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Project Management Blog
On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful powered airplane flight. It was quite an amazing accomplishment, but I don’t believe it would have been possible if they were working in today’s business world. The problem would have been the drive for perfection. It would have started something like this…
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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.
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The creation of a Project Scope Statement doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Through the use of collaborative decision making and facilitated meetings techniques, it is realistic to build the components of the scope statement while gaining alignment from all project stakeholders in as few as two (2) days. The alignment gained from this upfront scoping effort will form the foundation for success throughout the remainder of the project. The key to this dynamic activity is effective planning and execution of a Project Scope Facilitate Meeting, using collaborative JAD techniques, to build the necessary scope outputs for a project.

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So far we dealt with Mr. Genius by clueing him in to what everyone else already knows: he doesn’t have all the answers.  Then we overcame Ms. Bellows by digging to the root causes and getting her to calm down.  But Mr. Promise seems like he would be a great guy to have around.  How could he possibly be evil?
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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. 

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Monday, 30 April 2007 09:58

Confrontational Conversations

It was a rough game.  During the week I spend my life as a mild mannered project manager, but on the weekends I turn into an AYSO Soccer Referee.  Unfortunately this time there was trouble.  The blue coach was the one that started pushing my buttons.  It probably started right at the beginning when I informed him that his spectator’s dog had to leave the field.  From then on he questioned everything and generally caused me grief.  I ended up calling both coaches to the center of the field and loudly telling them to knock it off.  It was my first such confrontational conversation as a ref.
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Saturday, 28 April 2007 09:08

Cargo Cult Project Management

During World War II, the Allied forces occupied many of the Pacific islands.  Up until that point, the inhabitants of these islands had never seen manufactured goods.  With the military occupation, goods such as sunglasses, chocolate and coca-cola literally fell from the sky.  To islanders unfamiliar with manufacturing or powered flight this bounty was a delivery from the gods. 
Published in Blogs
Monday, 23 April 2007 08:27

So What?

Anyone who has teenagers or has had to deal with them will inevitably run in to one with a bad attitude.  Their whole attitude says “SO WHAT?”   As project managers we deal with a lot of issues, risks, problems and people.  Some times it makes you want to throw your hands up and say, “So what?!?!”  Actually, that might not be a bad idea.  How would that look for issues, risks, budget or schedule problems and politics? 

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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
Thursday, 22 March 2007 17:35

The Accidental Project Manager

This article is intended for a particular kind of project management (PM) newbie...someone I call the "accidental project manager." Are you an accidental project manager? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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