Summer Hours Are Bad for Businesses and Workers | Fox Small Business Center


Summer Hours Are Bad for Businesses and Workers | Fox Small Business Center

And the EXCEPTION was –telecomuting! By the Way, for those that care—it is also in general a greener option. Management really needs to learn to embrace this comcept, and not just for Summer. many jobs can be done totally by telecomuting, others can be done with very limited time in the office.

By denisebevard

PMP Certification…

I have seen a lot of discussion lately on whether or not PMP verification from PMI is worthwhile. Well, that depends. For full disclosure–no I do not have PMP certification..yet.  Yes I plan to. Not that I think it will give me any new or unique skill(s);I have been managing projects for over 20 years. I do have four Project Manager Certifications from other sources –but PMI certification makes some companies feel better.

It seems to many (I have yet to decide) that it proves you can spend money to get a membership, study materials and take a test on one certain way to manage projects. All companies have a certain way they want  projects managed –until the next new (or recycled) way comes around. Curious to hear what other may have to say–opinions on all sides welcome.

Do you think PMI PMP certification is worth it? Why or why not–or why maybe? Just curious.



Information Hoarders. How do you deal with them?

You know –the peeps that never tell you everything, they hold certain pieces of information from you or others—consistently. Do you or your management style make these people feel insignificant? Does the company culture make them feel insignificant or even worse threatened?

So the question is; how do we respond to people need and still meet business objectives? They are not mutually exclusive. There are many a seminars on this topic; one of THE best is “The Human Factor in Project Management”, by Kevin Ciccotti, CPPC, ACC, Cutting Edge Coaching and Consulting. There are also a plethora of books; my favorites include “The Speed of Trust” by Stephen Covey, “Tribal Leadership” by Dave Logan, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. Seth Godin’s books are good too. And for the record, I do not recommend seminars I’ve not attended or books I’ve not read.

The point is, you as a project manager (leader), must find a way to deal with these people in order for your projects to run smoothly.  As Covey puts it in his book “The ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust with all stakeholders—customers, business partners, investors and co-workers—is the key leadership competency of the new global economy.”  Trust can be created, it can also be destroyed. Once destroyed it is hard to regain.  As Albert Einstein put it “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”

Trust requires Integrity, their intent and behavior are congruous. It also requires humility. Why humility? A humble person is about doing right, not being right in the eyes of others. A humble person is about embracing the truth, building the team not building oneself on the back of the team, about recognizing others and their contribution, not claiming their team contributions as one’s own.

Trust also requires courage. Courage to do the right thing, even when it is hard. So are you doing enough? Make sure to ask yourself good honest questions, give your trust. Trust like respect must be given to be received and both must always be earned. In a true trust built relationship, there is no information hoarding.

Opportunity-Switched on Management and Switched on Selling

Are being offered through the University of Nevada, Reno, Extended Studies at the Redfield Campus. There are not many seats left open, so if you are in Reno or can be in Reno April 24th-26th then check it out! You’ll be sorry if you miss it–it’s a one time only opportunity!

The Human Factor in Project Management…

The Human Factor Project Management…

Actually is a WONDERFUL class by Kevin Ciccotti, CPCC, ACC that I recently attended through the University of Nevada, Reno Extended Studies Program at their very nice Redfield Campus. I highly recommend this course for any project manager, no matter how seasoned you may be.

It has been a week now since I have finished the course and I am still finding value in my notes and the class materials as I review them. I have been doing project management for 20+ years, and have taken just about every personality, team building,  HR touchy feely class given for managers and non-managers. NONE have been as effective as this one.

You will have a much better approach for how to respond to people’s needs and still meet objectives, and truly understand that they are indeed not mutually exclusive. You will learn if you are truly fit to lead, and if not what you need to work on to get there and stay there.

You will not stay there without understanding what you really know about your emotions, where they come from and how to utilize them on a consistent basis. You will learn to recognize when you are being tempted to go for the short-term easily obtainable instead of the long-term sustainable, and change course effectively without sending your team into change panic.

It will make you a better project manger, and we all have room to imporve. To be the best we can be.

Know your audience

How many times have you been told that? How many times have you really known your audience—especially for that first meeting; especially if you are taking over a project mid-term, or worse, a failing project?

The key is to really know what your presentation needs to convey. What you need to share and the information you need to gather, and then being adaptable. You as the project manager must be agile and able to quickly read personalities, watch for hidden agendas, and read between the lines.

You also need to be a good speaker. Nothing turns people’s ears off faster than a string of um’s, you knows, so….and any other number of filler words/sounds. Or someone like that monotone professor, we’ve almost all had one, that can put even the most caffeinated person to sleep no matter the content.

If you have this issue, get thee to Toastmasters post haste—it is the best investment you will ever make.

Communication is key, first impressions count, so do everything you can to make it your best.

Project management—not just for work

Some people do not understand project management is not just an at-work activity. I use project management techniques for my quitting all the time. Why? Because quilting, from design to the actual quilting, takes time. Things have to be done in order; there is a budget, and usually a time constraint.  Sometimes there are material constraints and size constraints.

For those unfamiliar with quilting; the projects I am working on now are a class sampler, 3 challenge quilting projects, a birthday project for my granddaughter, and a new flannel quilt for my family.

The class sampler quilt has a time constraint, in that it has to be done before the class listing is published by the store I am teaching the class at publishes. Most people don’t sign up for classes if they can’t see what the finished result will be. It also has a budget constraint, the more it costs me to make the less income I have from teaching the class. It has a quality constraint, store owners and class takers look for quality. There are usually material constraints, store owners want their patterns and fabrics in the sampler…it is a symbiotic relationship. Challenge quilts, have time constraints, size constraints (normally), material constraints most of the time—they provide fabrics that you must use, quality constraints, rework, etc. You get the idea.

Then there is work (you know—that thing that pays the bills), family time, unexpected issues (risks) like bad weather that knocks out the power, illness, family drama, work drama. Oh, there is cooking and cleaning…but managed properly, it can all get done, on time, in budget, with good quality and within the proper constraints.

I begin making Christmas presents the 1st of June….

I blog about quilting at: Fiddlesticks and Humility

Risk-those pesky potential problems

As defined by PMBOK”…an uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on a project’s objective.”

As PM’s we manage risk by spending  time identifying, analyzing, planning response/mitigation plans, tracking,  controlling and communicating about project risks.  We even look at Secondary and Residual risks.

Post mortems or lesson learned activities after a project often lament risks that occur, the negative impacts they’ve had….but many seem to forget that  POSITIVE  risks need to be reviewed as well—and sometimes they need to be celebrated, not just treated as “expected” results because they were positive.

How do you recognize positive risks?

Disaster Preparedness

Part of risk mitigation should include disaster preparedness and or recovery discussions. Does your company have a plan/plans? Is your team local or virtual? Do you know all the contingencies?

For example, teams in California, Alaska and Hawaii (the 3 most seismically active states) have a different set of disaster needs/plans that those who live in hurricane or typhoon locals.  How about those in tornado country, wild fires prone areas, tsunami areas, or airport take-off or landing approaches (the most likely areas for plane crashes)? Do you have team members in South America or Africa that have war or guerilla insurgency activities about them?

When disasters strike; not everyone stays calm, even if they have well rehearsed disaster plans. Employees, beyond the immediate issues of their own health and those closest to them at the time of an occurrence, soon shift focus to their families. Do you have remote team members who will need assistance…do you know? It is worth discussing with you team. There may be hidden risks you are unaware of. If you can help them, you reduce your/company risk, while being a pretty decent human being. Business is (or at least should be in my opinion) all about people, and our relationships with them.

And then there is the disaster recovery.  Are you sure everything is being backed up? Can you retrieve it? Can other team members retrieve it? What happens if …. You need to ask the questions and rate the risk accordingly.

Project Risk

You know–Murphy’s Law and the chance of certain occurrences’ adversely affecting the project [phrase memorized by numerous PM training certification classes]. Everyone identifies these in the planning of their project, right? Well, they should.

However, all too often some never revisit their risks and end up with horribly derailed projects. Risks are not look once, log and move on things. They live and change with your project and need to be re-evaluated to ensure that the contingency plans that were made are still relevant and provide the necessary contingency.

One of the most critical times is during change activities. In the blur of the hurry to integrate the change, don’t forget to re-access the risk and the contingency plan(s).