We've all heard the adage that when your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. We're used to applying it to our project templates and processes, but what about our project mindset? If your only project mindset is a driven, get-er-done approach, will every project look like an urgent, crisis-driven exercise? What if you're exclusively a consultative mentor type, how will that affect the way you view your projects, or the way your teams view you? Geof Lory's thought-provoking column this week asks us to consider where we're coming from as well as where we're going with our projects. Also, Alan Zucker has advice for projects gone bad, and Premiums get a new mini-course and a special price on our upcoming PMLight FastRAMP.|
Matching Your Work Mode to the Situation
Which Shark Are You?
This past month I participated as a judge in the Technovation Challenge, an initiative of Code Savvy that inspires and enables teen girls to dream up, design, code and pitch mobile phone apps. I was very impressed with the ingenuity of these girls and thoroughly enjoyed my time going through their submissions.
As I was reviewing their materials one night, my wife was watching Shark Tank (her favorite program) in the other room and I think that some of the energy from the Sharks was floating through the walls and into my psyche and attitude. I found myself picking apart their app as if they were asking me to invest in it, not judge it. Pieces missing, unsupported business assumptions about the market, inaccurate projections in their revenue model, poor user interface and numerous other flawed assumptions. My judge's grades reflected my nitpicking and general negativity. Reviewing my judging forms, I wondered if maybe I was being a bit harsh and judgmental. I wasn't sure that was what was being asked of me.
Are you sure what's being asked of you? »
Wisdom from the Trenches
Project Gone Bad: What to Do
When a project goes bad, itÕs like getting sick. At first, you think itÕs just allergies or you are a little under the weather. The symptoms mount and finally you accept the fact that you are really sick. The longer you wait, the sicker you get.
When a project starts going bad, we often ignore the symptoms. We are only a little behind schedule, but we will catch up. The code quality isnÕt that great, but it will get better. Or, we are behind on our staffing plan, but we can hire more people in the next few weeks.
Here are five things to do when your project goes bad. »
PM Light™ FastRAMP: PM Training on Your Schedule
The PM Light™ FastRAMP series focuses on practical, just-enough project management, and how you can achieve it on your projects. So we ensured we have a practical, just-enough delivery option for you. Live classes are held each Friday for 2 hours, so you can interact with the presenters and ask questions. If the live class times aren't convenient, or if you've got a vacation scheduled, you can review every session using on-demand recordings, whenever you like, and submit your questions and comments by email. Either way you learn how to best use valuable PM approaches on different sizes and types of projects, without feeling like a micromanager. You get new tools and techniques you can use immediately, and you'll earn 12 PDUs for completing the full course.
Save $100 if you register before close of business Wednesday, May 27.
(Premium subscribers save even more!) Group rates are available too.
Mini-Course (A benefit for Premium subscribers)
Keeping Status Visible
Almost no one looks forward to sitting around a table listening to other people status action items for an hour or two. In this mini-course, Agile expert Kent McDonald explains how your team can do effective status reporting in unique and visible ways that avoid those extended status meetings. Keep people informed with the minimum of overhead and effort using these unique techniques, even if you're using traditional phase-based management approaches. 1 PDU.
Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
Make sure you're matching your leadership and management strategies to your project's needs:
Cinda Voegtli will be in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on May 18 for IEEE ProCon, where she will lead two half-day workshops -- one on Strong Project Starts, the other on Managing without Authority.
Sinikka Waugh will lead a session on navigating difficult conversations at the Madison, WI PMI Professional Development Day May 14. The next day, she leads a session on problem solving at IIBA Iowa BA Development Day (I-BADD).
Carl Pritchard will lead his highly rated and memorable PMP® Certification Exam Prep class in Rockville, Maryland on May 19-20. For more information email Carl at firstname.lastname@example.org or register online.
Randy Englund and Alfonso Bucero will present "Integrating People, Organizational, and Technical Skills: the Complete Project Manager" in London May 14-15, 2015, after the PMI EMEA Global Congress. They will also cover this topic in Orlando July 20-23 at PMI Mega SeminarsWorld, and October 7-10 prior to the PMI North America Global Congress. Please join them to enhance people skills in the project environment at one of these interactive, fun, and informative seminars.
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