PMP Wisdom from LinkedIn

LinkedInWe LOVE LinkedIn* at! This great resource allows us to stay connected with the PMP Project Manager community, share our insights into the Project Management profession, and learn from others who are LinkedIn Members.

We recently posted the following questions to the Discussion section of various Project Management groups:

  • What is the One Most Valuable Lesson You Have Learned from a Failed Project?
  • Who Says Meetings Need to be 30 Minutes?
  • What are some Leading Indicators that your Project is in Trouble?

The feedback has been tremendous! Below are some additional comments we received in addition to what was presented in this month’s PMP in Practice. We’d love to hear your feedback on the questions below as well!

Question One:  What is the One Most Valuable Lesson You Have Learned From a Failed Project?

  • Ensure you set clear acceptance criteria for each deliverable when you are at the planning stage of a new project. You will find this saves a lot of confusion and rework in implementation.
  • Never assume the sponsor understands all they have agreed to and/or you thought you communicated. Invest much effort and time in walking the sponsors and other stakeholders through the details of Charter, Scope, Schedule and Budget.
  • Bad news does not improve with age; the sooner the problem is defined and addressed the sooner people can start working on fixing it.

Question Two:  Who Says Meetings Need to be 30 Minutes?

  • I usually request short meetings with only a couple of points for discussions at most. All participants are emailed the questions to be raised in advance and ask that they have arguments or have their answers ready. This has cut down the time spent in meetings as much as 30-40%.
  • I believe a meeting needs to last long enough to effectively address the agenda. It is difficult to set a default time when agendas vary. Weekly project meetings, for example, took about 15 minutes. Scheduling meetings lasted about an hour. The key factor was being prepared!
  • Keep meetings short. One of the problems preventing short meetings is the wasted time waiting for late arrivals. Being on time is one of the best ways to shorten a meeting.

Question Three:  What are Some Leading Indicators that Your Project May Be in Trouble?

  • Your project is in trouble if there are an abundant number of changes. This means that it was not defined correctly and the changes will run costs high.
  • Lack of involvement from Project Sponsor or Representative is a sign that your project may be in trouble.
  • One of the first signs is that the PM and team are engaging in too much happy talk. They praise one another for facing the trials and tribulations instead of concentrating on managing the risks. It appears time and time again as a leading indicator that the Program Manager or Sponsor needs to jump in and begin some mentoring to get the project and team back on track.

You can find additional answers to these questions on our FaceBook Discussion page as well as this month’s PMP in Practice!

* LinkedIn and the LinkedIn logo are Registered Trademarks of the LinkedIn Corporation.

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