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3 Tips to Become a Better Listener as a Project Manager

Communication is tricky ground to cover because most people assume communication is all about how to talk. We’ve seen those movies where a suave salesman seems to squeeze the life savings out of a billionaire by solely the gift of gab. But communication isn’t just talking; you have to be an excellent listener too. In a post for Voices on Project Management, Dave Wakeman gives three tips on how to become a better listener in …

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Convert Good Project Management into Great Project Leadership

For the project management office (PMO) to be successful in the long term, it needs to be constantly improving the skills of its project managers. Particularly, managers need to be developing their comprehensive leadership skills. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Rebecca Leitch highlights the need for a greater emphasis on soft skills in developing managers. Such skills are not as easy to objectively measure or train for, but they are too important …

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5 Reasons for Making Change Management a Top Project Priority

Nobody gets into programming because they enjoy the tension of waiting for errors to emerge during compile. Likewise, nobody gets into project management because they love a good change request. Still, change management is a critical aspect of project management, and it warrants your attention. In a post for the Association for Project Management, Brad Egeland highlights five reasons to make it a top priority: Eliminate gold plating Increase revenue Increase project profitability Keep the …

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The Other Half of Project Kickoff You’ve Forgotten

For most, the project kickoff is just a one-and-done event where the project manager articulates the goals and context of a new project for the team. However, the kickoff can and should be more than that. As project leadership coach Susanne Madsen explains in a post at her website, the kickoff can also be used to define the team identity. Taking this extra step will greatly improve the odds of project success. Strong Team, Strong …

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How to Identify Risks with a SWOT Analysis

Project managers can use several tools to identify project risks, including interviews, brainstorming, checklists, assumption analysis, cause-and-effect diagrams, the nominal group technique, and affinity diagrams. One of my favorite techniques is the SWOT analysis, where you and your team can identify and prioritize strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Once you’ve completed the SWOT analysis, you will have identified opportunities (positive risks) and threats (negative risks), inputs for your risk register. The information can help you …

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The Dark Side of Resilience

We always want to celebrate people who bounce back from hardships. Resilience is a quality people never get scolded for having. But sometimes—maybe they should? In an article for Harvard Business Review, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Derek Lusk discuss how excessive resilience can actually be a detriment to business. Self-Assured of Nothing One way resilience can work against you is when it comes to unrealistic goals. An overly resilient person might work toward an overly ambitious …

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How to Bridge IT’s Growing Generation Gap

Millennials could account for more than half of the workforce by 2020, so IT must change to accommodate the needs and expectations of this generation. But the place also has to stay livable for Generation X and Baby Boomers. How do you manage all that? In an article for CIO magazine, Minda Zetlin draws upon the insights of various experts on how IT can bridge the generation gap. Managing Skills and Attitudes With “go digital” …

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How to Mitigate Project Risks without Stifling Innovation

Unless you have Dr. Strange’s time reversal magic, it is impossible to innovate without incurring risk. This means that risk management—perhaps enterprise risk management—should factor into all innovative pursuits. Risk management is required not just to mitigate the damage of mistakes but also to maximize value opportunities. In has in fact been shown that “Enterprise value that can be lost through an ill-conceived move can exceed the operational costs of the mistake many times over.” …

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Can Reverse Mentoring Work in IT?

Everyone is familiar with the joke where a parent or grandparent is baffled by a new piece of technology, only to have a child solve the problem with the press of a button. It’s a nice reversal of traditional roles when it comes to technological competency, but this extends much further than a few laughs. In an article for the Enterprisers Project, Kevin Casey explains how “reverse mentoring” may be something IT will implement moving …

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