The latest in the ongoing series of articles helping you get “PMP fit” explores the often avoided Project Cost Management knowledge area. To paraphrase a well-known company, just get at it. When you have read this article and completed your studying, you may well be asking yourself why you were so concerned about it…
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s time to continue working on self-improvement. This fourth article in a series exploring A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)—Fifth Edition through a lighthearted comparison to personal fitness improvement explores the Project Scope Management knowledge area.
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.
In Part 1, you committed to getting in shape for the CAPM/PMP exam. Now you’re back and ready to start getting a little more serious. This second article of the series will show that the tough work doesn’t have to hurt as we ease in with a look at process groups.
When studying for a new credential, a certain amount of "knowing what you are up against” information is useful to help study smarter and prevent worrying about certain things that don’t matter. So along the lines of “know thy enemy”, let’s dig into certification and examination design (but you still need to study!).
This practical article re-launches the popular series of “getting in shape” to write either the CAPM or PMP exam. Self-improvement in today’s stressful business climate is critical to your overall health. This is the first step to the new (certified) you!
Question: I work in the construction industry and am under some pressure from management to make my projects “more agile”. It makes no sense to me that IT processes would be of any use when building actual residences, industrial sites and office buildings. What am I missing?
You are correct is thinking that building a tangible construction is very different than creating a software application that is only electronic bits. The methodologies for each are at odds with each other.
If you change the wording, such as “customer demos” to “site inspections” and “constant quality testing” to “meeting technical requirements”, you will find that SCRUM, TDD and other IT methodologies can be used in construction and have extensive training available to you.
It is a mistake to believe that agile IT practices are the entirety of what the methodology has to offer. If you investigate the true methodology, you will find there is much to blend with your current processes to add to construction project success.
You can use part of the agile philosophy in your construction projects, but plan for extra time and cost to accommodate the changes the customer is now entitled to add as you go.
In a way, most of today’s project management qualifications are like driver’s licenses. They both demonstrate a certain level of competency at a point in time but do not guarantee effectiveness. But most project management exams don't have a practical part--an idea that is at least worth discussing.
Consistent study is the key to passing the PMP exam--this approach will help you improve your project management skills for the whole of your career. Here, an IT consultant shares his tips after passing the exam.
It’s inevitable that we tend to take things that we are familiar with for granted. Let's look at how each of us can recognize those areas of our knowledge that are stagnating--and what we can do to avoid losing that knowledge altogether.
Are you starting the process of getting ready for the CAPM or PMP exam? Are you confused by the many articles that talk about the differences between PMBOK editions? The goal of this article is to clear away some of that confusion.
To maintain your certification (be it PMP, CAPM or PgMP), you have to meet the ongoing requirement for Professional Development Units. For the budget conscious of you out there, there are plenty of ways to fulfill your 60 PDUs within a three-year cycle that cost no money.
How are technical certifications different from professional licenses? What value do they provide the holder? Can they help someone get a job and earn more money? Are some certifications more prestigious than others? Do some hold the same stature as professional licenses?
Last year, PMI CEO Mark Langley recommended that the PM triangle should be updated with points being Business Acumen, Leadership and Project Management (a small triangle that included scope, budget and schedule). Part 1 of our series explored Business Acumen; here, we look at Leadership.
Working in North America, it’s easy to dismiss PRINCE2 as some obscure, also-ran oddity from across the pond that has limited popularity. A little like afternoon tea or cricket, you hear about it occasionally, but don’t come across it in regular work very often. However, that is a stereotyped view that no longer applies.
The Project Procurement Management knowledge area often causes stress to potential PMP exam takers, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are, however, a few important elements within the process that will need to be studied in further detail.
It is the easiest knowledge area on the PMP exam...which will make you all the more incensed if you stumble on a Communications Management question. Don't take this section--which stretches across four of the five process groups--for granted.
Last year, PMI CEO Mark Langley recommended that the PM triangle should be updated with points being Business Acumen, Leadership and Project Management (a small triangle that included scope, budget and schedule). In Part 1 of his series examining the triangle, Harlan Bridges explores Business Acumen.
Sometimes when exercising, it’s not necessary to do heavy lifting or run long distances. There can be easier days that still contribute to overall success. Project Human Resource Management is one of those easier days...but don’t take it lightly.
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.
Question: It appears to me there is an error in the Fifth Edition of the PMBOK Guide on how to figure a critical path, but perhaps I am wrong. Should I change my processes to comply, or keep on doing what I learned in earlier versions?
The PMBOK Guide is a recognized international standard. Follow it, even if it doesn’t make any sense.
The field of project management is constantly changing and you may be behind in the latest ways to do things, so alter your project practices to comply with the most recent information.
When common sense and your past training are at odds with a fresh version of the PMBOK Guide, stand your ground. You may be correct.
The Project Management Institute will remove certifications from those people who refuse to follow the instructions provided in the PMBOK Guide. International consistency is key.
It is not often we get a chance to watch the growth of a new certification as it occurs. The PMI-ACP is the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) new Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) credential. It was launched with a pilot program at the end of 2011 and then a formal launch in 2012. How popular will this new credential become?
"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite."