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Recent alliances, acquisitions and implementations in the world of project and portfolio management.

The Path to the PMP (Part 8)

Quality Management is a difficult knowledge area for people to connect with as they study for the PMP exam. Sadly, PMI also recognizes the weakness and includes plenty of questions to test your abilities.

So What Do You Propose?

Many professional services organizations could win more business and lose unnecessary overhead by centralizing and standardizing their project proposal generation and delivery methods. It takes people, processes and technology.

The Song Remains the Same

We tend to think of planning as a scheduling- and scope-driven activity. But as Microsoft’s Sendak project proved, successful planning cannot occur without a solid business case.

Process Improvement Plan

One key to business success is having top-notch processes that keep your project running on time and on budget. Use this plan to improve your processes for better business results.

Measuring the Quality of the Project Management Process

What does quality project management mean? What does it look like? Can all project management be measured using the same metrics? What might those metrics be? Here’s some help with the designing of meaningful metrics for measuring the quality of your organization’s project management process.

Executive Privileges

A good rapport with executives pays enormous dividends when project managers are flying head-on into the wall of project reality, such as stakeholders who can’t agree.

Agile: A Retrospective and Forecast

The first decade of the new millennium brought agile software development to the fore. What was learned and what does the future hold? Agile innovator and observer David A. Thomas offers his opinions.

Task 020Assess Management Style

Huge online community of Project Managers offering over 12,000 how-to articles, templates, project plans, and checklists to help you do your job.

Cooperative Games: Humans and Technology

We’ve already introduced team development activities in general, including engineering and software development, as being built on three foundations. In this installment, we expand on one of them: cooperative games.

The First Jeep, A PM Story

A new book tells the little-known story of a small team of engineers and designers who created the four-wheel drive, all-terrain vehicle that is credited as one of the reasons the Allies won World War II. Along the way, it provides valuable project management lessons still relevant today.

PM Consultant: Is this Gig for You?

If you have not been a project manager on a contingent worker status, you’re missing a great deal of experience. If you are ready to jump into the consultant PM life, what should you be aware of so that you are happy in the long run?

Task 020Define Purpose

Huge online community of Project Managers offering over 12,000 how-to articles, templates, project plans, and checklists to help you do your job.

Old Skool Communication

Technology has brought tremendous advances in how we manage our projects, but in some areas it can hinder us. One area is communication, which has become increasingly a virtual activity. In pursuit of ease and volume, the quality of interactions is devalued, putting projects at greater risk.

Raise Your Fist in the Air

The Agile voting mechanism known as “Fist of Five” is a great way to drive your team towards consensus and commitment. It’s a simple, powerful process that can strengthen alignment and increase transparency on your projects. Here’s a look at how — and why — it works.

Leadership for Today’s Frazzled Workforce

Stop the insanity! These three tactics are designed to help you solve today’s leadership problems and distinguish yourself as an effective leader–just when your workforce needs as many as it can get.

Task 060Allocate Resources

Huge online community of Project Managers offering over 12,000 how-to articles, templates, project plans, and checklists to help you do your job.

Deliver Value with Benefits Focus

Project managers play a critical role in helping organizations close the gap between expectations and achievement, according to a new report from Project Management Institute. Successful practices include engaging cross-functional teams and keeping business owners informed about benefits-related issues.

Leading Distance Teams: Results Without Travel

How do you manage a world-wide network of team members? First-time distance team leaders can succeed without travel. Why? Because it’s more about processes and people than tools. Here’s how to get the results you need from the comfort of your office.

PMO 2.0: The Changing Face of Today’s PMO

The world of project management has changed. Have you adapted? Management techniques historically grounded in construction and manufacturing have quickly become obsolete in today’s fast moving, technology-oriented service organizations. For many PMOs, the message is clear: evolve or die.

Calm Before the Storm?

What will you do if the economy turns sour? You ought to be thinking about your next career move so you’re prepared for a sudden change.

The Relevant PMO Workforce

Just in case you are not satisfied with a thankless workforce, there are ways you can use PMO influence to directly improve their daily work lives–and get their support for all your PMO efforts.

Build a Better Risk Plan by Pretending to Fail

Do you have team members that don’t want to be seen as negative thinkers, thus hindering your risk management efforts? This PM decided to turn things around and came up with a technique that turns finding a threat into a positive thing.

Consider Adaptive Case Management

If you’re working in a project environment that produces intellectual rather than material outputs, Adaptive Case Management can be an effective approach to getting the most out of knowledge workers. It’s about reducing “process overload” and empowering team members to make real-time adjustments and decisions.

Focus on Progress, Not Perfection

Everyday tasks and goals are actually baby steps on the way to achievement of the highest standards and accomplishments. Here are six progress-oriented strategies that can help free you from excessive self-criticism and increase you and your team’s creativity, satisfaction and confidence.

Visualizing Complexity

The driving force behind visualization should be extracting the value for the data and information it presents. That is a top challenge facing all of us as program and project managers.

PMO as Project Support

Have you considered an administrative support role for your PMO? Administrative functions within a PMO can work well and deliver tremendous efficiencies, but to work properly they require a very distinct environment.

A Risk Management Partnership

Organizational risk management requires alignment across all levels of execution, including project, programs, portfolios and the PMO. This includes consistent reporting and approval processes as well as a culture that facilitates communication among team members, senior executives and stakeholders.

Flipped Classrooms for Faster Credentials

Whether you are studying for your PMP® credential, cramming on blockchain technology or learning conversational Spanish, blended learning is something you should be aware of. Discover how new technology can deliver a more effective and enjoyable learning experience.

Programs for Your Future: Projecting and Projects for Growth

Having steady growth can mean being able to strategically predict and anticipate when to make the necessary changes to keep the organization going without much interruption. But when the escalation of activity is dramatic, planning for change becomes very problematic and unsustainable.

Build Your Own Learning Culture

When it comes to a person’s career, every individual is responsible for their own learning and development. The best way to take responsibility is to build your own learning culture. Here are four steps to help you get started.

Task M02Milestone TRN M02

Huge online community of Project Managers offering over 12,000 how-to articles, templates, project plans, and checklists to help you do your job.

Task M02Milestone TRN M02

Huge online community of Project Managers offering over 12,000 how-to articles, templates, project plans, and checklists to help you do your job.

Infrastructure Upgrade

Eventually, most managers confront performance issues for hardware and software infrastructure that host their critical applications.

Is Your PMO Set Up for Success?

The tasks the project management office are faced with can be daunting, so it may be helpful to keep a few basic tenets in mind. To set up your PMO for success, your best bet is to play it S.A.F.E., and play to win.

Got Integrity?

As project managers, we often find ourselves in positions with plenty of responsibility–but not the power that comes along with it. Leadership is not just for C-level executives, but also for you and me. Are you exhibiting the essential traits of a good leader?

No Quick Fixes in Pharma PM

Project managers working in the pharmaceutical industry face high stakes every day. As such, they need an education that familiarizes them with a professional body of knowledge but also instills the confidence to implement case-by-case solutions based on creative thinking, says Fernando Portes, an affiliate professor at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Contracting for Infrastructure Technology (IT) Services – “Software as a Service” Projects

With business competition increasing, organizations have turned to third parties for delivery models that offer new ways of fulfilling their information processing and data needs. Managing an IT service is very different from managing IT products and requires new skills. Contract establishment, vendor management and education of the business staff is needed. This paper addresses some of the key areas to consider when contracting for large-scale IT service contracts.

Can You Relate?

When you find yourself working with team members whose perspectives, motivations and approaches are different than yours, you must walk a fine line. You can’t abandon what has worked for you in the past, but you need to relate and adjust to the new dynamics — or risk resentment and failure. Here are some suggestions.

Task 030Schedule Training

Huge online community of Project Managers offering over 12,000 how-to articles, templates, project plans, and checklists to help you do your job.

From a Fixed to Agile Mindset: How to Make the Transition

In agile, we often think of having an experimental mindset where we try something, measure the results, retrospect and replan. We need to do that for our projects. And, as agile leaders, we need to do even more. We need to have the agile mindset.

Who Moved My Deliverables?

Project communication demands vertical agility: the ability to succinctly and rapidly move anywhere from the technical elements of your project to the executive summary quickly and efficiently, all while keeping the important points at the right level of detail and never losing your particular audience along the way.

Executive Disconnect?

Why is there so often a communications chasm between project managers and executives in so many organizations? It’s all too common, yet no one ever seems to be able to solve the problem.

Changes To Your Scope

There are a lot of changes that can happen in a project that have a relatively low impact, but changes that impact your scope ripple through your project and become magnified. Scope screep is sneaky and it often happens when you least suspect. Here’s a primer on containing it.

A Tale of Two Perspectives

Why do enlightened companies work to develop better project portfolio management systems–but also implement approaches that dramatically limit their ability to actually select the right projects at the right time? In this two-part series, we will look at the project selection process from two different perspectives in order to identify some of the challenges they experience individually and collectively.

The Role Of Tools

On the best-run projects, people provide the creativity and intellect, while processes help ensure consistency and efficiency without getting in the way. Striking the right balance between the two can be a powerful combination. And supporting tools, adopted wisely, can make both people and processes even better.

Resource Planning Summit

A strong resource planning process contributes to PMO and portfolio productivity. At the annual Resource Planning Summit, practitioners gather to share insights, approaches and results.

Research Results: What IT Project Managers Think About Financial Investment Firms Pursuing Straight-Through Processing With Agile and Workflow Management Systems

Changes in the financial services sector have made achieving straight-through processing—a dedicated commitment to settle a securities transaction within 24 hours and minimize risk—a monumental effort. Can agile software development and workflow management systems have a positive impact on addressing straight-through processing?

Toughen Up

Failure should not be an option. Many IT projects fail because no one asks the tough questions. Here’s how to tackle this problem–before it tackles your project.

Speak Now — or Forever Risk Your Projects

It can be difficult to have an open discussion about problems on a project — for reasons that range from workplace politics to personal communication styles. No wonder, many project leaders and team members are uncomfortable with raising red flags that could challenge the perceptions (or wishful thinking) of their sponsors and bosses. Here are 10 tips to help you breakdown the barriers and start those crucial conversations that just might save the project.

Application of Lean Thinking to IT Services

When we talk about lean thinking, we often imagine the industrial world. In this article, the author addresses optimization in IT services and identifies six steps to activating lean processes. To understand lean thinking, IT service providers are encouraged to focus on value, such as it is defined by the customer and on the relentless elimination of waste that impedes the flow of value.

Turning a Potential Loss into a Win

How many times have you managed a project with so many bumps, there was no way you were going to finish on time or within budget? You likely have a customer on the brink of dissatisfaction–or already there. Here’s how to mend wounds and fix relationships.

Habits of the Effective Project Manager

While one optimal mix of attributes does not transcend every organization any project manager may work in, are there personal behaviors beyond core PM skills of risk, scope and schedule management that further differentiate exceptional PMs? This author says yes…

Stage PMPPlan Project

Huge online community of Project Managers offering over 12,000 how-to articles, templates, project plans, and checklists to help you do your job.

Mobius Strip and Double-Loop Learning

The concept of double-loop learning exemplified by the Mobius strip can be a great model for encouraging transformational improvements by challenging key assumptions and strategies. Combining agile practices and a dose of courage, learn how double-loop learning can help your organization respond more effectively to change and thrive in the marketplace.

To Be Continued

Business continuity planning is about much more than data recovery, and it should be conducted with a project management mindset. A financial institution’s experience after Hurricane Katrina provides some how-to (and how-not-to) tips for developing a business continuity plan. It could be you and your company’s most important project … you just never know.

The Advice Game: Becoming an Internal Consultant

Consulting is not just for the big end of the market. What if you could play at being a consultant in your current role? Here is how to become an internal consultant and increase your value to the business—and your future career.

Task 050Confirm Project Funding

Huge online community of Project Managers offering over 12,000 how-to articles, templates, project plans, and checklists to help you do your job.

Task 050Confirm Project Funding

Huge online community of Project Managers offering over 12,000 how-to articles, templates, project plans, and checklists to help you do your job.

Step 0700Assess the Enterprise

Huge online community of Project Managers offering over 12,000 how-to articles, templates, project plans, and checklists to help you do your job.

Take It From the Top

We are connected on a global scale these days and–with few exceptions–everyone is competing to get the customer. As a result, we have all been tasked to embrace change or else someone will gladly take our place in the industry.

Managing Projects on Mars

The hero of the movie John Carter can teach project managers something about scope and stakeholder management (super powers optional…and we promise you won’t have to relearn how to walk due to the change in gravity…).

Choose The Right Team Model

There are four different ways you can structure, organize and manage your teams. These four ways, or team models, have different communication and decision-making styles. As a project manager, you need to decide which model best fits the people you manage, the nature of their work, and the culture of your organization. But first, there are three factors that determine the best way to set up a team.

Task 030Consolidate Transition Plan

Huge online community of Project Managers offering over 12,000 how-to articles, templates, project plans, and checklists to help you do your job.

The Cost of Bad Data Management

How much money and time is wasted by inefficient use of the tools that you already have available? The benefits of database storage go far beyond current projects, and project management tools have become far more powerful. Are you harnessing this resource?

The Sustainability Risk: Making it Real

In order to get ourselves and our teams to care about sustainability, we have to make the risk real. How can we do that? How many projects consider sustainability concerns as part of their PM plans? And what’s the cost of not doing so?

Project Ethics: Informed Choice

What constitutes the ethical responsibilities of project work? Our series concludes with a plea for “maintaining mindfulness,” especially when it seems you don’t have a choice. Bad things happen — in life and on projects — when we go on autopilot.

Topic Teasers Vol. 65: Assessing Electronic Tools

Question: I know project managers are now going to be more involved in business analysis things, but that doesn’t mean I know how to do that part of the job yet. My manager asked me to narrow down a list of electronic tools to see what would be best for our corporate situation. How do I even start?

A. Google “software tools for project management.” The product with the highest number of listings in your search page is the best one on the market. Recommend that one.

B. Ask your local PMI chapter, Agile Alliance chapter or IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) chapter board what three products they would recommend. They may also have a list of the vendors that had booths or tables at their last local event.

C. Software changes rapidly. Try to find the most recently developed software so that you don’t get stuck with outdated code. Always go with the old saying, “The latest created is the greatest created!”

D. Your management team, with the help of the procurement staff, will probably make the final decision. Use a logical matrix of tool profiles to narrow down the field for what you need in your organization, and then turn the final decision over to them.

Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Unchartered Territories

Small projects may not seem worth the effort of writing a charter and getting approval to do the work, but there are caveats in working on such unsanctioned efforts. Let’s explores the reasons why all projects should be considered charter-worthy, and the risks of working on unchartered projects.

Creating a Business Process Management (BPM) Center of Excellence

Business process management (BPM) is not another three-letter shortcut to promises of improved efficiencies and optimization of business and technological tools, methods, or mantras. BPM is a consolidation of earlier management theories and practices, with the addition of the human element in business.

The Cure for the PMO Headache

PMOs can add significant value to an organization and be vital to the overall success of enterprise initiatives. But bloated processes and burdensome administrative overhead often lead to a fatigued delivery model. MIDOL to the rescue!

Agile Portfolios: A 3-D Approach

Portfolio management is responsible for translating strategy, changes, innovation and dynamism into value for an organization. To achieve portfolio agility requires synergy in all aspects of the enterprise: in the strategic environment, in the portfolio tactical environment and in that of the projects.

Step 0500Prepare the Facility

Huge online community of Project Managers offering over 12,000 how-to articles, templates, project plans, and checklists to help you do your job.

PM as Problem Solver

Problems, problems everywhere — especially for the project manager. Whether your troubles are related to the triple constraint, stakeholders, team members, technical issues or something else, you have to truly understand the problem before you can solve it. Here is a field-tested three-step process to problem solving.

Microsoft Project Hall of Shame

Ever been the victim of a bad project plan? Join the club. Read on to learn why some projects qualify for the Microsoft Project Hall Of Shame, and five golden rules to adhere to when planning projects.