When Project Managers plan implementations, they often do not adequately anticipate failure despite the risks associated with any project. Rather, they plan for the best case scenarios driven by the budget, deliverables, sponsor expectations and deadlines. And despite their best efforts at project management, failure rates remain high.
Project implementations can fail for a number of reasons — ranging from unrealistic expectations, poor methodology, poor requirements, inadequate resources, poor project management, untrained teams, unrealistic budgets, to poor communication and more. With such a long list of factors that can lead to failure, the chances of project implementation success seems low. Those chances can be improved by adopting these 5 best practices. These will help establish a clear understanding of expectations among all the stakeholders—be they business, sponsor, project team, to vendor partners and end users.
These days project budgets don’t stretch to nice things like bonuses for all team members for when the project completes on time. If the team members don’t work for you then you probably can’t give them a pay rise either. You might not even get enough in the budget left over for a party at the end of the project. Even if you do, you might be hampered by local tax laws that specify how much you can give gifts in lieu of financial amounts, and you could make it harder for people to complete their tax returns by giving any sort of bonus at all.
Common practice on projects is to take people out for a meal or even to a bar for drinks, but if your budget is tight you might have to resort to getting people to pay for themselves, or for you to pay for the first round of drinks, for example. There are other ways to motivate your team without it looking like you are being too stingy.
So, if you can’t motivate people to do a good job with financial incentives, what can you do to ensure they perform well (or to reward people who did perform well)? Here are some ideas.
Grant time off
You might have to check with their line manager, but granting someone time off in lieu of extra hours worked can be a great way to reward project team members who have put in extra hours during a push on a project, or a go live weekend. It’s also worth checking with HR about the policy for this, as you could be setting a precedent, but it is definitely worth considering.
Being ‘allowed’ to go on a training course might not seem like much of a reward. After all, surely this is part of your normal contract of employment with your boss – they should be providing training anyway. But in times like these where extra cash for training is hard to come by, operations managers might not have a training budget. You, on the other hand, could offer developmental activities as part of the project, and then encourage people to try out their new skills. There’s even a process for this in thePMBOK® Guide – Develop Project Team.
These days, we hear the term SEO a lot. So what is SEO? Well, it stands for Search Engine Optimization. In other words, what can you do to be noticed by the leading search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. and be in the top of their published results. Once a user performs a search, they rarely go beyond the 3rd or 4th page seeking the information they need even if there are a thousand pages that are part of the search result. So, everybody wants to be listed on those 3-4 pages and if possible the first page because that is where the most hits happen. SEO is the process of understanding and gaming the system. Below are a few videos which will hopefully help explain the term and its implications better.
A blog combined with twitter & tumblr can be a great marketing resource for a small business. Once you create create compelling content, these services can help you get great visibility. I have heard & read a lot about the power of Wordpress, Blogger, etc. They are all good, no doubt, but from a pure beginners perspective where the goal is just to publish a customized blog in the simplest possible way, I have found that Weebly (www.weebly.com) is one of the best in its simplicity. Once I had my content organized, I was able to put together a website of 6 pages in 2-3 hrs. It is very intuitive, easy to understand and wholly drag & drop. Creating a blog is even simpler, as the template is pretty ready made and you just to start writing. Adding videos & pictures is a breeze as well. If you do need help in any aspects of your business or online marketing, feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 443-422-3463.
*I have no referral dealings with Weebly.com. I just like the application.
Here is a great resource for creating a blog. Hope it helps.
Demise of the Business Card as we know it??
As an Entrepreneur, Consultant & Business coach, I wear various hats in my work life. Some of the various activities that I do overlap, like as a Coach & Consultant but my role as a start-up has no direct connection to the other roles and I guess quite a few of us face the same scenario. I also attend quite a few networking events as these are important for my work. Having business cards is important for me and for quite some time, as my roles have increased, I have stressed about the right path to reconcile these various roles. I even considered having multiple cards or cramming all the information on one but both those were not very appealing. vCards have existed but they were nothing more than a collection of simple data. And then I discovered CardCloud (www.cardcloud.com) & Dooid (dooid.me) and voila, problem resolved. Having an email today, especially for a professional or business owner is nearly as ubiquitous as using credit / debit card while shopping. CardCloud, is very mobile-centric but also has a web presence, which I find very useful because I, personally finding working on a laptop much more easier than on creating something on a smart-phone. With CardCloud, one can create different business cards which can contain different company, contact and social media details. Now, one can have various cards for their various roles, easily available in the same space. You can upload your logo, picture and almost everything detail that a functional business card contains. When you are at a meeting, convention or conference and need to share your details, choose the profile that you want to share and simply email the information. The application records the details of the person who you shared the information with, when and where. If the person receiving the v-card has the application installed, they can see all the wonderful formatting you have done, else, it is a neatly organized vCard.
Dooid.me is quite different but performs a similar function. This application is more like your personal website with all your details, including social profiles organized in one place. You can choose your own background ala twitter and can also create a bio of yourself and upload a resume if you need to. The webpage is mobile optimized which renders beautifully in an android or iOS mobile device. You cannot have multiple profiles under one page but can choose to select what you want to share with someone. There are a lot of details that a user can make password protected and choose to share on a as needed basis.
I found both of these apps very useful. I tried a few others but did not find them as user friendly or feature rich as these two. That is my personal opinion. I am aware of RFID embedded b-Cards which are more durable and wi-fi enabled so that you can keep those cards (your contacts) updated of any changes that may happen in the future but as I have not personally tested them out, I cannot comment on their usefulness. But from the web apps that I have been using, I feel, that we are seeing the demise of the physical business card as we know it. So, for me, for the time being, GOODBYE physical b-Cards and HELLO feature rich V-Cards.
www.frugalentrepreneur.com has posts and links to some very economical or free resources that can help entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial PM's alike.
Below is a very interesting article that I found written Julie Anne Hoey (ww.projectmanage.com)
If you are a relatively new start up or entrepreneur, you don’t need to worry about implementing project management tactics to your processes yet, right? Wrong. The truth is it’s never too early in a small business to start incorporating project management tactics and methodologies into your workflow and structure…even if it’s just you.
When launching a start up, you’re probably in the process of learning a new product or service, or learning how to market it, promote it, etc. Therefore, implementing proper PM tactics are just as important as in any organization, regardless of how much time it has been around and established. In fact, proper project management techniques used in a new start up can be just as crucial.
Here are some areas where project management techniques have proven most beneficial for start ups:
Link to the article
Entrepreneurs & entrepreneurial PM's share many common traits and often have to do more with less hence any free resource is always a great resource. Below is part of the article and a link to the article from Shane Robinson in Forbes about this.
Skype – If you don’t know Skype by now, crawl out of your hole. Download it on your phone because it’s great for communicating over Wi-Fi and especially for communicating with international contractors when you don’t want long-distance charges.
Dropbox – Great to have on your phone for three reasons: 1) it allows you to access all your business files in the cloud right from your phone (great for meetings if you forget a presentation for example); 2) cloud storage across your phone and computer is a great way to back up all your files; 3) you can share all files in your Dropbox account with any recipient, without having to email them.
Genius Scan – I can’t tell you how much time I used to waste when I first started my business and had to find a Kinkos every time I needed to print, scan and fax documents. This app won’t let you print (obviously), but it will let you take a picture of any document, or string of documents, and then send it to your recipient as a single PDF file, the same way an office scanner would. Another 30-minute trip to Kinkos, or $200 expenditure on a scanner, saved.
Splashtop – Download this app, and you can actually get remote access to your computer, right from your phone.
Smartr – If you’re big on networking and want a good way to remember when you last kept in touch with someone, then this app is like the analytics for your address book. It’s also an all-in-one location to get calendar events and read email, Facebook messages and Tweets from your contacts as well.
Read the complete article