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Project Management

6 Tools and Techniques for Controlling Risks

Picture this: You have two options for risk identification and you can only choose one. One involves identifying over fifty risks at the start of your project, but you never look at them after the fact. The second option is a risk identification workshop that requires regular maintenance, but facilitates a lot more communication about the risks and the responses to them. If you chose the second option, you’re well on your way to great …

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5 Times When You Should Escalate the Project Issue

Escalating problems is something no one wants to do. It sort of gives off the vibe of “the ship is sinking, send the rescue boats,” and most people would rather drown in the work/stress than ask for help. But not every problem can just be powered through, and extra help might necessary. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Elizabeth Harrin explains when it’s the right time to escalate an issue: When you don’t …

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Agile Is an Ingredient, Not a Recipe

Picture a scrum team: seven developers, plus or minus two, rigorously following the ceremonies in the Scrum Guide. They maintain a product backlog prioritized by business value, with estimates of effort created by the team. They generate a burndown chart for each sprint, and they know their velocity. They limit the daily scrum to 15 minutes, conduct a retrospective at the end of each sprint, and have a checklist for their definition of done. They …

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How to Manage Your Top 3 Priorities

Every effective project manager knows how to manage their highest-priority items. Without being able to identify the biggest issues of the day, there’s no way for you to advance your career. You’re chasing the painted portrait with a plaque toting how the organization was never the same because of you, not a participation medal with “Good Job” scribbled in pen on the back. In an article for Project Times, Neal Whitten explains some good ways …

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5 Ways to Fix Tone in Written Communication

When talking to someone in person, over the phone, or in a video chat, we are pretty good at conveying tone. But as soon as the words are written down the game changes. Hostility can come from seemingly out of nowhere for saying something the wrong way. In a post for the Digital Project Manager, Becky Tornes gives some simple tips to help improve tone in written communication: Read your messages back to yourself. Have …

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The Factors You Can Learn from to Avoid Project Failure

Everyone wants to avoid project failure. But it happens anyway, for myriad reasons. One of them is that projects are rushed into existence as new “critical” priorities and not enough time is dedicated to actually understanding them. In a post for the Association for Project Management, Bruce Phillips falls back on the “three wise men” to help avoid project failure: People Process Technology Factors to Flip Failure to Success The first “wise man” Phillips says …

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3 Ways to Avoid the Real Causes of Scope Creep

Everyone knows about scope creep and the detrimental effect it can have on a project. But we seem to have misplaced the blame for its causes. Traditionally the view has been that the project manager is responsible or that there weren’t proper change procedures in place. In reality, this comes from how the scope is defined in the first place. In an article for Project Times, Robin Goldsmith sheds some light on what the real …

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5 Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Balancing your personal life and work can be hard. Most people feel that there’s an extreme imbalance between these two and its rarely personal life overtaking work. But there are ways to remedy work consuming your life by working smarter, not harder. In a post at A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Elizabeth Harrin lists some easy steps you can take to keep work from consuming your life: Know your strengths. Set clear boundaries about …

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Finding the Right Way to Say No to a Project

IT gets a bad rap for saying “no” way too often. This often puts it at odds with the business as it seems that both sides are fighting endlessly between requests and rejections. But this bad rap can be turned around just by changing the way you go about saying no. In an article for TechRepublic, Patrick Gray gives a blueprint on how to do just that. Knowing How to “No” Things The first step …

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Why Are You ‘Allergic’ to Other People on Your Project?

Sometimes someone just gets under your skin, and you may not be sure why. Daniel Ofman created the “core quadrant model” to help describe why you may have such a strong reaction to a person, or vice versa. It looks at how a person’s own traits can lead to character flaws and how those flaws can be properly addressed. In a post at the PM Perspectives Blog, project leadership coach Susanne Madsen discusses how this …

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