Project Management

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Meeting of the minds: Avoiding Time Wasters

by Heidi Hjerpe

With only so many hours in the workday, dropping everything for another meeting is a painful, all-too-common occurrence. The sheer quantity of meetings can destroy productivity, and their lack of quality doesn't help either. This article reviews five ways project leaders can maximize the value of any meeting. In doing so, it describes using these five tactics: plan ahead; establish an agenda; stick to the program; manage participants; and evaluate.

The Right Connections: Networking in Social Media Demands Discipline

by Rachel Zupek Farrell

Social networking is a powerful networking tool, but its misuse can kill a career. That's why knowing the etiquette of social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter is key to leveraging these powerful assets. This article discusses how to build a useful social network without making the poor decisions that can cost project professionals their reputations and opportunities for advancement. In doing so, it reports a study conducted by CareerBuilder that shows that 37 percent of U.S. human resources professionals said they screen potential employees on social networks, and of those that vet via social media, 34 percent said they've found information that caused them not to hire the person. It then lists these seven ways to strike the perfect social networking balance: traditional networking rules apply; don't over-share; damage control matters; engage; choose your network wisely; use your manners; and focus on the relationship, not the numbers. Accompanying the article is a sidebar showing how to start a social network.

Game On: Video Games Bring Project Management To life

by Robert Castel

To view video games as possessing only entertainment value is short-sighted and without merit. Today's massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) impart social and innovative learning techniques for individuals and groups on a global scale--and to project management's benefit. This article discusses how MMORPGs bring project management lessons to life. In doing so, it examines how MMORPGs teach players emotional intelligence (EI) competencies, such as self-confidence, empathy, trustworthiness and communication. It then uses the "World of Warcraft" (WoW) collaborative wiki as an example to show the benefits for project professionals. The article examines the parallel between WoW, project management teams and EI: the need for collaborative engagement. It concludes by looking at communication, one of the most important EI competencies, and shows how communication plays a role in WoW and project planning.

Stakeholder Management or Customer Service?

by Lynda Bourne

Good customer service is the essence of any business. Quality and price matter, but friendly and efficient customer service is likely the differentiator between the preferred option and other businesses. Unfortunately, customer service is a piece of stakeholder management that is frequently overlooked. This article discusses how organizations can stand out in a crowd by providing excellent customer service.

The Fine Art of Delegation

by Meredith Landry

For project managers, doing too much can lead to burnout, poor performance and a frustrated team. This article discusses how delegating can lead to stress-free project work. It explains how effective delegation means finding the middle ground between trying to do it all and putting too much on team members' shoulders.

2012 PMI Project of the Year Award Finalist: Lab On the Move

by Keith Jackson II

Securing buy-in from a lone stakeholder group can be difficult enough, but when Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) (Richland, Washington, USA), launched a project, which was a 2012 PMI Project of the Year finalist, to move its facilities, it had to engage three high-profile government stakeholders and its own staff of scientists. This article discusses how the company moved a laboratory without disrupting its cutting-edge work for some high-profile government agencies.

Adding project managers into strategy planning can bring a dose of reality

by Steve Hendershot

Left on the outside, many project managers have conjured up their own idea of how strategic planning meetings work: Executives huddle around a conference table, plotting projects that will be executed easily, under budget, ahead of schedule and aligned to the organization's vision. In that scenario, project managers are the ones pointing out details and complexities that challenge that rose-colored view. This article discusses how adding project managers into strategy planning can bring a much-needed dose of reality.

2012 PMI Project of the Year Award Wi nner: Defying the Odds

by Keith Jackson II

Holding more than 220,000 aging and decaying weapons containing 7.4 million pounds (34 million kilograms) of VX, sarin and mustard gases, the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (Hermiston, OR, USA) could be a dangerous place. This article discusses how the project team at the Umatilla facility safely destroyed the stockpile by a disarmament treaty deadline of 29 April 2012. This effort, which received the PMI 2012 Project of the Year award, was accomplished with the help of engineering firm URS Corporation (Hermiston, OR, USA). The article details how the project team reduced the significant risks inherent to dealing with such volatile weapons and chemicals, especially the risks of sarin gas and VX nerve agent polluting the surrounding environment or a munitions fire scorching the landscape. It overviews how the safety aspects were addressed, noting that an Operational Readiness Review board was established to ensure the site had the systems and processes to safely process the weapons in compliance with regulations.

Being A Top Project Manager Means Being An Effective Leader

by Neal Whitten

To be a top project manager, you must be an effective leader. To consistently build the best products, provide the best services and create the best teams, you must think and behave with the mindset that you are the best at what you do. This article identifies thoughts and behaviors that project and program managers should follow. In doing so, it lists 21 tenets that top practitioners embrace.

Voices From the Top: Christine Burns, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

by PM Network Staff

By practicing project management and utilizing strategic vision, organizations can realize a variety of initiatives. This article features the CIO of the University of Technology (Sydney, Australia) discussing the technology projects that are part of its AUD1 billion building upgrade.


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"Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious and immature."

- Tom Robbins