Iliyana's Blog

10 Things I'm Grateful For This Christmas

[fa icon="calendar'] 23-Dec-2020 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

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One more year has flown by. 

And what a year it has been for all of us with COVID-19 completely changing our personal and professional lives. 

To me, the crisis has had both positive and negative implications. I've been able to spend so much time with my now husband but we were restricted and couldn't travel and be with family and friends as much as we would normally do. 

Nevertheless, 2020 was really the best year of my life so far.

As the new year approaches, it's always good to pause and reflect, to think about all the goods things we need to be grateful for. 

Here are my top 10 things that I am grateful for this Christmas. 

10 Things I'm Grateful For This Christmas

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How to Manage Scope Creep [Project Management Fundamentals]

[fa icon="calendar'] 09-Dec-2020 14:17:26 / by Eric Weisbrot posted in Project Management

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This is a guest post by Eric Weisbrot from JW Surety Bonds.

Scope creep is a silent killer for projects. Even the most seasoned professionals can easily miss rising costs and scope since they tend to slowly grow over the life of the project. Luckily, there are many simple ways to manage scope creep before it gets out of control.

An effective project kick-off meeting is a major way you can tackle sources of scope creep. This meeting is the time to establish a realistic schedule for your project along with reasonable deliverables and outcomes. Getting this in writing in your project charter can hold both you, your client and stakeholders on both sides accountable to the scope you first agreed on.

Your first meeting is also the time to manage expectations and misunderstandings your client might have with your team’s work process. Answering questions in the beginning and ensuring mutual understanding can cut down on questions, feedback and project changes down the line.

Even so, the best project charters and most efficient kick-off meetings can only do so much. You’ll inevitably run into times where your client or other stakeholders request a change to a project that’ll change your original scope. All changes aren’t bad. Sometimes they’re necessary when legitimate unforeseen circumstances occur. They become an issue when they stack up over time or don’t bring value to the project.

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9 Tips for Customer Success Managers

[fa icon="calendar'] 25-Nov-2020 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Customer Success

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Customer Success is a relatively new field, both from an organisational perspective as in a department and also from a career perspective for individuals. 

I've been working in Customer Success for quite a few years. Even my early days working in PR agencies and taking care of PR clients should be considered working in Customer Success although I held a different title. 

I've also never held a Customer Success Manager (CSM) title but I've done a similar enough role at scale working through partners to drive success for joint customers. 

CSM is an exciting role, one that's gaining more and more popularity. As some would say, it's a sexy role. 

If you find yourself just starting with such a role or are interested in pursuing a career as a CSM, this post is for you.

I've primarily learned everything I know about Customer Success on the job itself but I want to give you some useful tips on how to be really at it.

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Digitisation - The New Normal Post COVID-19

[fa icon="calendar'] 12-Nov-2020 13:00:04 / by Sam Hirbod posted in Brands and Business, Technology

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This is a guest post by my friend and former colleague Sam Hirbod. 

This year, INBOUND 2020 - HubSpot's yearly inbound conference - moved to an all-digital immersive format featuring exceptional speakers ranging from Sandy Carter, VP of Amazon Web Services to Chrissy Teigen, Bestselling Author.

The move to digital events is not something HubSpot is alone in doing, it’s been an ongoing trend for the past years but 2020 definitely accelerated the process of having industries digitising their efforts.

When applicable, digitalisation removes the physical barriers of COVID-19, making it easy for people to still meet, albeit online. As a result, people were able to attend INBOUND 2020 from all over the world from the comfort of their own homes or offices.

What’s the downside of digitalisation? From my perspective, although biased as I work within the tech industry, there aren’t too many as it’s all about putting customers first and making sure everything still works the way they want it to.

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The 5 Project Management Process Groups [Project Management Fundamentals]

[fa icon="calendar'] 29-Oct-2020 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Project Management

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If you start learning to get yourself certified by the Project Management Institute, you'll encounter a very organised approach to the practice.

You'll also have to make use of the PMBOK book. One of the first things you'll learn from it is that there are five project management process groups, 10 knowledge areas and 47 processes, each with inputs, outputs, and tools & techniques. 

In this post, we'll look at the five project management process groups which I believe are key to be able to plan any project.  

This article is a continuation of my series on project management fundamentals - if you missed the previous topics, here's what we've covered before: the differences between projects and operationsprojects, programmes and portfolios, the DARCI model for stakeholder engagement, how to run an effective project kick-off meetinghow to create a project charter, how to create a work breakdown structure and the top soft skills of a project manager.

The 5 Project Management Process Groups

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