This article is part 1 of 6 of the series Six Simple Rules
This article is part 1 of 6 of the series Six Simple Rules

Only he who knows the destination knows the way.
(Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher)

Of course you do know the destination. If you hadn’t had a clear idea, you would not have started your project in the first place, would you? You might even have more than just the one goal. And you could name each of these goals even when I woke you up in the middle of the night….

You live and breathe your project – don’t you?

Should you be hesitating now, should you not be able to precisely describe your goals … oh dear. You need to start with this exercise right now. Without a clearly defined goal – and by that I mean one you are aware of – you will never really know when you have finished your project … successfully. You might keep keep going on and on for eternity. Or you might even get totally lost on route to achieving any of your goals. I am not sure which is worse; but I would call both senarios a total disaster.

Some of you will say: “But those goals are in my head! I know where I should be heading.

Sorry guys, not enough. Really not. Let’s do this together and have a look at how to visualise your goals: Continue reading →

This article is part 2 of 6 of the series Six Simple Rules

Really? Advertising? Are we saying you should distribute leaflets and place ads in the newspaper?

Not really!

Let just have a look how Wikipedia defines what advertising is:

… a form of marketing communication used to promote or sell something, usually a business’s product or service.

Well, in project management we do not want to sell the project as a product.

BUT, you as a project manager, rely heavily on access to key resources, budgets and getting your colleagues and seniors to cooperate. And for all of this, it is a good idea to ‘advertise’ your project. Continue reading →

This article is part 3 of 6 of the series Six Simple Rules

Kind? Nice? Aren’t these terms wich better describe tea-room conversations and cocktail parties? But we are talking business here, are we not?

Yes, we are, and business can be tough. Still, you better keep in mind that without your team you are nothing.

So in brief: Be nice! Yes, you may be tough and an alpha wolf. It is you, who should be in charge. But do not use that as an excuse to be rude, overly blunt or even worse, unfair with your team – this would only reflect weak leadership. As a project manager you are in a key position. It is your duty, to get the best out of your team.

Of course I know not all teams are equally competent or efficient. But even if you are riding a weak horse, it is of no use whatsoever to beat it to death. Because then you would have to walk all the way on your own. Continue reading →

This article is part 4 of 6 of the series Six Simple Rules

Many of us tend to be hard-core pessimists. I would go as far in saying that pessimism is the number one mental problem of project managers. And there is a simple reason behind this: From the very beginning of our careers we are trained to keep an eye on the risks and potential extra costs of everything we do. And … it is wise to do so! There is anawful lot of things that can go wrong and wreak havoc upon your project.

But on the other hand this is a real shame. Wouldn’t it be much more fun to focus on the good things instead: your chances? These project opportuniuties are more or less the opposite of project risks: additional benefits which offer themselves on top of you project goals. Of course I do not advise to ignore your risks. That could be fatal for your project. But I do advise to not exclusively focus on them. Think positive, open your eyes to special opportunities.

Sounds good, right? So you better start now: Continue reading →