8 Things All Bad Project Managers Have in Common

Bad project managers create project cultures filled with stress, confusion, and little progress. Unfortunately, many of these individuals are not aware of their behaviors.

8 Things All Bad Project Managers Have in Common

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Let’s run through a list of eight things that all bad project managers have in common. And let’s talk about things to do to remedy these behaviors.

What is the Management Reserve for Project Budgets?

How to budget for the unknown unknown risks

Have you ever had a budget crisis due to the lack of a management reserve? Unforeseen work comes knocking at your door. You look at your budget, but you don’t have the funds to handle this work.

What is the Management Reserve for Project Budgets?

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There is a better way to handle the unexpected. You can — assuming that your organization supports the concept of reserves — create a management reserve when estimating the cost of your project. Let’s dig a little deeper.

How to Get Awesome Results Through Your Projects

The Power of Results-Based Goals

Project sponsors send a message to their project teams and other stakeholders through the goals contained in their project charters. The focus of the goals — either business results or project activities — will drive the project team. As Steven Covey said, “Begin with the end in mind.”

How to Get Awesome Results Through Your Projects

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Project managers are often asked to undertake projects to transform the business operations or to respond to an operational risk. There is often a disconnect. The project manager may not understand — since the sponsor may not have shared — how the project connects to the business strategy.

When writing project goals, the author — typically the project sponsor — should determine whether to state their goals as business results or as project activities necessary to drive the business results.

“If you tell people where to go, but not how to get there, you’ll be amazed at the results.” — George S. Patton

With this in mind, allow me to illustrate the difference and why it’s super important. Get this right and project teams will start to run in the right direction.

How to Motivate Your Project Team

Why is it important for you to motivate your project team? When we want to create and deliver products and services faster, we look at four areas — people, process, product, and technology. People has the greatest potential to shorten schedules across projects.

How to Motivate Your Project Team

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Researchers have identified team performance differences on the order of 10 to 1 or more. Most productivity studies have found that motivation has a stronger influence on productivity than any other factor.

Here’s the problem — motivating your project team is a “soft skill.” It’s difficult to get our arms around this baby. Consequently, many project managers give motivation a lower priority and focus on tangible things.

Get Ahead of Your Risks

How to use key risk indicators

Which would you prefer? To respond to risks after they occur or to see the risks early and take steps to prevent or reduce your risks?

I’ll take the latter, thank you!

Get ahead of your risks

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Project managers can get ahead of their risks by thinking differently. Rather than focusing on past performance only, consider how you can anticipate when future threats and opportunities may occur. If you do, you will stand out from other project managers.

Manage Your Energy, Not Just Your Time

For years, I’ve sought ways to get more done in my work day. You know the time management mantra: capture, prioritize, and schedule, right? What doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t get done.

Manage Your Energy, Not Just Your Time

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Need any apps? I’ve tried iPhone apps such as Fantastical, Pomodoro, and Evernote (which are all super).

I’ve read every book and tried every tool known to man. I even bought an Amazon Echo. Cool device. I can say, “Alexa, add 8 O’Clock coffee to my grocery list. Alexa, what appointments do I have on Thursday?”

These time management tools and techniques have helped me in significant ways, but there’s another powerful key to productivity.