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Project Manager vs. Program Manager: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Project Manager . . . Program Manager. Most of us have met one or the other, and many of us have wondered: What’s the difference?  It’s easy to get confused because in some organizations program managers do work that looks a lot like what program managers do. Also, the names are so similar it’s hard...

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How to Make Your Project Schedule Work for You

At a recent conference, I was asked, “Why do project managers hate schedules?” I had to think about this for a while because I don’t think project managers hate schedules. I think what project managers don’t like is the administrative work required to maintain it.  A detailed and well thought out project schedule is my...

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The Day I Gave Up Updating the Project Schedule: A Story

I remember the day I gave up maintaining the project schedule. It all took place a few years ago at a little Thai food restaurant in Dearborn, Michigan. The best Thai food place in Metro Detroit is hands down Bangkok 96 on Telegraph Road and Michigan Avenue. The food is so good that if you...

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5 Reasons to Use Mind Maps on Your Next Project

There’s so much to consider when walking into a new project, it can be overwhelming even for the most seasoned project manager. If all the parts aren’t thought through and laid out well from the very beginning, you and your team could be stepping into a potential minefield. These days, the project management field has...

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The Top 5 Frustrations for Project Managers—and How to Solve Them

What are your top project management frustrations? I often hear “my business customers,” because that’s usually what the work is connected to, and making customers happy can be frustrating. However, in my opinion, this answer doesn’t count because you’re paid to solve problems and deliver solutions for them. There are other more significant project management...

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How to Give Feedback to a Problematic Team Member—3 Scenarios

Have you ever had to provide negative feedback to a struggling team member? It can be a really uncomfortable situation, especially if you don’t know how to approach it. But as anyone managing even the most outstanding and high-performing technology team knows: Bringing together more than one person lends itself to occasional disruptions. And some...

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7 Tools to Gather Better Software Requirements

Gathering software requirements can be as much fun as trying to count function points or code a webpage using a vi editor. The process usually involves the software team assuming that business customers will communicate everything that their hearts desire as succinctly as possible. Business customers have a tendency to expect software teams to be...

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5 Reasons to Use Story Maps for Your Next Project

Ever since I attended the Agile and Beyond 2015 conference, I’ve become engrossed in story maps. I don’t think I’ll ever gather project requirements or plan software releases any other way. Whenever I mention “gathering requirements,” IT professionals tend to tune out at the prospect of defining customer requirements in a mammoth Microsoft Word document....

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6 Ways Project Management Software Improves Strategy

A strategy is all about planning. I’m sure you’ve heard all the buzzwords about cycle plan, multi-year strategy, strategic roadmap, and corporate strategy. Amazon has over 70,000 books on strategic planning. I haven’t had the chance to read all of them but the majority of strategic planning books include a mix of the following: Mission...

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5 “Game of Thrones” Lessons for Project Managers

Winter is coming, ladies and gentlemen. Winter is coming! In just a few short days, the twisted plots, betrayals, and subterfuge across the Seven Kingdoms will unfold in the fifth Game of Thrones season. If you’re a fellow GoT fan, you’re well aware of the political and strategic anglings that make the show so addictive....

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5 Reasons Clients Need Project Managers

Have you ever had to justify adding a project manager to the project? Adding a project management professional to a team to “just manage” the project is still a relatively new concept, if you consider that project management as a profession is still a young one. The Project Management Institute (PMI) was only founded in...

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5 Ways to Survive a Project That’s Up a Creek

I’d be fibbin’ if I told you that every project I ran into was a successful one. I’ve gone in to rescue troubled projects and I’ve been on the receiving end of troubled projects. Neither experience is fun; you’re dealing with a lot of stress and scrutiny beyond the usual project management challenges. This is...

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