The school of hard knocks

The school of hard knocks

It’s said that you learn more from failures than you do from successes.  Here’s a project I learned a lot from The brief was to project manage the procurement and implementation of a large IT system.  Seemed straight forward enough, I’d done it before… The challenge: Resources were tight Project team included some VERY ‘strong’ characters Project team were under-performing Project sponsor was disengaged Project had to enable substantial service cost reductions (1/3 of a multi-million pound budget) We conducted soft market testing, produced a very detailed requirements specification and went to market.  We were unable to appoint a supplier because all suppliers failed to meet all ‘essential’ requirements. We revised the specification, but the relationship between myself and the sponsor had deteriorated to the point of no return and I was ‘ freed up to work on something else ‘.  As you can imagine, this was not pleasant.

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Just say NO!

Just say NO!

One outcome from austerity and the economic downturn is that staff are having to do more with less .  But how is this possible, you’re already amazing, right? Work longer hours.  But this makes you grumpy, and can lead to mistakes as you get tired. Work more quickly – do the same stuff, just faster.  But this is not sustainable and results in the same symptoms as above.

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What are the 3 biggest mistakes that project managers make?

What are the 3 biggest mistakes that project managers make?

In my role as a project leadership coach, trainer and facilitator I come across many project managers who are struggling to gain traction on their projects. They find it hard to get team members to commit, to gain buy-in from stakeholders and to win people over. They put in a lot of effort and complete a lot of work; yet they are not getting the results they want. Their projects are slipping, their clients are unhappy and their teams are de-motivated. Often, it is the most urgent requests that get their attention. At the bottom of the pile are activities that they never get around to. They are simply too busy to be on top of it all and are falling pray to three of the most common traps in the project management: They manage tasks, events and processes at the expense of leading people They are reactive and focus on the urgent rather than the important They believe they have to know it all and do it all instead of looking to the team for solutions and innovative ideas Mistake #1: Managing tasks and events at the expense of leading people The most common mistake project managers make is that they are more concerned with tasks and events than with people and the human impact of change – often unknowingly.

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Arras People 2015 project management census

Arras People 2015 project management census

Now in it’s 10th year, it’s time again for the Arras people project management census .  This is surely the most important and informative guide to PM trends IN THE WORLD .    If you’re a practising project, programme or portfolio management bod then I encourage you to spend a few minutes filling in the survey .  You’ll definitely want to check out the report when it’s published – here’s the 2014 one .

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Different country, same project management issues

Different country, same project management issues

This last 2 years has seen me visit Switzerland (4 times), Northern Ireland (twice), Amsterdam, USA (3 times) and UAE. (This is in addition to the many different visits to various parts of mainland UK.) The experience has been good and the groups very passionate about learning and project management. I usually include a session on what goes wrong in projects. What … Read More > Related Posts: Getting more for less requires engagement to succeed. Do you really engage with stakeholders? “The problem is not the problem. Your attitude to the… Where’s your project & programe management… Shopping, it’s surely like a project?

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