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Project Management

The Power of Questions: Is Your Question an Invitation, Request, or Weapon?

The power of questions—your questions—can either make or break your career. Questions have the power to create teams in a collaborative way… or crumble them. They are, in part, a good reason why you may be able to recover from a hostage situation. Questions can even help you win over a sticky situation at home. Why are some of us not skilled in the art of asking questions, much less asking the right questions? Do you remember when you …

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5 Good Reasons to Not Manage the New Project

Most times when a project comes your way, you don’t have a choice on whether or not to take it. But for those rare chances you can, you have the golden opportunity to to gauge whether you can really deliver with it. To help make this process easier, there are some very clear signs that you shouldn’t accept a project from the beginning. In his article for Project Times, Brad Egeland gives some reasons why …

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Agile at Scale Enables Your Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I had sharp cheddar cheese and butter in the fridge, but no bread. So, I opened Amazon Prime Now (also known as “assisted living for Millennials” in San Francisco) and ordered a loaf of dark rye, Greek yogurt with blueberries, a huge bag of Fritos, and a few other groceries to breach the $25 minimum. Then I got back into the Word document I’d been struggling with. Got an email confirming the order, and another …

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How to Build a Good Buyer-Seller Relationship

Everyone is either buying or selling something in business. Both buyers and sellers involved should be able to reap the rewards of their interactions with each other, but sometimes not everyone is on the same page. In a post at The Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall gives some recommendations from his experience as both a buyer and a seller for establishing good relationships: Define the buyer/seller relationship. Do what you said you would do. Evaluate …

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4 Reasons Project Managers Should Care about Business Strategy

Far from a senior leaders-only topic, strategic alignment and delivery affects project managers as well. Being aware of the company’s corporate strategy is integral for a project manager because it allows them to situate their project in the greater context of the company. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Elizabeth Harrin gives four reasons why project managers need to care about business strategy: Because outcomes matter Because it helps secure support Because it …

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How People with Different Conflict Styles Can Work Together

Everyone falls under one of two categories when it comes to their approach to conflict: They’re either conflict pursuers or conflict avoiders. Neither of these is the “right” approach, and we actually switch between them at times. However, different approaches to conflict must be considered according to whether people avoid or seek it. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Amy Gallo gives a rundown of the two conflict styles and different matches that may …

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The Obvious but Overlooked Reasons a Project Plan Can Fail

When it comes to managing projects, too many people stumble and fall on the essentials, perhaps because nobody ever taught them the essentials. While some project failures are unavoidable, there are also some that can be easily prevented. In a post for Project Management Tips, Shuba Kathikeyan gives seven reasons why project plans fail: Unclear scope of project Lack of communication Miscalculating timelines Undermanned teams Lack of planning Being a helicopter manager Insufficient monitoring Proper …

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How to Manage a Project While Doing Your Regular Job

Not everyone gets to be a dedicated project manager. Many people suddenly receive the crown of project manager while in the midst of doing another job. And those people are expected to succeed in both roles simultaneously. In his post at the Fear No Project Blog, Bruce McGraw shares some tips on how to manage both your new project and your regular job. Balancing Work and Work Successfully prioritizing your workload is important to balancing …

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Upsides to the Agile Approach to Meetings

No one wants to sit through an unproductive meeting. Despite this, a good chunk of meetings feel like wasted time and ultimately demoralize your team. To keep from wasting time, it might be time to restructure your meetings so you and your team can get the most out of them. In a post at A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Elizabeth Harrin discusses the benefits of applying an agile approach to your meetings. How to …

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More Processes, More Problems: Do This Instead

Complexity is, fittingly, complex. Susanne Madsen recently attended a lecture from Stephen Carver at the Cranfield School of Management, and she learned of the three types of complexity and how they affect our projects. In a post at her blog, she describes these three “buckets,” and then she explains how traditional project processes are only effective enough to handle one of them: Blue bucket: structural complexity Green bucket: emergent complexity Red bucket: socio-political complexity Bucket …

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