Loyal readers of Project Management Hacks will notice that I have gone a few weeks without publishing a new article. Well, I’m back! Even better, I have a great new resource ready for you:
New Free Resource: How To Build An Effective Relationship With Your Project Sponsor
A strong relationship with your project sponsor can improve your project’s prospects (and your career). That’s why I wrote the “How To Build An Effective Relationship With Your Project Sponsor” report. To get the report, go here.
Now, in the spirit of year end reviews, this post gives you an easy to read guide to my writing on leadership, skills development and more for project managers. This is a great resource for you to come back to over and over again.
Leadership For Project Management
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
According to author John C. Maxwell, leadership is influence. Leadership was a major focus of my writing this year. Leadership skills are important for project managers in several situations. For professionals managing a program or portfolio of projects, you cannot directly achieve results – you must work through your team by setting priorities and supporting your team.
Through 2014, I published nineteen leadership articles exploring this important area across the Web. For your convenience, here are links to the articles:
- Lead Like Winston Churchill. Leadership Thoughts.
- How To Improve Project Team Creativity. Project Management Tips.
- The Biggest Mistake NEW Leaders Make. Let’s Grow Leaders.
- 4 Projects To Improve Productivity. Pick The Brain.
- How Great Leaders Grow By Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. Leadership Thoughts.
- 10 Tips For Making Better Project Decisions. Liquid Planner.
- How To Connect With Your Project Sponsor. The Program Manager’s Blog.
- Why Your Project Needs Momentum. Project Times
- Are You A Pawn Or A Strategist: Keys To Project Leadership. Project Manage.
- How Quests Transform Your Leadership — An Interview with Chris Guillebeau. Leadership Thoughts.
- Who’s Influencing Your Leadership?. Let’s Grow Leaders.
- Growth vs. risk: How CIOs can determine their firm’s comfort zone. IT World Canada (Special Feature From Canadian CIO Magazine)
- Growth vs. risk: Maintaining the core in your IT organization. IT World Canada (Special Feature From Canadian CIO Magazine)
- Growth vs. risk: How smart CIOs strike the balance. IT World Canada (Special Feature From Canadian CIO Magazine)
- What The Most Successful IT Project Managers Know About Sponsors. Project Manager Today Magazine
- Developing Talent: The Next Frontier for Project Managers. ProjectManagement.com
- Four Ways To Improve Your Leadership Skills. iMindQ Blog
- How To Achieve Project Success With Executive Support: 5 Best Practices. Better Projects
Networking for Project Managers: Favors Are The Acid Test
Sometimes, idealistic people are put off the whole business of networking as something tainted by flattery and the pursuit of selfish advantage. But virtue in obscurity is rewarded only in Heaven. To succeed in this world you have to be known to people. – Sonia Sotomayor
A strong network is an essential asset for successful project managers. In my view, a strong network is much more than a Rolodex, email list or number of LinkedIn connections. A valuable network is made up of people who trust each other, trade information and favours. Ask yourself who you can call for advice (or help with a job search!) on professional matters – those are the important people in your network. Even more important, ask yourself what you can do to help people in your network.
Tip: For a strong introduction to networking, I recommend the book “Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time” by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz. It is one of my favourite business books.
In my view, project managers need to build and sustain two kinds of networks. First, you need a network at your current organization, especially if you are based at a large firm where staff are scattered among many locations and departments. Second, you also need to know people outside your company – that includes people you know through professional associations, alumni organizations, friends, family and more.
Here are the four articles I published on networking across the Internet in 2014:
Note: the first article listed in this section is all about Bobby Umar’s new Kindle book on networking. Bobby is one of the most successful people I know in the area of building networks and relationships.
- What The Most Successful People Know About Networking. Pick The Brain
- How to Build Your Internal Network for Project Managers. How to Manage a Camel.
- How Project Managers Succeed At Conferences Without Going Crazy. Ah-Ha Moments.
- How to build your project management network. A Girl’s Guide To Project Management
Career Advice For Project Managers
Project management is a booming profession! Given the combination of excellent combination and the potential to make an excellent impact, more and more people are entering project management. Unfortunately, it is challenging to know where to start. Many successful project managers I know start their careers in a different field. For example, IT project managers often start their careers as software developers or consultants.
Whether you are seeking to “move up” into project management or simply curious about the field, these three articles will help you to get started.
- The Starter Project: Where New Project Professionals Get Their Start. Project Manage.
- How to Break into Project Management. Guerrilla Project Management
- Entering The Project Management Field: A 7 Step Plan. PMJobs.CA
- The Project Management Job Market: Perspectives from a Recruiter’s Desk, Wendy Kennah. PMJobs.ca
- LE MARCHÉ DE L’EMPLOI DANS LA GESTION DE PROJET : PERSPECTIVES DE WENDY KENNAH, RECRUTEUR. PMJobs.ca
Professional Development For Project Managers
What comes to mind when you read the phrase “professional development”? Do you think about fulfilling the Project Management Institute’s “professional development unit” (PDUs) requirement? Or do you think about your organization’s training plan? Both of those points are only part of the puzzle.
Professional development makes your career more lucrative and more interesting. In some cases, professional development activities – such as attending conferences – can also boost your network.
Here are links to the articles I published in 2014 on the topic of professional development:
- 10 Ways You Can Grow Your Skills With (Non-Fiction!) Book Clubs. Inspiyr.
- The Depths of Discipline. Projects At Work.
- How Successful Project Managers Manage Scarcity. Better Projects.
- 7 Business Analyst Lessons from The Godfather. Business Analyst Times.
- Why Project Brainstorming Is Broken and How To Fix It. Project Times.
- How to Prevent Project Failure with Pre-Mortems. Virtual Project Consulting.
- 4 Ways To Refresh Your PM Career In One Hour. PM Student.
- 7 Ways To Develop Your Project Management Skills. PM Perspectives Blog.
- How To Earn Project Management PDUs Through iTunesU. PDU Insider
- How to Develop Your PM Continuing Education Strategy. ProjectManagement.com
- Are You Building Professional Assets as a Project Manager?. CAI’s Accelerating IT Success
Professional Skills for Project Managers
Invest three percent of your income in yourself in order to guarantee your future. Brian Tracy
As anyone who has studied the PMBOK Guide knows, “tools and techniques” are vital in accomplishing project work. In contrast to professional development, I view skills development as a more narrowly defined area. In a way, you can view skills as habits or computer programs – a set of activities that you can use to achieve predictable results.
Whether you need to manage vendors or respond to project conflict, my articles on professional skills for project managers will get you started on the right direction.
- Eliminate Unproductive Project Management Email by Phone. ExamsPM.
- Back To The Future: Two Ways To Develop Better Future State Skills. Business Analyst Times.
- How to Prevent Project Failure in 2014. Better Projects.
- Working through project conflict. The Learning People UK
- Four Keys to Successful Project Vendor Management. PM Hut
- The Christmas Rule for Project Planning. Project Times
- 11 Ways to Manage Project Conflict. Liquid Planner
- Reports, Metrics and Data: Are You Producing Value or ‘Overhead?’. CAI’s Accelerating IT Success
Technology Trends for Project Managers
“I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.” – Isaac Asimov
Project managers are known for their success in putting technology into practice. There are several approaches to increasing your results with technology. Increasing your output from existing technology (e.g. learning to use advanced formulas and programming in Microsoft Excel) is a low risk approach. On the other hand, adopting newer technologies such as cloud services has the potential to significantly reduce your organization’s expenses while increasing results.
Here are links to articles I wrote on technology in 2014, covering everything from innovation, technology trends to security. I’m also happy to report that I won several awards from IT World Canada for blogging in 2014.
- How to Use BuzzSumo To Find Influencers. Blogging Bistro.
- Two Projects To Improve IT Security Without Using Software. IT World Canada.
- How Canadian organizations use the Internet of Things. IT World Canada.
- Cloud services deliver cost savings, flexibility to Canadian companies. IT World Canada.
- Better Flights and Light Bulbs: 2 Case Studies from the Front Lines of Innovation. CIO.com
- Four Technology Predictions for 2015. IT World Canada
For the comments:
What skills and capabilities are you going to develop in the new year? What is your plan to develop those capabilities?