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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Project Management Websites

Today's posting includes some hyperlinks to a few Project Management websites. I use these sites on occasion and they all have something of value for the Project Manager. On a side note, some of the sites are government related, technology related, or process oriented.

In many cases you may need to do a search on "Project Management" to find what you are looking for.


Minnesota Office of Technology

PM Boulevard


TenStep Project Management Process

American Society for the Advancement of Project Management

Florida State Technology Office

Tech Republic

Software Program Manager's Network

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Good, Short Article on Project Failure

Click here for a good article on Project Failure. I would also add that your Project Management Processes, if poorly designed, can be a contributing factor in project failure.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Stupid Things Project Managers (and others) Say!

Quality Planning is only concerned about the number of bugs/problems in the final product.

The delivery date is going to slip because we have learned about new requirements.

Projects are always late and over budget. We shouldn't worry.

We can't predict our final costs because the requirements are changing.

The estimate is in line with management expectations.

Our schedule is good because we used a project-scheduling tool.

We can always add people to meet the deadline.

We are behind schedule because the customer can't make up their minds.

We can cut our testing time to make the delivery date.

Good people make up for bad processes.

Our process is good because it is repeatable.

If they quit we can quickly hire someone to take their place.

We don't involve the people doing the work in estimating because that will increase costs. Besides, they will just inflate/pad their estimates.

Using a Tool is not a Risk.

The sooner we begin coding the more successful we will be.

We will save more by reusing code, not architecture.

We will worry about the cost of maintenance later. There is no time now.

If it doesn't work we will fix it when we have time.

We don't need to document because we put comments in our code.

Technical people don't like to write documentation and we shouldn't insist that they do. Besides, they are terrible writers.

You can't blame the Project Manager. How were they supposed to know?

All of the problems we have been having our 's fault.

Trust me; we will deliver everything you want on time and at or under budget.

I think you get the idea. As Project Managers, we were hired to tell the truth and include the good, the bad, and the ugly in our status reports. Sugar coating project issues and problems for management will only get us in trouble later. Don't make excuses. Use status reports, e-mail, voice mail, and most importantly face-to-face meetings to relay project status. Don't be afraid to deliver bad news. Just make sure when you present management with issues and problems with your project you have a plan to get it back on track.

Be Responsible, take Ownership, and most importantly, be Trustworthy.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Constructive Behavior

Many of us deal with difficult people using the age-old adage of an "eye for an eye". If we are snubbed, we ignore the other person. If we are disrespected, we in turn show disrespect. If someone cheats us, we cheat them. This mentality is not only self-destructive, but is damaging to the career of a project manager.

When we reciprocate with bad behavior against another, nothing is resolved. By reverting to negative behavior we have fallen into a lose/lose relationship where nobody wins, and we do as much damage to ourselves as we perceive we do to others. What can we do when we feel bombarded by the negative attacks? There are several things we can do to avoid the trap of reciprocating rudeness with rudeness.

I suggest that you read a couple of books I have found to be enlightening. The first is Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" and the other is "Love is the Killer App" by Tim Sanders. Both books offer powerful insight into the human condition and more importantly offer critical advice you can use everyday in all of your relationships.

Some things to be aware of when dealing with others:

Be aware of the Perceptions others hold about you

Keep a balance between your Emotions and your Actions

Seek first to Understand, then be Understood (Stephen Covey Habit)

Be an Active Listener

Diagnose before prescribing

Consult with others you trust before making important decisions

Be Trustworthy

Don't Coerce, but Persuade

Accept the fact that some people will just be Unreasonable

Be the Solution, not the Problem

The best times in life and the worst times are usually tied to our relationships. Do not be a victim of your relationships, but an example of how others should act.