Why do so many customers of project management software show disdain for the discipline itself? This long-time practitioner of project management is concerned by the perception that project management is only relevant for large-scale initiatives.
The role of product manager is one that is poorly understood, with different interpretations among organizations. But whether you’re working for a small software company or a big consumer electronics manufacturer, these ten steps can transform product management from being a reactive tactical process to a strategic asset.
Great news for PMI chapters desiring to better serve military personnel and veterans! In July of 2016, local Project Management Institute (PMI) chapters are receiving materials to assist military service members and veterans in their personal transition to commercial project management.
Engaging the right stakeholders at the right time during requirements gathering is the best way to ensure all perspectives are considered and the best solution is built. This article features a project professional discussing how project management principles were used to help build an apartment complex for the visually impaired. It details the full collaboration between the end users and other stakeholders. It then overviews how user needs were prioritized starting with addressing a basic set of requirements. The article also explores the challenges presented when the residents required the same features they were accustomed to and how these challenges were resolved.
How do you promote your project management brand in the marketplace? This article provides a few creative approaches to establishing your PM brand and reputation using a variety of social media approaches.
Maximizing your own personal effectiveness doesn’t happen by accident. Regardless of the level of formality, detail and rigidity, every structured PM approach has some degree of process infrastructure to support it. But those approaches focus on the organizational perspective. Here, we build on that concept and look at things from the perspective of an individual project manager–personal processes and how you can use them to improve your performance.
If the primary reasons for portfolio management start with resource constraints, you’re probably wondering how we got to strategic alignment. And that, dear reader, would be an excellent question…
What happens when you have little historical data to draw upon when managing a project? PMs will be flying blind with no historical perspective to guide them. Building a buffer into the schedule, the resource commitment and the budget may be the smart move.
A “shock wave” may be defined as “a major issue that occurs close to a milestone while everything seems to be quiet.” This article provides practical suggestions for combining the science of project management, especially the “verification and control” step for mitigating risk, with the art of project management, leadership skills, in order to better manage shock waves and make the right decisions throughout the project life cycle.
Effective stakeholder management requires us to take the emotion out of the issue and put personal feelings aside to be able to manage the project and issues within the larger context. Just look at the ducks for proof…
The gemstone model illustrates how managing a project does not follow a linear sequence. With the gemstone model, it is possible to start with almost any edge (knowledge area process) and examine how that particular process affects any other. The role of the project manager is to map out the various edges of the project’s gemstone and ensure they are integrated.
For the project manager, the multiple layers of organizational quality management can create challenges. They face a steep uphill battle managing project quality in organizations lacking quality assurance practices. Here’s some help.
Risk management is one of the most critical functions that every PM and every business leader must focus on. This article will focus on some common mistakes to avoid when managing project/organizational risks.
Our webinar North America Congress Highlights – Key Take-Aways and Lessons Learned in Improving Talent Management in Project, Program and Portfolio Management was so successful, the presenters ran out of time to answer all of the questions. Here, Lawrence Suda continues the conversation.
As a new mid-level manager, you may find yourself with new leadership conflicts. In this article, the author discusses two people management challenges faced by mid-level managers and suggests techniques to meet those challenges.
In the real world, scope changes can be expected during the life cycles of most projects. Scope changes implemented once work has begun will have a greater effect on the project schedule and cost than changes implemented during the project initiation or planning phase; therefore, it is imperative that the project scope be well defined before the project work begins. The purpose of this paper is to help the reader better define project scope, give examples of some of the difficulties of managing project scope and the consequences and recommendations for dealing with those difficulties.
Hollywood, here we come! Who said project management wasn’t glamorous? The successes of the main characters in The Hunger Games can aid project managers in their own project games. May the odds be ever in your favor…
Program management bridges the gap between corporate strategy and projects. But how does it differ from project management? Simply stated, are program managers really just senior project managers? Or is it something more?
Even when everything seems to be going well, things may not be as rosy as you think. All the facts might point to success, but perceptions can often trump that reality. Here’s some practical advice on aligning how things are and how they appear.
Project management in practice struggles to evolve, and we consistently fail to take the actions we know we should. Human inertia is too strong an influence to ignore if we want the future of PM to be that much different than it is today. If it were to be different, however, where might it go? There are two overall directions that appear to be emerging, and each has advocates and detractors. Whether (or indeed if) one attains dominance will depend upon the intersection of many forces.
We’ve already looked at the opportunities agile methods offer for proactive risk management and examined the benefits of engaging the whole team in risk management through collaborative games. As our agile risk management series continues, we walk through those games and explains how to engage a team in the first three of the six risk management steps.
Everything this writer knows about managing resources he learned from Santa Claus. What can the big guy teach us about WFM? Warm up some cocoa, start the fire and turn on some carols as we learn some valuable holiday PM lessons.
The project management profession is growing. Are you ready? PMI members can check out the PMI Project Management Job Board, a niche job site with hundreds of open positions, growing each day. Search by job title, keyword, location and more. Apply to available jobs that you feel match your skill set and set up job alerts to receive an email when new positions are posted!
This paper explores the concept of green project management (GPM) and how project managers can tackle this emerging concern. It also describes an approach to GPM using processes discussed in the PMBOK® Guide as well as tools and techniques defined within ISO standard 14000. The findings will show that by integrating the workflows and data exchange points of these two frameworks, a project manager can greatly expand his or her ability to execute GPM responsibly and effectively.
This article presents a variant on the use of schedule performance index (SPI) and schedule variance (SV) to manage schedule performance and includes a description, rationale, and explanation on how to apply the technique. An actual project, as well as examples, are used to illustrate the value and application of the technique. A basic understanding of earned value management (EVM) is required to understanding the article, whereas actual practice using earned value management, schedule performance index, and schedule variance is recommended.
The importance of innovation and its potential to deliver game-changing benefits are being realized by more and more organizations. However, most companies are struggling with establishing a systematic approach to innovation. This white paper indicates that companies need to take a more formal, rigorous approach to encouraging and managing innovation. This solution for innovation takes into account the people, processes, and technology aspects, and the related factors.
People’s interests, attitudes and authorities change constantly, and your project is only part of the many things influencing these changes. As a project manager, you need to continually understand your stakeholders, assess the landscape–and use that knowledge to guide the planning and management of your project.
Most project management office (PMO) managers would probably agree that the success of a PMO launch depends heavily on its strategy behind selecting a suitable project management information system (PMIS). Even though the PMIS is merely one, although important, ingredient of the overall PMO foundation, along with process, talent development, project methodology, and strategic mission, it is vital to get it right from the beginning. What strategy can a company adopt when it decides to start a PMO and launch a PMIS?
Organizations consistently fail to recognize the importance of real program management, and they suffer as a result. A program is not just a tool to group projects, and it’s being isolated with no real understanding among organizations on how to generate value from it as a discipline in its own right.
Risk management is a challenge for construction professionals due to the shortage of qualified manpower, limited resourceful contracting agencies (technical and commercial), and the scarcity of resources. This article aims to explain risk management principles, the implementation of a risk management plan, and strategies to overcome threats and turn around the perception of risks from negative to positive opportunities.
While one energy company pursues the traditional benchmarking sessions with companies within the industry it serves, it also looks to companies outside of the business to gain insight on different approaches to help it move forward. At PMI’s PMO Symposium this year in Phoenix, one practitioner got to share their story–and hear how many other PMOs and portfolios have also found success in their environments.
While our writer is inspired by a well-known vision of what project management should be, he is sometimes a little unsure as to what, exactly, the value of project management is. And is it really as valued by others as he feels it to be? Do they see the value that he sees in it? Or is it perhaps less consequential–and therefore less valuable–than he thinks it is?
It all started with an ad in a newspaper, and quickly grew from there. Read how one practitioner realized his dream to become a project manager through an ambitiously planned professional path.
Need help steering a path between mountains and molehills? Much has been written about how to implement highly structured project management. However, little guidance exists regarding how to proceed when conditions are less demanding but not entirely ad hoc. Until now.
In this article, with the help of theory, literature and real life examples, the authors try to explain innovation in construction projects while differentiating the same from invention. The article also discusses two more vital “I” words: improvisation and improvement.
If you want to ensure that your organization can differentiate itself based on quality, you need to ensure that everyone is focused on achieving that goal. Quality goes far beyond the individual project, and this article looks at some of the steps needed to ensure that you are capable of delivering quality projects on a consistent basis.
The rumblings continue from our last installment in this series, in which our author pondered over the definition of project management. That new definition is yet to come. In the meantime, let’s continue to look at the challenge of defining what project management is, and how someone knows that they are doing it. Can it even be defined?
What are the key attributes that give some leaders the edge compared with other, more ordinary leaders? This article discusses the three characteristics of highly effective project managers’ leadership skill sets and explains how those characteristics fit into the project management process.
Project management is an integral component when launching a digital ad campaign. Here we explore the nuances of digital advertising as they relate to time, quality and communication processes.
Is the term “talent management” a management theory or practical reality? This two-part series takes a practical look at four primary elements from a common definition of talent management. Up first: recruit and retain.
This series of resource management articles will describe an overview of a resource management model, how to build one, maintain the model and support decision making for the project portfolio.
Many project managers are expanding the scope of their skills into program management, which offers career advancement and new opportunities in a competitive job market. Here, a certified PMP explains how he has benefited from a U.K.-based program management credential, and why he chose it instead of the PgMP certification offered by PMI.
Project management is heading for a fork in the road–you need to approach it with your eyes open and be prepared for change. Here we look at how different “arms” of project management are going to develop as distinct disciplines–and how we can make sure that we have the skills necessary to end up on the side that we want.
Thinking about how to use social media? Your project team members are already there. Social media has morphed from something that you play with to something businesses use for marketing, advertising and reputation management–or for encouraging networking, the exchange of ideas and collaboration within their organizations.
How do we ensure that we aren’t running around reprimanding team members and shouting “No!” to everything that comes out of the customer’s mouth? Here are three steps to set scope management in motion and ensure that it’s a positive for the project.
In industry segments where project management is not considered a core business, such as manufacturing, it can be more challenging to propagate project management best practices, even though at the individual level employees recognize that improvements should be made. It is even more difficult to promote the idea of a structured approach via a project management office. Project management maturity is typically not even at the standardization level in those companies: some processes exist but are not considered an enterprise standard.
In project work, widely accepted fallacies continue to squeeze out effective practice, often by executive edict. Above all, the favored “operations management” approach trivializes the complexity and uncertainty of most projects, creating self-inflicted problems that seriously undermine performance.
PlanView has found a way to make IT successful throughout organizations, not just in IT departments. It starts with managing resources at the heart of the organization — and how better to do that, than through PSA.
Resource management is the top business challenge for most senior executives. Having a hierarchical approach to resource management enables any organization to share unified information across the enterprise so that they can make smarter business decisions across all levels.
Mark H. McCormack started his company with $500 and grew it into the global International Management Group. Here are Mark’s 5 “Timeless Management Points” and how they relate to being a project manager today.
Quality management, a well-established practice during the engineering and procurement phases of EPCM projects, has increasingly been adopted by construction companies as an initiative to solve quality problems and better meet the needs of final customers. The author explains the factors that affect the quality process, responsibilities of the chief participants and benefits to be realized.
A major challenge in project management is to become truly successful by practicing integrity. This article focuses on three key factors that test the integrity of organizations and practitioners—business case for the projects, organization structure and culture, and implications of laws and regulations—to highlight the importance of the roles of people and the system for practicing integrity. The author concludes by proposing useful ways to strengthen project management practices and comply with integrity.
It’s an odd thing to do, choosing a career in project management. If we’re really honest, it’s a haphazard wander through reality, figuring out how to best keep moving forward and learning the skills that we need to keep our heads above water. But it doesn’t have to be.
An important topic not often talked about in the project management community is how to deliver solutions your customers actually want. But, what if your customers are not actually your customers? This paper describes a model for IT governance in a franchise organization. The outputs of the process outlined in this document are key inputs into the Initiating Process Group as described in the PMBOK® Guide.
This is the second in a series of articles tackling advanced project management challenges. Together, we will explore why soft-skills evaluation falls flat in most organizations—and how we can use simple tools to change the haphazard management practices, instead moving toward leadership practices.
This webinar continues a series by Dr. Vijay Kanabar, PMP, for beginning practitioners who seek to learn more about the PMBOK® Guide Knowledge Areas. We’ll cover project risk management and review the five elements of the project risk management plan
While the planned methods for dealing with the deadly bird flu virus will undoubtedly help slow the onset of a pandemic, many of them are missing a key element required for any pandemic management strategy: information. Here are some thoughts on stopping a pandemic through information management.
Ask most project mangers whether they use configuration management, or even what it is, and you’ll most likely get a blank stare in return. How does CM actually contribute to change control? What value does CM add that would make a project manager want to use it? Should CM be used for all sizes and types of projects?
The smart project manager will be aware of agile development approaches–and be prepared to embrace them and adjust their PM approach accordingly. So let’s try and bring some sanity to chickens and pigs…
Here’s a different look at project management–through the lens of running your own business franchise. If you’ve had your eye on the option of starting a business by franchising, you’ll want to review the following insightful project management issues that will present many opportunities–but not without challenges!
Since work completed from tasks not on the critical path does not affect the completion date of a project, it is important to differentiate tasks that are “critical” from those that are not in order to better monitor and control them. The project performance metric, critical path task index (CPTI), offers a more holistic view in terms of schedule performance for tasks directly related to schedule completion.
Results from a survey offer business analysts, project managers, developers and other project stakeholders information to help transform the way they produce and manage software requirements.
The terms “project management” and “change management” are often used interchangeably. But at best, the core functions and skills merely serve to complement one another. Failing to recognize the differences (and when one and not the other is needed) is a risk—not only for a project, but also for the organization.
The current crop of up-and-comers forced to contend with the most brutal economic environment in recent history.
But many young project managers have geared up to face this brand-new world. In a chaotic climate full of new demands, they’re arming themselves with an upgraded skill set, willing to tackle an array of multifaceted roles.
Change is inevitable, and the only thing that is certain is change. While we can all agree to this, it is imperative that all project managers understand the impact of scope changes to projects that are in the pipeline or the execution phase.
More and more large organizations are adopting project management these days. So, are small and medium businesses being left behind? Is project management simply not relevant to these organizations? The author has worked predominantly for small- and medium-sized organizations throughout her career, and most of the projects she has managed have been rather small. From her experience, she says that smaller organizations can certainly benefit from project management.