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August 17, 2017 | Insights

The Importance of Risk Management Plans in Project Management 

Project managers should not only have them, but update them continually

Assessing risk is an important part of a well-managed project, and project managers and team members should have a risk management plan in place from the project’s outset. Projects, in and of themselves, are risky endeavors because the project often addresses a critical need, resolves an existing …

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  • August 10, 2017 | Insights

    Project Managers Must Also Be Risk Managers 

    Ability to assess risk can improve project management outcomes 

    Some people seek out risk while others avoid it. Likewise, some organizations tolerate risk while other organizations minimize it. Whatever one’s particular strategy, we all face risk in our personal and work lives on a daily basis, and how we react to risk distinguishes those who are effective project managers from those who are less effective. In …

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  • July 19, 2017 | Insights

    Entrepreneurship and the Risk of Confirmation Bias

    How wishful thinking can be dangerous to your business

    It seems that starting a business has never been easier. Social media and crowd funding are just a couple of the developments that have eased the way for entrepreneurs. With online tools, an entrepreneur can now set up shop and …

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  • June 21, 2017 | Knowledge

    Five Strategies for Successful Stakeholder Management

    How to manage complex projects while keeping stakeholders happy

    Anyone who works in project management knows that a lot of planning goes into preparing a project team to do its work—before the project itself even begins. Deliverables are spelled out; estimates are made regarding how long the project will …

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  • June 6, 2017 | Interviews

    David J.P. Fisher on Hyper-Connected Selling & Sales Skills of the Future

    According to Fisher, sales has changed, and we need to keep up 

    The internet has fundamentally changed the role of today’s salesperson, and this is a reality that can’t be ignored. In a world where consumers can purchase anything from diapers to high-end jewelry with a simple click of the mouse, the contemporary salesperson must …

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  • May 17, 2017 | Insights

    Project Managers Should Value Honesty Over Loyalty in Team Members

    It’s about results, not lip service

    There has been a lot of talk in the news lately — especially in the political arena — about picking leaders based on loyalty. It seems that sometimes, loyalty even takes the lead over ability and expertise. But then, that’s …

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  • May 4, 2017 | Insights

    Building More Trust in Today’s Business Landscape

    Leadership, business, and the need for trust

    A leader seeking success needs to be trusted. In study after study, research on leadership lists trust as a top trait, and studies have shown that when trust in a leader increases, productivity goes up and costs go down. As …

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  • April 19, 2017 | Knowledge

    Three Questions To Help Solve Your Business Problems

    Begin by thinking creatively about the problem

    When you’re faced with a problem in day-to-day business life, what is your strategy for getting it resolved? All too often, business professionals make problems more difficult by jumping to conclusions and implementing “solutions” before the problem is fully understood. …

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  • March 29, 2017 | Insights

    What Fake News Teaches Us About Project Management

    Critical thinking pitfalls allow us to easily believe what’s untrue

    Fake news, it seems, is everywhere. It’s a term we didn’t know just a few years ago, but after this political season it’s become difficult to figure out what’s real and what’s not. “Pope Backs Trump,” “Hillary Sold Weapons to …

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  • March 22, 2017 | Knowledge

    Three Simple Steps Before You Negotiate

    Assess the situation to see if negotiating makes sense

    We negotiate all the time. Any time you want something that another person has, or that person wants something that you have, you’re in a potential negotiation. Should you negotiate? That depends. You’ll want to size up the situation and …

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  • March 14, 2017 | Insights

    Bots, Creativity, and the Value of Human Skillsets

    The skills that make us human will be at a premium in the new age of automation

    Today, as almost every day, I was asked by a website to prove that I’m human. You’ve probably had the same experience: in order to access a webpage, you must perform a task that only a human can do, like …

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  • March 3, 2017 | Interviews

    Warren Berger on the Power of the Question

    An interview with bestselling author Warren Berger about questions and the importance of Question Week 

    Are we asking the right questions? Can asking better questions spark innovation and creativity? How can asking better questions help us in our personal and business lives? Exploring the power of inquiry is the focus of Warren Berger’s 2014 bestselling …

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  • March 2, 2017 | Knowledge

    Four Questions Every Salesperson Should Ask About Their Customer’s Business

    Build value with your customers by understanding their business concerns

    What keeps your customer up at night? What is he or she most worried about? One of the best ways to build value with your customers is through a deep understanding of their business concerns. Too often, salespeople lead with …

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  • March 1, 2017 | Insights

    Workplace Bullying and its response

    New study shows that men and women respond differently to bullying in the workplace

    Would you know if someone was being bullied at work? It’s not always easy to tell. Many years ago, I worked as a sales rep for a boss who managed by intimidation. He publicly shamed and embarrassed his employees. He …

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  • February 22, 2017 | Insights

    It’s About Time

    The Benefits of Taking Time Out in a Hectic Work World

    In today’s society, we’re made to feel that there’s something wrong with us when we’re doing nothing. We imagine the efficient, effective person we want to be, always on top of what’s going on in our workplace and in the …

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  • February 20, 2017 | Resources

    Cybersecurity and the Consumer

    Recently, there have been a number of very large data breaches that should cause consumer concern. But it is interesting to note that consumers have been unlikely to change their online habits, even as more data breaches have been reported. …

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  • February 19, 2017 | Resources

    Why the Middle Class chooses Non-bank Alternatives

    Why do people use payday loans, or check cashing services? The reasons might be different than you think. In this podcast, author Lisa Servon, who wrote The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives, takes you into the …

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  • February 15, 2017 | Knowledge

    Tips for Better Listening

    These simple, effective techniques will improve your listening skills in no time

    One of the most important skills in communication — and in business — is the ability to listen. Listening is critical because, after all, if you can’t listen, how can you respond in any meaningful way? Listening involves not just …

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  • January 26, 2017 | Interviews

    The BPI Blueprint

    A guide for business process improvement

    InfoWorks interviewed Shelley Sweet, who is President of I4 Process and author of The BPI Blueprint.   I4 Process provides consultation, workshops and training programs based on a unique 3-PEAT method of modeling processes and analyzing data that accelerates operational …

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  • December 6, 2016 | Resources

    How Effective is that Ad?

    It’s a challenge to measure ad effectiveness of online ads.  In this podcast, researchers from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University talk about how hard it is to really measure whether a digital ad is effective, and discuss …

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  • December 3, 2016 | Resources

    The Power of Inquiry

    We can and should ask better questions.  As children, we ask lots of questions, and are naturally curious about life.  Much of that dissipates as we get older.  In his book, A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger examines how we …

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  • November 12, 2016 | Insights

    The Upside of the Downside

    Opportunities in Managing Risk

    You will find risk everywhere you look, if you look for it. Every time we get into a car, as a driver or passenger, there is the risk of an accident. Every time we burn a candle, there is a …

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  • October 31, 2016 | Knowledge

    Your Personal Energy is a Key Resource

    Tips for project managers

    Many project management professionals lead stress-filled lives, work long hours on projects and still keep home and family together using their project management skills. Most workers respond to rising demands in their workplace by working longer hours, pushing themselves to …

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  • October 20, 2016 | Insights

    Brexit and the price of Marmite

    As the pound falls, inflation pressures grow

    Recently, a new hashtag popped up on the internet: #Marmitegate. Social media users in the UK were following a news story about a potential 10% rise in the price of Marmite, which is a traditional British product: a sticky paste …

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  • October 8, 2016 | Resources

    Will the European Union Fail?

    It’s likely the European Union will disintegrate.  That’s the opinion of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, and The Black Swan.

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  • September 2, 2016 | Resources

    Leadership in Three Acts

    The stages of successful movements follows a similar path.   Like a story, they have a beginning, middle, and end.  Nancy Duarte and Patti Sanchez have researched how successful movements evolve.  This article in the Harvard Business Review describes the …

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  • August 7, 2016 | Resources

    Entrepreneurship, Step by Step

    Here’s how to make sure your business has it’s best possible start. Disciplined Entrepreneurship, by Bill Aulet, is a handbook for new companies.

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  • June 4, 2016 | Insights

    Why Stakeholder Management is Important

    Projects revolve around stakeholders

    A stakeholder is someone inside or outside the organization that has an interest in the outcomes of the project. Some are more important to the life of the project, such as the sponsor, steering committee or project team members (which …

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  • April 14, 2016 | Knowledge

    Plan to Manage Risk

    Why risk management must be part of your project plan

    As we said in Part 1, the first phase of managing a project is Project Initiation. Early in the project, you define the project’s product or end point in sufficient detail that you can both satisfy the customer’s view of …

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  • March 4, 2016 | Knowledge

    Managing Change and the Job Search

    Your job search is a project

    (Part 3 in a series of 3 posts on how to project manage your job search. Read Part 1 and Part 2.) What’s On Your Plate? You have a new project to manage: a job search. Don’t get out the …

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  • February 14, 2016 | Knowledge

    Use Projects to Launch High Quality Global Products (part 2)

    Focus on cost efficiency

    Now that your project is well scoped (in part 1), and you can define success, it’s time to consider cost efficiency and the timing for major expenses. It’s important to remember that shaping quality at the beginning of a project …

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  • January 24, 2016 | Knowledge

    Use Projects to Launch High Quality Global Products

    Use Project Management to Deliver Quality

    You’ve started a new project. Your objective is to successfully create and internationally launch a new high-quality product for your company. But, you’re stuck, because you are not sure you know how to ensure success across countries or how to …

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  • January 20, 2016 | Knowledge

    Initiating Your Job Search Project

    How to begin your job search

    (Part 2 in a series of 3 posts on how to project manage your job search. Read Part 1 here.) Once you have decided to treat your job search as a project, you have begun “Project Initiation.” The things you …

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  • January 18, 2016 | Knowledge

    Project Managing Your Job Search

    How to project manage a successful job change

    Your job search is a project; how to use project management skills to help find a new job.

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  • October 13, 2015 | Knowledge

    Gathering Project Information

    Plan ahead to get the most out of project resources

    by Denise Gifford   One of the most common mistakes a new project manager can make is to request more information than is needed to run the project. Information is an important resource, but it is not free. Completing forms …

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  • April 15, 2015 | Knowledge

    Negotiating and the Rock Bottom

    It pays to know your bottom line

    by Steven Lesser   Negotiators often have a position that is their rock bottom, their least acceptable deal. Sometimes negotiators communicate this as a take-it-or-leave-it. Some negotiators use the take-it-or-leave-it even when they are not at their minimum deal. When …

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  • February 12, 2015 | Knowledge

    Focus on Listening

    Why you need to commit to listen

    How are your listening skills? We all know it’s important to pay attention. But most of us, including me, lose focus from time to time. Why don’t we listen? “I am distracted.” “I don’t like the person.” “They don’t communicate …

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  • July 24, 2014 | Knowledge

    Stakeholder Clues

    How to tune in to non-verbal communication

    by Denise Gifford   Do you know what your stakeholders really think about your project? You’ve read their emails. You’ve met with them. You’ve provided reports and solicited feedback. But what are they really thinking? Are they happy with where …

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  • February 23, 2014 | Knowledge

    Stakeholder Communication

    Four key steps for project managers

    Stakeholder communication matters. What makes a project manager a good communicator?  It is not as simple as sharing everything with everyone in a project. In our efforts to keep stakeholders informed, project managers typically communicate too much to too many …

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  • December 17, 2012 | Knowledge

    Don’t Ignore Business Risks

    Recognize business risk when you see it

    Generally, if you are in business, big or small, you face risks. These may be reflected in the day-to-day management of the business or in a specific project, for example. Business risk is largely under the control of management of …

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  • December 12, 2012 | Knowledge

    A "blank check" for process improvement

    A strategy to deliver solutions

    Let’s face it, we are all comfortable in our routines and practices. We are resistant to change. Yet we complain bitterly when another process or procedure we regard as “inadequate” slows us down. When we consider ways to improve things, …

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  • November 28, 2012 | Knowledge

    Managing Change

    Managing change: the keys to success

    by Steven Lesser Change is a constant element in both our personal and business lives.  Rarely do situations remain static, particularly in the ever-changing technological society in which we live.  Since we cannot escape change, the question is, “How can we …

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  • November 7, 2012 | Knowledge

    Effective meetings

    Improve meetings by focusing on what's important

    by Steven Lesser According to a recent Strategy + Business article, the risk of being “switched on” continually and the benefits of “shutting down” from time to time are important considerations for managers. Effective managers and leaders learn to differentiate between …

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  • October 24, 2012 | Knowledge

    What’s the Big Problem?

    Take time to really understand the issues

    “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”  – Groucho Marx As we move closer to this year’s U.S. Presidential election, we are hearing about a lot of issues, …

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  • October 14, 2012 | Knowledge

    Introverted versus Extroverted Leadership

    There's no "right" leadership personality

    With the U.S. elections coming in November and the start of the pre-election debates, there is currently a lot of “noise” about what constitutes a good leader, a comparison of leadership styles of the two presidential nominees, Barack Obama and …

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  • September 18, 2012 | Knowledge

    Tips for Relationship Selling

    Building trust will transform your client relationships

    Relationship selling is dead, or so contends author Matthew Dixon in his book The Challenger Sale. I think Dixon’s report of the death of relationship selling is an exaggeration. Let’s say relationship selling is evolving. Dixon advocates “challenge selling” over …

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