Business literature and the Internet are replete with useful advice on project management. In fact, the very wealth of such information makes the process of separating the wheat from the chaff rather difficult and time-consuming.

So how about starting with three useful pieces of advice?

Check out: Three Imperatives for Good Project Managers





  • overweight – above an allowed weight
  • trade-off – a balance achieved between two desirable but incompatible features; a compromise
  • flag – draw attention to
  • phase something in – introduce something into use in gradual stages
  • foresight  – the ability to predict what will happen or be needed in the future
  • intricate –  very complicated or detailed


Think about it

Answer the questions below.

  • What is the difference between being strategic and tactical?
  • What does it mean to “talk about the red?”
  • What were some benefits of “normalising failure” in the government department the author spoke with?
  • In what way can project managers see to it that their indicators are leading rather than lagging?
  • Can you think of any other examples of project management best practice you believe are just as imperative as the ones discusses in the article?


Practice makes perfect


Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words. Use ONE word per blank space.

Many managers aren’t ________ to tell their bosses if a project is ________ target, ________ budget, or ________ schedule until it has actually happened. Far more useful is to have lead indicators. These are triggers built into project plans so that managers have foresight into what’s going wrong ________ it’s happening. The key thing here is to focus ________ goals that really matter. If budget savings are what you care ________, create lead indicators that phase ________ incremental savings. If being ________ schedule is the highest priority, create lead indicators that focus on completion ________ deadlines. In a cost-savings program in a major mining company, one manager built ________ intricate plan that culminated in big-buck savings in ________ final milestone. That’s no good. Much better is to break this final milestone ________ mini steps. Building good lead indicators means thinking about ________ really matters and giving that issue sufficient visibility.

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