Be Clear About Your Assumptions

Assumptions: we all make them.  Some times stated. Sometimes implicit. Occasionally, utterly unaware that we made an assumption. They are in all projects and can be found in all project planning decisions. If we don’t make assumptions we can’t plan – uncertainty will get in our way. Read more of this post

Not another meeting!

I see two major problems happen with project meetings: there are too many or there are too few. I know from painful experience how likely either case is to make a project manager unsuccessful. How can we get the balance right?
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Twitter for project managers (4 of 4)

The first 3 parts were about Twitter, it’s conventions and how to find and share information. This final post in the series, Part 4, suggests how to use Twitter for a project

Please add your ideas and comments if you are a #pmot (project manager on Twitter). What works for you?
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Twitter for project managers (3 of 4)

Parts 1 and 2 were about Twitter and it’s conventions, Part 3 suggests how to find useful information and collaborate on Twitter
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Twitter for project managers (2 of 4)

Part 1 was about Twitter, Part 2 is about the habits and traditions Twitter users have.

Twitter was started by some friends who wanted to tell each other what was happening. As others joined, habits and traditions started.
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Twitter for project managers

Another mini series of blogs on a topic for project managers – enjoy the four parter on Twitter

Social Media has grown. Facebook is the communication method of choice for some groups of people. Foursquare tells you where people often are. Some counties or age groups use it a lot, for others it is only common in some sectors. Twitter.com carries the news from the spot as it happens and commentary from conferences and events in just 140 characters.

To get the best from Twitter you need to build a network of contacts to “follow”. These are people or organisations who give you useful information or who you hold online conversations. There are also tools that will tell you what the world or your part of it are posting about (tweeting) by looking at these trending topics, you may discover others who tweet the sorts of things that interest you.

In your main Twitter account settings, you have a choice to make your account private. That means you can choose if you allow others to follow you and see your posts. I am not convinced of the practical use of these. While Twitter has a pretty good record of defending it’s data, nothing you post onto a public site, even behind a privacy wall, is truly private any longer. I compare it to having a changing room in a big store that has salon doors – there is some protection of your modesty but it is not truly private.

Non-participation in project meetings

You have gathered your whole team for a meeting. It is important to get them all in a room from time to time but that is a lot of people. You’ve had to hire a cinema or conference hall.

You want it to be engaging but you don’t seem to have all their attention. You know your presentation skills are OK and that they are interested to hear what you have to say because they asked you to explain this bit. Read more of this post

Communicating with the world

Some projects simply need more publicity than others. With budgets being squeezed what can you do to get the message out?

Social Medial might help but recognise that, like any tool, it has its limitations and risks. A social media trend (in old media it might have been called a buzz) can be created by more than one person posting contributions about a particular key word. That means like every other part of your project, you’ll need to plan and co-ordinate the work. Read more of this post

Tools for communication within the team

Some years ago, I tried something with a project team that could never be in the office at the same time. 

Each lunchtime, I’d check my notes of the last day or so and make notes about the decisions made and events of the day.  I had just learnt html (the first time round) and this daily log became a web page on our server.  It was a way of making sure people knew what was happening across time zones and work patterns.  It worked but I began to feel frustrated that it was only my voice.  Read more of this post

Communicate through the storm

If economists are to be believed, the economic recovery has had a hiccup because of a lack of confidence in the markets. Businesses are valuing reserves over investment and the economy has slowed because of that.  I’m told that if businesses change their outlook, entrepreneurial values could drive economic growth and success.

If the economy is based on values and confidence, how much of our project success is down to confidence and commitment? Read more of this post