Zenbo Life

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  • The biggest mistake of (almost) every entrepreneur

    Every business owner must keep an eye on all areas of his business. Since the financial indicators to sales, production and inventory figures. The problem is that this general view can often make the manager unaware of the true details of his finances. In my opinion, one of the biggest mistakes most business owners make is a cursory look at their finances. If you believe that knowing your income, expenses, and whether you make a profit or a loss is enough, think again. Nowadays it is important to know these 4 indicators in order to make convincing and informed decisions:

    1. Financial margin - contribution margin

    This is perhaps the most important financial indicator because it will tell the business owner how much of the proceeds from sales after deduction of direct costs carry fixed costs and ultimately make a profit. The process is very simple if your contribution margin is negative; it means that something is wrong; after all, it is impossible to pay the fixed costs with a primary loss. If your contribution margin is positive, you will need other indicators (such as the break-even point) to understand if this margin is sufficient or not.

  • Importance of Communication

    Continuing to develop the theme of the previous entry, on Communication and project management. Communication has become indispensable to achieve success in projects and the organization of companies. It is, therefore, necessary and extremely important to reflect and plan on how is the best way to communicate in the field of project management and organization of the company. Communicate, is an important part of our day to day and we should pay the attention it deserves. A project manager invests most of his time communicating with all stakeholders or stakeholders of the project:

    • The members of the work team.
    • The clients of the project.
    • The users.
    • Providers.
    • The managers of the organization to which it belongs.
    • The co-workers. This communication is made with different purposes:
    • Negotiating
    • Reporting the status of the project.
    • Assigning work to the team.
    • Obtaining information on the execution of the project.

    Communication in project management

    Different dimensions of communication in project management:

  • In Project Management, communication management is one of the critical factors of any project.

    According to the PMBOK® guide, communication management includes all the processes necessary to ensure the generation, collection, distribution, storage and last disposal of project information, in the appropriate form and time.

    In short, the person in charge of the project has to ensure that all the interlocutors of his project or stakeholders own or have access, at the right time, to all the required information using the most appropriate and effective means.

    This is extremely relevant because poor management of communication and information in any project can increase the time that must be spent to communicate, distribute, share and access information, and may even produce the total failure of the project.

    In order for the person responsible for the project to have the necessary information at all times, he or she must interact with the members of the work team, clients, suppliers, and other interested parties. The closer the project manager is to all stakeholders, the better the information obtained and the better the degree of communication. The person in charge of the project must have a marked social facet with all those Stakeholders of the project. This social facet is not only face-to-face; but it is also necessary to master all kinds of tools that facilitate communication with multidisciplinary teams as multi-localized.

  • Currently, most of the strategic initiatives of organizations are materialized through projects. According to the statistics published by the PMI at PMI’s Press of the Profession in March 2013, there is still a high percentage of projects that do not reach their objectives or that are canceled during execution. This generates that the organizations lose money and their motivation in the implementation of the same ones.

    I know that there are no magic recipes, but during my time as a project manager, and multiple talks with my colleagues, I have identified some practices that can reduce the gap of failed projects or that do not meet their objectives.

    Below I share what I have called the 6tips to succeed in projects:

    1. Associate it to a strategic objective

    Every project must seek a benefit for the organization, so it is recommended that they are aligned to a strategic objective, clearly defined and quantified, that allows measuring their results.

    2. Assign a “Project Manager”

    Project Management is a profession, that is to say, that the person who executes the role must have specific and adequate training, have a series of complementary competencies and skills that support the success of a project.

  • Defining the Work Team

    The Work Team is a small group of people with complementary abilities that interact directly, committed to a common purpose, work objective, and planning and with shared mutual responsibility.

    Characteristics of the Work Team:

    • They are formed by different people with different experiences, ages, attitudes, etc. For what they need to know.
    • Interaction between the different members, relate and communicate.
    • They pursue the same purpose or objective.
    • There is a feeling of belonging to the team.
    • With rules established by all.
    • Different roles: each person represents a role and a role in the team.

    Transformation of the group to Work Team

    A team is a group of people who share a name, a mission, a history, a set of goals or objectives and common expectations. To convert a group into a team, it is important to choose a process in which phases related to the following concepts are explored and elaborated:

  • If your work routine involves endless to-do lists, if during your day you jump from branch to branch trying to do a little of each thing to meet all your demands, if you have the feeling that everything important was to yesterday, then maybe it’s time to stop to gauge how you’re working.

    The attempt to do several things at the same time (“multitasking” in the English term, which does not have a version like this in Portuguese) is very seductive. The notion that we will be able to do more during the day is extremely seductive, and we will do anything to make us believe we will gain a little bit more from this scarce commodity. However, today it is known that the idea that you can do several things at once is a myth.

  • The methodology that Scrum proposes for the management of business projects is based on partial deliveries prioritized according to the benefit that it is going to report to the client or the company.

    For organizations, project management is at the same time one of the most complex and important processes for the unity of your business. It is not just about dedicating more economic resources but to acquire the necessary knowledge, make a correct optimization of the time spent and have a management and coordination of our work teams. Without a good planning of time or tasks, the management of tasks ends up consuming too many resources, and what is even worse, wasting our time and the rest of the people that make up our team, causing even lack of motivation and involvement in the workforce of work.

  • When it comes to project management , you can do it in the way that is most comfortable for you. However, today we are going to talk about Kanban, a method that will help you simplify and improve processes.

    The Kanban method is a way of working to manage projects, which is characterized by being simple to use, and updatable. It also serves to lead the development of work, in an effective and productive way.

    One of the challenges we face the most during the development of a project is the coordination of the teams and try to complete all the proposed tasks. However, most times we have problems with its management. This is where the Kanban method has its use. It does not focus so much on the speed at which tasks are performed, but rather the quality of these is more important.

    Kanban comes from Japanese, which means “visual board,” and this methodology improves the workflow at a good pace, taking into account the time and the number of products needed in each stage. It appeared in Japan for the first time, invented by the Toyota company, with the philosophy of producing “What is needed, when it is needed, and how much is needed.”

    Knowing Kanban

    The process is quite simple. It consists of several columns placed on a task board, in which, each particular state of the project is placed in a column. That is, there must be the same number of tasks, as columns. This helps us to know at what stage our project is.

  • The roles in a project are crucial; they must be clearly defined and may vary depending on the work we have planned to do.

    Everything depends on the structure you have planned, which has to adapt to the complexity and type of project you are working on. To adapt it, the person responsible for it must be ordered. In addition, the structure must match the policies of the company and the particular conditions of the project, such as the number of workers available, time, or the complexity of it.

    In project management, it is important to know how to identify the roles, authority, and responsibilities of each person. It is also necessary that the duties and functions of each employee, are well informed, clear and well defined from the beginning of the project if we want it to come out correctly. It is advisable to check the structure periodically, to check that everything works as it should.

    The structure of a project is usually in the form of a hierarchy since there is always a leader who is in charge of directing. However, there is a great variety of roles that have great importance.

  • Before starting with project management, it is essential to previously establish the objectives we want to achieve and analyze the costs derived from this strategy.

    Objectives and challenges of project management

    During the management of a project, it is necessary to have some objectives, and normal to find some challenges during the process. That’s why it’s important to know what they are, so you avoid making several mistakes when it’s time to organize your project.

    Objectives: It is important that the objectives of project management are coherent and aligned with the interests of the organization. It is also important that they are measurable, in quality, quantity, time and cost. The main objectives of the company are for optimal project management :

    • Provide an address
    • Realize the plans that have been organized
    • Focus on the results
    • Find ways to motivate staff
    • Prioritize and organize
    • Inform about the purpose of the project
    • Recognize the success of the project

    It is important that you bear in mind also that the objectives when making a project must be achievable, consistent, and easy to understand; otherwise, the project management would be too complicated.

    However, it is inevitable that during project management you will encounter challenges, which you have to know well to face them. These can be diverse, but the most common are usually: