A resourceful project manager takes his cost savings plan to his sponsor. He is a firm believer of the 80/20 Rule. Watch what happens next.
Seth Godin is a famous author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker. Seth usually talks about marketing and how the only way to earn the “buzz” is by being remarkable. Below is an expertly crafted piece on the project critical path. He says,
“The longest string of dependent, non-compressible tasks is the critical path.”
In his article “Understanding Critical Path” Seth identifies people on the critical path for one of his projects and shares how that changed the tone of conversations between his team members. Read his entire article at – “Understanding Critical Path.”
As program and project managers, we use tools like Microsoft Project to plan our projects and understand the critical path. The simple idea of tagging people with buttons to indicate if they are on the critical path, transforms the project plan from Microsoft Project to the physical world of team members. As Seth Godin states, “Understanding the critical path is better for your peace of mind too.”
Try this exercise:
Identify three or four team members and meet them individually. Can you tell if they are on the critical path for your project? If you can’t, either you haven’t clearly defined your critical path or you don’t understand it well enough. And if that team member is on your critical path, find ways and techniques to help them stay focused on the project work.
How do project managers help themselves and their teams come up with breakthrough ideas? Listen to one technique that Jim Lewis uses himself to come up with creative solutions to problems. Are you an introvert? You might want to listen to what Dr. Jim Lewis has to say about bringing out creativity in introverts. Watch this for some creative wisdom from Dr. James Lewis.
Dr. James P.Lewis is the Founder of The Lewis Institute, author of 12 books on project management, leadership, career development and team building.
When a project manager wants to grow up beyond projects, programs is the next logical step. Many initiatives in organizations are really programs, a series of enhancements to a product or a change initiative or a gradual building of a capability. Yet the yearly planning process often forces these into smaller projects, broken pieces of a larger program.
If you would like to experience a story of how a project manager grows up into the shoes of a program manager, here is my newly released book: From Projects to Programs – A Project Manager’s Journey.
I wrote this book in the form of a fast paced novel, in the form of a story. Because stories are a great learning tool, and I was inspired by some great story tellers, - The Story of Telling and Seth Godin.
My goal was to distill the essence of program management into a good story. Did I succeed? You tell me.