Ask Your Project Customer the Tough Questions

Here’s a scenario head into very carefully: the project customer who professes to have the project and all the requirements mapped out. Sounds easy? No. Too many times what the customer thinks is the problem is only part of the real need. They may not be ready budget-wise or time-wise for the full solution that they really need, but you can help them uncover the big picture through proper planning so that the current solution is chosen carefully and so that next phases can be handled efficiently rather than feel like they are starting over again. In the long run the customer will save time and money through extra planning now – but you and your experienced project team need to show them that – they often won’t come to that realization on their own. No matter what the customer says they want and how they want it done, at the end of the day if it doesn’t solve their true need it will be your fault. Period. [More]

What the Project Team Brings to the Table

In matrix or professional services organization, the project manager is usually given a staff of project professionals to manage for the duration of the project who can fill the roles needed on the project. They are skilled professionals, ready to execute on the project and deliver a successful solution to the end project client. And to follow you – their leader – into the fire…no matter what. Sound about right? Maybe…but it takes a certain group of individuals and a certain chemistry to make that all happen. [More]

5 Key Challenges Faced by Project Managers

As project managers we are constantly being faced with challenges that threaten the success of our projects and our team’s efforts on those projects. My list is about a mile long but I’ve narrowed it down to five for the purpose of this article. As you read this article, please be considering your own challenges to share and discuss here. [More]

Who are the Stakeholders? – Part 2

In Part 1 of this two-part series, we defined the term stakeholder and we consider key project tie-ins that actually make them stakeholders. Sort of a litmus test for “are you a stakeholder or not?” In this 2nd segment, we’ll discuss what we - as project managers and project team members - need to know about our various stakeholders. [More]