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Category Archives for Advice for Project Managers

The Four Essentials of Project Team Leadership

The Four Essentials of Project Team Leadership

Team Leadership itself is not hard.  What makes it difficult is fitting it in among a load of other project priorities that are facing you. You’re under pressure to do this and do that. So, you often default to a combination of doing it yourself, telling people what to do, and getting annoyed with a general lack of progress.

And, if this is your first opportunity to lead a project team, you want to do well. So, these pressures can mount up and suck the energy out of you.

In this article, I want to hone down to the four essentials of project team leadership. None of the fancy stuff. Just the four things that make the biggest difference.

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Tips for Developing your Professional Skills in 2018

2018 - Happy New Year

What will you do differently to enhance your Project Management practice in 2018?

In this short New Year article, I’ll tell you what my New Year’s resolutions are, as a project manager. And I’ll also share my tips for developing your professional skills.

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What are the Best Project Management Books?

Yes, we’ve had a huge revolution in how we can learn and teach ourselves. And you may be ready for a project management course. But, for a new project manager, project management books are still a great way to learn. And for those of us with experience under our belts, the right project management books can offer new insights and ideas.

So, what project management books would I recommend to a new project manager?

That’s the question I have set out to answer in this article. Any selection of the best project management books must be subjective and this is no different. But in this revised version of an old article, I have tried to make it as useful as possible, by dividing it into four sections:

  1. Easy to read introductory project management books
  2. Next step project management books for PMs with a little experience under your belt
  3. Next step books on specific project management disciplines
  4. More demanding reads, with a higher technical content

So with this explanation, but with no apology for the subjective selections, here are my recommendations. Please add your own to the comments section below. Continue reading…

Do You Know What your Project Sponsor Wants?

Do You Know What Your Project Sponsor Wants?

Call them your sponsor, your boss, or your client if you like. But one thing we all know as a Project Manager is this. Our job is to do what our Project Sponsor wants.

But here’s the question… Do you know what your Project Sponsor wants? If you don’t, you’d better find out quickly.

And that’s what this article is all about.

By the way, is your job to do what your Project Sponsor wants?

Some will argue that it isn’t. It is to do what your employer needs, to serve your stakeholders, or to meet the expectations of the organization that’s paying the bills. These are all true.

But this article is going to make one giant assumption: that your sponsor’s job is to represent these faithfully. In another article, we’ll examine the vexed question of what to do if your sponsor goes rogue. For now, we’ll assume that serving our sponsor, and delivering what they want, is at the heart of your role.

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12 Project Planning Mistakes… and How to Fix Them

12 Project Planning Mistakes... and How to Fix Them

Why do projects fail? We answered that in two earlier articles, and a course. But one thing to be brutally aware of, is that it is often your plan that’s at fault. So, in this article, we’ll survey 12 project planning mistakes. And because our job is to equip you to succeed, we’ll offer you a solution for each.

When you implement all these solutions, you’ll have a far more robust basis for delivering a successful project. And that’s what we all want.

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Project Turnaround: How to Rescue a Failing Project

Project Turnaround: How to Rescue a Failing Project

No-one wants to have a failing project on their hands. But it happens. And the solution is ‘Project Turnaround’.

So, every Project Manager needs to know how to rescue a failing project. In this review article, we’ll talk you through the five project turnaround steps. These will let you recover your project and set it on an even keel.

‘If you’re going through hell; don’t stop.’

Origin unclear. Often (mis-)attributed to Winston Churchill

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How to Delegate | Video

How to Delegate

In last week’s Project Management in Under 5, we answered the question: What is Delegation?

It’s a vital skill for all project managers, so we’ve also created this video, where Mike talks you through the basics of How to Delegate, in under 5 minutes.

So… How to Delegate?

Dr Mike Clayton is founder of OnlinePMCourses.com.
Here, he answers this question, in under 5 minutes.

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Project Management Qualification: Should I or Shouldn’t I?

Of all the questions I get asked in live project management training, one is the most frequent. ‘Should I get a Project Management qualification?’

Unfortunately, this simple question to ask is far from easy to answer. Because there are many different scenarios – each with their own answer.

In this article, I want to break down the question into those scenarios, to help you decide whether you should get a Project Management Qualification?

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The Best Personal Effectiveness Books for Project Managers

The Best Personal Effectiveness Books for Project Managers

There is a vast literature of personal effectiveness books. With so many to choose from, where should you start?

Don’t worry. Here at OnlinePMCourses, we have a big library and have read many personal effectiveness books. We’ll talk you through our top recommendations for each of the personal effectiveness skills.

Why are Personal Effectiveness Books so Important?

When you are a Project Manager, people look to you. They look for leadership, inspiration, and guidance. They also expect you to be a highly effective professional; capable in all circumstances. But many of these skills aren’t taught as a part of your project management learning:

  • Time management
  • Speaking well
  • Connecting with people, emotionally
  • Dealing with difficult people (as if…)
  • Negotiating
  • Making decisions
  • Influencing people

These skills come with practice. But where do you learn what techniques to try out and practice? That’s where our list of personal effectiveness books comes in. They offer some of the best advice, most clearly given, of all the books (around 1,000) on our shelves.

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Podcast: Politics and Stakeholders

Politics and Stakeholders | Podcast Interview

Two of the things that put off many project managers are Politics and Stakeholders. Yet they are intertwined and a necessary part of project management. You cannot escape either so you may as well embrace them.

In this podcast, Andy Kaufman of the People and Projects Podcast, interviewed me about Politics and Stakeholders – an interest we share.

This interview ranged wider than politics and stakeholders, but for me, that is at its heart. Andy’s case study questions tapped into real ad tricky situations.

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