Inspired Project Teams

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

  • Nov 21

    [Link image: This is a sample from PM Minimalist]

    [This book excerpt is from “Taking Care of Yourself:  Managing Your Priorities, Time, & Energy” in The Project Management Minimalist]

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    “Interruption is the enemy of productivity…Those taps on the shoulder and little impromptu get-togethers may seem harmless, but they’re actually corrosive to productivity. Interruption is not collaboration, it’s just interruption. [These] break your work day into a series of ‘work moments.’”  — Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson in Rework: A Better, Easier Way to Succeed in Business

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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 »

  • 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

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    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 23

    Audio:  Make Time for Recreation [Time – 7:49, File Size – 7.3 MB]

    “Do you know what the word ‘recreation’ means? It means ‘re-creating’ your energy, your enthusiasm. You’re no good to me all burnt out and crispy. So this weekend, go camping with your family or something… anything. Just don’t bring back your musty old, stressed-out self!”  – Anonymous supervisor, my first job out of grad school

    “Rule #24:  One must pay close attention to workaholics: if they get going in the wrong direction, they can do a lot of damage in a short time. It is possible to overload them and cause premature burnout but hard to determine if the load is too much, since much of it is self generated.  It is important to make sure such people take enough time off and that the workload does not exceed 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 times what is normal.” – from One Hundred Rules for NASA Project Managers (Curator: James Atherton)

    “I’ve created the concept of a holi-hour, a shortened version of a holi-day.  I allow myself at least an hour each day to relax totally.” — Susan Jeffers in Feel the Fear… And Do It Anyway

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    Energy, enthusiasm, creativity, and the ability to interact pleasantly and productively… if you or your team is going without adequate time off, it is unlikely that they can muster any of these traits in a sustained way.  Simply put: Working around-the-clock without taking time for recreation is not heroic, nor is it even sensible. It can lead to mistakes, low-quality project results, and (worse) to burnt-out team members and even shattered personal lives.

    The trouble is that many professionals — the top-knotch people we all want on our teams — may have accepted a level of overload in their lives when they were in grad school or serving internships that is simply unrealistic and unsustainable over the course of a career. It’s important to their long-term health, and the health of your organization, that they learn to value recreation as much as they value making high-quality professional contributions. The fact is, in the long run, quality results depend upon rested, invigorated people.

    Greers Challenges…

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