Articles in the Professional Skills Category
Many key factors contribute to project success, such as clear project definition, business objectives and requirements, integrated change control, an effective team and support structure, and strong communication. Though equally as important are stakeholder relationships. Let’s take a look at three steps you can take to manage stakeholders in order to ensure project success.
IT professionals are always in something of a balancing act in the workplace. On the one hand, they need to foster and cultivate skills in tools, technologies and platforms that let them do their jobs. On the other hand, they need to be able to communicate with others, both verbally and in writing, about what they’re doing. They might even need to be able to package and present their ideas or plans in presentation form, to convince management or backers to invest in their vision. They must also be able to organize their work assignments, juggle priorities, understand or work with budgets, and see their abilities and IT’s capabilities in light of what their organization seeks to accomplish.
New technologies lead to new products, which lead to a need for more cybersecurity professionals. It’s an ongoing cycle. Future security professionals will need to focus on some key concepts in order to be knowledgeable and equipped to handle the stability and security issues of tomorrow’s technology.
I talked with a project manager the other day who told me that she had more than 100 active projects that she was responsible for planning, monitoring and controlling. Interestingly, she had absolutely zero input during the initiating phase. Across her organization, people were submitting projects without regard to capacity, budget, resources, or any real review process. The projects she ends up with have been approved by a functional manager who has no visibility into organizational work capacity.
There is no question that leadership development remains a top priority for many organizations. As we continue to prepare for the retirement of baby boomers, learning and development (L&D) professionals continue to focus on identifying and growing tomorrow’s leaders. Organizations rank developing leaders as one of their most critical issues, according to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report. Eighty-six percent of all surveyed HR and business leaders cite leadership as one of their most important challenges and feel they are actually falling behind in this important activity.
There is no question that client expectations and needs are changing. Internal and external clients are demanding more customized solutions that deliver more business value. They also expect projects to be executed more quickly than ever before. As a consultant required to recommend client solutions, you must be able to properly understand the client’s needs, which may be poorly defined – especially where innovation is involved. You must also be able to assess the client’s situation and recommend a solution that meets increasingly demanding expectations.
I was delivering an Effective Time Management class to a financial institution in North Carolina earlier this year. As we moved through the class material, we started talking about two of the most basic time savers (not really a good term to use because we cannot save time) — delegation and meetings.
Fights and arguments — two words that are used synonymously but could not be further apart. We all know that a fight is a disagreement based not on rational thought but rather on an emotional position. Fights, filled with gainsaying, fallacious thinking and emotional hijacking seldom do anyone any good. Argumentation, on the other hand, is reason giving. Argumentation, the gateway to effective reasoning, is an essential skill for any business-systems analyst. But what is argumentation?
Work is no longer defined by where you go — it is what you do. Research conducted by Gartner shows that remote and long-distance work will continue to increase in volume and intensity, with people spending more than 80 percent of their time working collaboratively at a distance by the end of 2015. In the U.S. Forrester predicts that U.S. telecommuting ranks will swell to 63 million by 2016.
Up until 10 years ago, I always ran my own businesses. In fact, I put myself through college that way. I justified the hard work and long hours of being a business owner as the way for me to pay for school, knowing that one day I’d work for a company with vacation days, insurance and benefits — luxuries I had to pay for myself at the time. Turns out, now that I’m an employee, I’m not basking in the sun and eating bonbons while working for “the man” like I thought I may be.