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Being a world-class project manager - Part 2 - the hidden traits that matter
By Cinda Voegtli
In my previous post on this subject, I started by giving an overview of the book The World Class Project Manager - a Professional Development Guide. I believe this book approaches the subject of our development in a valuable way. It acknowledges the multi-faceted landscape of being a PM - including possible variations of PM role and types of projects we may manage, along with the typical lists of skills and abilities you find in books about being a great project manager. But it also goes further than some in its treatment of many PM attributes and focus areas that... Read More»

How do you become a world-class manager of projects?
By Cinda Voegtli
In The World Class Project Manager – A Professional Development Guide, Robert Wysocki, James Lewis, and Doug DeCarlo provide a very useful background on the role and career of "project manager" - and what we need to know and be able to do in order to be truly world-class at it. I love this book because it covers career-critical subjects in a meaty and real-world way while staying easy-to-read and easy-to-reference later. It's not new - but it’s still one I keep handy on my bookshelf because much of the advice is timeless. I believe it has a lot of... Read More»

Being the PM they want: What *executives* think our 2015 goals should be
By Cinda Voegtli
So here we are - the start of a brand new year - and, very possibly, already drowning in everything we need to get done. Let's hold on a sec! Before those task lists take over all our time, here is my New Year's wish for all of us: A little thinking time about what is MOST important for each of us to do and achieve -- to be maximally effective; to be maximally valued; and to ultimately have the best possible options for our careers. Those who have followed me for a while or attended any of my classes... Read More»

The Lifeguard Analogy, Mindfulness, and the Project Manager
By Alan Zucker
Lifeguards are taught to only go into the water as a last resort. Going into the water puts both the lifeguard and the victim at risk. The phrase, "reach, throw, row, and go" is drilled into trainees to break the natural impulse to immediately jump into the water. Like lifeguards, project managers have a bias to action, but we are not always trained to assess a situation before jumping in. While PMs do not face the same life or death decisions, there are project and reputational risks to be considered. Once, a very excited manager called me. “We needed to... Read More»


By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B
Why Do We Do It? As project managers we are responsible for delivering an operating asset, new piece of equipment, new software program, etc. Most companies have the codes, procedures and processes in place. But it takes more than that to get the project done. When we start a project, it is usually just a concept. To get from this concept to the finish, there are the procedures, methods, and tools. However, there is more to project management than these. I was always considered as one who got things done, so from my experience, project management also involves: Being creative.... Read More»

Owning the Issue—A Profile in Courage
By Alan Zucker
At the weekly executive operational review meeting, the atmosphere was tense. We were having issues with the order processing systems and the sales reps were unable to install and fulfill the orders for the new product line. A raspy voice from the row of people sitting behind the conference table said, “It’s all fouled up. We are working on the issue. I will have a an update later in the day.” I was stunned. Who said that? It was the technology VP, Mike Callahan. Mike was honest, direct, and was not afraid to be accountable. At the weekly executive review,... 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»

Developing Confident Leaders
By Ann Drinkwater
In knowledge work, there is no line manager. Knowledge work involves professionals. Professionals are paid to solve problems and get results. Regardless of position, we are obligated to take ownership for our work and our personal development. Working for yourself, working for a startup, having an entrepreneurial drive and determination are helpful to understanding what professionals do, but there are other ways a person can acquire this level of understanding and accountability. There are no excuses in business. So how does a person go from being uncertain and needing significant guidance and oversight to being able to confidently handle all... Read More»

Startup Rewards
By Ann Drinkwater
Imagine you no longer have access to your vast array of team members and skills. You walk into work and are now individually responsible for marketing, selling, managing, testing, delivering and supporting your projects. While this may seem like a bit of a nightmare, this is a reality I believe everyone should experience first hand. I’m not talking about surviving a downsizing, but that would also be an opportunity for this type of growth. I am mostly referring to working for a start up organization. In a startup, you wear many hats and are required to be passionate, focused and... Read More»

What Really Is A Project Manager?
By Margaret de Haan
The longer I work in some form of a Project related role within any organization, the more I realize that the skills required to manage a Project to a successful outcome requires so much more than is encompassed in the PMBOK. I have also found that there are many Project Managers that don’t share that philosophy, insisting to stay “inside the lines” of what is outlined in the PMBOK – a “that’s not part of a PM’s job” mentality. I have seen again and again that ideal increasing risk, reducing the quality of deliverables, and costing money. The big one... Read More»




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