Who Is My Customer? And What’s My Relationship?

It is difficult for project managers to know, at times, who our customer actually is. Is someone a customer just because they are a stakeholder? Or, worse, is someone a customer just because they want to have a say in what your project does and how it is delivered? One hopes—if only for our sanity—that this isn’t the case.

Jekyll & Hyde PM: Managing Project Shifts

The most significant challenge for any project manager is when projects shift modes. The shift from startup to execution, and the shift from execution to closeout, requires a change in mindset. Each shift needs the PM to adjust their focus and emphasis–and a corresponding change to how they deal with people.

Hiring a Consultant: What to Do, What Not to Do…and Why

Is “consultant” a dirty word? Many consultants get a bad name from the fact that they become indistinguishable from the organizational employees that they work alongside. How do you know that hiring a consultant is a good idea?

I Resolve to Be a Better Project Manager…Now What?

The beginning of the year is the time of making resolutions. This is usually followed quite quickly by the breaking of those resolutions. So what if our resolution was to become a better project manager? What then? There is a whole range of changes that this might contemplate. At the same time, there are any number of potential roadblocks that might derail us at the first turn. Doing something different requires defining both what “different” will look like, and determining our strategy for realizing that new way of operating.

Stakeholder Engagement, Not Stakeholder Management

Few project managers discuss stakeholders without in some way referencing the need to employ “stakeholder management”. Not only have we invented a dehumanizing four-syllable word for “person”, we’ve also now implied that they are people that need to be managed. Luckily, there’s a simple solution here. Read about three letters that make a lot of difference.

A Personal Approach to PM

How do we adapt in the face of consistency, or anarchy, or brutal regimentation? As project managers, the only thing that we really have control over is ourselves. Given this, how do we change our approach in a way that enables us to be effective in producing project results, rather than bashing our head repeatedly against an unfeeling and unchanging wall of bureaucracy? Here we take a look at adaptation in the face of organizational consistency.

Project Management on a Budget

There is a cost to project management. It is not free, and it is not magic. While it is difficult at times to calculate this cost, it is nonetheless an investment — and a line on project budgets that is exposed to extra scrutiny. When faced with project cuts, how much project management do you need — and need to ensure is in place?

Whose Scope Is It Anyway?

On time, on budget and to specification represent the traditional view of success in a project sphere. An exploration of insights into success and failure.

Planning Around Uncertainty

The more complex the world becomes, the more we want certainties and absolutes. Sadly, a project environment is not a place to find them. In fact, with projects increasing in complexity, it is more important than ever to effectively plan around the uncertainties inherent within them.

Hard Outsourcing Questions

Outsourcing has had a banner decade. As organizations seek to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and focus on their core capabilities, outsourcing has become a growing trend. There are inherent challenges in successfully outsourcing, however. Challenges that many companies providing these services would rather you didn’t think about.