All posts by Mike Clayton

Eight (+1) of the Best Project Management Books

Best of... Project Management Books

Any selection of the best project management books must, perforce, be subjective. So with this clarification, but  without apology, here are my recommendations. Please add your own to the comments section below. Also, I shall make my recommendations on specialist areas of project management, like risk management, leadership,  and stakeholder engagement, in subsequent blogs. We […]

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Why To-Do is so Old Fashioned

Convenient To-Do List

Do you use a To Do list? Of course you do. Almost everyone in project management does. What tends to differ is the form: a clean sheet from a memo pad, a running list in the back of a notebook, scraps of paper, sticky notes stuck everywhere, an app on your phone, your computer or […]

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Book Review: Leadership, Rudolph Giuliani

Leadership, by Rudolph Giuliani

I have over 30 books on leadership on my shelf: deep and shallow, scholarly and populist, straight and quirky. Bt there is one I enjoyed reading and, as a project manager, got more out of than any other: Leadership, by Rudolph Giuliani.

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Find the Key: What are the Basics?

Oak Sapling

Here is something that has always been one of the most important insights, for me: “Focus on the basics, do them well, and do them relentlessly.” The Project Management Elements I have always applied this rule to project management and, through a series of projects, I have recognised a pattern of behaviour in myself that has […]

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Cycle Times and the Monitor and Control Loop

Loop

In my last blog: “Project Multi-tasking: the Multi-Tasking Fallacy” I discussed the need to allocate chunks of time to each task you are working on – and to each project you are managing. Good Project Control The post was primarily about managing more than one project in parallel.  At the end of that post, I […]

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Project Multi-tasking: The Multi-tasking Fallacy

Multi-tasking - Photo Credit Ryan Ritchie: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ryantron/4453018910

One of the most common topics that comes up in a talk or training session about project management is Multi-tasking. Managing Several Projects at the Same Time A common form of the multi-tasking question is this: “How do I juggle managing of several projects at the same time?” I have been getting this question at talks, […]

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The Problems of Probability

Low likelihood - High impact risk

Basic risk management is a topic that most people understand easily.  The steps are straightforward, the need is obvious and the underlying concepts are familiar. Familiarity brings Risk However, that familiarity poses its own, significant risk.  If the basics are simple to grasp, here is another case of “simple is not the same as easy”.  […]

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Danger: When are Top-down and Bottom-up not Equally Effective?

Bottom-up

In my last blog, I opined that, when creating a Work Breakdown Structure, top-down and bottom-up planning are equally effective.  I also believe that you can do better by combining the approaches and my blog describes how. But Top-down and Bottom-up are not always equally effective. In fact, in certain circumstances, one of them is a downright […]

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Are you a “Top-down” or a “Bottom-up” sort of Person?

Work Breakdown Structure

Detail First When they think through a problem or a situation, some people have a clear natural tendency to start with the detail.  All the myriad little components come into their minds.  Those who are naturally organised then sift and sort them into a pattern and a plan. Start with Big Picture Others approach a […]

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