The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world
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Inspiration

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Do Affirmations and Quotes Work for You?

Do Affirmations and Quotes Work for You?

In the first and second blog posts of this series we talked about heavy stuff. I shared some thoughts about disappointment and forgiveness, two key human conditions that I’ve observed in my practice that consistently drain and distract people from reaching their full potential (and enjoyment) in the workplace. Now I’d like to shift gears and to […]

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Disappointed? 5 Insightful Ways to Rise Again

Disappointed? 5 Insightful Ways to Rise Again

Happy to be here … let me introduce myself: My name is Mildred Lynn McDonald. I hail from the bonnie shores of Nova Scotia, Canada and this is my first post as part of the UCSC blog community. Last month I moved to Los Altos, so as you can imagine, skipping The Great Canadian Winter […]

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Commitment – Inspiration that Never Fails

Commitment - Inspiration that Never Fails

Inspiration is important, but we can’t depend on it showing up when needed.  It comes and goes, like a ferral cat who roams looking for a bite to eat.  We can feel inspiration waxing and waning within us, and the inspiration from the outside world can’t be counted upon to show up on a regular […]

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Money Doesn’t Inspire

Money Doesn't Inspire

Some people in the corporate world still believe that people work for money.  But with a growing number of examples of people doing all kinds of work for free, it’s getting more difficult to adhere to that view.  Take Wikipedia, for example.  According to Wikinomics, by Tapscott & Williams, Wikipedia is the largest encyclopedia in […]

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The Politics of Inspiration and Shame

The Politics of Inspiration and Shame

As a project leader, part of your job is to inspire people to persevere in pursuit of seemingly impossible goals.  In my work, it’s not part of my job . . . that’s pretty much all I do.  A decade leading projects was the perfect preparation for this work.  Lately I’ve been spending about half […]

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Coloring Outside the Lines

In classrooms all over the world little children are taught the importance of coloring within the lines.  Indeed, they are often called names like “sloppy” or “careless” if they don’t conform. In some cultures conformity to the norm (tradition) is everything.  Everyone must toe the line and behave appropriately.  Those that deviate from the norm […]

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Hope?

Hope?

As I write this, the US is in a presidential transition.  President-Elect Obama won, at least in part, on a platform of hope and the rallying cry, “Yes We Can.” Hope?  In the face of all the obvious difficulties?  Yes we can?  Really?  Aren’t they just fuzzy words? As a project manager, part of me […]

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Everything I Know about Management I Learned as an Orchestra Conductor

There’s been an oft-repeated observation that there’s a high incidence of classically trained musicians in the software industry. I’ve seen this myself; it’s not hard to identify enough people for a jam session or chamber ensemble in any association meeting here in Silicon Valley. I had the good fortune to be trained in orchestral conducting […]

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Can We Teach Someone to Become a Good PM?

Can We Teach Someone to Become a Good PM?

In the grand tradition of analytical thinking, the answer I start with is, “Maybe yes, maybe no.” On the Yes side, there are a lot of “things” a good project manager needs to know and know how to do. There are the technical skills that can be taught – what might be referred to as […]

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Do you want to become a consultant?

I’m sick of this job! I’m going to go out on my own and become a project management consultant! Hmm… How do you decide if you’re ready to become a consultant? Are you comfortable working alone? Can you maintain your sense of objectivity when you don’t have others to support you? Do you believe in […]

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Creating Passion in Projects

Creating Passion in Projects

This week I’m working with an R&D team in a company that makes bathroom fixtures. As I walked into their lobby I encountered a 4 foot diameter glass ball containing a toilet, one of their products. They also have a papier mache lighted toilet that was built for a festival right next to another toilet […]

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