90 Percent

Project management, productivity, change management, and more!


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Team player… or not?

TeamWhile you work with different teams during your career, you will notice some people are more concentrated on their own outcome rather than the team’s. It may not be apparent at first, or it might be completely obvious, but here are some ways to spot someone who isn’t much of a team player:


1. Finger pointing

This one is easy to notice; a team player will say “we made a mistake”, “we should have done this differently” but someone who looks out for themselves will not want to be part of whatever seems negative and will rather point fingers or look for someone to blame: “he made a mistake”, “I don’t know why we did it that way, I was just following what he told me”, etc.

2. Weird/unclear communication

A team player will always keep in mind his team when communicating, meaning he was asses how he should communicate which type of information, and will carefully select each word to avoid interpretation. In other words, a team player will put himself in the other’s position.

Now, someone focused on themselves will not be able to put themselves in the other’s position, this means they will communicated in any way they feel appropriate for them:

  • Using the wrong tool for the specific type of information (chat, email, PM tool, etc);
  • Communicate out of context: They can’t necessary understand the fact that you are not in their mind, and cannot put themselves in your place, so they will send you half the information, thinking that you will understand because they do;
  • Will throw all information so they can say “I told you….”: Whether it’s while talking, chat, email, you will get splattered with information, and if you miss anything, you are sure to hear to infamous “I told you that….”;
  • Simply not informing the team: If they have the information, then it’s good for them, so you may have to grab the information yourself.

3. “It’s not my job”

Role clarity is very important, and focused on their own roles will of course give a greater outcome to the project. However, it may happen that sometimes people have to go beyond their role for the good of the team. A team player will jump in anytime, he will even offer to do a task that’s not his to do.

Here, it’s relatively easy to spot a non team player, since you will probably hear something like:

  • It’s not my job;
  • I could do it but it shouldn’t be me;
  • I have the information but I shouldn’t be the one communicating this;
  • etc.

4. Can’t admit errors

Teammates will often apologize for mistakes, or at the very least admit they were wrong; but someone looking out for themselves will simply not unfortunately.

Luckily, it doesn’t mean they don’ know they made a mistake, which means they might still learn from it, and avoid repeating it next time. To help out, without being guilty of item #1 above, you can suggest how the team can learn for next time by saying “we” instead of “you/he”.

In conclusion

People who are not team players are concentrated on themselves, therefore it can be tricky to work with them when their role is needed inside the project. It can impact the project in a negative way, but, if the outcome of the project affects how they will look in font of others, it may also have a positive impact on the project since they will make sure to look good.

If you think you are a team player and you are guilty of what’s above, you may want to start being careful, it can drastically change how your team looks at you.

Are you working with people who aren’t team players? Share your stories.

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PMO, where to start?

Lost your head

Source: ManicMorFF

Project management is something that’s taking more and more place amongst organizations. It’s gaining maturity and evolving greatly, always trying to keep up with projects who evolve themselves (and fast!).

In the struggle to put in place project management best practices and standardizing it across the whole organization which is why the PMO (Project Management Office) is becoming more and more common. From small PMOs, to bigger ones, they are earning their place amongst businesses, and have proven to raise the efficiency of projects overall.

This being said, setting up a PMO is easier said then done, there are many challenges to face.

So where to start?

Well, think of it as a project, the first you would do is gather requirements, right? Do just that by talking to managers and project managers, and assess together what are your needs. Once you’ve identified what you want, including the issues you want to fix, then you can review the 5 major PMO types and select a path that’s right for your team.

Derek Singleton, an analyst at Software Advice, has shared with me some of his knowledge on the subject:

“For companies that aren’t familiar with the concept of a project management office (PMO), it can be difficult to understand the various types of PMOs and which project structure each is best-suited to help.

By breaking down and defining the five major PMOs types, we help organizations and PMs better understand the use cases for a PMO–and if their company needs one.

A PMO can help a business organize and execute their projects more efficiently, but it’s important to choose the PMO model that matches your organization’s needs.

For instance, if a PM finds that administrative tasks prevent completing the larger tasks at hand, a project-support PMO can offer support needed to allow PMs to dedicate themselves to the actual project rather than filing paperwork.

Meanwhile, a larger company might have several projects within one branch that are not completing on time. In this case, a departmental PMO to help prioritize projects in order of importance.”

If you are thinking of implementing a PMO where you work, make sure to do this right, and make sure expectations towards the PMO is clear for the whole agency, otherwise, the PMO will lose its buy-in and may be removed completely.

It’s something you will be doing step by step, just like a project; do not expect perfection within one day, this a long-term investment that’s great to have in place. If possible, building the PMO while the business is small is easier since small teams adapt faster. It could then evolve with the business as it grows. Implement this inside a big organization may prove to be more challenging, but it’s definitely possible.

Here is also a great article on the 5 types of PMO proposed by the PMI:  Do You Need a Project Management Office (PMO)?

Have you been thinking of building a PMO? Or have you done so in the past? Share your stories!