Archive for the ‘ Leadership & Interpersonal Skills ’ Category

The Disconnect Between Senior Management and Project Management

Posted on: June 27th, 2016 by Jim

This post is based not only on my own personal experience but also on a book that the Project Management Institute published in 2002 called, “Selling Project Management to Senior Executives.” By “selling” they don’t necessarily mean that in the sense of a sales team or consultant but in the sense of persuading senior executives of its value. I’m not sure that the situation the book

On Hiring a Project Manager: What No One Says About Certification

Posted on: May 20th, 2016 by Jim

I’ve lost track of the number of senior managers who have said to me, “Hey I hired a Project Management Professional (PMP) and he’s not working out. I thought PMP meant that you guys knew how to manage a project and use Microsoft Project.” (Somebody actually said the latter to me once). Actually it means nothing of the sort. For one thing, there is zero software testing on

Bringing change to the organization for successful projects

Posted on: November 23rd, 2015 by Jim

  As a consultant advising customers on new process, I am automatically an agent of change. Especially so since at least some of the companies who contact me face varying levels of dysfunctionality. They either have no idea how to do projects or they know how to do them but don’t have the right people. Or else, they have both of those factors in place but project management is not fully

The Denver International Airport Story or Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About How Not To Run A Project (final)

Posted on: September 26th, 2015 by Jim

Project Management Expertise As previously mentioned, the person in charge was in fact not a project manager at all but a Chief Engineer. Now, this is not to say that a technical person cannot manage a project. But I would argue that this is a classic case of the “accidental project manager,” or someone who is put into a PM position due to his or her success in a technical field. The problem very

The Denver International Airport Story or Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About How Not To Run A Project (Pt. 1)

Posted on: September 25th, 2015 by Jim

In the annals of project management literature, there are few stories as compelling as that of the Denver International Airport (DIA).  DIA – which was to replace Stapleton International Airport – was scheduled to open in October of 1994 with the construction budget being set at $2B. It eventually opened 16 months late, ultimately costing $4.8B, an almost 250% increase. Maintaining the empty

Effective communications (email) 2

Posted on: November 26th, 2013 by Jim

So I talked last time about the importance of effective email communications. One thing I should add to that discussion is the following: is this email really necessary? As we know, everyone on a project is inundated by far too many emails. One student of mine went so far as to create a rule in his email package. If the note wasn’t addressed to him – if he was only cc’ed – the

Effective communications (Email)

Posted on: October 29th, 2013 by Jim

I have heard through students and from reading articles that some people, especially in the millennial generation, are getting away from email. Towards what I wondered. In one article a team member said something along the lines of, “By my tweets ye shall know me.” Well, that’s fine if he can somehow convey information concisely in 140 characters. But for the rest of us mere mortals,

Effective project communications (3)

Posted on: October 7th, 2013 by Jim

As mentioned in my last post, PMI has recognized that a significant number of projects fail due to poor communications. So knowing that, our goal on the project is to prevent bad communications as much as possible, thereby reducing risk to the project. How can we do that? I will suggest a few things: -Communications management plan: per PMI this is a “component of the project management plan

Effective project communications (2)

Posted on: September 23rd, 2013 by Jim

In line with my recent post about communications, PMI has published a “Pulse of the Profession” report entitled, “The Essential Role of Communications.”  This report only serves to buttress the importance of excellent communications on a project. I’ll summarize some findings below:  The most crucial success factor in project management is effective communications to all stakeholders.   A

Effective project communications (1)

Posted on: August 6th, 2013 by Jim

Communications is one of the 10 Knowledge Areas that PMI covers in the Project Management Body of Knowledge. When I teach it, I tend to get on my soapbox about it, just because it’s so important. It’s my contention that the average person does not know how to communicate in any clear and consistent fashion whether it’s in person, by email, or text. (Especially the latter two). Further,

The Flexible Project Manager

Posted on: May 7th, 2013 by admin

A client of mine recently posed this situation/question to me: “When I was just beginning and even now as I mentor new PM’s, I constantly see a battle between the PM best practices and a company’s maturity/ capability to practice it. It would have been very helpful when I was starting out to know where I could let things go a little and where I could not. Finding the right balance between