Alternative TextAndy Silber

Andy Silber has been an astrophysicist, an engineer, project manager, and author of Adaptive Project Management: Leading Complex and Uncertain Projects. He has worked throughout the Puget Sound region in everything from small startups to Fortune 100 companies. He has been an environmental activist and that passion is responsible for first bringing out his desire to write. More of his writing on project management, energy policy, and politics can be found at his blog A Silber Lining.

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Be the Eye of the Hurricane – Navigating a Project Storm

Sometimes managing a project can feel like you’re in the midst of a hurricane, where chaos dominates and screaming is your only hope of communication. It’s a commonly held belief that the center of a hurricane—the eye—is perfectly calm. So while your project might suddenly become a raging storm of epic proportions, your best course...

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Accepting “Congratulations” for the Road Less Traveled

A year ago, my wife and I decided to uproot our family and move to Ireland, where we have citizenship through her grandfather. She had bicycled around the island in the 1990s, but I had never even visited. As of this writing, we have no place to live or jobs, just a flight landing in...

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If Risk Is Your Business, Do It Better Than Captain Kirk

As a great philosopher and chewer of scenery, Star Trek’s James T. Kirk once said, “Risk is our business”—nothing great can be accomplished if you’re not willing to take some risks. I like to say, “If failure isn’t an option, then innovation isn’t an opportunity.” However, risk must be managed carefully. In “Return to Tomorrow,”...

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How Serenity, Courage, and Wisdom Can Help You through Workplace Struggles

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can,  And wisdom to know the difference. The Serenity Prayer is familiar to anyone who’s been through a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous. I don’t know if it helps with addiction, but I do know it helps me...

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Why You Shouldn’t Be a Jerk

The other night I was watching the pilot of Workin’ Moms, a Canadian sitcom about women who have just returned to work after maternity leave. One of the moms pulls a really jerky move on her first day back, making it seem that her executive assistant had screwed up. By the end of the episode,...

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How Good Project Management Could Have Prevented the Mess Known as Brexit

I’ve just returned from a wonderful week in Ireland. Lots of great music, stout, and tea. The sky was blue and the grass green. We enjoyed wonderful hospitality across the island. However, the only topic that was discussed more than the civil war of 1922 was Brexit and its impact on Ireland. Everyone I spoke...

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Don’t Give Up on Inbox Zero

Look at your email inbox. How many unread emails are there? A hundred? A thousand? My personal inbox has over 6,000 unread emails, which isn’t bad considering I’ve had this address for almost 15 years. In 2007, Merlin Mann championed the idea of “inbox zero,” but now it’s become vogue to argue that inbox zero...

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In an Information Desert, Rumors Are a Mirage, Not an Oasis

Working in an office where leadership doesn’t communicate about the critical issues affecting the company is like wandering a desert without a canteen. You wander the office seeking to quench your thirst for information, but all you find are rumors. Everyone is gossiping about possible layoffs or project cancelations. These conversations happen when change and...

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People Are Not Cogs: How to Manage a Project with People, not Resources

In a factory, people are managed like a piece of equipment, a resource that is applied to a well-described task. Anyone who has been trained in this task can be assigned and the same result is expected. If not, the fault is in the process or training, not in the person performing the task. The...

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A Project Manager is a Superhero (or, their Mild-Mannered Alter Ego)

There are many ways to be a project manager, and none of them are "super". The experienced project manager needs to have a variety of tools to manage a variety of situations....

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How to Write Status Reports that are Worth Reading

Status reports are a critical part of project management. We all write them, but hardly anyone reads them. Here's how to change that....

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Face It: Silos Exist. Here’s How to Make the Most of Them

There's a lot of talk about breaking down silos at work. But sometimes these very silos can work to our advantage, argues PM writer Andy Silber. Here's how to make them work for you....

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