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Project Management

The High (and Often Hidden) Costs of Project Team Dysfunction

The dream team: a collection of people who all get along and perform beyond any manager’s wildest dreams. This elusive dream is typically not the norm, and unfortunately most managers will have to learn how to deal with a team laden with issues. In an article for TechRepublic, Moira Alexander delves into this issue of dysfunctional teams and their cost. Everyone Loses To begin with, how do teams become dysfunctional? According to Patrick Lencioni, the …

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The 7 Aspects of Project Relationship Management

As project management professionals we all have become increasingly aware of the importance of the so-called “soft skills” aspect of our profession. In recent years, skills such as time management, communication (verbal and non-verbal), emotional intelligence (EQ), facilitation, conflict resolution, and organizational management have received more and more recognition as essential aspects of successful project management. Let’s add to that list a skill I like to call “Project Relationship Management” or PRM. There are upwards …

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Using the RACI Matrix to Maximize Project Accountability

One of the challenges of planning and controlling a complex project is delineation of roles. This can be especially challenging when representatives of multiple organizations are participating in the project. For any particular phase or task, it can be difficult to explain what participation is expected of each assigned team member, as roles might change from one task to another. Responsibilities The PMBOK includes a brief description of a RACI matrix or chart in the discussion on …

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The Five Ways to Motivate Your Project Team

Happiness and motivation seem to go hand-in-hand, especially in the world of project management. At Voices on Project Management, Lynda Bourne expands upon her idea that a happy team is a motivated team by using Dr. David Rock’s “SCARF” model, which provides information about how motivation actually works. The SCARF model acronym stands for five elements: Status Certainty Autonomy Relatedness Fairness People by nature are driven by the need for heightened self-esteem, and one factor …

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7 Reasons IT Managers Have the Toughest Management Roles

No good management job is an easy job, but do IT managers have it the hardest? In an article for CIO.com, Mike Sisco explores why he believes this role is so much more challenging than other management positions. There are seven reasons why the role of IT manager is the toughest management role: Technology is constantly changing. A technical expert is not a manager. Success depends upon delegation. IT employees are difficult to manage. There …

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Easing into Agile: 5 Painless Steps towards Adoption for the Resistant

I recall that during an agency meeting conducted to plan the kick-off for a new project, I recommended that the project be done using an agile approach. Although some in the meeting were interested, the key project sponsors were not willing to risk departing from an established and familiar project planning methodology that was in place. It is often true that state government administration offices develop, recommend, and in some cases enforce the use of …

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Increase Your Return on Failures: 3 Steps

Never let the fear of failure keep you from playing the game. Failure is only one of the fastest and most direct ways to learn how to improve. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Julian Birkinshaw and Martine Haas explore how organizations can both overcome the fear of failure and maximize the gains to be had from it. Finding the Silver (and Gold) Lining In a 2015 Boston Consulting Group survey, 31% of respondents …

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How to Respond to Your Risks from Different Angles

The best type of medicine is preventive. Everyone fundamentally knows that it is easier to tackle a problem in its beginning stages rather than waiting until it becomes a full-blown catastrophe. If you feel yourself starting to get sick, you will take medicine so you do not get knocked out for a week. In a post for The Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall elaborates on how to utilize this mindset with risk management. All Better …

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Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Decisions That Bleed Projects Dry

Decisions in project management From the project initiation to project closure, decisions are an essential part of project management. For simple projects, it will rarely be an issue. The most usual problem would be that project decisions are only made informally. There is a temptation on simple projects to keep processes simple. However, while it is important to keep the processes aligned with the size of the project, it is essential to correctly manage decisions. …

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Top Five Skill Areas for a New Project Manager

Life is a learning game, and it is constantly full of mini-exams to test the knowledge you should have acquired. It is through the trial and error of experience that people learn, grow, and thrive. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Lindsay Scott explores how this concept is especially true for beginning project managers. There are five skills a new project manager should work on developing in their first few years: The foundation …

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