Blog Archive

10 Recommendations for Project Tracking and Governance

For a project manager the real game is project governance and its tracking. So I would like to share some tips for project governance and its tracking. Here we go:

1#  Produce action points against each item on the agenda and circulate within 24 hours of the meeting.  Use these action points to help in the creation of your next agenda.

2#  Review the items on the critical path checking they are on schedule.  Review risks, review yours stakeholders and your communication plans and whether you are still on track to deliver on time, to budget and to the required quality standard.

3#  Set a tolerance figure and monitor e.g. a tolerance figure of ±5% means as long as you are within the 5% limit you do not have to formally report.  If  exceed the 5% limit (cost or time) then you need to report this to the agreed person – probably your sponsor

4#  Report progress against an end of a stage – are you on schedule?  Time, cost or quality?  Ensure that if something is off schedule the person responsible for delivering it suggests ways to bring it back on time, within budget or to hit the right quality standard.

5#  Develop an issues log to record items that may be causing concern.  Review at your project meetings.

6#  See whether you are still delivering the original project benefits when reviewing your project.  If not, consider re-scoping or if appropriate abandoning the project.  Do not be afraid of abandoning a project. Better to abandon now rather than waste valuable time, money, and resources working on something no longer required.  If you close a project early – hold a project review meeting to identify learning.

7#  Produce one-page reports highlighting key issues.  Agree the areas to include with the Sponsor before writing a report.

8#  Use a series of templates to support the monitoring process, e.g. milestone reporting, change control, log, planned v. actual.

9#  Apply traffic lights to illustrate how you are progressing – red, amber and green. Use these in conjunction with milestone reports.

10# Engender honest reporting against specific deliverables, milestones, or a critical path activity. If you do not have honest reporting imagine the consequences.

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Inspirational Quotes on Hard Work

  1. “I don’t believe in luck. Luck = Leaving things to chance and outside world. I believe in being harbingers of our fate, taking action and creating our own path and destiny in life. Your life is yours to create – Don’t let others do it for you.” – Celestine Chua
  2. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”~ Colin Powell
  3. “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” – Gary Player
  4. “Success is 99% attitude and 1% aptitude.” - Celestine Chua
  5. “It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar


Story: Counting the Apples

A teacher teaching Maths to seven-year-old Laiq asked him, "If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?"Within a few seconds Laiq replied confidently, "Four!"

The dismayed teacher was expecting an effortless correct answer (three). She was disappointed. "Maybe the child did not listen properly," she thought. She repeated, "Laiq, listen carefully. If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?"

Laiq had seen the disappointment on his teacher's face. He calculated again on his fingers. But within him he was also searching for the answer that will make the teacher happy. His search for the answer was not for the correct one, but the one that will make his teacher happy. This time hesitatingly he replied, "Four…"

The disappointment stayed on the teacher's face. She remembered that Laiq liked strawberries. She thought maybe he doesn't like apples and that is making him loose focus. This time with an exaggerated excitement and twinkling in her eyes she asked, "If I give you one strawberry and one strawberry and one strawberry, then how many you will have?"

Seeing the teacher happy, young Laiq calculated on his fingers again. There was no pressure on him, but a little on the teacher. She wanted her new approach to succeed. With a hesitating smile young Laiq enquired, "Three?"

The teacher now had a victorious smile. Her approach had succeeded. She wanted to congratulate herself. But one last thing remained. Once again she asked him, "Now if I give you one apple and one apple and one more apple how many will you have?"

Promptly Laiq answered, "Four!"

The teacher was aghast. "How Laiq, how?" she demanded in a little stern and irritated voice.

In a voice that was low and hesitating young Laiq replied, "Because I already have one apple in my bag."

"When someone gives you an answer that is different from what you expect don't think they are wrong. There maybe an angle that you have not understood at all. You will have to listen and understand, but never listen with a predetermined notion."
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What Applicants Say In Interviews That Get Them Hired

The most irresistible job applicants marry their emotional intelligence with competency based answers in their job interviews to impress on all levels. These applicants understand an interview isn't an interrogation but an interactive platform for interviewer and interviewee to arrive at the same station - and feel good about it.
While there are a range of processes to understand about behavioural interviews, I will focus here on three pointers compelling candidates understand about their job interview and what they say that highlights their emotional intelligence.
Successful applicants are incredibly passionate about the job at hand - and prove it.
You are a high quality candidate with a history of excellence in your chosen field, or as a newbie you showcase your potential and willingness to be great at your job. Passion, enthusiasm, zeal, cannot-wait-to-get-the-offer-and-get-started, or any way you want to put it - is undeniably magnetic.
Show off your fervour in a way that translates to "I will be on top of my game in this role". Anyone can say "I would love this opportunity." In fact, a user of this phrase probably uses it in every interview they're asked to, and interviewers remain untouched by this cliche. Why not suggest your enthusiasm by the questions you fire back with?
A sample of questions that impress upon your passion:
  • "What would you expect me to have achieved in my first 3 months on the job?"
  • "Can you tell me about the upcoming projects / campaigns in your company?"
Irresistible applicants come across as someone others would love to work with.
In focusing on facts and figures, don't forget the 'likeability' factor. Sometimes the person most qualified for the job misses out because the interviewer didn't warm to them and didn't feel the team would, either. The most skilled candidates practice empathy with their interviewer, understanding they are only human with their own social needs to fit in, to be understood and respected, and use this bias to their advantage.
Ways to be charming in an interview:
  • Make the interviewer feel comfortable by being warm and even humorous if the occasion calls for it.
  • Think of the interviewer as someone you know, talk to them as if you genuinely like and respect them. They will feel this warmth and be confident that the team will to.
  • Speak about your greatest achievements, in a modest tone. Let your achievements speak for themselves.
  • Be interactive and ask questions of your own. People often say they don't get the chance; but when you are answering a question, the floor is all yours to fire away with your own.
  • Don't be combative, boastful, cold or disengaged - the most superhumanly intellectual of candidates can lose the opportunity just by being unlikeable.
The best candidates aren't reserved about complimenting the company at hand
Stipulate your admiration for the companies initiatives, campaigns, projects, presentation, vibe, vision - anything you genuinely like about the company. Compliment the company.
When answering questions, feel welcome to talk about past relevant experiences and then inject what you like about the company's matching initiatives.
For example:
"I volunteer with an NGO that helps rescue victims of human trafficking, and was actively involved in my previous company's campaign to stop child trafficking. I'm so excited that you have projects now in Europe involved in this - it's such an important global initiative that attracted me to applying for this position. I'd love the opportunity to be on board with what you're doing there."
Just by using some emotional intelligence to target your answers and build rapport on a range of levels, you are able to get greater insight into the position and company and find out if it's right for you, as well as being able to sit in a very comfortable position.
Of course, there are exceptions in some cultural climates, but in general this is how the best of candidates do it!
About The Author
Naomi Seselja is the founder of Mode Recruitment & Career Services. An expert resume writer and interview coach, her clients include: CEO's, Biologists, Executives, Financiers, people in the beauty industry and everything in between all across the globe. If you'd like to make a booking, email

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Story: The Shoes Salesman

You will perhaps have heard this very old story illustrating the difference between positive thinking and negative thinking:
Many years ago two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential.
The first salesman reported back, "There is no potential here - nobody wears shoes."
The second salesman reported back, "There is massive potential here - nobody wears shoes."

This simple short story provides one of the best examples of how a single situation may be viewed in two quite different ways - negatively or positively.
We could explain this also in terms of seeing a situation's problems and disadvantages, instead of its opportunities and benefits.
When telling this story its impact is increased by using exactly the same form of words (e.g., "nobody wears shoes") in each salesman's report. This emphasizes that two quite different interpretations are made of a single situation.
On the same line we counter so my situation in our daily work life, which certainly can become an opportunity for us and our mindset play a vital role to make that count an win-win situation.
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A Meaningful Message

I Met Money and Said
“You Are Just A Piece of Paper”
Money Smiled Said
“Of Course, But You Haven’t Seen
A Dust Bin For Me Yet”

2) A Tongue Has No Bones.
But It Can Break A Heart.
It Can Be A Pillar For Building A Broken Heart!

True quote:

1) Tomorrow Will Come Daily
But Today Will Come Today Only.
So Finish Your Today’s Work Today Itself
And Be Free Tomorrow.

2) Every Night We Go To Bed,
We Have No Assurance
To Get Up Alive Next Morning
But Still You Have Plans For The Coming Day
That’s Hope!

What Is Forgiveness?

It Is The Wonderful

When Its Being Crushed!

Do You Know
Who Is The Sweetest Couple in the World?
They Meet Rarely.
But When They Meet,
The Moment Becomes UNFORGETTABLE.

What is Success?

Changes to 
That is SUCCESS!

Richness is

NOT Earning, Spending or Saving More,
Richness is,
When You Need


Just a thought

We never get what we want,
We never want what we get,
We never have what we like,
We never like what we have.
And still we live love.
That's life...

It's true that we don't know
What we've got until it's gone,
But it's also true that we don't know
What we've been missing until it arrives.




Story: The Successful Tennis Player

A renowned Tennis Player, was stricken by HIV from a contaminated blood transfusion which he received during his heart bypass surgery.
He was a legendary player. People from all over the world were very sad to hear the news. He received millions of get well soon letters and cards from his fans all over the world. One of the letters read:
"It is very sad to know about your illness. Why did God let this happen to you?"
The Tennis Player wrote a reply to this fan saying:
"Millions of children start playing tennis. Hundreds of thousands of them learn to play proper Tennis. Tens of Thousands of them learn professional Tennis.  Thousands of them go to Tennis tournaments around the world.  Some 5 thousand make it to Grand Slam and around 100 make it to Wimbledon. Just 4 make it to Semi Finals and 2 to finals and only ONE wins. And I was that ONE out of millions of people around the world.
When I was holding the Wimbledon Championship Trophy I never asked God "Why Me?" So I have no right to ask God "why me?" during my times of hardship."
Isn't it true that a human being often forgets God during times of happiness? Whenever he achieves something in his life he attributes it to himself, his hard work and support from his family and friends and forgets to thank God. But what does the same person do when he is afflicted by a misfortune? The same person who takes credit for every achievement of his now starts blaming God for his misfortune.
Moral: God keeps reminding people of His existence by giving them trials and afflictions, because people tend to forget God during their good times and such people only become aware of God if harm touches them. Never forget God in your good times. And if you are going through bad times, thank God even more for the times could have been worse.

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