Welcome to Issue #6 of my Project Skills Newsletter.
1. Featured Article
Have you ever had this experience? You're fresh out of school, into a new job, and have to make a presentation to a room full of senior managers. Or perhaps you have to convince a senior client executive of a business case. The thought of that got your palms sweaty and your heart rate going up?
You're not alone. Many of us fear presentations. And while we think that introverts may fear presentations more - that's not exactly true. Even the most confident corporate honchos I know get nervous speaking to a large audience.
The thing is this, are there some basic guidelines or skills that a presenter should know about? Particularly if he or she is shy or introverted ...
here to read more.
2. Tip of the Week
My tip of the week is about keeping it brief during senior management meetings.
How often have you heard a project manager ramble on and on about an unimportant topic during a Project Steering Committee meeting?"
For example, I’ve seen project managers dive into deep details of who should set up the server, run a script, coordinate the go-live command center during a Project Steering Committee meeting.
In my opinion, that’s too much detail for a Project Steering Committee meeting, where the audience comprises of senior management.
Over the years, I’ve learnt to keep things brief during high-level project management status updates.
You see, senior management, C-level executives, etc. do not like to be dragged into deep discussion on details. They want to know the status and what decisions they need to make to
remove project obstacles.
That’s all. They hate to waste time.
So, in your next project status update to senior management, learn to keep it brief. Give a update on the project status, what decisions need to be made by senior management - and that’s it.
Try it - you’ll find your status updates become much more focused and sharp - just the way senior management likes it.
3. Book of the Week
Each week, I pick out one book related to project management, business analysis or project delivery.
My book of the week is The Lords of Strategy by Walter Kiechel.
This book talks about how the corporate strategy was invented in the 1960s by four “mavericks”, namely:
- Bruce Henderson, founder of The
Boston Consulting Group
- Bill Bain, creator of Bain & Company
- Fred Gluck, long-time Managing Director of McKinsey & Company
- Michael Porter, Harvard Business School Professor
It talks about the development of the strategic consulting industry from 1963 to 2010. If you’re a recent MBA graduate or intend to go into the management consulting career path, this book will be an interesting read.
Sure, the book isn’t about project management or business analysis, but strategy does play a part in all projects - so I do recommend you check it out if you can.
The book is, however, not a “beginner’s guide” to business strategy. It also does not go deep into the history of business strategy thought. If you’re interested in the business strategy “content”, you may want to check out Strategy Safari by Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand and Joseph B. Lampel. It's said to be one of the best books ever written on strategic management.
I hope you all have a great week ahead! If you have any questions, send feel free to send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.
Author, Project Manager & Business Analyst
P.S. Check out my tips and resources for the PM and BA.