Outside of the discipline of cost engineering, the concept of project levels isn’t well documented. That hasn’t stopped the spread of the concept, but without supporting documentation, project managers have been left to make up their own definitions. Let’s question our own creative definitions by exploring some common themes, then look at a best practice to help clear the fog. Finally, we’ll apply what we learn to our own projects and programs.
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The Dynamic Progress Method: A New Alternative to the Critical Path Method
In this session we’ll define what it means for a schedule to be “risk-ready” and identify common schedule checks that can be used to improve schedule quality and risk-readiness.
Save Time With Tools + Templates
If you are a seasoned project manager involved in clinical research, this activity list with the typical activities performed during the clinical trial will be a great reminder and a good starting point in your project planning. For all others interested in clinical research projects, this activity list can serve as a great overview of how complex and interesting clinical research can be.
This Google Docs capacity planning template can be used by any project manager who doesn't have complex scheduling tools like MS Project. It provides a calendar-like spreadsheet where development tasks can be assigned to different resources to easily distribute the work and calculate the available man days per period (release, sprint).
This sample Project Charter, aligned to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®Guide), includes sections for project goals, success criteria, risks, assumptions, restrictions, budget and more.
This presentation template is a formal customer-facing status report used for medium to larger projects, or for reporting multiple projects with the same stakeholder audience.
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Learn From Others
If you cannot make a plan to have the right people at the right time, then your project will not succeed. But how do you arrive at that plan with the number of resources? And how do you ensure that the number of people is right, and the start and finish dates are correct? It all starts with estimating.
A Theoretical Approach to Traditional Project Metrics-Bridging the Gap Between Earned Value and Critical Path Project Managementby
Since work completed from tasks not on the critical path does not affect the completion date of a project, it is important to differentiate tasks that are “critical” from those that are not in order to better monitor and control them. The project performance metric, critical path task index (CPTI), offers a more holistic view in terms of schedule performance for tasks directly related to schedule completion.
Keys for Agile Co-Evolution of the WBS and Schedule Network: The "Schedule Network 100 Percent" Rule and the "Add and Prune Dependencies" Algorithmby
The pressure for greater agility in project management approaches increases the challenge of achieving coherence between the WBS and the schedule network. This article elaborates on best practices where the goal of full coherence between the WBS and schedule network can be taken for granted and maintained without effort by the project planner.
|A.||When a person consistently does not finish as planned, there is a problem with team estimates. Hold a full team meeting to see what can be done to create more realistic estimates in the future by all team members.|
|B.||You have an employee who obviously has no regard for the other members of the team. Put him on report, and if he misses even one additional deadline, either fire him or ask to have him removed from your team, depending on your power.|
|C.||This person must be doing an acceptable job when he finishes; the issue is just with his estimating skills. Track his work and find a multiplying factor to use when adding his activities to the Work Breakdown Structure.|
|D.||This employee seems to have a communication issue. He cannot clearly state how long it will take him to finish an activity he estimated himself, and he is not communicating to you when he will be late. See if Human Resources has a training class to help him become more articulate.|
Project managers have the daunting task of being able to predict project progress--and then ensuring that what is planned and projected is what is achieved. Rarely does planned schedule and actual progress match, unless unwanted buffer is factored in. Of course, that has its own disadvantages, and leaner projects mean better efficiency. Would viewing the project activities using a separate set of filters provide a better understanding?
Effective Use of Kanban for Monitoring and Controlling Low-Complexity Projects in a High-Volume Project Environmentby
Kanban is an effective tool for monitoring and controlling high-volume/low-complexity projects when the goal is to increase throughput, limit work in process (WIP), and measure flow in project environments. Implementation of this approach has the ability to reduce the project management team’s level of effort while optimizing resource utilization.
The amount of work we take on is just as important as the projects that we select. Taking on too many projects at the same time often results in cascading and systemic project failures and leads to a multitude of organizational and stakeholder dysfunctions. This article discusses some of the pitfalls of taking on too much work and offers a simple, yet elegant, solution.
Isn’t there a no-cost way to create accurate, probabilistic estimates using just Microsoft Excel--without buying any add-in programs, without installing new software and without having to return to college to take a statistics class? Yes, there is: It’s called Statistical PERT.
The schedule needs to stay up to date if the project is going to proceed on time and be successful. Keep these tips in mind when developing a strategy for capturing schedule updates to ensure the success of the project.
Projects get started for various different reasons--and with varying levels of understanding. The scope is one of the most important items to settle on as soon as possible at the beginning of the project.
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