Applications Delivery

Your SaaS Application Implementation Framework

by Tom L. Barnett, PMP

The best way to plan a project is to deconstruct it. One PM has been using a handy model to clearly outline the types of work that need to be done by both IT and the business in order to activate most SaaS packages. Key an eye on these six subtleties when deploying packaged vendor solutions.

Taking the Long View in Software Development

by George Dinwiddie

Organizations that over-emphasize expediency can set themselves up for long-term losses. This article addresses strategies for taking a balanced approach--specifically, maintaining development capacity, maintaining code asset value and flexible tool selection.

Business Case

PPM: Balancing the Portfolio

by Ian Whittingham, PMP

How does a company get the best return from the money it spends on projects? It’s a question that very many executives would like to know the answer to. Helping to find an answer to that question is one of the more important goals of Project Portfolio Management.

Project HEADWAY Project Proposal

PREMIUM deliverable

The purpose of the project proposal template is the first step to gain approval of a project moving forward. Similar to a project charter, it provides the initiator of the project with an avenue to document the purpose of the project, the objectives, and the basic information need to see the project approved through to the planning stage.

Business Intelligence

Business Too Intelligent?

by Mike Donoghue

Extending ourselves through online profiles and social channels, we are exposing more of our individuality--and essentially building a virtual persona that others can recognize and use for a number of purposes. When it comes to identity and security, do you feel safe or paranoid?

Data Warehouse BQA Prototype Plan

PREMIUM project plan

This Microsoft Project Plan will walk you through the ins and outs of putting together a business question assessment to analyze the data you need for your data warehouse.

Career Development

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

There are times when a project manager needs to step out of their comfort zone to get the job done. Doing so can be nerve wracking--but also very rewarding. Here are some tips to ease the stress.

Consulting Agreement

PREMIUM deliverable

Whether you're a consultant starting with a new client or a company looking to outsource, this agreement will make sure everyone is on the same page going into your next project.

Communication

Picking Up in the Middle

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Despite the best efforts of management, there are times when there are staff changes in the middle of a project. For the people coming in, it is important that they are able to pick everything up and run with it. Keep these tips in mind...

Motivational Action Plan

PREMIUM deliverable

If you're having trouble with your team, this might be a good time to check in on their motivation and take some positive action. Here's a plan to get everyone back on the right track.

CRM

Tightrope Walking: Balancing Pressures as a Professional Services PM

by Rob Saxon

There are some excellent benefits to working directly with customers, but there are pressures that you need to be aware of and actively manage if you are to be successful. Here are three examples of the types of pressure you will feel, and some advice for navigating through them. If you are considering working for as a consulting or professional services project manager, read on.

IT Strategy

Evolving the PMO: From Project to Program to Portfolio

by Rob Saxon

Sometimes, the definition of the “P” in PMO is elusive. To effectively build, maintain and evolve a PMO, however, we have to be very clear about what this letter means. Approaching the definition with specific goals in mind can help us to put together a world-class organization.

ITIL/Service Management

Service Management from the Top Down

by Joe Wynne

Time consuming, friction inducing and potentially costly, there is plenty that you would want to avoid when properly building IT service management. Yet if you hold your nose and do it right, you can establish a strong and effective process.

Knowledge Management

Making PM Make Sense in the Boardroom

by Mark Mullaly, PMP

If there is one thing almost guaranteed to make a project manager cringe, it's the idea of having to give a presentation to the executive or board of their organization. What is an executive-level audience looking for from its presentations, and how can you develop and deliver an effective presentation with confidence and credibility?

Knowledge Management Best Practices

PREMIUM presentation

Closing the execution gap in knowledge management is never easy. This excellent presentation gives you hints on how to do just that. It concentrates on KM best practices and keys for success.

PMI Standards

Agile Advocacy

by Mike Griffiths

We all need some help sometimes when introducing agile methods into a traditional organization. Fortunately, a new guide to ease the transition is available. The recently published Software Extension to the PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition acts as a Rosetta Stone for mapping and replacing traditional approaches with their agile alternatives.

Requirements Management

Being a Great Sponsor

by Michelle Stronach

Being a sponsor is a role, not a position--and with the role comes responsibility. How do you ensure optimal success for the project? How do you go from being a good sponsor to a great sponsor?

Stakeholder Analysis Worksheet

deliverable

Every project has stakeholders. Your job is to get to know the ones who will be crucial to your project. This analysis worksheet will help you get a feel for what to expect from various key parties who have an interest in your project.

Scrum

Agile Project Management: Keeping it Simple

by Ken Whitaker

Agile project management, and particularly Scrum, can become overwhelmingly consumed by methodology, jargon and rules. This is just the opposite of what was originally intended for agile-lead projects, and it is the communications part of our role that is so important.

ScrumMaster: The Anti-PM?

by Andy Jordan

Do the skills required by each function make it almost impossible to be a successful PM and ScrumMaster? Our writer had one theory as he started his musings...and ended up somewhere else entirely.

Testing/Test Management

Topic Teasers Vol. 20: QA, QC and Testers

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP

Question: I’m so confused. I was a Quality Tester at my last job, but here the employees seem to use the titles Quality Assurance, Quality Control and Testing interchangeably. I started out in a more traditional organization, but now I’m a tried and true agile believer. Since I have no job description, what are my responsibilities?

A. The three concepts are often used interchangeably. Ask what it means in your new organization and accept that as your role in your workplace reality despite the real definition.
B. Find the specific meanings for each term from a university professor in the town where you work. Use that information to correct the organization so that they use proper terminology.
C. Once you learn your job description from Human Resources, create a new title for yourself so that others can understand what you do. Perhaps Defect Engineer would be apt.
D. Since agile teams work without formal processes or documentation, there is no need to answer to a particular title. Everyone on the team is merely a team member.

Testing Tools Evaluation Form

PREMIUM deliverable

This Testing Tools Evaluation Form details a complete description of the expected level of service and performance to be provided by prospective testing tools.

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- Mark Twain

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