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Project Leadership

For when managing is not enough

How to Become a More Sophisticated Project Communicator

Effective communication with a variety of different people is pivotal to success as a project manager, yet people often underestimate how complicated effective communication actually is. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, project leadership coach Susanne Madsen describes how communication actually occurs across four different levels, and your communication will never be at its best until you can operate comfortably across all of them: Content Procedure and structure Interactions and behavior Feelings and …

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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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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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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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5 Critical Tips for Stakeholder Engagement

In a project, the project team members are mortals, and the stakeholders are the gods lounging around on Olympus. Stakeholders can be a boon to your journey, or they can smite you with a vengeance—and it all depends on if they think you are on their side. Some aspects of this challenge are considered more often than others. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Elizabeth Harrin pinpoints five tips that especially make stakeholder …

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How to Stop Stakeholders from Sabotaging Projects

Stakeholders come in many forms, and they affect projects in different ways. When projects succeed, everyone takes a cut of the credit, including stakeholders, but it becomes squarely the manager’s fault if a project fails. In an article for TechRepublic, Moira Alexander reexamines how stakeholders influence projects and asserts that stakeholders must take greater responsibility for the results of projects. The Redistribution Stakeholders can be “primary” or “secondary,” meaning they directly affect a project or …

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7 Signs You Are a Great Project Communicator

At this point, everyone has an idea of what poor communicators look like—they do not convey enough, they do not explain enough, etc. What does a really sterling communicator of a project manager look like though? In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, project leadership coach Susanne Madsen describes seven things that these top communicators do: Provide regular and truthful updates about project progress Speak to your stakeholders in person about risk and issues …

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How Can I Realize Benefits If I Don’t Manage Change?

Whenever we talk about benefits realization, we start from the idea that (we) project managers are always managing part of an organizational change. Such changes are expected to enable our organization to achieve at least a business objective that generates value. This whole process of getting from the current situation to the future improved or optimized situation is what we call a benefits realization lifecycle. However, now and then people come to me in events …

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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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