How to Publish Project Manager’s Daily Newspaper?

December 13, 2010

Have you dreamed about publishing your own newspaper? Here is quick way to publish one.

Some days ago I got a link on twitter to an online newspaper about social media content.  I was impressed and thought its lot of work put in by the author to compile so many sources and presenting in an attractive layout.

Last week I tried it and published my own daily e-paper for project managers.  Click here to see what I came up with http://paper.li/kulveervirk/projectgurus 

Isn’t it impressive?  This is quite easy to produce and took less than 2 minutes, thanks to www.paper.li for this services.

Most of us use either Twitter or Facebook (or both in many cases). This tool organizes links shared on Twitter into an easy to read newspaper-style format. Newspapers can be created for any Twitter user, list or #tag  to read and share. It assumes that you have account setup on either of the service.

This service can be used with Twitter or Facebook, since I use Twitter, I utilized my Twitter lists. All I did was setup an account, entered values to read stream of my Twitter account’s list that has many project management resources subscribed.

Step by Step:

  1. Go to www.paper.li and sign in using your Twitter account.
  2. Click on ‘create a newspaper’ link
  3. Click on ‘create a custom newspaper’ button
  4. Enter Title for your newspaper
  5. Select the people on Twitter that can contribute to the paper, I used Twitter List @projectgurus that I have created. I also use #PMOT (hash-tag).
  6. Click on ‘Publish Paper’ to complete and that’s it.
  7. You can automate it to be sent each day on a set time.

How does it make your life easier as a project manager? 
This tool scan the Twitter list/hash-tag or user list each day based on your preferences and gives you a readable format newspaper – most relevant. 
Does it replace the following of your twitter feeds?
No, it provides selected content and mainly where links are embedded in tweets to the other websites.

If you need to find out more about it – here is link to FAQs (http://paper.li/faq.html)

Advertisements

How To Make PowerPoint Presentations Powerful.. Part 3

May 27, 2010

How To Prepare?

 Prepare your presentation based on self-evaluation questions in part 1.  You need to spend time according to the ‘worth’ of your presentation.  More planning and preparation are required if stakes are high.

  1. Brain-storm: Like any task, you need to brain-storm about the presentation. Write down the idea / topic of your presentation. Use any mind mapping tool.
  2. Weave a story: A story around topic supported by case study or testimonial or any relevant post on the Internet is very engaging to audience. Your objective is to grab and keep the attention while presenting.
  3. Research: Comprehensive study of the subject is needed and also do research over the Internet.  If it is a tool or application you are presenting about, make sure to use it yourself and learn basics.
  4. Question: Come up with your own questions about each slide that attendee may ask; or what question does your slide raise.  Ask questions from subject matter experts (use Internet forums, Twitter, or LinkedIn).
  5. Facts: Find out how would you support the idea or story you are going to tell the audience – find facts/figures/graphs to support your claims.

Putting Slides Together

  1. Flow: Develop a logical flow of your topic so that it becomes seamless from beginning to end.
  2. Less is More: Question yourself why you want this particular slide; can you do without it; if not then how would it benefit the audience.
  3. Simplicity is the Key: Simple slides with white background and big black fonts work in most cases; even when room is well lit.
  4. Make is Readable: Use reasonably big fonts so that person from back of the room can also see. Use different color fonts to emphasize keywords, facts and figures. Use bulleted list where possible; 5 bullets per page should serve the purpose. Spell out acronyms, sources of information on the slide.  If slide contains too much – create another slide.
  5. Peer Review: Review the draft presentation with available group of people, including your Boss, peers, and other concerned people.

How To Improve Your Presentation

  1. FAQ: Compile a Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ) slide.  Use feedback comments at strategic places in the presentation. Use photos of the person who provided feedback or commented – it wakes audience up.
  2. Engage: Put some multiple choice questions / options around the topic in the slide deck to keep audience brain engaged.
  3. Bullets: Use numbered bullet points where possible or use laser pointer to point out which bullet point is being discussed.
  4. Paint the Picture: Associate your product, service, or topic with something big or unique.
  5. Present: Do not read the slides to audience rather present to them. Slides are to reference and show key points.
  6. Practice: Rehearse the presentation and check (that it works) the tools and technology you will use during presentation. Record and watch your rehearsal practice for improvement.  If someone will be helping you in changing the slides, involve that person in rehearsal – if possible.

Hope you found some good points to implement in your PowerPoint presentations.  What is your experience?  Lets share.

Thank you for your visit and have a great day.


How To Make PowerPoint Presentations Powerful.. Part 2

May 22, 2010

Part II – Cause Of Boring PowerPoint Presentations

(This post is also published on pmhut.com as a complete article)

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. – Dorothy Nevill

  1. Knowledge: One does not know the subject inside-out. All talk is superficial.
  2. Passion: Presenter is not passionate about the topic. If presenter himself is not interested in the presentation, how others can be.
  3. Planning: Not enough planning done about presentation. Person may know a lot about the subject and also very passionate; but fails to plan or weave an interesting story for intended audience.
  4. Expectations: Misalignment between Audience’s understanding level and key message to be delivered. Not conveying what people will get out of the presentation in advance.
  5. Overkill: Giving too much information in one slide or single presentation.
  6. Too Fancy: Stunning images & background, fancy fonts, various special distract audience. Know your audience and know your field.
  7. Preparation: Not enough rehearsal, presentation not flowing smoothly gives indication as person is not prepared.

 Now we know the causes of boring PowerPoint presentation, in next post we will review –

Part III – How To Prepare? Putting Slides Together &  How To Improve Your Presentation


How To Make PowerPoint Presentations Powerful.. Or At Least Not Suck

May 20, 2010

Part I – From PoorPoint to PowerPoint Presentations

Have you attended any boring, too long to stay focused (even awake) presentation and at the end walked out dissatisfied without gaining something or giving out any useful input? Have you ever delivered any lengthy, fact loaded presentations with tons of tables, bullet points, graphs and even slide animation?

PowerPoint is an essential business tool and is used to inform/convince the audience and deliver the key message. It’s to be used as visual aid to help presenter and not to present complete white papers in PowerPoint format.

From sales people to students and from technical gurus to creative mavericks, everyone is using PowerPoint to share concepts, offer solutions, sell products/services and deliver messages. Leveraging the power of PowerPoint is helping people to deliver speeches effectively and easily. By following few steps, you can improve the outcome, make interesting presentations and engage the audience.

As we all know that most precious commodity after the time is the attention of the audience so that real message can be delivered, and desired results can be obtained. Our goal should be to keep audience attentive and receptive of our message by making presentation concise, engaging, on-topic and result focused. Also, preparation around the delivery of PowerPoint is the key success factor; actual problem is with the amount and type of content, style of delivery and type of preparation that goes in – and not with the PowerPoint itself.

Self-Evaluation

First Step is to answer following as first step, use the answers to plan your PowerPoint –

WHY do you need to give PowerPoint presentation?
WHAT do you plan to accomplish from this presentation?
HOW would you make your idea get across and accepted?
WHEN do you think will you be ready for presentation?

Now we know the importance of presenting right ‘stuff’ in ‘right’ format for better results.  In next posts we will review –

Part II – Cause Of Boring PowerPoint Presentations
Part III – How To Prepare? Putting Slides Together &  How To Improve Your Presentation

More reading material –
 http://ltlatnd.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/powerpoint-is-not-the-problem/
http://www.wordsellinc.com/blog/communication-skills/presentation-skills-public-speaking/


11 Principles of Leadership

August 20, 2009

 I came across 11 leadership principles of Marine Corps in Guide Book for Marines on the Internet and here is my interpretation of 11 principles.  I am interested in hearing from Marines about their leadership experience. 

  1. Take responsibility – we need to seek and take responsibilities if we need to grow; never shy away, whatever seems challenging will help you expand your perspective.
  2. Know yourself – reflect upon your strengths and weaknesses; seek improvement and understand that you can achieve only those goals that you set.
  3. Set an example– conduct your business in a professional manner; do not loose temper – small minds are bothered by small problems; not only work in your job but also work on your job as well.  Be a brand that people want to associate with.
  4. Develop your subordinates– consider this as part of your job; learn to delegate; as Zig Ziglar said “You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want“; give them opportunities to learn & grow;  guide them if they fit somewhere else.
  5. Be available – in every respect; be available to listen to problems and challenges people are facing; to motivate, to lead and to show right direction; to hear criticism; to take decisions and to act on time.
  6. Look after the welfare of your employees – the way you want your boss to look after your welfare; develop emotional intelligence; connect with people and find out what motivates them; do something that touches their lives; help them when they are in need.  Arrogance and ignorance will not take you to the top or won’t keep you there for long.
  7. Keep everyone well informed  – right communication is the key; make sure that the tasks are understood, supervised and accomplished on time and tell why you need all this done; do no assume –  aks and tell.
  8. Set goals that are achievable – always set the goals – people need to know what they are expected to deliver and by when; let people figure out how;  goals should motivate teams to act; measure the results and reward people.
  9. Make sound and timely decisions– that are aligned with the core principles of your organization and with your job descriptions; there will always be more than one right answer – choose the one that benefits the most and not only you; take decisions like a servant leader.
  10. Know your job – be technically and tactically proficient in your job; know your people; know the processes and challenges; know how can you add value to the organization or your department.
  11. Build teamwork– not all people can perform equally but they should complement each other while working towards a common goal; promote team work and diversity; shield your team from external pressure; be flexible with team.

“Leadership is intangible, hard to measure, and difficult to describe. It’s quality would seem to stem from many factors. But certainly they must include a measure of inherent ability to control and direct, self-confidence based on expert knowledge, initiative, loyalty, pride and sense of responsibility. Inherent ability cannot be instilled, but that which is latent or dormant can be developed. Other ingredients can be acquired. They are not easily learned. But leaders can be and are made.” – General C. B. Cates, 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps

Thanks for reading and welcome your input.  Have a great day.


Changepoint and PPM

June 5, 2009

Last week I completed Compuware Changepoint training. I had read earlier that Changepoint is in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant (leaders) for PPM tools.

Changepoint is a web based tool for project and portfolio management.  The tool enables leadership make right decisions based on dynamic metrics of various initiatives and what value these initiatives add; and realignment of IT efforts with business strategy and vision.  Tool is very intuitive and scalable. 

In Project and Portfolio management, complexity is the key factor that makes changes difficult and time consuming. Just imagine multiple projects going on in  your organization with resources scattered around the teams (or Globe) and you are tracking the progress and reporting the metrics to the upper management.  Management wants to see  report on  status of all the projects underway, return on investment for each project, supply and demand, resource utilization, change management, issues and risks to the projects, etc. to make informed decision on project priorities, strategic planning and funding.

Changepoint makes all the aspect of program management easier by effectively managing your projects and applications, resources and client relationships.  You can find out more at Compuware website.

Disclaimer – I am a Compuware employee and opinions expressed here are my own.


3-Rs for Leaders

May 19, 2009
  1. Read more
  2. Reflect more
  3. Risk more

Leaders ought to read a lot to stay ahead.  Each day is blessed with new discoveries and useful information.  Using the 80/20 rule, find out what is out there that you need to know.  Co-relate how changes in the world going to shape your world. Read more = Plan

Leaders take tough decisions all the time, they are the face of the organization.  Leaders chalk out the course of action in the midst of challenges.  Reflecting on the decesions taken and the one you are about to take is going to determine if you are an authentic leader – who knows where his True North is.  Reflect more = Check

Taking new risks, coming up with new ideas and having the drive to materialize them, thinking out of the box, leading organization into a totally new direction are the key qualities leader has.  Listen more and observe more.  Taking calculated and smart risk is also creativity. Risk more= Do and Act.

These 3 Rs fit into Deming’s Plan > Do > Check > Act; a continous improvement loop.  Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day.


%d bloggers like this: