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Excel: The Agile Project Manager’s Duct Tape

Duct tape–good in a pinch! I just read one of the many surveys conducted on the state of Agile development. In this particular study, the respondents were asked about the specific agile tools they used. The number one tool used by the more than 4,000 respondents was, you guessed it, Microsoft Excel . 69% of the participants reported it was their tool of choice followed by Microsoft Project which came in at 48%. Way behind these two Microsoft products were some of the newer suite of  tools developed specifically for the Agile development environment. Seems like old habits die hard. Excel has been around a long time. Read More »

When You Want to Run Away and Hide

By Wayne Strider Being an experienced project manager does not make you immune to errors in judgment, puzzling interactions, bumpy relationships, or the physical and emotional responses that go with them.  These things are natural for us all.  Sooner or later we all will be confronted with a project situation that will stretch us beyond our capabilities at that moment. When that happens, it is possible to feel many things, both physical and emotional.  Here are some ways project managers have described to me how they felt.  I have at various times felt each of these myself.  See if any of these ring a bell. “It was difficult to breathe.” “I felt numb.” “I felt paralyzed.  I could not move my feet.” “My mouth dried up.  It was difficult to speak with my tongue stuck to the roof of mouth.” “I felt nauseated.” “My brain would not work.  My voice was fine. I just could not think of anything to say.” “I was sure my absolute worst self was out there for the entire world to see.” “I felt incompetent and stupid.” “I wanted to hit something.” It may not surprise you that anyone feeling such things could want to run away and hide. When someone actually does run away and hide, I call it the “run away and hide” response–RAaH for short.  This is not necessarily a bad strategy. At times it is the best any of us can do. I personally take some comfort in knowing the choice is always available to me Read More »

The PMBOK 5th edition: what the changes mean to you…watch our free video(s)

Joe Czarnecki, PMP, MSP In preparation for the change from PMI’s PMBOK® 4 th to 5 th editions, we at ESI , have released a video that describes all the changes to the PMBOK®, Knowledge Area by Knowledge Area, including a discussion of how the changes will impact practitioners AND those who are studying for the exam. Joe Czarnecki, my colleague, and long time ESI PMBOK guru and project management specialist, breaks down what has changed and explains the impact of the changes.   The video is about 25 minutes long, and can be found here: Additionally, we have broken the full video into a series of 12 videos that outline the specific differences between the 4 th and 5 th editions – with one video for each Knowledge Area. All of the videos have been added to our YouTube channel here: . We hope you find these videos useful. Please pass the links along to anyone who “needs to know.” If you have any specific questions, comment on the post and I’ll forward to Joe. You won’t get better insight! Read More »

You Are Going to Love the Changes. Really?

By Eileen Strider Employees can sniff out the real impact of a change.  They realize that a change might be good for some but not necessarily for all. Customers and the company might benefit. The executives might benefit. Even some employees might benefit. But individual employees and specific parts of the organization may not benefit. Read More »

Think what? – 4 things you should stop thinking right now.

No matter how hard you try to deny it, your emotions are caused by your thoughts and not by external stimuli. Even though you may THINK you are a positive person, chances are, you probably have some old chatter going on in your head that contributes to whatever emotional frustrations you may be having. Here are 5 destructive thoughts that you should outlaw right now: 1. “I’m not good enough.” This has to be one of the most unproductive things to think. The problem with this inner-dialog is that it sets you up for failure. Usually, it comes as a polarized, generalized statement – the all-encompassing umbrella that describes you as a person, including all of your inner qualities. Nothing could be farther from the truth Read More »