The Project Plan Blog

7 Ways To Track Your Projects

How is your project going, really? You can only answer this question – and let’s face it, project managers get asked it a lot – if you are tracking your project on a regular basis and have all the up-to-date information at hand.   But there is so much project information, where should you start if you want to track properly? It might seem as if you have so many documents and you know so much that it’s almost impossible to pull together one single view of what’s going on.   However, project tracking is a key skill and it’s precisely because there are so many do...

How Virtual Teams Make Projects Succeed

Most of the time I work from home. I do have a desk in the office, but I’m either on the road meeting clients or working from home the majority of the week. I like going into the office – don’t get me wrong – but I actually think it is important to work remotely some of the time. After all, most of my project managers and clients work this way with remote teams, so I may as well experience what that’s like first-hand. I’ve been working like this for many years and I have to say that virtual teams make projects succeed. Co-located teams aren’t bad, of course, but today there ar...

Promote Your PM Skills on LinkedIn

Are you on LinkedIn? As a career tool it is a fantastic resource. If you want to build your reputation online, then promoting your project management skills on LinkedIn is the way to do it! You might not know that LinkedIn is also a collaboration tool as it includes many groups where you can discuss project issues with experts. Whether you want to compare project management software products and are reaching out to others for reviews, trying to find a perfect template or simply want to set up an online profile so employers can find you more easily, then consider LinkedIn as the answer to yo...

5 Reasons To Stay in Your PM Job

Feel like leaving? We’ve all had days like that, when your sponsor doesn’t return calls and you need a critical decision made now, your team misses a milestone, Finance are on the phone asking why your project budget is overspent this month… You feel like going home, pouring a large glass of wine and browsing the job adverts on your laptop. Maybe project management isn’t for you, and a nice job in another sector would be more suited to your talents. Let’s see what’s available out there… But wait just a moment! Project management is a great career choice. Give me until the e...

7 Tricks For Managing Your Time

I am not someone to leave things to the last minute but I have lost count of the amount of times that by the end of the week I still haven’t made it through my task list. It’s not that I procrastinate (much!) but it’s hard to get everything done. The main problem I have is that I plan my time fully and then when extra tasks come along it’s impossible to fit it all in. I still try, though! At least I understand where I am going wrong and each week I do try to plan with a bit more flexibility so that I have some slack in the system for those urgent, unforeseen tasks. That’s one tric...

5 More Reasons Why Projects Fail

“My project is being closed down,” a disappointed colleague told me the other day. She was working on something confidential, and I didn’t know anything about it. While she still couldn’t share the details, I could tell she was very upset at the team being disbanded and all their work to date being mothballed. Unfortunately, this happens a lot. There are plenty of reasons why projects stop before they are scheduled to, or fail in another way. As project managers, we simply have to accept that this is a risk we take when it comes to working on a project. However, some of the reasons ...

10 Considerations For Choosing A Project Management Tool

More and more project managers are getting involved with selecting project management software tools. This makes a lot of sense – after all, project managers are the people who will be using the product on a day-to-day basis so it’s good to involve them in the choice. They will also have strong views about what the software should do and how it can help them manage their projects. If you are asked to get involved in choosing new software for the team, what should you be looking out for? Below I share my top 10 considerations for project management tools. They aren’t in order of import...

5 Essentials For Closing A Project

As I showed the project sponsor the last deliverable she said, “Great, that’s that project over then. I’ll brief you about the next one at our next meeting.” Hold on! The project isn’t over just because you’ve delivered the last deliverable! There are still a lot of things to do to ensure that your project is properly closed and shut down in a professional way. I talked to my sponsor about what else we needed to do in order to close the project down efficiently, and these were the 5 essentials that we discussed. 1. A Hand Over My project team wasn’t going to be responsible f...

What Your Project Stakeholders Must Know

I took in a parcel for a neighbour the other day and when she came round to collect it she was surprised at how big it was. It was huge but not very heavy! She told me later, once she had opened it, that it was a relatively small item (some bed linen) but that it had been shipped in a massive box with lots of packaging. While that isn’t great for the environment, it got me thinking about how easy it is to make assumptions about what people know. If she had known it was going to be such a big parcel with such a lot of wasted packaging she might have stayed in for it, or not ordered it at a...

5 Things To Do When There’s a New Sheriff in Town

One of the more unsettling changes that can occur during the career of a project manager is when their company is acquired. The following article discusses some ideas you can quickly implement as the new team takes over and the old team heads out the door. “This town ain’t big enough for the two of us,” the gritty cowboy jeers at his nemesis standing in front of him. “You’ve got until high noon tomorrow to get out of town, or, believe me, it ain’t goin’ to be pretty.” A typical scene in western movies, it could be that the current Sheriff and his posse have gone rogue, so...
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