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How to Take a Sideways Step in the Job Market

Are you going up? Sometimes, you don’t have to be promoted to get a better job or advance in your career. A sideways move can be just as valuable and get you to where you want to go faster.
Many jobs have a clear career path. It often looks like this for a project manager. You will start as a project manager, and then move on to managing larger projects. Then you will become a program manger, which, according to Arras People salary survey data, pays more.
Assuming that we are continuing with the project management example, some would argue that there is a clear family of project manager job titles. Program management and project management are two different skills sets. Program management is not always the natural progression. Most people would view more money as a way to climb the career ladder or to get promoted at work.
Moving up is not the only option when it comes to changing jobs. Sideways moves can also be very profitable.
There are reasons to stop promoting
Martha Finney, coauthor of Unlocking the Hidden Job Market: 6 Steps for a Successful Job Search when Times are Tough, says that there are more reasons to make a lateral move than to accept promotion.
Martha lists these as incentives to go sideways:
“You love your boss but don’t love the company.”
You love the company and want the opportunity to grow your skills and experience to make you more valuable in the corporate track.
You love the company, but you recognize that the days may be numbered in this particular business unit. You want to move to a more promising area.
You love the company, but you see that lateral moves are the only way to stay.
The lateral move is part a formalized developmental program that you can trust.

Sideways moves are when you take on a similar job to the one you have in your current company. You should always read the job description to ensure you are able to understand the responsibilities and make sure it is a good fit for you.
Nancy Mellard is the executive vice president and general counsel of CBIZ Benefits & Insurance. She says, “I define lateral career movements as when you can take over a new department or project, people, or responsibilities.” These moves should always be made,” she says.
Diane Youden, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers specializing in HR effectiveness, agrees that moving sideways can be advantageous. She explains that more senior roles require the ability “without a doubt” to quickly assess a wide range of situations and their effect on the business strategy.
“Experience is the best ‘training’ to broaden your perspective and allow you to think more holistically.
You want to make sure that if you take on a job that is going to move you in a different direction, it will also help your career.
Youden says, “Ensure that the lateral movement is seen as an enhancement of your career.” “Companies are looking for the talent of the future and attributes such as adaptability, flexibility and ability to deal with change and new situations will be key to being considered in senior roles.”
Project managers are able to adapt to new situations and take on new challenges with every project. It is important to understand the difference between taking on similar projects in the same company and switching companies to perform a similar job.
You will be able to show your diversity and breadth of experience by learning about the culture and processes of a different company.
Next: How to t

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How to Improve Problem Solving Using Lessons Learned

So you’ve got a problem. It’s in the issuelog. You have gathered the top subject matter experts to help you get this project over the hurdle.
How do you find the answer?
Sometimes the solution to a problem is right in front of you. There is only one solution to a problem. That approach will get you to where you need to be. The project can continue.
But that’s not always the case.
This article will share a secret weapon that can improve problem solving in project management. It doesn’t require you to do anything else to benefit from it.
This article:
Two ways to solve tricky project problems
Your secret weapon for problem solving: Lessons learned Login to review the lessons learned
2. Find relevant information
3. Take the lessons learned information and use it
You can also use other sources of information

Capturing lessons learned
Moving beyond the lessons learned

I have been involved in many projects that turned out to be simple problems. Unpicking one led me to another. Can you relate?
This is especially true for complex projects or processes with many moving parts and multiple stakeholders. It can be difficult for subject matter experts to assess the impact of their solution on other departments and downstream processes in these situations.
Many knowledge workers don’t have an in-depth working knowledge of all aspects of the business. Why would they? This is not their job. It can be difficult to see the bigger picture and solve tricky problems.
Two ways to solve tricky project problems
How can you overcome these obstacles? There are two ways to solve the big, complex problems you face in a project: one that touches multiple business areas and the other that focuses on one. These approaches can be used even for small problems.
Option 1: Get help from a business analyst to understand the operational processes and find a solution that addresses the entire problem.
Option 2: Solve the problem as best you can. Call insubject matter experts if necessary and test your solution before you act.
Unfortunately, many businesses lack the necessary skills to be a BA. Experiential BAs are rare and highly valuable. ).
As the project manager, you have the option of solving the problem yourself.
Your secret weapon for problem solving: Lessons learned
Here’s the secret: I will show you how to use your lessons learned log to find potential solutions.
Your log of lessons learned contains so much valuable information. It’s already there, so you don’t need to add anything. It’s also packed with tips and tricks to help you solve problems.
Here are some ways to use project management lessons learned information to improve the project. This includes coming up with solutions for problems that you don’t see clearly and deciding which route to take.
1. Reassess the lessons learned log
Once you have identified a problem, scan quickly through the lessons learned log and minutes from lessons learned meetings to see if it has been encountered before.
You may also want to review the risk and issue logs while you are reviewing project documentation.
This should be your first step when someone asks you a question or flags a problem. This could be because you or someone on your team has already identified the problem and have a plan in place to address it.
2. Find relevant information
Ensure you look through your project management documentation for pertinent information, contacts, facts, and dat

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GamePlan Project Management Software Review [2019]

This is a review on GamePlan software using Firefoxbrowser, Safari on my iPad in April 2019.
General Information
Name: GamePlan
Vendor: GamePlan Global Solutions Inc.
Only available for cloud hosting
Languages: I did not see any options to modify the software language.
GamePlan Pricing: 7-day free trial. The paid option costs $19 per user per month (less if you buy it annually). Viewaccess is available for free to those who only require it.
First Impressions
GamePlan is unlike any other project-management software I have seen. The idea behind GamePlan is that you plan on a virtual whiteboard, and then the schedule “magically”.
The software is easy to use and doesn’t require a steep learning curve. The whiteboard element in project management tools is quite unusual, so you might want to read the short tutorial on-screen to get orientated.
Crane Harvey, CEO of GamePlan, was kind enough to talk me through the system and how it came about.
Crane and me chatted about GamePlan, scheduling, and other topics. Crane is a mining engineer who plans in 3D. The mining software includes a modeling engine that allows teams to visualize the mine. Crane wanted to combine that visual element with a scheduling engine in such a way as to allow other industries to take advantage of graphical planning.
He started out with the idea of creating a Gantt chart tool to rival Microsoft Project, but be more visually appealing.
How to create a project in GamePlan
Sign in to the Wizard and you’ll be taken through creating a project. You can also make a manual plan if you prefer.
You can start with the wizard. ).
Your project is laid out in the same way you would if you were drawing major steps and phases on flip charts paper in a room with others. You can add tasks to the whiteboard, and don’t worry about that there is an undo/redo option for everything.
Flip chart paper has a downside. Someone must type the plan. GamePlan, the scheduling engine, creates the plan based upon your drawing and creates the schedule in a Gantt Chart for you.
Importing previous plans
You can also import a plan from Microsoft Project or Excel and have them automatically visualized in whiteboard format.
Before you import the file, select it and preview it. You will see the task, duration and dependencies. I was surprised at how fast the import process went.
Adding Tasks and Making A Project Plan
Your plan can be built using four blocks. The most important ones are tasks. Enter the task name. You can choose a day, week or your own duration.
You can add details to a task by adding it to the task panel.
If you want it to look nice or to visually represent your work, choose an icon. There are many icons available. You can also add your own icon or use a logo.
This page is just one of the icons in GamePlan. There are many. Add the time it takes and the start time. Meetings are the most common fixed tasks on my plans, so calling them that helps you understand. You can think of things like a project reviewboard, a committeemeeting, or your steering group. These are activities that have a fixed date and are booked in the calendar.
Flexible tasks are different from fixed tasks that happen at certain times.
You’ll have milestones. These are shown on the Gantt chart in the same way as a diamond.
Finally, there are groups. These are ways to group tasks. A group can contain tasks, milestones, meetings, and other groups.
Managing Dependenci

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Best PMI-ACP Exam Prep Classes for 2022

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
Are you looking to become a PMI Agile Certified Professional (PMI ACP)(r). You’ll need to find a course that gives you exam confidence and allows you to study the way you want.
Based on my experience as a trainer and project manager, I have compiled a list of the top PMI-ACP courses. (Note: While I am not an agile trainer, I am a Fellow in the Association for Project Management. I have a lot of experience reviewing courses and have taken many of them myself!
Are you short on time? The Agile PrepCast is my favorite PMI-ACP exam prep course. You’ll be well on your way to success with this and PMI membership (to receive a free PMBOK(r), and Agile Practice Guide),
Continue reading to see my analysis and reviews on the best PMI ACP online training that will help earn your agile certification and pass it on your first try!
The courses
Agile PrepCast
Joseph Phillips
Below is a summary comparison table with detailed product reviews.
Comparison table
CourseAgile PrepCastVelociteach Joseph Phillips Rating#1#2#3WebsiteAgile PrepCastVelociteachUdemyPrice$329$388.80 $119.99Guarantee90-day exam pass 30-day Hours of instructionLive Feedback(tm) for questions with the exam simulator2 days live trainingnoneApproved contact hoursYesYesYesStudent supportEmail and forum1:1 support until you pass the exam none stated Access duration90-day6 monthsLifetimeSample exam questionsYes, if you buy the Elite or Elite PlusYesYesSuitable for PMI PDUsYesYesYesSuitable for study groups?YesYesYesWhat to look for in a course
You probably have experience with agile projects if you’re considering this training. This might make some course topics seem a little basic if you have experience with them.
You should ensure that the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner Exam course covers:
Agile methodologies
Agile principles
Agile practices
Agile frameworks
Continuous improvement
Agile teams, team performance, stakeholder engagement

You can also find everything else in the Exam Content Outline on the PMI website.
You should also look for courses that cover the syllabus. These courses should also help you with the application process beyond providing contact hours certification. Some providers offer modules that help you prepare mentally for the test and practice questions to help you become more agile.
Please note that the exam fee is not included in any of these courses. You will still have to pay for and book the exam. To get a lower exam fee, I recommend you become a PMI Member.
1. Agile PrepCast
The Agile PrepCast online training course is tried and tested. I have used it in the past and was impressed. Although it’s an engaging and robust online course, I find the slide formats and colors to be outdated.
The real-world examples were very appealing to me. Cornelius Fichtner teaches the course. It is straightforward and has no fluff.
This course is my favorite because I can personally endorse it. It’s affordable, comprehensive, and you will be able to understand agile and how to pass the exam. After taking this course, you’ll feel like a pro agile practitioner!
It has 16 modules and is very comprehensive. An additional study guide is not necessary (apart from the PMBOK(r), Gui).

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5 Project Timeline Examples That Will Challenge Your Perspectives on Planning

This guest post is by Tim Stumbles CEO of Office Timeline.
Every journey begins with the first steps. Every project should have a plan. Project managers (PMs) need to create a compelling overview that covers all aspects of the project, including objectives, resources, tasks and milestones.
We are mainly dealing with estimates and educated guesses based upon previous similar projects at this stage. Therefore, it is important to keep the plan as simple as possible and not get into details.
Project visuals can help you see clearly
The good news? It’s exactly what stakeholders need: A clear work breakdown schedule that clearly defines the critical path of the project without getting into the complicated, incomprehensible bits.
Data visualization techniques are key to the equation because they allow the audience, even if they’re not tech-savvy, to understand the numbers and their significance.
Project visuals: There are many options
There are many ways to convert numbers into visuals such as Kanban boards and flowcharts. When it comes to project planning however, nothing beats the old-fashioned roadmaps, timelines, and Gantt charts.
Simply put, one Gantt chart can show your audience the following information:
Start and end dates for the project
Milestones and deadlines
Project lifecycle phases
The tasks that must be completed, and their order
Each subset of tasks is assigned to a team.

They provide context to your audience and help you understand the details better.
The Office Timeline value proposition
Office Timeline is more than a Gantt chart or timeline maker. It’s a PowerPoint add-in designed to create, update, and showcase project visuals using the same interface.
The application’s ability to quickly and easily create stunning graphic representations using fully customizable PowerPoint timeline template templates is what defines it.
Is Office Timeline really user-friendly?
You might think, “Yes, but there is a learning curve.” You should feel right at home if you are familiar with Office Timeline’s drag-and-drop control scheme.
Users don’t have to spend hours learning how to use the app, or go through extensive tutorials. This is a major advantage over many other project management software. It’s easy to create a timeline in PowerPoint.
Next: My review of Office Timeline. Real-world examples
We’ve already discussed how easy it is to integrate Office Timeline into your daily routine. Let’s now see how this timeline adapts for five areas where planning is critical for the success and provide an example project timeline for each.
These are the categories:
Clinical trials
Product development
Construction projects
Marketing campaigns
Court cases

Let’s take a look at them.
1. Example of a timeline for clinical trials
Only a few of the thousands or thousands of medical devices, dietary supplement, and pharmaceutical drugs that are submitted for approval make it to market each year. To secure the funding needed for drug research, the creators of these devices must convince backers that their work is on the right path.
A great way to impress non-technical audiences is to map the stages of clinical trials and show the progress against a timeband.
Instead, show them that you have a plan for all phases of your clinical trials with an easy-to-read timeline.
Download the Clinical Trial Roadmap template. Product development timeline example

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5 Mistakes Every Project Manager Must Avoid

Human nature allows us to err. However, project managers can’t afford to err.
A small mistake on your part could cost the company a lot of money or even the entire project. If things go wrong, your colleagues may lose faith in you and your ability to complete work. This can be a career-changing event, and it’s not good.
You can avoid making costly mistakes when managing your projects. Here are some common pitfalls for project managers and how to avoid them.
This article:
1. Forgetting to acknowledge the team
2. Communication problems
3. Being a robot
4. Prioritizing budget over quality
5. Failure to understand the effort

1. Forgetting to acknowledge the team
It is crucial to identify all stakeholders before you launch a project.
This includes everyone involved in the project and who puts their time and effort into it. You could undermine, or even cause the complete failure of your project if you don’t understand how important each member of your team is.
Tip: This article will help you engage stakeholders, since your team members are stakeholders!
2. Communication problems
Would you like your project to self-destruct? All you need to do is stop talking.
You can’t expect to see results or complete the project if you don’t establish basic communication channels and guidelines at the beginning. Regular status checks, target reviews, team temperature checks and team temperature checks will keep you and your team motivated at all stages of the project.
Tip: Create a communications plan before you start any project. Are you unsure where to begin? Here’s a free template for project communications planning.
3. Being a robot
Yes, numbers, deadlines, and clients are important. If that’s all you are concerned about, you might as easily replace your heart with a rechargeable battery pack.
Working with people is not about working with machines. Everyone has feelings and everyone gets stressed. If you act like a talking spreadsheet, people won’t care about your problems (in this instance, your project).
Tip: While your business case is important and deadlines are important, people are people too! Consider how you lead your teams to show empathy, consideration, and respect.
4. Prioritizing budget over quality
I feel like I’m about to say something controversial! Budget is important. You need to make sure you have the right budget and that you don’t overprice your solutions.
Managers make the mistake of focusing on delivering deliverables in order to complete the project within budget.
All quality checks are skipped during the process. What comes out is a product with lower quality standards than what you or your client would consider acceptable.
Tip: Plan for quality. At the beginning of your project, establish your quality standards and ensure they are communicated to the team. You can then check that you are on track to meet them every now and again throughout the project, so there are no surprises.
Be realistic when planning. Here’s why quality plans may not be all they seem.
5. Failure to understand the effort
Now that we have made it clear that deliverables don’t just need to be pushed out the door, let’s get on to something more important. It takes energy and time to meet deadlines and maintain quality standards.
Work takes time. It often feels longer when you don’t fully understand the job.
For example, I asked my IT colleagues for a quote on something that seemed straightforward.

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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!