This article presents a structured approach to managing the risk of losing critical knowledge due to resources becoming unavailable for the project. For key resources, the activities of this approach are ideally carried out even before the project is fully ramped up and before project risk management is fully underway. The four sequential processes-initiate, analyze and plan, execute, and close-ensure that the project’s risk exposure to knowledge loss is effectively reduced in an efficient way.
You’ve read the new definition of project management. Some of you cheered, some of you jeered. Now we ask a frightening question for some, because you might not like the answer. Better that we ask it anyway, rather than continuing to accept only half of the role.
Micro-management can be advantageous in certain situations, but often becomes an obstacle in the on-time delivery of projects. This article provides some insights on which management style is considered the best. It also gives a few tips on how PMs can improve their management style and work toward ensuring greater success with project delivery.
A Training Plan is to a Performance Plan as a turtle is to a cheetah. Increase your workforce management aptitude by learning how to maximize performance through more robust project planning. In this installment: Individual development.
What if we really were a profession? What would be the implications for project managers, the companies that employ them or for the associations that promote and support project management as a discipline? This article continues our portrait of what this brave new world would look like and some of the challenges that each of these groups would face as a result.
Time-tracking solutions can help you uncover hidden opportunities to maximize your project’s value, from more efficient resource allocation to more accurate estimating and bidding. Here’s a closer look at how better time management produces more successful projects.
Nowhere does project portfolio management play a more important role than in government. Government IT departments are under constant scrutiny from county budget officials, watchdog groups and citizens to ensure that the money spent on IT is well spent. Here, we take a look at a Project Management Officer’s implementation of project portfolio management for her county.
Command-and-control management often undermines teamwork. The principles of Scrum, which give teams autonomy to prioritize their work, help build a sense of shared commitment to project goals, which yields better results. Psychology, not hierarchy, is the key to high performing teams.
Delays can’t always be predicted. But once they happen, their impact on a project can be proactively analyzed, helping project managers reduce or overcome the negative effects. This is the domain of Keith Pickavance, senior vice president with Hill International, once of the largest U.S. construction management firms. Here, he shares his thoughts on delay analysis, other project management trends and the ideal project manager.
There is a simple tool that can be used to instantly boost productivity on almost any project. It costs practically nothing, and can be set up in five minutes. It doesn’t require training or approval from upper management. But there is some fine print.
Nearly every project falls victim to scope creep. This article features five project professionals discussing how scope creep can be prevented. In doing so, it cites the difference between change and creep. It also explores how change management and intermediate control of work can allow project managers to control the project scope.
Project control is not about the minutiae, it’s about the big picture. Here we provide some guidelines on how to move from micro-level project management to a more macro-level control phase.
There’s an insidious management problem when many teams transition to agile: when the project team is supposed to work on more than one project at a time. Is multitasking killing your agile project?
An Agile Center of Excellence can not only assist but accelerate the adoption of agile throughout an organization, particularly in the areas of change management, communication, culture and coaching.
In the digital world that we now live in, companies are implementing more and more projects that involve digital content. If you want to be a digital PM, it is not enough to know the tactics of project management. Here are some fundamental design and development skills that you should invest in…
Organizations can greatly improve the odds that business goals turn into reality by establishing formal processes for reviewing, approving, controlling and reporting on projects. But executive management has to get involved, asking tough questions throughout the lifecycle. Here are some practice-proven guidelines.
Some of the most common portfolio management implementation problems are excuses, not roadblocks. By being aware of them upfront, senior executives, steering committee members and the implementation project manager and team can work to overcome them.
If you can’t deviate from a process, you can’t be creative. Project management processes actively stifle creativity whenever an idea requires out-of-the-box thinking and discipline discourages flexibility. Processes are designed to limit individual creativity but not everything can be derived from a standard template. So, how do we ensure that our processes reconcile with reality?
As project and portfolio management processes spread throughout organizations, the greatest roadblock to executive visibility isn’t the software or methodologies employed. It’s individual contributors. Traditional top-down approaches just don’t work. Here are keys to increasing team member participation. Increased visibility and value will follow.
Four academians have received research grants from Project Management Institute to investigate and improve project management practices in four areas: virtual teams, new product development, professional development and organizational project governance.
In the middle of a three-year SAP implementation, the IS department at a polypropylene wrapping manufacturer is connecting through a new project management tool that fosters tighter collaboration and swifter communication in a modern, social-media manner.
Microsoft Project is the dominant desktop scheduling software in the project management community, but it’s not the only game in town. Many project managers are turning to open-source alternatives, due to cost pressure or personal preference. Here’s a closer look at two of the more popular open-source project scheduling solutions.
Putting a well-documented change management plan in place can reduce the problems associated with scope creep, while at the same time establish a timeline of activities. By having your organization establish its own change management plan, clients have a method through which they can submit change requests for product fixes and enhancements.
Most PMOs are established to develop and implement common processes. Many oversee project management training as well. And lately, more PMOs are being called on to help implement formal portfolio management concepts. It makes sense.
Women who did project management in the 1970s and ’80s — before there was a name for it — often battled hostility, salary discrimination and harassment from their male bosses and co-workers. Three pioneers recall how they fought to enter a man’s world and overcome a system designed to keep them down.
The role of the project manager is evolving in organizations that embrace portfolio management. The ‘new’ PM will be expected to understand, protect and serve strategic goals that go beyond their own initiatives. That will require business acumen and comfortability with change, among other skills.
The mathematician George Box is credited with saying, “all models are wrong; some models are useful.” The Triple Constraint is one of the oldest models in the project management discipline. We all know it is wrong. Can it still be useful?
The sad reality is that many project managers have no clear appreciation or understanding that project management is what they actually do. We need better methods of helping the accidental project managers out there to come in from the cold, and realize that project management really does offer a better way of “getting stuff done.”
Most project management books and training focus on instilling capability through diligent repetition. But whether capability ever leads to results depends upon something more. Let’s call it Agency — instinct and knowledge embodied in the moment into productive action. The difference between agency and capability is the difference between fact and theory, reality and projection.
The most challenging aspect of operational project management are the strategic initiatives that are all too commonly associated with this type of management plan and program. After 25 years of hands-on program and project management experience, this PM shares the three major forms of resistance that he has encountered the most.
We’re not all just pawns. Managing IT investment in the current economy is a risky proposition. The economy will recover–will you? Here’s how to use program management and enterprise architecture to maximize the effectiveness of your IT investment before your kingdom falls.
Project managers have hundreds of choices when it comes to open-source content management systems that can share files, post news, host newsletters, and manage communications across the project team. Best of all they’re free. But you do have to spend some time to find one that best suits your needs.
Risk management is the process that allows IT managers to balance the operational and economic costs of protective measures and achieve gains in mission capability by protecting the IT systems and data that support their organizations’ missions. The purpose of performing an IT risk assessment for IT systems is to minimize any negative impact to an organization and provide a sound basis for management decision making. Effective risk management must be totally integrated into the software/system development life cycle.
A few years ago, this current PMP had no idea what project management even was–but after being thrown into the role of project lead, that all changed. His journey to project management was not a typical one…
Project success rates have climbed and waste has fallen significantly as more organizations develop technical and leadership skills, establish project management offices to align vision with execution, and adopt agile approaches, according to Project Management Institute’s latest Pulse of the Profession report.
Everything this writer knows about project management he learned when frozen. Want to find out about the cold reality of project management in the Arctic? In Part 1 he looked at planning and risk; in the second part of this article he looks at a few other aspects of project management. Bundle up and read on…
With the increased emphasis within the pharmaceutical industry on business productivity through the integrated application of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and disciplined project management methodologies, this paper offers an expanded definition of the classical Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) project life cycle by incorporating aspects of PMI’s PMBOK® Guide methodology and creating a new life cycle, DMAI2C2, that will assist productivity improvement project teams in creating a project roadmap that leverages the best of both the LSS and PMBOK® Guide methodologies.
The project management offices that deliver the best business value are always on the lookout for ways to apply their resources to activities that offer more to their enterprises than “order taker.” Vendor management and regulatory compliance are two critical areas to start. And in time, the PMO should strive to be viewed as the COO of IT.
After careful scrutiny, BNSF Railway turned to MKS’ application lifecycle management solution to improve software development efficiency and aid compliance efforts. Ten weeks later, its 500-member technology services team was up and running.
Most large global organizations will rely on “activist” enterprise program management office (EPMO) leaders by 2017, according to research analyst Gartner. The emerging role is a response to the need to significantly improve strategic execution, and increased pressure toward innovation and differentiation.
In his previous article, the author provided an overview of the materiel changes of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Sixth Edition. This article dives one layer deeper to discover the process changes.
Don’t let today’s risks become tomorrow’s problems, and don’t sit back and wait for events to happen. Take a proactive approach to managing uncertainty. In this article, you will learn how and why using this risk management approach can greatly increase the chances of delivering your project on time and on target.
Is Information Lifecycle Management just a new buzz word or a value proposition? As data management experts have started to take note, it has become clear that ILM can be a benefit to your organization.
Project management skills are a valuable commodity, are you sharing the wealth? How can use your own project management ability to add real value? One expert shares a personal story of self discovery.
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.
As a community, we can create open-space sessions that enhance the quality of project management within our own areas of influence. So why is it so rare? Learn why you should take advantage–and take action.
Implementing a new customer relationship management system is typically a large undertaking for an organization. See how some agile approaches can help reduce risks, maximize value and establish early warnings for issues or impediments.
Ernie Nielsen, managing director of enterprise project management at BYU, shares his thoughts on the role of the PMO, the theory of conscious alignment, and other guiding principles. Along the way, he explains why momentum is not a strategy, when projects must be scrapped, and what makes a good project management tool.
This project portfolio management survey will take about 10 minutes of your time, but the results will go along way in understanding the state of PPM in organizations like yours, including the greatest obstacles to success and what should be done to overcome them. Your participation gives you access to the report and could win you a $400 Amazon gift card — how’s that for a decent ROI?!
Change management requires us to think about the project and the results of the project from the standpoint of the unaware. This is often a challenge for us. How can we think about a known idea from the point of someone who doesn’t know about our project or the product we are producing?
You’ve read a lot about content management, but forget it all. Wrong assumptions have put the focus on getting information in front of people–but not the right information. The key to effective content management? An underlying understanding of how it should serve knowledge management.
There are a number of common problems that organizations encounter when launching project management training programs, from lack of executive involvement to poorly measured results. As you consider training providers, implement a program and monitor the results, here are five key best practices that can help your organization get the most out of training.
Organizations are expected to deliver more and more with less and less, and that has in part led to the growth of organizational project management. But in this writer’s experience, organizations have not been able to define what a successful OPM model looks like. How do you maximize the return on Organizational PM?
Setting up a PMO for the first time? No project management experience? Learn how you can “wow” them! In Part 2, the author provides a step-by-step breakdown of setting up a PMO in 100 days and helps boost your chances of PMO success.
The term “PMO” means different things to different people, leaving room for interpretation. Determining the type of PMO requires a project manager to be a strategic thinker possessing technical project and business management expertise.
What does it take to turn strategies into operational reality? What role do projects play in this effort? What is often missing when strategic initiatives fall short of their targets? Strategic initiative management provides a framework for resolving the issues and frustrations that many organizational leaders experience.
A project management office should be an integral component of your organization’s project management practice, and it should be delivering results that are critical to business and mission success. This white paper examines key PMO functions, characteristics and challenges, and showcases attributes of a successful PMO. A four-step plan is also provided to improve your PMO’s value to the organization at large.
A Training Plan is to a Performance Plan as a turtle is to a cheetah. Increase your workforce management aptitude by learning how to maximize performance through more robust project planning.
In a world where millions are unemployed while millions of open positions cannot be filled, your career management strategy must be carefully planned. Start with your network and use it in a special way.
Shortsightedness can shortchange your organization on the benefits of project portfolio management. A top PPM analyst shares best practices on how to embrace the big picture and how evolving PPM tools can help.
A national project management survey released this month reports that most projects are not meeting goals, and team members are often not trained properly. While most projects are eventually completed, only one-third of them come in on time and on budget. Several factors are culpable.
More organizations are integrating business analysis into their project management practices. What does a business analyst bring to a project, and how can these skills and responsibilities best work in concert with the project manager’s?
Understanding the coalitions, alliances and other ties that bind and influence the project environment can give project managers a head start in influencing project communication and cohesion. Organization development techniques like Social Network Analysis create a bridge between the technical side of project management and the soft skills required to achieve desirable results.
The best part about Project Cost Management is that there are only three processes. And while the first two processes are light dumbbell lifting, the third throws some heavy barbell exercises your way. Are you prepared?
What do you do when you’re unnoticed but your important project has needs? It’s all on you at this point, so you look for ways to promote your project to senior management so you can get the things you need. Here are three things to try.
This is the fifth in a seven-part series on the Adaptive Project Framework. APF is an approach to a class of projects for which neither the traditional nor the extreme methods are appropriate. APF is entirely compatible with the PMI PMBOK Standards. This series is derived from selected content from the 3rd edition of Effective Project Management: Traditional, Adaptive, Extreme.
As more organizations achieve bottom-line benefits from Critical Chain, the execution management approach is moving from high concept to best practice, and adoption is on the rise. But even proponents acknowledge that its hard focus on faster results is not for every project environment. Here’s a closer look at where and why critical chain is working.
Most project portfolio management systems focus on representing status in “quantitative” terms, while the “qualitative” stuff captured in human interactions can be lost. Collaboration solutions that leverage social media can help, but they must be more than generic platforms bolted onto a PPM solution.
“Essentialism” is more than a time-management or productivity technique. It is a systemic discipline that drives us to ask questions that go deeper than “Is this meeting important?” and venture “Is this project actually going to make a difference in our organization?” And it requires the scheduling of “blank space.”
The foundation provides scholarships, confers awards, sponsors research, prepares and disseminates project management-related educational material and awards financial grants to support project management life skills and humanitarian programs.
It used to be that getting project teams together meant sitting down in a conference room. Now projects can be managed with team members in different offices, cities, time zones–all thanks to project management software and the Internet. With so many advantages to online collaboration, why do so many PMs still think of these as only scheduling tools? It’s time to think again.
Applying 30 years of domestic and international experience in IT from both the customer and provider side, Mark Perry has spent the past decade focused on developing and supporting project management offices. Here, the founder of BOT International and director of PMO Services for gantthead shares his perspective on PMOs and Scrum.
An organization’s project management maturity is a key success indicator, but only if companies know how to gauge it. This article explores how organizations can take several steps to effectively measure maturity. It explains how organizations need to balance their efforts to increase project management maturity with the need of ROI. In addition, it identifies five steps for evaluating maturity.
The article then looks at some of the pitfalls that can skew the results of a maturity assessment, particularly those that emerge from both conscious and unconscious efforts on the part of those involved to paint as positive a picture as possible. It also explains how employees believe a maturity assessment is audit-focused on compliance and dispels that myth. It then provides several tough questions that organizations may have to answer once the maturity assessment is completed.
Charged with accelerating the development and adoption of electronic health IT projects, Infoway’s portfolio management office oversees more than 600 active and completed project phases, with about 150 active project phases reporting each month.
The science behind Scrum is the notion of Empirical Process Control, which that is derived from (and firmly rooted in) industrial process control theory–and applicable to the complexity of human process management that often derails project schedules. This article is outlines the foundations of EPC and how it drives empirically based team management.
The benefits of disciplined project management have been proven by many years of practice in various industries, for different types of projects and team sizes. This article will cover some of the specific challenges facing project managers who run business-consulting projects.
There are many different types of consulting projects— engineering-centric, strategy-focused, human resource related, and so forth. This article concentrates on discussing business-consulting projects (when a consulting company is brought in to solve a specific business problem). A typical project has two important characteristics that drive additional challenges from the project management perspective:
1. Relatively short project duration (<6 months) 2. Highly variable scope/deliverables
Question: Computing Earned Value (EV) has always been challenging for me, and frankly I don’t see the benefit to my project. I learned to do the math for my PMP certification, but is there a clear and simple way to get the figures, make the calculations and then find a meaningful use for those numbers? My projects keep veering off track and I need a new approach.
A. Depending on their personality type, some managers are sticklers for details. The more metrics, the better. EVM translates project data into numbers to forward to management, but has less value for the project manager who is running the project day to day.
B. While PMP prep does a great job of explaining the math of Earned Value Management (EVM), keeping the focus on information needed to pass the test means there is seldom time to go into the subject of how useful EVM can be in the workplace. It is a key tool for running successful projects.
C. Since the U.S. Department of Defense requires EVM for all of its departments and departmental contractors, there are favorable tax advantages for corporations who can state their profit figures in EVM terms.
D. EVM provides a common language that the project manager, team and management can use to communicate about how much time and how many resources should be allocated at the first of a project in order to ensure that it will be guaranteed to meet the estimated project metrics of time, cost and quality.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!
There is an opportunity for organizations to uncover the hidden potential of individual project risk registers and transform risk data into enterprise value. This can be done by developing a set of metrics that link the quality of the risk management process to project outcome.
A project management office (PMO) is designed to manage projects and improve the management of an organization. However, what happens when the PMO fails? This article discusses how to resurrect a failed project management office. It reports the results of a study by Forrester Research that shows three-quarters of PMOs fail within the first three years of being launched. It then examines how an aeronautics and space institute in Brazil resurrected its PMO with a unified strategic plan by putting portfolio management and project management into one organizational structure. It details the many reasons why PMOs fail, including lack of direction, organizational changes, insufficient resources and cost pressures. The article looks at how a business case should be developed to convince skeptical senior managers that the PMO should be relaunched and lists the important components needed in the business case, for example, services performed and metrics. It identifies three key areas that can go a long way toward giving the new PMO longevity. Accompanying the article is a sidebar listing three signs that a PMO should be closed.
Though project and program management offices continue to be called into question by key stakeholders, the latest ESI International survey identifies the emergence of a “next-generation” PMO.
Since agile project management is closer to leadership best practice than traditional project management, it is useful to search leadership techniques for additional approaches that could also assist on agile projects.
Setting up a project management office is daunting. If you want your PMO to be accepted by your organization and get its permission to exist, you must focus on determining why your PMO is really needed.