Do you have a PM personality?

Do certain personality traits or types translate into more effective project managers?

People skills


When you’re working on a project, it’s always involves teams, sets of teams, or in the very least significant interaction with a wide variety of people.  Some personality traits which lend themselves to effective project management include persuading, instructing, and negotiating, among others.  In essence, they can be rolled into two fundamental buckets — communication and interpersonal skills.  The constant interaction with team members and interface with leadership requires a superior level of communication and ability to tailor messages depending on the audience.  Additionally, while some view people skills in the form of a hierarchy, none of these elements can be effectively leveraged without some level of interpersonal skills and accompanying emotional intelligence.

Data Skills


Project managers are typically the fulcrum or pivot point for information flow.  Sponsors, assigned team members, and even general stakeholders tend to rely on project managers to be the center piece of project insights.  Accordingly, project managers benefit tremendously from data manipulation skills and strong data management techniques.  These skills can certainly be acquired through training, education, and experience, however a natural inclination toward compiling complex data sets to identify trends is a huge asset for any PM.  The foundation of data skills in the interest of optimizing PM performance starts with establishing comparisons, and funnels into the end state — synthesis or extraction of key components requiring a response.

Process / Technology Skills


In addition to working with people and data extensively, the final personality element geared to paying huge dividends to any PM includes process and technology skills.  As projects have ever-ranging variance in scope, type, available spend, resources, flexibility and adaptability to new processes or technology are critical.  Quickly grasping new methods or adapting to existing yet unfamiliar practices enables project manager to effectively lead and communicate throughout a given initiative.  Tendencies to acclimate rapidly prove extremely valuable, and can greatly enhance any PM’s initiation, planning, execution, monitoring / controlling, and closure process group expertise.

Do you agree with the impact the aforementioned skills can have on PM’s abilities?  Are there additional skills that may also provide utility?


Resources, Time, $$$, Project Portfolio Selection Oh My!

Project Portfolio Management!  Talk about complexity!


If you think managing a program or a collection of related projects can be complex, imagine contending with a series of programs that are not necessarily related!

Portfolios can consistent of dozens of projects, varying in levels of size and scope.  This blog offers a few tips to simplify the inherent challenges associated with selecting projects for a given portfolio.

Tip 1 – Strategy Always

If a project does not directly or clearly support at least one of an organization’s strategic objectives, take it off the table.  This is my favorite tip, as it’s by far the most straight-forward.  As you and your colleagues evaluate the laundry list of project needs complete with robust business cases, challenge the team to think hard about its relationship to a firm’s strategy.  No clear tie = no approval = removal from the planned portfolio.

Tip 2 – Organize the Info

While a tool or system may have tons of unique features to aggregate requirements to rank or prioritize potential projects, the most important aspect is…have a tool or system!  Some mechanism, any mechanism whether an Excel file, portfolio management software, or web-based application is essential to discerning projects’ perceived values and ROI.  Since you know you won’t have enough time, resources, or money to complete all the projects, at a minimum the tool should capture those key elements and the potential project’s end value.  Ultimately, leveraging a tool is critical to understanding how and where your limited assets should be allocated to further the organizations short or long term goals.

Tip 3 – Capture Intentions

Despite best efforts, there are occasions where projects just don’t reap the expected benefits.  As it turns out, people don’t set out to fail or break things.  Somewhere, a rationale, a logic or value system should be recorded in the event things don’t work out as expected.  Many organizations will focus on “lessons learned” to avoid the same future mistakes — which is a truly wonderful practice.  However, with portfolios, I recommend going one step further and analyze the considerations that green-lighted the underperforming project.  Discuss and vet the considerations, and make improvements to the tool and decision matrices incorporated into your project selection.

I hope these simple tips provide a bit of advice as you navigate through the giant world of portfolio management — happy project picking!!!

Al p.







Why Performance Reviews Often Fail and What We Can Do Differently

I would guess that approximately 90% of performance reviews are a complete waste of time. They are based on misguided metrics and establish goals that are often not revisited or are unattainable. In my own personal experience, I have found just that. So what can be done to remedy this?

The text provides us with several options for how to complete reviews while a project is going on and once it is complete. The first suggestion which we can all apply to performance reviews throughout our careers, is to first ask the subordinate to review their own performance. This is a great way to establish a baseline and also allows the reviewer to gain insight into the reviewees perspective of the project.

Another performance review best practice, which I found to be the most practical and applicable, is the 360 review. This involves soliciting feedback from several colleagues who have touched all facets of the employees responsibility and witnessed their strengths and weaknesses across the board. Even with this tactic though, there can be outliers or skewed reviews due to conflict unbeknownst to the superior or internal competition for upward mobility.

Taking this all into account, as well as what we have learned in this course, I have come to the conclusion that performance reviews should be seen as an opportunity to grow professionally, improve team dynamics, and learn from constructive criticism. For the time being, they are simply a required procedural measure but I hope to be able to change that some day.

A Correlation

After completing my project management course at DePaul, the dots began to connect. The course has created a well round view of what goes into managing a project. The various tools, skills, and resources necessary to being a successful project manager. From estimating project cost and timelines, managing risk, to scheduling resources and cost, this course has taken me from an unclear idea of what project management is to a more refine idea of what a project manager does. The experiences I have encountered while working on our group project and the individual interview helped immensely define and illustrate the responsibilities of a project manager.

Furthermore, after reading the article “Keeping Tabs on Projects,” I have drawn similarities to my experience in the group project and to Kevin Wood’s experiences (the person I interviewed) as a project manager. Projects have a lot of moving parts as I have discovered in our teams experience. I would imagine at a company, one might even have multiple projects going on simultaneously. To successfully run a project, being able to keep tabs on every aspect of the project is vital. In my experience with my group we did this extensively through emails, meetings, formal reports for class, and informal conversations over the phone/texting. In the interview with Kevin, this was one of the topics we discussed in-depth. He mentioned some days he only spends reporting on various aspects of his project, whether its to his supervisor or his client.

“Keeping Tabs on Projects” discusses implementing a systematic way to keep tabs on everything without having to dig through emails and notepads. My group did this by creating a workflow chart. Its important to keep upper management informed along the way. By doing so, it can make the project easier with them as far as support and proper resource implementation.

In the article it discusses that in the beginning of the project its important to identify the roles every player will be responsible for. By identifying those individuals and what roles they each will play, the project manager will understand what information they will need for further execution. By keeping tabs on the individual deliverables, it allows the project manager and the group to help identify problems and potential roadblocks. In my groups experience, I was responsible for finding potential locations for our event. By getting the appropriate information to my group early on, we were able to make a sound decision on where our event would best benefit our cause.




Going through my first project management class I have observed what skills are needed are need to be a great project manager. This class has created a snapshot from practice that has led to a wonderful experience in the field. Experience is everything and is the greatest teacher I believe. This class was organized to help students understand the competitive positions of an organization, develop the ability to understand and formulate solutions.

As stated from an article that was published in PM Network magazine some things have not changed, of course. I still contend that common threads are woven into the personalities of successful project managers:

  • Love of their work … and embracing the challenges
  • Clear vision … and communicating this vision
  • Strong team building skills … and setting positive tones
  • Structure and alignment … creating the environment and direction
  • Strong interpersonal skills … listening to and leading their teams
  • Discipline … completing each phase of the project properly
  • Communication skills…knowing when and to whom to communicate
  • These threads go by various nomenclatures — “enthusiastic, optimistic, self-controlled, direct, team builders,” but the fabric is the same.


My top four personalities to become a great project manager are….

1. Show their worth

“Project management is a science and not just a practice. Best in class’ project managers lead companies to exceptional performance, they benchmark their processes through various means.

  1. Understand business strategy

You can’t live forever in your project management bubble. Project managers must be able to see how their projects fit into their organizational strategy.

  1. Overcome hurdles

Companies continue to look for project managers who can meet timelines and stick to budgets – even when not everything goes to plan, flexibility is key as a project manager. Listening to clients and outperforming their expectations is the goal!

  1. Improve team performance

The growing importance of “lean teams” is increasing demand for project managers who can help optimize accomplishments.

Companies continue to look for project managers who can deliver results on time and on budget. But today’s business environment demands more. Show hiring managers you outperform other project managers, and you have a great shot at making a lasting impression.

By Kenneth White




Who’s Bertha and how hindsight is 50/50

After taking our Project Management class, I have been fascinated about how organizations manage risks, and how project managers put together a risk management plan.  There is one project that is on-going in the city of Seattle. The project is replacing a double decker highway or better known as the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The viaduct, as it’s commonly known, is a road system that sits on top of each other and runs a long Elliott Bay about the roadway, Alaskan Way. The risk of having this roadway is similar to the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 in Northern California, where multiple roadway infrastructures were destroyed. The San Francisco Bay Area had a similar viaduct, called the Cypress Viaduct, and it ran along the Bay Shore in Oakland.  This viaduct tragically tumbled down during the earthquake killing 42 people.  I was 5 years old at the time, and I vividly remember when the earthquake occurred, as multiple buildings and infrastructure were destroyed (the Bay Bridge even lost part of his bridge). The earthquake was famous because it occurred during the World Series, when the Giants and A’s played each other, known as the Battle of the Bay. Seattle is in a similar position, as geologists have been theorizing that the area is long overdue for a massive earthquake.

Washington state and the city of Seattle have addressed this risk, and knew that the viaduct needed to be retrofitted or replaced with a tunnel.  Residents were asked to vote on a measure on either saving the viaduct or boring a tunnel to replace the infrastructure.  I voted on the measure, as I remember the tragedy in the Bay Area, and I asked for the city to build a tunnel.  The measure passed in favor of the tunnel, and the project started in late 2012. However, the project has been delayed due to the boring process, where the machine called Bertha suddenly stopped mid-way through the project. It has been 2 years since this delay, and I can’t help but think that they did not accurately account for Bertha stopping. Let’s quickly recap the risk management steps, and what steps might have been missed with the Alaskan Way Viaduct project.

Risk Management steps:

  1. Risk identification – the process of listing out the possible scenarios of a risk occurring, including brainstorming, problem identification, and risk profiling. A common mistake is focusing on the objective (completing the tunnel), and not the events that could produce the consequences (Bertha stopping). In addition to identifying the risk, the organization needs to understand their Risk Breakdown Structure, split into four parts; technical, organizational, external, and project management. Bertha fits squarely into the technical breakdown, specifically under performances and reliability.
  2. Risk Assessment – this is broken down into 2 categories; probability and impact. Organizations generally utilize a semi-quantitative scale, and the likelihood on a numerical scale, 1-5, where 5 is very likely of occurring. For the Alaskan Way Viaduct, I assume that Bertha had a likelihood of breaking down, but the probability of breaking down was unforeseen, and the project management team might have given Bertha a score 1-3, while a 4-5 might have prevented the long delay.
  3. Risk Response Development – this has four components, and includes: mitigating risk, avoiding risk, transferring risk, and retaining risk. Mitigating risk would include how to avoid Bertha breaking down or how to reduce the impact of failure. However, Bertha broke down due to being overheated, and experienced mechanical failures. Mitigating risk also includes reducing the impact. In this case, the project management team did not anticipate a mechanical failure, and thus not being able to mitigate their risk. Lastly, retaining risk includes that the project management team makes a conscious decision to accept the risk. This seems unlikely as Bertha’s failure has cost the project more than 1.1 billion dollars.
  4. Risk Response Control – this includes risk control and establishing a change management system. Risk control includes execution of the risk response strategy, monitoring triggering events, initiating contingency plans, and watching for new risks. For change management, this includes monitoring, tracking and reporting risk, foresting an open organization environment, repeating risk identification exercise, and assigning responsibility for managing risk. For the Viaduct project, the contingency plan was to fix Bertha, which took 1 year to fix.

As we can see, the Alaskan Way Viaduct has experienced a major setback, and might have been prevented with a better risk management plan. Do you think this project was too big of an endeavor to complete? What else should have the construction firm have done to prevent Bertha on breaking down? I believe that Bertha should have been tested before starting the project, which could have mitigated the risk of failure.  Hindsight is always 50/50.


Cypress Viaduct:

Cypress Viaduct

Image of Bertha:




Eighty for 365 for FMSC

Eighty for 365 for


FMSC Bowling

Description of the Project and the Charity
Our project for the Project Management 598 class was to create, plan and execute a strategy to support a charity of our choosing. We chose to support a charity called Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), which is an Illinois based nonprofit (founded 1987) which seeks to conquer malnutrition in poor communities. They are 100% donor funded! Volunteers package nutrient dense meals comprised of rice, soy, vitamins, minerals, and dehydrated vegetables which will be distributed worldwide to needy people. Each meal costs only 22 cents with 92 cents of every dollar going straight into the purchase and production. These meals are sent across the globe to over 70 countries (see map below), for children as well as adults. Many people are not aware of the spread of malnutrition in modern day. According to statistics from their website, a startling 6,200 children die from starvation every day.
We hosted two micro events and one final service event, as well as well as developed active social media (awareness) and personalized website for fundraising campaigns. The micro events were organized to raise awareness and raise funds while Online media and personalized websites were utilized to promote the charity and raise funds.
Our first micro event was a happy hour at Beercade, a vintage arcade bar located in River North, Illinois. The event took place on Wednesday, October 8th from 5pm – 8pm. Attendees paid a $10 donation entrance fee and 15% of our group’s sales were donated back to the charity. The primary objective was to raise awareness and raise funds. Walk in customers and Beercade employees shared the event and the charity with their connections through social media and word of mouth.
Our second micro event was bowling at River Rand Bowl in Des Plaines, IL on October 18th. Attendees paid $20 for one pair of shoes and two games. We also provided pizza and beverage to attendees. We were able to secure sponsorship from local restaurants who supplied free pizza for the event. In addition, we held raffles, silent auction, and a bake sale at the venue. This event was a major success as we were able to raise more funds than expected, raise awareness for the charity by talking to patrons and finally, by having a lot of fun.
For the final event, we secured 37 volunteers to pack food at the FMSC location in Libertyville, IL. As mentioned before, FMSC uses volunteers to pack foods so that they can save on overhead. We covered two packing shifts for our volunteer events. In addition to offering our time to pack the food, we also learned more about the charity. Our efforts produced the following results:
• 251 boxes packed
• 54,216 meals
• 149 kids fed for one year
• $11,927 worth
Objectives and Success Measures
Our objectives for the project were to:
• Raise awareness for FMSC (Measurable)
• Raise funds for FMSC (Measurable)
• Learn Project Management Skills and Have Fun (Subjective)
To raise awareness for FMSC, we created a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a personalized webpage. We were able to promote our events, share updates and request donations through these mediums. In addition, we promoted our events by creating flyers. We distributed and displayed them in libraries, at local businesses and churches.


To raise funds for FMSC, we created a personalized webpage. We were able to collect most of our donations through the website. One of the advantages of having the website was that the donations went directly to FMSC and we didn’t have to deal with physically collecting donations and sending them to FMSC. We also collected offline donations which we submitted to FMSC in person.


Below are the results of the success measures:
• Donations: $2,200
• Number of people at bowling event: 20
• Number of people at packing event: 37
• Total number of like or followers on Facebook and Twitter: 120
• Maximum number of people reached for events: 471
Project Management Lessons
We have learned a lot of project management lessons during this project including lessons from our successes and challenges. Below are three lessons we feel are important:
• Having a designated, dedicated, and dependable Project Manager on the team. We feel it’s important for the Project Manager to be collaborative and not authoritative unless when the project is not moving in the right direction.
• Assigning responsibilities to each team member and holding them accountable is important. If a member is unable to meet a deadline, communicating that to the team early so others can pitch in also important.
• Being able to pivot quickly or having a contingency plan is very important. Initially we started the team with 6 members. The team member who was assigned to coordinate the first micro event dropped out of class and we were left to scramble to identify another venue and event. Fortunately, we had a contingency plan so we were able to reassess and deploy the contingency plan immediately.
Our advices to future teams doing similar projects are the following:
• Assign a project manager immediately after the group has been selected and start on the events and marketing early. Ideally, someone with experience could be useful but not required.
• When organizing events, be aware of other events going on in that location. Unfortunately for us, we had our first event on the evening the Chicago Cubs were playing a playoff game, so the turnout was not as expected.
• Have a good communication tool and communicate well. We used GroupMe mobile app as our main method for most of our communications.
Photos related to the project. Examples could be event photos, website, team members, etc.

Risk Management in Relation to our Group Project

As I was submitting the last of the assignments for this Project Management class, I realized with a start that I never submitted my second blog post. Without further ado, I decided to write about what I thought was the most valuable takeaway for me from this course: risk management. With the entirety of the course in perspective, risk seemed to be the most important aspect of planning on our group project. We had to manage conflicts with each other’s schedules, externalities in terms of events that might affect our cause, such as negative Facebook comments, and a highly unfortunate incident of a volcano eruption in Indonesia, which no one could have predicted or prevented, that ended up affecting presentation timelines.

I found the below interesting article on that described the importance of risk management in project management and how they truly go hand in hand. The possibility of obstacles arising affects everything, from the budget, to timelines, to implementation and scope. As I’ve overseen my team at work in implementing a high profile campaign for my client, I’ve found myself proactively planning any and all obstacles that may arise. Much to my disappointment, one of the situations we had planned for did end up cascading down the wire last week. Due to having a risk plan in place, we were able to get a hold of it within a few hours and keep our client from having a complete meltdown. As we move on from this obstacle, we still have to keep in mind that there are always more risk factors involved that could pop up at any minute. All projects come with a variety of risk factors, but there is no need to worry about the jeopardization of a project due to risk if you have the right plan in place from the start.

No One Fights Alone

No One Fights Alone

Our team decided to work with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to raise awareness and donations to benefit the research and support of children with cancer.  We planned an event at the Chicago Loop Sports Bar and Grill in Streamwood, IL.  In order to raise money, we held a raffle and charged admission of $5.  We sought out donations from local businesses and Chicago sports teams in the form of tickets and gift cards.  We also created a Facebook page where we paid for advertising to reach out to people both locally and around the world to spread awareness about childhood cancer.


About St. Baldrick’s Foundation

This foundation really hit home for some of our group members as some of us have kids or work in the medical field where we see these children fighting for their lives.  According to St. Baldrick’s, 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year.  Cancer causes more deaths than any other disease or deformity in children.  This is a fairly new foundation that was founded in 2000.  St. Baldrick’s is known for their head shaving events which happen in March.  These shaving events are in support of the children who are diagnosed with cancer and many times lose their hair due to the chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  In the more recent years, this foundation has been supporting many other events such as eating contests, 5k run/walks, bake sales and many more.  This foundation is dedicated the overall transparency with their financials. For every dollar they receive, about 75 cents goes to research for a cure.  To note, their administration fees make up only 3.7% of their total funding.  Our group found this to be remarkable in comparison to many other foundations that we considered.

MC Matt

-Raise awareness on all the main social media platforms
-Reach over 500 likes and followers on Facebook
-Raise over $5,000 in donations combined from our event and online outreach

Donations $$


Our event alone raised $2,915 which exceeded our forecast of $1,500.  We were able to reach 164 likes on Facebook and 7,303 page/post views.  Through our donations from work, friends and online support we were able to donate a total of $6,010.  We consider this a great success as we not only hit our donation goal but also we reached out to over 7,303 users on Facebook to spread awareness.

Lessons Learned

There are many notable lessons that we learned throughout this event.  We all agree that communication needs to be regular and everyone needs to be on the same page with initiatives.  Our regular communication via text and email proved to be effective and not overwhelming.  Communication is the key to a successful project and we cannot stress that enough.  Second, we learned that we need to be flexible with our plans.  Many things come up along the road to a successful event.  Our group had to cope with many obstacles and changes in order to successfully plan our event and hit our goals.  Third, we recommend setting ambitious yet achievable goals.  If we set a goal of raising $1000, we would have quit fundraising before the event even started. The goal needs to be within your reach but not easily achievable in order to keep motivation high.  Last but not least, we recommend leveraging your network as much as possible.  This was exceedingly important in the success of our event.

st baldricks logo

Advice for future groups and project managers
-Leverage your networks
-Communicate regularly
-Hold weekly check-ins
-Local businesses are quicker to help than corporations
-Use social media to your advantage
-Set an ambitious yet achievable goal
-Pick a charity that all the group members are moved by

Closing Thoughts

Overall, this project great experience.  We learned and demonstrated project management skills all while contributing to an honorable cause.  Our group had a great time bonding and seeing our hard work pay off.

Cancer Killers Group Pic

Thanks all for your support!
-Cancer Sucks- No One Fights Alone!

An Answer to Cancer Audit

An Answer to Cancer Audit

For our field project, our team, An Answer to Cancer, supported the Rush-Copley Cancer Care Center through a fundraising event and volunteer service event in effort to promote cancer awareness and generate revenue in support of the fight against cancer. The events were as follows:

Making Strides of Fox Valley 5k Walk: Sunday, October 18, 2015 at Pottawatomie Park in Saint Charles, IL

Support the Cure: Friday, October 23, 2015 at The James Joyce Irish Pub in Berwyn, IL

IMG_8987Project Description

The team first met on September 18, 2015 to choose our field project. Of the six different charities we all brainstormed, we decided to choose one that made an impact on our lives in some form. Our final selection was a charity that promoted cancer awareness. The team figured the timing was ideal to raise awareness towards such a cause since September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, October was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. With the help of Doug’s connections at Rush-Copley Cancer Care Center, we were able to get kickoff this project and meet with key staff members at the center. On September 24, 2015, the team had their first visit to the center and met with Ryan Alvarez. As the Business Manager who supports the operations and programming of the center, Ryan was very insightful with explaining the services this organization offers to the community and its members. In addition, he provided us with a list of the Rush-Copley Charitable Funds that we could choose to support. After careful analysis, we selected the Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center. Our group was very fortunate to have an individual so passionate about his job and the mission to support and promote cancer awareness efforts.

IMG_6730 IMG_6737


Charity Description

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately “1,658,370 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2015”. About “589,430 Americans are expected to die of cancer in 2015”. However, according to The World Health Organization, “40% of all cancer deaths can be prevented”. With such alarming statistics, our team decided to raise revenue to benefit the Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center at Rush-Copley. The mission of Waterford Place is to compassionately connect with and offer support, guidance and resources to people with cancer and those that care for them. Waterford Place is a home away from home for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers by providing a variety of support services including counseling, support groups, free integrated health treatments, stress management classes, and educational programming to improve health outcomes and emotional well-being. We all understood the hardship and difficulty cancer can be for the patient and their loved ones which was one of the group’s main motivation to support the development of a facility that will provide the community a space for physical and spiritual reflection. Simply put, “Waterford Place is where help meets hope.

waterford poster board

Project Objectives and Outcomes

In support of our chosen charity, the group decided on two events:

IMG_7023The first one was a service event to assist as volunteers at the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” 5k walk on October 18, 2015. At this event we worked with the American Cancer Society to collect petition signatures requesting Congress to continue funding cancer research. This event allowed us to interact with community members that supported the fight against cancer. In addition, we utilized this opportunity to promote our main event, “Support the Cure”. The walk was a huge success; with 76 teams and 909 participants, the event raised a total of $88,196.68.

Our main event took place on October 23, 2015 at the James Joyce Irish Pub. “Support the Cure” was a social gathering event that our group hosted in efforts to raise funds to support our charity through ticket and raffle sales. Our goal was to generate profit with minimum overhead cost which was possible thanks to The James Joyce Irish Pub who worked with us to ensure a successful event. As a group, we decided that in order to keep overhead cost at a minimal, we would have to seek donations from local businesses. Fortunately, Rush-Copley was able to provide us with a letter stating their tax-exempt status as a nonprofit charitable organization. Using this letter, we were able to collect donations of all food items and raffle prizes towards our event.



Our goal was to raise revenue of $1500 or greater through the combination of on-line donations, ticket sales for our main event “Support the Cure”, and in-kind donations. Our actual amounts were as follows:

Net Cash Donations: $852.00

In-Kind Donations: $1,199.00

Total Collected Value Towards Fundraising Efforts: $2,051.00

Although our ultimate goal was to raise $1500 in cash donations for Rush-Copley Cancer Care Center, we still managed to exceed our original target when we combine collected revenue with in-kind donations.

Lessons Learned

Managing project teams
As a group we met all of the conditions of a high performing team. First order of business was to create a team atmosphere. We selected our project manager who served as the coach of the team. Team members also volunteered for different assignments and other times our project manager assigned task. Every team member was responsible for a specific task and we trusted that everyone met their objectives.  We all shared the same vision once making a decision on which charity to go with. Our team did a great job of taking advantage of everyone’s strength. For example, using certain team member’s social media skills was an effective way to promote our charity and event via Facebook. As a group I think we have all been able to grasp a great understanding of the material covered in chapter 11 – managing project teams.

Developing a project plan
In order to get the finish line there must be a drawn out route to get there. Developing a project plan is key to the success of our project. There are different techniques you can use to map out your plans. For our project we  used the critical path method. The team knew the task that needed to be completed before the next event can occur. For example we set up our donations page prior to being able to post the link on our Facebook page.  I believe all the techniques described in chapter 6 can be applied to any project whether it’s for your company or a home project. AOA or AON is a great way to track and measure lead times on activities to arrive at an accurate ETA for completion.

The method of communication used by the group was primarily email, text messaging, and phone conferencing. Our project manager touched base with team members almost daily to gather updates, set reminders, and provide assistance if needed.


As a reflection on the past 8 weeks, the key piece of advice we would recommend for future teams is to thoroughly develop a well defined plan and prepare for the unexpected. We were given a very limited timeline from start to finish but our team completed both events in under 6 weeks. This would not have been possible if we did not identify the critical path and prioritize the activities that needed to be completed before proceeding to the next step. Developing a detailed project plan that listed all the activities and who they were assigned to was an effective method to ensure we met our project goals. In addition, ensure that you include a contingency plan should any unexpected circumstance occur. Our team faced that situation in the process of requesting donations from local businesses. We established a backup plan that included a contribution from every team member in the worst case scenario. The combination of persistent team members and supportive local businesses helped us achieve our goal and we held a successful event.

This field project was a great experience and opportunity for us to meet and network with other people in support of a great cause!