5 Reasons Project Managers are Sexy

project managers are sexy
5 Reasons project managers are sexy

Sexy is defined in the dictionary as exciting, appealing and glamorous. It draws people in. This definition made me realize how sexy project managers are. In fact, with that definition in mind, any project manager who doesn’t think his or her role is sexy should be fired on the spot for not understanding the job well enough.

Project managers are sexy because…
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How to Manage Expectations on Yellow and Red Projects

How to manage expectations
How to manage expectations on yellow and red projects

I once worked with a project manager who insisted on reporting projects as green in every weekly status report. There were times when he would alter an issue status or hide issues from executives to “fool” them into thinking everything was OK.

Sometimes this worked. The issue would get resolved and the executive never knew about it. More often than not, however, the issue would do one of two things. Word would get out and the executive would find out through the grapevine. Alternatively, the issue would persist or become larger giving the project manager no other choice but to report it to the executive. When either of these two situations occurred, the executive was surprised and had less time to react and make a decision. The project manager did not manage up to the executive appropriately.
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The 2 Error Types That Destroy Your Management Credibility

error types
Statistics, project management and error types

I can’t think of a college class that I disliked as much as statistics. It was one of those classes where it made a lot of sense when the professor explained it on the board.

Put a test in front of me though, and I was lost. I would understand it when it was explained, but I couldn’t seem to comprehend it well enough to explain it.

Error Types: Type I and Type II

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7 Ways to Make Executives Love Your Project Status

love your project status
Getting executives to love your project status

As project managers, we all have our weekly status meetings. For some, it can be a stressful time, especially if the project is behind. For others, it becomes as mundane as going for a cup of coffee. Whatever your situation is, it is important to make sure you’re presenting a strategic project status to your executives.
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Do You Manage Like a Coach or a Referee?

do you manage like a coach
Do you manage like a coach or a referee

I was watching my daughter’s soccer game a few days ago and made an observation. I saw her coach standing on the sidelines doing his job. And I saw the referee out in the middle of the field doing his.

I’ve never confused the two roles. They each have a different job to do and they do it. Some are better than others.

Manage like a coach

A coach – at least a good one – works with the individuals on the team to help them improve as individuals and as a team. When a player on his team makes a mistake, the coach provides feedback on how to improve.

A coach sets goals for the team and each of its individuals to achieve in order to succeed. Success is well defined. Everyone knows what they need to do and how to achieve success.
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How Not Trusting Your Team Kills Productivity

not trusting your team
Not trusting your team to do the job.

Have you ever played volleyball when one person tries to play every position? He runs all over your team’s half of the court hitting volleys that should rightfully be hit by other teammates. Because he is running to other positions, his hits are bad. He plays his own position badly too, because he’s running around playing all six positions.

Most of us know people in the business world like this too. She has her own job to do, but still gets involved with the jobs of others. This is common with newly promoted managers. Managing his new team is well outside of his comfort zone, so he reverts back to his worker-bee days. He gets involved in the details and does the work of others.
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How Making Noise Hurts Your Team’s Productivity

making noise hurts your team
How making noise hurts hyour team

It can be a difficult transition when someone makes the move from worker bee to management. You find yourself going from someone who had lots of tasks and was always busy, to being in an oversight position.

Certainly a manager keeps busy. There are plenty of things to do. But when a deadline approaches and the team has a ton of work to do in a short time, managers often find themselves in a situation where they watch people working, waiting for the rest of the team to get it all done.

Meaningless activity

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How Focusing on the Wrong Things Causes You to Fail

focusing on the wrong things
Are you Focusing on the Wrong Things?

Office coffee politics

Once early in my career I worked on a project in which I attended weekly client meetings where we reported our status to one of the executives. This particular executive had an agenda for the meeting each week. He would list the projects from which he wanted updates, and listed specific issues when he wanted specifics.

The department I worked for had a coffee pot out in the open. People who drank coffee were expected to pay on the honor system for each cup. The accumulated money was used to purchase more coffee and filters.
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How To Deal With the Renegade Team Member

renegade team member
Do you have a renegade team member?

Every once in a while – maybe even more often than that – you experience a renegade team member who wants to do things his way rather than what you’ve tried to set as the norm. When this happens, the project manager has to decide whether to act and what to do if they decide to act.

The first thing the project manager needs to decide is whether the “renegade” activity is unhealthy or undesirable. Too often, project managers see someone acting outside of the norm and attempt to reign them in before determining the consequences.
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Assessing Risk in Project Management

assessing risk
Are you assessing risk effectively?

The Scout Motto is “Be prepared”. I don’t know if a study has ever been done to determine whether former scouts make better project managers, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a correlation.

The most successful project managers I know are prepared for almost anything. Over the years, the most successful way I’ve found to be prepared is to have a formal risk assessment process, in which risks are addressed early and often.
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101 Tips for Success in Project Management