Project Management

Articles on how to run projects, using project management techniques

Examples of Poor Project Management - Mistaking E-mail for Communication

One of the mistakes I have encountered reasonably often in projects is with people (both managers and resources) mistaking e-mail for actual communication. After sending an e-mail, people assume many things, including that: it is read in a timely fashion, the message is understood by the receiver(s), it is enough to generate the action/result desired by the sender. Unfortunately this is rarely the case and overusing e-mail instead of more effective communication mediums (face to face, video-conference, phone or chat), easily generates problems in projects: people not taking action on time, people completing wrong or incomplete deliverables, messages being forwarded to the wrong audience and generating conflicts, etc. In this article I would like to cover why people tend to overuse e-mail, the problems encountered with this communication medium and how to figure out by yourself when you should not use e-mail but a more effective communication medium.

What You Will NOT Earn From a PMP Certification

In April 2010 I managed to obtain my PMP certification and I’ve found out that I am one of the 360.000+ certified project managers in the world. That’s quite a large number (and I’m not counting other project management certifications) and, while reading this, it made me feel a lot less unique and outstanding. I then started reading about the reasons why others get this certification and I was pretty disappointed. What I’ve seen all over the Internet is that many people claim false benefits for this certification. That’s why I decided it would be time to share my own view on what you will earn from being PMP certified and try to demystify some of the benefits that are being sold to us.

Examples of Poor Project Management - Introducing an Intermediary between the Project Manager and the Client

I will continue our series on Examples of Poor Project Management with a scenario from some of the projects ran by multi-national companies, with geographically distributed teams: having a project team member act as the intermediary between the project manager and the client of the project. I’m not saying that this is always a bad idea but unfortunately, more often than not, I have seen projects fail to some degree due to having such a project setup. In this article I will explore the reasons why projects can have such intermediary roles and how this can lead to negative results. After reading this article, please share your experience on this subject.

Seven Tips on Designing & Implementing Methodologies

I have been involved in the development and implementation of many methods in my career. Often these are related to project management or change management, but I have also been involved in the development and rollout of consulting engagement management processes, new product development processes and improved software development approaches.

Obviously I have learned a great deal about this subject. I would like to share some tips about how it is best to approach the design and implementation of different methodologies, inside your business organisation(s), so that you are more successful in achieving your real goals.

Project Management Methodologies: Guidance or Rules?

The development of standardised approaches, the capturing of best practices and the creation of project management accreditations have improved the project management profession significantly over the past few decades. Arguably, it is only since we have these things that we can really call ourselves a profession rather than just a loose affiliation of people with a relatively similar role to perform.

Anyone who has read much of my project management writings will soon realise that whilst I welcome standards, best practice and accreditation – it is a somewhat cautious welcome that I give to them. In this article I want to talk a little more about methodologies. There are three things I want to mention specifically: the source of methodologies, the danger of a “one size fits all” mentality and the application of methods as rules and the consequences of doing that.

The high performance project teams - How to prepare the team

I would like to continue the discussion I started last month on highly performing project teams. This is a topic that I think is very important, but one that we do not discuss often enough as project managers. In this article I want to focus in on preparing team members for a project. In a future article, which I will post soon, I will look at the wider aspects of a highly performing project team. In both cases I am as interested in your comments and views as sharing mine. This is an area we can all learn more about, and if you have any great advice or ideas, please share it!

The high performance project team - How to create, sustain and disband one

Project teams create deliverables and achieve outcomes, not project managers. As in an orchestra - the project manager may be the essential conductor, but the players make the music. The project manager’s work is forgotten once the project completes. What is left and of value, are the outputs from the project team - the deliverables.

There are huge variations between the effectiveness of different teams. High performance team deliver substantially more than poorly performing or even average teams, sometimes several times as much. Experiencing truly high performing teams is exciting, fun, and provides real learning. But... how can you create such teams? In this article I will try to explore this subject and share my view on how such teams work, how they can be developed, sustained and, when the time comes, disbanded.

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