Tag Archives: project manager job description

If You Could Be King/Queen for a Day…

Special Guest Bob Jewell, CEO of Omega Leadership Group

We had a great live audience turnout for the latest episode of “PDU For Lunch” featuring leadership veteran Bob Jewell of Omega Leadership Group.  Did you miss it? No worries, you can view the recording  (and still earn a PDU toward maintaining your PMI certification!)

WATCH THE RECORDING

Bob Jewell polled the audience on a number of interesting points about the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) and challenged the use of some very common terms like “scope” and “critical path.”

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Broadway’s Spider-Man: A Tangled Web of Lessons in Project Management

A project crippled by scope, budget, and time.

The Broadway production of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” has been plagued with significant delays, cost overruns, technical failures, scathing reviews, and most recently, the apparent dismissal of its director, the esteemed Julie Taymor. Those familiar with the Broadway community know Ms. Taymor as the brilliant creative and directorial force behind the smash hit “The Lion King”, as well as numerous other successes of stage and film.

Wondering if I could diagnose the situation from the perspective of project management, I spent a few hours reading articles that piece together a history spanning six years of this massive undertaking. Where did it go wrong? Was there a single point of failure, or a barrage of circumstances that brought this now $65MM (and growing) debacle to its knees? Continue reading

PMP Certification: Project Management’s “Family Feud”

Family FeudThe value and importance of the PMP certification is a hotly debated topic within the project management community.  One end of the spectrum vigorously defends the credential as the defining standard for competence, whereas the other end views it as a meaningless exercise signifying nothing more than rote memorization. Many fall somewhere in the middle, seeing it as a necessary evil that hopefully yields some advantage to their marketability.

Adding fuel to the debate are the results of a research study published in the Project Management Journal, February 2011. “PMP Certification as a Core Competency:  Necessary But Not Sufficient” reports the results of a study conducted by Jo Ann Starkweather and Deborah H. Stevenson of Northwestern University’s Department of Information Systems & Technology. Continue reading

PMI Certification: Is it Worth It?

Is Certification Worth It?

As I speak to audiences about the importance of soft skills and emotional intelligence in project management, inevitably I’m asked my opinion on the value of a  certification from the PMI (Project Management Institute) such as the PMP (Project Management Professional.) This topic is very polarizing in our professional community.  The camps generally divide into :  1) Those who sought the PMP on their own and found it to be an excellent training opportunity; 2) Those who were required by their employer or felt pressured by the job market to obtain it; and, 3) Those who are active resisters or were just never required to get one.

First off, let me state clearly that I do not have a PMI certification. Heresy, you say? Well, the reality is that the PMP certification gained prominence at a time when I was already firmly established in my career. My employers, knowing my skills and track record, never pushed for me to obtain it.

So is there a value in having the PMI certification? My strong answer is… it depends. Let’s look at the requirements and costs, and then I’ll tell you what I really think. Continue reading

The Project Manager as Orator: Top Ten Presentation Tips

Project Management requires a broad range of skills. I joke sometimes that it requires being a “coach, den mother, drill sergeant, teacher, and therapist”—all rolled into one.

In addition to understanding project management methodology and group dynamics, we are often called upon to serve as spokesperson for the team.  We find ourselves standing in front of a room full  of executives explaining the project or requesting funding.  This  adds “orator” to the long list of leadership skills we must command.

Presentation Skills Are Essential

The ability to speak in front of an audience doesn’t come naturally for many of us. It may surprise some to know that I started out twenty years ago absolutely terrified to even introduce myself in a group meeting.  I can attest that training and practice can produce a presenter who actually loves to be on stage. If this is something that doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t be concerned. For most people, it requires training and practice. Continue reading

Q&A with The Project Whisperer, part one

What a thrill and honor it was on December 14th to present a Project Whisperer webinar to 660 attendees! Many thanks to the wonderful team at The Project Management Bookstore for sponsoring this great event.

We spent about 15 minutes on Q&A, and some good questions were emailed afterward. In this Q&A series, I’ll recap questions that were asked during and after the webinar.  My grateful thanks to all who attended and sent in rave reviews. It was truly my pleasure! Stay tuned for announcements of future webinars, which are eligible for PDU credit to maintain PMI certifications.

Q: How do you change the Firefighter approach people take to projects?

A: As with most behavior of teams or individuals, I look for the underlying cause or driver. I define “firefighters” as those types who thrive in situations of great urgency and visibility requiring quick thinking and sometimes heroics. With that said, firefighting is an extremely useful quality when the circumstances truly call for it. Continue reading