Starting a new job in times of Covid-19

Starting a new job in times of Covid-19

The day after my interview, I was called with great news that I had received an offer. I was excited and nervous because that same evening, our prime minister announced that the country was going into a lockdown. Starting a new job remotely sounded like something surreal.

Beginning a new job is always an exciting but nervous experience, you always look forward to walking through the office on your first day not really knowing what to expect. Getting introduced to everyone, the handshakes, the meetings, the on boarding, the face to face contact, it all adds up to such an exciting day. Starting a new job during the middle of a pandemic was a little different. Although it may be a different experience, you can’t forget how lucky and fortunate you are to acquire a new job. The working from home aspect was new to a lot of people but it was exceptionally new to anyone who would be beginning a new position within a company, having not met any of your colleagues in person.

You learn quite quickly to utilise all the online assets that are available to you. You get to know your colleagues through online meetings, calls, emails etc. You learn to find out as much information and obtain as much detail as you can during meetings and calls. You discover how to really manage your time to increase productivity, and although there is nothing that really compares to face to face contact and being in person with someone, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of working from home.

What I soon noticed was that it had its benefits, I felt closer to my international colleagues because video calling was the new norm. There are no boundaries in our new normal, and this is something I hear daily when speaking to candidates. Candidates living in Ireland and working in the Netherlands.

As more and more people begin a new job working from home, here are some tips to help you through the process:

Have a space

  • Having a space dedicated to where you work can help you feel more relaxed and organised when starting a new position. It’s important to create a workspace environment at home where you can separate your work life from your personal life. Creating a small space in your house that is used for work, will help you to separate your workspace from your living space as much as you can when working from home.

Start a routine

  • Similar to creating a workspace, it’s important to start a routine when working from home. It can be easy to slip into bad habits so creating a routine from the start will help you to settle into working from home. As your workspace becomes part of your home, it can feel like there is a blur between personal life and work life, it’s important to establish boundaries between the two to keep a healthy work-life balance.

 Ask for support

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. With any new experience, we will all have questions. Don’t be afraid to ask anything you need to help you settle in better. Set up regular meetings/check-ins with your manager to ask any questions you may need and to keep up to date. Organise meetings with other staff members to learn more about different aspects of the company and ask questions where you may be unsure. This is a great way of learning more about the company and your colleagues.

Take the time to connect with your colleagues

  • Settling into a new job can be difficult, a good way to get settled in and feel comfortable is to meet with your colleagues and get to know them on a personal level. Although this may be a little more challenging working from home, it is definitely a good idea to get in touch and reach out to colleagues for a catch up/chat. Ask if there are currently any social video calls/meetings happening within the company throughout the week that you could join.

Enjoy the process

  • While a new position at any time comes with its challenges, don’t forget to enjoy the process of starting your new job. As a new employee you are not expected to know everything straight away and hit the ground running, so take this time to learn more about the company and your colleagues, do your research and become familiar with how the company works.

It’s an exciting time to start a new job, we are adapting, becoming more flexible, and beginning to think outside the box.

Please find out more about all our open roles. Contact Aspira.

Author:  Bruna Clemens, Client Services Manager, Aspira Europe NL.

Digital Transformation – it’s all about People

Digital Transformation – it’s all about People

In 2019, Digital Transformation was spoken about by many organizations seeking to change at a rapid pace.  In 2020, there has been little time for talk – people have just had to get it done.  So maybe it’s worth stepping back to reflect on what Digital Transformation is and what it entails for People?

People need to comprehend what is meant by Digital Transformation

The word ‘Digital’ in Digital Transformation may lead you to think that it is all about transforming the Technology. Well it is not that simple. While Technology is a key ingredient in Digital Transformation, People are most central.  Rather than simply digitalising a paper process, ‘Transformation’ requires a fundamental rethink on how core business products and services can be accessed, enabled, leveraged and imagined through the power of digital solutions.

People need to change & commit

Digital Transformation is difficult because it requires people to change at a fundamental level.  People find change difficult – it’s uncomfortable and there is uncertainty about whether it will work. This change is doubly difficult when it comes to changing the core of your business by leveraging sometimes unproven technology.

The ‘commit’ is the biggest challenge with Digital Transformation. It requires a sustained (long term) commitment across the entire organization. It is not something that will be achieved in 3-months or 6 months and then “return to normal”.  It is making a commitment to change what you do and how you will do it – forever.

Some companies behave like a child who is keen to get a new pet but does not have the commitment to care for and exercise that pet every day for the rest of their lives.  Embarking on a Digital Transformation is like deciding to build a zoo – you will have to keep feeding and exercising those beasts.

People need to ‘lose’ Control

Digital Transformation requires people to share control where we have many rather than one leader delivering. Transforming the core business needs business owners to take the lead, owning the innovation but delivering the results needs a strong cooperation with delivery experts such as an agile Project Managers.  An Agile PM will help a company shape innovative ideas into deliverable plans and onwards to great outcomes.  In, short you need the facilitators as much as the innovators.

 

In summary, these approaches I call the 4Cs People-focused Digital Transformation Model: Comprehend, Change, Commit, share Control – reinforces the fact you are fundamentally changing your company to have the capability, resilience and enthusiasm to continually innovate and wow your customers.

Done well, Digital Transformation goes viral amongst your people, ensuring the success of your company into the future.  Everything digital, at the speed of a click!

For all your Digital Transformation and Agile Project needs contact Aspira.

Author: Peter Ryan, MD Aspira Europe

 

 

 

 

The role of an Agile Coach

The role of an Agile Coach is a role that has come to the fore increasingly over the past number of years, as organisations look for guidance on adopting scrum and in expanding it at an enterprise level. The role is one which is more to do with the organisation than an official role in the scrum process.

It is important to firstly state that the role of coaching is assumed by the Scrum Master, as they are the ones responsible for the scrum process itself. The scrum master is responsible for ensuring the team, product owner and stakeholders understand and adhere to the process. The Scrum Master is both an educator and evangelist for the process.

The adoption of scrum in an organisation usually takes one of two approaches.

  • The Big bang method – where the organisation decides that they, entirely, are going to adopt scrum in an overnight fashion. The scary one, but can be very effective with the right leadership.
  • The organic method – where a team or, a small number of teams, adopt the process. This is observed and further growth stems from here. This is the more traditional approach, not as scary. More a suck it and see approach, although it does have its downside with pace of adoption.

As the adoption of scrum expands the need for a consistent experience for the teams, product owners and stakeholders becomes a vital ingredient in the successful transition of an organisation to an Agile organisation. It is here that the need for a specific role in owning this adoption is needed and this is usually formed in an Agile Coach.

Some areas that the role covers are:

  • Understanding why an organisation is choosing Agile and Scrum as their preferred methods of delivering projects and ensuring the organisation keep these drivers at the forefront of their implementation.
  • Senior leadership/executive level understanding of what scrum means and how to work with it is paramount to its success. The coach should ensure this level of management are getting and understanding the information they need to run their organisation.
  • Instilling an agile way of thinking in an organisation. Traditional expectations, fundamental ones, for project delivery still need to be met , they just look different in an Agile approach.
  • Identification and development of a scrum master community ensuring a consistent understanding and implementation of scrum across the teams in the organisation

The adoption of agile and scrum is a fundamental change in the way an organisation delivers its projects. Change is never easy and although scrum is a very easy methodology to understand, it can be a very difficult one to implement. Having an Agile Coach as the focal point for this transition can be vital to its success.

Choosing the right person to help in that transition is a crucial decision. An Agile Coach should have a wealth of experience as a Scrum Master, as the roles are very similar in content if not coverage.

Understanding why an organisation wants to be agile is one of its biggest drivers it needs to understand. Bringing an Agile Coach in at the start can save a lot of money and heartache, with regard to ensuring the right drivers are in play from the start.

Often there is only one chance to make a good impression of what scrum is within teams and in an organisation. An Agile Coach can ensure that this impression is a very good one from the start.

If you require an Agile Coach or Scrum Master, please contact Aspira today.

Author:  Aidan Muldoon, Scrum Master, Aspira.

5 Microsoft Project Tips

5 Microsoft Project Tips

  1. Organise Global Template

Did you work  hard customizing one of your project schedules to suit your business needs with custom tables, filters, calendars or fields – just to realise that your next schedule needs the exact same metrics? To avoid the pain and hassle of re-working and re-developing those metrics try this nifty trick the next time you’re stuck.

Open your old schedule with metrics and the new schedule both at once.

In the new schedule go to ‘File’ option and under the ‘Info’ tab you will see an option, ‘Organize Global Template’.

Set the first window to the old schedule (box 1 in image below), then select the metric category you want to copy over (box 2 in image below).

Finally , set the reporting metric you wish to copy from the old schedule (box 3 in image below).

  1. Timeline View

We often underestimate how powerful Microsoft Project is. The different views and reporting templates it provides by default can, in most cases, satisfy the majority of our business needs. One of the most powerful views (in my opinion) is the ‘Timeline View’.

This can be found: ‘View’ tab > ‘Split View’ > Timeline.

The real trick comes in with how creatively you can customize it. After clicking on the Timeline, head over to the ‘Format’ Tab and click on ‘Existing Tasks’ from the ‘Insert’ section.

Here you can select the summary tasks you need for a high-level view of your project. I think this gives a much better overview and more customization than your traditional Gantt Chart.

  1. Task Form View

This is by far the most powerful views that your stock Microsoft Project can offer without any plugins, especially when you’re dealing with schedules in excess of 2000 tasks.

This can be found: ‘View’ tab > ‘Split View’ > Details.

If ‘Task Form’ view isn’t the default setting, you can select it from the drop down beside the ‘Details’ box.

Again, as with any view, the trick comes with how you customize your view to suit business needs. By default Microsoft Project shows resources on the left pane and predecessors on the right pane.. This can be changed to suit your preferences by right-clicking the ‘Task Form’ view.

You can literally control the entire project from here, changing dependencies, changing type of connections (FS,SS,FF,SF), adding or removing lag, editing task name. Everything in a nutshell!

  1. Tasks

Ensure that task relationship dependencies are set up appropriately so that there are no orphan tasks for the scheduling calculation. Avoid start-to-finish relationships, if possible.

  1. Project Comparison

If you have two different correct versions of a project schedule (yes it can happen!) which is well over 2000 tasks, it wouldn’t be a wise idea to scroll down 2000 tasks for each schedule. This is where the Project Comparison tool comes in real handy.

Go to ‘Report’ tab and click on ‘Compare Projects’ after opening both the files.

Once the comparison view is open you can easily see the differences across both the projects by using different filters. I wish I knew this handy tool before!

For all your Project Management needs, please contact Aspira.

Author:  Anuj Agarwal, Project Scheduler and Planner, Aspira.

Project Performance versus Information Management

Project Performance versus Information Management

Project Management has been consolidated as one of the main ways for organisations to successfully deliver their strategic business plans. Nowadays, there is no doubt about the benefits of project management. It significantly improves project results, shortens delivery times, optimises use of resources, reduces project costs, increases productivity and return of investment – just to point out a few benefits.

However, a high number of projects do not achieve success, i.e., do not meet their objectives. Surveys indicate the major cause of this disconnect between intention and results is communication. Communication involves information management.

Information Management

Information is an important element within project management. On the one hand, projects make use of information in order to reduce uncertainty. On the other hand, they are also major producers of information, as they present an intense flow of information throughout their life-cycle.

All this information needs to be managed in favor of the project – however, most organisations are not prepared for the management of this information. It is estimated that  almost 80% of information and knowledge within an organisation is not shared. This inevitably leads to informational chaos which is then transposed to the project environment.

Differentiating information management within projects 

Due to their unique characteristics, projects require a clearly differentiated information management process. Such management should be focused on the procedures required to ensure that all project information is generated, collected, distributed, stored, retrieved and organised properly, as highlighted in the PMBOK ® Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge – PMI ®). Furthermore, decisions are always made within the project, and must be supported by accurate and timely information.

Based on my own empirical research within small, medium, and large organisations, it is possible to state that there is a straight correlation between clear communication and project performance. More research needs to be done, but it was clear that organisations with more mature communication processes in place, including information management processes, presented far better project results.

Combining human and automated resources to manage the information in projects can highly improve communications. Among those automated tools, SharePoint sites are popular and we would highly recommend them when managing information within projects.

However, using technology alone is not enough. Here are some tips to guide you however, the support of a project management specialist may also be of benefit to successful project delivery:

  • Engage the team around the use of a clear information management process.
  • Recognise that people learn and work in different ways.
  • Identify the information needs (why users need certain information and how they use it).
  • Use IT resources such Sharepoint to better organise, store and facilitate information sharing.
  • Add value to information by focusing on the content and quality of the information.  Is it current, accurate and useful?
  • Clearly define a communications plan, specifying who needs which information, when and how.
  • Disseminate an information culture, including sharing knowledge around projects and throughout the organisation.

To conclude, it is understood that information management should be seen as a systemic action, seeking to understand and meet the information based needs of the project. Certainly, it will contribute to a reduction in costs and the increased success of projects. Consequently this will help companies to thrive in a globalised and highly competitive world where everything is interconnected and interdependent.

For all your Project Management needs contact Aspira

Katia Stark, Project Manager, Aspira.

 

Task Management in Office 365

Task Management in Office 365

Good task management is a vital part of success within any business. Many people use many different ways of managing their tasks but today we’re going to have a look at some of the options within Office 365 that we have to manage our tasks.

 To Do – The Personal Productivity Wizard

Microsoft To Do is the app that has replaced Wunderlist. The goal of this application is to give the end user the ability to productively manage their personal tasks. You can create tasks, set them as important, set reminders for those tasks, any due dates, categorise your tasks and attach files or notes. The default views can give you a list of all of the planned tasks you have for that day, any of the important tasks to be completed as well as a new view that will show any tasks that have been assigned to you within planner (more on that later). You can also create separate lists from your default task list If you have a group of tasks related to a specific project.

To Do is the ideal task management app in Microsoft 365 for an end user that wants to focus on their productivity. While it is possible to integrate across with Planner, To Do really shines when managing your own tasks. It lacks the customization capability available in some of the other applications we are going to look at but for someone who wants to get started managing their tasks right away it’s the perfect place to start.

Planner – Out of the Box Team Manager

Planner is an agile task management app ideal for teams to organize and collaborate with one another. You can create Kanban boards on the fly and add checklists, files and labels for attachment within each task. It has useful visual charts to gain insight into how tasks are being handled within your team.

Planner is great for low level project management and for small or medium size teams managing their work in an agile manner. It’s extremely quick, clean and easy to use and offers a grace start to managing projects and tasks for a team. Platter sits a level below enterprise project management applications like Project for the Web and Project Online, which we will look at in an upcoming blog.

Microsoft Lists – The Powerhouse

Microsoft lists is an expansion of SharePoint lists now branded as a new separate application. SharePoint lists have been used to manage tasks on projects and within organisations for years and the new change has made them more powerful and more customizable. Lists provides much greater control of the fields within elements and the views of how elements can displayed as compared to Planner or To Do.

The main benefit of Microsoft Lists is the ability to customize. You could get an experience very similar to Planner using Microsoft lists however the development in creating that is only worth the time if you want to heavily customize the experience to a specific need.  Lists really shines when managing a combination of tasks and other elements such as invoice or orders.

Tasks in Teams – The Personal Hub

Tasks in Teams is a tab within Microsoft Teams that syncs directly with To Do and Planner. It allows users who frequently use both applications to manage personal and team tasks to get a singular view within Teams.

Tasks in Teams is more a way of viewing tasks than storing them. It’s an ideal choice for someone who is already using Teams extensively and gives a great big picture view of tasks that you may need to manage given that it integrates with Planner and To Do. Given the views that are used within it, it can give an excellent view of tasks that need to be completed related to a specific project or deliverable.

Conclusion

While there are many choices to look at when choosing a task management app, my general rule of thumb is:

  • To Do for managing personal, everyday tasks
  • Planner for a quick and easy way to start managing tasks and agile projects for small teams
  • Lists if you want to manage more than just tasks and customize the experience
  • Tasks in Teams to give a big picture of your overall tasks within planner and To Do

 

Come back in 2 weeks when we take a look at the world beyond task management and look at what Microsoft 365 apps can offer for project and portfolio management.

Author: Ian Jones, Software Developer, Aspira.

Project Management in the Financial Sector

Nearly two and a half thousand years ago the Greek philosopher Heraclitus wrote, “The only thing that is constant is change.”

That is a statement that remains just as true today as it was back then. Change is the only constant in our lives, and the same is true for organisations. In our globalised and highly competitive world, organisations are constantly challenged to adapt and evolve. ‘Project Management’ tools and techniques have been used as the main tool to respond to those challenges and to implement business strategies successfully.

If you look closely, most companies can be seen as a set of projects, as change permeates the entire organisation. These changing business environments, driven by both internal and external pressures, force organisations to establish a more structured and mature project management process.

In this context, project management has evolved from a set of unrecognised qualities from disjointed departments into a critical business function that is a recognised center of excellence in large, medium and small companies. It has expanded to almost all sectors and industries.

Of course, each industry has a different level of maturity when it comes to project management. In organisations that have a more mature project management mindset there is greater cohesion between corporate strategies and business operations. They work together, managing programmes that capitalize on the benefits of joint management of synergistic projects. They use Portfolio Management to manage the programs and projects, directing them towards the strategic objectives of the organisation and they use the Project Management Office to assist in improving the management of these organisational projects.

Over the course of my time working in the financial sector, there has been a huge amount of change and development of project and programme management methodologies, and the impact this can have on the organisation as a whole.

Originally, the use of methodologies, techniques and tools to manage projects were very immature and presented many challenges. With high failure rates for projects operating in that environment. Conceptually speaking, the project went wrong because it did not happen the way it was planned. Projects are living things and changes will happen, but they must be planned and managed in an efficient manner.

Over the years, PM methodologies have been implemented and improved, aligned with automated tools to manage projects, programmes and portfolios. The concept of PMO has been expanded in all organisations and now plays a huge role in implementing robust procedures, methodology and standards that support PMs to effectively manage their projects and programmes. All this has proved critical to the success of these projects and programmes, and in turn, delivered benefits to the organisation.

Furthermore, education and training has played a huge role in this process. It was imperative to spread a systemic culture of project management to all levels of the organisation. Educating business people on project management concepts and methodology was key. With many business people formally trained in project management, (some have even come to be certified PMs) they have become passionate about project management from seeing the tangible results of a well structured and managed project.

Undoubtedly, all of this has contributed to the better management of projects. The results are expressed by less problems in communication, as the right governance is in place and the correct & consistent message is delivered to all stakeholders. Training and education have also improved the management of scope creep, risks and benefits, change control and finance management with proper budget approval, forecast and actual control. It also contributed to have more support from top management and sponsors of the projects and programmes as well as increased team support.

It has been a long journey and there are still many challenges to be overcome. Nonetheless it is clear that organization’s that embrace and apply PM methodology and that have a strong project management structure and process in place have delivered on the project scope and with that have the recognition of the entire organisation. Interestingly enough, those successes are being spread across organisation’s.

To find out more about implementing project management processes within your organisation visit us here.

Author: Kátia Starck, Project Manager, Aspira

Covid 19 is eating Strategy for Breakfast

Covid 19 is eating Strategy for Breakfast

As 2020 began, we never realised that this global pandemic would be on the menu, invading both our lives and livelihood. As we try to process the implications of living and working under the shadow of Covid 19, we are all trying to rethink and reframe how we do business whilst at the same time safeguarding our lives. We are going through unprecedented change.

What is required is rapid innovation and time is of the essence. In the absence of a crystal ball, we have to consider all the possible scenarios and lead through strategic ambiguity. Success depends on moving the organisation forward precisely at times when the path ahead is hazy. We need to take pragmatic action in order to survive in this period of strategic uncertainty. We need to lead through change.

Communication is critical and leaders need to be visible and maintain frequent dialogue. It must be open and honest to maintain credibility. Even though leaders don’t have all the answers, communication is important to put everyone’s mind at ease and provide hope for the future. We need to communicate through change.

Please join us for our webinar, which explores how to navigate your way through the crisis and ensure your survival. We leverage change management principles and explore:

  • The five Stages of Disruption Denial
  • The Burning Platform
  • Successful Innovation
  • Decisive Action
  • Leading the new Strategic Direction

Please register here for this webinar.

Author:  Norma Lynch, Training Manager, Aspira.

‘Are we there yet? Secrets to sustainable business success’

Aspira teach people the importance of carrying out a Lessons Learned exercise at the end of each project, to make sure you learn from your lessons when starting the next project. Tune into talk radio on any given day and you’ll hear the Irish economy is bouncing back into full on recovery. We’re on the up and up again, but how exactly has that recovery come about… and have we really learned any lessons from the recent past?

The construction sector is visibly improving with planning permission notices for new housing littering the countryside. New road development projects and the rejuvenation of our city docklands area is on the horizon – multiple cranes can once again be seen on our skyline and ‘breakfast roll man’ is making a comeback, albeit with muesli and a skinny Latte instead of the full Irish breakfast.

Can we have any confidence that things will be different this time?

We hope that part of our recovery is based upon more mindful spending on the part of the consumer, more reasonable pay on the part of the employers and more prudent savings on everyone’s part.

But it’s not enough to expect consumers to self-regulate. We also need stronger banking regulations and enforcement of compliance. Recent headlines and court cases have exposed some nefarious practices in the world of high finance. We need a change of mind-set so that ‘wheeling and dealing’ practices are not seen as clever or admirable – instead we need to return to valuing good old fashioned principles such as honesty and integrity.

There are some warning signs that the recovery of the economy may soon start simmering over. We see that the property bubble is expanding again as demand far exceeds supply, with house prices back up to pre-crash levels. It makes alarm bells ring out when we hear mortgage providers advertising their “cash back” options – the kind of options guaranteed to encourage reckless borrowing.

The other major source of uncertainty is Brexit. What exactly will it mean for the economies of Europe? I don’t know. Perhaps I should refer to the architects of the Brexit deal – but it turns out that they have no clue either how it will affect either the UK economy or the wider EU economy. The only thing we know for sure is that it will be harmful, and that uncertainty will continue. And it is uncertainty that makes markets jittery and could precipitate another crash.

But rather than focus on the negative, let’s remind ourselves that current economic indicators say that the economy is right back where we were in 2008, we are back to effectively full employment and we anticipate unprecedented levels of employment growth, with jobs in the technology sector leading the way. Aspira has been named as one of Europe’s Fastest Growing Technology companies by the Financial Times for the second year in a row, so there is every reason to be hopeful for continued success. Remember – a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, but an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

Check us out at www.aspira-europe.nl

Author: Paula Good, Accounts Dept., Aspira

 

Aspira appoints new Director of Software Development

 

Aspira, the specialist Project Management and Enterprise IT Solutions services organisation, has appointed Jim Blair as Director of Software Development. The appointment follows recent growth at the company and a number of significant client wins.

Jim brings over 30 years’ experience in product and software development to the company. From designing core elements of Mac OS at Apple to leading new product development at multiple Irish start-up companies, Jim has led the engineering of many world-class solutions. Jim will contribute to the growth of the software development teams at Aspira, working closely with clients to achieve seamless design, creation and implementation of software products that contribute to these organisations’ digital transformation.

Speaking on his new role at Aspira, Jim Blair said: “I’m delighted to take on this new role as Director of Software Development. We have a vastly experienced software development function at Aspira, and I look forward to working with my software developers and the complementary groups within Aspira to enhance the bespoke customer software service we provide to our clients.”

Aspira CEO, Pat Lucey, commented on the announcement: “We’re delighted to appoint Jim as Director of Software Development. Jim brings a wealth of experience that is critical for the development of world-class devices and software. Jim will be a fantastic asset to the team, contributing his strategic vision for the growth of the software development teams to the benefit of our valued clients.”

Aspira is a specialist consultancy, focusing on Enterprise IT Solutions, with offices in Dublin and Cork. Offering Project Management and Business Analyst Training services internationally, Aspira is approved by the Project Management Institute®, the International Institute of Business Analysis® and Scrum.org.

Please visit us at: www.aspira-europe.nl or contact us on 021-2352550 or 01-5175777.

 

Ireland Chapter of Project Management Institute appoints new President

 

 

01 December 2017: The Ireland Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI) has appointed Pat Lucey as President at the association’s Annual General Meeting last night (Thursday).

 

The Cork-based businessman succeeds out-going Ireland Chapter of PMI President, Niall Murphy, in the two-year voluntary role.

 

Pat has been on the Board of the Chapter since 2011, with responsibility for membership and sponsorship. CEO of consulting and enterprise IT services company, Aspira, Pat has more than 20 years’ experience in managing large-scale enterprise projects. He has also provided project management consultancy internationally to Fortune 500 companies and public bodies.

 

Speaking about his new role, Pat said: “I am honoured to be elected President of the Ireland Chapter of PMI. Thank you to Niall for his commitment and dedication to the Chapter over recent years. He has built a strong foundation that has seen our membership grow by 26% in the past 12 months. I now hope to build upon his legacy.

 

“We are also lucky to have a group of committed volunteers, without whom the Chapter would simply not exist. I look forward to working with them, and our new Board, to further strengthen project management within Ireland.

 

“There is no doubt that the role of project management will inevitably become more valuable in the coming years, ensuring the effective management and delivery of new projects coming into Ireland as a result of Brexit. The Chapter knows the importance of supporting these professionals in the times ahead. We are always focused on development opportunities and industry insight.”

 

New Principal Officers also appointed at the AGM include Jackie Glynn as Vice President and Clive Carroll as Membership Officer.

 

There are currently over 50,000 employed in project management across Ireland, in sectors such as IT, public sector, construction, pharmaceuticals, professional services, financial services and manufacturing.

 

For more information on the Ireland Chapter of Project Management Institute see www.pmi-ireland.org.

Top 10 traits I most admire in a Manager

 

I have worked for a variety of managers to date and have met many more along the way!  As a result, I have experienced many traits I admire and some traits I dislike.  These are the Top ten traits that I most like in a people manager.

  1. Give credit in public – acknowledge your staff’s contribution and don’t pretend you do all the work!
  2. Promote people with potential – you should look out for the high performers and help them become the leaders of the future.
  3. Be honest about people’s performance – give constructive feedback – both negative and positive and don’t make false promises about salary increases that will never happen.
  4. Create a co-operative and collaborative environment where peers help each other rather – avoid “warring tribes” syndrome.
  5. Don’t ask your people to do something that you’re unwilling to do yourself.
  6. Be respectful towards individuals.  People respond positively when treated with dignity and respect.
  7. Take the time to build team spirit.  Hold team meetings and build in time for team members to meet each other face-to-face.  This will dramatically improve their working relationship.
  8. Be supportive when your people make mistakes.  It’s easy to be nice when everything is going well, but great managers give support to their team members when things are going wrong.
  9. Trust your team to do their job – give clear direction and review progress, but don’t disempower your staff by micromanaging their hourly activities.
  10. Build relationships – work is about more than getting the task done, it’s also about building relationships with colleagues and stakeholders.  Great managers make an effort to connect on a personal level with their team members, helping to understand what makes them tick. And if they like Bruce Springsteen then that is a great start!

How many of these traits do you already exhibit?  At Aspira we do our best to demonstrate these traits, as I believe it is a key factor in any successful company.

I find this quote really good to guide my thinking and behaviours “People do not leave a company, they leave a manager”

Author: Mary Dwyer, Operations Manager, Aspira.