Last week, I must have missed the start of at least three scheduled meetings. In each case, I saw on my calendar that the meetings would start in an hour or less, which meant that I could probably start and finish another task before I had to be at those meetings. And each time, I got so involved in the task I was working on that I lost track of everything around me and the meetings started without me.
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We live in troubling times. We are facing a global pandemic with many of us following stay-at-home orders, and we see civil and political unrest erupting. There are some political leaders who are stepping up to the challenge, and others not so much. But what about us project leaders? What can we do to help our project teams, colleagues, organizations and even our social circles face these challenges?
According to research and reports such as the Chaos report, the success rate for projects is far from great. Despite all the methods, tools and lessons learned, we seem to be in a holding pattern vis-a-vis increasing the success rate.
An effective Project Manager can't be stuck in a pre-established plan. You have to be able to re-route in response to current circumstances and developments. To make good decisions, you must have a complete understanding of the organization's culture, as well as the broader strategic purpose behind the project.
The 9/11 boat lift in New York City and the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56 were both hugely successful projects, with important lessons for Project Managers. The leaders did fast but effective planning and set clear goals. They hit all the milestones, and adapted as they went along. They communicated effectively and strategically. They were alert to risks, and responded swiftly and decisively.
This episode, the first in a series featuring highlights from University of Maryland's 2020 Project Management Symposium, focuses on culture and the importance of fitting in. We examine the hiring process, and maintaining a culture designed to retain top-notch staff. We also learn about a unique approach to stakeholder management.
If you think of leadership like parenting, then you can comprehend the concept of teamraising. Think nurturing. Good leaders foster an environment where good manners and civility prevail. They pay attention to the individuals on their team. They groom those with leadership potential, and guide them through the training and experiences they need to get to the next level.
PMs deal with multiple stakeholders - the executives who commission the project; the project team who implements it; and the end users/recipients. They all have needs, requirements and limits. The better you can negotiate these competing concerns, the more fluidly your project will run, and the more effective your outcomes will be.
Definitions are a useful starting point, but what do you really think when you hear the word risk? How does it make you feel? What about related words like "uncertainty," "threat" or "opportunity"? Building on established neurolinguistic theories of word/image association, this session will explore underlying tensions in the way practitioners think and feel about risk. Discover the surprising truth, and compare yourself with your peers.
Employees get 50-75% of their relevant information directly from other people. All project management begins with knowledge; one of the most critical organizational assets—intellectual capital—is held captive in the minds of individuals. How to capture, share, retain and reuse this knowledge is the greatest challenge facing organizations today.