Welcome to Michael Greer's PM Resources
"At this website you'll find info about my favorite project management (PM) resources, my products & services, and a "first-do-no-harm," no B.S., Minimalist approach to PM. To learn more, use the Navigation links (left), scroll through my latest blog posts below, or watch a video intro. Enjoy!" -- Mike G.
LATEST BLOG POSTS:
I’m proud to be one of the speakers in the Conscious Software Development Telesummit scheduled for November 10 – 21, 2014. This FREE virtual event will harness the perspectives of 21 speakers as they focus on some of the secrets used by top companies to improve their software development projects!
From the website:
“Consciousness = Awareness + Choice
Conscious Software Development means you apply Awareness and Choice to all areas of application creation. [Are you...?]
- Fed up with scope creep ruining your delivery schedules?
- Exasperated when your development team’s software turns to “shelfware” by your users?
- Afraid of project death marches where deadline after deadline is missed?
- Worried about more subtle forms of failure that you might not notice until it is too late?”
21 speakers will tackle the issues behind these frustrations and help you figure out how to avoid them. For more info… and your FREE “instant access” pass… go to: http://conscioussoftwaredevelopment.com/
Posted: October 28th, 2014 under Announcements, Project Management - No Comments. Tags: agile, Bob Bornhofen, Bryan Barrow, Christopher Avery, Cornelius Fichtner, Dave Gordon, Deanne Earle, Gabriel Lawson, Gary Nelson, Gil Broza, Hala Saleh, Juval Löwy, Mark Ryan, Michael Greer, Michael Smith, Naomi Caietti, PDU, Peter Taylor, PM, PMP, project failure, Project Management, Rich Maltzman, Samad Aidane, scope creep, scrum, shelfware, software development, Todd Williams, Tommy Miles
On Friday, October 10 at 12 noon Eastern USA time (UTC-05:00) I will be guest host for the live weekly #PMChat session on Twitter. The topic will be “The Non-Negotiables: Your ‘Must Do’ and ‘Must Have’ PM Prerequisites.”
Posted: October 8th, 2014 under Announcements, Project Management - No Comments. Tags: #PMChat, discussion, leadership, PDU, PM, PM best practices, PM Chat, PM discussion, PMP, PRINCE2, project leadership, Project Management, Twitter, Twitter chat
This new post at my WORTH SHARING website introduces a powerful (and free!) app that you’re going to want to use with your project teams. Check it out:
So why visit my WORTH SHARING website? See:
Posted: September 28th, 2014 under Project Management - No Comments. Tags: android, annotation, assignment, audio recorder, collaboration, drawing tool, Facebook, free app, google+, homeschool, homework, instruction, instructions, iPad, iPhone, job aid, parenting, photo edit, Samsung, sketch, social media, study aid, tablet, teachers aid, team building, teamwork, tutorial, Twitter, voice over
Check out this new post at my WORTH SHARING website:
So why visit my WORTH SHARING website? See:
Posted: August 30th, 2014 under Announcements, Project Management - No Comments. Tags: Amazon Cloud, Big Data, Big Data Analytics, Big Sheets, data management, Data Mining, DB2, Distributed Applications, Hadoop, HBase, IBM, IBM BLU, IBM Cloud, Jaql, MapReduce, Oozie, Pig, SQL, Text Analytics
In case you missed it I hereby alert you to the following blog post on my WORTH SHARING website:
(Spoiler alert –They liked it!)
So why visit my WORTH SHARING website? See:
Posted: August 29th, 2014 under Announcements, Project Management - No Comments. Tags: AAAS, American Association for the Advancement of Science, David Jensen, iPad, Michael Greer, PDF, PDU, PM, PM tools, PM training, PMP, Project Management, Science Careers forum, tablet
Check out this new review at my WORTH SHARING website:
- Free Management eBooks: A Comprehensive Collection of References and Tools for Managers (includes a Video Tour!)
So why visit my WORTH SHARING website? See:
Posted: July 30th, 2014 under Announcements, Project Management - No Comments. Tags: accounting, balance sheet, cash flow, cause analysis, coaching, communication, delegation, emotional intelligence, epub, feasibility study, finance, financial ratios, goal setting, human resource management, Kindle, leadership, negotiation, PDU, performance appraisal, pmbok, PMI, PMP, PMP certification, procrastination, productivity, project cost management, Project Management, Risk Management, stakeholder management, WBS
Starting this month I will be publishing all my new blog posts, articles and other announcements at my WORTH SHARING website. I will continue to create articles and videos that are relevant to the topics you usually find here, including thoughts on Project Management (PM), managing teams, PM training and tools, and much more. To find these at the WORTH SHARING website, just click on the “PM Resources” tab (see diagram below).
Why the Convergence?
The short answer is this: To help you find all the stuff I believe to be “WORTH SHARING” in one location, no matter what the topic. (For a more detailed discussion, click here.)
Subscribe to the News Feed!
To make sure you never miss any of my new blog posts, articles, videos or announcements you can subscribe to my WORTH SHARING news feed via you favorite news reader or your Kindle. Here’s how:
Posted: June 18th, 2014 under Announcements - No Comments. Tags: creativity, e-reader, Michael Greer, Michael Greer's PM Resources, Mike Greer’s WORTH SHARING, mindful meditation, mindfulness, motivation, PDU, PM certification, PM FREEBIES, PM minimalism, PMI, PMP, Project Management, project management basics, Project Management Minimalist, project management processes, project management tutorial, project planning, project teams, team building
I was recently corresponding with Geoff Crane, the creative force behind The Papercut Project Manager website, about how people can get started in Project Management (PM). After some thought-provoking back and forth with him on the topic, I was inspired to create the following article. (Thanks, Geoff!)
In more than three decades of working with PM newbies in my classes, I’ve heard a lot of great stories about how people became project managers. Based on what I’ve heard, I have two broad suggestions for anyone who would like to get that first job as a project manager:
- Become a valuable and trusted contributor on project teams.
- “Act as if” you are in charge of (or at least responsible for) one or more projects.
Here’s a closer look each of these.
Become a Valuable and Trusted Project Contributor
Something every would-be project manager ought to consider: PM is an activity that is often regarded as “overhead.” That means that the time project managers spend on their PM chores is budgeted under “administrative costs” or a similar heading. In contrast, the primary work of creating project deliverables is typically done by specialists in a given field. The scriptwriters, computer programmers, researchers, systems analysts, plumbers and electricians, etc. – all these folks make unique contributions that are based on their mastering a chosen specialty. Over time, if they do good work, they come to be regarded as valuable and trusted project contributors. They are the “go to” people who get things done, know how to deal with obstacles and can creatively invent short-cuts that can be implemented without sacrificing quality.
Now if you are going to manage a project in a given field, you need to have developed a substantial working knowledge of that field for two primary reasons:
- Your detailed plans, inspections, reviews and client/stakeholder outreach efforts need to make sense within the context of that field and its professional “best practices” and,
- You need to have the respect of those key project contributors so that when you ask them to do something they trust that you know what you’re talking about and will comply. And the best way to get their respect is if you, yourself, have spent some time working shoulder-to-shoulder with them, getting good results.
So whether you’re trying to create an accurate task list and matching project schedule, trying to sell the project to stakeholders whose support you need or trying to nudge project team members to take a specific course of action, it really helps to have spent some time yourself as a project team member, making valuable contributions and earning the trust of your peers, SMEs and other stakeholders. (And it also helps if you love this field, can empathize with the passions of its practitioners and truly enjoy working with them!)
“Act as If” You Are Responsible
In his book The Power of Intention, Wayne Dyer suggests that we: “Act as if everything you desire is already here… treat yourself as if you already are what you’d like to become.” And in his book,Get Out of Your Own Way, Robert K. Cooper writes: “Brain scans show that simply imagining a complex and compelling goal will actually fire the same neurons that will be required to actually achieve the goal… In order to sense a new idea or shape a better future, we must first create it in the brain as a possibility…”
Translating these high-sounding suggestions to our topic of getting a foothold in PM (and getting a bit more specific) here is a list of things I’ve observed that “ordinary” project team members were doing just before they broke into their official role of project manager:
- Anticipating problems that the team might face, then helping to prevent them
- Going beyond simply enduring or complaining about obstacles or roadblocks to taking the actions that were necessary to help remove them
- Filling in the gaps by doing the dirty, thankless jobs when no one else was available in order to keep the project moving
- Stepping up and acting on behalf of — or, more specifically, acting as if they “owned”:
- The schedule
- The budget
- The resource work load that may have needed balancing
- The quality of the finished product
- Advocating on behalf of team members who wouldn’t (or couldn’t) speak up for themselves
- Serving as a bridge between stakeholders and the professionals on the project team by helping translate technical jargon, explain field-specific best practices or generally selling the project and its value
- Leading, in critical moments when there was no one else around to serve as leader
In short, when a member of the project team starts doing the kinds of things listed above, the senior managers and stakeholders who are orbiting the project begin to listen more carefully when this person speaks. And eventually this person acquires the personal gravitas to be asked to serve, officially, as a project manager.
Like a Glacier
If you practice the two broad collections of behaviors discussed above, it is almost inevitable that you acquire the job title of project manager. And this job title will be deserved because you have authentically:
- Mastered a profession and earned the respect of your peers through a track record of competence
- Become a de facto project manager by “acting as if” you own and take responsibility for the projects on which you work
Do these things and slowly but surely, with the inevitability of a glacier moving inexorably down a mountain, you will become a project manager.
Suggested Links (Further Study)
- Project Management is a Broad Human Practice, not Merely a Profession (See also several links at the end of this article.)
- Podcast: Act As If
- Podcast: Trust Your Judgment
- Podcast: Just Do It!
Posted: May 28th, 2014 under Inspiration and Motivation, Project Management - No Comments. Tags: hire project manager, managing teams, PDU, PM certification, pmot, PMP, Project Management, project management training, project manager job
This brief video uses simple, real-world examples to distinguish between authority & responsibility. And it makes the argument that by finding the balance between the two, we can improve the quality of life in our projects and project teams, in our personal relationships and in the world at large.
“It’s the fair and decent thing to do!”
For my extended essay on this topic, as well as some practical “Challenge” questions that can help you put these concepts to work, see this blog post:
Posted: April 24th, 2014 under Inspiration and Motivation, Project Management - No Comments. Tags: authority, delegation, fair play, PM, Project Management, project management teams, quality of life, responsibility, span of control, supervision, team building, teams, work life balance
As regular readers of this blog know, I don’t exactly push PM newbies toward PMP (or any other commercially available) certification. In fact, in several extended essays and PDFs, I’ve tried mightily to make the case for local, do-it-yourself PM certification while providing specific, step-by-step instructions in how to do so:
- Do-It-Yourself PM Certification: How to Document Your Skills & Get the Credibility You’ve Earned without Jumping Through Someone Else’s Hoops
- Seven Benefits of Local PM Certification: Why Pursuing Locally-Relevant PM Skills Makes More Sense Than Buying Generic, External PM Certifications
- Beyond PM Certification: Achieving PM Performance Improvement
- How to Create a Locally-Relevant Set of PM Job Tasks & Competencies Based on Job Level
- Project Management is a Broad Human Practice, not Merely a Profession
Still, if your employer or clients have drunk the PMI Kool-Aid and are absolutely, positively convinced that you need their PMP stamp of approval to do your job, then you should know about Firebrand’s amazing collection of powerful, “accelerated” PMP study tools, exercises and answers. The Firebrand collection can do two important things for you:
- If you are undecided about pursuing PMP certification, it can help you take a very fast, efficient “deep dive” into the conceptual database that makes up the PMP certification body of content. This way you can quickly decide for yourself whether this stuff is going to be helpful to your unique PM career.
- If you are committed to the PMP certification path, it can serve as a well-designed set of “crib notes,” reference tools and practice exercises to speed you on your way to the certification exam.
Video Tour: Firebrand’s Free PMP Training
Below is my quick video tour of the free online training materials available at the Firebrand website to help you qualify for your PMP certification. Enjoy!
======= Related Articles =========
- The Origins of My PM Minimalism: It’s Not Merely Simple-Minded… It’s About PM Essences
- My Incredible Shrinking PM Recommendations
- My 10 Favorite PM Articles, Posts, or Videos from 2013
- Free e-Book “What Project Management Means to Me” from #PMFlashBlog Authors
- (Video) The Project Management Change Agent: How to Lead Your PM Revolution (55 minute video includes links to 25-page PDF.)
Posted: March 21st, 2014 under Inspiration and Motivation, Project Management - No Comments. Tags: Firebrand, free class, free training, PDU, PM certification, PM competency, PM training, PMI, PMP, project management basics, team building