Project Management Rebooted™ | Cultivate Your Beneficial Stakeholders

Hold onto your ever-changing, multi-faceted Project Management gardening hat. 

More Stakeholder insect archetypes have been identified.

Blame it on the wildfire smoke filling our usually clear and pristine skies here in Seattle.  Or better yet, blame it on the glaring need for focusing on the positive aspects of the people we work with.  

A few months ago, I wrote about Spiders, Beetles, and Ticks as archetypes for crazed stakeholders you may run across in your projects.  It wasn’t exactly a flattering description of human behavior, but when has human behavior ever been 100% saintly?

In this post, the emphasis shifts focus to a few insect archetypes representing beneficial stakeholders: the Butterflies, Honey Bees, and Lady Bugs living in our project ecosystems.  Those who make the life of a project manager a life worth living, a project worth driving, not to mention a life with less gray hair and reduced cortisol levels.

When I think about past...

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Project Management Rebooted™ | Dealing with Crazed Stakeholders

Remember a project where you had a couple of special stakeholders who sucked up so much of your time and energy, you had to pour in countless extra hours to get the work done, not to mention the added expense of special project manager detox therapy and a 4-week vacation somewhere quiet and relaxing for yourself?

Or maybe you're a newcomer to managing projects, you haven't managed your own project, but you've witnessed other project managers getting run over by certain project stakeholders driving Bigfoot monster trucks, jamming it into four-wheel drive as they repeatedly run over the project manager and project team, leaving everyone in the Monster Jam pit stunned, bewildered, and shell-shocked.

If you haven't experienced this yet, then read on to find out how to handle these often stress-inducing stakeholder types.

If you've been there, done that, and maybe don't have the tee shirt yet but you do have some giant tire tread marks on your back - this is for you too!

What are Crazed...

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Project Management Rebooted™ | Does Project Team Dysfunction Have to Spell Disaster?

You're sitting in your second weekly project team meeting as part of your new assignment as project manager on a year-long, high-visibility project.

You've asked for input and opinion from the project team on several key issues - issues that are alive with a painful amount of high risk and big impacts requiring the expert insights from your team.

But no one is talking.

Except the crickets.

You're about to lose it in the meeting as you realize the team is not willing to say anything about much.


And then, to add some spice to your project, you have a couple of inherited project team members who avoid accountability at all costs.  They hide their lack of work, they miss key deliverable deadlines, taking up project manager time with repeated nudging to "get it done", not to mention the tracking of when the last time they were nudged; like a frazzled parent trying to get their 3-year-old to pick up their toys or eat their dinner for the last 3 months.

We've all been there.


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Project Management Rebooted™ | Project Management for the Self

For those of you with project management blood running through your veins, have you ever stopped to think about how you might go about project managing yourself? (Or maybe how you don’t!)

Planning your vacations, your family events like birthdays, family reunions, weddings, parties, etc, - hopefully trying to run them like actual projects, because that’s what they are.

Maybe you don’t really go all out and enter the tasks into Microsoft Project or come up with Powerpoint status reports to your family and friends every week (if you do, no judgment here!). But maybe you make a quick outline, a list, or if the event is big and there’s lots of moving pieces, you outline the milestones and tasks in Excel.

You might delegate activities to others who are helping you, motivating them to hit the timeline and deliver.  Trying to successfully manage your family and other relatives like some kind of unruly project team.

But what about other types of projects?


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Project Management Rebooted™ | Plan. Then Let Go.

Have you ever planned something — an event or a project, and then got so attached to the outcome and the sequence of events (aka agenda), you held on too tightly and controlling, causing you to completely miss the opportunity to allow others to show up and contribute?  Your over-zealous planning smothering any chances for serendipitous, game-changing connections and outcomes to surface?

Yeah.  Me too.

That happens when you have a heavy presence of project management in your DNA.

You get so excited about your ideas, your methods, your approaches, and how you're going to make it all happened, you forget to build in that balance where you plan just the right amount, and include the spot or intention where you purposefully let go and let things happen.  When we forget to build this "letting go" piece in, we miss out on so damn much.

We miss out on creating space for others to share their contributions and presence.

We miss out on the wonderful way things can unfold...

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Project Management Rebooted™ | Freedom Beyond Safety

The seat-back information cards on my flight from Seattle to Anchorage a few weeks ago were juxtaposed just so. The words practically jumped off the cards and onto my lap, eager to deliver a message of direction and hope to my project management career and my new business I was starting.


Weird. How could the airplane safety information and beverage/meal offering cards be so vocal and loud?

Stupid cards. WTF? I thought to myself.

I had just settled into my seat, lost in deep thought about a consulting opportunity my firm had just talked to me about. I was debating with myself on the pros, the cons, what it would mean to me, my project management career, and the lovely open space I had just created by declaring "I want to take 3 months off" after I rolled off contract at the end of February.

Why not "Freedom beyond Wi-fi and Movies"? Or, "Freedom beyond Food & Drink"? You can see the possibilities in the picture.

But no. It was definitely, strongly,...

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Project Management Rebooted™ | WTF? The Whispering Shadows in Project Management

Had any shadows whispering to you lately while you're trying to plan and execute on your projects?

Those voices that come out of the sidelines of your reality telling you what you should do, what you did wrong, what you need to do? Maybe telling you how you missed it in the last project meeting with your key stakeholders?

Those voices can be quite a noisy lot with their cacophony of seemingly authoritative, self-righteous words.

Last fall I had the first of 2 intensive software implementation go-lives at 3 hospitals, then another one for 28 hospitals 4 months later. The project pilot was quite the production over a 7 month period, working with a team of 30 to get the software built to specifications, sorting out all the twisted spaghetti healthcare stuff, and training around 200 staff. Then readying for the second go-live with 800 staff in 5 regions.

The "shadow voices" were like a gang of half-drunk sailors, roaming the streets at all hours of the day and night, filter-less...

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Uncertainty and Taking a Chance = Opportunity for Greatness or Failing. Both are acceptable!

My trip to NYC a few weeks ago to connect with my Conscious Business Entrepreneur group, The 108, was another mind/body/soul expansion. I'm always struck, sometimes slightly debilitated, with how much I have to learn yet about everything from digital marketing, to getting my heart and mind in alignment around this choice of striking out on my own.

That this IS an acceptable path. I'm learning to put myself "out there" to the world and see what sticks. Or in this analogy, what doesn't disintegrate from the forces of being in "outer space".

The energy and expertise embodied in The 108 is astounding. I literally have a band of entrepreneur brothers and sisters in various stages of their business maturity who give their time and smarts to help me figure out anything I need to do. Which works really well for me, because let's face it, I need help.

Everyone Needs a Mentor!

I need mentors from all walks who want to share their roadmaps of success and failure with me. While I did get my BA...

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Ikigai and Hokey Pokey: The meaning of life?

I love to explore other languages.

At times it seems to me that other languages can be more rich and beautiful than English because they have one spectacular word to sum up a thought or collection of words. It seems so elegant and amazing to me that one word can express a very deep, expansive thought.

One of these words I recently came across is from the Japanese language. Have you heard of "ikigai"?

According to Wikipedia: "生き甲斐, ikiɡai, is a Japanese concept that means "a reason for being." It is similar to the French phrase Raison d'être. Everyone, according to Japanese culture, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self."

Life's sweet spot. The convergence of passion, mission, vocation, profession.

When I look around, I see most human beings wanting to live in this zone, but noticing that few actually do.

Because it's hard work.

It's easier to stay in our comfort zone even if we are utterly miserable, plodding through each day out of...

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The Next Chapter, The 108, and Rebooting Project Management

Hello Friends!

You may have been wondering where I've been the last several months (or maybe not!).

I finished up my 2.5 year consulting contract stint at the end of February, and chose to take 3 whole months off (could be more, we'll see) to focus on creating my business. Time will tell if I continue consulting for a while longer. But for now, I've been doing some serious traveling (Thailand, Laos, Kodiak, LA, and NYC is next!), a little dreaming, lots of walking, and serious laboring over the business I am creating around project management.

The Good Life Project

This labor of love is in the gestational phase, ready to give birth soon. Really, it's been years in the making. 53 years to be exact. All of the joy, pain, ups, downs, triumphs, tragedies, surprises, twisty turns, roller coaster moments have all been conspiring to bring me right to this spot! And boy, AM I READY. (take a hike fear.)

I joined a conscious business entrepreneur's collective back in January called The 108....

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