PM Tips: Brand Your Project

Is your project going to last a while? Is your project important? Do you want your project team to connect with the project? Of course!

Brand your project to help keep engage your team.

Many of us are familiar with the concept of branding. The original brand was a mark stamped onto the hide of livestock to mark it as your property. But this concept has grown to apply well beyond the livestock world. In today’s marketing world a brand can be defined as follows – borrowed from BusinessDictionary.com.

Unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. 

In your project a brand will usually consist of a memorable name for your project, it might include a project logo and maybe even a tagline. The goal is to give your project an identity that resonates with people and isn’t boring.

There are several benefits to branding your project:

  • Make it easier to remember. Giving your project a brand helps it stick in people’s minds and can help connect it back to its broader purpose. Just think how some of the most popular brands in the world resonate in your brain just from a slogan, a tagline or a logo. Three small words “just do it” immediately make you think of one of your favorite shoe (and more) companies.
  • Make it fun. My apologies if this hits too close to home but most of our project names are boring and make me want to run the other way! Project names such as “time and attendance management phase 3” don’t really resonate or inspire. Branding your project gives it a name that sticks and doesn’t make you want to fall asleep. And when the work is more fun people enjoy it more.
  • Give the team a sense of belonging. Finally a brand establishes a broader purpose for your project. This broader purpose is something that you team members can connect to and gives them a feeling of belonging. When a project becomes more than just a set of task list items it is way more engaging. This is one of the keys to establishing and maintaining team engagement.

The next time you are starting a project that needs an engaged and passionate team to get it across the finish line consider giving it a brand. At a minimum giving your project a meaningful name and a logo will help make it something bigger than just a list of to-dos.

Why am I sharing?

Did you know that good Project Management can make dreams come true?

I have used project management to literally change my life. Now I am sharing some of the tips, tricks and best practices I have learned in my project manager life in hopes to help us all manage projects better. My goal: to create a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness!

Want to learn more? Grab your copy of Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds in Under a Year in eBook or paperback. Visit OperationMelt.com/book/ for details.

PM Tips: Don’t Skip The Charter

The first step in most project management processes is to create the project charter. A project charter is the document issued by the sponsor/initiator of the project that formally authorizes the existence of the project and provides the Project Manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to Project Activities. (Source: PMBOK v5)

Unfortunately many project management offices have eliminated the creation of a project charter from their standard process. Skipping the charter means that your project is bypassing three critical outcomes that the charter provides that  establish the foundation for project success.

  • Acknowledges commitment to the goal. The charter is a visible sign that you have committed to a goal and it removes any doubt whether or not the goal is important to the organization. Without a charter there is potentially not clear commitment.
  • Defines the “why” behind the project. The charter also includes the business case for the project that summarizes the value the project will be delivering. This information is a critical reminder about why the problem exists and is a motivator for the team as it connects their hard work to a broader goal. Without this information the tasks that each team member is assigned may just be another thing on their to-do list without any broader importance.
  • Keeps team focused on the vision. The charter is the basis for keeping everybody on the team focused on a common vision. It helps funnel the energy in a single direction making everybody more efficient and effective. Without this common vision you run the risk of team members going in different directions and that introduces waste and makes everybody’s job harder.

The next time you start a project make sure to start with a charter (see an example of a basic project charter on ProjectManagement.com). It may be the difference between success and failure to achieve your big goal.

Why am I sharing?

Did you know that good Project Management can make dreams come true?

I have used project management to literally change my life. Now I am sharing some of the tips, tricks and best practices I have learned in my project manager life in hopes to help us all manage projects better. My goal: to create a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness!

Want to learn more? Grab your copy of Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds in Under a Year in eBook or paperback. Visit OperationMelt.com/book/ for details.

PM Tips: Reinforcement

I started my morning off by producing some reinforcement reporting and it reminded me of how important reinforcement is in driving successful behavior change.

All too often we communicate that a new behavior is needed, cross it off our list and move on. Then we wonder why the new behavior isn’t taking hold. Reinforcement is the key to successful behavior change.

When you are rolling out a behavior change that you want to stick just make sure to follow this 3-step process:

  • Communicate: start by communicating your expectations for the new behavior that you are seeking and why it is so important.
  • Support: provide the support need for the new behavior in order to make it easy for people to embrace the new expectations.
  • Hold accountable: finally comes time to hold people accountable for the new behaviors. This is usually best accomplished via a two-prong strategy of reinforcement reporting and coaching.

By following this basic framework you can ensure that your change initiatives are a success!

Why am I sharing?

Did you know that good Project Management can make dreams come true? I have used project management to literally change my life. Now I am sharing some of the tips, tricks and best practices I have learned in my project manager life in hopes to help us all manage projects better. My goal: to create a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness!

Want to learn more? Grab your copy of Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds in Under a Year on Amazon (paperback and Kindle editions) and iTunes. Visit my book page @ OperationMelt.com/book/ for details.

PM Hack: Bring the Humor

I stumbled on to this quote today and I thought it was a great leadership tip for project managers.

One of our most important responsibilities as project managers is to support and motivate our project teams. One approach that has always worked well for me is to keep the environment fun. Whether you are making a joke or playing a good natured but non-disruptive prank there are lots of ways to keep things light.

In projects there are issues every day and people have hard work to do. The more we as PMs can lighten this load the more people will enjoy working on our projects and the better results we can achieve. Isn’t that what project management is really about?

One important note about this hack is included in the last few words “at the right moment.” Always take care that you are sending the right message and taking the work seriously. I worked in a team once where the motto was “we take the work but not ourselves seriously” that us really more of the spirit of this hack.

Defining Project Management: Mark Twain

What is project management? It is a question that people ask all of the time. While there are lots of definitions out there I thought I’d share some perspective from some of history’s best thinkers.

Today: Mark Twain on project management. This quote summarizes the core of what project management is about.


Learn more about how I have used project management for professional and personal transformation by reading My Story and My Approach.