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Lack of loyalty is a serious problem in organizations everywhere today.

No longer do people join a company and devote the rest of their working lives to it.   Companies are, of course, not exactly known for offering up thirty or forty years of employment, a gold watch and pension plan.

Times have changed.  Businesses appear and disappear at a dizzying pace. So do the jobs they offer. People no longer expect to spend their entire career with the same company.

Organizations preoccupied with short-term, bottom line thinking often view their employees as little more than resources to be hired, fired, and manipulated as the need arises.

Bricklayer_33147456_XSManaging software projects is difficult under the best circumstances. The project manager must balance competing stakeholder interests against the constraints of limited resources and time, ever-changing technologies, and challenging demands from high-pressure people. Project management is a juggling act, with too many balls in the air at once.

Unfortunately, many new project managers receive little training in how to do the job. Anyone can learn to draw a Gantt chart, but effective project managers also rely on the savvy that comes from experience. Learning survival tips from people who’ve already done their tours of duty in the project management trenches can save you from learning such lessons the hard way.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012 13:57

Management Consultants and PMO failures

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Having worked in the (Middle East- North Africa) MENA region for a number of years, it is quite disheartening to encounter PMOs that suffer from acute identity crisis and are locked in endless battles with other departments to prove their worth.

What is interesting to discover is that the usual culprit behind PMO failures i.e. the lack of executive support, is not the primary cause. The common denominator behind the failings of such PMOs can be attributed to the role played by management consultants in setting up PMOs. There are three distinct areas where management consultants have played an instrumental role in creating PMOs, with major structural defects and no matter how hard one tries to fix it, the defects remain as an indelible stain.

Jan_25_Feature_Fotolia_28094822_XSIf You Had to Choose, Would You Add a Project Manager or a Business Analyst to Your Team?

This was one of several questions posed to a cross-functional panel of industry experts encompassing the product management, project management, and business analysis professions at Project Summit and Business Analyst World Chicago. The resulting dialog shed light on several topics that underlie current practices.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012 10:39

Want to Earn Six Figures? Become a Project Manager

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NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA, 16 December 2011 — As employment continues to fluctuate, uncertainty about job stability and the economy is keeping people on high alert. Despite these uncertain times, there is a silver lining for those in one profession that continues to thrive. New research from the Project Management Institute confirms what businesses, job boards and the media have been proclaiming for the past two years: project management is one of the hottest professions out there.  According to the PMI Project Management Salary Survey, Seventh Edition, the salaries of project managers around the world continue to climb, indicating not only that project management professionals are in strong demand, but also that organizations are increasingly recognizing the value of trained project managers to their overall business goals.
Wednesday, 11 January 2012 09:36

Is Your Meeting Worth the Time?

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A couple of days ago I fired up my online calendar and started to schedule a meeting with my manager.  Our meetings are typically less than 30 minutes long, but I had  a lot to talk about, so I was going to make it an hour long.  Yessirree.  I had a lot of stuff on my mind, I needed an audience, and he was the logical person to hear me out!

Fortunately, we have a little meeting protocol where I work.  In our organization, you can’t schedule a meeting without identifying the objective of the meeting and the desired outcome.   At first, I didn’t think it would be difficult to get my thoughts around those things and document them.  (Did I mention I had a lot to talk about?)

Wednesday, 04 January 2012 10:18

Change Management to Move Projects Forward

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Change Management is Misunderstood

“The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me.  The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.”  ~George Bernard Shaw

There is a misconception, in many organizations, that if we simply keep moving along with the changes, without officially acknowledging or evaluating their impact, that everything will work out in the end. People with this naïve approach believe:

  • The project will be within the budget.
  • The end product will ultimately be better and support our project Return On Investment (ROI) and strategic value.
  • The cost and timeline will still be met.
  • No one is worse for wear.

Managing a project can require up to 50 different types of documents for planning, tracking and reporting.  Feasibility studies, resource spreadsheets, financial and project plans, supplier contracts, post-implementation reviews, change request forms and project status reports are essential ingredients in successful project management. They are the components of “project documents,” which are the definitive record of a project that details the project cycle from inception to conclusion.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011 09:36

Seven Crucial Steps to Effective Project Risk Management

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FeatureDec14thRisk Management is simply defined as identifying, analyzing and managing the uncertainties in a project -both positive (opportunities) and negative (threats). The benefits of risk management are instrumental to a project’s success. By proactively addressing uncertainties, in combination with a strong project management program, problems within the project can decrease by as much as 60 or 70 %.

The International Organization for Standardization identifies the following principles of risk management.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011 08:35

The Good Boss

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The question often looms: Why do we work?  Perhaps it doesn’t really matter why – we all have to work to some degree or another.  Some people work to live and others live to work.  Some find a balance between the two where one flows naturally and seamlessly into another.  We spend every day doing stuff and it turns out, oddly and intuitively enough, that the people we encounter and work with influence our experience at work as well.  Our colleagues, clients, peers and bosses, all of those we cross paths with at work bear some weight on our satisfaction, productivity, creativity and diligence for the little niches we may find or cultivate.