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The More of Less in Projects

I’ve been enjoying the book The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker. Mr. Becker says that most of us own too much stuff. And we tire of cleaning and taking care of our possessions. The accumulation of stuff can rob us of life. The author has caused me to think about the clutter in my projects. Do I really need all the stuff? Are all the …

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The (Double) Objective of Your Meeting

Today, I would like to talk about a basic topic: knowing the objective of a meeting. Meetings remain an essential part of projects. Whether they are traditional meetings, teleconferences, or virtual meetings, you will need to talk to various persons. Yet meetings can have a bad reputation. They can be viewed as a big waste of time. And indeed, some of them are. I am sure we all can share bad experiences of useless meetings. …

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Simplicity: What’s Left When You Ignore Everything Else

Have you ever stopped at the supermarket to reflect on the constantly improving state of the art in maximizing grain yield per acre? Of course not. You simply grab a loaf of bread, glance at the “Sell by” date, and put it in your cart. You don’t feel a sense of gratitude that you and your family probably won’t die of starvation, as was so common for earlier generations. You don’t feel a sense of …

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Do You Have Any Idea What the Customer Really Wants?

I was prompted to think about customer service the other day when I was in line at a bank (yes, an actual queue in a physical bank). The customer ahead of me was speaking with the teller and trying to get a concern across that ultimately required a manager to resolve. Before the person left, they said to the manager, “It’s about time you got my service right!” I started to think to myself—everyone expects …

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The Project Closure Report: Writing a Happy Ending for Your Project

The Project Is Done! Finally, the project is completed. For large projects, it can feel like the end of an infinitely long journey. So many tasks done, so many challenges and issues resolved! As a project manager, you are no longer talking in the future tense about the next tasks or milestones to reach. It is now time to celebrate. And after that, you quickly move to your next project, which you hope will be …

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The Value of Sharing for Your Career Growth

Whenever the topic of blog writing comes up, the question I get asked the most is, “Why do you do this in the first place?” In order to explain why, we need to go back to the end of the last century—the year 1999. I had just finished my post-secondary education as a civil engineering technologist. As the final term came to a close, I had a gleam in my eye and I was looking …

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Why Staffing Your Projects Will Get Harder

In addition to all of the other constraints you will have to operate under in the coming years, you will have to face one crucial fact: The pool of highly skilled workers is not expanding as fast as the demand. There are several reasons for this, and a practicing IT project manager, as a “consumer” of skilled labor, needs to understand them. Unemployment Will Soon Be about Inadequate Skills Since the employment recovery began in …

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An Interview with Dave Gordon on His Book, The Data Conversion Cycle

Businesses approach data conversion projects with apprehension, and perhaps rightfully so. But the Practicing IT Project Manager, Dave Gordon, has written a new book aimed at demystifying data conversion for all roles involved. We interviewed Dave about his book and his reliable, repeatable process for data conversion. Here’s what he had to say. AITS: Your book, The Data Conversion Cycle, describes a generalized approach to data conversion that can be applied by nearly anyone involved …

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Are You Tired of Missing Big Project Risks? 3 Ways to Stop It

I have had the privilege of managing two PMOs, both composed of several project managers. It was always interesting to watch—the best project managers were the ones who had a habit of identifying risks, both threats and opportunities. And these individuals did not perform the risk identification just once at the beginning of their projects. Rather, they had a habit of making time to reevaluate their projects with an eye toward new risks. Wise project …

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Managing Transitions between Outsourcing Vendors

With apologies to Sir Walter Scott: Oh, what a tangled contract we write, when first we practice to outsource. Having managed outsourcing projects on behalf of both the customer and the third-party administrator, and managed transitions from one outsourcing firm to another on behalf of several clients, I have a lot of anecdotal evidence that outsourcing generally works best on a spreadsheet—in practice, results tend to be rather variable. But because most business decisions are …

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