beneath the surface, however, its legs are paddling away a mile a minute.
Jan 08, 2019 3:58 PM
Bob Thomas
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That's very close to the saying I use, an NLP presupposition: "The meaning of the message is the response you get."
Network:118447



To further clarify that last comment, it is not meant to suggest to misrepresent a situation...

Rather it is to be prepared. If there is an issue, acknowledge it and go on to state that it is being analyzed and addressed. If there are concerns that the team can deliver or not, then respond confidently.
(well unless the team can't deliver - then that's a different conversation - and alternatives should already be defined - or should be in the process of being defined)

If you can put people's minds at ease, they will be more likely to stay out of your hair and let you concentrate on getting the work done. :-)
Network:37



I wish I had hear about Pmbok
Network:950



Apr 11, 2018 5:02 PM
Replying to John Duncan
...
Thank you all for the feedback on this topic.

I would add something along the lines of
"Perception is reality" or "It's all in the presentation"

Meaning that a project manager is expected to "have it under control", and should exude that quality to the outside world. Calm and in control, not panicked or uncertain.

And then go figure out how to get it under control, if it's not... :-)
I really like the duck analogy to explain this.

On the surface of the pond, the duck seems calm and still - floating around as is its wont.

Beneath the surface, however, its legs are paddling away a mile a minute.
...
2 replies by Brigitte Fortin and Erikka Cullum
Jan 05, 2019 6:39 AM
Brigitte Fortin
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Beautiful... I keep ducks so, it's an apt metaphor... hope you don't mind if I use it :)
Sep 13, 2019 1:43 PM
Erikka Cullum
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Nailed it!
Network:113



1. Tell them a story! Make the vision a visual represnation with a picture. Be it stick figures and crayon or high end graphics. Take what they say and put it in a picture. draw lines, have them help. Do this for business cases, for strategy sessions, for planning, and so on. It has changed the way I do things, and it is so much more effective than a 50 page document.
2. Learn your team, sponsors, stakeholders, identify with them, find their strengths and weaknesses. Use their strengths and help them strengthen their weaknesses.

Hope this helps. It all boils down to people and how to manage them in the end.
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2 replies by John Duncan and Sharonda Steverson
Apr 12, 2018 12:21 PM
John Duncan
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Thanks Christopher. Great point about visuals.

I would add that some people prefer charts/diagrams, and some people prefer tables/numbers, so that's another variation on "know your audience".

But in any case, 50 page documents is definitely going to be a road block. :-)
Aug 04, 2019 1:04 AM
Sharonda Steverson
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Do you have a sample of the story? I seem to like that approach.
Network:118447



Apr 12, 2018 9:06 AM
Replying to Christopher McLean
...
1. Tell them a story! Make the vision a visual represnation with a picture. Be it stick figures and crayon or high end graphics. Take what they say and put it in a picture. draw lines, have them help. Do this for business cases, for strategy sessions, for planning, and so on. It has changed the way I do things, and it is so much more effective than a 50 page document.
2. Learn your team, sponsors, stakeholders, identify with them, find their strengths and weaknesses. Use their strengths and help them strengthen their weaknesses.

Hope this helps. It all boils down to people and how to manage them in the end.
Thanks Christopher. Great point about visuals.

I would add that some people prefer charts/diagrams, and some people prefer tables/numbers, so that's another variation on "know your audience".

But in any case, 50 page documents is definitely going to be a road block. :-)
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