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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

Sponsor Checklist: Business Case

checklist

The aim of your business case is to gain organizational support and funding approval for an initiative by providing all necessary rationale for informed decision making. You as the sponsor must document the business case after satisfactory analysis has been conducted to understand business need, examine alternatives and conclude recommendations. Use this checklist as a reference in building a better business case.

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

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

Does a Leader Need to Be an Expert?

by Andy Jordan

What exactly is it about project managers that make them “good” or “bad” leaders? Certainly it’s a combination of different factors--personality, integrity, communication skills--but is expertise a requirement of a good leader?

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

Successful CRM Implementation

by Jiju (Jay) Nair, PMP

While industry experts agree that not all the ideal benefits can be harvested by a typical CRM solution, organizations should at least target an implementation that sets the foundation for enhancing the customer satisfaction for their products and services in the long haul. So what makes a better CRM implementation?

IT Strategy

Managing the Aftermath of a Cyber Breach

by Kevin Coleman

Cyber breaches have become all too common--and the negative impact of these events is significant. Are you taking a project management approach to ensure a timely and well-executed response to address the numerous complex issues that accompany a breach?

ITIL/Service Management

A Project Manager's Guide to IT Service Management

PREMIUM on-demand webinar

This webinar will explain the similarities and differences between PMI's PMBOK Guide and IT Service Management concepts. It will also examine how Project Management can be used in conjunction with ITSM to further improve IT and meet business needs

Knowledge Management

The Mind: A Wonderful Thing to Map

by Mike Donoghue

A creative and intuitive process, mind mapping is also used by many PMs who seek more involvement by their project teams--while at the same time capturing an extensive level of detail that may not be covered by other project management techniques.

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

Preparing for the Exam with PMBOK Guide—Fifth Edition (Part 6): Cost Management

by Bruce Garrod

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…

Topic Teasers Vol. 43: Benefits Management Is Hard!

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

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!

Requirements Management

Business Requirements Document: Customer/Client Sign-off Template

deliverable

All organizations have slightly different terminology and/or methods for tracking the creation, review and approval of project documentation throughout the lifecycle. This template is developed based on executing projects across various following types of projects/firms/environments. The goal of organizations and projects when it comes to tracking sign-off is that it’s about Who, What, When and Why. This template helps you stay on top of all of them. Use this in conjunction with the Business Requirements Report Template to help streamline the process.

Stakeholder Analysis Worksheet

PREMIUM 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

Topic Teasers Vol. 44: Don't Hire Heroes!

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

Question: Finally, we have convinced human resources that our agile team lead and our ScrumMaster need to be involved in hiring new team members. But now that we have the authority, we really don’t know what to look for in a good hire. How do we use this new power to our best advantage in choosing a fresh agile colleague?
A. Be careful what you ask for. Only human resource certified people are qualified to choose new employees for an organization. Revoke your participation rights in this process or you will be blamed when this new hire fails.
B. It’s not only the questions you ask, but what you do with the answers that will empower you to choose the best addition to your team. Create a good list of questions and know how to interpret what you hear.
C. Your product owner is the person on the management team and is more experienced in what makes a good agile team member. Ask him to sit in on candidate interviews and then defer to his superior judgment when making the final choice.
D. The person you hire must fit into the team, so assemble the entire team and have all of them work with you to interview potential candidates. Once they have agreed on a choice, they will be forced to work with the new person successfully since they have been part of the hiring decision.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

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.

Testing/Test Management

Continuous Integration and Testing

by Kapil Kr. Bhatia

Using continuous testing, one can immediately detect problems in code — before it’s too late and problems spread. Using a clever combination of tests, tools, and techniques you can tell right away when there’s a problem and it’s easiest to fix. The author uses a case study to illustrate the benefits of continuous integration (CI) and how it leads to better quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA).

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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