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3 Ways to Make Performance Reviews Less Dreadful


Life is all about framing. For instance, you can feel upset that someone spills soda on your shirt, or you can feel lucky that no soda spilled on the painting carried under your arm. In the same way, performance reviews only have to be nervous and soul-draining if both parties allow it to be this way. In an article for TechRepublic, Mary Shacklett shares three ways managers can reduce the dread of these reviews: Keep ...

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Bad Writing Is Destroying Your Company’s Productivity


Consider how much of your workweek is just spent reading, especially reading email. Is all of it well-constructed and intuitive writing? In an article for Harvard Business Review, Josh Bernoff wages that is not the case. He believes vague writing could be crippling an organization’s potential productivity. Legibility Wanted Most employees never get instruction on the right way to compose emails or any other form of communication. They just get thrown into the mix, and ...

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How to Keep IT at the Center of Business


IT enjoys a unique space in the business, having its fingers in many different pies. This wide vision of the business, in addition to its technical knowledge, makes IT an important player in shaping business demand. In an article for the Enterprisers Project, Monsanto CIO James Swanson shares some ways to keep IT at the center of the business. An Empowered IT First, get the business leadership together and have IT work as a partner ...

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6 Secrets to Success of the Top IT Companies in the World


The IT industry thrives as one overall organism, but it is no secret that a few companies stand far above the others in terms of size and notoriety. In an article for Business 2 Community, Barbara McKinney examines what behaviors distinguish businesses like Google, Microsoft, and Oracle from the others. Putting aside obvious factors like great management, she shares six actions these top businesses take: Hire fast and fire slow Take care of their people ...

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3 Tips for DevOps to Empower ITSM


One way to think of DevOps on top of ITSM is to imagine it as shiny endgame armor in a video game. It just enhances all of your character’s abilities once you have equipped it. In a guest post for Joe the IT Guy, Steve Chambers discusses three tips that allow for ITSM to prosper within the power of DevOps: Have DevOps-minded product teams. Use DevOps to change CCR (change, configuration, and release). Use DevOps ...

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Standards Make a Competent Project Manager


When you establish standards, you set in concrete terms what must be known or done in order to achieve competency in some area. A project manager who is “up to standard” is thus a competent and valued asset. In a post for the Association for Project Management, Andrew Watson discusses how to define standards for project managers. Setting the Bar As Watson sees it, a standard must do the following: Describe the correct, accepted way ...

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8 Tips for Quality Challenges in Projects


We strive for quality in everything we do, whether it is running a project or perfecting our oven-fried chicken recipe. Quality is multifaceted though, hence why achieving it is often a marathon more than a sprint. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Lindsay Scott shares eight tips for quality in projects: Quality means different things to different groups. Customer needs, expectations, requirements, and associated specifications must be understood. The delivery of quality depends ...

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The 5 Things Developers Expect from a Project Manager


Consultant software engineer Federico Tomassetti understands the great power of project managers—power that can help or destroy a team. Healthy relationships must be maintained between project managers and their developers if success is to result. In an article for DZone, Tomassetti shares five things developers expect you as the project manager to do: Communicate business priorities and consider technical priorities. Inform developers about deadlines well in advance. Manage communications. Shield developers from issues. Make sure ...

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5 Essentials of IT Leaders


Great leadership is not always brain surgery. Some essential qualities are actually no-brainers. In a slideshow for IT Business Edge, Toni Bowers shares some insights on the subject from Kavaliro’s Bill Peppler. These are some pretty obvious tips about how great leaders operate: They practice continuous learning. They delegate. They create a safe environment. They have superior problem-solving skills. They have a sense of humor. Duh Tips About the first tip, Bowers shares this: IT ...

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3 Ways CIOs Can Take the Pain out of Digitization


There is a stinging pain in your thigh. It is either that scorpion that turned out to be an awful office pet, or it is the pain of a stunted digitization effort. In an article for InformationWeek, CEB IT practice leader Andrew Horne highlights three ways to numb the agony. Three Problems You Can Conquer Getting distracted by the threat of being disrupted Treating digitization as a technology change rather than business change Making going ...

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5 Ways to Set Up Your New Managers for Success


At some point, you have probably thought to yourself, “Ugh, if only I could go back in time knowing what I know now!” Well, that is never going to happen, sorry. But you can at least help others not make those mistakes. In an article for, Morag Barrett highlights five ways you can help new managers you have promoted to succeed: Spending enough time grooming the new manager Understanding their “A” and “B” hats ...

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5 Small IT Inefficiencies with Big Consequences


Little cracks in the pillars of the IT organization can add up to some Samson-level chaos if you do not stay vigilant. In an article for Computerworld, Bart Perkins identifies some IT inefficiencies that seem bearable on the surface but are actually rotting away at the foundation. Beware these five: Unapproved projects Poor technology-purchasing practices Internal processes that aren’t clear Ill-suited infrastructure Poorly-run meetings Foundation Repair Not every project is a mission-critical explosion of innovation. ...

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3 Books That Will Make You a Better Project Manager


What are you doing to become a better project manager? The Project Management Institute (PMI) says that the ideal skill set of a project manager is a combination of technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise. The days where a project manager provided mostly technical skills are long gone. Yes, project managers still need to develop project schedules, manage risks, calculate reserves, and manage requirements. But the best project managers also know how to ...

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Personal Credibility and Leadership


IT project management is a troubled discipline. In June 2016, the Sacramento Bee reported that the California Department of Veterans Affairs spent nearly $28 million on a computer system designed to improve patient care. An audit found that the system was launched years later than planned, wasted staff time, and was never implemented fully. According to a 2015 US Government Accountability Office report, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Expeditionary Combat Support System was canceled in December ...

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Men in Groups Make Extreme Decisions


A typical comedy movie premise is that a group of guys make increasingly extreme decisions together, resulting in a mess as seen in The Hangover. According to Harvard Business Review, the scientific reality may not be too far off from that. Hristina Nikolova and Cait Lamberton share research demonstrating that men and women make different decisions in groups. The Testosterone Tornado As a rule, individual people of either gender are prone to the “compromise effect.” ...

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