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You are here: Home Blogs Displaying items by tag: responsibility
Project Management Blog
Monday, 16 April 2007 08:36

It’s Not My Meeting and Other Myths

Oh, the stories we tell and the stories we hear. Have you ever heard anyone use one of the excuses below to distance themselves from their responsibility as a team member? Shame on those of us who use these excuses and on those of us who let others use them.

It is not my meeting – Guess what? If you have a business reason to be in the meeting, then it is your meeting too. Not only do you have the right to contribute, you have a responsibility to contribute, so speak up and share your expertise and opinions.

I did not set the agenda – Just a step or two away from “it is not my meeting” is the infamous “well, I did not set the agenda”. The implication is that only the person who defines the agenda can decide what is discussed. So if critical information is not brought to the table, well, that is just too bad, because “Hey, I did not set the agenda.”

Well, nobody asked me – This one is usually accompanied by a pouting face or a petulant tone of voice. None of us should be expected to have access to psychic powers, but if you know a problem exists and you know the solution – it does not matter that nobody asked you directly. Step up and step in to help.

It is not my job – So you knew from reports you receive that the database was about to run out of space. Guess what? Last night the database ran out of space and this morning the application was unavailable for two hours. But it is not your problem; after all, you manage the hardware not the database. It is not your job.

Now do any of these excuses really make sense? Of course not. Remember when one team member decides to disengage, we all suffer the consequences.

Published in Blogs
Monday, 16 April 2007 08:18

A Question of Ethics

Ethics has been the topic of several separate conversations I have had recently.  One friend expressed near outrage about a discussion she overheard between two of her managers.  It ended with one saying, “Well, your ethics aren’t necessarily mine!”  Another friend found it amusing that he was able to avoid the company ethics meeting by lying about already attending. 

Published in Blogs
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 19:58

Are You A Master?

In the April 2007 edition of PM Network, there is an article titled "Master Plan: IT executives need to develop an eye for project managers" that I would like to comment on.

The article is mostly based off a study done by Gartner Inc., in Stamford CT, USA. One sad but true statistic stated that 20-30% of IT executives "have a 'dismissive attitude' toward project management". Those are the same execs that suffer "from poor quality, late delivery and unrealistic project costs." I can related to this information from my personal experience, and would venture a guess that when you move into executives in operational areas, the dismissive attitude towards proper project management increases. The majority of IT execs seem to have seen the light and made the realization that there really is value to be delivered by well run projects by individuals who have the right skills to do so in a formal manner. 
Published in Blogs
Tuesday, 10 April 2007 18:29

Motivational Theory in Project Management

I recently studied Frederick Hertzberg's article on his motivational theory, in the Harvard Business Review. The title is "One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?"

I've heard about the theory before of course, vaguely referred to as the hygiene/motivator theory and it usually managed to earn about 1 slide in a presentation flooded with motivational theories. I was excited to read the author's article and understand the theory in more depth. There is a lot of value in it for project managers, and I'd like to share some of my notes and thoughts.
Published in Blogs
Monday, 02 April 2007 08:43

Avoiding Hindsight Management

Growing up in rural western New York we had cold, long winters.  Natural gas wasn’t cheap even then.  With 4 sons and a chain saw, my dad would cut enough firewood to heat a big, four-bedroom, 2-story home from October to April. 
Published in Blogs
Tuesday, 27 March 2007 08:43

Calling All Team Members

One week after the very bumpy implementation of the new sales management system, all implementation team members were invited to a lessons learned session. In the invitation from the Director of Project Management was an assurance that the purpose of the meeting was truly to capture lessons learned for future implementations. In spite of this, most attendees were apprehensive.

Published in Blogs
Saturday, 17 February 2007 16:22

A Quick thought on leadership

One of the most important traits of a leader is "Confidence". Confidence is sometimes appearing as knowing what to do. Both Customers and project team members expect the Project Manager to have the answer.  The team will come to the PM asking what to do in a given situation. Sometimes answer is easy, other times.... Someone once said to me: “People are coming to me with problems, but when I ask about possible solutions they often provide a well-thought out, reasonable solution which is usually a good resolution. However, they are hesitant to make decision on their own and wait for the PM to make it for them. Can this be thought of as "Risk Transfer"? Sure... Team members don’t want to make decisions, even when they’re rather safe decisions, they would rather transfer the risk of the decisions outcome to the PM. Makes sense right? I'm sure you've seen this before in a project you've lead. A good leader is one who knows what to do and looks confident with his decisions. When the PM appears as though he/she doesn’t know what to do, you can be sure the project team is even in worse condition.
Published in Blogs
Saturday, 27 January 2007 17:32

Risk Response Planning

Risk Response Planning is the process of developing options, and determining actions to enhance opportunities and reduce threats to the project’s objectives. It follows the Qualitative Risk Analysis and Quantitative Risk Analysis processes. It includes the identification and assignment of one or more persons (the “risk response owner”) to take responsibility for each agreed-to and funded risk response. Risk Response Planning addresses the risks by their priority, inserting resources and activities into the budget, schedule, and project management plan, as needed. 
Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:40

Motivational Theories

Five theories are of particular importance: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, McGregor’s theory X and theory Y, Ouchi’s Theory Z, Herzberg’s theory of motivation, and the expectancy theory.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs - According to Maslow, people work to take care of a hierarchy of needs. The pinnacle of their needs is self-actualization. People want to contribute, prove their work, and use their skills and ability. Five layers of needs, from the bottom-up, are:

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:36

Team Building

Project Managers need to posses certain “Soft Skills” otherwise referred to as General Management Skills.

In developing the project team, the PM is charged with performing a variety of tasks including, providing staff training, coordinating team building activities, establishing grounds rules, co-location and providing rewards and recognition.

Published in Blogs
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