Is it worth hiding the truth while managing projects? There were several comments to my article on unethical and unprofessional behaviour. They say it is. In some cases, it might be easier to solve problems quietly. Without informing stakeholders. I want to warn you against it! Truth is a tool in project management.
I had experience working in an organization where I had to manage truth. I was not allowed to inform stakeholders when people leave the team, and we take someone new. It may seem like not a big deal. But, it lasted for years. Many changes happened.
How can you extend your knowledge on a daily basis? By reading project management blogs. Though, not all of them are equally useful. Therefore, I prepared a list of blogs I can suggest you to read.
Why would I advise you to spend time reading blogs rather that a solid book on project management? First of all, I understand the scarcity of your time, energy, and willpower. It is hard to force yourself even to start something like Rita’s PMP Exam Prep.
Do you know when you need to think about change management? Just after the project initiation. In other words as soon as possible. Why? Change management should be integrated into all knowledge areas throughout the whole project lifecycle.
How does it usually happen? You start a project execution. Soon a change request comes. It is a simple and small correction of a requirement. However, to integrate this change into WBS, you need to redesign it. Additional activities break the schedule or at least it’s representation.
What is the primary goal? To finish a project within budget, schedule, and meet all success criteria. Well, usually it is not enough! There are quite many ways to achieve project goals. Does the end justify the means? No! So how do you avoid unethical behavior?
Self-awareness is the best weapon. Do you keep to the professional code of conduct? You don’t have to be a member of an organization to behave well. Nevertheless, quite often you are not aware you act unethically as for project manager.
Project Schedule is often confused with project management plan. The schedule is only a part of the plan. Though, it is one of the most important pieces. Key stakeholders mostly likely will be only interested in a project schedule. Only because it answers their primary question. When will I get the results?
It is a long way before you can start working on the project schedule. And I will repeat my main suggestion. Do every planning effort separately. Of course, your project management software draws you the Gantt chart at once. Ignore it for now. Here is what it takes to create a project schedule.
Junior Project Manager. Is it a great opportunity or chance? No! It is a lot of hard work. Nevertheless, it is the best period for anyone to lay down a solid foundation for professional development.
You are assigned to a project as a junior project manager. There is a senior PM. Do you think he is happy about it? Most probably not. It means extra work for him. At least during the initial period. It will take weeks or months before you can start helping him.
Somewhere during project planning, you need to make a serious choice. You need to select the most appropriate project management methodology. The problem is that it may be hard to make corrections later. So, you have only one chance.
The biggest problem is that all methodologies are commercial to some extent. Even if they are created by non-profit organizations. Therefore, you will always hear only about benefits and advantages of a project management methodology.
Estimates are like promises. You make them, and you need to keep to them. Your reputation depends on how good you are at making estimates.
There are many techniques and methodologies of producing estimates. Nevertheless, communication is still the key. Below you will find an example of communication between a project manager and his team.
Then, you will find 7 concepts that support creations of estimates.
Meetings eat time as an ever-hungry monster. On the other hand, the output of an average meeting is poor at least. I have been working in progressive and mindful organizations. They had rules and culture. Nevertheless, I’m invited to meaningless meetings way too often. So how to prepare for an effective team meeting?
I like the idea of a monetary value of a decision made at a meeting. It is simple. In fact, it is a timer that shows the cost of a meeting in dollars. Calculations are easy. You need to know hourly rates of all participant and multiply them by the hours you spent to produce a decision. When a meeting is over, you will see how much a decision costs.
We covered a good piece of the theory of planning process. Most probably you wonder how on earth should you do all that. In real life, there is always a mess. No one ever gives you enough time to work like a textbook describes. Moreover, nobody cares.
I want to tell you a story. It is about Corwin. He is an excellent project manager. And he has a sound approach to the project planning process. I saw him at work…