Month: February 2016

Organize to Thrive

Staying on top of the ever evolving workload can seem like a monumental task in itself.  Keeping tabs on all the sub projects, meetings, checkpoints, important dates, deliveries, etc. is a daunting task for anyone. For those of us who are not savvy with daily planners, it’s easy for items to get pushed off or slip through the cracks completely.  Over the last years I have tried everything from sticky notes to calendars and sketch pads to keep track of my projects, but recently I have been able to maximize the use of our CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) software to limit my missed appointments. I’m not here to say that one method is any better than another, but as a project manager, having a system that is consistent and reliable will help you get through even the most complicated project.

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The Choice Isn’t Clear

The ultimate responsibility of a Project Manager is to make quick decision, the impulsive choice that will keep the project on task.  As a PM we are tasked everyday with these decisions, creating a stress and frustration if the outcomes are not fully understood.  The majority of decisions are about the minutia and seem to be answered without more than a second of brain activity, but what happens with the large, challenging decisions, the ones that you know can make or break your project?  The answer could be simpler than you think.

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Let’s Start Talking

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Communication is one of the fundamental skills of any business person.  Communication is how we sell to others and as Daniel Pink defines in his book “To Sell is Human” we are all selling all the time.  Everyday we are selling our time, our thoughts, our efforts and energy to our colleagues, friends, spouses and even our children, but it’s more than just a pitch. A few critical elements that make up the selling and communication are speaking confidently, using proper body language, trying to find mutually beneficial outcomes (not zero sum), and sometimes simple gestures like a touch on the arm can lead to an increase in trust.

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Why Project Managers?

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The life cycle of any project can be simple, such as the “how to make mac ‘n cheese for my one year old” project, but more commonly they are intense and expensive processes that require many people working together to complete.  To facilitate the completion of any project there is always people that set up to take charge and coordinate the efforts of everyone involved.  In the mac ‘n cheese project, this is probably mom acting as the sole driver to reach the cheesy conclusion, but for the rest of the world these people are Project Managers or PM’s as I will commonly refer to them throughout this blog.    PM’s come in all shapes and sizes and exist across nearly every industry, playing a critical role by helping mange decisions and providing guidance to those involved.

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