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Projects, Programmes & Portfolios [Project Management Fundamentals]

[fa icon="calendar'] 30-Jan-2020 11:01:35 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Program Management, Project Management

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I promised to write more about project management this year based on your interest so I'm starting a project management series today. 

First, we'll cover important project management fundamentals - we've gone through an overview of them with three infographics and we've also discussed the most popular project management methodologies and the differences between projects and operations.

Today, we'll go through another foundational topic: projects, programmes and portfolios. 

A lot of people don't know the difference between these and intercept them, making their work less focused and less specific which in turn leads to an organisation that's not as well organised as it should be so that it's efficient and effective. 

What are Projects, Programmes and Portfolios?

Let's take a quick look at these three terms:

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The Key Cultural and Country Preferences for Effective Leadership

[fa icon="calendar'] 04-Dec-2019 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Leadership, Program Management, Project Management

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There's no doubt that organisational culture impacts the behaviour, values and practices of anybody working at that organisation. 

As a program manager, I've always thought of myself as a different type of leader who acts as a change agent to help create a positive organisational culture among my project or program team.  

But since I've always worked in an international environment and with multi-cultural teams, that's not always been easy. 

I've written about cultural differences before and they play a huge role in the success of any project or program. 

In fact, knowledge and awareness of cultural values can enable leaders and managers to effectively manage and work through intercultural conflict and interactions.

To learn more, I found a research a while ago performed by GLOBE that maps leadership within cultural groups around the world. 

The GLOBE research team defines leadership as the "ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organisations of which they are members."

The team found that members of different societies have differing expectations from their leaders that are influenced by their cultural values. They also identified leadership attributes that were culturally-endorsed.

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The 7 Project Management Methodologies [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 22-Jul-2019 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Program Management, Project Management

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Everyone is a project manager. Even if your job title or job description doesn't contain 'project management', you still manage projects in your professional and personal lives all the time.

Think about it: planning your next trip or your wedding is very much a project so is the launch of a new product or a service or simply the process of planning and executing the next meeting you have to run. 

So what is a project? 

A project is a certain outcome or a task that is timebound and has an end game to it - something you're aiming to achieve. 

I've been running projects my entire life - moving to Germany, UK and then Ireland were all projects so were my dissertations about PR and social media for sustainability as well as all beauty blogger campaigns I run when I was working in my previous PR agency and now so are the multiple things that I do in my current Program Management job that by definition is all about managing multiple global projects at the same time

It took me a while to figure out how to excel as a program manager without formal project management education. If you've never run a project at work, it's helpful to start with an understanding of what project management is in the first place and what are the key methodologies that will help you make a decision on how to run your project.

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6 Key Tactics to Use When You Need to Persuade Someone

[fa icon="calendar'] 06-Nov-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Leadership, Program Management, Project Management

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Almost every day at work, I find myself in a situation where I need to persuade someone to do something and most of the times, this someone wouldn't even report to me. 

As you can imagine, this is extremely difficult to do because others have their own jobs and priorities and trying to impose yours on them isn't as simple. 

I've found that to make someone to agree to a proposal (a pitch for an executive yes or a request to someone to do pieces of work) you need to rely on one particular weapon - influence. 

Becoming influential, though, is a lengthy process that in my opinion revolves around building relationships with people and growing your own reputation. 

But sometimes, even if you are the most influential person in the company, you'll inevitably get pushback. 

Ideally, you should be prepared for such an outcome in advance. A helpful strategy I've used in such tricky situations is analysing and planning with Cialdini's six principles of persuasion. 

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Executive Presentations: How to Get a 'Yes' from Your Executive

[fa icon="calendar'] 31-Jul-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Leadership, Program Management, Internal Communication

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Have you ever struggled to get a 'yes' to your proposal from your boss (or anyone else for that matter)?

I have. It's hard to persuade someone else to do what you want or to agree to the approach you are proposing so that you can execute.  

The more you move up in a company and the bigger the company becomes (i.e. a corporation), the more important it becomes to build a business case and present it in front of the right person in the right way in order to get out what you want for your next steps. It's the same if you work in an agency and need your client's buy-in.

I spend a lot of my time at my job doing exactly that. I wouldn't say I've mastered this but I've certainly learned a few things. 

And as always, I learn by reading, listening to videos and of course, by doing. 

Today, I want to share with you the key learnings from a video and a slideshare that I came across on executive presentations that get you an executive 'yes'. In addition, I'll share some of my own experience too.

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