The Recipe for a Great Team: 12 Key Ingredients

what makes a strong team

12 Key Ingredients to High Performing Teams in the Workplace   It’s well understood that good teams get the best results.  Sports provide a great analogy for this: we are all familiar with those underdog teams that pull together when it matters most and make a championship run.  Everyone on the team does his or her part and they motivate each

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3 Ways To Plan Resource Levels

ways to plan your staff

3 Resource Planning Methods to Help Predict Staffing Needs Most businesses and organizations go through an annual headcount planning process for the upcoming year.  We all know that such activities are important to running a productive organization.  And yet, while resource management is critical, doing it well and doing it right is easier said than done. There are a number of methods

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How to Manage Your Time: 15 REAL Ideas for the Busy Boss

ways to manage your time

15 Ways I Manage My Time As a Boss   It’s just about that time of year when things are at their busiest.  With the end of the year closing in, the pressure is on to meet our numbers.  We’re busy planning our projects and budgets for next year.  People are starting to use up their vacation, making their availability limited. 

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16 Tips for New Project Managers

Dealing with Challenging Projects

When I became a project manager, the first thing I did was print out a bunch of documents, the Statement of Work, some spreadsheets with basic financial information and put it all in a well-organized 3-ring binder.  Beyond that, I didn’t know what I was doing.  So I just got down to work.  That was 20 years ago and since that time, I’ve learned a

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10 Signs You’re a Bad Boss

horribe boss characteristics

Horrible Bosses … in Real Life If you’ve ever seen the movie Horrible Bosses, you probably reacted the way most of us did: some of the amazingly inappropriate behavior in the film registered a little close to home.  We’ve all had some sort of run in with a really bad boss in our career, and while the movie makes a

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How to Develop a New Process

Sample Process Map and Spaghetti Diagram

The 7 Rules of Process Development and Implementation   You’ve got a great product, friendly customer service, happy customers and cash.  What’s missing?  An often forgotten ingredient to a well-run business is the development and implementation of processes that serve as the backbone for a company.  Developing effective processes makes your internal activities repeatable and consistent.  And the more stable your operation, the more

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5 Signs You Know It’s Time to Restructure

when to restructure a business

A college professor of mine once told me “There is no book on that.  Sometimes you just need to get in and figure your way out.”  Knowing when to restructure a business is one of those things.  Though there are books on organizational theory and team dynamics, there is no textbook out there telling us exactly when or how we should restructure our companies.  And neither aspect

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6 Management Lessons We Get Each Fall

What we learn from the Fall season

As the air begins to cool and the days start to get shorter, we begin to see the first stages of fall settle in.  For some, it’s a welcomed sign; for others, it may mark the end of a great summer.  But for everyone, the arrival of the fall season is inevitable and simply part of life.  And with the

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Succession Planning in Business, the Smart Way

succession planning template

7 Steps to Organizational Preservation   Though it is far more common than we would like to admit, our businesses and organizations are filled with what I like to call “single persons of failure,” or SPOF.  In my company, for example, we have a department manager who is nearing retirement in the next 18 months, yet we have no one identified as

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7 Reasons Why Your Research and Development Is Falling Short

preliminary design review

Technology Development Tips for Product Managers In today’s marketplace there is ever-growing pressure on companies to remain innovative and for them to bring new products and services to customers. But in order for your research and development efforts to be successful, your objectives need to be focussed and must target your “big bets.” Moreover, a successful research and development campaign

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9 Employee Engagement Killers by the Modern Manager

9 Ways You’re Hurting Morale… And Don’t Even Know It   It should come as no surprise that today’s workforce wants to feel their contribution is valued, be part of something great, and be able to manage their own careers. In management circles we refer to these wants as employee engagement. We can more accurately define employee engagement as the

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How to Manage Your Goals and Metrics

Managing metrics

The Key to Hitting Business Metrics:  Reduce the Impossible to the Possible   Every year, companies and businesses establish their annual goals and performance targets.  At some point in time, responsibility for achieving those objectives is placed into the hands of managers and individual teams, often with minimal direction.  It’s the inevitable “go do this” behavior that we see from many

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Budget Planning: Tips for How Managers Need to Approach Their Budget

managers resource handbook

Planning Your Budget If you are a manager whose responsibilities include maintaining a budget, I feel your pain. I’m pretty sure that the one thing that brings managers of all types together is the universal pain, headaches and aggravation introduced by budget planning. As I near the end of my own budget planning cycle, in preparation for next year, I

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Management Success Series Tip #10: Manage Like Bobby Fischer

In 1972, American Bobby Fischer won the World Chess Championship by beating Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union. It was a match publicized worldwide as the battle between two superpowers. While both nations had massive nuclear arsenals, this particular battle was fought with figurines on a game board. Now, while I know who Bobby Fischer was, I admit that I

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Restructuring Your Company: 5 Key Decisions

How to Restructure an Organization If you’ve ever been part of restructuring an organization, you know that the very mention of it is likely to turn your stomach. Restructuring a company is tough and takes a great deal of careful planning. Moreover, it is never easy and it is never fun because big decisions need to be made. But as

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7 Business Development Tips for Small Businesses

managers resource handbook

Build Fundamentals Into Your Small Business I recently worked with a small company to assist with their business development struggles.  The company employed about 20 employees and resided in the IT services industry.  The CEO described his company’s situation as “able to perform well when we can actually get in the door.”  Over the course of interviews and the evaluation of the business,

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