Welcome to the Smart Stakeholder Management Series

This series was completed on August 4, 2016.

I often blog on random project management topics. Occasionally, I write a series of articles on a common theme, as I did on The Principles of Project Risk Management, earlier this year.

I am excited to announce my second series — The Smart Stakeholder Management Series — smart changes that you can make today to dramatically improve your project results. For the next three weeks, I will publish articles, videos, and freebies on Monday through Thursdays.

The Smart Stakeholder Management Series


Colin.PhotoColin Gautrey from Learn to Influence and I will be contributing to this series. I am super pumped about having Colin helping me lead this series. Why? Because I don’t know anyone who has more knowledge and experience in the realm of stakeholder management and influencing than Colin.

Colin and I will be covering a lot of ground. Here’s a list of the articles we will provide:

  • Welcome to the Smart Stakeholder Management Series (Harry)
  • Four Reasons Why You Struggle to Engage Stakeholders (Colin)
  • How to Create and Use a Stakeholder Register (YouTube Video – Harry)
  • What Project Managers Need to Know About Stakeholder Management (Colin)
  • 10 Wonderful Ways to Make Your Stakeholders Happy (Harry)
  • Responding to Unrealistic Demands (Colin)
  • How to Turn Stakeholder Conflicts on its Head (Harry)
  • Colin Gautrey on Influence (YouTube Video – Colin)
  • 10 Beautiful Benefits to Stakeholder Management (Harry)
  • Guilty of Annoying Your Stakeholders (Colin)
  • Six Essential Requirements of an Influencing Strategy (Colin)
  • Wrap Up for the Smart Stakeholder Management Series (Harry)

How to Be Smart in a Project with a Slack Team Member

Have you ever had problem team members? These individuals hide missed deadlines, possess bad attitudes, and criticize other team members. They seldom volunteer to help other team members or jump in to pick up the slack.

How to deal with a slack team member

Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock (edited in Canva)

Bonus: Keep an eye out for the FREE bonus at the end of this article.

Project managers are more than managers – they are leaders. Team members watch project managers to see how they respond to problems. A project manager’s failure to confront and resolve poor attitudes, behavior, and actions can be costly on many levels.

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” -Babe Ruth

10 Best Selling Project Management Books

Looking to buy a great project management book to help you to mature as a project manager?

PM InterviewHere are the 10 best sellers when it comes to what project management books are being purchased on Amazon:

  1. The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future
  2. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK(R) Guide
  3. PMP Exam Prep, Eighth Edition – Updated: Rita’s Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam
  4. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
  5. Scrum: a Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction
  6. Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable–Includes new bonus chapter
  7. Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn)
  8. Head First PMP
  9. Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology
  10. The Six Sigma Handbook, Fourth Edition

If I may, please allow me to add my new book The Intentional Project Manager which I published in February of 2016.

How this list was compiled

One of the ways that we keep the Project Risk Coach free is by promoting quality products on Amazon. The Project Risk Coach earns a small commission from any purchase made from following these links.

The above list was generated from Amazon’s Best Seller list. Some books were listed more than once on the Amazon rankings (e.g., once for the print version and once for the Kindle version). I eliminated the duplicates by listing the book in its highest ranking only.

Thanks for supporting The Project Risk Coach in this way — we hope you find the best seller list informative as you consider future purchases.

Do you agree with this list? What other books would you add? Here is a list of my favorite books.

PRCHarry Hall is the editor of The Project Risk Coach and author of The Intentional Project Manager. He lives in Macon, Georgia. Follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Project Summit – Business Analysis World

I had a great time at the Project Summit / Business Analysis World in Atlanta. I always enjoy to making new friends, reconnecting with old friends, learning some new things, and having the chance to speak.


10 Things Successful Project Managers Never Tolerate

IMG_0219In my breakout session, I had the privilege to speak on the topic of 10 Things Successful Project Managers Never Tolerate from my book The Intentional Project Manager. I am thankful for an engaged group of participants who asked great questions and provided insights from their real world of projects.

If you wish to see the slides and notes for my presentation, click here. I have also created a short course in teachable.com — The Intentional Project Manager — where you can watch the presentation in short video segments (about 3-5 minutes). Here is the class curriculum:

The Intentional Project Manager Online Course

The Intentional Project Manager Online Course

How to Accomplish Your Awesome Project Management Dreams

Everyone wants a bright future. How can we improve our lot in life? How can we discover positions that leverage our experience and talents to fulfill our dreams?

Tom has been working at AAX for four years as an information technology project administrator, mostly managing small projects no one else wants to do. Lately, Tom has felt unchallenged with the menial tasks he’s been given; he knows he has skills and knowledge that’s not being tapped. Tom has been thinking about taking the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam and applying for a project manager position.

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com (edited in Canva)

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com (edited in Canva)

You may feel a bit overwhelmed by the possibilities. You may feel a million miles behind everyone else.

Simple Secrets to Advancing Your Career

If you want to advance your career, start by defining your career goals. Then determine what may help and what may hinder the achievement of those goals (sounds like risk management to me). Let’s look a little deeper.

5 Project Questions That Will Make You Feel Uncomfortable

Imagine that you are at a social gathering where your friend John begins a challenging conversation. John asks some probing questions to the group, questions that hit home with you. Unknowingly to the group, the questions shine a light on some things that are not right in your life. At an appropriate moment, you excuse yourself from the uncomfortable discussion.

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com (edited in Canva)

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com (edited in Canva)

Sometimes we need to hear hard questions, personally and professionally. Project managers need regular quiet times in their lives where they can think deeper about their attitudes, behaviors, and actions. While excessive introspection is unhealthy, we should periodically examine our lives to understand the deeper issues in our life.

I want to ask you five questions. My motive is not to MAKE you feel uncomfortable. Rather, my aim is to help you identify the deeper things that are limiting your effectiveness.

As you consider each question, be willing to ask yourself: Am I REALLY being honest with myself? Here we go…

What’s Your Favorite Project Management Book?

Project managers have the opportunity to learn from the best. Reading books is like sitting down with an author, having a cup of coffee, and listening to their distilled insights.

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com (edited in Canva)

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com (edited in Canva)

What have you been reading lately? If you are preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, you’ve likely spent a lot of time in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). That’s great, but project managers today need more than technical knowledge.

The ideal skill set – the Talent Triangle – is a combination of technical, leadership and strategic and business management expertise. The list of books below provides resources for the different aspects of the Talent Triangle.

3 Superior PM Skills – Which one do you need to work on?

Have you ever encountered a friendly tour guide who just started their job and does not know any more about the local area than you do?

Have you had a child join a sports team where the coach lacked basic leadership and motivational skills?

Perhaps you’ve seen a brilliant doctor but found his manners less than pleasing.

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com (edited in Canva)

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com (edited in Canva)

When people are looking for a project manager, they want someone who can meet the total needs of the project. They want someone who possesses a wide range of skills including technical, industry, and soft skills.

If your past three project teams were to evaluate you, what would they say is your most limiting factor? Maybe you have great technical skills but lack the skills to properly staff and develop your project teams. Perhaps you find yourself at a loss when trying to help your sponsors align your programs and projects with your organization’s strategy.

None of us are perfect. We all have strengths and weaknesses. While project managers should leverage their strengths, let’s not fail to discover the skills that limit us most. What’s the bottleneck in our project management career?

“75% of organizations rank leadership skills as the most important for successful navigation of complexity in projects.” -Project Management Talent Gap Report

Let’s look at three superior skills that project managers should possess.

Why I Became a Risk Management Professional

I became a Project Management Professional (PMP) in 2001. I managed hundreds of projects in the following ten-year period. So, why did I seek to obtain the PMI-RMP in 2012? There were several reasons.

Why I Became a PMI-RMP

  1. To gain better results. What’s the project success rate for your organization? 30%? 50%? I have managed two PMOs where we worked to define success criteria with stakeholders, measured our success rate, and looked for ways to improve success year to year. Many of the practical ways we improved our success rate was through project risk management.
  2. To help my organization with risk management at different levels of the organization. I currently serve as the Director of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) for a large insurance company. Our ERM policy and processes were largely developed based on what I had learned about risk management as a PMP and PMI-RMP. Risk management always involves identifying, evaluating, responding to risks, and controlling risks. These processes may be applied at different levels of an organization – Enterprise, departments or business units, portfolios, programs, and projects.
  3. To gain greater access to jobs and higher salaries. If you’ve been in the project management job market lately, you have seen the high percentage of employers looking for certified project managers. Having an additional certification provides project managers with a wider range of opportunities – it’s like having a double major. Most employee compensation surveys report that certified project managers enjoy higher salaries compared to uncertified project managers.
  4. To sharpen my saw. Life gets stale when I’m not learning something new. I like to sharpen my saw physically, socially, mentally, and spiritually. Pursuing the PMI-RMP was a challenging and rewarding journey that helped me grow mentally.
  5. To improve my knowledge and expertise. Any time we invest in ourselves by focusing on our profession is time well spent. We’re going to get better at what we do. Studying and applying risk management principles has helped me learn practical tips, tools, and techniques.

10 Terrific Traits of Exceptional Project Managers

Think about the project managers you’ve worked with through the years. Which project managers would you qualify as exceptional? Which ones were unusually good?

What traits caused these individuals to be outstanding? While the list below is not an exhaustive list, here are some of the traits and behaviors of the best project managers I’ve seen.

1. Persistent

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” -Winston Churchill

Projects are filled with pot-holes. Project managers and their team members make mistakes, create defective products, and stumble. Persistent project managers learn from their failures and lead with renewed enthusiasm.

2. Opportunistic

“Opportunities don’t happen; you create them.” -Chris Grosser

Project managers are risk managers that identify, assess, and manage risks including threats and opportunities. Great project managers have an eye for seeing, exploiting, and enhancing opportunities.

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com