Building X-Shaped Project Management Skills: A Complete How-To


What are the most important project management skills? Does project management follow a T-shaped or X-shaped skill pattern? This guide will answer these questions, and more. Calling project management a "job" is a little misleading. It is actually several jobs rolled into one.

5 Team Productivity Blockers and How to Overcome Them


Team productivity is one of the most important ingredients in business, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep themselves on track. Without productivity, projects can fall behind deadlines, leaving teams scrambling to deal with the consequences.

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Why Everyone in the Workplace Needs Project Management Skills


In the business world, where processes are becoming more technically sophisticated, lead times for product development are getting shorter, and work is becoming increasingly cross-functional, it’s no real surprise that demand for sound project management skills is on the rise, and not just from the dedicated project management team. “The need for high caliber project management capability transcends sector and function,” says Heide Abelli, SVP of content product management at Skillsoft and adjunct professor at Boston College. “It is now a universal competency requirement, much like traditional business soft skills such as communication and collaboration.” In recent years organizations have been replacing their traditional siloed structures with flatter, more flexible forms, and seeing project-based management as the method of choice for implementing business objectives, and for creating and sustaining competitive advantage. To effectively implement all but the simplest of changes, managers need to understand how they can manage their time and their team’s time, regardless of their principal role. One of the most compelling reasons for understanding the basics of project management is to improve visibility across all ongoing work. This is particularly important when very clear goals and objectives need to be set, to ensure that goals are always top of the list. “As a manager, you need to break through roadblocks and make sure that work is evenly distributed across your team,” says Samuel Leach, director of Samuel and Co. Trading. “With clear visibility into your team’s workload and an established process for how work gets done, a manager with project management skills can jump in when needed or move tasks around to guarantee success.” There are project management tools available that can help with assigning tasks and measuring the performance of individuals by tracking their completed assignments. Enabling a manager to visualize a team’s productivity and identify opportunities to improve. “When a project goes in a completely different direction, or a stakeholder changes their expectations at the last minute, deadlines shift, resources run dry, and chaos ensues. It is the team’s agility with that project that will determine how quickly and efficiently you can recover from the impact of these changes,” says Jackson. Managers with project management skills are often able to draw stakeholders with sometimes competing interests into a focused cooperation. They are adept at using emotional intelligence, negotiation, and decision-making skills, and they know when to look at the big picture and when to focus on detail. Project management skills can improve risk analysis assessment and can help a manager to spot red flags and respond to unplanned challenges during the planning or execution of a project, thereby avoiding a potentially damaging financial impact. In spite of the widespread recognition that high caliber project management is now a vital business skill, less than half of all organizations have a formal process for developing project management competency. Most managers acquire project management skills in a somewhat ad hoc manner, gaining some knowledge and limited competency as a result of project failure, or by fumbling along from one project crisis to the next. “This is disappointing given that in today’s challenging business context, project management is emerging as a technique that can provide a significant competitive edge in the hands of the manager,” says Abelli. “There is an established body of knowledge and methodologies for effective project management. Managers need to be effectively trained in project management so they can build critical competencies for successful project delivery.” However, it isn’t just managers and team leaders who can benefit from acquiring some basic project management training. Colin Adams, director of corporate training company Henley Training, believes that the basic principles of project management can help everyone in their day-to-day work, making them a valuable member of your company and potentially helping them up the career ladder. He says: “Project management teaches you organizational, planning and communication skills that you can transfer to any task or job role. The basics of project management involve understanding the initiation, completion, and handover stages of the project, and these principles can help you keep track of your workload. “Whatever task you are setting out to do, having a project management mindset will teach you how to plan what you want the outcome to be, through to how you will execute it.” A project manager will also be accountable for presenting the outcomes of the project, which might be in front of the rest of the team, board members, or other stakeholders. “Having to articulate your ideas to an audience can seem daunting, but getting to grips with this particular aspect of project management can be rewarding and confidence-boosting,” adds Adams. Not every project requires a dedicated project manager. As an individual’s capabilities to manage both small and large projects increase, they may be given responsibility for special projects requiring different expertise. These are skills that can enhance an individual’s career and promotional prospects at all levels of employment. In many roles, evidence of personal development can be pivotal to career progression and improved earning potential. Studies have shown show that on average, project managers with Project Management Professional (PMP) certification earn 20% more than those without. There are plenty of online courses that can provide a basic introduction to project management; however, many experts insist that the best way to learn is in a practical setting. “Finding a workshop, or facilitating one at work, can help you put these skills into practice right from the start,” says Adams. “There’s only so much you can learn from studying theoretical concepts, but a combination of theory and hands-on training will help you consolidate your learning and enhance your skills more effectively.” Whether you’re already using project management techniques or looking to build and apply them to your own role, LiquidPlanner can help you feel more confident in the role of Project Manager. Alison Coleman is a freelance journalist and editor, with 24 years experience, founder of Coleman Media, and a Forbes contributor. She covers stories on all areas of business for national and international online and print publications. Follow her on Twitter @alisonbcoleman or check out her latest work at www.alisoncoleman.co.uk. The post Why Everyone in the Workplace Needs Project Management Skills appeared first on LiquidPlanner. Project Management

Half Agile Isn’t Real Transformation

Leading Agile

A Metaphorical Journey. As we guide clients through organizational Transformation, we apply our System of Transformation incrementally via Expeditions.

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Building Healthy Innovation Ecosystems for Your Projects

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

In this webinar, Nick Noreña will walk through an Innovation Ecosystem Model that he and his team at Kromatic have developed to help investors, heads of product, teachers, and executives understand how they can best support innovation in their own ecosystem. He'll also go over metrics we can use to measure the health of our ecosystems as we build more resources for innovators.

Artificial Intelligence In Project Management: Pros & Cons

ProProfs Project Management

The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has raised various questions and theories among people. Right from “whether AI is ethical?” to “how exactly will it change the world?”, there are numerous questions that are yet to be unanswered. But, what about the questions we can answer?

More Trending

How to Increase the Accuracy of Your Project Estimates


Note: This is an excerpt from our ebook, “The 5 Steps to More Profitable Projects.” Learn more by downloading the full ebook for more insights.

The Balanced PMO

The Lazy Project Manager

As with most things in life (and business) getting a balance right can prove far more effective, especially in the long run, than having a single focus that ignores other key elements. The same is true of the PMO.

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7 Problem-Solving Steps to Conquer Even the Toughest Problems

Project Bliss

These 7 awesome problem-solving steps can help you solve difficult problems, identify opportunities, grow your leadership skills, and take your career up several notches. When you see peers in your organization handling big problems, are you ever amazed at how they do it?

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Are You Making These 8 Stakeholder Mistakes?

Project Risk Coach

Have you ever had someone torpedo your project? Did this individual have a motive to undermine your efforts? Or, did you make some stakeholder mistakes that gave rise to this event? Either way, it's hindering your progress. Things are not going as planned.

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Task Management For Project Managers

How can project planning that stretches over months or years remain relevant and account for new ad-hoc activities that arrive every day?

Want to reduce digital distraction for your team? Physician, heal thyself!

Kiron Bondale

Two articles caught my attention this morning so I thought I’d connect the dots between them in this week’s article. The first article indicates that the Microsoft Teams collaboration support tool has passed Slack in terms of daily users.

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How To Help Your Team Manage Project Risk

Girl's Guide to PM

A project manager’s job isn’t just about managing the work. You are also responsible for your team, and making sure they have the skills required to do their jobs. Part of a resource management plan is to build the skills of your team.

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The 10 Project Management Knowledge Areas (PMBOK)


What do you need to know to succeed at project management? Everything! While there’s some truth to that joke, it’s not helpful to the student or the experienced professional who is looking for a way to understand the myriad responsibilities of being a project manager.

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10 Of The Best Change Management Tools of 2019

The Digital Project Manager

I’ve outlined several change management tools and their features to help you decide what change management software best addresses your business needs. The post 10 Of The Best Change Management Tools of 2019 appeared first on The Digital Project Manager. Tools

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Managing The Project Budget - Developing Your Project Management Skills

This eBook describes the process of managing the project budget and its associated costs.

Get the ‘Right’ Project Controls & Enterprise Programme Management You Want

Arras People

Project management consultancy Dada Enterprises has released a copy of the webinar it presented on designing the ‘right’ Project Controls Solutions for an organisation.

What is SAFe? The Scaled Agile Framework explained

Moira Alexander

Larger organizations tend to move more slowly than smaller, more nimble competitors, and are more change-resistant. Much of this can be chalked up to the more deep-rooted cultural issues of being a larger incumbent, and to policy- and process-based barriers, as bureaucracy tends to flourish in broader corporate environments. Still, many larger organizations seek to capture the benefits of agile development, for which they may not be naturally suited.

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Project Management Tools and Services to Consider for 2020

Brad Egeland

The world of project management requires leaders and doers and shakers to make it happen. To make project successful, keep teams cohesive and collaborating toward a great final solution or product or successful implementation. But, no doubt, the road to get there requires much to happen.

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The Definitive Guide to Project Management Methodologies


What are project management methodologies? A project management methodology is essentially a set of guiding principles and processes for managing a project. Your choice of methodology defines how you work and communicate. So how do you choose a project management methodology?

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Top 5 Project Management Report Templates

These FREE most popular templates will help you perform your role more efficiently.

Technology Challenges

The Lazy Project Manager

Now that you know you are in the ‘VUCA’ world can technology help in any way? The VUCA world challenges an organisation by: Presenting boundaries for planning and policy management. Confounding the ability to make decisions in an accurate, relevant and timely manner.

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Supercharge Idea Output With Starbursting Brainstorming

Project Bliss

Starbursting brainstorming is a structured technique to help your team come up with lots of ideas in many different focus areas. Use this approach to easily guide your team to generate tons of ideas for your product or service. Does the idea of brainstorming make you anxious?

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How to Build and Use a Risk Register

Project Risk Coach

Project managers constantly think about risks, both threats and opportunities. What if the requirements are late? What if the testing environment becomes unstable? How can we exploit the design skills of our developers?

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Change management helps when implementing risk responses

Kiron Bondale

A student in a project management class I taught shared the concern that it was very hard for her to get risk responses implemented.

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Business Agile: A Roadmap for Transforming Your Management & Adapting to the VUCA Environment

Speaker: Peter Taylor, Speaker/Author, The Lazy Project Manager

Businesses everywhere are trying to “get business agile”—but it’s not easy to adapt to becoming this adaptive. How can conventional organizations succeed in this transformation? In this webinar, Peter Taylor will walk through the change process step by step, and look at a tried and tested transformation roadmap: benefits are outlined, solutions to common challenges offered, and tried and tested methods and tools provided. It will be a guide towards a decentralized and management style that offers more successful decision making through collaboration.

10 Knowledge Areas of Project Management (PMBOK 6) With PPT & PDF

Girl's Guide to PM

This article reviews and explains the 10 project management Knowledge Areas from the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition. You can view a PowerPoint of the Knowledge Areas and grab a PDF download below. Knowledge Areas: Definition. What exactly are ‘Knowledge Areas’?

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What Is a Project Management Communication Plan?


Communication is strange. It should be so easy. You say something, someone listens and understands. But it doesn’t always work out that way, does it? So, what do we do to make sure our words are heard and the message we’re trying to convey is comprehended and acted on correctly? That’s a tall order.

What Everyone Should Know About Running Agile Projects

The Digital Project Manager

Put your theory and tools aside for a minute: Here’s something that everyone should know about how agile actually works in the real world. The post What Everyone Should Know About Running Agile Projects appeared first on The Digital Project Manager. Agile

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How Will a Project Management Course Help My Career?

Arras People

A project management course can be a game-changer in your career, whether you are in the project management industry or simply managing projects within your role. Here we look at some of the simple questions that arise when people are embarking on or considering a project management qualification.

2019 317

Beyond the Findings: The Case for UX Research in Digital Transformation

Speaker: Marina Foglietta-Tereo, Head of UX Research, AXA Insurance

People often think of UX research as a tactical approach to improve the usability or visual appeal of a digital product. While good research will certainly validate an existing design, using it for validation alone would be like using your iPhone solely to tell time! Join Marina Foglietta-Tereo, Head of UX Research at AXA Insurance, as she explores the unrecognized organizational, cultural, and strategic benefits of an in-house, central and mature UXR team.

What is gap analysis? Uncovering the missing links to successful performance

Moira Alexander

Gap analysis definition. Gap analysis is a method of comparing the actual level of performance versus the desired level of performance for a business process, project, strategy or IT solution.

2019 208

Stage gates and Agile?

Musings on Project Management

Stage gates and Agile? To some, that might sound horrifying! Not exactly! One of my Agile Project Management students asked me about stage gates and agile. My first response was this: Agile is not a gated methodology, primarily because scope is viewed as emergent, and thus the idea of pre-determined gate criteria is inconsistent with progressive elaboration and emergence. Agile does. agile

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Questioning Agile Dogma

Leading Agile

When I first learned about Agile methods in 2002, the principles seemed to offer an ideal solution to many organizational issues common at the time. When I applied those principles in real-world situations, they worked remarkably well.

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