Create the Vision of Modern Day Project Management

The first step in this approach is to create the vision to enroll senior management and allow a focused discussion of the future state of modern day project management in the organization. In developing a vision statement, the organization must determine the boundaries of project management.

Develop a Mission Statement with Objectives and Goals

The Mission Statement provides project or program, objectives and measurable goals.

The following is a sample Mission Statement.

The company will organize all new development work as projects from October 1,

1995.  Any existing development work due to be completed after December 1, 1995 will also be reorganized. Project management will be recognized as a specific discipline and all project team members will be trained on a ‘just-in-time’ basis in specific techniques and assessed in these areas as part of the personal appraisal process.

Projects will be assessed at key points against predefined standards for improved project coordination, better utilization of project resources, improved monitoring and forecasting of workload, and conformance to quality requirements. Procedures and guidelines to support staff will be developed and tools will be put in place that minimize the procedural knowledge required to carry out project management roles.

To achieve this overall objective the following goals have been established:

1.  Identify target development projects – 6/1

2.  Create job role descriptions – 6/1

3.  Create project performance standards – 6/1

4.  Carry out skills assessment – 7/1

5.  Establish “just in time” training infrastructure and procedures – 8/1

6.  Reorganize 50% of target projects by 8/1

7.  Revise personal appraisal process – 9/1

8.  Reorganize all target projects – 10/1

With this framework sketched out you now need to check your organization’s capability to meet these goals and objectives.

Start with your People

This is one aspect of pre-implementation that is often neglected and yet it is mission critical. Many organizations are developing a single overall approach (competency model) as a way of responding to the organizations rapidly changing job skills’ requirements. These models identify the skills required and the how they will be provided. It is not sufficient to just add the modern day project management skill requirements to other existing organizational and technological initiatives.

A suggested approach is to develop a basic set of project management competency levels that is achievable within the organization. One approach is to build these competency levels around the eight project management subject areas identified by the Project Management Institute, taking account of the size and type of project.

Subject Areas

1.Scope; 2.Human Resources; 3.Contract/ Procurement; 4.Communications; 5.Quality; 6.Cost; 7.Time; 8.Risk

 

Develop Skills to be measured   – test, assessment of deliverables, peer review

New skills   – project workshops, external training, on the job training

Support Infrastructure – training, project   support, functional support

Management – involvement   as sponsors, line managers, and leaders

Reward Infrastructure – formal,   informal, ties to existing company system

Existing work environment and how it can be changed to enable modern project management.

Review your Current Standards and Procedures

Many companies or parts of organizations have at some time implemented project management. Any associated standards or procedures need to be reviewed and either refined and integrated into the proposed solution or discarded. In many cases existing standards or procedures will be beyond the proposed organizational capability – for example, project managers with 5 years experience will be responsible for project budgets previously supported by cost engineers or finance staff with 15 or more years experience. In such case the standards and procedures must be simplified and automated support becomes a critical success factor.

In the areas where gaps are identified, new standards and procedures can be developed, or purchased and refined. Methodologies are available that detail project management activities providing “what do I need to do,” techniques providing “how to,” deliverables providing “what should it look like,” and standards providing the “framework.”

The initial roll out may not cover all the subject areas of project management, but the following is a list of  major project management deliverables that require the development of some standards and procedures.

 

Project Management Subject Areas Major Deliverables
Scope Scope Document

Work Breakdown Structure   Cost/Benefit Analysis Change Management   Configuration Management

Quality Quality Assurance Procedures

Quality Plan

Quality Control   Procedures

Cost Project Budget

Earned Value Reports

Project Cost Plan

Time Schedule Update   Process

Schedule Reports

Project Estimate

Risk Risk Management   Plan

Risk Response Document

Communications Project Communications   Plan

Issue Resolution Procedure

Human Resources Resource   Planning Process (identify, plan, acquire)

Conflict Resolution Procedure

Contract/Procurement Procurement Plan

Dispute Resolution Procedure

Examine your Project Workload

The other aspect of the organizational environment that needs to be examined is the workload, both current and prospective. Project measures need to be developed around the principle objectives of completing a project on time, within budget, to the quality specified, and achieving client satisfaction. Process measures covering the effectiveness and efficiency of how project management deliverables are produced also need to be

developed. Examples of process measures are: the time (elapse and/or resource) it takes to prepare for a project kickoff meeting/ proposal/ quality review; the number and types of projects that can be carried out at the same time; the number of earned hours that can be achieved by a specific group; and staff utilization rates.

The principle in establishing these measures is to define and track only those measures that will be used in decision making processes. The project and process measures must be implemented prior to the roll out of the modern project management initiative (by at least three to six months) to provide quantifiable measures of the gains and losses. This is a reminder that the driving force behind any initiative is to be more profitable.

A survey of current and prospective workload needs to be carried out, logged, and updated from this point onwards. This is another aspect of the implementation that is mission critical – the total scope must be quantified and tracked. On the basis of this information and the above sections, a detailed roll out approach can be developed. One suggested approach is to apply it to all new projects that meet minimum criteria from a particular date onwards rather than an incremental approach. This approach would adjust the initial scope and objectives based on organizational capability.

Prepare the Organization

Many project management implementations focus on the project teams and devote little time and resources to preparing the project sponsors and business partners. It is assumed that they will know their roles and understand the required project management techniques. By providing some education and training that orientates management, a higher level of understanding and commitment can be achieved. This approach also helps solve the dilemma of what level of senior management involvement is required – the answer is very little if they understand the information that is generated and the purpose of the techniques being used. Following their orientation, formal management commitment must be gained and communicated throughout all levels of the organization. One approach is to formally sign off all implementation documents and have management give lunch time presentations on what they have signed off.

These top down overview sessions need to highlight the:project and process measures that will be regularly communicated lines of communication support structure.

The person who is accountable for the roll out needs to be in place prior to the overview sessions.

Implement the Support Structure – Provide Expert Support

There are many ways this can be accomplished that do not necessarily require a large amount of additional resources, either during the transition or ongoing. Some areas to check prior to establishing the support structure are:

1.  Qualified part time resources – project managers currently on leave of absence or retired.

2.  Local colleges – research students and faculty members engaged in project management.

3.  Project Management Institute – recommended suppliers and job search directory.

4.  Automated tools that can be centrally administered by an existing group, e.g.

LAN administrator.

5.  Local third party support services.

The support structure must be in place prior to the first ‘just-in-time’ training session.


Commence ‘Just-in-Time’ Training

‘Just-in-time’ training is one of the key elements as many project management implementations fail because the training overhead is excessive for the people and the organization. It can be both ineffective and inefficient. By taking a ‘just-in-time’ training approach and providing as much of an automated support structure as possible, training can be minimized and consistent quality deliverables can be produced. This approach can also accelerate the start of a project and reduce the learning curve of the project team.

The ‘just-in-time’ training approach may seem inefficient at first sight, especially if multiple classes are required for relatively small audiences. Smaller workshops producing actual project management deliverables, mentoring provided by in-house staff, computer based training, and video conference training can provide an effective and efficient result. One other advantage is the lowering of the stress level by avoiding the need to learn many techniques in a short period of time. The capability for ‘just-in-time” training will impact the scope and objectives of the implementation.

Commence Project Management Roll Out

Assuming all the above sections have been adequately addressed and reviewed, the roll out can begin. The emphasis should be on communication, the integrating function in project management  Some suggested implementation coordination tips:

Formalize the commitments that are made. Do not rely on verbal  agreements. Keep an action list that notes critical actions and the committed date and the person/people responsible. Update this list and review it at a weekly meeting.

Have all implementation team members meet for 15 minutes every morning during the first month of the implementation. This is an operational briefing. If there are any major problems, hold a follow up at the end of the day.

All team members have lunch together once a week. No formal agenda.

Seek the advice of the organization on increasing effectiveness. Allow genuine feedback and encourage positive suggestions.

The initial success of the implementation depends heavily on the effectiveness of communication and the empowerment of the implementation team.

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Recession Proof Jobs in a Modern Day Economy

Which way to turn in a Modern Day Economy?
Recession proof jobs are the ones that remains in high demand even through a bad economy.  During an economy nose dive people need options, alternatives and a different perspective.  Although it’s tough to swallow NONE of these great careers are entirely recession proof in our modern day world but they’re more stable than most others when times are hard.  I for one have been a career project management mentor riding out the economic wave.  I’ve come to learn Leadership & Fitness go hand-in-hand.  Taking care of business starts with taking care of you!  Leadership IMPACTS brings Fitness BALANCE – they compliment one another in a tough economy.
  1. Network Marketing               Flexibility to income scale and family obligations. No limits.
  2. Medical Professionals          People don’t stop getting sick.
  3. Mental Health Providers       Counselors and other therapists may be in higher demand.
  4. Energy                                  Energy is as basic to human life as food and shelter.
  5. Law Enforcement                 Crime tends to rise dramatically through desperation.
  6. Internet Professionals           Businesses must compromise their marketing budget.
  7. College Professor                 In economic hardship, unemployed often return to school.
  8. Senior Care Providers          The level of care they need increases.
  9. Pharmacists/Pharmacy        Tech People continue to need medications.
  10. IT Staff/Management            Remains in high demand, regardless of what’s going on.
  11. International Business          Competitive market share overseas or outsourcing.

  However as the economy deteriorates Network Marketing is always available in economic times with either a full or part-time commitment.  This is the ONLY option with flexibility to exceed what you’ve always done.  There is no limit to ones potential.

EVERYONE BEWARE: I just heard about this pyramid scheme thing called a JOB. OH MY GOSH, I wasn’t even aware this scam was even going on anymore! Basically, the way it works is that you work for a boss, who is under a boss, who is under a boss, who is under the owner or sometimes even worse – under a Board of Directors and shareholders!

The thing is– it is VERY DIFFICULT to EVER move up in this pyramid. The kicker is — you are OVER WORKED, UNDER PAID, and it’s hard to get time off. Depending on the type of JOB it is, sometimes you even have to ask permission to take a bathroom break!

You rarely get bonuses, raises, or even decent benefits – - and you can get fired or laid off at anytime. If you think you work for one of these pyramids, or are approached to work for one, RUN!!!

However, if you want to be your own boss, own your own business, take vacations while still making money, get paid an exceptional income and have more time for family, then we should chat. :) Our company is shaking it up, as a matter of fact we are the #1 WEIGHT LOSS and FITNESS CHALLENGE in North America! Learn more… WATCH 5 Minute VIDEO Http://ModernDay.MyVi.NET/   If you have a CHALLENGE of your own I’d like to help you succeed! Don’t forget to COMPLETE  ‘still need more information’  at the bottom of web page for DETAILED Information.  For the love of life, live your life! ….and ENJOY

Http://ModernDay.MyVi.NET/recessionproof   I for one have been a career project management mentor and have come to learn Leadership & Fitness go hand-in-hand.  Taking care of business starts with taking care of you!  I have never felt more alive, energized and rejuvenated.  You can too!

Fast, Easy, Affordable. For ANY Body and Any BODY!

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19 Things to STOP Doing to Yourself

When you stop chasing the wrong things you give
the right things a chance to catch you.

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. –   Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever  insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. –  The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. –  If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone  else.  
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate  situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk. Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop  thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100%  ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities  in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop  getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. –   Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re      lonely.
  14. Stop  rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. –  In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop  trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.  Concentrate      on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. –  Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

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Modern Day Team Building for Remote Culture

The BEST way to Hire and Retain REMOTE employees is to design a workforce culture that allows those working away from the office to meet with the rest of the team on a regular basis.

Managing a team of IT professional is both rewarding and challenging – especially if they’re remote employees.  I’ve learned over the years that it takes a unique kind of person to successfully function away from the heartbeat of that traditional office environment most workers take for granted.  It’s equally challenging to recruit remote employees – to convince the new hire that you actually have a plan to integrate them with the team.  The remote employee needs to have nultiple ongoing touch points to keep them engaged and feeling like they’re truly part of the team.  There are many options and tools available but just a few ideas to keep in mind:

  • Mandatory daily/weekly check points utilizing pertinent topics as not to waste time.
  • Scheduled meetings with visible calendar of availability.
  • Conference calling service.
  • IM (Instant Messaging) software which allows visual availability of team members.  Will display ‘Inactive’ status if away for set period of time.
  • Use of technology: polycom stations or phone headset; video conferencing or at a minimum IM ability with presentation or sharing of desktop for documentation viewing.

If you fail to continually feel a part of the team, you run a very high risk of losing this talent to organizations with a better thought-out plan.

Remember to create a morning touch-base applying any number of team building exercises.  And since taking care of business starts with taking care of you and your team. Propose a ’90 Day Team Challenge’ in meeting their goal(s) of choice.  What better way to show you care about them from a distance. Find out more information today by watching video, ‘What is the Challenge?’ at Http://ModernDay.MyVi.NET

The goal? To keep remote employees on track, healthy and focused while ensuring that working (remotely) for your company or organization is both stimulating and fun!

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1: Plan the work by utilizing a project definition document

There is a tendency for IT infrastructure projects to shortchange the planning process, with an emphasis on jumping right in and beginning the work. This is a mistake. The time spent properly planning the project will result in reduced cost and duration and increased quality over the life of the project. The project definition is the primary deliverable from the planning process and describes all aspects of the project at a high level. Once approved by the customer and relevant stakeholders, it becomes the basis for the work to be performed. For example, in planning an Exchange migration, the project definition should include the following:

  • Project overview: Why is the Exchange migration taking place? What are the business drivers? What are the business benefits?
  • Objectives: What will be accomplished by the migration? What do you hope to achieve?
  • Scope: What features of Exchange will be implemented? Which departments will be converted? What is specifically out of scope?
  • Assumptions and risks: What events are you taking for granted (assumptions), and what events are you concerned about? Will the right hardware and infrastructure be in place? Do you have enough storage and network capacity?
  • Approach: How will the migration project unfold and proceed?
  • Organization: Show the significant roles on the project. Identifying the project manager is easy, but who is the sponsor? It might be the CIO for a project like this. Who is on the project team? Are any of the stakeholders represented?
  • Signature page: Ask the sponsor and key stakeholders to approve this document, signifying that they agree on what is planned.
  • Initial effort, cost, and duration estimates: These should start as best-guess estimates and then be revised, if necessary, when the workplan is completed.

PROJECT WORKPLAN

2: Create a planning horizon

After the project definition has been prepared, the workplan can be created. The workplan provides the step-by-step instructions for constructing project deliverables and managing the project. You should use a prior workplan from a similar project as a model, if one exists. If not, build one the old-fashioned way by utilizing a work-breakdown structure and network diagram.

Create a detailed workplan, including assigning resources and estimating the work as far out as you feel comfortable. This is your planning horizon. Past the planning horizon, lay out the project at a higher level, reflecting the increased level of uncertainty. The planning horizon will move forward as the project progresses. High-level activities that were initially vague need to be defined in more detail as their timeframe gets closer.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES

3: Define project management procedures up front

The project management procedures outline the resources that will be used to manage the project. This will include sections on how the team will manage issues, scope change, risk, quality, communication, and so on. It is important to be able to manage the project rigorously and proactively and to ensure that the project team and all stakeholders have a common understanding of how the project will be managed. If common procedures have already been established for your organization, utilize them on your project.

4: Manage the workplan and monitor the schedule and budget

Once the project has been planned sufficiently, execution of the work can begin. In theory, since you already have agreement on your project definition and since your workplan and project management procedures are in place, the only challenge is to execute your plans and processes correctly. Of course, no project ever proceeds entirely as it was estimated and planned. The challenge is having the rigor and discipline needed to apply your project management skills correctly and proactively.

  • Review the workplan on a regular basis to determine how you are progressing in terms of schedule and budget. If your project is small, this may need to be weekly. For larger projects, the frequency might be every two weeks.
  • Identify activities that have been completed during the previous time period and update the workplan to show they are finished. Determine whether there are any other activities that should be completed but have not been. After the workplan has been updated, determine whether the project will be completed within the original effort, cost, and duration. If not, determine the critical path and look for ways to accelerate these activities to get you back on track.
  • Monitor the budget. Look at the amount of money your project has actually consumed and determine whether your actual spending is more than originally estimated based on the work that has been completed. If so, be proactive. Either work with the team to determine how the remaining work will be completed to hit your original budget or else raise a risk that you may exceed your allocated budget.

5: Look for warning signs

Look for signs that the project may be in trouble. These could include the following:

  • A small variance in schedule or budget starts to get bigger, especially early in the project. There is a tendency to think you can make it up, but this is a warning. If the tendencies are not corrected quickly, the impact will be unrecoverable.
  • You discover that activities you think have already been completed are still being worked on. For example, users whom you think have been migrated to a new platform are still not.
  • You need to rely on unscheduled overtime to hit the deadlines, especially early in the project.
  • Team morale starts to decline.  Taking care of business starts with taking care of you and your team.  Team Building for Leadership & Fitness try the 90 Day Challenge.  For more information watch video at Http://ModernDay.myvi.net  under What is the Challenge?
  • Deliverable quality or service quality starts to deteriorate. For instance, users start to complain that their converted e-mail folders are not working correctly.
  • Quality-control steps, testing activities, and project management time starts to be cut back from the original schedule. A big project, such as an Exchange migration, can affect everyone in your organization. Don’t cut back on the activities that ensure the work is done correctly.

If these situations occur, raise visibility through risk management, and put together a plan to proactively ensure that the project stays on track. If you cannot successfully manage through the problems, raise an issue.

MANAGING SCOPE

6: Ensure that the sponsor approves scope-change requests

After the basics of managing the schedule, managing scope is the most important activity required to control a project. Many project failures are not caused by problems with estimating or team skill sets but by the project team working on major and minor deliverables that were not part of the original project definition or business requirements. Even if you have good scope-management procedures in place, there are still two major areas of scope-change management that must be understood to be successful: understanding who the customer is and scope creep.

In general, the project sponsor is the person funding the project. For infrastructure projects like an Exchange migration, the sponsor might be the CIO or CFO. Although there is usually just one sponsor, a big project can have many stakeholders, or people who are impacted by the project. Requests for scope changes will most often come from stakeholders — many of whom may be managers in their own right. One manager might want chat services for his or her area. Another might want an exception to the size limits you have placed on mailboxes. It doesn’t matter how important a change is to a stakeholder, they can’t make scope-change decisions, and they can’t give your team the approval to make the change. In proper scope-change management, the sponsor (or a designate) must give the approval, since they are the only ones who can add funding to cover the changes and know if the project impact is acceptable.

7: Guard against scope creep

Most project managers know to invoke scope-change management procedures if they are asked to add a major new function or a major new deliverable to their project. However, sometimes the project manager doesn’t recognize the small scope changes that get added over time. Scope creep is a term used to define a series of small scope changes that are made to the project without scope-change management procedures being used. With scope creep, a series of small changes — none of which appear to affect the project individually — can accumulate and have a significant overall impact on the project. Many projects fail because of scope creep, and the project manager needs to be diligent in guarding against it.

MANAGING RISK

8: Identify risks up front

When the planning work is occurring, the project team should identify all known risks. For each risk, they should also determine the probability that the risk event will occur and the potential impact on the project. Those events identified as high-risk should have specific plans put into place to mitigate them so they do not, in fact, occur. Medium risks should be evaluated to see whether they need to be proactively managed. (Low-level risks may be identified as assumptions. That is, there is potential risk involved, but you are “assuming” that the positive outcome is much more probable.) Some risks are inherent in a complex project that affects every person in the company. Other risks may include not having the right level of expertise, unfamiliarity with the technology, and problems integrating smoothly with existing products or equipment.

9: Continue to assess potential risks throughout the project

Once the project begins, periodically perform an updated risk assessment to determine whether other risks have surfaced that need to be managed.

10: Resolve issues as quickly as possible

Issues are big problems. For instance, in an Exchange migration, the Exchange servers you ordered aren’t ready and configured on time. Or perhaps the Windows forest isn’t set up correctly and needs to be redesigned. The project manager should manage open issues diligently to ensure that they are being resolved. If there is no urgency to resolve the issue or if the issue has been active for some time, it may not really be an issue. It may be a potential problem (risk), or it may be an action item that needs to be resolved at some later point. Real issues, by their nature, must be resolved with a sense of urgency.

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Economic uncertainty, companies are under more pressure than ever to perform!

Modern Day Leaders applying technology-driven marketplace, relationships and workflows are blasting through geographic boundaries. The need for speed-to-market is increasingly exponentially.  How can you create breakthroough solutions faster and more reliably?  C O L L A B O R A T I O N  Taking care of business starts with taking care of you and maintaining a healthy team.

1. Cultivate a collaborative culture.

Before yo can expect outside partners to join a project, you need to demonstrate a collabrative culture internally.  A clearly articulated vision, mission statement and set of values can help align internal tam members and set the foundation for productive new partnerships. When you ensure that everyone understands not only their individual accountabilities but also how they’re interrelated, team members will see themselves as valuable components of your larger vision.

2. Encourage a 90 Day Challenge for team members mind, body and health! Each ‘team member’ acts as an ‘accountability partner’ to their team members through the challenge. Team building!

Are you up for
The Challenge?                  JOIN the Team Challenge      http://ModernDay.MyVi.Net
  • Lose weight or get fit for free in as little as 90 days

Cutting calories while getting proper nutrition ViSalus Science is challenging you to make your health a priority for the next 90 days. Best yet it’s ideal Fitness & Health for those with Diabetes, Heart Concerns, Glutten, Lactose, Kosher, Children, Pregnant or Nursing Mom’s. It offers you a fast ‘ideal meal’ that can save your team members money while providing amazing nutrition.

3. Know who’s in the driver’s seat.

Internally, this could be anyone from a project manager to a CEO, but someone needs to be the contact person and champion for your initiative.  This way, you’ve given everyone in your organization an easy starting point for connecting.

4. Choose like-minded partners.

The best collaborators are those who share your vision and values, and who agree on the objectives your’re working toward. If someone is out of alignment with any of these, that person is unlikely to make an effective team player. Consider looking for someone else to fill that spot.

5. Maintain alignment throughout the project.

As your initiative progresses through various phases, the group will need to maintain alignment. What is the problem? How will we solve it? Which strategic approach is best? This takes open communication, mutual respect and the anchor of solid objectives.

6. Consider complementary skill sets.

Duplicating resources is not only ineffecient, but also can cause consusion and even damage relationships if two partners share a competency but only one is called upon to use it. When each party is clear about why they’ve been invited to the table, they can bring their very best forward and engage respectfully and effectively with other team members despite any skill set overlap.

7. Engage the righ people at the right time.

Not everyone needs to be in every meeting, or in on every decision. Ownership of information, presentations and recommendations will shift as the project progresses. Team members not invited to a specific meeting can and should remain engaged in other aspects of the work. That said, communication is key. If any partner is out of the loop, it can delay your entire project.

8. Put realistic measurement rubrics in place.

Everyone on the team shares responsibility for the project’s success or failure.  Remember failure is success turned inside out with lessons learned. But wins can only be identified when realistic measures are in place. Establish measurement strategies and benchmarks at the outset, and be faithful in your follow-through. In this way, the whole group learns and can fine-tune for the future.

Article credits to Mary Haugh at Little & Co. in Minneapolis

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Ok, admit it… somewhere between meetings, late nights at the office and rushed lunches, today’s business professionals have to find time to stay healthy.  Fortunately, the tools exists to help your most valuable assets stay ahead in the exercise game. Health in a shake for ALL those wishing to be lighter, thinner, healthier and may have existing health concerns with their heart, diabetes, or may be pregnant or nursing mom’s as well as a great alternative for children.  Transforming themselves through the 90 Day Challenge  Http://ModernDay.MyVi.NET.

Today’s business professionals are dying to make it to the top – literally! Their lives are being stamped oout by the leading causesof death in the corporate community, which includes heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.  The greatest tragedy is that eah of us can avoid or overcome these illnesses by making better lifestyle choices. But burdened by jam-packed schedules and reluctance to see a doctor, many professionals – in public and private sectors alike – neglect to exercise and eat right. Taking care of business starts with taking care of you. I can’t stress enough taking the 90 Day Challenge (It’s only 90 Days…) Http://ModernDay.MyVi.NET.

The more PROFESSIONALs understand the basics of ill health, the more likely they will understand the  90 Day Challenge   Http://ModernDay.MyVi.NET efforts to change these factors.

Accessibility of wellness programs in the workplace as well as consistent, targeted communications across all communication outlets is also important.

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Project management 1st STEPS of becoming Situational Leaders.  Helping by Enhancing Industry Experts become Situational Leaders.

“Remember way back when – when you got your first management job. What do you wish someone had told you then? What would be the one tip you would give to a manager just starting out?”

Their answers reflect the character and style of these individuals; their wisdom; their experience.

Here’s a list of Ten Top Tips:

  • Consult, consult, consult.
  • You are managing people, not projects or product development or customer service or any other departmental mission. People are complicated and messy. They aren’t machines any more than you are; they won’t be the same every day, no matter how much you’d like them to be. So stay alert to what’s going on with them.
  • For the first couple of days, sit down and get to know your staff. Find out what they do, what their goals are, what they like to do in their free time, etc. Several years ago, I watched a new manager start with a company and for the first month or so, didn’t talk to any of his staff. A month later, he wondered why people were handing in their two week notices.

    Get to know your staff!!

  • Learn how to deal with problem or resentful employees. I was promoted into my position over a longer-term employee. She was made my assistant. (Before everyone raises the sexism issue, I was the ONLY male manager and was promoted on performance.) She had a great deal of resentment and worked against me at every turn. After floundering around for a while, I finally took her into the office and calmly explained the facts of life to her, that I was the manager and if she couldn’t work with me one of us would be leaving and it wouldn’t be me. She straightened out after that and we eventually developed a good relationship.

    Avoid re-inventing the wheel. Everything doesn’t require your unique hand-print. Some things probably work just fine already. Also don’t think or act like you know everything, nothing breeds resentment more than arrogance. You may be smart, but there’s always someone smarter.

  • You are responsible for everything that happens in your scope of authority. Don’t ever think that just because you may not be doing the actual work, you are not responsible—you *are*. Unless you are comfortable with this basic fact, management is *not* for you.

    The rewards come at a price. You will have to make decisions that will benefit the company as well as your staff….and quite often they are in direct conflict with each other. (You cannot be all things to all people….)

    You do have a right to be human. Just because you are now management, does not mean that you can (or should) throw emotion out the window.

    Laugh with your people….let them know that you are not a humorless troll.

    Be honest with your people…you expect the same from them. Even if it’s bad news, honesty does help lessen the blow.

    Defend your people! They will reward you with their loyalty.

As exciting and as insightful as these tips for new managers are, there is one more we should add. Management is not for everybody. “It’s never too late to say thanks but no thanks….I’m happy where I am.”

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Modern Day Leaders ‘Work Like A Manager’

Work Like A Manager

It has been said that a good manager doesn’t DO anything. A good manager manages to get things done through others. You may have been the best accountant in the company’s history, but as the Accounting Manager it’s time to put aside the balance sheets and focus on leading and motivating your department. From day one, show them that you are here to help them, but don’t do their work for them.

For your team to be successful, you need to build alliances, friendships, and personal relationships. These will be with your boss, first of all. Then with your peers. And finally with any other organization inside or outside the company that can benefit your team.

Managing can be a little difficult at first. A recent poll found that more than 50% of managers received NO training before starting the job. Here is a list of the most common mistakes new managers make so you can avoid making them too. (If you think I missed one, use the “Readers Respond” link at the bottom to add a new one.)

The NAUGHTY list.  DO NOT……

1. Think you know everything.

If you were just promoted to Production Manager, you may feel you know everything about production. Even if that were true, and it isn’t, you sure don’t know everything about the most important part of your new job, managing people. Listen to the people around you. Ask for their input when appropriate. Keep an open mind.

2. Show everyone who’s in charge.

Trust me, everyone in your group knows who the new manager is. You don’t have to make a big show about being “the boss”. You do, however, have to demonstrate that, as the boss, you are making a positive difference.

3. Change everything.

Don’t re-invent the wheel. Just because the way something is done isn’t the way you would do it, it isn’t necessarily wrong. Learn the difference between “different” and “wrong”.

4. Be afraid to do anything.

Maybe you didn’t ask for the promotion. Maybe you are not sure you can do the job. Don’t let that keep you from doing the job the best you can. Upper management wouldn’t have put you into the job if they didn’t have confidence that you could handle it.

5. Don’t take time to get to know your people.

Maybe you worked alongside these people for years. That doesn’t mean you know them. Learn what makes them excited, how to motivate them, what they fear or worry about. Get to know them as individuals, because that’s the only way you can effectively manage them. Your people are what will make or break you in your quest to be a good manager. Give them your attention and time.

6. Don’t waste time with your boss.

Since he/she just promoted you, surely he/she understands how busy you are and won’t need any of your time, right? Wrong. Your job, just like it was before you became a manager, is to help your boss. Make sure to budget time to meet with him/her to both give information and to receive guidance and training.

7. Don’t worry about problems or problem employees.

You can no longer avoid problems or hope they will work themselves out. When something comes up, it is your job to figure out the best solution and get it done. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask for other’s input or assistance, but it does mean you are the person who has to see it gets taken care of.

8. Don’t let yourself be human.

Just because you are the boss doesn’t mean you can’t be human, that you can’t laugh, or show emotion, or make an occasional mistake.

9. Don’t protect your people.

The people in your group will be under pressure from every direction. Other departments may want to blame you for failed interfaces. Your boss may want to dump all the unpleasant jobs on your department. HR may decide the job classifications in your area are overpaid. It’s your job to stand up for your people and make sure they are treated as fairly as possible. They will return the loyalty.

10. Avoid responsibility for anything.

Like it or not, as the manager you are responsible for everything that happens in your group, whether you did it, or knew about it, or not. Anything anyone in your group does, or doesn’t do, reflects on you. You have to build the communications so there are no surprises, but also be prepared to shoulder the responsibility. It goes hand-in-hand with the authority.

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Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way and that so many things that one goes worrying about are no importance whatsoever. ~ Isak Dinesen

Are you a worrier?  We all are to a certain extent, but some of us are more pessimistic than others, and when we worry, it’s always the worst possible thing that comes first to mind.  Worrying is a great thief of time.  I have a good friend who can soar from distress to disaster in five seconds, and it has caused her no end of sorrow.  Now that she recognizes the pattern and can stop herself in midflight with a gentle reminder, she experiences much more inner harmony even under difficult circumstances.  Often when we stew, we think that we’re doing something positive about the problem; at least we’re thinking about it.  Instead, we’ve set off an escalating spiral that can ruin an entire day – for ourselves and those in our vicinity.

If you find yourself fretting over an issue, instead of working yourself into a frenzy, STOP! Now think about everything that’s humming along nicely.  Lift your worries away and replace it with gratitude and appreciation.  Loyalty, Commitment and Gratitude are the foundation of Desire, Ask, Believe and Receive in ANY situation!

Worrying about the future robs you of the present moment.  Try to observe how uch worrying you do.  And if the nagging worry follows you relentlessly throughout the day, follow Scarlett O’Hara’s example: Tell yourself, “I’m not going to think about this right now, I’ll think about this tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.”

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