The Project Plan Blog

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...

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...
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