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Archive for December, 2015


Happy New Year!

Thank you for being loyal readers of my blog.  My wish for you is prosperity, happiness, and joy in the coming year!  I look forward to serving you in 2016.


Merry Christmas!

Sending warm greetings and best wishes for a safe, healthy, joyful Christmas!Merry-Christmas-Photos-11


Manage Stakeholders

Every project has stakeholders–people who have a vested interest in the project either succeeding or failing. A critical mistake in project management is failing to communicate regularly with your stakeholders. Here are some tips to help you.

  • Identify your stakeholders and what you need from each. Consider people who will be affected by the project, who can influence the outcome, and who can advocate for the project.
  • Prioritize stakeholders from high to low priority. High priority stakeholders have power and/or influence over the project and are key to its success.
  • Decide who on the project team will have responsibility for managing stakeholders since you may only have the bandwidth to manage the high priority ones. Match project team members with lower priority stakeholders.
  • Meet with each stakeholder to go over the project and its objectives, discuss their expectations for the project, and learn their preference for status updates–frequency, mode of communication, and so on. Introduce the member of the project team who will be the stakeholder’s primary contact if it isn’t you.
  • Make sure team members understand when and how to communicate with their assigned stakeholders and set up a schedule of status reports to you on how the process is going. Immediately take action if you see a problem so it doesn’t grow into an obstacle for the project or jeopardize the outcome.

A stakeholder plan can build positive, productive relationships with key stakeholders and help you manage their expectations about outcomes. Keep in mind that this is a ongoing, critical part of your project and must be controlled to ensure a good result. See my blog post Quick Tips for Project Success for more information.


Grow Your Team in 2016

One of your most important responsibilities as a manager and leader is the development of your team. When you provide career guidance, training programs, and opportunities for growth, you strengthen your team and improve their ability to be positively productive. As we move into a new year, invest some time and thought into where and how you can develop each team member.Teacher teaching

  • Identify each employee’s strongest and weakest skills. You want to enhance areas where they are proficient and strengthen areas where they need improvement.
  • Research the training resources offered by your HR department and what options you can pursue on your own., such as bringing in training yourself or starting a lunch-and-learn program.
  • Create a list of recommendations for the employee’s development in 2016. Include classroom and e-training programs, books, audios, and other types of media for professional development.
  • Meet with each employee, discuss your recommendations, and get input from them.
  • Put together a final development plan and meet with the employee one more time to motivate them and encourage them to take action on the plan.
  • Periodically review the plan with the employee and make adjustments as necessary.

Remember that delegation is one of the most powerful tools you have to develop your employees. Some managers avoid delegation because they think it takes too much time, and it’s faster if they do the task themselves. If you have avoided delegating tasks to your team, change how you think about it. The process is an investment of your time that will save time later. For more information on delegation, check out my blog post Are You Afraid to Delegate?