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:
If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably aware of the power of project management (PM) to bring order to potentially chaotic human endeavors. Organizations everywhere apply tried-and-true PM practices to get higher quality finished products, more quickly, and with less pain and frustration than if no PM were applied. In short, PM works almost anywhere where there are formal relationships among team members: businesses, governments, not-for-profits, etc.
Still, there’s one organization in which we spend much of our time that is not generally regarded as a candidate for PM techniques: the family. Seen through the lens of PM, a family can appear to be a random collection of informal, emotionally-charged relationships whose team members struggle mightily for control, power, recognition, autonomy, or simply to avoid work and avoid spending money. It is within this context that family reunions, weddings, home repair & improvement, landscaping, graduation parties and countless other domestic projects are undertaken by families. Some families are more successful than others in emerging from these efforts with their affections intact. Many complete such projects with permanent scars to relationships that must still, somehow, last a lifetime.
So how might your family avoid such self-inflicted wounds? Below are 5 PM “best practices” that could help your family handle its next project more effectively. (Note: You might also apply these to other unofficial project teams made up of close friends, volunteers, or anyone with whom you’d like to maintain a healthy personal relationship after the project is completed.)
Posted: August 28th, 2013 under Inspiration and Motivation, Project Management - 1 Comment. Tags: family projects, family relationships, family team, parenting, PM, PM processes, Project Management, project team, scope management, team building, wedding planning
Got clients or stakeholders who are driving you nuts and always causing scope creep? Share this simple video with them and maybe raise their consciousness. Enjoy!
Posted: July 26th, 2013 under Inspiration and Motivation, One Simple Thing, Project Management - 1 Comment. Tags: deliverables, PDU, PM, PM Minimalist, PMP, project deliverables, Project Management, project scope, project sponsor, scope creep, team management
Since I launched my first iteration of this PM (project management) Resources website in 1999 (over 14 years ago!), I’ve been happily sharing free tools, articles, and more to help new project managers become more effective. Recently I examined the statistics and compiled this list of those most frequently downloaded or read. Thanks to all of you who’ve used these and shared them with your colleagues! And if you’re new to this site or new to PM you might want to check these out for yourself. Enjoy!
2. Project “Post Mortem” Review Questions. This tool includes 35 starter questions (customizable) and instructions for conducting your own Post Mortem. It’s useful for evaluating a single project or as the starting point for an organization-wide discussion of this question: “How can we manage our projects more effectively?”
3. Worksheet: Sample Project Sign-Off Form. Projects are, by definition, finite. And sign-offs provide tangible proof that some portion of your finite project is (finally!) completed, thus helping to mitigate rework. This sample can be used as a model for developing your own sign-off form for your project phases, deliverables, 0r project completion.
4. The PM Minimalist Quick Start Guide is designed to help you plan and manage your first project using the PM Minimalist approach.
This 38 page e-book is available in Kindle, NOOK, and PDF formats.
5. Free E-Book: One Simple Thing to Improve Projects or PM (An Anthology) — In this e-book anthology, many working project managers & PM experts share their “one simple thing…” that could improve projects and/or project management (PM). Available in Kindle, NOOK, and PDF formats.
6. Do-It-Yourself PM Certification: How to Document Your Skills & Get the Credibility You’ve Earned without Jumping Through Someone Else’s Hoops – This extended article (PDF) explores the distinction between competence and certification. It then provides a professionally valid, step-by-step process for documenting your own PM skills and self-certifying. –
- See related article/PDF: Seven Benefits of Local PM Certification — Why Pursuing Locally-Relevant PM Skills Makes More Sense Than Buying Generic, External PM Certifications
7. Video Series: Become a Project Management Minimalist – This series of 8 free online videos is designed to help you apply “just enough” project management (PM) to manage your projects effectively.
8. What’s Project Portfolio Management (PPM) & Why Should Project Managers Care About It? – The title says it all!
9. Too Many Projects? Prioritize Them! — A practical guide and sample worksheet to help you prioritize that overloaded list of projects. (See also the related item 8, above.)
10. (Video) The Project Management Change Agent: How to Lead Your PM Revolution (55 minute video includes links to 25-page PDF.) – Are you ready to be the change agent who brings about a PM revolution in your organization. This video can show you how to conduct some “below the radar” guerrilla PM warfare.
Posted: July 3rd, 2013 under Project Management - No Comments. Tags: change agent, e-reader, Kindle, managing teams, Nook, PDU, PM, PM certification, PM change agent, PM FREEBIES, PMI, post mortem, PPM, project life cycles, Project Management, project management processes, project management training, project management tutorial, project planning, project portfolio management, project success, sign-off, team building
I just emailed my latest PM Minimalist Update to subscribers. Highlights from this issue include links to 31 new articles, tools and media, including:
Subscribe today & get a Bonus zip file containing 15 PM articles or tools in PDF format (88-pages total!) plus a 37-minute PM podcast!
Posted: June 13th, 2013 under Announcements, ID Project Management, Inspiration and Motivation, Project Management - No Comments. Tags: businessballs, Chuck Morrison, Franklin University, Michael Greer, mike greer, mindfulness, mindfulness meditation, PDU, Peter Taylor, PM, PM certification, PM minimalism, PMP, Project Management, project management basics, project manager's partner, Rally, Ron Rosenhead, Strategies for Project Sponsorship, Trello, Vicki James, Wunderlist
One of the things I most enjoy about teaching project management (PM) is the deeper knowledge of the field I get when students share their insights. Last week I asked my Franklin University PM students to write a brief essay answering this question: “Assume you are one of the guest authors for the e-book “One Simple Thing to Improve Projects or Project Management“…..what would be your ‘One Simple Thing?'”
Now this is one of my favorite questions to ask of everyone who’s been involved in project work or PM. It triggers their “wisdom filters” as they sift through all the projects they’ve worked on (good and bad) to find that one simple thing. And best of all, it helps them clarify their own deeply held PM values. So it’s always enlightening to hear what people come up with. Read more »
Posted: May 30th, 2013 under Inspiration and Motivation, One Simple Thing, Project Management - No Comments. Tags: book review, Douglas Ruskoff, Franklin University, Janet Maslin, New York Times, PDU, PM, PM minimalism, Present Shock, project management processes, project planning, scope creep, scope management, Stephen Covey, team building, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
[Update: This blog post has been included in the “PM Techniques” section of my book Worth Sharing: Essays & Tools to Help Project Managers & Their Teams.]
A while back I was teaching an introductory PM class for some high-achieving tech folks. My overall goal was to begin to convert these perfectionists into project managers. Mid-way through the first morning, I divided the class into several small groups of 4 or 5 people and assigned a series of planning exercises. They had brought their own real world project ideas to class and the object of the game was to take a few of these from rough concept to full-blown, high-resolution project plans. Each team had been given large Post-It notes, blank flip charts, and markers. There were also a couple of white boards available.
As the teams were working through the guided planning exercises, I could hear the familiar jumble of voices as ideas were bounced around, discussed, discarded, and revised. One team, however, was strangely silent. Unlike the others who were up and moving about, they were seated around a table and looking at the back of one guy’s computer screen. I walked over to see what was going on. Read more »
A Review of Strategies for Project Sponsorship, by Vicki James, Ron Rosenhead, and Peter Taylor (Management Concepts Press, 2013)
Strategies for Project Sponsorship is a unique blend of practical, step-by-step tools; hard-won wisdom from the PM trenches; and solid, research-based recommendations. As a PM author reading this book, I found myself in awe of how nimbly the authors weaved together seemingly disparate elements: here citing research findings, there providing war stories or case study examples, and finally pivoting to morph these into powerful, ready-to-use tools.
As someone who’s both managed projects and trained project managers for more than three decades, I know this for certain: This book should be in every project manager’s tool kit and in every project sponsor’s briefcase.
Here are six reasons I believe this book will become an instant PM classic:
Posted: March 30th, 2013 under Project Management - 3 Comments. Tags: book review, Peter Taylor, Project Management, project management teams, project sponsor, project sponsorship, Ron Rosenhead, Strategies for Project Sponsorship, team building, Vicki James
How to Lead Your PM Revolution
Is your organization ready for a project management (PM) revolution?
- Are your projects always running late, over budget, and plagued by “do overs?”
- Do people hate working on your project teams and try to avoid being assigned to projects?
- Are you continually reworking and reworking deliverables because you just can’t seem to get it right in the first place?
And if it is time for a PM revolution, then where should you begin?
This video is for everyone who wants to be the change agent who brings about a PM revolution in their organization. Whether you are a middle manager, HR professional, supervisor, or simply a task specialist who wants to conduct some “below the radar” guerrilla PM warfare, you can benefit from this video & the accompanying 25-page PDF (click here to download the PDF). (Scroll down below the video image to see a complete outline of the topics covered.)
Posted: February 25th, 2013 under Project Management - 3 Comments. Tags: agile, asapm, change agent, OD, organizational development, PDU, PM, PMI, PMP, PRINCE2, Project Management, project management training, project scope, project team, resource management, scrum, team building
Let’s face it. You wouldn’t be a project manager if you fancied yourself a sales person. Indeed most project managers — particularly those who came up through the ranks of top project contributors and technical experts — hate all the “dog and pony show” stuff that’s involved in selling their projects.
But the truth is there is simply no one who is in a better position to draw clear connecting lines between your team’s amazing technical abilities and the value these bring to your organization through your project. What’s more, as your project unfolds, you are going to need the enthusiastic support of senior management to help you get the money, people, facilities, equipment, and engaged participation of SMEs that will bring success. So it’s up to you and the specific actions you take to build the sale and generate that much-needed senior management enthusiasm.
So where do you begin? Here are 5 actions that can help you sell your project to senior management:
Posted: January 29th, 2013 under ID Project Management, Project Management - 1 Comment. Tags: Instructional Design, managing teams, motivation, PM, project life cycle, Project Management, scope management
Below are my “top 10” favorite items drawn from all the PM articles, blog posts, podcasts, and videos that I published on this website during 2012.
Some of these items I believe are important and worth a second look. Others were merely fun or gratifying to create and I want to share them again before they disappear beneath 2013’s articles.
I hope you like these or find something here that is thought-provoking. Click the Read More link to see the whole list. Enjoy!” — Mike G.
Posted: December 29th, 2012 under Project Management - No Comments. Tags: agile, e-reader, free PM, iPad, Nook, PDF, PM FREEBIES, PM minimalism, Project Management, project management basics, project planning, project team, scrum, team building