The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world
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How do you get it over the finish line?

 Today’s entry I wanted to focus on a tactical, down-in-the-trenches topic that several of my colleagues and I have bantered around when we discuss good and bad project methodologies. It’s on how to get the client to”really” accept the project. I’m sure most of you have been on countless projects where each time the project […]

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You Are What You Integrate

You Are What You Integrate

This week I posted several blogs focusing on the complete project manager. This is a concept covered in our new book of the same title whose premise is:  successful projects are done by skilled project managers and teams, supported by effective project sponsors; it is the integration of a spectrum of skills that enables certain […]

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What’s the Story

This is the first in a triad of blogs on the art of storytelling in projects. In the foreword of an excellent book by Sonia Arrison on longevity called ‘100+’ Peter Thiel of PayPal speculates that the origins of storytelling originated when our ancestors first acquired the knowledge of our inevitable death, a sombre birth […]

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What Kind of Place is This?

What Kind of Place is This?

When he does not get the results he desires, the singer of a classic song asks the question, “What kind of fool am I?”  Or when entering an unfamiliar structure or organization, a person may ask, “What kind of place is this?”  Both questions move the questioner into a new stage of learning or development. […]

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Enhancing PMP with Business Process Excellence – Part III Viable Lean Six Sigma Solutions

Enhancing PMP with Business Process Excellence - Part III Viable Lean Six Sigma Solutions

Enhancing PMP with Business Process Excellence Part III (Final Part of Series) Viable Lean Six Sigma Solutions to Validate Project Timelines and Increase KPI Linkage for PMP leaders Dr. Shree Nanguneri and Mr. Gustav Toppenberg   Meandering in a World Swayed by Certification: In Part I, we addressed the vitality of the linkage of a […]

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Time is money in products, too!

Time is money in products, too!

On a closely related topic to my last post, I would like to relate a recent experience I had with a consumer product that illustrates one very important aspect of consumer products that is often not given enough importance in the product development priority list: User Interface Speed. We have been satisfied owners of a […]

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Are You In Touch With What You Believe?

Are You In Touch With What You Believe?

Beliefs, and by extension, belief systems, are powerful energy magnets that shape our inner and outer worlds … and they can be innocently (or not so innocently) misleading. For example, in the 1500’s, authority figures believed that the world was flat as a pancake; in the 1940’s doctors appeared in ads advocating the health benefits […]

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The Hidden Value of Conferences and Symposiums

The Hidden Value of Conferences and Symposiums

If all you are planning on doing at the next conference you attend is to learn something from the sessions and the exhibits, my advice would be to save your money, focus on your work, and ‘get the dvd’. As we all know, attending conferences isn’t just about the sessions, the keynote speakers, or the product demos. The values you attain from attending conferences are all in the periphery, they are about the ‘X Factors’, those that help you , your team and your company get ahead professionally.

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A Century of Scientific Management

Did you know Project Management is having a birthday? Well, sort of a birthday. It was 100  years ago, in 1911, that Frederick W. Taylor published Principles of Scientific Management. Early pioneers of project management, such as Henry Gantt, were followers of Dr. Taylor. Now, for historical accuracy, it should be noted that Dartmouth College […]

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Stakeholder Management Tools

Stakeholder Management Tools

Nope. There’s just no way around it.  You are going to have to work with people. Even if you are a “technical project manager” buried in the bowels of a data center or focused on software projects or on enterprise application integration projects, the key to your success is how you work with people. Your […]

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Contingency Plan – Focusing on Business Value

Contingency Plan – Focusing on Business Value

Last time, I talked about status reporting, which is commonly required but whose power as a multitool is often overlooked. Today I am going to talk about a tool that is frequently overlooked altogether – the contingency management plan. Projects are initiated for a reason – in a business setting, to create something of business […]

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The Project Manager’s Multitool: The Status Report

The Project Manager's Multitool: The Status Report

Status reports (or whatever your particular methodological school calls them) are frequently maligned – c.f. “TPS Reports” in the movie Office Space – and misused. They are the weekly report that you just have to grind out for your project or program that shows you have been doing something, that you suspect no one reads […]

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Simple Tools, Advanced Users

Simple Tools, Advanced Users

When you first start out as a professional project manager, you typically have had some informal project management experience as part of your other professional responsibilities. Then you take a serious PM course or two, maybe get a PMP and suddenly you find yourself equipped with a giant tool chest full of powerful and complex […]

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Non-technical?!? Who are you calling non-technical?

Non-technical?!?  Who are you calling non-technical?

I tried not to sputter as the young, no-grey haired, highly-respected PhD sporting engineering manager told me my suggestion did not have merit, because I was non-technical. My experience in this challenge was relevant, and keenly pertinent. Our company needed to make this change, we couldn’t afford to do things the old way, but the […]

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The Complete Project Manager – Summary

The Complete Project Manager - Summary

The “secret” code to success and advancement in any organization is to make yourself more valuable, align with organizational goals, attract like-minded individuals who want to make a difference, and take the initiative. Several recent indicators support this path. Testimonials from graduates of advanced project management programs state that as they apply the concepts and […]

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The Complete Project Manager – Market/Customer Knowledge

The Complete Project Manager - Market/Customer Knowledge

Success in the market place is the usual source of positive cash flow. Successful projects bring vitality into an organization.  As a key contributor to these outcomes, project managers are well advised to be aware of what is happening in the market and make appropriate decisions that positively influence the cash flow resulting from project […]

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The Complete Project Manager – Change Management

The Complete Project Manager - Change Management

Project leaders do not like change any more than followers do unless, of course, it is their idea.  Change is hard for everyone. You cannot move forward and stay the same at the same time.  People resist change for several reasons: People resist change because of personal loss.  A key obligation of a project manager […]

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The Complete Project Manager – Conflict Management

The Complete Project Manager - Conflict Management

Complete project managers are a very special breed of people, requiring a complete set of skills.  However, they are not immune from conflict. Sometimes they may even welcome it, for it shows that people are engaged.  A lesson I learned about handling issues and especially risky ones came from working as a young man at […]

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The Complete Project Manager – Political Skills

The Complete Project Manager - Political Skills

Embracing a complete project management mindset goes beyond techniques to complete projects on time, scope, and budget.  Improving organizational performance depends upon getting more accomplished through projects.  Just what gets accomplished and how comes under the purview of power and politics.  Organizations by their nature are political.  The political process is always at work in […]

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The Complete Project Manager – Negotiating Skills

The Complete Project Manager - Negotiating Skills

The results delivered by projects depend upon what you negotiate.  Everything is negotiable, both at work and in everyday lives. It is in your best interest, and for your team and organization, that you embrace negotiating as a requisite skill…and implement it dutifully. Right up front in every project is the necessity to negotiate a […]

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The Complete Project Manager – Organizational Skills

The Complete Project Manager - Organizational Skills

A complete project manager realizes the organization is the place where all work happens and has an indelible impact on how work progresses. Seek alignment among strategy, execution, structure, cultures, and the portfolio of projects. An imperative facing complete project managers in all organizations is not only to embark on a quest to manage project […]

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