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Category Archives for Project Communication Management

Communication Skills for Project Managers | The Best Books

Communication Skills for Project Managers - The Best Books

A large part of your job as a Project Manager is communication; arguably the largest part. So, only focusing on technical skills will not serve you. It’s essential that you develop excellent communication skills. Luckily, there are many great books to help you.

Increasingly, this is the area my training business is focussed on. My clients are learning the value of giving their project managers – and general managers – great communications skills. And my experience as a project manager taught me two things:

  1. Your success as a Project Manager depends more on your ability to communicate well (with stakeholders, team members, and bosses or clients) than on anything else
  2. There is no better context than Project Management in which to learn, practice and hone your communication skills

So, in this article, I have set out to share some of the brilliant books that have helped me learn along the way. In reviewing them, I have selected the ones that are most likely to help you, today.

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What is a RAG Report? | Video

What is a RAG Report?

RAG Report, or Traffic Light Report. It is widely used by project managers and it stands for Red Amber Green.

So, What is a RAG Report?

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

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How to Plan Your Stakeholder Engagement Campaign

As a Project manager, you need to be prepared to learn from many different places. And, from the world of marketing, you can learn a lot about how to plan your stakeholder engagement campaign.

You are a project manager. You care about getting things right. So you plan meticulously, identify threats and take steps to mitigate them. The only thing that can get in your way now is one thing: people.

What all experienced project managers know is this:

It is your stakeholders who will ultimately determine whether your project is deemed a success… or not.

So you need to be equally rigorous in planning your stakeholder engagement campaign. You will need to learn from them, build their trust, and ultimately influence their attitudes.

So what are the components of a stakeholder engagement campaign, and how can you determine the best strategy for each?

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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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Great Team Communication: The 10 Commandments

Great Team Communication

Have you got a great project team? If you have, then one thing acts like top-grade oil in a highly-tuned engine: great team communication.

With great team communication, everything seems so much easier.

Conversations are friction free, problems get described, addressed and solved. And work gets shared and handed-off efficiently.

Contrast that poor team communication.

It’s like the oil in your engine is burnt and gritty. Everything seems harder and nothing flows smoothly.

So, in this article we look at how to create great team communication, and share ’10 Commandments’.

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4 Steps to Engage Difficult Stakeholders

Difficult Stakeholders- 4 Steps to Engage Them

One of the things Project Managers fear most is resistance. When we encounter difficult stakeholders, it triggers deep emotions. It’s easy to feel out of your depth professionally, and challenged, personally.

This is a common problem for all project managers. And it can be unsettling for newer PMs. So we asked an expert in this topic to write an article for you.

Elise Stevens runs the fabulous FixMyProjectChaos.com website, with over 100 podcasts for you to listen to. We like podcasts. And she is a seasoned practitioner who now coaches, mentors and trains project managers. Hear Elise’s interview with OnlinePMCourses founder, Mike Clayton.

But most important, Elise has thought deeply about the challenges posed by difficult stakeholder. She even has an eCourse available. So why don’t we turn this article over to Elise, and let her tell her story…

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Do You Know the Top 20 Techniques for Stakeholder Analysis?

Stakeholder Analysis: Do You Know the Top 20 Techniques

Regular readers will know that stakeholders are a big part of my essential project management rules. So, Stakeholder Analysis is a vital Project Management activity. It is how you learn about and understand your project stakeholders.

Rule 6: Stakeholders will determine the success, or not, of your #Project. Click To Tweet

So, it is high time we gave you one of our comprehensive ‘how to…’ articles on the subject of stakeholder analysis. So, buckle up for a big read, because here is everything you need to know – and some more – about stakeholder analysis.

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What is Stakeholder Management? | Video

What is Stakeholder Management?

Stakeholders will determine the success (or not) of your project. So you need to engage with them. Stakeholder Engagement – or more often known as Stakeholder Management – is one of the most important parts of Project Management.

So what is Stakeholder Management?

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

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Conflict Management: Ways to Get it Right | Part 2

Conflict Management

When relationships start to go wrong, it is often your job to fix them. Conflict management is not always a welcome part of a Project Manage’s role. But it is an important part.

Because conflict is an inevitable part of projects. Stakeholders will resist change, sponsors will want different things, and team members will care passionately about how to implement your project. Indeed, I could argue that conflict is a good thing.

Without creative challenge, you won’t get the best solutions to the problems your project is set-up to address. If stakeholders don’t don’t care enough to argue about what you are doing, they may not care enough when you deliver it. Conflict is not just inevitable: it’s desirable.

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Persuasion and Influence: A Thorough Introduction

Persuasion and Influence

Most managers have it easy. They have the authority to ask, and expect compliance. Unlike them, project managers have little or no formal authority over our team-members. So you have to get things done by persuasion and influence.

This doesn’t come naturally to many people. And we aren’t taught it at school, either. In fact, since your toddler days of tantrums and intransigence, how many new strategies have you developed?

What I hear from Project Managers is that it is these sort of soft skills that concern them most. Planning, monitoring, and risk management are easy to learn. It’s the soft stuff that’s really hard. Things like confidence and assertiveness, or persuasion and influence, are vital skills. Yet project management training rarely covers them.

So this article will introduce you to some key ideas around influence and persuasion. It can only be an introduction. This is a huge topic that is the subject of many books of different styles. They include my own best-selling Brilliant Influence. Its 2nd edition is How to Influence in Any Situation (US, UK).

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