The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 331: Add Compassion to Your Project Manager Skill Set (Free) #PMOT

Play Now:

This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for the PMI-ACP Exam:
Earn 37 PDUs with The Agile PrepCast

Margaret Meloni
Margaret Meloni - Project Management Coach

When you think of your project manager skills, then “compassion” is probably not the first word that comes to mind. You would probably first list some other hard project management tools and techniques like your scheduling abilities or completing your projects on scope and on budget.

And only if you keep adding words to this project management skills list will you eventually come to terms like conflict management, team building, empathy and compassion.

Margaret Meloni (http://www.margaretmeloni.com) says that we project managers should value compassion much more than we do.

If we are supposed to use compassion as one of our project management soft skills then we have to first define what it is, how it relates to project management and hear examples of how to use it on our projects. And that’s exactly what you are going to get from Margaret’s interview.

But the most important question that I have asked margaret is this: If compassion is truly so important for me as a project manager, how can I see quantifiable results on my projects?

Continue Reading

Episode 330: Project Coaching makes you a better Project Leader (Freemium)

This is a Premium episode that we are making available to all our listeners. Please click here to learn more about The Premium PM Podcast...

Play Now:

Susanne Madsen, Author
Susanne Madsen - Author and Leadership Expert

Generally speaking there are six leadership styles: authoritative, democratic, affiliative, pace setting, commanding and coaching. Each one of these has its time and place.

But for you and me as project leaders, project management coaching should be at the top of our list. After all, it is the people working on our projects who get things done, so we want to unlock their potential. And coaching may just be the answer.

A little while back we had Susanne Madsen (http://www.susannemadsen.com) on the program to discuss how her Project Management Coaching Workbook can help unleash your potential. And today, we are going to do a deep dive into various coaching techniques and how it can make you a better project leader.

Continue Reading

Episode 329: How to Overcome Resistance to Project Change Management (Free)

Play Now:

This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for the PMI-ACP Exam:
Earn 37 PDUs with The Agile PrepCast

Susanne Madsen, Author
Susanne Madsen - Author and Leadership Expert

When we talk about “change management in project management”, the words “resistance” and “tension” often spring to mind.

Consider the resistance to project change management for instance, when two organizations merge, or the fear that employees will feel when a part of their job is automated and some of their skills become redundant.

But the problem isn’t the change itself in spite of the difficulties that it may bring.

To discuss the project change management process with us today I’m very pleased to welcome back one of our favorite interview guests: Susanne Madsen (http://www.susannemadsen.com), whose book The Power of Project Leadership contains a large section on change management.

She says: Organizational change is vital for any business that wants to survive and thrive in our increasingly competitive and fast paced word. The problem is that many project leaders struggle to fully motivate and engage their teams in the process. They often move too fast, are too outcome driven and not sufficiently consultative in their approach.

Continue Reading

Episode 328: Agile Communications (Premium)

This episode is reserved for subscribers of the Premium Podcast. Learn how to subscribe to the Premium Podcast to access this interview and transcript...

Bill Dow
Bill Dow, PMP, ITIL, CSM - Author

According to Harold Kerzner, we project managers spend 90% of our time communicating.

And according to the title, Bill Dow’s new book Project Management Communication Tools is 100% about communication tools. And since Agile is the hot topic of the day, a large portion of the book is devoted to Agile Communications and Agile Communication Tools.

So in this interview, Bill and I review:

  • Agile dashboards
  • Agile meetings
  • And even agile estimation

Continue Reading

Episode 327: Social Media Project Management Tools (Free)

Play Now:

This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for the PMI-ACP Exam:
Earn 37 PDUs with The Agile PrepCast

Bill Dow
Bill Dow, PMP, ITIL, CSM - Author

You don’t necessarily have to manage a social media project in order to recognize the benefits of using the tools of social media project management. Furthermore, being a social media project manager is more than simply publishing a few project updates on Facebook.

In order to really reap the benefits, social media has to be a fully integrated and planned part of your project’s communications management strategy.

How to use and when to use social media on your project is at the center of my discussion with Bill Dow (https://www.linkedin.com/in/billdow) whose book Project Management Communication Tools includes a whole section on social media tools for our projects.

In our discussion, Bill and I will review the following:

  • Mapping social media tools to project communication tools
  • Determining which tools to use on your projects
  • Which tools can we use in which project phase or process group
  • When to bring on a social media expert to help

Continue Reading

Episode 326: Got Project Management Questions? Here are the Answers! (Free)

Play Now:

This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for the PMI-ACP Exam:
Earn 37 PDUs with The Agile PrepCast

Jeff Furman
Jeff Furman, PMP - Author

Do you have a project management question? Then Jeff Furman (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jefffurmanlinkedin) very likely has the answer for you in the second edition of The Project Management Answer Book.

The book includes questions

  • Why do project managers need a formal project charter?
  • What is the role of a program manager?
  • What are the top 10 pitfalls to avoid when starting a project?
  • What is the single best way to prevent scope creep?

All answers are detailed, easy to understand and often come with tips and tricks tables and graphics and everything you need to fully understand and implement good practices on your own projects.

This second edition is not just a rehash of what Jeff originally published some years back. Far from it. Jeff revisited every single question and wrote an updated answer to include changes in our industry. So it’s not surprising that he now also includes sections on Agile, Scrum and Stakeholder Management.

Continue Reading

Episode 325: Project Management Coaching and Mentoring - A How-To Guide (Free)

Play Now:

This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Jeff Furman
Jeff Furman, PMP - Project Management Coach

Have you ever considered being a project management mentor to another PM in your network? I can tell you from personal experience that while project management coaching sounds like a lot of work the return on investment that you personally get out of it is immense.

And so, when I received an email from Jeff Furman (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jefffurmanlinkedin) and he offered to discuss some of the mentoring approaches that he uses as a project management coach I was all for it.

In our discussion Jeff and I review:

  • Staying in touch
  • Answering questions
  • Helping people connect
  • Helping out on social media
  • Writing recommendations
  • Recommending resources
  • Guiding your mentees to become mentors themselves
  • And last but not least… Speed Mentoring

As you can probably already tell, none of these project management mentoring approaches are rocket science. But we still have some good best practices for you to follow.

Continue Reading

Episode 324: How to Get Your PMP Certification with Bryan Bowers (Free)

Play Now:

This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Bryan Bowers, PMP
Bryan Bowers, MBA, PMP

This is another episode in which I am proudly introducing you to one of my successful students who was able to pass the PMP. His name is Bryan Bowers (https://www.linkedin.com/in/bowersbryan) and he is a student of the PMP PrepCast.

There are two reasons that make me especially proud of helping him pass. First of all, Bryan has taken over a dozen certification exams, and second he says that “this was by and far the most brutal exam I have ever taken”. And so I feel very satisfied that it was my exam preparation course that showed Bryan how to prepare for PMP.

In this PMP lessons learned interview you are going to hear him talk about his journey to becoming PMP certified from start to finish.

Continue Reading

Episode 323: Agile Burnout - How to Avoid Fatigue on Your Agile Team (Premium)

This episode is reserved for subscribers of the Premium Podcast. Learn how to subscribe to the Premium Podcast to access this interview and transcript...

Kim Wasson
Kim Wasson. Author, Speaker & PM Consultant.

Do you use an Agile project management approach? And have you maybe noticed a certain fatigue -- an Agile burnout, a Scrum burnout in your team?

Well, Agile is indeed an excellent methodology that is responsive to business changes with quick turnaround and highly visible results. But at the same time, the pace of a project using Agile is relentless. It never seems to stop and this is potentially one of the biggest agile project management issues that the team may face. Unlike Waterfall there are very few built-in times for team members to catch their collective breath and celebrate milestones.

This Scrum burnout was the basis of the article Agile Fatigue written by Kim Wasson https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimwasson. It’s a relatively short article that contains some good tips on how to combat this effect. So in our interview just now we are going to talk about the following symptoms:

  • Burnout
  • Meandering
  • Stagnation
  • The daily stand-up turns into a grind
  • A secret move back to waterfall

But more importantly, we discuss what to do about them in order to battle the burnout.

Continue Reading

Episode 322: The Secret Behind Project Human Resources Management is People-Centered Project Management (Free)

Play Now:

Kim Wasson
Kim Wasson. Author, Speaker & PM Consultant.

When I was a junior project manager, I thought that managing my projects meant for me to focus primarily on the schedule. But as I grew from junior to senior I learned that in order to improve my project manager skills, I needed to learn how to manage project management relationships.

Every project is made up of people, and people are diverse and unpredictable beings. The fascinating study of people, how they interact, and what makes them tick is the heart of project management. It is also at the heart of "People-Centered Project Management", which is a free eBook by Kim Wasson https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimwasson.

The eBook is all about people project management and explores "The five elements that will make or break your project (unless you’re living in a cave)". The five elements are

  • Building Relationships
  • Common Goals
  • Learning Style
  • Motivation
  • Skills Matching

These elements are not only at the core of project human resources management, they are also at the center of our discussion. We review each element and and give you lots of tips and tricks so that you can improve your project manager people skills.

Continue Reading

Episode 321: How to Enhance Your Job Search with Social Media (Free)

This episode is sponsored by the PMP Exam Simulator:
PMP Exam Simulator

Play Now:

This episode focuses on helping project managers enhance their job search by using modern social media tools.

I was asked by PMI Long Island to give a presentation on the topic for their latest Career Event. There were about 25 "in transition" project managers attending the event and my presentation.

This is the recording of this live presentation. It was delivered via WebEx, with me in California and the attendees in Long Island.

Click here to download the PDF handout / checklist that is mentioned during the presentation.

Continue Reading

Episode 320: Changes to the PMP PDU Categories Explained (Free)

Play Now:

This episode is sponsored by The Best PMP Exam Simulator:
The Best PMP Exam Simulator

John Kleine

At the end of 2015, the Project Management Institute (PMI) is going to make changes to the way PMI certified project managers have to earn their Professional Development Units (PDUs). And in this episode we are going to explore these changes with John Kleine (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-kleine/10/aa1/613), who is PMI’s Global Manager of Certification Products. He is right at the heart of these changes.But before we start let me give you a disclaimer here: If you are not PMI certified and you never intend to become a certified PMP, PgMP, PMI-ACP, or any of the other PMI certifications, then stop listening right here. This interview is of no interest to you at all. If on the other hand you are PMI certified, then consider this episode mandatory listening. You need to know this!

First of all you are going to hear that many rules and criteria about PDUs are going to remain the same, and so most of what you know about PDUs today will be true tomorrow. For example, you can still earn 30 Free PMP PDUs by listening to this podcast! But then we are going to delve into the details of the PMI PDU changes by looking at the new PMI Talent Triangle and by going through the current PDU categories and learning what changes are ahead.But before we start let me give you a disclaimer here: If you are not PMI certified and you never intend to become a certified PMP, PgMP, PMI-ACP, or any of the other PMI certifications, then stop listening right here. This interview is of no interest to you at all. If on the other hand you are PMI certified, then consider this episode mandatory listening. You need to know this!

But before we start let me give you a disclaimer here: If you are not PMI certified and you never intend to become a certified PMP, PgMP, PMI-ACP, or any of the other PMI certifications, then stop listening right here. This interview is of no interest to you at all. If on the other hand you are PMI certified, then consider this episode mandatory listening. You need to know this!

Continue Reading

Episode 319: Three Urgent Project Case Studies (Premium)

This episode is reserved for subscribers of the Premium Podcast. Learn how to subscribe to the Premium Podcast to access this interview and transcript...

This episode is sponsored by PMP Exam Simulator:
The PMP Exam Simulator

Stephen Wearne

Last week, Stephen Wearne introduced us all to the basics of Managing the Urgent and Unexpected. We heard some of the lessons he learned, some best practices and what we can implement in order to prepare our organizations. So from the perspective of a project manager who is put in charge of urgent projects, we have the basics.

But there is of course more to learn by revisiting actual urgent and unexpected projects to see what those projects were like and what kind of takeaways we get from them.

And more than that -- remember that Stephen explained to us that managing an urgent and unexpected project is really the exception. So what I want to know from him at the end is this: What can we learn from all of this in relation to our regular, day-to-day projects.

Continue Reading

Episode 318: How to Manage an Urgent Project (Free)

Play Now:

This episode is sponsored by PMP Exam Simulator:
The PMP Exam Simulator

Stephen Wearne

Have you ever had an urgent or unexpected project come across your desk? Not just an important project, but an urgent one? If you answer is “Yes - I have managed urgent projects” then you are actually in the minority because most of us will actually never have to manage such a project. Professor Stephen Wearne explains this in his book “Managing the Urgent and Unexpected” as follows:

"Urgent and unexpected projects have to be rare in business or government to be economically and socially tolerable. Any such urgent and unexpected work demands an instant start, in contrast to the often lengthy processes of investigation, evaluation, development, selection and planning that is normal normal in businesses and public services before any proposed work is started. The chance that any one person except those in the emergency services will ever manage such a project is small."

Stephen then continues in his book with saying something that I disagree with just a little bit. He says that it’s not possible to know who should learn the lessons learned from these urgent and unexpected projects in order to be prepared. In my opinion, I know exactly who should learn from them -- we project managers should! And that is why I have asked him to come onto the program.

Continue Reading