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The More of Less in Projects

I’ve been enjoying the book The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker. Mr. Becker says that most of us own too much stuff. And we tire of cleaning and taking care of our possessions. The accumulation of stuff can rob us of life. The author has caused me to think about the clutter in my projects. Do I really need all the stuff? Are all the …

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Losing Your Decision-Making Bias Is Harder Than You Thought

Bias underscores many of our actions and the actions of businesses in often imperceptible ways. Acknowledging that bias exists is important, but that in itself is not enough to actually reduce its presence. In an article for McKinsey, Tobias Baer, Sven Heiligtag, and Hamid Samandari describe specific processes by which you can “debias” various types of decisions in business. Blind Spots of the Brain The strategies commonly employed to reduce bias in decision-making right now …

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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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Four of the Biggest IT Project Stressors (and How to Relax)

Being project manager can be very stressful. The expectation to perform all the necessary tasks and keep the project on track fries enough nerves as it is, not to mention the additional stress that may be present. However, some of these stressors can be alleviated rather easily. In an article for TechRepublic, Moira Alexander describes four solvable IT stressors: A boss who can’t say no to new projects Insufficient resources to get the job done …

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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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Are You Coordinating Your Team the Right Way? 3 Strategies

One of the most important ways to ensure the success of a project is to properly design the team that will be completing it. Each team needs to be tailored to the task at hand and should be created with the functionality in mind. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Roger Schwarz states that there are three different types of interdependence that in turn align closely with three different types of coordination: Pooled interdependence …

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5 Simple Reasons Why Project Management Processes Fail

Not all project processes are created equal. Too often, processes are created and adopted just for the sake of having them, as if it is a box to be checked off. This of course defeats the purpose, and projects that have to crawl through the swamp of inefficient processes might be worse off than the ones that have no processes at all. Could your project processes use a leg up? In a post for the …

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5 Key Reasons Why Some Projects Succeed and Some Don’t

Project success rates are finally on the rise, but success rates are historically so bad in the first place that it is not quite cause for celebration yet. The reality is projects keep failing, and businesses keep scratching their heads at the swamp of reasons for it. In an article for Project Times, Brad Egeland shares five underlying factors of project success that can make all the difference: Proper planning Close budget oversight Project team …

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Do You Have Any Idea What the Customer Really Wants?

I was prompted to think about customer service the other day when I was in line at a bank (yes, an actual queue in a physical bank). The customer ahead of me was speaking with the teller and trying to get a concern across that ultimately required a manager to resolve. Before the person left, they said to the manager, “It’s about time you got my service right!” I started to think to myself—everyone expects …

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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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