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Category Archives for Effective Project Manager

Project Closure: Your Complete Guide to How to Close-down Your Project

Project Closure - Your Complete Guide to How to Close-down Your Project

Project closure is often viewed as an afterthought by Project Managers:

We’re done, let’s run.’

But projects can become like a dripping tap. You tighten the faucet a bit more, but it still keeps dripping. What my friend, Ron Rosenhead, refers unglamorously to as ‘project dribble’.

Yet one of the most influential project management training sessions I ever attended, early in my PM career (by Paul O’Neill) identified the basics of project management in three lessons. The third was finishing well. And it’s only fair to acknowledge that some of the things I have been saying in training sessions fo the last 20+ years track back to Paul’s advice closing a project well.

PMI Talent Triangle - Technical Project Management

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Managing Difficult Conversations: A Guide for Project Managers

Managing Difficult Conversations | A Guide for Project Managers

From time to time, every Project Manager will find themselves managing difficult conversations. Because it is an important part of our role. But it’s one we’d rather not have. Then, of course, at the end of a hard day or week at work, you leave work. And again, you will have to face these types of conversation at home, with friends and in social situations.

We all know a difficult conversation as soon as it gets started – in fact, we mostly spot it in advance. This triggers adversarial or defensive reactions that just make things worse.

There are ways to plan and manage a difficult conversation to vastly increase the chances that it will go well. You want the other person will listen and participate constructively. You also want a good outcome. So, in this guide, I’ll offer you some practical techniques to give you confidence when you are managing difficult conversations.

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Change Management: What do Project Managers Need to Know?

Projects create change for the people in the organization where we are working. And the success of your projects will often depend on how well you manage that change process.

But dealing with emotions and arguments is uncomfortable. So, too many project managers shy away from it. They either leave it to a ‘change manager’, or worse: they ignore it.

That is a big mistake. So, in this feature article, we’re offering a primer in Change Management. We’ll tell you what it is, how people respond to change, and the main pointers you’ll need to manage change effectively.

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What is Monkey Management (Onken’s Monkey)? | Video

What is Monkey Management (Oncken's Monkey)?

Do you ever find yourself overworked? Is it a little like you are carrying everyone else’s monkeys on your back? Too often, project managers make a deadly mistake. Just four words… ‘Leave it with me.’ So, what is Monkey Management?

So, what is Monkey Management?

Dr Mike Clayton is founder of
Here, he answers this question, and tells you all about William Oncken’s Monkey, in under 5 minutes.

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Confidence: What You Need to Know to be a Confident Project Manager

Confidence: What You Need to Know to be a Confident Project Manager

Confidence goes a long way to making an effective Project Manager. Because a big part of your job is to inspire confidence in the people around you: your team, your sponsor or client, and your stakeholders.

And with confidence comes assertiveness. As a Project Manager, you’ll often need to ‘get your way’ in a courteous and respectful manner.. but without formal authority. Showing confidence is vital for that to.

So, what’s the problem?

The problem is that many Project Managers don’t feel as confident as we’d like to. It’s our little secret.

And that means that confidence, and what you need to know about being confident, is a great topic for an OnlinePMCourses feature article!

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How Coaching Skills will Make You a Better Project Leader

How Coaching Skills will make you a Better Project Leader

Coaching is more than just a flavor-of-the-month management fad. It’s a helpful approach to getting better performance from colleagues, and supporting their long-term professional development.

Coaching is therefore a valuable skill for project leaders. It will help you with day-to-day project delivery, and with developing team members over your whole project lifecycle.

Of all he skills I acquired, which gave me a boost to my project management practice, I’d rate coaching as the single most valuable. It transformed the way i worked with team members. As a result, it also transformed the culture on my projects. We became more effective and, if I’m honest, what I enjoyed the most was the loyalty it inspired.

If you wan these benefits, and more, then read on. Coaching could well have a huge impact on your project management and leadership too.

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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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Project Crisis… Are you Ready?

Project Crisis - Are you ready?

At some point in your project management career, you’ll need to deal with a project crisis. It may come in one of many forms, and arise for any of a huge range of reasons. It may not be the fault of you and your project team. But, equally, it may be.

So, you need to prepare for a project crisis. And your two priorities are to:

  1. Be able to spot a project crisis coming, and avert it
  2. Deal with a project crisis, if one occurs

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Secret Strategies to Manage Multiple Projects

Secret Strategies to Manage Multiple Projects

As your experience as a Project Manager grows, you will be increasingly called upon to manage multiple projects. And this does not just apply to full time Project managers… Over the years, I have been asked about this by a lot of managers and professionals. They have been tasked with two or more projects to manage, on top of their day-to-day job.

So what are the secret strategies that experienced Project Managers use to manage multiple projects? In this article, I’ll share all of my best advice.Continue reading…

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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