Project Manager


Overcoming Invisible Obstacles

by Lakecia Carter, PMP

Removing obstacles is one of the most important jobs we have as project managers. An obstacle is defined as something that impedes or hinders achievement. There are times when the Overcoming Invisible Obstaclesobstacles are beyond our direct control, and we feel powerless to remove them. In those times we need to call for help as fast as we can. In this article, I want to deal with invisible obstacles. These are often unspoken and untouched by most. These obstacles may lie within us or we may be facing them from others. Here are three invisible obstacles and a few suggestions for removing them:

Obstacle #1 Assumptions

Unfounded assumptions create an obstacle to clarity. The end result is confusion and miscommunication. Avoid this obstacle by asking the right questions. Ask the obvious questions even when you believe all are in agreement. It may seem elementary in some cases, but the time spent to clarify meaning is well worth it.

Obstacle #2 Judgment

To a certain degree, we judge people and situations or we are being judged. It can be over a period of time, or during a moment in time. The issue arises when there is bias or lack of facts. Learn More »

Make the Connection

by Lakecia Carter, PMP

Communication management is one of the greatest challenges PMs have. We never stop improving in this area. We work at it every day for three main reasons: First, every individual and Make the Connectionteam is unique – and communicates differently. Second, the complexity and speed of information is increasing constantly. Just when you think you have figured it out, it changes. Third, there is always a creative and innovative way to deliver a message. Amidst the challenges, here are four fundamental basics to keep us connecting well:

#1 Who – Know your audience. Before you can be successful at this, you must ‘get to know’ your audience. Tailor your approach based on what works best for them. For example, if you know a person doesn’t like surprises, give him or her a heads up first.

#2 Why – Know your purpose. Purpose is vital to every message. Since there is so much information overload, people desire quality over quantity. A message with a mission will get their attention. Learn More »

“The Best Team on Paper or Purpose?”

by Lakecia Carter, PMP

Teamwork. Teamplayer. Teambuilding. All are positive terms that we hear everyday. The one word they all have in common is “TEAM”. Team is one of the most overused words in the Teamwork. Teamplayer. Teambuilding.workplace, yet the most misunderstood. Some teams are the best on paper, meaning the organization chart, with boxes, lines, names and job titles define them. Other teams are the best on purpose. By purpose, I mean they have core values, a vision and mission, a “real” team. Which one are you part of? Here are 3 things to consider:


Being a real team takes intentionality and real work. Work is not defined as keeping up with birthdays, anniversaries, and potluck luncheons. While these are all great team activities, they have very little to do with being a team. Teams that work maximize the talents of each individual to form a collective powerhouse. Teams leverage each other’s unique talents and abilities to get things done.


Real teams have fun. They laugh and enjoy the work they do. Humor in the workplace is a survival mechanism. It helps us keep things in perspective. While there is a time and a place for fun, it should be valued to cultivate a healthy team environment. Learn More »

Special Edition – January 1, 2013


January 2013
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This Special Edition includes insights from industry experts who are Changing the Game and Reinventing Project Management Real-Time… from the way Project Managers on the Go(R) consume content and renew their certification to the way they build relationships and transform human behavior. These thought leaders share their latest finds in an effort to make a difference, have impact and improve project success.Wishing you continued success!Jennifer Bridges, PMP
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Photo of Chris Widener
Re-Developing Your VisionBy Chris WidenerOne of the most important things we can do for our businesses, schools, and organizations is to have vision. Vision being a clear picture of a desired end result that you are aiming for. However, sometimes, no matter how big our vision was originally, we find ourselves focusing in on the daily events that require our attention but have nothing or little to do with our ultimate vision. Occasionally, we think to ourselves, “Hey, I’m not really getting any closer to my vision. I’m spinning my wheels here.”

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Photo of Jennifer Bridges
Tips for Managing your Project PrioritiesBy Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt)As if it’s not enough for a project manager to prioritize everyone else’s task and deliverables, we also must manage our own priorities. It’s one of the hardest things to do, so let’s take a look at a few tips on managing your project priorities. A project priority includes just about everything: deliverables, task, meetings, celebrations, people, milestones and schedule; basically, everything that is base lined in the project plan. The stakeholders and change control board are responsible for managing and setting priorities according to the baseline project plan.

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Photo of David Nour
Your Boss as a Mentor – Think Twice!By David NourI spoke to a group of first year law students at Emory University last weekend and the topic of mentors came up. I remember one of my first consulting managers who took me under his wings. He was tough and smart. He would always give me great advice, such as “Always ask why they’re doing what they’re doing, not just what they’re doing!” He had my back whenever I screwed up! Despite my inexperience, he gave me a chance to become a part of great teams working on really interesting projects.

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Photo of Pamela A. Scott
D’oh! I Broke Key RulesBy Pamela A. ScottI find it amazing how life reminds us that we are human and subject to the same mistakes other folks make. Please use this example of my own mistakes to help you avoid them in the future. We recently sent out a 1-question survey to 277 folks, using Survey Monkey, a free online survey site. The response has been fantastic—over 10%—28 of you responded and told us what the two toughest things are that you have had to learn as a CEO or manager.

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Photo of Drew Stevens, Ph.D.
Dr. Drew’s Thought for the Day on ExcusesBy Drew Stevens, Ph.D.I am a big people watcher and I find it fascinating to watch people blame others for their lack. There are football coaches that blame some players when play calling is poor, those that ride in scooters because they refrain from exercise, those with money issues who refuse to save and invest and those that believe the entire world is against them. You have one life that you are in control of, no one else. Placing blame on someone else is your lack of focus, your lack of control and your inability to control your life’s outcome.

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Photo of Rob Waldo Waldman, Lt. Col., CSP
Engaged vs. Supporting – Knowing Your Leadership RoleBy Rob “Waldo” Waldman, Lt. Col., CSPNo fighter pilot ever flies a combat mission solo. We always fly as a team – with our wingman, who provide mutual support and maximize our ability to accomplish our objectives. It’s impossible to win solo because so much needs to get done in a rapidly changing environment, and the missions are extremely complex. In order to exploit the advantages of a unified team, we assign roles and responsibilities, train accordingly, and finally, hold each other accountable!

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Photo of David Ryback, Ph.D.
Existing, Anticipated, and Created RelationshipsBy David Ryback, Ph.D.Here is the challenge: Sociologists tell us that an average individual can proactively manage between 100 and 150 relationships. How do you know which ones to nurture? If you believe my notion that true relationship development (versus transactional networking) is about intentional investments you choose to make, how do you then prioritize which relationships you’ll invest in? You certainly can’t invest in everyone equally, so how do you or will you balance relationship creation and bridge those efforts to relationship capitalization?

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Photo of Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D.
Focused Conversation vs. Small TalkBy Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D.I promised to explain the answers to the “How Well Do You Know Introverts” Quiz. Here is #1.”Introverts prefer focused conversation to small talk.” A focused conversation is not the same as the chit chat that can drive you up the wall and out the door. Instead, these are dialogues with a specific point in which you combine listening and purposeful talking. Focused conversation helps you to truly share your ideas with others and learn about what they believe and feel.

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Photo of Rick Forbus, Ph.D.
If It Isn’t Broken Still Break It: Creative Career Thinking [Part I]By Rick Forbus, Ph.D.

Hows your career going? If you can be perfectly honest, would you say that you have:

  • Hit the wall?
  • Drifted into a boring abyss?
  • Settled for a job and not a career?
  • Become complacent and lazy?
  • Slipped away from your original enthusiasm and passion?
  • Missed “signals” from your Boss and Peers that you are on your way out?
  • Traveled down a career path so far that you think you can’t start over?

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Increasing the Intelligence that Predicts Your SuccessBy Don GoeweyThere are different types of intelligence that human beings possess, but “fluid intelligence” is the one that predicts success in business and academics, when a person tests high in it. Fluid intelligence is your capacity to solve novel problems, learn from experience, reason things out accurately, detect errors, connect the dots, and to get to the heart of the matter quickly. Who wouldn’t want to increase their measure of that kind of intelligence?

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Photo of Jeff Justice
Laughing in the Face of StressBy Jeff Justice, CSPTo fight the daily onslaught of stress in your life, I suggest that you use your sense of humor. Nothing relaxes and refreshes the body like a good hearty laugh. It makes you feel good. There are no bad side effects and it’s non-fattening. The ability to take your job seriously and yourself lightly will go a long way in the battle against stress. From a psychological point of view, work is nothing but organized stress, so unless you’re the chief tester for Lazy-Boy chairs, your job is where you feel life pressing down on you most heavily.

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Photo of MaryGrace Allenchey, PMP
Precious Present… PM Vitamin C6By MaryGrace Allenchey, PMPDuring this Holiday Season of special-blessings, selfless-sharing and gift-giving, Project Managers’ precious present of PM Vitamin C6 will be enthusiastically and gratefully received by project, program and portfolio stakeholders! PM Vitamin C6 encompasses the effective application of the following, critical leadership skills to ensure project and program success: Communication, Collaboration, Cooperation, Consensus, Commitment, Celebration. The effective project manager acknowledges the importance, recognizes the value and promotes continuous implementation of the following critical components of PM Vitamin C6

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Photo of Ron Shapiro
Sometimes No Deal is the Best DealBy Ron ShapiroHave you ever suffered from “negotiation fever”? You probably have. It’s where you get so caught up in the heat of making a deal that you lose sight of the quality of the deal. As an outside observer you may know it’s a bad deal, but since your directly involved you forget about your objectives. If you ever catch yourself in a deal where any of the following occur, a large red sign should appear. When the other side forces you below your bottom line

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Photo of Bob Rausch, Ph.D.
Strong Leaders Build Strong TeamsBy Bob Rausch, Ph.D.The stronger you are, the stronger your team will be. Consider these questions in developing the leader who develops the team. 1. Are you involved in continuing education? – Do you believe continuous education is important? If the answer is yes, then identify which ones will work best for you. There are a variety of options such as on-line classes, leadership classes in local colleges and many others. 2. What books are you reading? – One way to maintain innovative behavior is to constantly feed your mind with ideas and insight from others.

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Photo of Linda Henman, Ph.D.
The Collapse of AverageBy Linda Henman, Ph.D.Harvard Business Review blogger, Michael Schrage, recently wrote an entry entitled, “The Coming Collapse of Average Managers and Employees.” In the article he cited the widely-publicized research entitled The Value of Bosses. This National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper empirically argued that bosses matter. Better bosses generate better results. Using a variety of accepted econometric/statistical techniques, the study found that the most significant impact bosses had didn’t come from their motivational skills, but from teaching workers how to be more productive, i.e. capability building.

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Photo of Lakecia Carter, PMP
The Laws of EngagementBy Lakecia Carter, PMPProjects are vehicles of change. As change leaders, project managers are the drivers of success. One of the most critical success factors is the scope of engagement. A relevant definition of engagement is “a promise, obligation, or other condition that binds”. When we initiate a project, the engagement must be clearly defined. The engagement will seal the deal for the project. Unfortunately, many projects continue to fail because we bypass this step. The lack of clearly understood roles, responsibilities and expectation setting contributes to the failure.

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Photo of Tricia Molloy
What’s Your Intention this Week?By Tricia Molloy”Intent is to humans what software is to a computer. When installed into your psyche, intent gives you access to new capabilities, which opens up new realities.” What’s your Working with Wisdom intention for this week? Choose one quality you wish to emulate, like joy, compassion, order, high energy, a positive mindset, gratefulness, focus or creativity. Consider incorporating that intent into a simple affirmation like, “I experience joy in everything I do today.” Write it down and post it.

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