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Six Ways to Be a Leader Instead of a Boss

Innovative-e’s own Eoin Callan, Managing Partner, was recently a speaker at PMI Tampa Bay’s Annual Symposium, and upon his return, he reported back to our team some of the things he learned while at the conference. Eoin was particularly impressed by one of the keynote workshop speakers’ differentiation between bosses and leaders.

The keynote workshop speaker in question is Andy Worshek, who led the chapter in a workshop called “Turn the Ship Around,” an examination of how David Marquette built a culture of teamwork to achieve excellence aboard the USS Santa Fe with lessons for people in business.

Eoin’s takeaway from Andy’s presentation keynote included these points:

  1. Bosses make people “do.” Leaders make people “think.”
  2. Bosses make people feel stress. Leaders make people feel safe.
  3. Bosses push information to authority. Leaders push authority to information.
  4. Bosses want to be good. Leaders want to get better.
  5. Bosses fix people. Leaders fix the environment.
  6. Bosses think their way to new action. Leaders act their way to new thinking.

Let’s drill down and look at some of the specific tactics a project manager can implement to be a leader rather than a boss:

  1. A leader’s role is not to come to a consensus, but to uncover all the info needed in order to make a proper decision.
  2. To foster an open and “safe” atmosphere, try saying, “Tell me about…” rather than demanding to know “Why?”
  3. Don’t use binary questions – leave things open-ended to promote more thorough and useful discussion.
  4. Separate the positions from the people.
  5. Speak last if you want different opinions – as a leader, you’re a pace-setter, and you will garner more varied response if you let other people express their thoughts before they know yours.
  6. Speak first if you want to win an argument (but lose relationships).
  7. Allow anonymous responses.
  8. Investigate outliers – there may be a good reason for dissenting opinions that you might not have considered.
  9. Fear shuts down curiosity.
  10. Watch out for folks looking to avoid errors rather than those looking to achieve excellence. The latter always strive for what’s best for the client/organization/everybody.

Are you a leader or a boss? We’d love to hear how you distinguish yourself as a leader and what lessons you’ve learned as a project manager. Drop us a line at info@innovative-e.com and tell us your tactics!

Like diving deeper into topics treating effective leadership? You might like our Leadership Insights video series, by Jim Kennedy, retired Director of Kennedy Space Center. Check it out!

 

project management

Become One with PS+ and Project Online

This blog series explains how PS+ helps people be effective as shown by Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The sixth habit, to Synergize, says we find strength when we learn to collaborate. Just as geese leverage the efforts of one leader for the easier flight of the flock, users of PS+ and Project Online, no matter the role, and with little effort or training, follow the path of someone with deep project management experience built-in to an easy-to-use solution designed to deliver very productive results.

Synergy consists of getting bigger and better results from combined efforts than could be accomplished by either party alone. PS+ takes advantage of the best project management functionality on the market in the form of Microsoft Project put in to the Cloud (or on-premises with Project Server) and enhances it with intuitive means of tracking project details easily.

Some ways Project Online and PS+ combine to produce better results together include:

  • PS+ Reports: Each task and resource has hundreds of data fields associated with them and the built-in, out of the box PS+ Reports leverages those to produce Highlight Reports, S-curve Reports, Pie Charts, and several other report types.
  • PS+ Navigator: Combine efficiency with knowledge of Project Online infrastructure and the result is the PS+ Navigator, an easy-to-use tool that helps users jump directly where they want to go inside PWA.
  • PS+ Dependency and PS+ Sequencer: When working with related projects in a coordinated manner in order to achieve benefits not otherwise possible, use the PS+ Sequencer to create unique IDs for each project in the program. PS+ Dependency creates and manage links between tasks in separate project schedules. Never create a Master Project again unless you want to!
  • PS+ Milestone Gantt: Simplify portfolio or program schedules to a single view that shows not only the overall duration of each included schedule, but also the significant events during each timeline relative to today!

A rising tide floats all boats and PS+ helps raise the water level for every role in your organization. Synergize today by signing up for a risk-free PS+ subscription now so you and your team can benefit from purposeful and powerful collaboration with PS+ without further delay!

project management

Innovative-e partner PS+ wins Microsoft Partner of the Year for 2016!

We’re so pleased that our partner, PS+, is the Microsoft Partner of the Year 2016 winner for Project and Portfolio Management! They took the prize with their multi-award-winning solution, PS+, built on Microsoft Project Online. PS+ won this honor amid a field of more than 2,500 global Microsoft Partners who entered to win. PS+ is recognized by Microsoft as “demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.”

Innovative-e is proud to be partnered with winners like PS+! We’re proud to be the only US distributor of the prize-winning PS+ solution. Want to know why PS+ has won multiple awards? Learn more about this exceptional solution and what it can do to accelerate your PPM.

PS Plus POTY graphic

 

project management

How PMOYT Improves Project Management in the Public Sector

What is PMOYT? It stands for Project Management On Your Terms, and it is a solution built specifically for PMs in the public sector to improve on the out-of-the-box capabilities of Microsoft Project and Project Server by providing interactive dashboards modeled after ITDashboards.gov. Measure the health and progress of your projects or portfolio with self-attested or formula-driven KPIs, and see longer term historical data related to your projects to see how they’re trending.

Mike Taylor, President and CEO of Innovative-e, was recently at SharePoint Fest with Scott Chapman, CEO of Project Hosts, one of our key partners in providing solutions tailored to the particular needs of public sector clients. Mike took a few minutes at the conference to talk about how PMOYT can improve project management for PMs in the public sector. Check out the two minute video here.

https://vimeo.com/168110568

 

project management

Gaining Project Wisdom and Sagacity from PS+ and Project Online

This blog series explains how PS+ helps people be effective as shown by Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The fifth habit, to Seek first to understand, then be understood, speaks to the power of patient wisdom and judicious sagacity. Wisdom comes from experience, knowledge, and good judgment, while sagacity demonstrates shrewdness and keen mental discernment. Users of PS+ and Project Online, no matter the role, deliver very productive results with little effort or training because of the deep wells of project management experience built-in to a solution designed to assist everyone’s mental discernment.

Both wisdom and sagacity require information to begin with since one cannot be wise about nothing. But having data isn’t enough. To be wise and sagacious, one must also use data to make shrewd decisions showing sound judgment.

Some ways Project Online and PS+ help decision-makers with such judgment include:

  • Portfolio Analysis: Use either costs or resources to optimize a constrained group of work to accomplish goals that are important to your company! Model different project portfolios to see which configuration provides the best results and when you might need to plan to hire more resources…
  • WorkViewer: PS+ provides pre-configured generic resources you can use straight out of the box (OOTB) to understand the workload demands of your portfolio. Immediately see where projects have resource bottlenecks and chokepoints, and see which project managers are demanding the most resources!
  • Risk Matrix: Understand at a glance which projects threaten your portfolio the most!
  • Financial Manager: get a handle on project spending by understanding with ease where every penny goes whether for direct, project costs or for Capital Expenditures!

It’s not often that a product makes everyone in an enterprise wiser, and PS+ does it transparently. Seek first to understand, then be understood by signing up for a risk-free PS+ subscription today so you and your team can share decision-making data now!

project management

PS+ does not stand for “Post Scriptum”

This blog series explains how PS+ helps people be effective as shown by Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  Being effective requires vision of the ultimate goal so one may decisively act (or NOT) based upon how those actions might impact that goal’s accomplishment; Covey calls this the second habit, to Begin with the End in Mind.  If you don’t know where you want to go, then a map won’t help.  Effective people choose to use PS+ because it makes using a project management information system easy AND productive.  Easy is important because people will choose the path of least resistance when asked to adopt new technologies.

PS+ was built by people who were frustrated that the best-in-class project management solution, Microsoft Project Online, was not the easiest to use out of the box.  The outcome is a product that improves the results that every role wants from a PMIS, out of the box, with no need for training.  PS+ apps benefit people who look for the output of the data they and others enter to track project progress.

Some ways to see this in PS+ include:

  • PS+ Navigator – right from the very beginning, on the PS+ home page, PS+ makes it easy to use Microsoft Project Online with a pop-up menu to jump immediately where you want to go to manage your project!
  • PS+ Reporting – Any authorized role can find out what they want to know about their projects, immediately out of the box! The PS+ Highlight Report helps Project Managers present what Executives most want to know.  The PS+ Issues Report collates across projects so you can see if anything happening in one project may impact another!
  • PS+ Project Types templates – Each of the PS+ OOTB project types uses a WBS appropriate for that project type. Why create new schedules with blank tasks unless that’s what you want?  PS+ standard project types include PMI, agile, Prince2, SharePoint task list, and blank.
  • PS+ Project Sites – the quicklaunch bar gets configured according to the project type when created (e.g. PS+ PMI project types quickbars link to Change Requests while Agile project quickbars link to the Product Backlog). You and your team can collaborate immediately OOTB!
project management

Use PS+ to Put First Things First

This blog series explains how PS+ helps people be effective as shown by Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Effective people prioritize properly, something that Covey describes with the third habit, to Put First Things First, which he sums up by telling us “not to prioritize our schedules, but to schedule our priorities.” PS+ makes it easy to track our priorities and the progress made (or not) in accomplishing them.

Several functions in out-of-the-box Microsoft Project Online highlight priorities, such as with Portfolio Analyses at the macro level, and critical path analysis at the micro, but these are not the easiest to use or understand immediately. PS+ helps put first things first with additional tools that don’t come standard with Microsoft Project Online but do with PS+.

Some of these tools are:

  • PS+ Resource Forecast Report – since you need people to do projects, people should be a top priority! Look into the future of a project, a program, or the whole portfolio and see not only the resources with the biggest workloads but also which ones cost the most or have the most available capacity over time.
  • PS+ Risk Matrix – identify the number of riskiest risks with the biggest potential for trouble before they happen with the click of a button! Vivid color-coded charts show how many risks to address immediately to remedy the chance of catastrophe, the impact if it happens, or both…
  • PS+ Project Dashboard – click one link and instantly see all project schedule and quality statuses in a Red-Amber-Green tabular metric. Look for the projects with red on both, look for the programs with the most troubled projects and get to those first!
  • PS+ Dependency App – how freakin’ easy do you want someone to make it to create dependencies between projects? Pick what project and milestone comes first (and second), click one button (again with the one button – sensing a theme?) and set a relationship just like that! Literally put first things first, then see the results in the PS+ Dependency Report.

First things first means you don’t have to do everything – but you do have to pay attention to the most important and least urgent tasks like planning before doing. Put first things first, sign up for a risk-free PS+ subscription today, and get planning productively with ease today!