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Managing Globally Distributed Project Teams

I started managing projects that included team members or customers outside the US in the mid-‘90s. In the beginning, it was one other country. Then two, and so on. These days, working with globally distributed project teams is my norm. A typical project will include people spread across five to 30 countries, three to five continents, and from three to seven time zones. As you would expect, it’s very different from managing a few folks …

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Practical Advice for Project Managers

I’ve been managing projects for about 30 years or so, far longer than I’ve been writing about it. Along the way, I’ve collected a few useful thoughts that never made it into an article or blog post or book. At first, I was just jotting notes on paper. Then I took to creating short text files, saved to a folder. The last few years, I’ve been using OneNote to capture those fleeting thoughts. Here are …

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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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How to Be the Best Project Manager for Your Team

When it comes to running a business, you simply cannot have your cake and eat it too if you want to get the job done. You cannot be everyone’s best friend for fear of conflict. You have to find the right balance of care and candor in order to be able to lead your team. In a post for Project Management Basics, Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy goes over the dos and don’ts to be the best project …

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5 Fundamentals of Project Portfolio Management

A lot of pressure comes with being a project portfolio manager. You are trying to align new tactics and maybe new technologies across your organization’s projects successfully, while ensuring resources exist to fill the precise roles required. In an article written for Growth Freaks, Amanda Knowles offers five tips on the fundamentals of project portfolio management: Collect all project ideas. Allocate resources. Train project managers. Provide every project manage with a starting kit. Manage the …

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The Causes of Conflict on Project Teams

Without a doubt, you are going to run into conflict in your project. You may have a difficult stakeholder or disagreements about a deliverable’s feature, for instance. Sometimes, project managers practically go out looking for conflict, according to Elizabeth Harrin. In a post at A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, she overviews where you get conflict during the project life cycle and who is involved in it. Feeling Conflicted First, there is the concept or …

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Pros and Cons of the Hero Project Manager

For various reasons, sometimes a project goes so wrong that the unhappy client requests a new project manager be brought on. Doing so has such an immense negative impact on the fired project manager. The incoming project manager is seen as a hero. Susanne Madsen explains in a post for the PM Perspectives Blog the pros and cons of asking a new project manager to take over a failing project. Fighting Failure Simply replacing the …

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Business Analyst & Project Manager: What’s the Real Difference?

Steven Covey said, “The cause of almost all relationship difficulties is rooted in conflicting and ambiguous expectations around roles and g6oals.” Do you know the difference between a business analyst (BA) and a project manager (PM)? Clarifying these roles can greatly enhance your chance for project success. What Is a Business Analyst? The business analyst works with stakeholders to understand the structure, policies, processes, and operations of an organization. Ideally, business analysts have strong business …

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3 Tips for Managing Organizational Growth

It has been a trend that it is difficult to squeeze growth out of larger, more mature organizations. Instead of shying away from the challenge, project managers should take it head on. A great project leader is a strategic project leader, according to Dave Wakeman in a post for Voices on Project Management. These are the ones who make it their business to understand the organization’s vision for growth and take action to help realize …

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Stepping Stones in a Project Management Career

In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Lindsay Scott offers guidance to project managers who are considering a change in industry. First, don’t make a far leap. Carefully consider the industry you want to move into. Making a total 180 is not a good plan. Consider what sector or type of organization is most likely going to view your previous experience as similar. Hop and a Skip Think about the stepping stones. It is …

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