Archive for the ‘ Project Management ’ Category

Greetings leaders!

In mentoring other project managers, I noticed there is a distinct trait that distinguishes those that are successful, and those that struggle in managing their projects. That trait is what I’ll call the ability to drive versus the ability to manage. Are you a project manager or a project driver?

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Bean Counters

Geetings Leaders…

I am amazed at the different perspectives that executives have about project managers (PMs). I recently heard an executive say that a good PM can manage any project. Do you agree? I used to think this was true but now realize that the answer, “it depends”, is more appropriate. When I was younger, a lot younger, I thought I could do anything. Give me a project and I’ll run it! Well, now as an experienced PM, I believe in just the opposite. A good PM can’t manage any project. Why is this important? Consider that organizations bring in consultants as PMs, often without experience in their industry, or their company. This is a recipe for disaster if not handled correctly.

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Greetings Leaders…

I cringe every time I hear of a government run IT project gone bad. I watch in amazement as project after project, especially in the IT arena, goes down the tubes when run by the government. I’m not talking about IT Infrastructure, things like servers or networks but about true software development. Over my career in Project Management, I’ve worked on many government projects and also been around many others who have… and it is very easy to see why they fail, and yet the trend continues despite many studies and hundreds of millions of dollars spent to fix the problem. The problem is not project management, it is the politicians. The Affordable Care Act is just another example of why politicians shouldn’t run IT projects.

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Greetings Leaders!

While mentoring Project Managers over the years, I’ve noticed both the good and the bad. What are the top 5 mistakes Project Managers make? Well, we’re all different, but here are five sure ways to get shown the door both as a consultant and as an employee.

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Greetings Leaders!

I was teaching class last night and we had a very lively discussion about Resource Management. Here was the scenario..

  1. A Project Manager and a Line Manager meet to discuss getting a team resource for the project.
  2. The Project Manager doesn’t like the team member that the Line Manager is going to give him.
  3. The PM and LM get into a disagreement as this engineer has spouted off in front of the customer on past projects, causing a LOT of trouble.
  4. The upcoming project demands a lot of customer interaction.
  5. The Line Manager basically says too bad. He agrees to attend the PM’s meetings to ensure the engineer stays in line, but during the first few meetings, the LM is a no show.
  6. The engineer ends up calling the customer inept in a meeting, and the customer threatens to reevaluate the contract.

What could you have done as the PM to prevent this from happening?

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Greetings Leaders!

Are you struggling to break out as a Project Manager at your organization? Well, you’re not alone. If we think about the 80/20 rule, only 20% of the Project Managers out there are going to rise above the others. After teaching project managers, consulting at many organizations and just reflecting on my career, I’ve come up with five things you need to do to get that next promotion.

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Greetings Leaders!

As a project management expert, I often get to see first hand how an organization measures their effectiveness in project management. I find it intriguing that so many of them, don’t really understand what they are trying to measure. They just look at their list of projects and if they all get done, then they are successful. If they don’t they are not successful. Many don’t measure it at all. Measuring project management effectiveness (PME) is important, but overlooked by many. What about your organization?

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Greetings Leaders!

Statistically speaking, the 80/20 rule seems to apply to almost every situation. When it comes to your staff, it means that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. What would happen if we could somehow raise the level of performance of the 80%, just a bit? Or better yet, how can we move the bell curve to the right so that 40% of the people do 80% of the work? By moving the bell curve to the right, if the original 20% stay productive, and you increase the productivity of 25% of the rest of your staff, the amount of work that got done would have to go up. So, how do we go about accomplishing this?

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Greetings Leaders!

You don’t have to go very far to find a failed multi-million dollar project. To be clear, let’s define failure as a multi-million dollar project that ran consistently behind budget and schedule, that came in years late. If you’ve been around for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve involved with a few. I know I’ve seen my fair share. To give you a few examples, here are some interesting articles on failed projects:

10 Famous ERP Disasters, Dustups and Disappointments: From CIO Magazine

Famous Failures of Complex Engineering Systems: CalTech

Catalog of Catastrophe Why Technology Project Fail: Calleam Consulting

So… why are these projects failing? I’m sure you’ve seen the typical answers, Poor Project Selection, Scope Creep, Bad Estimates, Poor Project Management. However, there may be another reason  unrelated to project management or organization dysfunction that may surprise you…

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5 Leadership Skills for Project Managers

Guest Blogger Claudia Vandermilt

As a project manager, your teams rely on your leadership skills to guide and encourage productivity and project success. When provided with quality leadership, team members often respond positively; they build stronger relationships and rise to project challenges brought forth by their leader.  Arm yourself with these five critical leadership skills to help propel a winning team:

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