Have you ever been working on something and needed your manager to make a decision? You ask them. And then chase them. And chase again.
Without an answer, you can’t move forward because you don’t know what course of action is best – or what they would want you to do. So the task stalls, and in the worst cases, doesn’t pick up again.
This is a real problem for lots of people at work, and there are four main reasons why it takes so long to get a decision. When you understand these, you can work around them and help your manager get what they need so that you can get your answer and everyone can get back to work.
Does your project have clear objectives? I hope so: these should be written into the business case and Project Charter. Having objectives is crucial to knowing what it is you are trying to achieve and whether you are on track to get there or not.
You don’t have to have the job title of ‘Project Manager’ to find yourself working on a project these days. Lots of people have responsibility for initiatives, big and small, that are essentially projects. You have to clarify your objectives for...
Ask a project manager what’s going on with their project and they will probably pull up a Gantt chart to show you.
A Gantt chart (named after Henry Gantt who introduced the idea) is made up of horizontal bars visually representing task durations. The longer the task, the longer the bar. The dates are at the top so you can quickly see when work is due to happen.
There is nothing inherently wrong with Gantt charts. They are well-used and loved by many, they show the big picture for a project and they are visual so they work well for people at all levels.
Whether you’re managing a multi-million dollar project or planning out what needs to be done for a visit during the holidays, the chances are you work with task lists. Whether you call them To Do lists, activity lists or something else, you’re probably familiar with using them at work and in your personal life.
Flexible working, off-shore resources and virtual teams mean that today’s managers spend more time not sitting with their team members than with them.
There’s a degree of trust involved when you can’t see what your virtual colleagues are doing. Are they prioritizing the right tasks? Are they going to get the work completed on time?
I’m sure you’re aware of ‘strategic alignment’ as one of the top management topics at the moment. We are hearing about it everywhere. All it means is making sure you are doing the right work – business as usual and projects – to help you deliver your strategy. In other words, focus your efforts on the right activities.
It’s not very complicated on paper, but in practice it’s a lot harder to get right. In this article I’ll give you a 7-step approach, inspired by the work of Steve Butler, to help you and your team go from a strategy on paper to a work environment that actually delivers what you want.
A prompt list is a shortcut to remembering certain items and today I’ve got a prompt list for you to help you understand the external context of your business strategy.
Whether your business is big or small, knowing where you are going is key to success, and your strategy is a big part of that.
This prompt list is helpful for mindmapping the factors that might influence the success or failure of your strategic initiatives.
Are you about to go into a negotiation? Whether it’s discussing an employment package with a new employer or closing a deal with an existing supplier you’ll want to read these 5 steps to planning the best negotiation for you.
Worried about having to present your ideas to a group of people? Whether it’s a huge conference with 1000 delegates or 3 senior managers from another team, it can be daunting to have to put together presentation material and then deliver it.
It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can give a convincing presentation and be confident about it if you follow these 4 steps.
Regardless of your level in the organization, you make decisions daily at work. You make decisions for your own tasks within your own sphere of responsibility. You make decisions based on recommendations from your team, where it’s your job to have the final say. You put together briefings and recommendations, and influence those higher up the organization for decisions that you know you can’t make alone.
It’s not only huge multi-national companies that can afford to have a culture of innovation. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that no company, whatever the size, can afford not to put innovation first.
Innovation is the way that you come up with ground-breaking ideas that bounce your business to the head of the queue. iPhone? Definitely innovation. Dyson vacuum cleaner? Definitely innovation.
Think of all the processes you run in your business every day. There are processes for handling customer queries, for initiating projects, for paying invoices and a lot more. In fact, every time you make a key decision about something to do with your organization you go through a decision making process.
Research shows that employee engagement is relatively steady at about 30%. While the Gallup figures are interesting, what’s more interesting is how that has an impact on your workforce. In this article I want to talk about what engagement is, why it matters and how a clear strategy can help you build engagement within your teams.
Getting to a decision normally includes coming up with loads of ideas in a creative session and choosing a number of options before agreeing on a final way forward. If the decision is important and relates to strategy then this activity could take some time. It’s important to get right. So what is the one option that should be in all your discussions that many managers overlook every time?
A SWOT analysis is a way to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats inherent in your business, project or team. It’s a good way to start a strategy session as it opens up plenty of discussion and prompts you and your team to think creatively about the types of challenges facing the organization.
If you would like to contribute to the iMindQ blog, you're welcome to submit your proposals here.