I’ve read The Feedback Imperative by Anna Carroll recently and something stuck out for me. I know that giving project team members feedback is important – that was hardly a revelation from the book. But Carroll did talk about why we don’t offer feedback and it got me thinking. Project teams thrive on knowing what is working and what isn’t; it’s the way we get better at delivering projects and why we spend so much time doing post-implementation reviews and talking to project customers. So what would cause us not to give feedback? Here are 4 reasons that Carroll discusses in her book.
1. Lack of support
This is probably a major one for most project managers. The lack of support when it comes to providing feedback manifests itself in several ways. Perhaps you don’t have a good role model – you never get feedback from your manager so you are not sure what it should look like. Perhaps feedback is actively discouraged, or there is not a culture of calling out people on their mistakes. Maybe no one bothers to celebrate success around you so if you do it there is a risk that it looks insincere. It could be as simple as that you don’t have enough time to prepare feedback so you can’t give it properly and therefore choose not to do it at all. Read more »
What do you really need to know in order to be a great project manager? A paper in the Project Management Journal* has gone into this in a lot of detail, and analysed the Project Management Competency Development (PMCD) framework with the aim of identifying whether project managers are developing their skills in the right areas – the areas that employers actually want. The whole thing revolves around an understanding of what makes a project manager competent, in other words, whether they are capable of doing a good job.
I’m curious to know whether I am doing a good job and what makes up the competency framework that would dictate whether I can be assessed as doing a good job, so let’s take a look at the framework in more detail.
The PMCD framework, according to the researchers, covers three main dimensions of competency for project managers: knowledge, performance and personal.
New research from Arras People says that 46% of project managers can’t find a job that meets their salary expectations. The Project Management Confidence Index concludes that project managers don’t feel that the UK economy has bounced back sufficiently for them to move into a new job and that living standards are still pinched.
The flip side of this is that 55% of respondents said that they found it difficult to recruit project and programme managers and that it was hard to fill roles. The research authors speculate that this might be because recruiters are still thinking in terms of it being a buyer’s market: in other words, they can set the levels of remuneration and very high standards with regards to what they are looking for in a candidate. Many companies are still operating with restrictions on packages and salaries, so there seems to be a big disconnect between what hiring managers are prepared to offer and what candidates are prepared to take.
In the meantime, candidates aren’t moving roles for positions as it could be a risky move. Project practitioners aren’t predicting that salaries will increase, either. Only 12% believe that salaries will rise above the level of inflation with the vast majority of people (37%) reporting that they think pay levels will stay the same.
So if you are struggling with the choice between leaving a job for more money or staying put, what should you do? Read more »
Are you still at work while your colleagues are off on vacation? The holiday period – whether that’s during the summer, during the end of year or at any other point where it’s normal for people in your country to take time off – can see your project coming to a halt. Everything takes longer if you can’t find the resources and get responses to queries.
Here’s how to stop your project slowing right down during the quiet times.
Plan for vacations
Make sure you know when people on your project team are going to be away. Talk to everyone at the beginning of the project and check when they have plans to take vacations. As the project manager, you may not be able to approve or reject their leave requests (the line manager will do this) but you can at least be made aware of them.
Put those dates on your project schedule. Review the tasks scheduled for when you know when team members are going to be away, and make any amendments to your resource allocation plans to enable work to continue during these times. Read more »
We’ve gone through the topic of why use the mind mapping technique for your project management efforts before. And this is a significant topic indeed especially when focusing on the achievement of your project goals and establishing a greater productivity. Now it is time to focus a little more on the benefits of mind maps and mind mapping to project managers and project assigned professionals, as this becomes a greatly popular theme among the project management community.
Concerning the project managers’ effort there is always a vast area of improvements regarding the productive ways to deploy project activities, especially by having in mind the number of stakeholders that need to be communicated, various tasks managed and emails tracked simultaneously, with which ones abilities can often be challenged, considering this information overload and multitasking.
By beginning with the usage of a tool such as a mind mapping software, project people can brainstorm their ideas faster and use mind maps to support the first phase of breaking a project into manageable parts. Project managers can also utilize the mind mapping technique to create better action plans by listing all tasks and assign the resources needed for best time management results.
This free eBook sums up the main benefits for project managers that utilize mind mapping software such as iMindQ to improve their productivity and increase their project organization efforts in order to reach project goals and milestones.
When speaking of the usage of a mind mapping software, tracking a projects progress is also done easily. Users can set alerts for the milestones to make sure they never fall behind and by utilizing the Gantt chart view and Work Breakdown Structure charts they can organize all project data and information supported with mind maps or concept maps.
While managing of a project is concerned, mind mapping can help all project people involved, to better manage meetings with the team and also solve emerging problems more effectively. This can be done by setting a project structure and organizing to the level of having the grounds to be prepared and alert for any issues that may arise.
A useful resource for project managers that are eager to start their mind mapping journey is the meticulously designed user manual for Project Management, representing a dedicated guide to all mind mappers that use iMindQ to aid their organization and planning activities.
Possibly one of the most beneficial arguments of the usage of mind mapping within project management is the effective usage of mind maps with the areas of strategic and project planning. This has also been confirmed as one of the most used areas by project managers with numbers coming from the latest research by the mind mapping community BiggerPlate. By means of having mind maps to illustrate the whole process from beginning to end, covering milestones, resources and deliverables, project managers can have a view of the “big picture” when it comes to their project planning activities, thus aiding their project organization from end to end.
To read more about the benefits of mind mapping for project management, you can download your free sample of the eBook on the following link: “Achieve Your Project Goals”.