Team Management: An Accountable Working Model for Matrix Teams

Many complex information technology (IT) projects are executed in a matrix environment. The major challenge with this type of team structure is having an amicable and effective relationship with clear lines of responsibilities, open communications, and accountabilities. This article proposes a working model that can help the program manager achieve the desired objectives from all of the teams.

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Effective Recovery Project Management

According to the Standish Group’s 2009 CHAOS report, 68% of projects failed, 44% of projects were late, over budget, and/or had fewer than the required features and functions, and 24% were cancelled prior to completion, or delivered and were never used. With statistics like these, it’s just a matter of time before you’re dealing with a project that is spiralling out of control. How do you get things back on track? This article walks you through a straightforward seven-step process for analyzing the project problems, developing a solution, and bringing your project back under control.

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Promoting the Value of Project Management

Project managers employed by firms that have never used a formal project management methodology can find themselves frustrated with an executive manager’s reluctance to embrace the project management discipline. In order to convince anyone of the benefits of the project management process, it is necessary to know the potential obstacles that could discourage a company from pursuing something new.

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The New PPM: Personal Project Management

Many of us are pretty accomplished project managers, at least while on the job. But how do we apply project management principles and disciplines to our personal lives? Personal projects come in all shapes and sizes, each accompanied with their own levels of complexity, risk, timelines, budgets and outcome expectations. Enter the world of Personal Project Management…the new PPM!

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Project Management in Photovoltaics: Fast Track Your Project Management Career

This article focuses on project management in Photovoltaics, a sector of the fast evolving renewables industry. The author suggests approaches to setting up an appropriate methodology, explaining the most important differences with other traditional businesses; and, gives tips to project managers who want to get involved in the PV sector, as well as to companies and HR specialists who want to identify the best profiles for a “green” project manager role.

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Game On: Video Games Bring Project Management To life

To view video games as possessing only entertainment value is short-sighted and without merit. Today’s massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) impart social and innovative learning techniques for individuals and groups on a global scale–and to project management’s benefit. This article discusses how MMORPGs bring project management lessons to life. In doing so, it examines how MMORPGs teach players emotional intelligence (EI) competencies, such as self-confidence, empathy, trustworthiness and communication. It then uses the “World of Warcraft” (WoW) collaborative wiki as an example to show the benefits for project professionals. The article examines the parallel between WoW, project management teams and EI: the need for collaborative engagement. It concludes by looking at communication, one of the most important EI competencies, and shows how communication plays a role in WoW and project planning.

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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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Influencing Others to Use Project Management Practices

Traditionally, project management processes and expertise in health care have rested in the areas of facilities management and development and/or Information Technology implementation. Although many of those in leadership roles within health care operations have spent a significant amount of time implementing new programs and introducing new equipment, for example, solid project management practices have not been known and/or utilized in areas other than facilities and IT.

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Adopting Quality Management For Business Success

Many organizations are taking advantage of quality management methodologies to improve productivity, efficiency and customer satisfaction. These methodologies require employees to perform set tasks and adhere to structured processes involving changes to work habits that can sometimes be disruptive. Familiar, integrated IT tools can streamline tasks and reduce user resistance, enabling organizations to receive the maximum benefits from quality management techniques at a lower risk.

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Introduction of an IT Project Management Methodology in a Fast-Growing Company

This article explains the rationale behind the creation of an in-house, customized project management methodology, iMAP, at a rapidly growing pharmaceutical company. The authors also describe the priorities that were selected to start with its implementation: a solid project initiation, a clear project life cycle, a special attention to risk management, a first step in reporting standardization, and specific attention to the activities necessary for the transition to operations. They provide an overview of their approach to IT project governance and how a defined project management methodology is the key for its success.

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Lean Project Management: A Study of Application

One needs only to “Google” lean project management (LPM) to appreciate the call for a new, more streamlined approach to project management. Is the so-called lean approach to project management necessarily different from traditional project management? If the answer is yes, what is LPM, and more importantly, how does it foster more efficient accomplishment of project work? The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of LPM by examining a Fortune 100 organization’s application of lean to some of its project work.

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Teachable Moments: Project Management Tackles the Mountains

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 head from Ukraine to the mountains of Bulgaria.

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Project Management Mantras: Be an Efficient PM, Not a Bookish Zombie

Stats don’t show a gleeful picture of the software industry. So what’s the main problem? Are we relying too much on management tools, or are we not able to apply book knowledge into practical scenarios? Are we becoming modern-day zombies who are managing projects as machines without applying people management skills? Here are some proven mantras for successful project managers.

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Applying Risk-Driven Project Management to Achieve Success in Complex, Innovative Projects

In today’s rapidly changing corporate environment, innovative projects often must be completed in a very short time frame. After a thorough analysis of different methods and tools, the authors developed the Risk-Driven project management method (RiD) to facilitate the creation of complex enterprise value. Applying the 12-point maturity-value-success metric (12-point MVS metric) can help ensure proactive risk monitoring.

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Program Management: More than Just a Portfolio of Related Projects

When discussing the ins and outs of program management, you are likely to encounter a variety of opinions. The nature of the program should drive how the program is managed–and by whom. If the wrong model is applied, there is likely to be an organizational disconnect followed by dismal results. Consider these differences between project-centric and process/event-centric views of programs…

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Program Management + Agile

The Agile mindset can be applied to activities beyond IT and product development, but it will require important critical changes to program management methods. The biggest transition is not in reengineering processes but in a management approach that involves different expectations, working relationships, incentives, metrics and reviews.

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Topic Teasers Vol. 43: Benefits Management Is Hard!

Question: How much more can they heap on a project manager? Now I’m being asked to handle the benefits management for this project. There was nothing about this in my PMP prep course, or on the exam. Is the latest trend that anything no one wants to do becomes the responsibility of the PM? How do I proceed when I don’t even understand what this is?

A. Benefits management is now often asked of the project manager, but you should position yourself as the process facilitator, not the “responsible party”. Otherwise, they’ll blame you if the project benefits aren’t realized.

B. Benefits management has to do with salary, union contracts, insurance, 401K plans, sexual harassment concerns and training classes. It is rightly positioned in the human resources department, not in a project environment.

C. Since the outcome of your project is the sole indicator of whether or not the business objective will produce revenue, tracking benefits realization logically fits into the responsibility of the project manager.

D. Tracking benefits management is a time inhibitor in a project plan. For that reason, if your project is to finish as estimated, benefits management should be outsourced to a third-party organization.

Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

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The Four Seasons of Project Management (Part 2)

There are four possible styles of project management. Which particular characteristic might be more dominant than the others? In the first part of this series, we looked at two styles of project management: the Planner and the Expeditor/Coordinator, which are focused on the process and the pace, respectively. In this part, we will look at two other styles that are focused on the product and people dimensions.

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