Category Archives: Project Management

10 thoughtful ways to welcome a new employee into your company

First impressions count for a lot, and we only get one shot at it. Have you ever begun a new job, only to find that your workspace wasn’t properly prepared for you, IT hadn’t organised your logins and no one had been officially assigned to greet you? Beginning a new job can be an incredibly isolating and nerve-wracking experience, and even more so if it feels like no one is expecting you. Helping a new employee to feel welcome and part of company culture can make all the difference and be instrumental in encouraging them to deliver their best from day one.

5 easy ways to build stronger connections with your remote colleagues

5 easy ways to build stronger connections with your remote colleagues

Ten years ago, almost to this day, I set-up my first home office and entered the world of remote working. Back in 2006, virtual working was the exception rather than the rule, and I only made it sustainable through hefty train fares into London each month for regular client meetings. Virtual collaboration tools and technology had a long way still to go, and connectivity was nowhere near as ubiquitous as it is today. But nevertheless, I made it work well, and discovered a newfound freedom through working when and where I liked.

Want better meetings? Start by killing the agenda

Want better meetings

How often do you leave a meeting, feeling that it was, well….boring? You made it through a big agenda, yet somehow little happened. There were no substantive debates. No ah-ha moments. It ‘looked’ like a good meeting, yet nobody would think or do anything meaningfully different because of it. This happens more often than it should and the culprit is the very thing that’s supposed to prevent it: the agenda.

25 daily habits that are killing your productivity

Habits killing your productivity

Some days it seems almost impossible to be productive.

There are beeps and buzzes coming from your phone and calendar notifications on your laptop for upcoming meetings. These are just a few of the distractions that small business owners and employees experience on a daily basis. To fight the distractions and stay on top of things we try different productivity hacks. Most of the time they’re ineffective.

Old school versus new school project management

Old school versus new school project management

Modern project management has very little in common with “old school” methods. Now project managers and teams can see at a glance how far things have come and how to transform their own daily project workflows in this new infographic from the Citrix project management experts.

Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):

What were the 10 most popular posts of 2015?

What were the 10 most popular posts of 2015?

Now that the countdown to Christmas is in full swing, it’s always nice to reflect on the highs of 2015, and in our case, the blog posts that really got our readers thinking and sharing. So just before we kick back with a glass of mulled wine and call it a wrap for 2015, we thought you might like our Christmas Top 10 of the posts that grabbed the most eyeballs this year…

How to cure a world of project failure

Project management - how to avoid failure

It is often asserted that 70% of projects fail. Usually by software providers, consultants and training companies looking to sell you their wares. I read some research conducted 10 years ago that suggested the figure was relatively accurate in the area of “lean improvement”.

Yet, our research (the Change Makers), suggests that the numbers don’t add up. What we see is organisations, and project managers, working their proverbial socks off. Delivering complex and often under-funded projects. And they do deliver them!

8 steps to successful project management in distributed teams [Infographic]

Steps to successful project management

When project team members work in different locations, communication often suffers. A mobility strategy can help to spark team spirit and to bridge distances—without arduous travel.

Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):

Could you join the #noemail movement?

The no email movement

It’s tempting, I have to admit! A life without email would undoubtedly make a huge difference to my productivity. Throughout my career, the roles and positions I’ve held have always been heavily reliant on email, and although it’s been essential for communications, in many ways, it has also been a big distraction. Despite best efforts to restrict email related tasks to particular times of day, the reality is that people often expect faster response times. When an important email comes through which needs urgent attention, it can be tricky to ignore. But this can really disrupt the creative process and work flow.

The five types of people you always encounter in meetings

Types you encounter in meetings

Love them or hate them, obsessively organise them or desperately avoid them, meetings are a massive part of working culture. From a quick team catch-up to a full blown brainstorm to the nervousness of a management meeting or client review, taking a group of people into a room often results in a series of personalities rising to the surface. How many of these have you encountered? (Clue: if you haven’t met one, you quite possibly are one!) And how do you use them to your advantage to make the most of the time?

The funny side of web conferencing…and how to avoid some common pitfalls!

Funny web conferencing moments

Let’s be honest…web conferencing can be a wonderful business tool for teams who are geographically dispersed or working remotely. But even the most experienced web conference user will have surely experienced some of the common awkward situations that are part and parcel to getting a group of co-workers to communicate virtually. It’s not always the most natural of situations, and unless web conferencing is a regular occurrence in your business schedule, it can be easy to fall down some of the technology crevices.

Let it snow – perhaps now is the time to test flexible working

Let it snow business as usual

Most of the country has been issued with a snow warning in anticipation of the arrival of the “Beast from the East” – a stretch of cold air heading our way from Siberia. How lovely.

Back in 2013, 77% of organisations were affected by severe weather. Yet despite it being acknowledged as one of the biggest threats to UK businesses, few are often prepared for the disruption it causes.

Vital business lessons The Apprentice taught us this year

The Apprentice What We've Learnt

We’re getting closer to finding out who will be named this year’s winner of the prestigious partnership with Lord Sugar himself, and we think this might just have been the best season of The Apprentice yet. There’ve been the usual personality clashes, the hilarious soundbites and the fist-bitingly awful gaffes, but that’s precisely what makes the programme such an addictive watch.

10 ways to be a great project manager

project management

If you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, they invariably will say teacher, footballer, nurse or ballerina. But in the entire history of time, I don’t expect many children have answered project manager! It’s one of those vocations that creeps up on you, and suddenly you’re managing multiple global projects with six figure budgets attached, potentially with little formal training in the area.

12 great tools to keep your team in sync

GoVisually_ManageProjects

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, knew the importance of collaborative work. “He believed that Apple’s great advantage was its integration of the whole widget – from design to hardware to software to content-he wanted all departments at the company to work together in parallel,” writes Walter Isaacson in his biography, Steve Jobs. Jobs involved all departments in the development process. “Our method was to develop integrated products, and that meant our process had to be integrated and collaborative,” Jobs said.

But funnily enough, this collaboration took place around a big table, where various departments would thrash out ideas and offer their own perspectives. Imagine how he would receive the array of online business collaboration tools now making their way into the workplace!

5 steps to better online meetings for project teams

team_meeting_distributed_teams_630px

It’s an all-too-common scenario: You’ve been asked to join a project that involves co-workers in one country and stakeholders in another. Meanwhile, you’re stuck in the middle, time zones apart.

Although in-person, telephone and email interactions have their place for projects like these, the ability to meet together online, see each other via webcam and collaborate on documents can speed up the process substantially.

10 time management hacks you need to use now

Time Management

Time management is one of those areas that many of us struggle with. Nowadays our lives are so busy, with our attention constantly divided across an array of connected devices, that the art of focusing and managing time is becoming more and more challenging.

My brain has always functioned better in the evening than the morning, and over the years I’ve needed to find ways to manage my time more productively at the start of the day particularly. It’s taken years of trial and error, and while everyone needs their own approach,