The Project Plan Blog

5 Things I Learned from Scrum Training

Agile versus Traditional methodologies seems to evoke as much passionate debate as Apple versus Microsoft. However, I believe that we can all get along! The following are my reflections on how the spirit of scrum master training can benefit our area of expertise. I have a confession to make. I recently took a course to become a Certified Scrum Master (CSM). Yes, it’s true. I’m not even sure what possessed me to enroll. After all, I have my PMP certification and have been a successful project manager for nearly two decades. In spite of that, it just wasn’t enough. I also wanted ...

Are Your Project Management Skills in a Rut?

Our careers fly by us faster than kids growing up. The day we started seems like yesterday, and by the time one or two decades pass we wonder where the time went! If you’ve been in project management for a while, take the time to assess the direction your career is heading, and make some adjustments if necessary. The following article has a few tips to help you accomplish this. The Grand Canyon is a geological wonder. Carved by the Colorado River over time, this great chasm is over a mile deep in areas and up to 18 miles wide. It’s truly a sight to behold. But, what amazes me is that it...

7 Tips for Making it Through a Deposition

Project managers get to do a lot of fun and exciting things. There are also a lot of miserable and excruciating things we get to do. One of these is getting caught up in the legal wrangling that may occur if a project is delayed, over budget, or otherwise not meeting expectations. The following provides some insight into how you can make it through such an event and get back to the fun and exciting things! We’re all familiar with the interrogation scenes that play out on TV or in the movies. One lone guy sits in a chair with his hands tied behind his back. The room is dark except for a si...

Get Plan B ASAP OK?

Sometimes things fall into place just the way we planned. Other times, they don’t. If you always have a backup plan in the event something goes wrong, you’ll be less stressed, easier to get along with, and someone people enjoy working with. The following discusses important areas where you should have a Plan B in place in case things go wrong. The project was moving into its final phase…training. The software application had been redesigned from the ground up, integrating the feedback and needs of the user community. Their suggestions and  input had been instrumental, and everyone w...

The Good (and Bad) News about Project Managers

We all like to think that we bring value while managing projects. Rest assured, most people that we work with find value in what we do as project managers. But, there are going to be those times when we just might be getting in someone’s way and slowing them down. Find out what some of those good (and not so good) things are directly from people we work with. Stakeholder Management is a phrase we hear on a regular basis. Stakeholders are those people or groups who have a vested interest in the outcome of a project and range from being within, as well as outside, our companies. When we th...

Powering Through a Change in Leadership as a Project Manager

Change is part of what we manage as project managers, and can be as small as a request for a new report or as massive as a layoff or change in company ownership. The following article offers some advice on what you can do to navigate through larger, and possibly unexpected and unwelcome, changes. If you’ve been driving for some time, you probably take a lot of things for granted. For example, you instinctively know what to do when you see a yield sign, or need to change lanes, or to gradually (or not so gradually) put on the brakes. It’s almost like driving becomes a memorized motor ski...

It’s Amazing Anything Gets Done at All!

People love to talk, especially about other people. This is all well and good until the negativity begins to creep into the performance of your projects. The following article uncovers some of the reasons why your resources may get wrapped up in trash talking and some things you can do to clean up their act! My job as a project manager requires that I travel at least a couple times a month. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less. Right now it’s more than usual as the first quarter gets underway and clients are solidifying their annual plans. It also seems everyone else is on the mov...

5 Important Roles the PMO Should Play

Good for you if your company is fortunate enough to have a PMO, as it’s a valuable asset that can bring structure and organization to the projects you work on. The following article discusses five important roles of the PMO, and why you should make sure your PMO is filling them. Actors play a number of different roles throughout their careers. They work hard to prepare for and get those roles, and are rewarded with fame and fortune if any of their films are successful. A Project Management Office (PMO) is similar to an actor. A PMO can be hard to get up and running, takes effort to keep ...

2 Characteristics of the Neo-Project Manager

We work in a different time than our parents and grandparents. The Internet really hasn’t been around that long, relatively speaking, and productivity technology has exploded in recent years. This brings great benefits to project managers and teams, but some challenges as well. The following discusses two characteristics that will help you make the most of how things are done today. Project management times and styles are changing rapidly. When you watch any of the movies about NASA back in the 60s, like Apollo 13 for example, project managers worked in an entirely different environment. ...

How to Think Strategically as a Project Manager

Project managers spend a lot of time in the weeds. They are down in the dirt, getting their hands messy and pushing the project forward. Sometimes, however, opportunities present themselves that should cause a project manager to back away from the details and start looking at the bigger picture. The following article shows why it can be challenging to do that, as well as provides suggestions on how you can think strategically as a project manager.  If you are doing your job right as a project manager, you’ll be asked to take on more and more responsibility as time progresses. Eventually...
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