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2009 Outsourcing Solutions Yield Results

Ask outsourcing consultants and vendors what outsourcing solutions are viable now and for the future, and you’ll get a battery of answers. Who is right, who is wrong?

Effective Project Scope Management

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.

Effective Project Scope Management

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.

Are You A Value Creator?

Beyond reducing project costs, business analysts must also focus on increasing project benefits. In doing so, you position your work as fundamental to successful outcomes. Here are four ways you can elevate your role and responsibilities to deliver more value to the organization.

Are You A Value Creator?

Beyond reducing project costs, business analysts must also focus on increasing project benefits. In doing so, you position your work as fundamental to successful outcomes. Here are four ways you can elevate your role and responsibilities to deliver more value to the organization.

Holiday Job Market — An Employer’s Perspective

The holiday employment scene affects not only the retail market for the holidays, where there is always a shortage, but the techie market, which is usually hot, but like everything else in life, it too has a slow season. What’s the reason? Why are you having a tough time generating great applicants this time of year? Common sense might tell you it’s related to the holidays, but let’s review some other key reasons and potential pitfalls to avoid.

Holiday Job Market — An Employer’s Perspective

The holiday employment scene affects not only the retail market for the holidays, where there is always a shortage, but the techie market, which is usually hot, but like everything else in life, it too has a slow season. What’s the reason? Why are you having a tough time generating great applicants this time of year? Common sense might tell you it’s related to the holidays, but let’s review some other key reasons and potential pitfalls to avoid.

Upon Further Review

Project reviews are a reality check, an opportunity for the project manager to step back to hear how things are really going. That shouldn’t panic you, and, in fact, it’s wise to plan and build in independent reviews from the start of your project so you get regular health checkups. Here’s how it should work.

Upon Further Review

Project reviews are a reality check, an opportunity for the project manager to step back to hear how things are really going. That shouldn’t panic you, and, in fact, it’s wise to plan and build in independent reviews from the start of your project so you get regular health checkups. Here’s how it should work.

Step 0300Release Project 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.

Step 0300Release Project 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.

Project Tribes

The knowledge found in project teams can be invaluable, but it isn’t always shared or understood by those outside “the tribe.” Technologies, processes and mindsets are evolving to create a new era of collaboration. By following key principles, tribal knowledge can be turned into organizational power.

Project Tribes

The knowledge found in project teams can be invaluable, but it isn’t always shared or understood by those outside “the tribe.” Technologies, processes and mindsets are evolving to create a new era of collaboration. By following key principles, tribal knowledge can be turned into organizational power.

Who Defines Business Need?

It is not in the best interest of an organization for either project managers or business analysts involved in defining business needs. They need to be focused on delivery of the solution and ensuring that it meets the business need. And they do that best when they are neutral facilitators, now owners of the project.

Who Defines Business Need?

It is not in the best interest of an organization for either project managers or business analysts involved in defining business needs. They need to be focused on delivery of the solution and ensuring that it meets the business need. And they do that best when they are neutral facilitators, now owners of the project.

The Secret Life of Projects, Part 2

Finding the right “fit” for your project, rather than following some previously derived ‘One Best Way’, might well be your most critical success factor as a project leader. It requires simultaneously balancing contradictions and it demands a different way of social interacting. How well does your project fit?

The Secret Life of Projects, Part 2

Finding the right “fit” for your project, rather than following some previously derived ‘One Best Way’, might well be your most critical success factor as a project leader. It requires simultaneously balancing contradictions and it demands a different way of social interacting. How well does your project fit?

PM Training Vendor Criteria

The following section provides additional questions and considerations for Project Management Training Vendor Selection. While refining these selection criteria for your specific needs, consider what your organization requires when selecting training for your staff.

PM Training Vendor Criteria

The following section provides additional questions and considerations for Project Management Training Vendor Selection. While refining these selection criteria for your specific needs, consider what your organization requires when selecting training for your staff.

The Hunger Games in Project Management

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…

The Hunger Games in Project Management

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…

The Estimating Challenge

Poor project estimation remains a major challenge for software organizations, and they’re shifting away from overtime as a remedy, according to a new Cutter Consortium survey.

The Estimating Challenge

Poor project estimation remains a major challenge for software organizations, and they’re shifting away from overtime as a remedy, according to a new Cutter Consortium survey.

Step 0500Prioritize Requirements

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 0500Prioritize Requirements

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

Managing Global Projects

Global projects present significant obstacles to project leaders, but with the right tools, a little flexibility and the willingness to step out of your comfort zone, you can prevail. Here are six common challenges and suggestions for overcoming them.

Managing Global Projects

Global projects present significant obstacles to project leaders, but with the right tools, a little flexibility and the willingness to step out of your comfort zone, you can prevail. Here are six common challenges and suggestions for overcoming them.

The Program Management Strategy

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?

The Program Management Strategy

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?

Keep the Customer Happy

In a customer-service provider relationship, there is a great deal that the service provider can do to make the relationship productive and vibrant from a project management perspective. Dedication to understanding the customer is key. This means understanding not only the customer’s needs, but also the customer himself or herself. Understanding the customer requires thinking about what a requirement means to the customer. And requirements might not mean the same thing to the customer as it does to the project manager.

Keep the Customer Happy

In a customer-service provider relationship, there is a great deal that the service provider can do to make the relationship productive and vibrant from a project management perspective. Dedication to understanding the customer is key. This means understanding not only the customer’s needs, but also the customer himself or herself. Understanding the customer requires thinking about what a requirement means to the customer. And requirements might not mean the same thing to the customer as it does to the project manager.

Task 040Model Process Threads

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 040Model Process Threads

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

SuperPM Meets the Evil Dr. Doom

Do you need an attitude adjustment? Risk control is a key component of project management, but PMs have been warned about apparent negativity when performance review time rolls around. What’s a PM to do? Take these tips to heart, and make sure you fly like a hero–instead of falling on your face like a nasty cynic.

SuperPM Meets the Evil Dr. Doom

Do you need an attitude adjustment? Risk control is a key component of project management, but PMs have been warned about apparent negativity when performance review time rolls around. What’s a PM to do? Take these tips to heart, and make sure you fly like a hero–instead of falling on your face like a nasty cynic.

The Agile Certification Landscape

The number of agile certifications available in the market keeps growing, and one must consider the unique needs of the inquiring company or individual to know what would be best for them. What factors should you consider? Do you even know the options available?

The Agile Certification Landscape

The number of agile certifications available in the market keeps growing, and one must consider the unique needs of the inquiring company or individual to know what would be best for them. What factors should you consider? Do you even know the options available?

Stay on Top of Employee Performance to Avoid a Wrongful Termination Suit

Wrongful termination suit: These three little words automatically make the hair on the back of my neck stand up! Learn how to avoid this type of legal mess by following a relatively simple documentation process. Yeah I know, we all hate to hear “documentation,” since we know it means lots of time bent over your computer writing down seemingly every little of piece of knowledge you have acquired. And you are right! However, this little bit of proactive work can eliminate many long arduous hours with our friends in the legal department in the future.

Stay on Top of Employee Performance to Avoid a Wrongful Termination Suit

Wrongful termination suit: These three little words automatically make the hair on the back of my neck stand up! Learn how to avoid this type of legal mess by following a relatively simple documentation process. Yeah I know, we all hate to hear “documentation,” since we know it means lots of time bent over your computer writing down seemingly every little of piece of knowledge you have acquired. And you are right! However, this little bit of proactive work can eliminate many long arduous hours with our friends in the legal department in the future.

Step 0400Build Prototype

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 0400Build Prototype

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

Get Your KM Wheels Turning Again

How? By getting back to the basics. As has been proven time and time again, more technology is not always better. In fact, many people think the over-dependence on technology has sidetracked KM from being the organizational and cultural phenomenon that always should have been its primary focus.

Get Your KM Wheels Turning Again

How? By getting back to the basics. As has been proven time and time again, more technology is not always better. In fact, many people think the over-dependence on technology has sidetracked KM from being the organizational and cultural phenomenon that always should have been its primary focus.

Navigating Conflict

When two people are working together, there are going to be disagreements. Project teams are no exception, but there are good ways to navigate this conflict without completely derailing the project.

Navigating Conflict

When two people are working together, there are going to be disagreements. Project teams are no exception, but there are good ways to navigate this conflict without completely derailing the project.

Project Cost Control

You are reasonably satisfied with the result of your project—to the best of your knowledge, it is achieving what it was intended to do, within planned schedule and cost goals. You have diligently kept track of your requisitions, and your project cost spreadsheet is updated and current. However, at this point, you receive a call from the accounting group saying that you are radically over budget. In all probability, you are working in a “non-projecticized” environment. In this type of environment, the systems and culture often do not adequately support project cost control. What do you do?

Project Cost Control

You are reasonably satisfied with the result of your project—to the best of your knowledge, it is achieving what it was intended to do, within planned schedule and cost goals. You have diligently kept track of your requisitions, and your project cost spreadsheet is updated and current. However, at this point, you receive a call from the accounting group saying that you are radically over budget. In all probability, you are working in a “non-projecticized” environment. In this type of environment, the systems and culture often do not adequately support project cost control. What do you do?

Project Plan Analysis

Throughout the project lifecycle, the project management team will constantly refer to the project plan to determine the health and progress of the project. The project plan’s usefulness to the project team and the stakeholders depends on two things: data collection and data analysis. Both of these activities must happen correctly and timely during project execution to make the project plan something more than just a pretty Gantt graph.

Project Plan Analysis

Throughout the project lifecycle, the project management team will constantly refer to the project plan to determine the health and progress of the project. The project plan’s usefulness to the project team and the stakeholders depends on two things: data collection and data analysis. Both of these activities must happen correctly and timely during project execution to make the project plan something more than just a pretty Gantt graph.

Engineering PMO Success

How is a project management office helping one of the nation’s largest wastewater treatment agencies clean up its act? It all started with the recognition that engineering and project management skills are fundamentally different.

Engineering PMO Success

How is a project management office helping one of the nation’s largest wastewater treatment agencies clean up its act? It all started with the recognition that engineering and project management skills are fundamentally different.

Tool Shop: LiquidPlanner 3.0

LiquidPlanner has revised its online project management software, with a focus on app-style planning features and cross-project scheduling and prioritization. This, along with a “social project management” approach, allows for a truly collaborative vibe on project teams.

Tool Shop: LiquidPlanner 3.0

LiquidPlanner has revised its online project management software, with a focus on app-style planning features and cross-project scheduling and prioritization. This, along with a “social project management” approach, allows for a truly collaborative vibe on project teams.

Task 030Assess Vendor Services

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 030Assess Vendor Services

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

Smart Outsourcing

Getting the decision on whether or not to outsource right, and managing arrangements effectively, can be a chore…read on for some advice.

Keeping Clients Happy

In reading articles about the worst companies to work for (and their practices), there are many common elements that helped them qualify for such a distinction. Several of them focus on a symbiosis of employee and customer satisfaction.

The Social Media Hangup

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. But by having the ability to easily share knowledge and information, various aspects of social media can contribute to the framework of business interactions and create a foundation that can forge a competitive benefit.

Task 050Test Disaster Recovery

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 050Develop Contingency 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.

PMOs: From Strategic Alignment to Simplicity

PMI’s PMO Symposium and Thought Leadership Series provide valuable, timely and relevant information on prevailing trends directly impacting our profession and the portfolios we manage. This year’s research builds upon and advances the themes of past years and continues to confirm the value of PMOs and portfolio management in assuring business success. Here are one presenter’s key takeaways from this year’s show.

Executive Report November 2005

Welcome to ProjectsAtWork’s Executive Report (Vol. 1, No. 11), the newsletter for professionals engaged in high-level, enterprisewide project leadership. In this issue, we identify essential technology-oriented capabilities needed to manage global project teams … present a PMO facilitation model that combines the more common support and supervision roles … and share some basic lessons on crisis leadership. Also: a white paper from MKS on the successful implementing of an application lifecycle management solution.

Managing Project Pressure

Here’s a professional development path that all project managers should explore: learn how to manage pressure. It will make it easier for you to deliver your best work when it matters most. In this new series, we begin with using positive expectations to kick off a new project.

Bob Tarne on Process

Bob Tarne is a Program Manager at Lombardi Software. He is a technology professional with 20 years of experience, a Scrum Master, a 6-Sigma Black Belt and a PMP. Join gantthead CEO Dave Garrett for an in-depth conversation with Bob on processes and

Step 0200Make Project 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.

We Have a Problem with Success

It’s a very strange thing, but we don’t really like success. We don’t embrace it. We often forget to celebrate it. We very frequently look upon the idea of rejoicing in success as an unproductive and unnecessary frivolity. But it doesn’t have to be this way…

Finding Prince Charming (Part 1)

Or, in other words, seven signs a software consulting firm is wrong for you. If finding the perfect match for a consulting firm is getting you down, don’t give up hope. Here’s some help in navigating the tough world of software dating.

Lead Like It Matters

Whether cutting wasteful meetings, addressing conflict, or better aligning decisions with business needs, every decision a leader makes will have ramifications. It is approach, attitude and skills that will determine if those choices are helpful or a hindrance. Here are four ways that you can create a positive ripple effect.

Infographic: Distributed Agile Teams

Agile approaches are now mainstream and distributed projects are becoming the norm. A recent ProjectsAtWork research report explored issues and benchmarked actions taken by organizations at the center of the distributed agile movement. This infographic highlights a few key findings.

How to Get Hired

A new job interview book stresses the importance of standing out. Are you doing all you can to snag that next opportunity? Eight tips can set you apart from your competition.

Change Agents: Assess Impact

When managing change initiatives, project leaders and stakeholders must consider the impact the planned changes will have on a variety of factors throughout the business environment. This “project world view” includes external relationships, products and services, technology and much more. Here’s a framework to follow.

Task 030Review Usage

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

Portfolio Accounting

One of the most important roles of PPM is budget management, and financial management is a key skill for portfolio managers. But at the portfolio level it’s not that simple. Here we offer some thoughts on how portfolio-level budgets should be planned and managed.

Is the Center of Excellence PMO Dead?

With more focus on strategy, more tool-driven automation and more diversity in project approaches, is there still a place for a PMO-driven center of excellence for project management?