Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO) once praised her boss for “trying to make meetings as productive as possible.” According to her, Mark Zuckerberg “asks people to send materials in advance so we can use the time for discussion” and “we try to be clear about our goal when we sit down for a meeting–are we in the room to make a decision or to have a discussion?”
At first, I thought Ms. Sandberg was being sarcastic: Can you really call those “efficiency tricks”? But then I had to admit that outside a limited ‘club’ of a few strong managers I have worked with, almost none of the business meetings that I have audited could be considered efficient.
Now the good news. The ‘tricks’ that make your meetings productive are not new or hard to learn, you can easily get ahead of Zuck (although he may be getting some extensive coaching right now); it is just a matter of self-discipline. Well, almost.
Just think about your next meeting as if it’s a project.
Continue reading “If Zuck Were Project Manager, He’d Learn More ‘Tricks’”
Requirements can make or break your projects. Depending on your personal level of PM maturity, you will make sure that you have clarified them on one, two, or three levels. Here’s what can further improve your chances to deliver the project successfully: shared values of the team.
The secret is in the proper composition of your team. Assembling the right team is highlighted in a recent McKinsey report as one of the key practices that define the “art” of project leadership.
Granted, you will not always have the luxury to hand pick the team members. In the worst case, you are parachuted into a failing project and have to make do with what you have. Even in this worst-case scenario, what I suggest here will help – if you take personal values of your team members into consideration.
In short, personal values are needs, and they refer to desirable goals that motivate action. Thus above all, you need to make sure that at least your core team members’ values are aligned with the Goal of the project.
Continue reading “Advanced Project Management Secret: Shared Values”
The three key reasons why some projects fail are:
There is but a grain of joke in this PM joke: requirements are key. In real life, three different sets of requirements could and should be identified during the project initiation.
Requirements-1: The Spec.
First requirements that come to mind are the “standard” ones: what exactly we have to deliver. If the “what” is not defined properly, different interpretations of the requirements will lead to reworks, conflicts, delays etc.
Although requirements definition and requirements management is an important part of the PM’s job, it is important to go one level higher and make sure that we understand the business context.
Requirements-2: The Constraints Triangle.
If you’ve read this far, you are probably not new to the project management. Hence you know that the triple constraints – Scope, Time, Cost – are part of PM life, and that another PM not-exactly-a-joke insists that you can pick only two. Continue reading “The Recipe for Project Success: 3 Requirements + 10 Values”
To answer this question (asked on Quora), we need to define the meaning of “bad” in “bad project.” As an old project management bit of wisdom goes, there are three main reasons why projects fail (and thus may be identified as “bad projects”):
Continue reading “What are the identifiers of a bad project?”
If you are a professional project manager, you have been through this many times. You get a project to run, receive a list of specialists assigned to the project, start making your calls – and see that the team that you will have to spend a better part of your life with in the coming months is not really sharing your excitement about the project. Continue reading “How to Sell Your Team on Project Management in 7 Minutes”
“What is the purpose of your visit to the United States of America?”
The US Custom and Border Protection officer was a big guy. He asked the usual questions in a deep and hoarse voice and was sitting on a rather tall chair behind his counter, which made him look somewhat dominating if not menacing. But that was part of his job. Continue reading “What Do You Do as Project Manager?”
If you are like 50% of Americans, you must have made your New Year’s resolutions recently. And if you are one of those “new-year-resolute” folks, then you could use some help right now: over 40% of new year’s resolutions do not survive past one month. Continue reading “How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions Using Project Management”
Storytelling is an effective coaching technique, but it is rarely used in project management. Fortunately, the history of mankind is replete with wonderful examples of projects delivered by individuals who lived long before project management as we know it was born, so we can learn from their mistakes. Continue reading “Project Management Master Class: the Fifth Project of Heracles”
A couple of weeks ago, I asked fellow PMs in three LinkedIn groups to share basic data on their academic background. I received 280 responses, out of which 268 contained meaningful data. As promised, I am sharing some results with you. Continue reading “PMP Certification: Facts and Thoughts”
“How many project managers would it take to build a Pyramid? – None: we are all going Agile now.”
Did you hear this one before? Neither did I, as I just made it up. Continue reading “The End of Project Management as We Know It”