PM Training Squad - a project management podcast
16: Great project communication - a simple email approach

16: Great project communication - a simple email approach

February 7, 2021

In this short episode we cover a simple approach for project email communications which really works well for informing end-users and/or large groups.

Full show notes on the website link

https://www.pmtrainingsquad.com/2021/02/podcast-better-project-communication-email/

 

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Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and do not represent the view of my employer.

 

15: How to be a lean Project Manager

15: How to be a lean Project Manager

October 19, 2020

In this episode we talk about how you can become leaner and more efficient in your project delivery.

"....I thought if anyone reads that they are going to come back to me and say what is this total garbage you've written in your document....."

 

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries http://theleanstartup.com/

 

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Thanks for listening.


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Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and do not represent the view of my employer. These are methods I’ve successfully used and honed over many years of actual project delivery but I can’t guarantee they will work in every circumstance or for you personally.


http://www.pmtrainingsquad.com

14: Epic Project Fail No 1

14: Epic Project Fail No 1

July 13, 2020

In this podcast we look at our first Epic Project Fail and take away some key learnings.

How do you deliver years late and go €billons over budget?? Simple: build an airport...

Sources

BBC Radio 4 - In Business, The Berlin Airport Fiasco

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-48527308

https://onemileatatime.com/berlin-brandenburg-airport/

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-07-23/how-berlin-s-futuristic-airport-became-a-6-billion-embarrassment

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Thanks for listening.

Please subscribe, like or give us a 5* rating on your podcast app! We really appreciate it.

http://www.pmtrainingsquad.com

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and do not represent the view of my employer.

 

 

13: How to deal with project overload

13: How to deal with project overload

June 6, 2020

How to deal with project overload

You're delivering your projects. Everything is fine. And then you're given another one. It's still fine, so then another. And then the wheels begin to fall off...

  • How to identify if you are overloaded
  • What problems it causes
  • Who is actually responsible?
  • How to deal with the situation
  • What if it doesn't work out like you hoped? What do you do then?

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Please subscribe, like or give us a 5* rating on your podcast app! We really appreciate it.

http://www.pmtrainingsquad.com

(please note this podcast was previously called 'The Smarter PM')

12: Perm or Contract? What’s right for you?

12: Perm or Contract? What’s right for you?

April 4, 2020

In this podcast we discuss some of the merits of permanent and contract roles, and consider the factors that you might want to consider when deciding what's the right career option for you.

PERM
- base salary
- company car
- pension
- other fringe benefits
- training (usually paid for)
- progression/transition
- mentoring
- redundancy
- security
- experience depends on employer

CONTRACT

- IS usually paid more
- admin hassle
- need to manage your own money
- keep a buffer (both for the taxman and in case you are on the bench) min 6M but ideally 1yr
- take renewals - evidence of this shows competence
- will depend on the amount of risk you want to take
- exposure to different ways of working and cultures
- easy to leave a nightmare role
- some people just don’t feel comfortable with permanent employment and the obligation that brings
- you may get the rubbish jobs
- can be a good option to see if you like the culture and then move to perm
- IR35 - a UK challenge
- fixed term salaried role - not such a good deal for you
- agency ‘directly employed’ model - ditto

 

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11: Tips for Working from Home

11: Tips for Working from Home

March 18, 2020

Many people will now be working from home for the first time which, if you are used to 5 days working in the office, can be a culture shock. We look at what you need to create a productive working environment that fits in with your home life.

 

  • Broadband - plus your backup
  • Recommended kit
  • Working environment - separate from your home area
  • Take breaks and get fresh air
  • Daily routine
  • Use meetings effectively in multiple ways
  • Set clear targets and communicate these
  • Tools you can use
  • Addressing social isolation
  • Use the phone instead of email
  • Activities/opportunities outside work

 

View out the window.....Fawlty Towers :-). 0:50 sec onwards
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcliR8kAbzc

 

 

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Please subscribe, like or give us a 5* rating on your podcast app! We really appreciate it.

https://www.thesmarterpm.com/podcast11-tips-for-working-from-home/

10: Coronavirus business readiness

10: Coronavirus business readiness

March 13, 2020

In this episode we outline a straightforward process and approach which orgnaisations can use to help prepare for restrictions imposed due to the Coronavirus / Covid19 pandemic. In particular when you have no access to your premises.

 

Approach / Project Phases

1. Analysis - what systems have I got, and how critical are they? How to ask the right questions to determine this.

2. Requirements - what do we need to do, in detail?

3. Delivery - implementation, what are the tasks, who is doing them and by when?

4. Test - make sure everything works as expected.

 

Remote control software tools

TightVNC https://www.tightvnc.com/download.html

Chrome Remote (free) https://remotedesktop.google.com/

GoToMyPC ($$ paid) https://get.gotomypc.com/

Teamviewer ($$$ paid)

 

Trello Board - Coronavirus Business Preparation (reusable template)

https://trello.com/b/iVt2ZJPs/coronavirus-business-preparation/cczmark/recommend

 

Other tools worth considering..

 

Online backup services

Backblaze (paid - I use this) - https://www.backblaze.com/

 

Password Store

Make sure you keep a record of all critical system user accounts and passwords. Give at least 2 people the master password. Keep a copy of the password store offsite. Keepass V2 is great - I personally use this and have worked at organisations that use it.

https://keepass.info/

 

Video conferencing /screen sharing

Zoom meetings

WebEx

 

IP Telephony (instead of landlines)

Search for 'hosted VOIP'

 

Thanks for listening!

Please subscribe and share this podcast with anyone who may find this of value.

Visit www.thesmarterpm.com for more project management information.

 

9: Will AI take my PM job?

9: Will AI take my PM job?

February 15, 2020

In this episode we consider if AI could perform the Project Manager's role and ultimately put you out of a job. Let's hope not!

 

Technical links referred to

https://eng.uber.com/introducing-ludwig/

https://www.tensorflow.org/

https://pytorch.org/

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Thanks for listening! Please subscribe, like or leave us a 5* review if you found this useful.

http://www.pmtrainingsquad.com

 

 

8: The two most important words in delivering Projects

8: The two most important words in delivering Projects

January 6, 2020

What are the two most important words in delivering projects?

This podcast is my view on some behaviours and words/phrases which may improve team working, and therefore help to deliver your projects. In no specific order or priority….

1. Admit your weaknesses - don’t be afraid to ask for help.

2. Deal with unresponsive people - walk and talk rather than mail and wail!

3. Foster a team ethos - remember as a PM you’re not doing the actual work!

4. Ask for clarifications… “I understand that..” or “my understanding is….”

5. Share problems and solve these collaboratively.

6. Acknowledge when you make a mistake - take accountability and be authentic.

7. Share information with colleagues and co-workers.

8. Show your gratitude. Frequently…

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Please note: this podcast will now be a monthly gig.

7: How to run effective project meetings

7: How to run effective project meetings

July 10, 2019

How to run effective project meetings

In this podcast we’re covering meetings, both from an organiser but also from an attendee perspective. We cover some basic dos and don’ts to avoid meetings becoming inefficient and a time-drain. And we talk about biscuits :-)

Organiser
• Keep meetings an efficient length. 30-45 mins works for most meetings. (Almost all the 3 hour meetings I’ve been to could have been run in half that time or less)
• Be ruthless about attendees - only invite who really needs to be there
• Be clear about the meeting objective
• Issue an agenda and stick to it. Bullet points are fine.
• Issue minutes ideally within 1 working day. 10 mins before the next meeting is too late!
• In the minutes clearly separate discussion/information points from actions
• Send an email reminder about the actions well before the next meeting
• Use a weekly project meeting as a key tool to keep project momentum, assist with team bonding and to help remove blockers
• If the project meeting only needs to be 10min that’s fine.
• At the first meeting set out the meeting etiquette (start promptly, phones on silent, step out to make calls etc)

Remote/virtual meetings
• Open conference call bridges at least 1 min before the meeting start time
• Show some information on the screen to keep attendee focus
• Record the meeting so that people have a chance to revisit
• Use webcams if you can

Attendee
• Read (or at least scan) any supporting documents.
• If there’s 6 people plus you attending and the organiser has to spend 10mins explaining some basic information, thats 6 x 10min (1hr) of project effort wasted. So contact the organiser individually if you need specific or introductory information.
• Respect the meeting etiquette and your colleagues’ time. Turn up promptly and step out if you need to make a call.
• If you feel that much of the meeting is not relevant to you, discuss with the organiser in advance so you can make your contribution in an agreed slot

Types of meeting
• Decisions - project board or steering group - few people - key information - decision makers
• Collaboration - projects - key group of people (use the 1 pizza rule) - share progress - remove blockers - drive & keep momentum.
• Communication - one-way info share - as many people as you like

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http://www.pmtrainingsquad.com

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