Managing Projects in the Real World provides clear and actionable advice to project managers for recognizing, anticipating, and overcoming challenges associated with the human component of leading others. The mechanics of project management are rational and straightforward to learn. The art of project management is irrational and complex to learn.
Project managers need to develop a repertoire of soft skills that are typically hard for them, since they rose through the ranks to that position by virtue of superior reasoning skills. But if a project manager cannot adjudicate the clash of personalities, finesse the friction between assigned and preferred roles, steer clear of hidden hazards, and diplomatically resolve overlapping assertions of competing authority—that project manager is in a world of trouble.
From the human perils of project management, nobody is better qualified to rescue beleaguered project managers than Melanie McBride—veteran PM and author of the Intel blog, The Accidental Profession. She sheds light on those dark, dusty places that fall between the cracks of theory and best practice out in the real world where irate colleagues, unrealistic product launch dates, and virtual meetings reign supreme and run amok. In this book you'll find targeted discussions and specific techniques to empower you to meet the challenges that project managers face every day. The book is structured into project phases to help any project manager on any kind of project jump right to the tried and true solution for the challenge at hand.
What you'll learn
After reading Managing Projects in the Real World: The Tips and Tricks No One Tells You About When You Start, project managers will know:
How to execute basic project management tasks such as building dynamic schedules, developing risk management plans, holding others accountable, and conducting effective meetings.
How to navigate the tricky bits, such as unrealistic due dates and virtual meetings with multitasking attendees.
How to communicate effectively with project stakeholders and manage their expectations and different communication styles.
How to deal with stakeholders with classically difficult personas, such as bullies, micromanagers, visionaries, and prisoners.
How to continually improve in your PM craft and decision-making abilities.
Who this book is for
Primary: project, program, and product managers
Secondary: any team leader or director
Table of Contents
- Title Page
- Apress Business: The Unbiased Source of Business Information
- About the Author
PART I: Initiating Phase
- CHAPTER 1: How to Figure Out What’s Really Going On
- CHAPTER 2: Effective Meetings in the Real World
- CHAPTER 3: Team Building
- CHAPTER 4: The “Special” Ones
PART II: Planning Phase
- CHAPTER 5: You Have to Do the Work
CHAPTER 6: How to Develop a Robust Schedule
- The Problem Isn’t MS Project…It’s You!
- Breaking Down the Work Breakdown Structure
- Networking … and Not the Fun Kind
- Estimation: It’s Trickier Than You Thought
- The Easy Way
- Optimizing the Schedule
- The Proper Care and Feeding of Your Baseline
- The Dark Art of Leveling Resources
- Buffer? What Buffer? Surely You Jest!
- CHAPTER 7: How to Say No to Unrealistic Target Dates
- CHAPTER 8: A Special Case: Planning for the Holiday Season
PART III: Execution Phase
- CHAPTER 9: Leadership Showtime
- CHAPTER 10: Decision Making
- CHAPTER 11: Presenting Project Updates
- CHAPTER 12: Stakeholder Management in the Real World
- CHAPTER 13: Communicating with Difficult People
PART IV: Closure Phase
- CHAPTER 14: Is Your Team Ready to Release?
- CHAPTER 15: Leading When the Music Stops
- CHAPTER 16: You Really Ought to Be Doing This
PART V: So You Wanna Be a Project Manager
- CHAPTER 17: Is Project Management Right for You?
- CHAPTER 18: Are You a Professional?
- CHAPTER 19: Getting Better at It
- Title: Managing Projects in the Real World: The Tips and Tricks No One Tells You About When You Start
- Release date: November 2013
- Publisher(s): Apress
- ISBN: 9781430265115