The Project Plan Blog

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...

4 Ways You Can Turn Drive Time into Thrive Time

Do you have a long commute each day? If you typically dread the hours spent looking at the sea of red lights ahead of you, below are four ways to convert boring drive time into something a whole lot more productive. Traffic stinks. If you live near any decently-sized city and have to commute into work each day, that’s the tune you’re going to hear on the radio nearly every morning. Unfortunately, dealing with traffic is the price you pay if you want to be able to afford what it costs to take care of yourself, your family, and your future. If you stop and think about the amount of tim...

Advice to Somebody Who Wants to Become a Project Manager

We all have choices to make. These choices range from what we are going to wear in the morning or have for breakfast to what career we’re going to build. The following article provides some advice if you are looking to make the switch into the project management profession. What you have for breakfast is up to you! A mid-life crisis can happen to the best of us, and although no finite age is attached to one, it typically occurs between the ages of 40 and 50, if it is going to occur. What is a mid-life crisis? It’s when a person, usually successful, takes a look in the mirror and asks th...

Did You Know You Are Sitting in Project Management Exit Row?

Most projects run smoothly and come close to their deadline, budget, and meet the original scope. But, there are times when the ride can get a bit bumpy. The following article will provide some lessons from sitting in the exit row of an airplane to help your most troubled projects land smoothly. I like plenty of leg room on an airplane flight. My flights are usually short jaunts, nothing more than an hour or two in duration, so it’s hard to justify spending the hundreds of extra dollars the airlines want for first class. Instead, I go for the next best thing…an exit row. On one particul...

How Many Project Management Crutches Do You Have?

Are there things you lean on as a project manager to help get you through the day? Sure, we all need our cup of coffee or morning routine, but are there crutches that could prove harmful to your career? The following considers four areas that project managers tend to lean on too heavily to give them credibility, and what you can do to restore your balance! The following is an utterly unscientific generalization, but it’s my conclusion after years of observing project managers. I call it the Law of the Laptop Bag. Ready? Here it is: The size of a project manager’s laptop bag is directly i...

10 Ways to Tick Off Your Project Team

Do you tick off your team? Of course not, you may say. What you may not know is that you upset team members without even knowing it. Take a gander at the list below, and see if you’re guilty of provoking your team with any of these 10 infractions. People in relationships know how to push each other's buttons, don’t they? My friend, for example, seems to always know just the wrong thing to say to his wife in front of a group of people. I’m not sure why he does it. Maybe he’s trying to be funny, make a point, or something in between. All I know is that it doesn’t work, it isn’t fu...
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