Project Practitioners > Cinda Voegtli

Cinda Voegtli

Cinda Voegtli

Cinda Voegtli is Founder and CEO of the ProjectConnections.com service providing practical online resources and support to over 250,000 project managers, functional managers, and team members around the world. She has over 20 years of experience in companies of different sizes and radically different project environments, with titles ranging from developer to vice president. She started her career as a hardware and firmware engineer, moved into technical group leader roles, and then became Director of Hardware Engineering at a start-up. Cinda found herself unwittingly falling into (untitled) project management as she managed large releases there, and after the company was acquired made the official leap and managed release programs in 3 different product divisions. Since then she has worn many hats - including contract project manager, interim department manager, project and development process consultant, functional executive, company founder, and executive project sponsor - experiencing the myriad light and dark corners of the business-driven project universe, and still relishing and enjoying all the rewards and challenges.

Over time Cinda has worked on different types of projects to develop products, services, and systems, for areas including communications, medical, IT, factory automation, computer games, construction, and biotech. From all these years of projects she has developed a big passion for making “management stuff” practical, effective, so that we can all enjoy our jobs day-to-day as we work hard to get it all done. Her particular areas of interest are helping get boring, static project methodologies into dynamic, situation-specific use; achieving business-savvy and amazingly synchronized cross-functional teams; and bringing together the critical skills, attitudes, and experience that result in truly great project managers.


High-Altitude Leadership - A highly-recommended book
By Cinda Voegtli
(I'm moving this previous post from a private blog to here to make it easily available to everyone. And I still love the book!) The angle this book takes on leadership -- lessons from high-altitude, highly dangerous mountain climbs, results in a fun, interesting read. And I found those lessons to be very concrete and thought-provoking -- and with good coverage of organizational AND project issues, which I have not often seen in leadership books. The full title is High Altitude Leadership: What the World's Most Forbidding Peaks Teach Us About Success. One of the authors is an experienced mountain... Read More»

Why no one wants to identify risks
By Cinda Voegtli
Interesting factoid from a recent Risk Management class I taught inside a large, established company: When we discussed why this company is so large, with establisehd processes in other areas, yet not doing project risk management (and in a complex, risky, regulated industry to boot), here is what emerged: Risk identification is not being done consistently or thoroughly on our projects, because our executives see discussion of risk as "Focusing on failure", "denigrating our own capabilities, because it implies we can't do things without making mistakes, or we are not good enough to naturally overcome difficulties" and "if you bring... Read More»

Don't understand them? Don't even like them? Too bad!
By Cinda Voegtli
What makes working on projects hard is, all too often, working with the dratted people! :-) As we start work this week ---- who are we dreading working with? Who are we mentally already bracing to interact with? Who have we not communicated with for a while, just because our styles are so different that it's easier to stay away? Put like this, such issues might even sound a little childish if admitted out loud. Yet it's just human nature. But it's also dangerous. If we really believe that communication and collaboration are key to project success and to the... Read More»

For grumpy, overworked times...
By Cinda Voegtli
Something i like to remind myself of when extreme grumpiness hits - which it does sometimes, because there IS usually an insane amount of stuff to get done, sprinkled with pesky issues, conflicts, changes ... :-) Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same... Francesca Reigler. Cinda Read More»

Personal productivity (and stress reduction!) - minute details that can make all the difference
By Cinda Voegtli
When things-to-do are coming at us from all directions, and seemingly nothing is under our control, I've found there ARE some factors I can control - and I am more productive and less stressed when I regularly manage to do so. The key for me has been knowing what disrupts my best thinking and what stresses me out; determining strategies for avoiding or mitigating those things; and then sticking to my resolve to do so. In a nutshell -- I have have gotten really clear with myself about my own personal rhythms and acknowledged them as important to my emotional... Read More»

Being our Best - New Insights on Changing Sub-Optimal Habits at Work and Beyond Habits.
By Cinda Voegtli
HABITS. Good ones and bad ones - I imagine we all have some of both. Some manifest at work; some at home; some in both settings. Our personal habits determine whether we are effective at what we do and achieve the results we want – or not. I want to recommend a great book that has given me some new tools for being my most effective self in both venues -- and also prompted some unexpected insights about dealing with certain habits (ours, and those of team members) that can cause aggravation and other issues on our projects. The book... Read More»

Thought for a Friday - effective support that we too often ignore
By Cinda Voegtli
I guess my life would be a lot easier if I didn't continue to insist on taking on new challenges! Not much in my current project life seems easy :-). And of course, challenges hit us as managers and team members, all the time. So WHY, oh WHY, don't we (me included) all make better use of a particular form of just-in-time support? Let me explain what I mean, and why I'm writing about this today. I just had, literally 15 minutes ago, one of most rewarding "mom" experiences you could ask for. Out of the blue, middle of the... Read More»

The high project return on piddle-mode thinking and leisurely learning
By Cinda Voegtli
I woke up one morning a couple of weeks ago and went into a bad mood immediately. My brain went right back to the gnarly work problem I had been thinking about the night before. Big decisions looming. Complex options, no clear path yet. Why did this put me in a bad mood? Problem-solving is part of our jobs! I didn't figure it out until later that morning - and what I learned is the subject of this blog - because I think it matters for our sanity and our project problem-solving. On this particular morning I went from barely... Read More»

Why I am more afraid of too-much project management than not-enough
By Cinda Voegtli
I maintain that too much project management (or in some cases, simply the perception of too much) can be almost as harmful as not-enough. How can I say that? After all, the results of not-enough are obvious, and well-documented in nasty project failure statistics, and well-understood by many of us from ghastly personal experiences. In my opinion, the dangers of truly-too-much and perceived-too-much must be dealt with proactively! And we as PMs must be aware of how our tools are being used and perceived, shoulder responsibility for adapting and selling our toolkit to those whose time we are affecting, and... Read More»

Stop worrying about "responsibility with no authority" - what's your influence factor as a project manager?
By Cinda Voegtli
I personally don't buy that there is a big issue with managing projects with responsibility but no authority - at least the kind of authority that comes from having people directly report to you as a "line manager." (If I have already gotten your back up with this statement, I do hope you'll keep reading, then go comment below - I think this is a very important topic for us all to explore!) I have managed on both sides and can unequivocally state that having "direct report authority" over someone does not automatically mean they do what you want! Whatever... Read More»




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