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Project Practitioners > Cinda Voegtli

Cinda Voegtli

Cinda Voegtli

Cinda Voegtli is Founder and CEO of the 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.

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»

How the performance and commitment you get result from what you "expect"
By Cinda Voegtli
I sat facing the new VP, waiting for our meeting to start - and wondering whether I was about to get fired from my Director of Engineering role Either that, or I was about to get lectured, hammered, chided, and/or warned, for not being an experienced enough manager to suit him. After all, he had just been brought in to replace the founder of our start-up ("time to have some professional management now that the big company has bought you guys") and I was in my late 20s and even younger and less management-experienced than the founder. I was expecting... Read More»

The mighty and destructive power of forgotten stakeholders
By Cinda Voegtli
Project Lessons from a Hurricane - Part 4 This blog is an ode to the undetected project stakeholder who might just blow up your project when you least expect it. I know because it happened to me. Here's the story, what I learned, and what I'm doing now at work to make sure it doesn't happen again. Last year I wrote about various project lessons learned from my parents' experience with Hurricane Gustav - two properties severely damaged and all the resulting work to recover. I learned a painful project lesson just when I thought all my work helping them... Read More»

Project management "rules" that actually provide freedom
By Cinda Voegtli
I "grew up" in management distrusting rules, mechanics, and paperwork. Not rejecting them outright, just viewing them with healthy skepticism and always judging what I think really works, really matters. I guess I have this attitude because I think the world of projects and people is too messy to be consistently governed or handled by anything that seems rigid or one-size-fits-all. Anything labeled "things we have to do no matter what". Anything labeled "the way we have to do it no matter what." So the word "rule" naturally always tended to put me off. However, a few years ago a... Read More»

Let's start them young! (Great PMs and team members)
By Cinda Voegtli
Quick post on a gratifying PM education moment this week. One thing I've found fun about having a kid is the opportunity to teach some important lessons way before they hit the real work world. This week I needed to do a quick sewing project for my daughter's class. As usual, by the time we got around to it, time was short and we were having trouble figuring out when to do it - a time that both of us could be available to collaborate all the way through. It didn't happen. So, I ended up doing it very early... Read More»

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