I will try to establish a new series on my blog – The Recommended Weekly Readings. It will be a list of links around some topic that I find interesting for you. This week they’ll be on the topic of Project Management.
One of the richest and most valuable resources in the subject of Project Management is GanttHead. I highly recommend you to become members of this site and to subscribe to their newsletter. In relation to my recent posts about leadership (How a PM Can Become a Real Leader and The 20 Qualities of the Inspirational Leader) I found Andy Jordan’s article Project Manager vs. Project Leader where he argues that no matter how qualified in the area of task management a PM is they must have leadership skills. “PMs have a responsibility to manage their teams – even in a matrix organization – and that means being a leader”. Later on he describes the different sides of the leadership, the easy and the hard parts of being a project leader.
Another great article you can find on GanttHead is Tom L. Barnett’s Leadership-Powered Project Management. He says that all the leaders we know from history, no matter whether they were political, military, or business leaders, no matter their different styles, they all shared some similar leadership qualities. Mentioning Washington and Lincoln, Gates and Welch, Churchill and Eisenhower, Tom Barnett gives us the similar traits that are common among the great leaders. The traits that will set us apart as leaders and distinguish us from everyone else.
Although leadership skills are necessary quality for every project manager, there are techniques of the craft which are a mandatory part of the PM’s skillset. The PM Hut blog published recently Thomas Cutting’s post How to Really Fix a Failing Project where he focuses on the most important things a project manager should do when his or her project is in trouble. If you can stay calm and follow his advices there is a great chance you will get your project back on track.
PM Hut is a great source of useful information for the project managers. It is some kind of aggregator where they publish articles from many experienced and interestingly writing bloggers in the field of project management (including me, too :-)).
Writing the project documents is probably the most hated obligation of the project manager. I know a lot of PMs who don’t understand very well the purpose of each document and this is the main reason for their frustration when it comes to writing it. PM Hut has published an article by Sam Elbeik to help in this matter. While his article is pompously entitled The Secret of Successful Project Management it is a simple and understandable explanation of the purpose and the value of the key project documents like the Project Charter, the Plan, and the Progress Report.
At the end I am giving you a very serious article by the PM guru Tom Mochal in the TechRepublic’s PM blog devoted to one of the first things that happen in a project – the kickoff meeting. Why it is important and how you should conduct it – read it here (note: it may require a free registration!)