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Project Management Blog

Happiness is the full use of your powers along lines of excellence in a life affording scope…’ John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

An Analogy… Years ago as kids, when we all didn’t know (or worry about) what project management was, our PMBOK’s were comic books (we acknowledge that many adults read such material today). We couldn’t wait for the next monthly or weekly issue to come out of Superman or X-Men, or the Fantastic Four, or Spiderman to name just a few. Of course, not all comic books involved superheroes, but many of them did. Each superhero in our imaginary worlds has at least one or more special skills or powers that made them champions for justice and “the greater good”.  Let’s not forget the arch nemesis and villains like Lex Luthor, Magneto, or Dr. Doom that had similar powers but used them for the wrong intent.

Today we probably all know some of our colleagues as ‘superheroes’ for the efforts they give or the results they achieve individually and/or with their team.  Are they considered our champions or Olympians in program and project management? Do you admire them for their strength the same way one might respect a person who can undertake admirable feats of physical endurance or run at incredible speeds?

Published in Blogs

project-teamA project manager once said that his job would be much easier if only he did not have to deal with people. Some of the biggest challenges on a project are not managing scope or risk, but effectively managing and working with people. Let us talk about a person that has decided that they not longer want to be a part of the team. He or she may try to keep knowledge to himself or herself. He or she starts talking negatively about the company and the project. He or she may request to start working from home or different hours from the rest of the team.

Your first thought may be that the person needs to be fired, or replaced. But that is not always practical. Even if it was, there are some things you need to do first to make sure you understand the problem and what the impact to the project will be.

Published in Blogs
Monday, 15 October 2007 14:55

About soft skills and project management

A key success factor for excellent project management often relies also upon the people skills of the project manager.

In order to minimize risk and ensure a successful project, project managers must not only deal with the technical project management aspects, but asses leadership skills, cultivate a motivated team, master negotiation tactics to effectively handle conflict situations and communicate effectively. Projects success can be jeopardized by things such as personal agendas, politics, poor communication and team conflicts.

And if you succeed, no matter how "good" you are,  you will never get the credit, if can’t communicate well with colleagues or clients.
Published in Blogs
Tuesday, 21 August 2007 15:49

Point 13 - Deming in Project Management

Training Not Related to Job/Task

In order for continuous improvement to become organizational culture, it must also become a personal goal for every employee. Self-improvement should not be limited to immediate application, that would be an example of short-term thinking. Employees are the most important assets of an organization, and therefore require effort to retain and enhance them.

Published in Blogs
Sunday, 12 August 2007 21:11

Point 12 - Deming in Project Management

Enable Pride of Workmanship

Deming claimed that the sense of having helped other people is the most significant motivator and source of job satisfaction. It is one of the biggest enablers for pride of workmanship.

Of the projects you have worked on, think about the ones you are most proud of. What is it that makes you look back and say, “Wow! Look what we did!!!”
Published in Blogs
Monday, 06 August 2007 08:25

Are You a Superhero?

Are you a take charge, save the day, in control kind of person? Are you reliable, focused and straightforward?

“Alright” you say; “If that makes me a superhero then sign me up.”

Published in Blogs
Saturday, 16 June 2007 10:17

Deming's 7th Point in Project Management

Teach and Institute Leadership

It is the age-old distinction that usually merits much lip service and little true implementation. There is supervision/management, and then there is leadership. Project managers can either be supervisors or leaders, regardless of their job title.

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There is a certain gene in the DNA of a project manager that results in a superhero complex.  We are the ones that find leadership voids and itch to fill them.  If there is chaos, we long to tame it.  When things are wrong we strive to right them.  Where there is no org chart…well, you get the idea. 

Published in Blogs

Your hands are sweating; your stomach is in knots. Once again you need to sit down and discuss your project requirements document with that obnoxious team member. The one who just drives you crazy. If you say left, they say right. But that’s OK because you put it off until the very end of the day. You immersed yourself in other work and did not bother to think about this conversation. After all why waste time on a no win situation? You are going to stop by their desk, tell them how it will be and then go home.

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Petra Goltz, PMP asks: How do you see the role of a project or program manager changing to keep pace with today's fast moving commercial environments?

I say: That's an very interesting question. Without giving it too much thought, I can see the following trends taking place:

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