5 steps to be amazing at your job

Some people just are better than others and you know it!

Here are 5 ways to be amazing at whatever you do and show it too:Try to be content- Your first job might be to pay the bills, down the line find ways to look into what really makes you happy at work.

  •  Try to be content- Your first job might be to pay the bills, down the line find ways to look into what really makes you happy at work. Move into domains that you think are a better fit and then work on it. Content will come from your happiness at work . Turns out 41% of people think “the people” are most important factor as part of their happiness in job
  • Take genuine interest- You empower yourself by taking genuine interest in your work. Don’t restrict yourself only to your current role; look around how you can help the team, organization and take up the initiative. In the process you will learn, start thinking out of the box and be recognized for your interest.  And the morning routine sometimes helps too
  • Be good at what you do- To feel amazing, take the right steps when coming to work everyday. Come prepared, do your homework, get the facts right and be unbiased.  Try out some of these productivity secrets
  • Be social- Keeping your head down and getting the work done isn't always wise. By being social and building a good rapport with your team members and stakeholders, you make yourself visible and easy to work with. Here are 10 tips to be happy at work.  
  • Good communication- being clear about communicating the right things at the right time helps. A good communicator isn't just about being vocal, it is also abut developing your communication skills to the extent that you can customize it for different individuals. Every person has their preferred mode of communication and what convinces them (some stakeholders like data, some prefer bringing up similar case studies, some like formal presentations and report), use your knowledge about  a person to customize it for your communication plan.

Be inspired everyday and be happy. A happy project manager, makes  a happy team!

(Pic courtesy: Google images)

To learn about project management read my book Stepping into Project Management (Welcome to the #PMOT World). To connect with experienced Project Manager's from all over the world, get mentored or shadow for a day see the SIPM Community.

Office politics: whats your position?

Office politics is a relative term.

The one receiving the benefits always believes that politics never happened; he/she got the justice. The one on the other end has a different story to tell.

So, which side of office politics are you in? Or should you be part of it at all?

  • Is politics evil? - As a professional, you have 4 types of needs and more then often you will need alliances to build up your case, move to the next project, get sponsored and mostly get things done. Politics generally has a negative connotation unless you have used it to your benefit. Most professionals who are successful at what they do, are stakeholders or simply leaders have worked their way up, made themselves visible- is not only by the sheer power of their work, it’s also by getting a lot of help and support. And that takes time to build.  So, what is politics really?
  • Whom should you trust?- Are you allowed to have a real friend in office? How much information and personal life should you share? You know social networks use your information, so does  HR. Plus most of the information you share with your work friends might be shared with their office friends or simply used when the friendship goes sour. So, the best idea would be to be careful and not share anything that can be used against you to get leverage. 
  • You are at the receiving end of the smear campaign- All it takes is a small event to trigger off smear campaigns. So make sure, who you comment about and what you say. Plus as long as you are in office premises, don’t let your guard down even if it’s office parties. 
  • Power struggle- Politics is simply being part of power struggle and office politics is inevitable. No matter how much we try to stop it, it never will be. 
  • Positioning yourself- The ultimate goal whether you want to be part of office politics or not is to position yourself visibly. You want to keep an ethical and honest impression at your work place. Keep an eye on everyone and keep yourself safe from being portrayed negatively for others benefit. To reap the benefits, look into the organizational structure and people who are influential and have a positive impression and associate with them. Beware of being around people who are known to have negative impacts; it takes very little to turn tables against you. 

Interview with Agile Coach Derek Huether

Derek Huether is a Agile coach and over the last 25 years has held titles like U.S. Marine, Start-Up Founder, Project Manager, and Federal Government Project Management Office (PMO) Advisor, helping start-ups, private corporations, educational institutions, and government agencies. He has been involved with the PMI-ACP development process since the PMI North American Congress in 2010 and has transitioned to a new role as Co-Lead of the PMI-ACP Support Team. His book "Zombie Project Management" is available on Amazon.

How did you move into Agile Coaching? 
I used to be a traditional project manager, doing my best to deliver software projects following a waterfall process. I could do it but it wasn't easy.  I discovered taking a disciplined iterative approach got more to the customer earlier.  In the end, I was able to have more "successful" projects, leveraging iterative and incremental approaches.  I began evangelizing these methods to my customer.  Over time, I realized I could do more good if I coached more organizations than just a few internal teams.  And so began my coaching career.

When you are working with teams and organizations  and transforming them into an Agile organization, do you see a lot of resistance specially if they are moving from waterfall methodologies? How do you handle those situations?
I've always seen pockets or resistance, regardless of how badly an organization or team say they want to become an "Agile" organization.  If waterfall is working for them, I'm going to ask why they think Agile will work better.  Depending on the culture, they may have limited success trying to leverage Agile.  As the character Morpheus said to Neo in The Matrix: ...I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.   They hire us to show them the way.  I can't force them to change.

What according to you, is the ONE quality that Agile coaches shouldn't have?
Dogmatic beliefs

As a co-lead for the ACP Support Team for PMI; how do you think getting the PMI- ACP certification creates a differentiation for a professional from other available certificates in the market. How important is a certificate?

If you're looking for a new job, unfortunately, certifications are what HR departments are using to find people, rather than actually seeing if they are a good skill and personality fit.  As certifications go, I think the PMI-ACP is well balanced and I like the fact that you need previous Agile experience in order to quality to take the exam.  Some other certifications don't require any previous experience but HR departments either are unaware of this or don't care.  One differentiator of the PMI-ACP is that it certifies you as a Practitioner, not a Master or Professional in the given domain.  

How should a team get ready for a transformation, so they are ready to co-operate with the coach and participate in the change?
They just need to be receptive to change.  They need to have an open mind. They need to be honest with themselves and the coach.