L2B Blog: The Year in Review – 10 Best Blog posts from 2017

If you have missed any of our blog posts this year, here is a monthly review of some of the best blog posts from 2017, depicted from your traffic volume:

 

 

 

The booming growth of “Commercial Construction & Renovation” happening in  South Africa.

Written By: Sasha Anderson

Publication date: 30 January 2017

Page Views: 82

Unique Page Views: 35

Average Time spent on the blog: 38 seconds

 

 

 

 

Enhance your fishing abilities to entice the big fish businesses through “Mastering the art of cold calling, tips for successful B2B Sales

Written by: Karen Garner-Savory

Publication date: 09 February 2017

Page Views: 256

Unique Page Views: 111

Average Time spent on the blog: 30 seconds

 

 

 

 

 

Providing a creative remedy for tedious daily tasks with “Innovations In Smart Home Technology

Written by: Marlaine Andersen

Publication date: 09 March 2017

Page Views: 119

Unique Page Views: 58

Average Time spent on the blog: 52 seconds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Racking your brain on the universal human need for shelter. “What is the importance of appointing an architect?

Written by: Claire Donaldson

Publication date: 13 April 2017

Page Views: 124

Unique Page Views: 48

Average Time spent on the blog: 35 seconds

 

 

 

 

 

The never-ending roadworks that we find ourselves in “Potholes and Pitfalls in civil engineering contracts

Written by: Bianca Warwick

Publication date: 11 May 2017

Page Views: 108

Unique Page Views: 67

Average Time spent on the blog: 03 Minutes and 04 Seconds

 

 

 

 

A quirky and yet vital list of “10 (or 11) tips for recruiting great Project Managers

Written by: Michelle Hosford

Publication date: 15 June 2017

Page Views: 110

Unique Page Views: 50

Average Time spent on the blog: 02 Minutes and 51 Seconds

 

 

 

 

 

Finding a favourable balance in room temperature to get the ‘ka-ching’ light bulb. “Why air conditioning can increase productivity

Written by: Jackie Van Zyl

Publication date: 13 July 2017

Page Views: 273

Unique Page Views: 112

Average Time spent on the blog: 01 Minute and 147 Seconds

 

 

 

 

 

Quenching the thirst with tools pertaining to water preservation with “Waste Water Management

Written by: Angelique De Freitas

Publication date: 24 August 2017

Page Views: 264

Unique Page Views: 114

Average Time spent on the blog: 01 Minute and 53 Seconds

 

 

 

 

 

Dealing with the complexities of preserving the environment for our future generations through “Sustainable construction with 3d Modelling

Written by: Tamika Mays

Publication date: 14 September 2017

Page Views: 198

Unique Page Views: 83

Average Time spent on the blog: 32 Seconds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knocking down barriers without leaving a mess and extra work. Here is a guide on “How to demolish a wall the right way

Written by: Julia Smit

Publication date: 12 October 2017

Page Views: 170

Unique Page Views: 75

Average Time spent on the blog: 29 Seconds

 

 

 

We believe that each and every one of our informative blog posts making the above list and being accidentally left out, have allowed you to walk with an insurmountable amount of knowledge, filling out the gaps and providing answers to the questions you may have been too shy to ask.

May the forces be with you.

About Andile Shange

I'm a Software Developer at Leads 2 Business since 02 June 2014.

L2B Blog: Exploring New Ideas in the Role of the Project Manager

Exploring New Ideas in the Role of the Project Manager

If you are involved in the construction industry you have most likely come into contact with a Project Manager (hereafter referred to as a PM) or heard of one mentioned in the process of developments and particularly larger developments.

Certainly in Leads 2 Business’ Projects Department PM’s are one of the most common professionals we deal with. The reason for this, is their role within construction projects.

So, what does a PM actually do? It would seem rather obvious right, they manage the project? But nothing is ever as simple as it seems. PM’s actually do a whole host of duties.

Some of which include: planning, organising, controlling, communicating, executing, reports, programs, advice, analysis, resource control, health and safety, budgets, administration and handover.

All of these duties are done ensure that the project runs successfully thus lowering the risks while meeting all of the objectives timeously to ensure completion which effects the profitability of the project.

So, when do new ideas come into the picture? What new ideas would PM’s have to explore in todays construction industry?

To be honest, I was at a loss when pondering this question, after all I’m not a PM and it’s not a role one easily assumes to answer. So I emailed a few PM’s to get some feedback on ideas that they might want to put out there… but still no luck, probably snowed under with work given our economic environment. I scoured the Internet and there didn’t seem to be any publications or news out there for new ideas when it comes to PM’s until I happened on some LinkedIn Posts. Phew!

This may not be a new idea but how about technology, either using existing tech and / or molding it to PM’s requirements, partnering with IT and creating PM specific tech or even sharing your tech tricks with other PM’s? For example: Ahmed H. Emam, PMP writes “Detect and Fix Dangling Activities in Time Schedule using Excel Macro.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/detect-fix-dangling-activities-time-schedule-using-excel-pmp

Using tech could make PM’s jobs easier but some seem to think that PM’s might be replaced in the future by Tech/Bots. As Oliver Yarbrough, M.S., PMP illustrates in “Can a Robot Do Your Job? Here’s “How Project Managers Can Survive a Takeover.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/can-robot-do-your-job-heres-how-project-managers-oliver

There are some things that tech, no matter how advanced it gets, cannot replace. Oliver suggests to focus on the following skills in order to stand out: “Leadership, Diplomacy, Negotiating, Public Speaking, Emotional Intelligence, Communication (verbal and nonverbal)” and instead of fighting tech, work with it to enhance your service delivery.

Another thought also came to mind: what is one of the key aspects that I think of when I think of a PM? It would have to be communication. So, what new idea would make communication more effective? What about a platform where all the schedules, notes, admin, planning and analysis can be seen by all the professionals involved in a specific project? Where each person can make notes or get alerts thus avoiding confusion, emails back and forth, potential loss of material, and saving time, something like Google Sheets for PM’s? Does this already exist? It’s possible… calling all PM’s out there, let us know! Perhaps I need to patent this idea.

After all, we all know that communication is key whether you are a PM or not. Another useful tool to facilitate communication and interaction between professionals and all other contacts which fall within the scope of projects is to use L2B (Leads 2 Business). If you are looking to get involved in the different aspects of construction, information is our business. We encourage communication, new ideas and growth in order to build and establish business.

If any of the above sparks your interest leave a Comment below or or Contact me on SashaA@L2B.co.za

Source:

http://profica.com/Project-Management

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/detect-fix-dangling-activities-time-schedule-using-excel-pmp?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_search_srp_content%3B6Q7NbKiCNqOpFrfh9U5jyg%3D%3D

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/can-robot-do-your-job-heres-how-project-managers-oliver?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_search_srp_content%3Brgd4BBE3JHWCHOXLUg24dg%3D%3D

 

 

About Sasha Anderson

I enjoy making new professional acquaintances and corresponding with existing clients. Reach out if you want to talk, L2B, social media, construction, technology, shoes, dachshunds, popular culture or travel.

L2B Blog: 10 (or 11) tips for recruiting great Project Managers

10 (or 11) tips for recruiting great Project Managers

There are many steps that need to be taken when a new position at your firm has opened.

  1. Detailed job description needs to be indicated
  2. Advertising of the position
  3. Finally Interviewing the candidates….. this is what my blog is going to focus on.

Interviewing many individuals for a new position can be hectic and some may find this stressful. It’s not only the questions you have to put together for the interview, but also other aspects you would need to consider before hiring any particular person.

There are questions you would need to ask the interviewee and questions you would need to ask (and answer) yourself!

Interviewing people is not something that I do personally. I myself am an employee of Leads 2 Business, hiring or firing is not part of what I do and I can’t imagine that this is easy. This is the responsibility of our HR manager, Director and ultimately the CEO’s decision – scary I know… but they know what they are looking for in a person.

 

Possible questions you as an interviewer would need to ask (and answer) yourself could be:

  1. Do I like this person? Well that’s rather rude! First impressions do however count though and judging is something we as humans do and rightfully so.
  2. Would they “fit in” and get along with the other staff or team? Can they delegate? Work as a team? And more importantly, do they love dogs?? – how else are we meant to have conversations about things we have in common?
  3. Are they good at decision making – would they make the right choice for your company and for the success of the project?
  4. Can you trust them? (who knows? we have only just met them. Susan could be a wonderful candidate or a horrible one).

Source

 

Your answers are all based on how you perceive the person, the ‘feel’ you get from them and it’s very difficult as you can only discover so much about a person during this short interview. It’s like judging, using those short 30 minutes you have with them, this is quite daunting as the person being interviewed might know this.

There are many questions you can ask in an interview, but the “right ones” can help shed the light on the persons behaviour and beliefs and answer some of the questions above that we set out for ourselves.

There are tons of books with standard or possible interview questions and answers. People buy these, or read them online and the whole interview then feels rehearsed as they have memorised the answers.

This is quite annoying and not to mention “cheating” in a way LOL.. because they are telling you what you want to hear and acing the interview and who knows what they are really like behind those false statements that they have spent hours in front of the mirror rehearsing? Is that what Susan really believes or is she just saying what the book suggested? Maybe she hates dogs.. Gasp…shock and horror!! We will never know. But there is a glimmer of hope because below are a few questions directed at Project Manager interviews that are more personal and a bit more direct so that we can find out if this is the correct person for the job, based on their own experiences.

 

10 Questions when interviewing for a Project Manager position:

 

1. Time Management – As a project manager, what do you spend most of your time doing each day?

Acceptable answers would depend on the work environment and the position. If they see themselves spending time with clients and out on the road then this is wonderful if you are looking for someone who does that. A project manager visits clients most days of the week.

If they see themselves as stuck in front of a computer all day – great! If this is the type of PM you are looking for.

Any answer could be suitable and it’s a good idea to ask what they do with their time?

But there are several wrong answers – “Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp and LinkedIn” I believe would not be the best answer and not a good idea to mention. Nobody wants to hear that you are on social media all day uploading selfies at your new desk with an #AwesomeCupOfCoffee (which I might add that we are lucky enough to enjoy at our offices) The coffee – not the selfies:)

 

Source

 

2. Flexibility – What type of Projects do you not like?

Project managers work on a lot of projects and most of these projects are allocated to them, not chosen by them, so they could be stuck with a project that they are not really into.

A bad answer here would be if they state outright that they “do not work on Road Projects”, that’s a bold and specific statement. How about trying, “I prefer retail and residential projects and not so much the road and civil projects. But I won’t say no to these. “Well done!! – 10 points – That my friend, was a wonderful answer, you’ve shown what you like and don’t like and your flexibility. Gold Star!!

Source

 

3. Rating – Rate yourself as a project manager and your job / career from 1- 10?

Oooh now this could be interesting. This should be able to show you how the person perceives themselves and their career. How valuable they feel and if this is their career choice or if they might be using it as a stepping stone until they find “something better.” Do they enjoy being a project manager and is this their career that they have worked towards and are happy with?

Source

Once they have chosen a rating, ask them why? Why did Susan choose 2 out of 10? Go ahead.. Ask her…
“Because I’m currently studying to be an art teacher and I’ve decided that being a project manager is not what I want to do”. And then you might think to yourself (and not say out loud) with a straight face while looking at her, “Well then what are you doing here Susan? Honestly…”. Next question…

 

4. Role – What is the most important role you have as a Project Manager?

They should be able to list the duties of a project manager and tell you what they see as a priority. This will give you an indication of what they prioritise and if they will fit in with the team / staff.

Susan – “Well I’ll be like the boss, so it’s just sitting around telling the team what to do really!” Is it Susan? Really? I don’t think so. Yes, you delegate as a project manager and assist the team and work as a team, but you don’t yell at John to go get the equipment and then kick your feet up on a stool and browse Facebook while you wait. No. Next…

Source

5. Delegating – Have there been any incidences where you did not delegate? What was the result / what happened?

This gives the person a chance to be honest and tell you about an incident where things did not go according to plan. How they were able to rectify the problem or solve the issue at hand.

Was this a once off occurrence or did happen again? Did they learn from their mistake and learn how to prevent this from happening in future projects? Delegation is a key duty as I mentioned in my last “Did You Know – Project manager duties” that was published a few days ago and yes, I agree, it does seem like I write a lot 😉

You want to hire a project manager that can handle work overload and knows how to delegate!

“If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. This is why I do everything myself and never delegate” – This would be another incorrect answer and clearly not someone we are looking for.

 

6. Job Criteria – What is this person looking for in a job? (is it the money, work experience or lifetime career, travelling abroad which is much needed time away from the kids??) – kidding.

We ask this to see what a person is looking for in a job, their reasoning for applying for particular jobs. Are they applying for this position to further their project management career? Is it the big brand or name of the company that attracted them? Is it the money?

Hopefully, the person would say that they have always wanted to work for the company (with stars in their eyes) and that they could learn a lot from the company as well as teach or give a lot back

If they say “I’m in it for the money”– this could be seen as bad and maybe even good. Some people are money hungry and that may not be bad because they may be willing to work harder for more money – but this isn’t always true. They might also jump from job to job depending what the salary is.

I just think it would be better to have someone that is absolutely super keen to work for your company and knows a lot about it.

Source

 

7. Problem solving techniques – do they have any? What are they?

Here they get a chance to brag about their awesome skills as a project manager or lack thereof.. Or maybe they carry on and on about how awesome they are, and how big their ego is and how they can do anything by themselves because they are Superman and say “Don’t worry I got this” – a lot.That’s awesome but we are not looking for the son of Krypton Susan!!

Source

 

8. Authority and Respect – How do you work with others more senior than you such as managers?

“I don’t bother them because I know what I’m doing and don’t need advice.”Wrong again Susan. You need to keep them up to date with the project and how its progressing. If the time line is being met and everything is running smoothly and still on track to be a successful project.

You need to be able to work well with managers and people more senior than you. You need to be able to have build and maintain relationships – it’s one of the job requirements.

Source

 

9. Ethics – Have you ever had to make an ethical decision on one of your projects?

Are they aware of the legalities, codes and ethics as a project manager?

“I awarded a contract to my mate once and we split the profit” is not something you want to hear and definitely NOT legal. And NO… You cannot now become buddies with Susan hoping that you can award projects and split the money 3 ways. Just don’t.

Source

 

10. Impact / improvement – have you improved the project management processes at your current job and if so – how? Ask them to elaborate on their answer.

This will show you if the person has had the guts to approach management with their innovative ideas and if they’ve come up with suggestions for improvements. Someone with ideas and who isn’t afraid to put them forward.

Source

 

and the BONUS question is…. wait for it…

11. Doughnuts – will you be providing these??

 

HIRED!!

Source

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Michelle Hosford

I work full time, study part time and now am the proud owner of the cutest puppy. Sleep...? What is that?

At which point in the Project Life Cycle can your business find Value?

At which point in the Project Life Cycle can your business find Value?

84-Blog-Project-Lifecycle-Business-Value

 

At which point in the Project Life Cycle can your business find Value?

 

To answer the above lets break it down.

 

  1. What is the Project Life Cycle?

One of the services we offer at Leads 2 Business is Projects and the various phases within these Projects are known as the Project Life Cycle. The Stages in a Project Life Cycle are Conceptual, Procedural, Design, Tender, Awarded & Underway, Complete and Postponed.

To learn more about each Life Cycle you can check out How Projects Work

 

  1. What is Value?

According to the Business Dictionary value is described as, “The extent to which a good or service is perceived by its customer to meet his or her needs or wants, measured by customer’s willingness to pay for it. It commonly depends more on the customer’s perception of the worth of the product than on its intrinsic value.”

 

In short the answer to the question, “At which point in the Project life cycle can your business find value?” is simple: you can find value in every point in the Project Life, depending on what your business does.

 

You may be asking, “How?”

 

Here are a few examples:

Professionals like Architects, Engineers and Quantity Surveyors can contact the Client/Developer directly at the Conceptual/Procedural stage to be appointed as part of the Professional team.

Project Managers can contact the Client/Developer directly at Conceptual/Procedural/Design Stage to get involved. They can also contact other Professionals appointed on a Project to market and build relationships.

Subcontractors like plumbers, electricians and painters can contact Companies at Tender/Awarded Stage to provide quotes.

Vendors, Suppliers, Manufacturers and Fabricators can contact the Architect/QS during Design Stage if they have a product that can be specified on the BoQ and supplied later.

Property Managers can contact the Client at Conceptual Stage and start building a relationship while the project is still being developed in order to be appointed once Complete. They can also contact the anchor tenant at Completed Stage to get involved.

IT, Security and Cleaning Services can get involved at Tender/Awarded Stage to provide quotes and offer subcontracting services to Contractors that may be awarded the Project.

Landscapers can contact the Landscape Architect or Architect during Design Stage or contact the Client directly at Underway Stage to offer their services. They can also look at completed projects and offer services in the future as a marketing tool.

All of the above can benefit from the Postponed Stage so they are aware when the Project is going ahead in order to manage their work flow efficiently.

Finding Value in the Project Life Cycle couldn’t be easier with Leads 2 Business.

Want to know more about Projects or any of the other Services we offer? Contact me on SashaA@L2B.co.za

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About Sasha Anderson

I enjoy making new professional acquaintances and corresponding with existing clients. Reach out if you want to talk, L2B, social media, construction, technology, shoes, dachshunds, popular culture or travel.