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The 6 Principles of Stakeholder Engage [Infographic]

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
Louise M. Worsley outlines 6 principles to engage project stakeholders in Stakeholder-led Management: Changing How We Manage Projects
These tenets were worth sharing, so I’ve included them along with my explanation of their meanings. (Plus, a handy infographic is available if you scroll further.)
This article:
1. Decisions that affect them should be made with the participation of stakeholders
2. Participation by stakeholders includes the promise of their contributions to decisions… and they are told how.
3. Stakeholder engagement is about engaging those who are potentially affected by or interested in a decision.
4. Stakeholder engagement is looking for input from stakeholders on how they might like to participate
5. Stakeholder engagement offers information, time and space that allows stakeholders to engage in meaningful ways.
6. It’s never a bad idea to be polite

1. Decisions that affect them should be made with the participation of stakeholders
People can’t do your projects. You can, however. It won’t work out.
Talk to people whose lives are being transformed, even if it seems small.
2. Participation by stakeholders includes the promise of their contributions to decisions… and they are told how.
Talking to people is not enough. Listening is essential. People who give their input deserve to be heard.
If you are unable to incorporate it, let people know why so they don’t feel disappointed later on or that they have been overlooked.
3. Stakeholder engagement is about engaging those who are potentially affected by or interested in a decision.
You must go out and locate your stakeholders. Asking your stakeholders to recommend other people to talk to is the best way to go.
Keep expanding your network. You are almost always able to find someone else who could help you.
4. Stakeholder engagement is looking for input from stakeholders on how they might like to participate
Accepts that not everyone wants to participate.
Discuss with your stakeholders what engagement means to them. Offer a variety of ways for people in your project to get involved.
5. Stakeholder engagement offers information, time and space that allows stakeholders to engage in meaningful ways.
Space is the key thing. Sometimes stakeholders will need to absorb changes more slowly than they expect.
Give them space to think and the time to make the right decisions.
6. It’s never a bad idea to be polite
Worsley seems to have that one sorted!

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Synergy 2011

Last Thursday was International Project Management Day. I attended Synergy in London with 800 other project managers.
We didn’t know what to expect. It was not billed as a traditional conference, and it was held in the IndigO2, which is part of the O2 arena that hosts concerts. There was only one track with speakers. We were given theatre-style seating. It was almost impossible to see anything in the theatre that wasn’t on the stage. It was like a nightclub or an arthouse theater.
We waited in line for hours to get a cup of tea. Then we discovered that it was only PS2.50. The day was very long. HRH the Princess Royal was not able to attend. Comedy acts Andi Osho (comedian) and David Armand (comedian) were the closing acts.
It was a strange and unexpected day, but that’s what they were trying to accomplish. They turned the idea behind a project management conference upside down. Even the traditional speaker slots had a different feel — more energy, passion, than a normal conference (with an exception).
Emile Faurie, Equestrian Ambassador spoke about how to build a team to take jittery horses from being too jumpy for racing to winning events. In short bursts, a variety of people spoke about how schools can learn project management skills. Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London, spoke out about the UK’s poor track record in civil engineering projects.
Steve Carver, Cranfield University, demonstrated teamwork. He threw the ball into the crowd. The person who caught the ball threw it on until at least 11 people touched it. This took 43 seconds. Steve asked them to repeat the process, but faster. The sequence was repeated in approximately 20 seconds. He stated that a second group had completed the same exercise in less than two seconds. That’s quite a challenge.
All the people in the audience walked out to the front and formed a line. They passed the ball down the line, but couldn’t keep it moving for more than 4 seconds. They managed to touch the ball in just 2 seconds when they stood in a circle, ready and waiting to touch it when it was their turn. They improved by understanding the rules and eliminating unnecessary lag times, such as when the ball was in the air.
R-L: Chris Field, PMI UK Chapter President, David Hillson, Ricardo Vargas. David Hillson received the PMI Eric Jennet Project Management Excellence Award in recognition of his contributions to project and risk management throughout the years. His award looked a bit like a wizard’s hat and was made of chocolate. He’ll surely find a home for it, I’m sure.

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Making it Fly: An Interview With Brigitte Cobb

Brigitte Cobb is the author of Make It Fly. Ever wondered why some people do things better than others? People who succeed (and I’m sure you would too if you were a project manager) have the right attitude and a simple method for staying organized and completing tasks.
It doesn’t matter if you call it project management. Brigitte Cobb doesn’t, at least not in her book, Make it Fly. I reviewed it. I spoke with her about the method she invented in order to help others get things done.
Brigitte, tell us about Make It Fly.
This book is a practical guide to helping people realize their big dreams and make them a reality.
It took me 9 months to write the book and another 9 to edit it with the support from my publisher.
It was a great book for project managers. I could relate to many of its ideas. Are you a certified project manager?
I specialize in business transformation. Although project management techniques are useful, my qualifications include organizational change management, psychology, and program management.
The book is a mixture of positive psychology, business change techniques, and personal development. While I agree that planning, scoping, and project management are important, there are many other tools and techniques that are not. The method is holistic and not specific to any one discipline.
Yes, I can see it. The book is a large part about self-management and boosting self-confidence. It’s more about the process than the rest. Why did you include this?
Because this is the key to making changes happen. If you don’t have the right mental attitude, no plan will work. Many organisations and individuals make the mistake of ignoring the human side to change.
Change is holistic. It’s not just one thing that makes a difference, but all of the actions you take that can make a difference. All the steps in the book are equally important, I would argue. This is the beauty of the method. It’s not just about personal development or process. It’s both. It provides readers with a variety of tools that can be used to help them achieve their big dreams.
The exercises in the book are one of the tools. These exercises are from where?
The method and the exercises were developed by me, based on a variety of disciplines. I have been working with clients to transform their organisations for over 15 years. I have used many of these tools and techniques with them and their teams.
What’s your top tip for getting things done (if you had to choose one)?
First, address your mental blockages and attitude.
Thanks, Brigitte!

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How to travel for work

Do not arrive tired and hot. You can take off your jacket and coat on public transport. You don’t have a need to bake, even though some people think there are laws against undressing. *

Know where you are going. This means maps! A precise postcode is required for GPS. Also, the phone number of any people you are meeting, as well as the reception address of the place you will be going and possibly a local taxi company.

If possible, find a parking spot and book one at your destination. If you don’t know where you are going, you can drive around in panic and then walk to your meeting place.

Know how to get it back. It’s not always easy…

Before you leave for work, charge your device. It’s not fun to be left behind with no battery on your mobile phone and your laptop dead. Are you planning to travel overseas? Get an adapter. It is amazing how many times I have forgotten that electricity works differently when you land.

Makeup: I did my make-up on the Eurostar for two years. It’s possible! It’s possible, but be discreet. No one likes to be watched. Avoid tunnels, the light won’t shine enough.

If you’re going to be walking a lot or on a plane, choose flats or trainers. If you are able to change, consider wearing heels.

Note on shoes: I attended an event about personal style and was told that eco bags don’t look professional. Instead, put all your stuff into a briefcase or leather bag. It’s practical and convenient. It all depends on where you are going. You don’t need to bring a gym bag if you’re going to an off-site meeting. However, if you’re just going to work, you can take a small shoe bag. You can leave your shoes under your desk or in your locker. You can do all of the above, just like me.
Use your travel time. You can check your BlackBerry email, make calls (if there is a signal), and catch up on trade journals and podcasts. If you’re driving, be careful!

Be prepared to go wherever you are going. While you can probably make it to the ladies in a few minutes, you don’t want spend hours there putting on your make-up, brushing your hair, and doing your hair. The receptionist will probably already have made a decision about your suitability. If you are going to an interview, be extra careful.

Remember that you will be judged more when you work away on business than you are in your office. This applies both to you and your organization. Be prepared, organized, and on-time!
* Public undressing is prohibited. You know what I mean. People, don’t wear scarves, hats, and coats underground!

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How to Communicate Effectively as a Project Manager

This guest article is by Beth Sager, Drexel University
Communication is essential to the success and well-being of your project team. It doesn’t matter if your team is working for an internal client or an external client, communication is key to success.
Although communicating effectively as a project manager can be easy, it takes some effort upfront. It will save you time and make your client’s life easier.
Know Your Stakeholders
First, be sure to know your stakeholders. You need to know who your stakeholders are, regardless of whether they are within or outside the company. Individuals with different needs may be included in your stakeholders. Some people will need a high-level overview, while others will want all the details. It is important to know who needs what information and not to over- or under-provide it.
Effective communication starts with understanding your audience and stakeholders.
Second, don’t assume all team members have access to the information they need. It is easy to assume that because someone is involved in a project, they will receive the information they need. This is not always true. To ensure that all people involved are notified of any communication, you will need to create a plan.
Stay on-Topic and Communicate Clearly
Keep your communications short and to-the-point. Don’t get distracted by sending emails. You won’t get read if you do. You don’t want to be known as a slow writer and a waste of time. Everyone is busy so it is important that you respect that. Don’t send any information if it isn’t needed or can wait. This is not the time to make yourself appear important.
Be prepared to offer a solution to problems before you bring them to the team. This will make your team and stakeholders feel like you are a problem solver.
When setting expectations, it is important to be punctual
You want to ensure that your team members have enough time for you to send your message and to respond. They might need to do some research to find the right answer or formulate the correct questions.
Communication is key to the smooth running of your project. Your project will run smoothly through all phases if it is managed well. If you don’t communicate effectively, your project may hit the brakes unexpectedly.
This article was written by Beth Sager, Drexel University Online. It is an accredited university located in Philadelphia. Drexel offers an online MS in Project Management for those who are interested in advancing their project management careers.

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Equal pay

Today, I destroyed another pair of perfectly good tights. This is a problem in the office that men don’t have. At least, not with the men I’ve worked with. Women make 17% less than men working full-time, and are more responsible for clothes. How fair is that? Tights don’t seem to last for five minutes. One of my male colleagues commented recently that he had owned the same pair of shoes for ten year and they still looked great. Many women complain about the fact that shoes don’t last more than a year before they look worn and the heels wear out. Shoe shops encourage us to spend money on new shoes (which I did on my way home from work on Thursday). We don’t need a ‘one-black suit, one-blue’ outfit to wear on alternate days. We can have a few shirts and a few ties that our relatives have bought.
I once worked with a man who never wore the exact same tie twice. He had an amazing selection and would not mind coming to work in July wearing a tie that played “Jingle Bells”. Except for a few men like him, men don’t need a large working wardrobe. I think I’ve worn the exact same jumper to work on three separate Fridays. This week, I’ll have another option.
Along with the wardrobe crisis that was pre-planned for Friday morning (Friday morning), the Gender Equality Duty will also be in force in Great Britain on Friday. All public authorities in England and Wales must show that they promote equality for all genders and that they have eliminated harassment and sexual discrimination. Are we really supposed to wait for equality laws to become law? No. Since 1970, we have had the Equal Pay Act. What does this Equal Pay Act do that the others don’t? It will supposedly bring about “real change” in how public bodies such as schools and universities deal with discrimination, but it doesn’t make equal pay reviews mandatory.
According to my understanding, there is a statutory obligation to eliminate unequal pay for equal labor. The Equal Opportunities Commission recommends that pay reviews be done. However, public bodies are not required to do them. It seems like there is a lot more paperwork required by public authorities to prove they are meeting the duties. This will not be of much benefit to service users who will likely just receive a leaflet explaining what the new regulations mean for them. I hope that I am wrong and that this new initiative makes some real progress in addressing the wage gap. However, I doubt that the reforms will include a clothing allowance for women to make up for the time they spend on tights every week. I will just have to be more cautious.

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Book Review: Managing Projects: A team-based approach

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
Over the past 5 years, I’ve read many project management books. This is my 65th book review. You can find all my project management book reviews here.
Karen B. has written Managing Projects: a Team-Based Approach, a text book. Brown and Nancy Lea Hyer. It is a text book that covers all aspects of project management and can be described in no other way.
Although the authors claim it is for project managers, project team members and support personnel, functional managers who provide resources for projects, customers (and representative), project sponsors, subcontractors and anyone involved in project delivery, it is very broad and I believe it is mostly aimed towards people who are learning about project management.
This is evident in the fact each chapter begins with learning objectives and ends by providing follow-up activities. These often begin with: “In a group of four to six classmates …”. This is not to say that the text-book approach is wrong. This book is actually very useful for students.
The examples are current and relevant. The book is easy to use with lots of diagrams, tables and screenshots. You will find many stories and case studies that illustrate real-life project management.
Although I didn’t find anything new in Managing Projects’s focus on working with teams, there are some interesting points to books like Kim Heldman’s Project Management Professional Exam Study guide. One example of team-based work is the involvement of the team in the development of the schedule using mind-mapping, sticky notes, and mind-mapping. The book stresses the importance of involving the team in order to get buy-in and accuracy.
I have reviewed many project management books, but this book is the first to introduce the concept of “do no harm”. The authors write:
A project must meet the criteria for effectiveness in the triple constraint and, more generally, in a balanced scorecard. It should also be done in a responsible manner. If a project has caused harm to employees, the wider society, or the environment, it is not considered a success.
This, along with a case study on drilling for oil in Arctic, is literally the end of the book on the subject “Do no harm”, but I’m glad it made the cut.
This book is solid for anyone interested in project management. I recommend it to students and instructors.
Amazon.co.uk: Buy Now
Over the past 5 years, I’ve read many project management books. This is my 65th book review. You can find all my project management book reviews here.

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Book Review: Leadership Skills for Project and Programme Managers

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
TSO’s second Focus on Skills book is Leadership Skills for Programme and Project Managers. Since all three books were launched simultaneously, I don’t know which one it is. It’s the second book I’ve read, so it’s my second review.
This was an interesting idea for a book. After all, project managers are not project leaders. I wasn’t sure what I would be covering that fell outside of Franklin and Tuttle’s Team Management Skills.
They tackled this challenge head-on in the opening pages, being very clear about the differences between leadership and management.
The lifecycles are described by PRINCE2 (r) and MSP (r), and the book covers what leadership tasks must be completed at each stage. It is difficult to define what leadership is. Many leaders describe it as a characteristic, rather than describing what they do. However, Franklin and Tuttle are able to show each stage of leadership and the activities that must be completed.
They do this by using a fictional case study and excerpts from interviewees. They even go as far as printing a possible announcement from a project, and analyzing it to show how positive the tone is. These sentences show the human cost to business problems and how the speaker predicts success.
Appendix A, which covers prioritizing leadership actions, is the part that I enjoy the most. It provides an example leadership strategy that covers the different activities of leadership and how much time you should devote each week.
There is so much you should be doing as leader. The authors suggest that half of your work week should be dedicated to planned leadership activities. It would be difficult to balance project management and leading, but I know that we all have the time.
The book is for “anyone responsible for motivating, motivating, and energizing colleagues to get started with a piece or project, convincing them that they’re on the right track, or encouraging them to see where their work fits into the larger picture” (p3).
This definition includes project managers and sponsors. Much of the text I see is directed at project sponsors. However, I have never worked with one who could dedicate half their week to my projects. Having said that, project managers must be able to lead.
Large, multinational teams are often our responsibility. If you don’t have the ability to lead, you won’t be able to manage the details. Even if you don’t adapt all of the ideas in this book, you’ll still learn a lot about leading.

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The Best Agile Books for Project Managers

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
This video shares my top picks of books on Agile, especially for people who are new to Agile and those who are considering moving to Agile methods of working.
These are my current favourite books on agile for project manager. You’ll find details about each book in the video.
These will all help you to manage your project in an agile environment.

Don’t Spook The Herd by Dan Miller
A practitioner guide to Agile. This book contains many tips to help you make agile projects run smoothly. It focuses on people. This book is a great place to begin, as it’s people who deliver projects, not methodologies.
This book is available on Kindle. It’s quick and easy to read.
Agile Project Management for Dummies
It’s not a shame to read a book like this. This is where I started learning about Agile. You will find all the key points.
This book is exactly what you would expect from a Dummies Guide. It has many explanation boxes, all terminology are explained, and it’s written in an easy-to-understand manner with an excellent index.
This guide is a great introduction to Agile if you are unsure whether you should go ahead with it. This guide will help you understand agile terminology and the basics.
This will help you decide if Agile is right for you, your career, and your projects.
The Agile PrepCast$229.00 A complete PMI-ACP exam prep course. You’ll be quickly on your way to agile certification. Self-paced, with video training modules. This course is a favorite of Cornelius Fichtner, a respected trainer. It’s an affordable way to prepare for your exam. Upgrades are available to add the exam simulator or study guidebooks.
Learn moreWe earn commission when you click this link and make purchase.
This book is about getting your company ready to transition to agile working methods. It covers four different areas that can be used to move an organization towards an agile structure.
This book is a comprehensive guide by Routledge, a respected publisher of project management (previously Gower).
This book is more academic and theoretical than the others. You might find it harder to read than the other suggestions.
These books are great for project management.
Best PRINCE2 (r) books
Books by Elizabeth Harrin (that’s you!)
The best books about project collaboration
The best leadership books for project managers
8 books you must read about stakeholder management
10 top books on change management

Pin this for later reading

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Part 1: 2020 Project Management

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
The video starts:
Ever wonder how certain people manage projects effortlessly? People listen to them, people respect them, they are respected, people recognize what they do, and they have support from someone – their boss, their mentor or someone.
My name is Elizabeth Harrin and I’m the founder of Project Management Rebels. I’m also the author of 5 books. You might also know me from my blog, A Girl’s Guide to Project Management. Welcome to 2020 Project Management, my brand-new training series.
Today’s video will show you how to be a successful project manager in the new decade. This video will help you understand how to make projects work in real life. Because what you learn in textbooks, even those I write, isn’t always easy to apply when you include real people and messy projects.
It is much easier to manage your projects when you know what to do.
This video series will give you some tips and tricks to help you improve your skills as a project manager.
This is my first training video. I will share the essential skills that project managers need. There are dozens of skills projectmanagers need, and if you’ve read the PMBOK(r) guide, or any other professionalstandard, you’ll know that I can’t cover them all in this short video – sowhere do you start? My hope is that you can cut through the noise and focus on the skills that truly matter.
This list was created because I saw many people who don’t have the time or desire to learn project management. I can remember when I could go 5 days without leaving the office to complete a PRINCE2 (r) course. But these days, I have a full-time job, a family, and I don’t have the time to devote to professional development. Although I don’t believe age is a factor, I do think that our lives are more hectic, our jobs require more, and our work is more complicated. So I wanted to find out, in order to better support project managers in my community, what the most important things are – where should I be spending my time?
In this 2020 Project Management Training Series, I will share with you my plan to gain more time and feel more confident doing the work we do. That’s what I want to share with you. Youwouldn’t be watching this if you weren’t already committed to professionaldevelopment.
As we go through this training, I want you to see the obvious opportunities for your current situation, no matter where you are in your career.
Are you ready? Let’s get started!
-> Watch the video to learn the skills.