Payson Hall is a consulting project manager for Catalysis Group, Inc. in Sacramento, California. Payson consults on project management issues and teaches project management. Email Payson at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter at @paysonhall.
Project managers are tasked by sponsoring executives to complete projects successfully and provide timely communication if barriers arise. But what should a project manager do if the sponsors are the biggest barrier? If you can’t get the answers you need, is it a good idea to make your best guess and proceed?
Being a mentor is a big responsibility. It becomes a greater one when the person you're mentoring is set to become a mentor to someone else. What advice would you impart to your mentee? What do you wish you'd thought of when you were starting out as a mentor? Payson Hall distilled his experience into five principles.
When you hire a consultant, they may appear to have a wealth of experience and knowledge—and may actually have it. But accepting their advice without question is dangerous. Here are some good practices to keep in mind when you're receiving advice, including asking questions, exploring alternatives, and analyzing risks.
Software teams in niche industries may think they require a project manager with expertise in their domain. Good project managers can anticipate and address the primary considerations for any project, regardless of industry, but if you encounter a skeptic, here’s a generic template you can use to pitch any project.
In a new project, there are always going to be challenges and delays, and when the end date is looming, you may be tempted to rush through the contracting and procurement process. But that can have dire consequences down the line if roles, responsibilities, and expectations aren't clear. Take the time to communicate.
If you have to replace a complex existing data system in production, decisions about when and whether to go live should be treated with gravity and care. One process that can help keep you honest is developing checklists that describe very clearly what is expected to be accomplished and verified at each milestone.
Much time has been spent examining the project manager’s role in IT project success, but the role and duties of project sponsors are often overlooked—even though sponsors are an essential element of success (and failure). Here are ten rights and obligations a project sponsor should perform to improve project success.