The Message Is Clear

Emails can be sent across the world in a matter of seconds but that doesn’t mean effective messages take no time at all. To deliver results with offshore team members, project managers must do more than just be culturally savvy. They must actively work at understanding how their own background influences their methods and behavior.

Keeping Stakeholder Relationships On Course

Managing stakeholder expectations can feel like steering a boat through rough seas. The “seascape” surrounding your project is constantly changing. The project is moving full steam ahead under its own power. Corporate politics blow from different directions with varying intensity. Resource availability may buoy the project up or cause it to crash on the rocks. [...]

2017-08-11T22:09:48+00:00 3 November, 2009|Tags: , , , |

Keeping Stakeholder Relationships On Course, Part 2

Part 1 of this article introduced a process for identifying stakeholders, analyzing their impact on the project and setting a strategy for each stakeholder group. Here I will discuss how to plan communication actions to influence stakeholders. Plan Communication Actions Once you have set a strategy for each stakeholder group, you need to identify communication actions [...]

2017-08-14T15:14:06+00:00 3 November, 2009|Tags: , , , |

Mental Simulations and Other Ways to Make Better Decisions

If asked how you make decisions, you might say it depends on the kind of decision and how quickly you need to decide. Do you follow a formalized process or framework for making decisions? Probably not. Although many of us are familiar with the classic decision-making process of understanding the problem, identifying and evaluating alternatives, [...]

2017-08-22T18:17:53+00:00 1 July, 2009|Tags: , , , |

Learning to Have a Difficult Conversation

Tom Truly is project manager on a project that has recently missed a deadline and lost a key customer. Sarah, the project sponsor, has called a meeting to discuss progress. Sarah has been under pressure from senior management to "fix" the high-visibility project. She is angry that Tom didn't inform her in advance about the [...]

2017-08-25T15:44:36+00:00 2 March, 2009|Tags: , , , , |

How to Interview Stakeholders, Part 2

In the first part of this series I explored what makes a good stakeholder interview in general. In this article, I will write about how to use open questions, sketches and thinking out loud during stakeholder interviews. These techniques from the fields of usability and user experience can make interviews with project stakeholders more effective. Let's [...]

2017-08-25T15:50:43+00:00 27 February, 2009|Tags: , , , , , |

How to Interview Stakeholders, Part 1

Journalists are experts at interviewing people. However, we can all benefit from better interview techniques. A good interview helps us understand expectations, gain insights and win people for our cause. For project managers, interviewing is an important technique for clarifying stakeholder requirements. Software developers should read Scott Ambler's essay on interviewing techniques for Agile Modeling. [...]

2017-08-25T16:49:45+00:00 1 February, 2009|Tags: , , , |

New Years Resolutions for Project Managers

Most of us make resolutions for the new year. And almost as many of us break them. "Research shows that about 80 percent of people who make resolutions on Jan. 1 fall off the wagon by Valentine's Day," says Marti Hope Gonzales, associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota, according to the New [...]

2017-08-25T16:05:48+00:00 5 January, 2009|Tags: , |