The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world
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Mala Devlin - UCSC Extension in Silicon Valley

Mala Devlin is a Senior Software Development Manager at Cisco systems where she is responsible for development tools & methodologies to increase engineering productivity. She is also the author of a book on engineering leadership and building great teams - "The Software Soul". She is currently responsible for marketing, engineering, deploying and supporting a variety of engineering productivity tools and applications across 15,000 engineers. She has extensive experience in directly and matrix managing global, cross functional teams - and driving change across organizations. Mala has been at Cisco for the last 10 years, and has worked in the areas of enabling large-scale componentized development/release models, enabling hitless software upgrades, and managing QoS. Prior to Cisco, she worked in a variety of engineering and product management roles for 10 years at Bell Northern Research in Canada.

Career Lesson #1 – Family and Health. And, onward to 1/1/11 !

Career Lesson #1 – Family and Health.  And, onward to 1/1/11 !

Well, there you have it #1 lesson: take care of your family and health.  I am sure we are all thinking that is so obvious.  But, if you had read my lessons 10-2, you know me enough to understand that this very obvious reason was not so obvious to me in the past decade. Yes […]

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Career Lessons 4,3,2 – Intuition, Impact, Community

Career Lessons 4,3,2 – Intuition, Impact, Community

We are counting down my top 10 career lessons of the past decade.    Here is the next set of memorable lessons… 4     Trust your intuition We have all been in situations where we have been asked to do something – but, for some reason it just doesn’t feel right.  Let me give you an example. […]

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Career Lessons 7,6,5 – Leaders, Pragmatism, Reflection

Career Lessons 7,6,5 – Leaders, Pragmatism, Reflection

We are counting down my top 10 career lessons of the past decade.    Here are the next set of memorable lessons… 7      Follow the leaders Over the last decade, I have switched jobs a number of times.  Some were good, and some were bad.  They were all great learning experiences, with their own sets of […]

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Ten Lessons Countdown – 10, 9, 8

Ten Lessons Countdown - 10, 9, 8

Career Lessons 10, 9, 8 – Vacation, Balance and Change As I pointed out in my earlier blog, we will walk through my top 10 career lessons of the last decade.  Here’s today’s list: # 10 Take your vacation Early in the decade, I skimped on taking vacation! I can’t even believe I did that […]

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Ten Years, Ten Lessons – My Top 10 Career Lessons of the last decade

Ten Years, Ten Lessons - My Top 10 Career Lessons of the last decade

Can you believe we are heading into 2011?  Imagine that!  It seems that every year goes by faster than the previous year.   Somehow, there is an exponential factor to time… the older you get, the faster time passes.  Not fair! I will say that over the years, I have become very much aware of time’s […]

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Hitting your Stride

Hitting your Stride

This week we spoke about the excitement of starting a new job, defining your role and beginning to build trust and credibility.  Well this is really just the beginning of your adventures.  Doing this consistently will help you gain footing and become a solid member of your team – someone who can be counted on […]

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Building Credibility and Trust

Building Credibility and Trust

In Tuesday’s blog, I wrote about creating your role based on feedback from key stakeholders and progressively evolving it to maximize your business impact. So, you have taken the time to listen to the stakeholders.  What next?  The stakeholders will be looking at you to follow through on this feedback.  You need to start establishing […]

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What’s my role?

What’s my role?

So, now you have your dream job.  What next? The expectations of your job go well beyond your title or job description.  Your title may be the operations manager, the program manager, the engineering manager, etc.  But, what does it really mean?  What are you expected to do in order to be successful in your […]

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The Plunge

The Plunge

The Plunge …. Many of us go through job transitions.  Sometimes it is a choice, sometimes it is forced.  It can be exciting, scary, frustrating and rewarding – all at the same time!  I have gone through many job transitions in my career, and I am in the midst of one right now.  I just […]

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Dare to Inspire (5)

Dare to Inspire (5)

The Journey This week I shared with you some quotes that have helped to inspire me through some tumultuous times.  I find they make me feel energized and able to inspire others and pave the forward when ‘things go wrong’.  And, things almost always go wrong in projects – don’t they?  So, in addition to […]

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Dare to Inspire (4)

Dare to Inspire (4)

  Sometimes, you have to break the rules to get things done! As we go through our lives we are subjected to numerous rules – as kids, as students, as workers and as adults living our everyday lives.  As program managers and leaders, part of our responsibilities is to lay down some rules by which […]

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Dare to Inspire (3)

Dare to Inspire (3)

Are you working with a ‘can do’ or ‘cant do’ project team? We have all been in both kinds of teams.  The difference in potential energy is enormous.  And, what a difference that makes to team dynamics and project results!  ‘Can do’ teams seem invincible, welcome challenges and proudly talk about the battles fought and […]

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Dare to Inspire (2)

Dare to Inspire (2)

 Do you really want to wrestle a pig?   It is interesting how sometimes the signs in the universe all seem to converge and lead you down a certain path.  Today was such a day.  As you know, I have committed this week to sharing with you my inspirational quotes that have helped guide my career and […]

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Dare to Inspire (1)

Dare to Inspire (1)

Me – try to inspire – but why? So, here we are – another Monday. Many of us traditionally start Monday on a low note. Back to the grind, back to the routine – same old. We will likely have the first of many project meetings on Mondays. Will you just go through the motions […]

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Do you have what it takes to succeed as a manager?

Over the years, I have worked with, for and managed a spectrum of management talent. A good manager can make a huge difference to the bottom line and influence the actions of an entire organization or program. They are at the center of driving business success. Yet too often, I still hear phrases like “I […]

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Balancing Act: Live and Virtual Communities

Balancing Act: Live and Virtual Communities

How a team feels impacts its productivity and business results.  Imagine if the acrobat above was having a bad day… the results would be disastrous! A key ingredient that shapes team effectiveness is its culture and having a sense of community. Geography plays a huge role in shaping culture. Communities that live together use a […]

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Management

We are all very much aware that how a team feels makes a huge difference to their productivity and to business results.  Many of us have been on A-teams, as well as on D-teams.  It was the same you, in two different teams – with two vastly different results.  If we take that experience and […]

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