This Website is the Archived Version of My Inspired Project Teams Website
From December of 2008 through May of 2014 I published tools, articles, audio podcasts and videos through my Inspired Project Teams website. The website you are currently viewing is my attempt to archive all those materials and make them readily available.
The Inspired Project Teams blog was a collection of some of my favorite quotations and great ideas, in somewhat random order, that could help you create a more inspired project team and help individuals find peace of mind.
The quotations are typically followed by a few suggestions (Challenges) for applying them to your situation. If you’re like me, a quote that gets your attention one day may not stimulate much thought on another day. So I’m hoping you’ll spend a few minutes in these pages every day and that your time spent will help you to inspire your project team members to be all that they can be.
Thank You, Brian Johnson & PhilosophersNotes!
This archived collection wouldn't exist without Brian Johnson's PhilosophersNotes. Nearly every day, while exercising or waiting in line somewhere, I crank up my podcast player and listen to one of his 20-minute 'Notes. These are his distillations of some of the "big ideas" living in a whole bunch of powerful Self-Help and Philosophy books, delivered via Brian's upbeat and informal "friendly philosopher" narrations. Very often I find myself thinking while I'm listening: "Wow! It would be great if the students in my project management classes could hear some of this! There is so much frustration, anxiety, and strife in project teams. What they all need is a little inspiration!" And so my Inspired Project Teams website was born. It was a way for me to share some enduring wisdom I picked up from Brian's PhilosophersNotes and from my own readings and experiences. So, "Thank You, Brian Johnson!" And if you haven't checked out PhilosophersNotes, you should visit there soon. As Brian says, "Methinks you'll dig it!"
[See my 8 minute YouTube video, 6 Business Reasons for Listening to PhilosophersNotes Every Day.]
The Structure of the Podcasts
Most of the podcasts contain these sections:
Quotations, war stories, examples, and a little philosophy that might inspire project managers or project team members.
Reflections – Suggestions or questions to think about on your own, as project manager or project leader.
Team Challenges – Questions and suggestions that you can use as a project team, either formally or informally, to challenge yourselves to stretch and grow.
Project Manager Challenges – Some specific actions for project managers or team leaders to encourage your team's inspiration.
(**Note: For definitions of some of the project management terms used in this collection, scroll to the "Selected Project Management Terms," below.)
It’s Up to You!
My entire career has been spent in training and education. So it’s only natural for me to pose the Challenges you see here, since they are designed to help you apply the concepts and grow, grow, grow!
On the other hand, maybe you aren’t looking for training or education. Maybe you just want a little inspiration to help get you through your latest project. If this is the case, then just review the quotes and skip the Challenges. (Though I do suggest you privately think about the stuff you find in the Reflections section. This might lead you to some creative solutions to your own unique problems.) So it’s up to you: Skim, scan, enjoy. But most of all, spend a little time thinking deeply about the powerful ideas gathered here and about how they might inspire you and your project team.
Below are some definitions of a few PM-specific terms used in the materials on this blog.
Customer— “The person or group that is/are the recipient(s) of a product or service, the direct beneficiary(ies) of a project’s product or service. The people for whom the project is being undertaken. “** (See also Sponsor.)
Deliverables – These include any tangible items that is produced to complete the project. Deliverables not only include finished products (like a completed building or a finished written report or a completed software program), but also include interim or draft products that the project team may need, but that users or customers may never see (such as building blueprints, outlines and drafts of written documents, and flowcharts or system design specifications of software programs).
SME (subject matter expert) – An expert in a particular field who contributes or verifies the accuracy of specific information needed by the project team.
Sponsor — “The executive who manages, administers, monitors, funds, and is responsible for the overall project delivery…The generic name given to the source of the project manager’s authority. The sponsor may be owner, financier, client etc., or their delegate…” ** (See also Customer.)
Stakeholder – Anyone who might be actively involved in the project or whose interests are affected by it. stakeholders can typically demand (or lobby for) changes or approve project specifications and work products.