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Project Management

Building the Risk Management Plan

The risk management plan is the safety net that saves anyone from falling off the bridge. It might not be pretty, and maybe not everyone will have a blast building it, but it will save projects’ lives. In a post at the Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall discusses the components that go into making a robust risk management plan. These include the following: Project risk background Methodology Roles and responsibilities Timing Risk categories Definitions Risk …

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The Three ‘Ins’ That Are Putting Our Projects behind Schedule

It was the short week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and I had time to think while stuck in traffic between Seattle and Portland. Somewhere around Centralia, (Yes, that’s really what it’s called, and it really is about halfway.) it occurred to me that I’ve been seeing some common themes lately. Call them the three “ins”: indecision, inactivity, and indifference. Each takes a toll on one or more tasks, adding delays and uncertainty, forcing …

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3 Leadership Techniques for Success

Great leadership is not a single set of best practices. Great leadership is more like, well, a game like Pokémon—where there are hundreds of unique and specialized techniques to play out in hundreds of different occasions. So it is always useful to read up on new techniques to expand your repertoire. In a post for Project Management Tips, Elizabeth Harrin shares three such tips: Share the project goals. Manage by walking around. Shield the team …

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How to Identify and Manage Secondary Risks

Have you ever created a problem in trying to solve one? Secondary risks, or risks created by responding to a risk, are issues that pop up in any project. In a post at the Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall gives advice on how to identify and manage secondary risks. Secondary Risk Response Time A secondary risk is ultimately caused by the risk owner, despite how well-intentioned their plan to solve the risk may have been. …

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How to Kill an Undead Project

Some projects just rot out from the inside, and there are telltale signs of decay when you know what to look for. But how exactly do you kill these undead projects and limit the damage they can do to the business? Bob Lewis provides an in-depth answer in an article for CIO magazine. Herding Zombies There are many signs of an undead project. One is absolute, incurable team dysfunction, accompanied by finger-pointing. Another sign is …

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Project Management Tasks That Maybe You Don’t Always Have to Do

There are some elements of projects that we take for granted as essential, and often they are. But there are still those who would like to get heretical and rock the boat anyway. In an article for the Digital Project Manager, Patrice Embry outlines a handful of practices that he thinks maybe are not always essential to project success. Not This Time First on Embry’s list are detailed budget and projection breakdowns: I have a …

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Avoid Ambiguity to Improve Performance

There are all sorts of factors that can plague a project that are outside of your control. Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) can’t ever be totally eliminated from a project. However, ambiguity can be avoided because it is defined by how we communicate, and improving communication can decrease ambiguity. In an article for Project Times, George Pitagorsky explains how avoiding ambiguity can improve performance. Adios, Ambiguity! One of the ways that ambiguity can affect …

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Projects to Operations: Don’t Be a Butterfingers

The product handoff to operations is often thought of like death—it is an event far in the future, and it is best to think about the here and now instead. Of course, operations and death have nothing in common; operations is where the thing you worked so hard to create finally starts its life, so it is time for project managers to spend more time acing the handoff. Elizabeth Harrin discusses this in a post …

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Command Logic and Emotion Both to Lead the Way

What stimulates employees to put in their best work? The answer is a strong sense of purpose that speaks to their hearts. To be an effective leader, you need to have a strong idea of when to invoke logic versus when to evoke emotion. In a post at his blog, leadership coach Art Petty describes how to do this. Open Palms and Hard Fists To get people on board with a new program, you might …

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Project Management Can Be for Everyone

So many project managers have a horrible time explaining what project management is to family and friends. And that is really pretty silly, because project management is a set of skills that can help virtually anyone in any situation. In a post for Voices on Project Management, Dave Wakeman shares a few virtues of project management that you should be able to explain to anyone. The Manager in Us All On one level, project management …

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