Sometimes, the most important work is done well before a project even begins–or even before you are planning for the project. The pre-planning stage is a great time for the project to start on the right foot, so keep these tips in mind.
As project managers, we are biologically programmed to groan whenever the thought of planning a new project comes up. Which begs the question: Is it possible to make planning a pleasurable experience? (Baby steps, dear readers…baby steps!)
This article will explore how to design an effective and agile planning process that would allow internal groups to adapt and plan for new business priorities, minimize employee burnout and increase the opportunity to maximize the percentage of planned versus implemented features.
Many IT project teams do a good job of identifying project risks and applying associated contingency reserve factors to the project plan. Unfortunately, project teams sometimes overlook the unique challenges that distinguish many applications and affect all projects undertaken in a specific application domain.
In planning your projects, team members should provide much of the input and begin to define and understand their roles and responsibilities. Then, during execution, they can better focus on developing the end product as they work together, mutally accountable, with common purpose and clear performance goals.
The PMO must have an easy time of annual planning, right? It’s a service function that provides resources based on the overall project portfolio, and the organization determines which projects to approve. Based on those decisions, the PMO knows how it needs to adjust its resource model. But life’s not quite that simple…
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
Project portfolios present a challenge to project managers and PMOs. Established to meet an overall strategic mission with greater efficiency, instead, they often lead to confusion, with conflicting priorities, resource needs and timelines. Navigating this landscape before it turns to chaos requires foresight, ongoing evaluation and careful planning.
Across many construction industry segments–and in many parts of the world–labor productivity remains a serious issue, and one of the biggest challenges of the execution phase. Can workface planning help?
On an agile project, the workload is determined at the beginning of each iteration. The Product Owner evaluates and prioritizes the work that needs to be done, while the team determines the amount of work they can complete. The iteration planning meeting sets the stage and should be run as a collaborative dialogue.
Governance is concerned with the best use of an organizations’ resources. Thus, effective IT planning processes are essential. Organizations must gain insight into (and ultimately retain control over) the demands being made on IT.
Do project managers really need to plan for project activities? Is it really worth the effort? What do we lose if we simply execute the project? When a PM practices agile and DevOps, do they still need to plan, or do these discourage it? Here, the author reinforces the power of planning.
People are never interchangeable parts. Yet most organizations engage in little contingency planning for the inevitable human downtime. In this article, the author gives an example of poor planning, raises a reminder to managers and gives some practical steps to mitigate the problem.
The reality is that projects are continuously failing due to the questionable process being executed to plan how to elicit, gather and document requirements. Many organizations are not spending time to plan for requirements development. Therefore, it begs the question: Is requirements planning a must?
In today’s dynamic and fast-paced project management environments, project planning rarely gets the attention it deserves from project managers. In this article, we will look at some of the tools and techniques you can use to prepare a project plan that covers all the bases.
The risk we take in swearing allegiance to a specific approach is that following the approach often becomes more important than achieving the goal of the project. Let’s explore the merits of using the best of different approaches—and how marrying them into a hybrid model impacts the way projects are planned and managed.
Selection of programs and projects in a portfolio (and their start times) should include an analysis of available resources. Otherwise, they can be set up for failure. Resource analysis at this level doesn’t have to be complex—if it is targeted to the most likely area of constraint.
Project estimation and planning in the absence of historical data are always challenging. This article is based on an actual fixed-price software development, called project “X,” for a large telecommunications company in Germany, which was executed between June 2009 and February 2010. The project involved a total of 25 people in two different geographic locations. Because the technology mix involved was new (J2EE/Swing), the project organization did not have any historical data to support the estimation process. The actual results were very close to the estimates, with 98% accuracy, and the project was delivered on time and within budget.
Managing requirements successfully does not happen by accident. The project manager in charge should have a solid plan for making sure the requirements provide a solid basis for the rest of the project.
Why would you not always do as much planning as possible before starting a project? Could it actually be harmful? It all depends on the quality of that input data–when the input data is good, we can reliably plan; when the input data is bad, then we need to get better data and keep evolving the plans.
What have you done lately to ensure that your employees are not jumping to every phone call from a recruiter? Don’t kid yourself about what your team members are looking for from their current company. No differently than you, they are looking for a plan! Not only is succession planning essential for possible candidates, but it is essential that it is reinforced and, more importantly, practiced in your very own departmenttoday. “If you build it, they will come is not” applies not only to perspective talent, but your current team as well. To that point, if you build their careers based on their accomplishments and professional goals, they will not only come to your department, but stay with the company.
This article focuses on the continuity management and disaster recovery component of ITIL, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library that was developed by the UK Government and is now part of the Joint Framework for IT Governance.
This webinar is for practitioners interested in the PMBOK® Guide Knowledge Area of project communications. It focuses on communication planning and explains why communication is so important in project management.
This article will outline a model and key benefits for documenting a capacity plan as part of the formal governance model for all IT-based projects. It will also illustrate how a project manager can ultimately run IT projects in parallel, as there is visibility into when IT resources will become available so they can subsequently start ramping up on the next release.
A team may work on multiple and overlapping projects. The estimated time and the manner to accomplish the projects may be planned and monitored as cumulative man-hours. Learn how different performance benchmarks may be utilized for man-hour capacity planning.
A lot can happen during planning and requirements. The business may be discovering what it wants for the first time, or stakeholders may see what the solution demands. Those are just a few of the creatures lurking in the dark…
It’s inevitable–organizations will change the way that planning cycles are executed. For many organizations, this is a natural extension of the commitments that they are already making–EPMOs, strong and executive supported portfolio management, and results-focused execution. For others, this is a major shift. Here we explore some of the ways that annual planning can be improved.
What are the new project planning priorities, considerations and critical issues? We’re going to look at a few of the top ones and get some insight from working PMs who have been part of the change process.
Release planning for a Scrum project is a tricky proposition, especially when crammed into a single up-front session that forces teams to make guess-timates. More informed estimates can be derived from shorter, incremental planning sessions facilitated by a field-tested visual technique. Here’s how it works.
What does project planning look like when it focuses only on deliverables, not tasks? The “Map Day” group planning technique sticks to deliverables and has been adapting to new project environment realities for 50 years now. The output, to be tracked, is the commitments between teams and team members.
For an agile project to progress smoothly, the backlog must be groomed and ready for each sprint. That work must be included in your project plan. This article gives you five points to consider when planning that work.
It seems as if the larger the agile program, the bigger the planning–but that kind of planning only works for some programs. What can you do? Instead of big discontinuous planning, consider small continuous planning.
If you’re new to agile, you might think that the only planning you need to do is for an iteration. But many projects require different levels of planning–especially larger projects and programs–and you may need to plan at various levels. Find out what they are by reading on…
Project management is all about planning. It’s as simple as that. Without a well-thought, properly developed plan, no project will ever succeed in meeting the desired scope, time and cost objectives. This is one of the most powerful concepts that today’s project management best practices can teach us.
We assume that we can plan a project from start to finish, and then simply carry out the plan. In the real world, it isn’t so simple, because the project environment often changes before we can complete the plan.
To enhance our dedicated project plan (and to make sure everything stays on track), it’s important to have a tracking sheet to arrange, maintain and follow up on any project milestone to guarantee success.
Project management planning is one of the critical components of managing projects and the first line of defense against project failures. The author presents a template for developing an effective project management approach by considering the project’s unique characteristics, identifying project “hot spots” and adopting methods (tools and techniques) suitable to the unique nature of the project at hand.
Left on the outside, many project managers have conjured up their own idea of how strategic planning meetings work: Executives huddle around a conference table, plotting projects that will be executed easily, under budget, ahead of schedule and aligned to the organization’s vision. In that scenario, project managers are the ones pointing out details and complexities that challenge that rose-colored view. This article discusses how adding project managers into strategy planning can bring a much-needed dose of reality.
In part three of our series, here is an overview of the key planning activities, sub-processes and deliverables involved in requirements planning, which should be driven by the business analyst as a member of the project team.
Two years and two months after President Bush stood in front of a ‘Mission Accomplished’ sign to declare an end to major combat operations in Iraq, the war’s planning continues to be fervently contested. And regardless of ideological sides, it is a debate that reveals both common misconceptions and inescapable truths about the nature of planning. Here’s a project management perspective.
This series focuses on preparing you to embark on your transformation journey and help you ask the right questions, understand and accept facts, define realistic goals and consider the right parameters. Most importantly, it helps you establish continuity and sustain such strategies in the long term. The first installment helps you ask the right questions and accept facts.
It’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to planning for the next year. What should PMOs focus on when building their business plan? Let’s explore this in terms of the process that a PMO leader should go through in building the business plan rather than identifying specific goals and objectives that might not apply to an individual scenario.
A quality process is typically entrenched as a documented procedure or a quality document or standard that governs the creation of services, products and activities that produce results. Here is some help developing this important document.
There is no silver bullet that will allow us to remove all uncertainty, but we can apply some business intelligence practices to the concept of annual planning to at least increase our confidence levels and reduce the risks around the decisions that we make.
The fourth annual conference generated a buzz among its largest audience ever, with engaging, enlightening presentations from thought leaders on portfolio resource planning and management best practices. Here’s a recap.
While there can be many causes for a team consistently not meeting iteration goals, this writer finds that a misunderstanding of what the buffer is for–or simply not respecting that buffer–is a leading cause.
Business planning isn’t just a good idea if you have the time, it’s an essential part of getting projects and budgets approved and keeping your IT department in good standing within your organization. Plus, it’s a rare opportunity for CIOs to write their own playbook.
Agile retrospectives–the process of inspecting what has happened during a particular timeframe and creating action plans for improvement–is a critical success factor in any iterative and incremental set of practices. Here’s how to maximize their benefit.
This article looks at a few tools that can be used in conjunction with each other to enrich the initiating and planning phases. While this article does not attempt to give a detailed description of these tools, we will demonstrate their importance as well as how they can work together, to enrich the initiating and planning phases.
Pursuing overseas or cross-borders business requires an understanding of the country and political risk—it is, indisputably, a key consideration. The author demonstrates how PMI risk management processes and best practices can be customized to expand the picture of country political risk assessments, identification, analysis and monitoring.
Globalization is driving professional service organizations of all sizes to adapt their processes and consider integrated resource planning solutions that can improve financial visibility and operational efficiency while maintaining a hands-on project management touch.
Most restoration and re-construction projects are managed and planned in a professional manner, with proper planning in project management being the key to their success. In this article, we will focus on projects relating to the restoration of telecommunication infrastructure in flood-affected areas.
An IT risk assessment is intended to help IT management better allocate resources and perform capital budgeting and assign resources based on a risk-based approach. Various regulatory authorities require risk assessments be performed for all financial institutions. This article goes over what can go wrong while planning and executing an IT risk assessment.
So much hinges on the project schedule, yet so few team members contribute to it. Whatsmore, they typically don’t care about critical paths, constraints and other building blocks; they just want to know “what, where and when.” We’re overdue for consensus-based planning tools that bridge execution and analytics.
When planning a sprint, many factors will influence what works best, particularly the experience of the team in self-organizing. Here are some guidelines that can help project leaders focus the planning effort — without taking it over — and a few techniques to engage everyone and establish a shared vision.
One of the secrets of a practitioner’s success is that I he has varied from the traditional burndown chart and sprint estimation suggestions that are taught when a person learns about Scrum. If you have had issues with making accurate burndown charts that reliably tell you when your sprint will finish, then perhaps his suggestions can help.
Teachable moments are formed when you have done something–regardless of the outcome–and learned from the experience. Learning makes us better at what we do and provides a great opportunity to develop others and sharpen skills. We’ve compiled our best Teachable Moments from our community members for you to learn from and share with other project managers. In this installment, we deal with stakeholder and requirements management.
Of of the most significant challenges for PMO leaders is managing relationships across the organization. And as the PMO’s role becomes more and more central to all elements of corporate planning and project delivery, politics inevitably come into play. How do we manage that minefield?
The author of the Project Kids Adventures series sat down with the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation to share his motivations for bringing project management content to youth—and what we can expect next.
Thanks to the introduction of modern, off-the-shelf simulation tools, we can now take our static plans and make them come alive so that we can better model how the plan will execute. Using simulation in your planning process is exciting and can provide rigorous motivation to improve based on the “what-if” nature of simulation. This article describes the benefits of adopting simulation to enhance the planning process.
How to Involve Children in Planning a Birthday Party. Do you want to throw an awesome B-day party for your kid? Follow these simple tips and your party will be a great hit! Choose a good birthday party location near or at your house: