Search This Blog

Monday, September 27, 2021

Cleverness and Problems

Albert Einstein said "A clever person solves a problem; a wise person avoids it". After reading this quote, it reminded me that project managers spend a lot of time (or should be) avoiding problems. One thing that can help project managers to avoid problems is following a defined process, or more specifically, a Project Management Methodology (PMM). At its core a PMM is a set of agreed-upon processes that assists project managers to deliver predictable project outcomes.

To create a PMM you need to define all project management processes, procedures and policies used to deliver your organization's projects. Also, don't forget to develop or obtain a set of project templates as they are an important part of any PMM. Finally, you must develop a training program to introduce and educate your organization about the new PMM.

KEY POINT - When developing a PMM ensure you must include input from your lead project managers and any other personnel that have a stake in your project management outcomes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Dogma and Open-Mindedness

Dogma is living with the results of other people's thinking. Be careful when allowing the opinions of others to smother your inner voice, but do remain open-minded to new ideas and information.

Open-mindedness - When we close our minds to new information or opinions it is often because they go against our beliefs or take us out of our comfort zone.  Admitting to ourselves that new ideas and information that go against what we feel is right may make us feel that we were/are wrong.  That is OK.  Open-minded people are open to new ideas and new information even it they have to admit in the end they were wrong when believing something else.

As a project manager we rely on our beliefs and experiences and the beliefs and experiences of others to bring our projects to success.  Be open-minded and encourage everyone on your team to express their ideas and opinions.

Friday, September 10, 2021

 People and Life

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou


As a project manager there is no more important responsibility on your project than working with your stakeholders to establishing trust and creating an environment that is built on respect and follow through.

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Listening is Hard!


Listening is hard because it involves keeping your ego constrained long enough to consider what is being said before formulating your response.


Wisdom often lies in the pause between stimulus and response.


Few people listen well, which makes good listeners all the more relevant and important.


When someone starts talking, our focus should be:


1. Listening intentionally to what they are saying

2. Ignoring patterns in their speech and forming conclusions 

3. Putting said about whether we agree with what they are saying until they have finished   speaking


When we quickly prepare responses as a listener the conversation becomes about us. When the other person does the same meaningful communication ceases to occur.


Rather than making the conversation about you, work to understand the other person's perspective. You don't have to agree with them, but you owe it to them to be respectful and open minded.  


Remember and put to use one of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits - Seek first to understand then be understood.


We should make it a habit to seek understanding with one another.  A conversation is not a competition to make a point, but rather an exploration of each others thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, and biases.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Your Last Project



It has been said “You only live as long as the last person that remembers you”.

In Project Management it has been said that “You are only as good as your last project”.  While this statement may see unfair, it is nonetheless true in many environments.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Be, Say, and Do!

 


Three action steps when working with others, per Ajayi Jones

1. Be: Write down what’s important to you, and what’s worth fighting for. 

2. Say: When you don’t see eye to eye with your boss or disagree with the rest of the room, ask yourself these three questions. If you answer “Yes” to all three, speak up.

“Do I mean it?” 

“Can I defend it?”

“Can I say it thoughtfully?

3. Do: Match your thoughts with your actions

Fair warning: Just because you follow these steps, it doesn’t mean your team will automatically be on the same page. It’s more that these practices force you to check in with yourself, and know that you said what you needed to say. 


You’ll leave the discussion knowing you tried.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Variety is the Spice of Life

It has been said that variety is the spice of life.  We can fear variety (change) because of its unknown impact be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or psychological.  Variety often means trusting others and stepping into the unknown with courage.

You must embrace change to experience the spice of life!


Tom Brady has some thoughts about change Life is about always changing and adapting to different things. Today, the world wants to blame, and shame, and guilt, and fear everything all the time”


Do you blame others when changes go wrong?  Do you fear change? 


Sometimes it takes courage to embrace Variety!

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Ignorance of Things

Nobody should be embarrassed for not being familiar with the Sunning-Kruger effect, the cognitive bias in which the more incompetent or ignorant you are about something the better or more knowledgeable you think you are at that thing.