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?
Managing a project is a very serious job and when we think of the term Project Management, it always sounds very technical (and challenging!). To run or manage a project, you are required to plan, initiate, implement and monitor the progress of a team to achieve goals.
Every job comes with its own set of challenges and difficulties. But what are the biggest problems we face as project managers? Here are 6 of the most common problems that project managers face and how can they be avoided or resolved.
Even if every project is in its essence unique, it can still fail due to some common causes it shares with other types of projects. Although a project failure is not something to be happy about, the fact that many of the fail as a result of the same mistakes is actually beneficial, as it helps managers to understand potential issues and be proactive in avoiding these problems. Here are the most common causes of project failure and tips on how to avoid them.
Why do we need to plan out our work? Isn’t it easier to just do what seems most important today, then move on to what seems to be the next most important task, and so on and so on? Raise your hand if you do this even when you are being organized and following a plan. I know I do. We all do – it’s in our nature. I’m all for not multi-tasking too much. I think it’s counterproductive much of the time. So I’m a firm believer in figuring out what is most critical now and do it, then move to the next task.
There is no one-way route in project management.
The ideas and strategies you hold dear to your heart, might not mean a dime to someone else who is managing a project. This means that you should find a balance between what works and what the so-called experts had advised ‘us’ to follow.
Truly, it’s not an easy task to serve in multiple roles. When managing a project that requires extra thinking-through, you have to ditch myths and embrace practicable ideals.
When you mention the name of your project, do your colleagues sigh as if they are sorry for you? Do resources try to do anything but get assigned to work with you? As a project leader, you should be alert to these signs that your project’s reputation is suffering.
Don’t fear: you can do something to improve your project’s reputation. Here are five tips for boosting people’s opinion of your project.
Projects are full of decisions: everything from how are we going to deal with this huge risk down to what are we doing for our end of year celebration lunch. As the project manager, making a lot of these decisions will fall to you, with input from the others on the team and key stakeholder groups. Oh, wait. That’s pretty much everyone who has ever had anything to do with the project.
Decision making on projects is difficult because so many people have an opinion about the right thing to do. That’s why having a process for making decisions is really helpful, as it structures your thought processes and provides a fair and transparent framework for moving the project through the decision point.
If you would like to contribute to the iMindQ blog, you're welcome to submit your proposals here.