Project Practitioners > Margaret de Haan

Margaret de Haan

Margaret de Haan

Margaret de Haan has worked in Project Management for the past 25 years in a wide variety of industries including Advertising, Insurance and Construction, always being technology focused. She has held a variety of management roles throughout her career including Vice President of Project Execution, Technical Project Manager, and most recently, Manager of Application Integration. She is currently working in the Information Technology division of a Medical Devices company in South Florida assisting in the development of the Project Management Division and PM structure within the organization. Prior to that, Margaret spent five years as an independent consultant assisting small and medium size businesses navigate through a number of business challenges, assisting in the setup of Project Management Offices, and providing KPI’s and roadmaps to gauge Project and corporate growth. Margaret is PMP and CSM certified, and has an MBA as well as two undergraduate degrees. She has her hands full at home with her husband and twin boys, and currently lives in South Florida.

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»

Shift Their Mind Paradigm
By Margaret de Haan
I’ve decided that I have become too much of a creature of habit, and so I have decided to start ignoring most of what I know works. I know, it sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking and observing lately, and I’ve come across some interesting perspectives that my brain has spun together. The result looks like something that could have significant value in changing the current process paradigm. Ultimately, if we keep performing things in the same way, based on the scientific method of investigation and learning, how do we deviate away from basic... Read More»

Think Differently About Project "Crunch Time"
By Margaret de Haan
So we have all been the lead on a Project that hit “crunch time” where everyone has borrowed a sleeping bag and planned on camping at the office 24/7 for a few days to make sure that the date is met, right? Well I have been speaking to a number of individuals from different organizations at some of my networking events that I have attended recently, and one of the COO’s that I met came out with a revelation that I feel I just have to share even though it should be considered obvious. In a discussion about the “Go... Read More»

How Should We Measure Success?
By Margaret de Haan
Obviously if you ask any of us the above question, the rote answer is “A Project that is delivered within scope, on time and within budget”. But really, it isn’t that easy, is it? That definition, as with everything, depends on the perspective of what your team and your Project Sponsor defines as "within scope” and “on time”. I have struggled with this since starting out as a Project Manager, and I have found that that possibility of misalignment in the perception of those particular Project components is most likely rooted in the corporate culture, and the level of maturity... Read More»

Project Management and the Art of Confrontation
By Margaret de Haan
I have been brushing up on my negotiation skills to ensure my sanity lately, and came across a fantastic presentation deck about confrontation that I am sure every Project Manager on the planet can benefit from. I have summarized in my own words the highlights below, including some personal thoughts regarding the conclusions and comments made. If you would like to review the entire deck, please access the following link: In terms of background on this “tool”, there are a few different confrontational types of behavior: Aggressive; Non-Assertive & Assertive – the “preferred” method. Assertive behavior involves face-to-face, respectful... Read More»

Do you want to be a Project Ninja?
By Margaret de Haan
I have been reviewing many Job Descriptions that are out there for Project Managers, and I realized the other day that if I was really graded solely on what was written in mine, I would really be failing in the eyes of the company. We are so much more than tasks, dates and Project Plans aren’t we? In many ways I am very lucky, the VP that I report to and I, see many things the same way and are more flexible in terms of allowing team members to bend the rules and do what makes sense, than to follow... 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»

Black Friday the Project Management Way
By Margaret de Haan
Just like approximately 200+ million people each year, I am a Black Friday shopper. It has become a tradition. After the yearly Thanksgiving dinner with friends, a cross section of the women sit down with the flyers from the Thanksgiving edition of the paper, and map out the "plan of attack". This year we had a "Black Friday Virgin" decide to join the experience, and was stunned by the "Project Planning" process that I go through (once it was mentioned, it got everyone torturing me, as I apparently take Project Management to the extreme - is that even possible??). We’re... Read More»

Project Management, Methodologies, and Organizational Maturity
By Margaret de Haan
In my last few positions, I have spent time setting up the Project Management discipline in the organization, and ultimately creating a "PMO" in each . Now, whether you would agree with me or not, I believe that PMO's are created and customized to meet the organization needs at the time that the department and processes are set up, in other words, there are no "cookie cutter" implementations. Looking at each Project Management Office, or function (or even the Methodology that was implemented) was directly linked to what that organization's culture could handle, and what could be implemented successfully. In... Read More»

A Few Tips on Hiring for your PMO
By Margaret de Haan
As usual, it seems that I have been doing a large amount of interviewing lately, looking for that diamond in the rough, that “perfect fit” for the team and the environment. For those of you that are also responsible for staffing your PMO, you know how vicarious the process is, and how you never really know what you’re buying until after you’ve bought it. In some ways it feels as though you’re dating on a timeline, you have two dates with each candidate before you have to make a commitment and walking down the aisle. Sure, divorce is always an... Read More»

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