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Project Assistants

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Agile Webinar Set for February 26th

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Agile methodologies have been hyped as the silver bullet for IT delivery solutions as it builds its track record for success in the world of increasingly customer-focused deliveries. But Agile is often seen as incompatible with project management. Traditional project management prescribes a defined budget, deadline, and scope starting points, whereas agile encourages a non-prescriptive, amendable approach to getting to an endpoint. But the two can, in fact, be brought together in a usable way.

On Wednesday, February 26th, Project Assistants’ first installment of the 2014 Webinar Series will address this issue in Taming the Beast: Bringing Project Management and Agile to a Peaceful Coexistence Methodologies. (more…)

Posted in Events, General Project Management, Theory | Tagged , , , , , ,

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Leadership Is Taken, Not Given – Part 3: Execution and Closeout

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In our last post, we introduced the concept of Defining Moments for projects and their leaders. Unlike in life, they are predictable–they arise at certain points, or “hotspots,” of projects.

We’ve already covered the hotspots pertaining to planning, but as the ancient saying goes, “A mediocre strategy well executed is better than a great strategy poorly executed.” As such, this post will demonstrate effective leadership during the Execution and Closeout phases of a project. (more…)

Posted in General Project Management, Project Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

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Leadership Is Taken, Not Given – Part 2: Defining Moments for Projects

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In life, there are moments that define people. As we discussed in Part 1, Al Haig’s defining moment was when he took the podium and said, “I am in control here.” When one hears the name Al Haig, they think of that event and frame their evaluation of him as Secretary of State around it.

As project managers, we have defining moments, too. Fortunately, though, projects differ from life in that there are predictable points where these defining moments will arise. If we prepare for the four hotspots appropriately, we can avoid many of the pitfalls and lead our projects to success.

This week, we will cover the defining moments on the planning side. Next week, we will cover the defining moments on the execution side. (more…)

Posted in General Project Management, Project Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

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View from the Top: 2013 Trends and 2014 Outlooks

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Project Assistants CEO Gus Cicala will write semi-monthly contributions for the blog that provide his view of what is going on in the world of project management and what it might mean for your organization.

January is an excellent opportunity to reflect on the realities of the past year and plan to apply those lessons to the upcoming year.  And 2014 looks to be a transitionary year.  With the dizzying rate of change in this IT age, we can no longer track business culture in terms of generations or even decades, but half decades.  As such, 2014 marks the last year of the first half of the 2010s, and in many ways, it will usher in the next era.

So let’s take this opportunity to look at several of the biggest trends of 2013 and determine what it will mean for project management moving forward.

2013 Trend: The global economy has seen an uptick, returning us a bit closer to the mean. (more…)

Posted in Current Events, General Project Management, Technology, View from the Top | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

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Leadership Is Taken, Not Given – Part 1: Doing the Al Haig Thing

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Project managers face a paradox. The ultimate responsibility of project success falls on us, so clearly we are the leaders. Yet, the matrix structure of organizations leaves us with very little tangible power—we can’t lead through traditional leverage (eg: hiring and firing) and, since we’re not in direct, day-to-day interaction with the project, we can’t even lead by example.

As easy as it is to get caught up in the hard skills that directly relate to our job description—making project documents, setting schedules, using project management technology, etc—this isn’t what separates the effective from the ineffective. (more…)

Posted in General Project Management, Project Leadership | Tagged , , , ,

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