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Cyber Security: Start New Habits

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Cyber security isn’t just for geeks and nerds anymore. From the boardroom to the bedroom, you need to start practicing good cyber security habits.  2017 was filled with news about cyber security breaches that impacted individuals, companies, and government organizations.  There are small steps you can take to protect yourself.

Cyber Security applies to everyone

At Home

Home is a place where we want to relax at the end of the day.  It is a place to focus on our families. Home is also a place where we are very lax on cyber security.

Good cyber security at home

Ensure your devices are password protected and that if you are using the same device with family members, that each user has a separate log in and password.  Different users may need different access to programs and many people keep their banking account applications on the same device they let their children use to play games.

Cameras on smart phones and laptops are a great way to capture life’s moments and video chat with friends and family.  Be aware of cameras in private settings like bathrooms and bedrooms.  It can be easy to accidentally press a button and share a lot more than you originally intended.

Set parental controls for your children.  Children are especially vulnerable and predators seek them out through the virtual means.   It is also a good idea to check browsing history after your child’s screen time is over.

  • Use a different password for each user
  • Be cognizant of cameras on devices
  • Set parental controls

On the Move

Whether eating out, going to a concert, or enjoying a hike, sharing your life’s events on social media is here for the foreseeable future.

It is recommended by many to wait to share your travel photos and other details of your trips, after the event is over.  Criminals have been known to follow a person on social media and break into their homes while they are traveling.  This is an example of how cyber crime and physical crime can cross.

Cyber security on move.

GPS sharing on your phone is common and many people use fitness apps to track their runs and other activities.  The same apps that allow you to track your fitness routes, allow others to follow you.  Also many apps will ask for permission to access your GPS location that don’t require that information.  Think twice before hitting yes.

It is often tempting to log onto the local free network at a cafe, rather than max out your data plan.  Third parties can siphon information from these networks and gain access to your personal information.  With today’s growth of unlimited data plans, think twice before connecting to an unknown network.  Encrypting your data and using VPNs are also options.

  • Share after an event
  • Limit your GPS location sharing
  • Be weary of open networks

At Work

Cyber security at work

It is easy to become complacent at work and to assume that all of your coworkers have the same values as you.  Insider threats were considered the major cyber security threat of 2017.  The threat of insiders using your account to access information is a significant reason to lock your screen when you are not at your keyboard.  It just takes an extra second to be cautious.

When you go to a new organization all of the changes can be pretty overwhelming.  You might not have found the network security awareness training as important as the information on your new 401k. Take the time after you have been working at an organization for a while to go back to the cyber security department and verify that you know your new organizations procedures.  Most cyber security professionals will be glad you are showing an interest.

When you see something strange happen to your computer, it might be a hacker and not simply a glitch.  Know the proper reporting procedure in your organization to report suspicious activity.  It is not just the IT departments job to keep the network secure.  Report suspicious network activity the same as you would suspicious physical activity.

  • Lock screens when not in use
  • Know organizational policies
  • Report suspicious activity
Cyber security doesn’t have to be complicated

Cyber security habits can help protect you, your family, and your livelihood.  Take the few extra seconds to secure your data, just like you would buckling into a car.  Cyber security can be simple and easy.  Resources are available at the USCERT and the DHS – Stop, Think, Connect sites.

Life is a Project!

Teaser:   Love your project team

Projectize Your Diet Plan for 2018!

Losing weight is often one of the goals that people set for their new years resolution.  Project Management is a great way to get organized and reach your goals.  Try these project management tips to achieve your 2018 diet plan goals.

Set your goals!

Initiating

Initiating a diet plan is just like initiating a project.  When you start a new diet plan it is important to consult with your stakeholders during the initiation phases.

Do you have a partner who will be going on the diet with you?  Do you have small children who you will be preparing different meals for each night?  Bring your family and friends together for a discussion on your diet and meal plans.

Decide on a diet plan that you think you can stick with and consult a doctor before you begin.  There are a lot of resources for current diet trends to include keto, paleo, and vegetarian.  If you haven’t currently been using one of these plans, scope your diet change to only one of these major plans.

Set dates and goals.  When will you kick off your diet plan?  What is your major goal and when do you want it to be accomplished?

  • Consult your family (stakeholders)
  • Chose one plan
  • Set goals

Planning 

Whether eating out, making meals at home, or traveling, planning ahead can help you to keep your diet resolution.

Plan your diet

Lists can be created online or by pen and paper.  Take time to plan out your meal and snack plan. Studies show that just the act of writing can increase your commitment.

Modern technology allows us the ability to download apps that increase the information at our finger tips.  For example the ketoapp allows you to discover both keto friendly foods and places to eat.  Find an app that works for your new diet plan and download it to your smartphone.

Another important planning tip is to avoid temptation.  If you are going to an event, eat in advance so you aren’t hungry.  If you know that there is a bakery you can’t resist, take another route, the extra walking will help burn calories too!  Avoiding temptation is easier than resisting it during the execution phase.

  • Create a list
  • Download an app
  • Avoid temptation

Executing

After planning your diet, it is time to execute!

Follow your plan and keep it with you.  It doesn’t matter if you are using an app or notebook, if you don’t have your plan you are likely to forget it.  Last week I covered The Power of Habit, until you have new habits, you need to be mindful of what you ar

Execute your diet plan

e eating.

Often the workplace can be full of what I label ‘food pushers.”  There are people who are always bringing in cakes and other treats that are high in sugar and calories.  Politely offer to go for a walk or share your carrot sticks instead of giving in to these treats.

Setting new habits can be difficult, but consistency is key.  Don’t let a minor setback, become a major obstacles that snowballs out of control.  Try your best and focus on the times you are doing well.

  • Stick to your plan
  • Resist the food pushers
  • Stay consistent
Monitor and Control your diet

Monitoring and Controlling

Seeing our progress can help us to stick to a new diet plan, but we must also not let slow weight loss or a gain discourage us.

Weight is a common measure for diet plans, but not the only one.  Some of the most important measurements include body mass, cholesterol level, and blood pressure. 

Understanding how your mind and emotions impact your food choices can help you to stick to your plan.  Do you overeat when you are stressed?  Do you crave sugar filled snacks when you are tired?  Monitor your plan and look for patterns.

Knowing how you feel is one of the best indicators of a successful diet.  When diets are working for your body type you should feel energized, not listless.

  • Measure more than weight
  • Keep a food journal or app
  • Stay tuned to your health

Closing

Reach your goal

The closing phase is important and should never be overlooked.

Celebrate your accomplishments.  Get a massage or go on a trip.  Reward yourself with time with friends or a new outfit.

Review what worked well and what didn’t go well on your plan.  What could you do differently?

You can always go back to any phase of your diet plan project and start over.  The most important thing for any diet plan is to have a healthy body to house your mind and spirit.

  • Celebrate your accomplishments
  • Capture lessons learned
  • Go back to any phase to adjust

 

Life is a Project!

Try using these simple project management tips to achieve your diet goals!

 

Teaser:  Cyber Security: Start New Habits!

Book Review – The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

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Many people start off the New Year with resolutions. Things they plan to change about their lives and their work. In order to make significant changes in our lives we have to change or habits. For my January book review, I read “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. 

About the Book

Charles Duhigg understands as a journalist how to develop stories that keep the reader engaged.   The science included in the book and the cue, routine, reward loop is a good description of how we behave.  The author does a great job of acknowledging that there are both good and bad habits.  For example brushing your teeth in the morning is a habit or putting on your shoes.  These habits allow our brains to rest and conserve our energy for other times when we need to use our brain power.

The book is divided into three parts, but this does not actually work so well.  Often when Mr. Duhigg is in the sections on organizations and societies, he goes back to the individual level, which can be confusing.  The information is also a bit repetitive towards the end of book, almost like a student with a page quota who repeats information.

The book is very helpful as an individual to be more conscious of your habits.  The key is to recognize your triggers in order to make changes to your habits.  There are a lot of stories about how people were able to create lifelong changes to their habits and how you can apply these techniques.

Overall a good read, but the clips and shorts may be just as beneficial for those familiar with the topic.

Happy 2018 and enjoy the clip below on “The Power of Habit.”

Cyber Security and Project Management – a year in review!

As 2017 closes and 2018 is quickly approaching, it is a good time to reflect on project trends over the past year.  2017 has seen a significant increase in cyber security as it relates to project management and it likely this trend will continue into 2018.

Security Management is increasing

Articles in 2017

2017 had an unprecedented number of articles addressing cyber security and project management.  Seeing events in my own workplace, in April 2017 I wrote about the need to include Cyber Security from the start of every project.

Some project managers in 2017 began to question if cyber security was just another task for IT project managers, similar to change management or risk management.  Other project managers viewed cyber security as an area where project managers, not in IT need to be informed; what project managers need to know about cyber security. 

2017 is winding down and 2018 is getting close; Brad Egeland provides his views on Trends for cyber security in 2018. 

Cyber security made the press a lot in 2017 and it is a great time to reflect on trends of 2017.

  • Cyber Security Spending is increasing
  • Awareness for trained project managers is increasing
  • Predictions are this will continue in 2018

Cyber Security in 2018

2017 set new expectations for IT and other project managers to be savvy in cyber security practices.  We live in an interconnected world where the Internet of Things (IOT) is a reality and even our refrigerators are connected to the internet.  As the reliance on technology increases, project managers need to become better educated and better trained in cyber security.

Sources forecast that there will continue to be a skills shortage in 2018 for trained cyber security professionals.  

Forbes predicts that GDRP (General Data Protection) will become increasingly important and that user education programs will increase.

Cyber security will continue to be an issue in 2018 and there is a shortage of skilled members in the workforce, to include project managers.

Cyber isn’t just for IT projects anymore
  • Technology continues to become more integrated
  • General Data needs to be protected
  • Shortage of skilled workers

Don’t get left behind

If you haven’t started, now is the time to get trained and educated in the field of cyber security.

Start reading articles about cyber security and keep informed on new trends and attacks.  Norton believes that many ransomware attacks could be prevented.  A knowledgeable project manager will add value to their organization by knowing this type of information.

There are a number of certificate and education programs available that will increase your value as an IT project manager.  Study and earn a certificate in 2018.  If you have your certificate, keep your continuing education current to maintain your credential.

Don’t be afraid to speak up in the boardroom about a cyber security concern.  The days of the CIO, CISO, and IT PMs being left in the basement are over.  Cyber security is big business and big news.

  • Stay informed on current events
  • Get certified, stay certified
  • Speak up about cyber security.

Is Cyber Security another Project Management Task?

Just as there are specializes in project management for risk managers and project schedulers, it is my prediction that cyber security will be both a generalized task and a highly sought after specialty.

Add cyber security to your project checklist

Prepare for the New Year!


As 2017 winds down and we prepare for 2018 there is a lot to do with little time left. The clock is ticking, time our most precious resource.

The Countdown

Reflect

December is a great time to review what you have done throughout the year and what you plan to do for the next year.  This applies to work projects, school projects, and your personal life.

Albert Einstein said, “Without deep reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.”

There is an old phrase that you have to balance quality with quantity, that is important to keep in mind as you balance projects.  What things worked out well for you this past year?  What are some areas where you can improve?

Reflect on 2017

Be honest with yourself.  Don’t beat yourself up over missed opportunities, just capture what you experienced so you can learn and grow.

  • Find someplace quiet
  • Write down your thoughts
  • Be honest

Dream for 2018

The great Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”  These words are true, but dreams without action remain unfulfilled.

The first step to achieving your dreams for 2018 is to capture them.  Spend some time thinking about what you want to achieve in 2018.  Big items, small items, things that you are afraid to even admit to yourself

Plan for your Dreams

Last year my dream was to see my first book in print, this year my dream is to see book number two.  There was a point in my life where I couldn’t have imagined this being possible, now it is becoming a reality.

If we don’t dream big, we can’t achieve the impossible.  Dreams have led mankind to the moon and to the depths of the sea.  Where will your dreams lead you?

  • Dream Big
  • Don’t limit yourself
  • Make your dreams come true

Get Energized

New Year’s is a great time to start new projects and adjust old projects.  Katy Perry says in her song, “‘Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on show ’em what your worth.”

Make 2018 the year where you show what you are worth. Whether giving a big speech, taking on a new project at work, or remodeling the garage.  2018 is a year of potential and opportunity.

Be a firework

The beginning of a new project is always exciting, like fireworks on New Year’s Eve.  Use the energy of the new year to get you started on your next project.

  • Develop your plan
  • Create Milestones
  • Share with friends and family

Ring in the New Year

Life is busy and complicated and it is easy to get caught in the planning phase.  The executing phase is where we live, so enjoy the moment.

John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”

Take a few minutes to just enjoy yourself with your friends and family.  It is hard sometimes to take a break and just relax.

  • You can’t do it all at once
  • If you can plan it, you can do it!
  • Enjoy the moment

Life is a Project!

As you manage your life, it is important to keep in mind the legacy you want to leave.  The New Year is an opportunity to adjust your scope and ensure your life’s project is on the right track.

Teaser: Coming soon – Cyber Security in Project Management – a year in review.

Stakeholder Identification

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Stakeholders


Identifying your stakeholders is critical to a successful project.

Identify your stakeholders

Stakeholder identification may appear self-explanatory but when key groups are left out, projects can fail.  Identify your stakeholders early and capture their interests.

Identification

Using your project team to identify stakeholders for your project.  Don’t limit the stakeholders initially and challenge your team to be creative in the process.  Below are three proven techniques that help you identify all of the stakeholders.

Brainstorm to identify

A common techniques is to give each member of your team a pad of sticky notes and give them a set amount of time to come up with as many stakeholders as they can.  Have everyone put on a board and you can group ones that are the same or similar.

A venn diagram depicts members related to other groups or members.  Venn diagrams allow visual representation of where sets overlap.  As you create each new circle, explore the possible intersections of other stakeholders with your team.

Mindmapping is a technique to visually show thoughts on paper.  Have each team member draw a mindmap of how they view they stakedholders and then create a team mindmap.

  • Venn Diagram
  • Brain Storming
  • Mindmapping

Capture the Details

Now that you have identified your stakeholders, you need to capture them with some details. Don’t spend too much time on analysis as this comes later, but high level concepts.

Capture the details

Determine the level of the stakeholder, are they a primary stakeholder like the project sponsor.  A secondary stakeholder, like the zoning office where you plan to build your project?  Or a tertiary, but critical stakeholder, like the media?

Identify the key subgroups to larger groups.  Don’t simply say “University Students,” identify some the key groups like: Greek Organizations, Student Senate, Sports players, etc.

Details, include a few concerns for each stakeholder on why they may be for or against your project and any key concerns.

  • Levels: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary
  • Subgroups
  • Details

Why take the time?

Identifying stakeholders can be time consuming, but worth it to get it right.  In addition, this is chance to get to interact with your project team early and include them on the planning.  It is a great opportunity to see how they interact with each other as well.  Don’t forget that each of your team members are primary stakeholders.

The sooner you identify stakeholders the sooner you can develop a communication management plant to let them know about the project.  It is important to message some projects before the media and others can add their spin to your project.

Stakeholders can break a project

Stuttgart 21 is a classic example of poor stakeholder identification. The expansion of the new rail station is over schedule, behind budget, and has been besieged by protests since the project concept phase.  The key stakeholders were not identified and communicated to effectively from the inception of the project.  Identify your stakeholders or your project could end up in the same place.

  • Reduces implementation failure
  • Allows people to adjust
  • Get to know your project team.

Life is a Project!

Stakeholder identification is the first step in stakeholder management.  If you don’t capture the key stakeholders, your entire communication management plan could be wrong.

Teaser: Coming soon – Stakeholder strategy

This video focuses on stakeholder identification for Project Managers:

PMI vs. Prince2


I have been asked a lot about Prince2 versus PMI (Project Management Institute) and wanted to address the differences.

I will discuss the two different providers and certificates first and then provide some things which you should consider in your journey to become a certified project manager.

PMI

The Project Management Institute was founded in the United States in 1969 to have an organization where project managers could network, share information, and discuss common problems. The organization began to write down and codify standards for project management and a white paper called the “Ethics, Standards, and Accreditation Committee Final Report” was written in 1983 and was the foundation for the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) which was released in 1996.  The PMBOK was recently released in the 6th Edition which added more information about agile methodology and has a greater emphasis on strategic and business knowledge.

The PMBOK uses five process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing.  In addition, there are ten knowledge areas in the PMBOK.

www.pmi.org

PMI offers multiple certifications which require varying amounts of experience in project management.  The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is the entry level certification and can be valuable to junior project managers.  The Project Management Professional (PMP) is the most recognized and oldest project management certification being offered since 1984. PMI also offers specialty certificates: Portfolio Management Professional, Program Management Professional, PMI Risk Management Professional, PMI Professional in Business Analysis, PMI Scheduling Professional, and PMI Agile Certified Practitioner.

Read more about certifications and training at www.pmi.org.

  • Standards Based
  • Non-profit community of interest
  • Oldest project management certificate

Prince2

Prince2 was originally developed by the British Government for construction projects and PRINCE2 stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments.  Prince2 was established by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) and was moved into a Cabinet Office in 2010.  In 2013 AXELOS became a part of a joint venture project with the UK government retaining 51% of the stakes.

www.prince2.com

Prince2 uses seven processes which are: Starting up a Project, Initiating a Project, Directing a Project, Controlling a Project, Managing Product Delivery, Managing a Stage Boundary, and Closing a Project.  The Methodology has seven themes to include: Business Case, Organization, Quality, Plans, Risk, Change and Progress.

Prince2 has an entry level certification of the foundation and higher certificates build on this certification as a prerequisite or in same cases PMI certificates.  The Prince2 Practitioner Certificate is often seen as the equivalent to the PMP.  The Prince2 Professional is the highest level certificate offered in this system. The Prince2 Agile Practitioner includes agile concepts such as Scrum and Kanban.

  • Methodology Based
  • Public/Private Partnership
  • Building Block Certifications

What is your next position in project manager?

Where you live and want to work is a factor when considering which certificate to choose.  PMI was founded in the United States and the PMP is the preferred certificate for project managers.  Prince2 was founded in the UK and and Prince2 is the certificate of choice.  For the rest of the the world it is mixed and in some cases there are preferences by industry.  The construction industry was the focus of Prince2 and agile methodology was created for software development.

What track are you on?

If you are focusing on a region look at advertisements for jobs that you would be interested in and determine if there is a preference for one certificate over the other.  I have read a lot of articles that say that Prince2 is favored in Europe, but in IT project management I see more demand for PMPs.

Both Prince2 and PMI offer agile certificates which are favored in software development.  Specialty certificates in risk or scheduling could benefit you for a niche market.

  • What country/region do you want to live and work?
  • What is the industry preference?
  • Is a specialty degree right for you?

Both?

The two are not necessarily competing, but could be seen as complimentary.  PMI uses the PMBok which is a standard, whereas Prince2 uses a methodology with detailed process models and templates.

Having knowledge from both theoretical and practical is great for your resume and your job performance.  The use of templates in Prince2 can be a great asset.  The addition of strategic views and understanding the project in the context of the larger organization is also valuable.

Bridge the two

If you have the time and the means, why not explore both opportunities?

  • Complimentary
  • Both Standards and Methodology
  • Broad picture

Life is a Project!

Certifications can open doors and get you and interview, but it is your skills that will shine through!

Teaser: Coming soon – identifying key stakeholders.

This video focuses on PMI versus Prince2: which is right for you?

Scope creep versus Failure to Scope


Scope creep is often cited as a reason why projects run over budget and behind schedule, but in same cases, the scope was never well defined.

Ensure you capture the scope of your project!

Capture your scope

The key to a successful project is understanding the requirements and creating a project scope that reflects the true resources, time, and quality of the the product being produced.  The project scope is a delicate triangle and adjustments to one leg of the triangle impact the other two.  If the scope is not well defined and codified in the project charter, the project is destined to be fraught with problems.

There is an old phrase that you can have it good, fast, or cheap; but it is impossible to have all three.

Read more about refining your scope at CIO. 

  • Define the Resources
  • Capture the Quality
  • Set firm Dates

Budget Overruns

When the scope is not well defined from the beginning the project will have continuous cost overruns.  In IT project management, users always want more from a system: faster data rates, more features, and more storage.  All of the additional requirements add up quickly and can cause a project to go over budget.

Budget Overruns

As a project manager it is important to have the cost established from the start of the project.  Use a proven cost estimating technique such as bottom-up, top-down, analogous, parametric, or expert.  Using the appropriate technique for your project will give you a solid foundation as you begin your project.  Every project is unique and it is important to have an emergency or reserve fund from project inception and to rigorously account for the use of these funds.  When developing your risk matrix, you may want to create a trigger point for when you have reached a critical point of using your reserve funds.

  • Use an appropriate budgeting technique
  • Use EVM (Earned Value Management) to track project costs
  • Have strict change management

Running Behind Schedule

Time is our most valuable resource, once used, it can never be replaced.  Good budgeting is directly related to good scheduling.  In today’s complex business environment it is essential to work across or organizations and often with outside vendors to develop a project schedule.

Behind Schedule

In order to do a proper task hand-off it is critical to know the resources involved and work with the supervisors of other resources in matrixed organizations.  One vital resource in an organization that is assigned to multiple projects can hold up your project.  Ensure that the manager of that resource is aware when you will need the resource and develop an effective way to implement reminders as the time grows closer.  Supervisors can be frustrated when they don’t feel they had enough warning time that a resource is needed and will almost always choose the success of their own project over yours.

I wrote an article about how to use RACI charts and Swim Lane diagrams  for effective resource use, these tools can be used together to streamline your resource management and keep your project on schedule.

  • Use an appropriate scheduling technique
  • Use EVM (Earned Value Management) to track project timeline
  • Have strict change management

Overwhelming Requirements

Often as a project manager you can feel overwhelmed and your stakeholders may have more desires than you can ever meet.  In order to cope with new requirements you need to implement strict change management to your initial scope.  When a change is required it needs to go through the change process and either the budget or schedule will need to be adjusted and validated by the change management board, or it doesn’t get approved.

Overwhelming requirements

Some changes are essential and must be incorporated, if they are regulatory for example.  Most change is due to stakeholders wanting more than the originally agreed upon requirement.  The project scope needs to contain enough detail to enforce quality standards and identify an actual change.  For example, in an IT project there can be significant differences in data storage requirements; this is a requirement that should be identified in the original scope, or it will cause significant problems later.

  • Strict change management
  • Offer alternatives such as future upgrades
  • Enforce trade-offs

Life is a Project!

When we fail to scope things can be overwhelming, before blaming scope creep, determine if you captured the full requirements in your initial scope.  Even in the execution or monitoring and controlling phase, it is not too late to go back to the original charter for guidance.

Teaser: Coming soon – identifying key stakeholders.

This video focuses on scope creep versus failure to scope for project managers!

Why Project Managers need Emotional Intelligence

People don't come with signs!


Emotional intelligence is about understanding yourself and those around you.

People don’t come with signs!

People don’t come with signs and as project managers we also have a role as project leaders.  By better understanding our own emotions and those around us we can lead our projects to success.

Self Awareness

Self awareness is about understanding your own feelings.  We need to understand what things are natural triggers to our emotions.  Are there certain traits or habits which automatically set us on edge?  Being aware of our own emotions allows us to understand ourselves and how we react to others.  There are many ways that you can discover more about your own emotions and what triggers your emotional responses.

One way is to keep a journal of your emotional responses.  Are you calm, angry, pensive, anxious?  What events, activities, or people elicit which responses?

Self Awareness
  • Take note of your emotions
  • Be aware of your triggers
  • Journal

Empathy

Empathetic people understand the feelings of those around them and are able to relate to them on a human level.  We have all had bad days.  We have had bad experiences and good experiences, remember how these made you feel apply this to others.  Also, people react differently to stimuli, it is important not to dismiss the feelings of others when you don’t feel the same way.

Empathy

Your team will perform better when you recognize their emotional needs.

  • Be supportive
  • Be concerned
  • Be authentic

Social Skills

It is important to be able to apply your social skills to your team and your stakeholders.

Social Skills

Your team needs to know who you are and what they can expect from you as a leader.  Getting to know your team can be facilitated through team building activities and individual sessions.

Understand the needs of your project sponsors. Often your project sponsor will be more understanding if your display confidence regarding the project.

Get to know other stakeholders, especially other managers in a matrixed organization.  When you connect socially, other are more likely to be willing to work with you when there is a resource conflict.

  • Build your team
  • Understand your sponsors
  • Know your stakeholders

Motivation

Your team will pick up your attitude.  If you aren’t excited about the project, they won’t be either.  Find out what motivates the members of your team.  Are they intrinsically motivated by the project itself?  Are they extrinsically motivated by financial rewards like bonuses?

Motivation

Be an example to your team.  Display the attitude that you want them to have.  Be the example even when you don’t know they are watching.

  • Be Positive
  • Display Optimism
  • Be an example

Self Regulation

Once you understand your own emotions and how emotions impact you, you will be able to control how you respond to situations.

Don’t let your emotions control you.  You may need to take a drink of water or count to ten before responding to a catalyst.  Remember that you set the example to your team and they will emulate your behavior.

Self Regulation
  • Control yourself
  • Count to ten
  • Never lose your temper

Life is a Project!

Combine these five areas of emotional intelligence to reduce conflict on your team, garner support for your project, and increase productivity.

Read more at: The Heart of Change Field Guide: Tools and Tactics for Leading Change in Your Organization

https://hbr.org/product/the-heart-of-change-field-guide-tools-and-tactics-for-leading-change-in-your-organization/7758-PBK-ENG

Teaser: Coming soon – identifying key stakeholders.

This video focuses on emotional intelligence for project managers!

Interview Tips!

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Interviewing for a new job can be scary even for experienced professionals and public speakers. Here are a few tips.

Interview Tips

Preparation

The first thing you need to do when you schedule an interview is start preparing.  You need to research the organization to include the history and the current leadership.  Spend time reviewing the position requirements and be prepared to address how you will be a good fit and support the goals and objectives.

Use your social media network and leverage your personal network to find out more about the hiring official.  I once found out that I had multiple connections who were first degree with the hiring official.  At the end of the interview when I was asked about questions, I was able to bring up a few of our common contacts, it opened up the conversation and I was offered the job shortly after the interview.

Practice your interviewing skills. Toastmasters International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public speaking.  Toastmasters practice “Table Topics” at every meeting, where speakers practice their impromptu speaking.  If you aren’t ready for Toastmasters, try practicing with a friend or even in front of the mirror.

Preparation
  • Do your homework
  • Use your network
  • Practice

Style

Confidence is all important at the interview.  This is a time where you need to balance modesty with boasting about your accomplishments.  This is when you need to speak clearly, slowly, and with charisma.  Use those speaking skills you have been practicing.

Style

There is a lot of interview advice on how to be a clone, but few organizations want droids, they want independent thought and talent. Express or demonstrate how your are different and what sets you apart.

Be yourself and don’t try to fit into an organization where you don’t belong.  After one interview, both the interviewer and I knew that I was a bad fit for the organization.  You don’t want to fake it to get the job, you will only regret working somewhere you don’t belong.

  • Confidence
  • Be Original
  • Be Authentic

STAR

Use the STAR technique to shine.  When asked a question answer giving the situation, task, action, and result.

Provide the context or situation.  Where you the project lead? A project member?  Where you against a tight deadline?  Was there an external catalyst?

What were you required to do?  Deliver a product? What was the scope?  Develop a new training program?

What did you do?  Did you rally a team? Come up with a new idea?  Roll up your sleeves? Inspire others?

What was the end state?  Did the project get accomplished?  On time?  Within budget?

Use STAR to provide glowing examples of your accomplishments at your next interview.

Be a Star
    • Situation
    • Task
    • Action
    • Result

Life is a Project!

Put your best foot forward and walk away from your next interview knowing that you have the job!  Do your homework, embrace your personal style, and shine like a star!

Teaser:  First few days on the job!

This video focuses on interview tips for project managers!

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