Annual Planning in the PMO

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…

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Portfolio Planning 101

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.

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Prototyping for Effective Estimation and Planning

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.

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Succession PlanningThe Ultimate Retention Tool

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.

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The Evolution of Annual Planning

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.

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Map Day Planning

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.

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Project Management Planning: Strengthening the First Line of Defense against Project Failure

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.

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Adding project managers into strategy planning can bring a dose of reality

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.

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The Planning Wars

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.

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PMO Business Planning

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.

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Planning, Assessing, Analyzing and Monitoring Country and Political Risk During the PMI Risk Management Process

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.

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Planning By Consensus

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.

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Teachable Moments: Time and Planning

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.

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Dynamic Planning — Bringing the Project Plan to Life

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.

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