Writing a Better Project Management Cover Note

I’ve been applying for a number of different project manager positions and I’ve noticed that some ask for a cover note with my application. What is the best way to write a cover note? If a cover note is being expressly asked for when you make an application, the hirer will be looking for a number of things. The obvious ones are that they want to check that you have read the job specification or advert (you’ll be surprised how many people don’t read the whole advert!) and that you can follow instructions (i.e., include a cover note) They will ...

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Maximising Project Management Career Progression

How should project managers maximise their chances of career progression at every stage? What obstacles may be holding them back? The only thing that holds anyone back at any stage of their career is themselves. For most people their career just happens to them. Not many people actively manage their career because it’s deemed to be too difficult or they feel constrained by circumstances. The classic for many project professionals is that they have no real indicators of how good they actually are because the only comparisons they can make are with their current work colleagues. This lack of self-awareness ...

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The Stages of Project Management Career Development

Which skills do project professionals particularly need to develop at the different stages of their career, and how can they go about developing them? In the earlier part of a project manager’s career, the focus on their career development is still two-fold. Early Career The first area of focus is the development of technical project management ability therefore project management techniques based training is advised. This is not just accreditations like PRINCE2 and APMP but also identifying their specialism, for example, if they are working predominantly in IT, software development type projects they might look at Agile as something they ...

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How to Get From Strategy to Implementation

Even a great vision and strategy can fail to deliver the intended benefits if changes are not implemented well. Assuming that the new strategy is sound, why is it that implementation seems to be such an issue? Reasons tend to vary from: Lack of stakeholder alignment – the strategic intent is interpreted in an inconsistent manner Lack of sound planning – the strategy is not being implemented as stated Lack of ‘line of sight’ between benefits and project deliverables – the implemented organisational changes are not linked to the benefits being sought Failure to address the ‘people’ issues – change is being constrained by the ...

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The Business Analyst Role in Agile Projects

As organisations get switched on to the idea of running some or all of their projects in an Agile way, it’s not only the Project Manager and the delivery teams that need insights into how they will change their traditional delivery styles to adopt new approaches. The role of the Business Analyst is still a requirement in Agile led projects and their role also includes subtle changes. The newly released  Agile Business Analysis (AgileBA®) Handbook from DSDM, was published only last month. The Handbook offers useful, practical and comprehensive guidance on the role of the Business Analyst working in an ...

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How to Retain Key Employees Unfortunately Not Raheem Sterling

The football season may be finished but the transfer window is wide open and, while the business of playing football is over with for most clubs until the middle of August, fans’ attentions now turn to which players their teams might be looking to buy and sell. This summer looks to be the one in which Raheem Sterling will leave Liverpool for pastures new, a development which has dismayed Reds fans, who don’t want to lose one of the brightest young players in Europe and their second-highest scorer last season to boot. Manchester City have had a £25 million bid ...

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Training in Project Management

What do you do next when you’ve already done the basic training in project management? 84% of project practitioners have some form of recognised project management certification or accreditation. The most popular is still PRINCE2 (66%* of practitioners have that one). A question frequently follows is, “What qualification should I be looking at once I’ve done the basics?” If PRINCE2 is seen as the basic, there are a whole host of other options available. You can choose to become affiliated to a professional body and take certifications with APM (Association of Project Management), PMI (Project Management Institute) or BCS (British ...

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Project Managers Against Poverty

When I ask experienced project managers about their dream job, what types of projects they would ideally like to be managing or where they’d like to work, the answer is nearly always some kind of charity. They would like to ‘give something back’ or just feel a greater sense of achievement knowing that their project could benefit lives rather than just the company P&L. Often these dream jobs will just remain just that, a dream. To actually make the change and leave a well paid comfortable job to start delivering projects in disadvantaged parts of the world is just too ...

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