Inspired Project Teams

Enduring Wisdom & Guided Challenges to Help Project Teams Achieve Their Best

  • Feb 27

    Realtor selling house with modelOne of the toughest, but most mission-critical, responsibilities of a project manager is to get people excited about the project before there is anything to show. We ask potential champions to engage and connect with something that isn’t yet real — something that exists as a concept only. Once they “buy in” and become enthusiastic, they can rally the support of their colleagues, help to pull together project funding and open the doors to key SMEs and gatekeepers. But how can we inspire support for a non-existent finished product?

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  • Feb 2
    Audio: Become a Project Management Minimalist
    [Time – 37:05, File Size – 17.4 MB]
    Note: This post is a bit different from most Inspired Project Teams posts. It focuses less on the inspirational side of project management and more on the “nuts and bolts” practices that can help your project team be more effective. After all, if a project team is ineffective, no amount of inspiration can help them find much joy in their work. So in this post, we look at how you can use “just enough” PM to get great results. Read the rest of this entry »
  • Just Say No

    Filed under Focus
    Jul 20

    Audio: Just Say No [Time – 9:45, File Size – 9.3 MB]

    In most of these Inspired Project Teams posts and podcasts, I’ve tried to focus on the positive. We’ve examined optimism, happiness, trusting your inner voice, embracing your work, joyfully taking risks, and generally saying “yes!” to the challenges you and your team face. However, while it might make sense for individuals to say “yes” to life as often as they can, there are critical moments when project teams have just gotta say “no!” Otherwise, your team could find itself swamped by chores that you never agreed to and that are not tied to the essential project deliverables.

    As Stephen Covey says:

    “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically, to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good.’”  – Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

    Then there’s this from journalist Herbert Bayard Swope:

    “I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.”

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  • Dec 29

    Audio:  Take Charge… Stop Playing the Victim [Time – 8:16, File Size – 7.7 MB]

    Life Law #2: You create your own experience.
    Strategy:  Acknowledge and accept accountability for your life. Understand your role in creating results….
    Life Law #4:  You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.
    Strategy: Get real with yourself about life and everybody in it. Be truthful about what isn’t working in your life. Stop making excuses and start making results…
    Life Law #5:  Life rewards action.
    Strategy: Make careful decisions and then pull the trigger. Learn that the world couldn’t care less about thoughts without actions…”

    Dr. Phil McGraw in Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters


    These three Life Laws can be truly empowering. When I feel victimized by other people or circumstances that are “beyond my control,” I step back and mentally run through these Laws.

    Here’s an example: Let’s say I have an ongoing relationship with a client who is driving my project teams crazy by making last minute changes to every project’s deliverables. Here’s how I might apply these Laws:

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  • Dec 20

    Audio:  Think Small [Time – 5:55, File Size – 5.5 MB]

    “Conventional wisdom says that to beat your competitors you need to one-up them. If they have four features, you need five (or 15, or 25). If they’re spending x, you need to spend xx. If they have 20, you need 30. This sort of one-upping Cold War mentality is a dead-end… expensive, defensive, and paranoid… So what to do then? The answer is less. … [and] less means:

    • Less features
    • Less options/preferences
    • Less people and corporate structure
    • Less meetings and abstractions
    • Less promises”

    — from Getting Real: the Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application, by web-based application builder, 37signals.


    So… does your project really need to be that big and complicated? Are you sure it couldn’t be tighter, smaller, and a lot more fun?

    Greer’s Challenges…

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