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Managing Contractors

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Contractors and consultants may be a necessary part of your project team, but you cannot manage their work in the same manner you manage employees--or even matrixed resources.

Topic Teasers Vol. 80: Compliance Without Power

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

Question: We recently developed new accounting software for internal use to create invoices. Due to interest in tracking benefits realization and also capturing customer reactions to evaluate our success, my project team has been asked to stay on and address any issues for six months. One of the sales representatives gives special discounts and terms but fails to enter them into the new system for billing, and the angry customers call my team. I’ve told his manager, but the behavior continues. It makes the process improvement statistics for our software look bad and is costing us money. What can I do?
A. If talking with the sales representative’s manager didn’t work, talk to the manager’s manager. This sales person should be fired.
B. Take the salesperson to lunch. See if there is anything bothering him. Try to help him solve any work-related or personal issues, so that he can focus more on entering the correct data for billing.
C. Alert the representative by e-mail when the invoices will be sent out for two months. Give him a deadline to enter any unique terms not covered by the default pricing tables in the software. Copy his manager.
D. Prepare a second training class on how to operate the new software and schedule all of the employees in the organization who use the software to attend. If one person isn’t using it correctly, perhaps there are more.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Internet or Internot: What is Your Policy?

by Mike Donoghue

An internet policy is not just about saying “no” to everything—it’s about finding a balance of what is needed and how to improve productivity, all while building a working environment that clearly describes the responsibility each employee has in their unique capacity.

Challenges of Managing Human Resources for Large Infrastructure Projects

by Pradeep Sangal

Successful projects are built on strong relationships and solid processes; however, it is the people involved that make every project happen. Managing people is also the most challenging part of the project. Some of the issues related to human resources are peculiar to projects—but can be dealt with using an innovative approach that is unique and project specific.

Job Title Obsolescence?

by Andy Jordan

Virtually everyone in the workplace has a job title, but does that concept have any relevance in 2016? Or should we be looking at a different approach? For most people reading this, you should be making resource and accountability determinations based on skills, not titles.

Project Management Software Should Not Replace Project Managers

by David Robins

Why do so many customers of project management software show disdain for the discipline itself? This long-time practitioner of project management is concerned by the perception that project management is only relevant for large-scale initiatives.

What’s Your Policy on Making a Policy?

by Mike Donoghue

While you may find it difficult to put practices down on paper for any given policy you are tasked with drafting, there are some basic steps you can follow to organize your thoughts, begin the writing process and edit the content to a final version.

Predicting Human Productivity

by Lanfranco Fiorentino

This article deals with workers and productivity. It approaches the problem from a numeric point of view, trying to give a value to different types of employees and factors that may come into play.

Lessons from PMI Global Congress (Part 2)

by Mike Griffiths

This is the concluding installment of Mike's account of attending the recent PMI Global Congress 2016—North America in San Diego. In this article, he shares his thoughts on the other stand-out presentation he attended: Sue Gardener’s “The Future of Work” keynote.

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