“PMI Pulse research shows actively engaged sponsors are by far the top driver of projects meeting their original goals and business intent.” –PMI Pulse
I often ask project managers the reasons for project failure. One of the top responses is a lack of leadership and sustained engagement by the project sponsor. The sponsor paints a fuzzy picture of what they want, throws it over the fence to the project manager, and goes on their merry way. The sponsor essentially says, “Let me know when you’re done. Failure is not an option.” Really?
Fortunately, some sponsors know how to hit home runs. These sponsors understand that their leadership is essential to a winning season. They stand out from other sponsors by owning their projects and maintaining a healthy relationship with their project managers from the beginning to end of their projects.
“Sponsors report that on average they are working on three projects at a time, spending an average of 13 hours per week on each project they sponsor — in addition to their regular jobs.” –PMI Executive Sponsor EngagementContinue reading
Life is not easy. We are dealt hands that can be difficult. Project managers may be pre-assigned resources internally and externally that lack the skills and knowledge required for their projects.
Why do we always feel like we get the left-over resources?
What can we do? Jump ship. Give up. Find another job. Let’s try some other strategies.
Many organizations have under-performing projects. Why? Organizations do a poor job of defining their projects and understanding the resource requirements. Next, organizations overcommit – they commit to more projects than they should. Team members are stressed and organizations experience a lot of employee turnover. Furthermore, organizations fail to identify and acquire and develop skills and knowledge for these resource bottlenecks.
I am sometimes asked to take a look at organization’s resource problems and help them find solutions. My response? Before I come, prioritize your project portfolio and kill or postpone half of your active lower-priority projects. Do fewer projects better. Of course, very few organizations will do this…the insanity continues.
Question: Perhaps you feel different. What would you recommend to improve project resource management?
Some project managers feel like they are running a race with weights tied to their legs. There are so many hoops to jump through…so many forms to complete…so many stakeholders to please. How can we move quickly, easily, and lightly?
Yes, Jack can be nimble, and Jack can be quick, but it will require that we break some old habits. Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Try some new things to increase your speed.Continue reading
I had a crazy idea a few months ago. I decided to create my first online project management course in 30 days and create a pre-launch series in the following 30 days.
I’ve had a lot of questions from other project managers and entrepreneurs concerning this project. I thought I would answer some of the more common questions to help others build online courses. Even if you do not have an interest in creating online courses, I hope to provide insights on how I approached a project, unlike anything I’ve managed before.Continue reading
One of the events I enjoy each year is the Masters; a premier golf tournament held in my home state of Georgia. I have carefully studied the masters of golf each time I have attended. What is it that allows golfers to reach the summit of the golf world?
I have also watched many project managers through the years. Some project managers outperform other project managers exponentially. These project managers have superior soft and hard skills. They are the masters of project management.
What are the traits of world class performers? World class performers practice hard, receive coaching, and sleep and rest.
World class performers practice in a consistent and disciplined approach. They put in many more hours than average performers. Their thinking is that they never arrive at the top of their game. They continuously learn new tools and techniques.
How can project managers learn more and improve performance? Here are some ideas:
If you survey people involved in projects on the importance of risk management for achieving project objectives, a high percentage of the participants will say risk management is important or very important. I’ve seen survey results where 90% of the people thought risk management was important. So…why do few people employ and support risk management?
Many people have had a bad experience. Project managers have performed risk management poorly. Let’s look at several reasons why project risk management can become useless and what we can do to gain better project results through risk management.
I created a discussion concerning meeting tips on LinkedIn. More than 200 people “Liked” the post and more than 100 people made comments.
I summarized some of the tips and suggestions into a checklist below. While you are not likely to perform all these tips at once, I hope the list aids you in improving the effectiveness and value of your meetings.
I learned a lot from this collaboration. I hope these tips are helpful to you too.
For additional ways to improve your meetings, check out my blog post “Four Meeting Problems – Which Ones Do You Wish to Overcome?“.
Project managers have a responsibility to ensure their project meetings are efficient and effective. Here are five things to start and five things to stop in meetings.
Questions: What else would you start or stop in meetings?
Project managers crave successful software projects. They dream of crossing the finish line with a win. Project managers want to help their company and advance their career.
Unfortunately, some project managers fall into a rut and fail to make progress. They do the same things from one project to another project and expect a different result. They take the wrong actions, pursue the wrong things and operate under wrong assumptions.
Friends, have you experienced any poorly run meetings lately? Although meetings are a fundamental tool for managing projects, many meetings fail to achieve results.
Let’s look at four common meeting problems: unclear purpose, topic hopping, indecision, and unclear direction.
1. Unclear Purpose. Far too often, people attend meetings with no idea of why the meeting was called. You can bet the meeting will wander aimlessly without clear objectives.
The meeting facilitator should specify the purpose in the agenda. For example: “To select requirements from the backlog for the next sprint.”
Start your meetings by stating the purpose of the meeting. For example: “The purpose of this meeting is to select requirements from the backlog for the next sprint.” Then review the agenda topics and ground rules. Ask if there are any questions or any additional agenda items.
These steps help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands the purpose, topics, and desired conduct.Continue reading