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How software project managers can react to recessionary trends

Project management (PM) consultant Michelle LaBrosse shared some quick tips for PM strategies in recessionary times with me recently. These ideas gelled during an interview with Carey Earle, president of Green Apple Marketing, on her syndicated radio program, Your World, Your Way.

“We talked about great ways to use these trends as a great launch pad for new ideas, solutions and direction in the workplace,” said LaBrosse, founder of Cheetah Learning, a PM consultancy, and aPM issues blogger.

Many projects are on an “economic slim-fast” diet, LaBrosse said. Not surprisingly, she’s seeing may project managers focus on practices that save their teams’ time, cut spending and improve quality and time to market. Also, businesses are trending toward novel perks in these days when raises are rare and budgets tight. She’s seen good results when project managers reward teams in inexpensive and creative ways, such as making a premium parking spot available to a top achiever each month.

The secrecy and lack of honest documentation of the early 2000s has caused an about face, in a trend that LaBrosse and Earle call The Full Monty. “Technology brings us a whole new level of honesty whether we like it or not, but underneath the technology is a new human desire for trust and transparency like never before,” LaBrosse said. “Think: Is your documentation in good shape? Are you leaving a trail that you’re proud of? How can you be more transparent in your business?”

Finally, LaBrosse advises project managers to start noticing trends on their own. “The art and science of noticing the dramatic or subtle changes taking place will help you and your team continue to seek out future opportunities and successes,” LaBrosse said.

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