How to Draft a Stakeholder Communication Plan

2016-10-18T17:25:01+00:00October 18th, 2016|Project and Program Management|

how-to-draft-a-stakeholder-communication-planThe truth is that there are quite a lot of things that you would need to take into account when you manage a project. Even though a stakeholder communication plan isn’t always necessary, for long-term and heavy projects you are most certainly going to need to have one. With this in mind, we would like to go through a few things that you might want to take into account in order to be able to create one from scratch which meets the expectations of the stakeholder and fulfills its overall requirements and expectations. Let’s go right ahead and take a look.

Identify the need for communication

This is rather obvious but it’s particularly important. Your client and all of the stakeholders need to be well aware of the fact that you are incredibly concerned with their critical opinion and that breeds the need for transparency and communication. Upon doing so you are instantly gaining their trust and that’s generally one of the most important things that you would have to do in the first stages of the project. Read the Complete Article

8 Team Building Tips for Leaders That Actually Work

2016-10-24T15:35:56+00:00August 10th, 2016|Project and Program Management|

8 Team Building Tips for Leaders That Actually Work
By Richard Lepsinger

Great teams are the building blocks of any organization. A great team has shared goals, clear roles, transparent processes for solving problems and making decisions, and the ability to deal with conflicts constructively. A good team may have some of these elements; a great team will have them all. It is up to you as a leader to make sure all of these elements are in place.

Like all coaches, a successful team leader needs a playbook to guide them. If you are leading a new team or want to enhance the performance of an existing one, follow these eight tips.

  1. Emphasize Common Interests and Values

    Getting group members to agree on objectives, strategies, and the need for cooperative effort greatly facilitates a strong identification with the group. Great leaders emphasize mutual interests rather than allowing members to dwell on their differences.

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How to Be a Productive Project Manager: 7 Tips

2016-10-24T15:35:59+00:00August 7th, 2016|Project and Program Management|

How to Be a Productive Project Manager: 7 Tips
By Harry Hall

Many project managers feel overwhelmed with emails, phone calls, and meetings. They often work overtime, but few feel as though they are making progress. Although we are all given the same amount of time each day, some project managers are able to produce greater value for their organizations. Some are more engaged.

Imagine yourself as a more productive project manager, one with greater capacity and energy to complete each day’s tasks. Let’s look at common problems that impede our progress and what to do about each:

  1. The problem: I am spending more time managing issues than managing upcoming project activities.

    Susan, the project manager, had a gnawing feeling that the network team might fall behind schedule on a high profile project. The network manager failed to order the network cable and routers on time, and now the team is scrambling to make ends meet.

Read the Complete Article

Avoid Gold-plating Through Agile Delivery

2016-10-24T15:36:02+00:00August 2nd, 2016|Project and Program Management|

Avoid Gold-plating Through Agile Delivery
By Kiron D. Bondale

As it is with jewelry, on projects gold-plating is all form with no substance. The increase in costs is rarely justified by the value provided by superficial “bling”.

It could be an analyst adding in requirements which they came up with on their own without ensuring that those are actually required, a developer who introduces a code change or feature they believe is useful without checking with others or a quality control specialist who decides to test above and beyond approved test plans.

Don’t get me wrong – the intentions are usually good and I’ve yet to encounter an instance of gold-plating which was done maliciously. But it doesn’t matter – gold-plating is work creep.

What’s the worst that could happen you ask?

On a project which follows a traditional or waterfall delivery approach, that innocent feature which the developer added might cause regression to approved functionality but at the very least when it finally gets identified will generate unplanned work for other team members. Read the Complete Article

My Journey with an Agile Project

2016-10-24T15:36:05+00:00July 28th, 2016|Project and Program Management|

My Journey with an Agile Project
By Seshadri Sounderrajan

The purpose of this article is to share my experiences with the deployment of Agile methodology based on the project I am currently associated with. Although Agile projects do not have a rigid hierarchy, Project Managers have a significant role to play in the context of managing multiple parties with varying expectations and non-negotiable deadline. This article does not offer a prescriptive approach as methodologies such as Waterfall and Agile are context/environment specific with its own set of pros and cons.

I am handling a project in ABC Bank (for purposes of confidentiality I would refrain from disclosing the name of the bank in Singapore) which involves integration of insurance platforms with one of the largest insurance providers in the insurance space. As is the case with huge projects, region-wide initiative encompassing multiple business entities with myriad technical platforms and the rigid business processes has plethora of challenges. Read the Complete Article

Six Leadership Lessons From Game of Thrones Season Six

2016-10-24T15:36:07+00:00July 27th, 2016|Project and Program Management|

Six Leadership Lessons From Game of Thrones Season Six
By Steven J Selikoff

Game of Thrones is a world of alliances and competition, politics, powerbrokers, fair and failed leaders, trust, deception, limited resources, plus a few dragons. It shouldn’t be surprising that it’s a world filled with leadership lessons delightfully delivered by our most loved, and hated, characters. In honor of Season Six, here are six lessons all business leaders can learn from Game of Thrones.

Lesson 1. Be self-aware.

Know who you are, warts and all. As a leader, this is a critical characteristic for your success. Tyrion Lannister advises Jon Snow, “Never forget who you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness.” This bit of wisdom served Jon well as he grew into the leader we love today. The advice serves just as well for you, whether you are a leader of a team, or the leader of a business. Read the Complete Article

The Appearance of Non-Leaders

2016-10-24T15:36:10+00:00July 24th, 2016|Project and Program Management|

The Appearance of Non-Leaders
By Jeremy Francis

I suppose it is not surprising that when there is a leadership vacuum all sorts of non-leaders seek to fill it! Much has been written about leaders but what about non-leaders? Well here is my attempt at identifying non-leaders in a leadership contest. Use the following eight descriptions to weed out anyone applying for a leadership role in your organization. I am going to focus on non-leadership language!

Here are eight descriptions:

A non-leader is someone who says:

  1. ‘I am not really a leader’. Intriguing! Then why are you standing for a leadership role?
  2. ‘I would not describe myself as charismatic.’ Great! Then how would you describe yourself? Perhaps dull?

  3. ‘I don’t rely on specialists’. Really! Then who do you rely on… idiots?

  4. ‘I can deliver a better future.’ Interesting! What exactly is this better future and for whose benefit? Yours I suppose!

  5. ‘My theory is this… ‘ Go on, tell us more!

Read the Complete Article

A Project Management Mystery Solved

2016-10-24T15:36:12+00:00July 21st, 2016|Project and Program Management|

A Project Management Mystery Solved
By James Young

Executive Summary: Do not assume that your company’s management or the project stakeholders have a firm grasp on the methods and procedures of Project Management. It may be that they don’t know what they don’t know about the methods and procedures. Be prepared to develop Project Execution Plan (PEP) even if it is not thought to be relevant. It is relevant in all cases.

The mystery is one that’s confounded me for years. I only recently discovered what the like explanation maybe, and it’s not directly related to Project Management. My blog topics are usually based on a past situation where I violated one of the tenants of the Tao of Project Management, and the resulting chaos that resulted on specific projects. Four projects fell into this category in recent years and I saw these mangy dogs coming towards me, but I let them in the door anyway. Read the Complete Article

Legendary Leadership Secrets – Success Eats Charisma for Lunch

2016-07-20T21:05:18+00:00July 20th, 2016|Project and Program Management|

Legendary Leadership Secrets - Success Eats Charisma for Lunch By David Roppo For many decades the phrase “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” has been floating around leadership development circles. It’s often attributed to Peter Drucker, the father of management, although that claim has yet to be substantiated. Nevertheless, I believe the phrase makes for some validate points. [...]

Legendary Leadership Secrets – Success Eats Charisma for Lunch

2016-10-24T15:36:15+00:00July 20th, 2016|Project and Program Management|

Legendary Leadership Secrets – Success Eats Charisma for Lunch
By David Roppo

For many decades the phrase “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” has been floating around leadership development circles. It’s often attributed to Peter Drucker, the father of management, although that claim has yet to be substantiated. Nevertheless, I believe the phrase makes for some validate points. Strategy is generally a plan which is aimed at achieving success. However, every plan must be executed precisely to achieve the expected success. That takes people. Therein is where culture enters the picture. As I always say, “If you like logistics, you better love sociologistics because the complex planning, organization, and coordination of work is always superseded by human behavior and the ability to empower people to facilitate it. Without a positive workplace environment, and engaged as well as motivated employees, the greatest strategy in the world is destined to fail. Hence the quote, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That doesn’t mean you should push strategy to the side and go all in on culture. Read the Complete Article