On my path to obtain the PMP certification

In March, I set for myself 4 goals to enhance professional knowledge.  I am an obsessive learner, currently having 8 various certifications or diplomas. We should never stop learning, especially considering the pace of changes and innovation.  I know I repeat that...

Mega-Project: delivering billions of gifts

This is Christmas Eve.  And this project has to start.   We mean: NOW!  It is an emergency and a priority.   It is time to get ready for this ultimate project that makes any Ironman competition looks like a walk in the park.   Someone has to deliver billions of gifts....

Have you adapted to the competing constraints

Project management, in the world of PMBOK, used to talk about the triple constraints. For those using PMBOK, the label "triple constraints" was everywhere. If you do a search on the web on "Triple Constraints", you will find numerous articles on the subject. The...

The dream of being a project manager

Who dreams in their youth of becoming a project manager? Really! It seems most project managers are an accidental project manager. Or they come to project management through another profession. As an example, someone studied accounting and then works in an accounting...

Please use meetings effectively and only when required

Some things are just part of management, and are done because it is the way it has always been done.  Habits can be a powerful success factor, and habits can be a powerful destructive factor.  And to make it worse, a habit can have been developed in a context in which...

The thin line between projects and operations

What is a project?  The Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK, 5th Edition) gives the following definition: "A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.  The temporary nature of projects indicates that a project...

From Malmö to Montréal

This morning, I had a nice surprise in the newspapers. First, let me give you a bit of context.  It is one of my personal goal to know 4 languages.  I already know very well English and French, and I also have been studying Spanish for a while.  Early in 2013, I...

Tools to find project management softwares

Are you searching for project management software? I personally like a lot online project management tools, and even better if they have a good interface and team collaboration features. There are so many options available.  Searching and analyzing them may be a very...

Get an edge as a parent

Many project managers have to try to reconcile their life as a project manager and being a parent.  I am one of them living this challenge, having two kids.  And I am inspired today by one of my friend, a project manager who just had his second child.  How can we live...

Favorite challenge in project management

A friend of mine asked a few project managers this interesting question:  "What problems and challenges do you look forward to most, while working in project management?" I was asked the question, and have been thinking about this during my morning public transit...

Sleep is a key success factor

Sleep: the disposable hero   As project managers, we often have very busy and chaotic schedules, blitz to reach milestones, fast pace projects, and everything else possible that can happen to ensure we work hard for the success of our projects.   There is a bit of a...

Inbox Zero

Here's a post on the infamous concept of Inbox zero.   I am talking here about email inbox.  Some of the logic here could also be applied to a physical inbox.  I recently read again the book Getting Things Done, from David Allen.        While still relevant and...

On project success

As project manager, we offer a professional service to help organization successfully completing projects and thus helping organizations achieve their objectives.  Well, at least, we hope so.  Let's hope we do not do successfully do projects that do not help...

Team Collaboration Tool

I believe a lot in the power of project management and team collaboration web apps.   I strongly believe that if you successfully implement such tool, you will get an edge over your competition, reduce cost, and increase the quality of the projects.   It is so...

Podcast : Guerilla Project Management

I have been discovering lately podcasts.  It is an interesting format, and let me maximize my time by listening to something when I am in transit, running, training, or other activities like that.   My first podcast on project management was the PM for the Masses.  ...

PRINCE2

Let's start by saying this: I must admit that I am far more familiar with the Project Management Institute (PMI), and the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.  I am actually in the process of obtaining my PMP certification, enjoying all the reading and...

Reading PMBOK

As part of my plan to obtain my PMP certification, I started reading the 5th edition of PMBOK a while ago.  Finally, I have read all chapters and am now reading the annexes!   I have been a bit delayed in my study plan (isn't obtaining a certification a project on its...

Balancing work and personal life

Someone on the Google+ Community Project Management for the Masses decided to ask the question:   How are you balancing our routine life with following your passion in life?   This is a question that is important to me, and that I also have spent quite a lot of time...

Book : The Lazy Project Manager

I love productivity.  It always has been one of my quest, to perform work in the most efficient way.  That is why I love computer tools, and learned some database programming.  It was to save me and be able to do some analysis in the shortest time possible.  I had...

Time is precious. Manage it (part 2)!

To continue on the yesterday's theme of time management, here is part 2 to Time is precious.  Manage it! Here is a good article called Seven Essential Time Management Strategies, from Susanne Madsen. If you like project management, she is a good person to follow on...

Time is precious. Manage it!

What is the most precious asset?  I say it is time.  Any job in professional services is based on usage of time, and that, of course, includes project management.  Time is the ultimate equalizer.  We all have 24 hours in a day, and it is what we do with those 24 hours...

Discovering podcast

I must say that I never really discovered podcast.  I never integrated them in my schedule.  I tried a few but never really subscribe to and routinely listen to all podcasts of a specific publisher.  Yes, I have been using the internet since 1989, and yes I am an...

Our mind

This is a slightly different kind of article.   As project manager, we know that we have to deal with many stakeholders, many with different priorities and views on the project.  We also know that we need to have a good communication plan, tailored to the needs of all...

Career quotes

Here are 21 inspirational career quotes, courtesy of Careerealism.com.   Motivational Monday: 21 Inspirational Career Quotes  Inspiration lacking this Monday morning? You’re not alone. Grab a nice, warm cup of coffee and let us help you out. On the job search and...

PMBOK 5th edition

Here we go.  I have started the project to obtain my PMP.  My first big task is to read PMBOK, 5th edition. I think continuous development and acquiring new knowledge are essential to enhance your career.  On this subject, see Continuous Learning. It is also very...

Taking care of yourself

A successful career is often symbolized by having an excellent resume, which list your positions, accomplishments, and education.   In professional services, such as project management, it is important to have a larger view of your career, and take care and develop...

Do you like your job?

This is a popular subject, that can lead to much debate.  Some say that we should strive to work for something that we are passionate about, and that is the only way to go.  There is some logic to that.  To succeed, you must put a lot of energy into your work.  And it...

Enjoy vacation

As a follow-up to my article Back from vacation, here's a good article on the importance of having real vacation.  It is focussed on business owners, but I think the key messages applies to professional, consultants, and project managers.  For business owners,...

Productivity and email

I like to develop efficient routine.  You can work hard or work smart.  And being busy does not mean that you are productive.  As this article for the Time Management Ninja says:   You Were Busy Yesterday, But Were You Productive?   The article lists 5 Signs That You...

Back from vacation

Yes, it is true.  I have not written much since mid-July.  My apologies for that.  That is the result of going away on vacation.  But I am still there and dedicated to Project-Aria.  I guess I could (or should) have written a note about that.   Anyway, I am back, and...

Nozbe productivity course

I just completed watching all videos included in this course, called 10 Steps to Ultimate Productivity Video Course.   The course has been prepared by Michael Sliwinski, the head behind the productivity app Nozbe. It is very good and well designed.  I strongly...

Podcast – PM for the Masses

Do you like podcast?   Are you looking for a podcast on project management?   Podcast is interesting, a different media with its own flavor­.  I like to maximize my time, especially on the move.  And podcast can be a nice way to spend my time in public transit to and...

Learn to delegate early

Delegation seems to be one of the hardest skills to develop for many persons.  Delegation is an important skill to have when managing a team.  As anyone progresses in their career, it become even more important to be able to delegate.  Someone can survive for a while...

Developing your strenghts

Here is an interesting article on career development and talent development, from Careerearlism.   It talks about the importance of focusing on your strengths, and building your personal and professional development from there.   While it is true that you should build...

Preparation for your PMP exam

Obtaining certification can give you an edge.  First, preparing for the exam does increase your knowledge.  It is very hard to be just as dedicated to learning without the pressure of an exam.  And second, it is also useful to market yourself for projects and job...

How to Run a Better Meeting (Infographic)

As I often say, meetings are one of the most mismanaged activities in the workplace.   We should have an automated system that publicly gives the cost of meeting to the meeting organizer.   Then suddenly maybe people would start to: Manage the agenda Manage the...

Creating a project plan

The project plan is an essential part of project management.  It is usually a good investment of time to design a good plan for your projects.  Although there is such a time as too much planning (yes, there is, and very few will actually say that, but there is),...

Do you know Minecraft?

My kids  enjoy a lot the game Minecraft.  Not sure why they like the minimalist graphics of this game.   When I was young, I went through Pac Mac, Asteroids and all of those early games.  Today, they can have HD games on the PS3 on the computer.  Yet, they like a lot...

Cometdocs – Online Document Management System

Here is Cometdocs, an online Document Management System.     It let you store document in the cloud, but it also has a tool to convert documents from and to PDF, Word, Excel and numerous other formats.  So this is a good tool to know, especially when you are stuck...

CopperPM

I am a person always curious to discover online tools to increase: productivity; project management; and team collaboration.   I am a big believer in them.  These tools are transformational  and let us be far more productive.  I do believe the key in our professional...

Searching for project management software?

Are you searching for project management software? I personally like a lot online project management tool, and even better if they have a good interface and team collaboration features2 There are many options available.  How can you search and find many of them?...

The importance of having and managing goals

I do believe in the importance of setting goals and proactively building your life to reach them.  Don't let luck, random events, bad luck or others run your life. And of those four, I think letting others run your life with their beliefs, emotions, and ideas, is...

GoalsOnTrack

Are you looking for a productivity tool?  Usually we can find web applications that are focussed on task management, project management, team collaboration, or any combination of these. Here's a productivity application that has a unique approach.  It is focussed on...

Teambox

TeamBox is a great project management and team collaboration web application. It is good for small and large teams.  The price structure is good.  It is based on the number of users, with unlimited projects including in all Pro plans.  There's also a free plan,...

Articles on productivity

Here are a few articles on productivity.   On LifeHack Why “To-Do” Lists Don’t Work, and How to Change That June 6 by Kirstin O´Donovan On Inc. The No. 1 Way to Kill Productivity Jun 7, 2013, Ilya Pozin On Forbes Microsoft Study: Employees More Productive With Social...

PMP Certification

Personally, I believe that you cannot have too much knowledge.  Any diploma or certification you can get is an asset, which then you can use to monetize in your job search.   Yes, you must have a strategic plan for your career, so that these diplomas and...

What is a project Sponsor?

When you read about project management, you will find sometimes the term Project Sponsor. What is a Project Sponsor? First, let's be clear.  It is not the project manager.  The project manager works with the project manager, and support the project by providing...

On Risk Management

Introduction Risk Management is an important component of managing projects.  It is included in Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) as a distinct chapter, along with the other key components.  What is risk management?  In my experience, it is often either not...

Project Manager Personalities

Yes, there are standards, PMBOK, tools, techniques, methodologies and all of that.  It makes it look as if project management can be robotized. In reality, project management is a very human activity.  The job of a project manager is to achieve an objective, and...

Scrumwise

Managing projects with online tools is a very powerful approach.  It gives you access anywhere to your project information, enable team collaboration, and remove you for the duty to maintain an IT infrastructure. Many of these tools are based on the waterfall...

Perspectives on your career

Here are some very powerful thoughts on your career.   I have seen in my life too many persons unhappy with their career, and it seems mostly driven by the way they think and their expectations on life, their careers, fulfillment of their dreams, and the number of...

PMStudy – Online training for PMP

For those looking for online services to help them study and obtain their Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, here is   Of course, most of their services are for a fee, but you can find some practice tests for free....

Overcoming fear and dare to succeed

Fear is excellent to stop you from achieving your greatest dreams and successes, both in your personal and professional life. Fear of failure Fear of the unknown Fear of imperfection Fear of social rejection Fear Imaginary Fear. Something, you are all positive and...

ScannerPro for iPhone

Productivity on the go!  I love what technology enables us to do. Minimizing printed documents is a fundamental part of a digital workflow.  There are huge benefits from a digital workflow, and not just being green and good for the planet (which is already a good...

eLearning4pms

Here is an interesting website on project management, with many resources to support your learning of project management.   Take a look.   See also elearning4pms on Twitter @elearning4pms   On YouTube Margaret Meloni   Welcome to...

Get your PMP

PMP is one of the official certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). PMP stands for Project Management Professional.  Information on the certification can be obtained on PMI website. PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP)®...

Is your mind like a fireworks?

Are you easily bored? Are you someone who likes to do many things? Are you doing tasks in a simple to-do list order or jumping around? Do you like complex situations and at times chaotic situations? Then this article on Careerrealism is for you. Careerealism is an...

Jedi Project Management

Can Yoda inspire you in managing project? This article has collected a few quotes from Yoda and wrote some comments on how they can help us project managers. My favorite from the article is: “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future” –...

You want high performance? Do not forget to sleep!

In this infinite quest for the top performance, we can develop the habit of working hard, very hard, and even too hard. At some point, it is not the number of hours that you put on the job that should matter. What matters, it's the results that you can achieve. And...

Diagrams and flowcharts with web-based applications

I have done flowcharts and diagrams mostly in Microsoft Visio I also have done flowcharts and diagrams using Microsoft Excel when that was the tool available. I have been trying to find a web-based application as an alternative. I love cloud computing.  It lets me...

Habits for project managers

Despite all attempts to plan correctly and in details a project, a successful project manager will always have to manage the chaotic reality of a project, with its unknown, risks and surprises. A good project manager should have developed the right habits to manage...

Failure on the path to success

Failure happens.  Unfortunately.  It is not fun.  Nobody wants to celebrate failure.  Nobody is proud of a failed project.  That is easy to understand.  And I do not wish to anybody to fail. That is the kind and normal statement. And I hope nobody wish that I fail......

Productivity Apps

Here is a list of 10 productivity app. I personally like a use a lot these from the list I love to be connected on the go.  A lot of stuff I can do everywhere, and especially in public transit. I also like a lot cloud services, like Evernote and Dropbox Evernote...

A few articles on leadership

Here is a collection of posts on leadership that are interesting to read: Enjoy the reading! Business Improvement Architects 5 Things Remarkable Leaders Do to Succeed https://bia.ca/5-things-remarkable-leaders-do-to-succeed/ Innovate “Innovation...

PM Hut – The Project Management Hut

Are you looking for excellent website to read and learn about project management?  I would like to recommend one of the best I have found: PM Hut - The Project Management Hut   It constantly publishes new and excellent articles on project management.  If fact, their...

Building a good resume

A resume is a critical tool to obtain a job.  It must be viewed as a marketing tool, and as such it should communicate clearly to others what you offer.  It is important that it says quickly and clearly to the reader what are  the key reasons to hire you:   What are...

Timeline, milestones and due date

We all know it is a good habit to establish a date for all tasks.  Items with no date risk to have exactly that result: no date when it will be completed.  So we develop a workplan, which identifies what needs to be done, who will do it, the work effort and the start...

What not to write in your resume

I have spent some time lately updating my resume, and researching that submit.  We tend to neglect that document.  It has been a while since I completely reviewed mine.  So I thought the timing was good. My current approach is to try to communicate clearly my...

Boost your career with certifications

In today's world, the pace of innovation and new knowledge is very fast, and ever-increasing.  It is essential to manage your career in a way that respects that new reality.  It is very dangerous in a world of innovation to just get your normal school or university...

10 stupid things said on technology

Enough said! This shows how dangerous it is to resist technology and innovation, and also to think that you know the future for technology. My favorite? "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home."–Ken OlsonPresident of Digital Equipment...

MindMeister

The more I use MindMapping, the more I see the potential.  And I like a lot MindMeister for my Mind Mapping activities.  They have a good website, and a good iPhone, iPad and Android app. Give it a try: They also have a good iPhone app   They also have a useful...

You are a leader, you should know these harsh facts

I like this article, entitled 5 Harsh Truths Every Aspiring Leader Needs to Know. A leader can become too obsess with the objectives, deliverables, project success, and forget those important truths. The first one is always key: you can't do it alone.  You have to...

The impact of bad management

As a boss, it is easy to blame employees who don't perform at the desired level.  In a sense, it is also relatively easy to help them and offer solution. It is much harder to deal with boss that do not provide the appropriate leadership and do not believe in their...

50 great quotes

I think personal development and professional development works together.  We are just one person. So may these 50 quotes inspire you both on a professional and personal levels. http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/04/18/50-quotes-that-will-free-your-mind/...

Know Yourself

To be a good leaders, it is important to know yourself. Personality tests can be useful to improve how we perceive ourselves, and to understand the impact of our personality on other business relationships. Yes, our professional life is based on process, workflow,...

Building management intuition

One of the most powerful thing a manager can do is develop his intuition.  Some managers never make sense when they estimate a task, a phase or a project; some strangely seem to be able to quickly develop an estimate that is reasonably accurate. How did they develop...

Communication skills to connect

We all know that communication is an essential part of project management.  There's of course the formal communication, the briefing notes, the performance and objectives that must be communicated.  A manager must also manage communication with sponsors, clients and...

Leaders or MBA

I love knowledge, I love learning.  I am a professional accountant, and as part of my mandatory professional development, I always prefer to take formal courses that lead to a formal diploma.   But I love even more applied knowledge, and no theory should be more real...

50 Most Common Interview Questions

Here is a good article with 50 most common interview questions.   It is good to be prepared and try to answer them in advance.   Job search should be handled like an important project, with a good plan and precise execution. So get prepared if you are searching for a...

Boss or leader

Here a very good short post on being a boss or being a leader.   Are you a boss or a leader?  It is a good question.   I must prefer being a leader.   I like these quotes:     The position you have or the title you’ve been given (or maybe gave yourself) might...

Don’t use these comments

In discussion and presentations, there are quite a few fillers, empty words, bad habits, that fill the air without adding any value.  If you are doing presentations, it is a good habit to record yourself from time to time and see the results.  It should be natural and...

On micro-management

Funny thing is that micromanagers never think that they are micromanagers.  They always find complex intellectual reason to justify the behavior, and think that they are only doing their job Here's a good article on micro-management. Of the 5 indicators, I would say...

Too many people at the meeting

I am all for team collaboration and exchange of information.  This is why I am a huge fan of modern web project management and team collaboration platform.  They make the information visible in a very efficient way. On the other hand, team meeting is not at all an...

On the benefits of timesheets

Timesheets are often misunderstood.  Why do we have to do them?  Are they just useful for billing the client? Or worse, are they just a form of micromanagement? While billing can be very important, especially in professional services, it is not the key benefit of...

The horror of meetings

Ah... Meetings!  Meetings are probably the most natural things to do in an organization.  And for many, if you are a a manager, then you should call meetings.   You should organize meetings, schedule meetings.  everybody is doing meetings, has always been doing...

Don’t Put This On Your Resume

Very good tips.  Resume your resume and make sure it doesn't have these 5 things. I have never really understood the career objective statement.  It always looks fake anyway... From this to time, it is also very important to realign your resume to properly reflect...

You only lie to yourself

I never really understood lies.  Telling others a different story does not change reality.  Things are still the same.  The best way to move in the direction you want is to be brutally honest with yourself.  Honest about the truth out there, because the reality does...

Easy Projects.net

I love to discover good technological tools to help us better do our job. I am currently trying a new one.  It is called EasyProjects. http://www.easyprojects.net It seems to have a very comprehensive set of tools.  and the price is per user. My most frequent problem...

Managing star employees

We often talk about how to manage difficult employees.  But there's the flip side.  A star employee may be difficult to manage, and sometimes even more difficult to manage.  Actually, even the star employee may sometimes suffer from his own genius.  His mind can...

12 Unconventional Habits of Highly Productive People

I love this article.  It reminds us that we are human being and that productivity is not just an intellectual and work productivity thing.  It is always who we are and how we decide to react to things, events, challenges, others, that influence our productivity and...

New to project management

So you are new to project management? So did you choose project management, or it just happened like that? Now I love project management, but 15 years when a friend of mine started a Master in project management, I wondered why.  It sounded like unclear, just theory....

Bad Sponsor

I would personally add to the list a Project Sponsor that does not understand modern efficient tools and approaches to manage project, and keep asking you to produce what he successfully used in the 90s.   I would also say that a Sponsor should from time to time visit...

Project Planning

Here is another good post from ProjectManager.com Projectmanager.com provides on their blog regular interesting and useful post on project management.  I like them.   It talk about project planning, and proposes 8 key questions that should be asked during project...

Embracing Uncertainty

I read too many articles about "risk management" and "change management" that are still too anchored in the assumptions that normal things should be stable and predictable.  What if that assumption is not  true?  What if the status quo is now the biggest danger an...

Continuous learning

    I also strongly believe in the importance of continuous learning, not only to learn more and get an edge, but also just to avoid having obsolete and fully outdated knowledge!     http://youtu.be/k9SpbqR8-Kc...

On leadership

It takes a lot of courage and humility to be a good leader.  Leadership is not management and is different from holding a position.  The position lets someone give order in the formal way.  Leadership is more related to trust and excellence.  Does your team trust you,...

Lead by example

I am a complete believer in the importance of leading by example.  I do think you cannot just be an MBA leader, by that I mean a leader who has simply learned all the right buzzword, and can talk at any management meeting... Yet, if you do have the right Know-how to...