Connor Business Resources

Project Management Tips

Clear Communication: Saying No

By Susan Fennema

Your custom-software project is nearing its end. But, the client is already submitting bugs, tweaks, and flat-out changes. You are out of time and out of resources, but the client wants MOAR. Saying no and setting clear expectations along the way could have helped you. But, now what?

Saying no at the end seems disingenuous. It can create fear, uncertainty, and anger. But, at some point, avoiding the hard conversations will result in even more of those bad feelings.  The key is not to necessarily out and out say no. It’s to set expectations, and then to use clear communication with consequences.

So, here are some steps to manage things at the crazy end:

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Project Management Talent and Its Evolution

By Susan Fennema

I’ve demonstrated project management talent my whole life. I remember things I did as early as 3 years old that were clear signs. And, I was in jobs where I was project managing without even realizing it. But, the first time my job title was “Project Manager” was in 2010… that was 22 years after my career path began.

There isn’t a college major for project management – at least not at my school. I was a journalism major, and that writing ability has served me well. You can become a certified project manager through the Project Management Institute if you believe that is necessary. (I do not.)

Many of us evolve to this career path as you learn in your various roles that you have, as Liam Neeson would say, “a very particular set of skills.”

Hopefully, by understanding some of your natural project management talent, you will be able to either move toward a project management career earlier – or acknowledge that it is part of the role you are playing in your other jobs. So, what are these talents and how did I recognize them in my personality and my God-given talent?

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Project Proposal Structure Leads to Project Success

By Susan Fennema

A good project proposal is necessary to the success of your project. It defines the scope. It provides the budget. Lastly, it sets the timeline. In other words, your project proposal sets the tone and expectations for your project.

A project proposal should minimally include the following:

  • goals of the project
  • reasons the project is being undertaken and what the client should expect to achieve from it (think ROI)
  • scope
  • pricing
  • timing
  • payment terms
  • signature area
  • any necessary legal language
  • an expiration date for the proposal itself
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