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Archive for December, 2010

Once every year there are thousands and thousands of people who sense the urge to come up with resolutions for the new year.  This is good. It shows that people are willing to change something for the better.  I wonder though how many of these new year’s resolution come to pass, materialize.  I am not aware of any statistics.  I am sure that the number is probably very high.  Unfortunately.  But why is this so?  I reckon that most of these resolutions are not sincere.  They lack the proper motivation to start with and drive to follow through to realize them.  So, how can you do it differently?  What do you have to do differently to develop a successful new year’s resolution?  – Here’s my list:

Vision

Yes, it starts with a vision of what you want to achieve.  This is obvious you may think.  But do you really know what it takes to have and follow a vision?!  First of all you want to know where and when you want to achieve something.  Then, before you even qualify your goals, find out more about the true, underlying motivation for your urge for change and improvement.  What is it that bothers you?  Is it just you who is affected by it?  And, what happens if you don’t do anything about it?  Once you have answered these questions continue to the following:  What would be the ideal scenario juxtaposing the situation you want to improve?  Who will benefit from it?  And, last but not least, what can you do to start the improvement process?
Answering these questions will give you a much better idea of where you are coming from and which direction you want to go to.  This is the foundation of understanding for qualifying your goals.  If you are really serious about them and can visualize the process and outcome it should be easy to specify them.  Make them unique, maybe you can even measure the outcome, set a time limit and, last but not least, stay realistic – your goals should be achievable one way or another.  For you don’t want to follow an illusion or phantom.

Collaboration

A new year’s resolution can be a very personal thing.  Yet, we don’t live in a social vacuum.  Chances are that you will need the help of others to achieve your goals.  Who are these people?  What do they need and how can they help you?  In reverse, how can you in trying to reach your goals help them?  How do they benefit from it?  And, this is the central question, how can you nurture collaboration with them?

Performance

You can dream, you can visualize, you can plan – there comes a time where the rubber has to meet the road. In other words, ACT! Follow through.  Have the guts to take the first step.  You have to start somewhere.  This is where your new year’s resolution comes to life.  The first step may not be the outcome right away.  It starts the process.  If you hesitate, you may want to go back and check your motivation to change in the first place.  Build your vision.  If you don’t have one, be honest with yourself and don’t deceive yourself. If you are not serious about your new year’s resolution, why boast that you have one.  You ridicule yourself and join the large group of people with shallow, meaningless resolutions.

Learning

While it is great to have a resolution which you don’t have to adjust at least a little bit, it is unrealistic that this ever happens.  Circumstances change and we have to adopt.  The same applies to our resolution.  This is no call to throw your resolution overboard as soon as you face the first challenge.  No.  It is a call to check whether or not your chosen path is the right one.  Maybe you have to take a different route to your treasure.
And yes, you will make mistakes along the way.  Prepare yourself for mistakes.  And learn from them.  A mistake is valuable if you do.  Recall the saying, “never make a mistake more than twice”.  Give yourself some room to breathe, to experiment, to make mistakes and space to learn and grow.

Results

Oh yes, results.  This is what the resolution is all about. Well, it depends.  Personally, I don’t believe that results are always the most important thing which matter.  The path to them do.  Still, results serve as a reflection of the quality of your vision, your willingness to share, involve and work with others on your resolution, your energy to perform, your humbleness to make and admit mistakes and to learn from them.  My little piece of advice:  define several interim results on the path to the final desired outcome.  You don’t want to wait until the “end” to find out whether or not you have achieved your goal.  Just as we plan in stops on a long journey, layout interim milestones and checkpoints.  It will make you fell great when you find out that you have reached the first milestones and are on track to achieving your new year’s resolution.

 

New year’s resolutions are a great thing.  If you are serious about them and have an honest desire to achieve them.  I hope that following these 5 principles outlined above help you realize them.  Good luck and a have a great new year 2011.

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Drawing for 3 Free Copies of Leadership Principles for Project Success by Thomas Juli and published by CRC Press announced for PMForum’s PM GiveAways™ Program

Dallas, Texas, USA — PMForum has announced that the next project management book to be given away through its PM GiveAways™ Program will be “Leadership Principles for Project Success”, by Thomas Juli and published by CRC Press.  PMForum’s PM GiveAways Program was announced in a breaking news article in July 2010, which can be seen at http://www.pmforum.org/blogs/news/2010/07/FreeProjectManagementStuffPMForumLaunchesPM.html

This book is about project success and the secret to achieving this success, effective project leadership. Filled with samples, templates, and guidelines, it covers the five principles of effective project leadership: building vision, nurturing collaboration, promoting performance, cultivating learning, and ensuring results. Using non-technical language, this practical guide explains how to integrate these principles into daily work to help you effectively set up, manage, and align your projects for success.

Some special features of the book:  Explains the principles encompassing the core of effective leadership and shows how to apply them to everyday projects; Discusses setting up, managing, and aligning projects to meet business needs; Illustrates how project leadership works through numerous real-world case studies; Describes how to rescue projects in trouble and close them successfully; and includes many samples, templates, and practical guidelines that readers can immediately use in their projects.

According to PMForum’s Managing Editor David Pells, “I had an opportunity to chat briefly with Mr. Juli at the PMI Global Congress in October, during which he mentioned his new book.  Now I see that it is a good addition to a project manager’s library.  We are happy to offer it in our GiveAways program.”

Leadership Principles for Project Success; by Thomas Juli; published by CRC Press; ISBN 978-1-4398-3461-9; 296 pages; Hardcover; © 2011; US$69.95. For more about the book, click here.  .  A copy of this book will be shipped by the publisher at no charge to 3 lucky winners. Drawing to be held on 11 February 2011.  For rules and to register, visit http://www.pmforum.org/PMGiveAways/Free-PM-Books.html.

PMForum’s PM GiveAways™ Program is based on periodic DRAWINGS for free educational and professional project management products and services.  PM GiveAways™ will include project management courses, books, conference passes, software and other valuable items.  Drawings will be held at least monthly, with the products and services to be given away announced in breaking news articles ahead of time and on PM GiveAways™ web pages.  To learn more or to register for drawings for free project management stuff, visit http://www.pmforum.org/PMGiveAways/PMGiveAways.html.

About CRC Press

CRC Press is a premier publisher of scientific and technical work, reaching around the globe to collect essential reference material and the latest advances and make them available to researchers, academics, professionals, and students in a variety of accessible formats.  Its mission is to serve the needs of scientists and the community at large by working with capable researchers and professionals from across the world to produce the most accurate and up to date scientific and technical resources.  Click to see CRC’s project management titles.

About PMForum

PMForum operates www.pmforum.org, the world’s first website devoted to professional project management and still one of the most popular online sources of project management news and information.  PMForum also produces the monthly PM World Today eJournal where articles, reports and stories about projects and project management around the world can be found; free subscriptions at www.pmworldtoday.net.

SOURCE: PMForum, Inc.
editor@pmforum.org

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Yesterday I received photos from last week’s project management conference in Athens.

A project management conference and I am talking about mountains?  True.  The reason is simple: I am comparing a project to a mountain tour where the mission of the team is to reach the summit and return home safely.  In this analogy project success is not limited to reaching the summit or returning home safely.  Project success is not limited to results or milestones.  What matters too is the process to the deliveries, the journey, the experience.

For, if final results are all that matter this may as well justify death march projects where team members work long hours, where team morale is low, where team members were so glad when the project was over because it was a miserable time and they would never come back.  Unfortunately, in a lot of businesses project results are the only thing that matters.  People don’t matter.  Well, this is not my philosophy for I believe it is a dead end street.

Successful project management and leadership is holistic and accounts for the human needs as they relate to the project needs.  It helps create the right context and environment for high-perfomring teams.

Using the analogy of the mountain tour, the effective project manager and project leaders is the experienced mountain guide who takes the whole team as one unit to the summit and return it home safely AND helps create the right atmosphere and environment for a performing team to evolve.  Who do you want to be?

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