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

My mother-in-law got her kitchen remodeled, and let her husband and the contractor pick out her stove. When it arrived, this little old lady had a tough time using it. At Christmas, when visiting, I tried it out, being a cook, and found it poorly designed with questionable quality. As the Christmas Dinner chef, I […]

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How to manage a project

The essentials of project management in under 500 words What’s a project? A project is any endeavor that takes time and involves more than one person. Typically, we don’t call it a project unless it involves at least 3 to 5 people, and then we call them a team. A project requires communication, collaboration and […]

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Communicating with More Experienced Team Members

Communicating with More Experienced Team Members

(This article is part of a series originally published in Japan by ALC Press English Journal, and is written in “Global English”. CLICK HERE to see the accompanying video, spoken in “Global English”.) QUESTION:  “I’ve just started to manage a new department and I don’t know how to communicate with my more experienced subordinates. Some of them have […]

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What generates energy for your team?

How do you evaluate how well a team is functioning? A key indicator is energy. Energy is a quality of the interactions going on in the room the team is working in, a quality that you feel when you’re in the room with them. There are a variety of types of energy. A team may […]

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How many threads can you hold?

This article is about attention and focus, in your own life and the life of the teams you lead. Attention is a precious commodity, for you, for people you manage and for teams you lead. Here’s what journalist and author Kare Anderson recently said about attention in a Harvard Business Review blog post: Giving and […]

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A Tale of Three Cities – London, Toronto, and Redwood Shores

A Tale of Three Cities - London, Toronto, and Redwood Shores

It had all the earmarks of a disaster, a real career-sinker of a project. And here was my old friend and former colleague calling me up enthusiastically, on the phone: “Hey Lisa, we need a Technical Project Manager for this start-up I’m working for, in Redwood Shores… you’ll love the project and the team. It’s […]

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Leading One-on-One

Leading One-on-One

If you are going to lead hordes of peeps someday you’d better start by being able to lead a single individual. Pretty much the only way we have of directly leading another person is through communication, and I sure as heck don’t mean email! (Talking face-to-face is fraught with plenty of misunderstandings, and I’ve often […]

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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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“Do you have a few minutes to talk?”

Imagine this: it’s Monday, and a co-worker had a rough weekend with his family. He wants to talk about it. What to do? On the one hand, I want to help out. I mean I’ve been there, I’ve had my tough times, and it’s nice when I’ve had someone to talk with. Not for hours, […]

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Sunday’s Pithy Blog – Better Communications Through Ah Counting

Sunday's Pithy Blog - Better Communications Through Ah Counting

We all know that project management is primarily a people business. As such, communicating with humans is the most important skill you possess to achieve success. How well do you communicate? I have been married for 40 + years and a project manager for over 25 years and I am still trying to improve my communication skills. Ask my […]

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Drum this Into Your PM Head!

Drum this Into Your PM Head!

Having been told my whole life that sometimes I can be a bit too intense, it was enormously liberating to finally find an environment where I blended right in: a drum circle of more than 50 passionate lunatics banging away like they were being paid by the decibel. These were not people in search of […]

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