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Project Practitioners

A practical view of common issues, and how to deal with them as well as tips and techniques from the field in the world of project, program, and portfolio management.
Tomorrow will be better!
By Alfonso Bucero
Are you familiar with my sentence: “Today is a good day”? Every day is a good day because we have a lot of blessings every day. The problem is that most of us are not conscious about that. We are going too fast, we are working a whole year and again, and again and again. We are traveling too much to get some business. We have a short time focus in many cases. I like very much my profession; I’m a project manager, consultant, trainer and speaker working worldwide, so I’m blessed. I have the opportunity to meet new people... Read More»

Project Delivery Systems
By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
Over the next few newsletters I will be talking about the different project delivery systems available to you. Owners will have numerous projects and the execution of the projects will follow a project delivery system that the Owner determines suits the situation. As you know, the Owners, designers, and contractors make the decisions, provide the services, and perform the work to deliver constructed projects. These activities are known collectively as project delivery. The generic term “project delivery system” describes how these participants are organized to interact, transforming the Owner's project goals and objectives into a finished project. The project delivery... Read More»

Strengthening and Enforcing Our Profession
By Ann Drinkwater
In order to be an effective project manager, we should look at our definition of project management. Definitions surprisingly vary greatly by organization and individual. While there are different forms and degrees of project management, we should be careful about calling something project management that really is not. Referring to non-project management functions as project management further confuses the profession. Call it what it is. If a position is more administrative, add this label. If a position is more holistic with overall responsibility and leadership for the success of the project, I’d be more inclined to call it project management.... Read More»

17 Great IFTTT Recipes for Project Managers
By DeAnna Burghart
IFTTT (stands for "IF This, Then That") is an automation tool for linking apps, devices, and an ever-growing list of Internet of Things gadgets. These recipes will make it easier to manage your project communication automatically. Read More»

Project Management: An Apprenticeship Model of Learning
By Alan Zucker
My company has an active program to hire college graduates. Every summer my team is graced with newly minted graduates who want to rotate through the project management track. Generally, these future project managers (PMs) have limited training in project management. When evaluating PM candidates, I have found that attitude and behavior are more important than academic training. In fact, some of my best college hires have come from unexpected majors like history and chemical engineering. The apprenticeship-learning model is the best way to train future project managers I believe that the best way to train future project managers is... Read More»

Understand your project stakeholders to influence them
By Alfonso Bucero
Every project manager will be measured by project results. Then, you will need to influence them. One of the key skills to be developed for being a good influencer is communication. Understanding people certainly impacts your ability to communicate with others. The biggest mistake I made in the past frequently was to put my highest priority on expressing my ideas and feelings. What most people really want is to be listened to, respected, and understood. The moment people see that they are being understood, they become more motivated to understand your points of view”. If you can learn to understand... Read More»

Tactical Communication
By Margaret de Haan
How many times, when managing a project and something unexpected happens (or doesn’t), do you get reactive reasons/excuses a while after the fact? Don’t get me wrong, you need to understand the why to be able to avoid the same thing happening in the future at the micro level, but how could it have been avoided altogether? The longer that I manage Projects, the more that I think that it comes down to 2 things – communication and managing expectations. I believe that if you can do that well, many of the “oops” won’t happen. Yes, yes, I know, there... Read More»

Training Does not Equate to a Learning Organization
By Brian Irwin
In a recent discussion it became apparent to me that there may be a fundamental misunderstanding about what it is that defines a learning organization. The discussion was centered on how to help drive agile adoption throughout an organization. My revelation about the misunderstanding came when the individual mentioned that attempts have been made in the past to “institute organizational learning by bringing in agile training and supporting those who desired to attend. The organization was also supportive of individuals pursuing advanced degrees.” First, let’s discuss what a learning organization “is not”. Sending individuals, or teams, or departments to training... Read More»

Freight, The Continuing Saga
By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
Just to finish off the freight article from last month there are a few additional items you should be aware of that could affect your project. To summarize, I talked about the Incoterms Free On Board (FOB), Free Carriage (FCA), and Ex-Works (EXW). These come from Incoterms (the international rules governing freight), and are the most common terms you will be working with. I also explained demurrage and how it can affect your project cost. So , what else do you need to know? Cash Flow Forecasting - EXW Every month you do cash flow forecasting and your method of... Read More»

Project Freight
By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
As a project manager, there are a lot of things you have to be aware of know otherwise you could end up in trouble. One of those things is freight. On all your projects you will be purchasing equipment which will be shipped to your facility. There are several items you have to be aware of and be prepared to change if you perceive a problem. If you look at an equipment quotation or purchase order you will notice two items relating to the shipping. One item is a statement that states how the goods will be shipped. The two... Read More»

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