Save Time With Tools + Templates

Clinical Research Project Activity List Template

deliverable
by Danilo Uvalin

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.

Capacity Planning Template

deliverable
by Lydia Lopez Ruiz

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).

Project Charter Template (PMBOK® Guide Aligned)

PREMIUM deliverable
by Markus Klein, PMP

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.

Project Status Update (Presentation)

PREMIUM presentation
by Daniel Grzybek

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.

Learn From Others

The Top 10 Reasons Projects Fail (Part 1)

by Marc Lacroix

While we all generally know what a pitfall is in the business world and understand that they should be avoided, the most obvious traps are still sometimes the ones we fall into—especially when managing projects with dozens of competing priorities that distract us and take our eyes off the trail ahead. This two-part article series identifies the top 10 reasons projects fail and focuses on how to avoid these common project management pitfalls.

WBS: A Building Block of Sound Project Management

by Jon Quigley, Kim H. Pries

The work breakdown structure is fundamental to project execution. When we expend insufficient time and develop inadequate detail on the WBS, the project will yield poor results and we can expect to see last-minute identification of critical elements. Here we look in greater detail at this essential tool.

Topic Teasers Vol. 78: Breaking Stalemates

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

Question: We are at a stalemate! Executives keep asking for more and more projects to be done, yet our resources do not have enough spare time to do them. We look bad, but when we say we don’t have enough time to do these requested projects, management doesn’t really “hear” us. I’m not officially a project manager, but is there any way I can step up and help my organization through this standoff?
A. If you are not a project manager, this is not your problem. Continue to do your daily work and spend whatever few hours a week you can working on projects as they are assigned by the boss of your department.
B. Ask to make a plea in the next executive meeting. When you present your case, let them know that everyone is too busy to do more projects and, realistically, it will a long time before the current ones are finished. It is important to set expectations.
C. Ask your immediate manager if you can work with your colleagues to try to capture the free time available for projects and then prepare information for him to present to the executives. In this way, you may be able to realistically show some options for moving forward with organizational projects.
D. Work to reduce the number of hours you spend on your current daily tasks so that you can focus more of your energy on important projects. Projects are the future, so they should be completed even if it is at the expense of the operational tasks that keep the company running in the present.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Project Task Duration Estimation and Scheduling

by Jon Quigley, Kim H. Pries

In this article, we look at the key to schedule success, historical and repeatable tasks, why schedules fail, how to eliminate the target date tango and build a schedule defense that manages the risks.

Project Levels: So You Think You Know What a Level-4 Project Plan Is?

by Wayne Ragas

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.

Estimating Resources

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

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 Management

by M.W. Settlemire, PMP

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" Algorithm

by David Pratten, PMP

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.

Topic Teasers Vol. 71: Better Estimates

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

Question: I have a person on my team who is constantly late with his activities. We’ve spoken, with me using my best managerial techniques, to try to help him understand the impact to the project when he does not finish work as planned. Where do I go from here?
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.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

The Importance of Tasks: Using an Additional Filter of Task Importance for Better PM

by Debasis Roy

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?


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Recent Questions

Topic Originator Last Post Votes Replies
Which is/was the most difficult PMBOK knowledge area for you to study?  George Lewis  Jul 24, '16 2:20 PM  66 
Associate adages with their definition, can you make it? from "PMO_Setup_Chapter_11"  George Lewis  Jul 23, '16 10:58 PM 
Engineers and Drawings  Brian Wilhelm  Jul 21, '16 1:43 PM 
Insufficient Information: Too Many Unknowns !   Rami Kaibni  Jul 20, '16 5:15 PM  22 
Internal Human Resources On Estimate Cost process  Ynes Coiscou  Jul 20, '16 1:58 PM 
What other questions would you ask when Studying Project Risk Management?  George Lewis  Jul 19, '16 4:47 PM  38 
What other questions would you ask when Studying Project Communications Management?  George Lewis  Jul 19, '16 8:29 AM 
What's the most difficult question you've faced in a mock exam?  George Lewis  Jul 18, '16 4:56 PM  59 
What other questions would you ask when Studying Project Human Resource Management?  George Lewis  Jul 13, '16 7:02 AM 
When do you consider, is the best/worst day of the week for a PM to send out an email?  George Lewis  Jul 11, '16 9:52 PM  55 
Do you use SPC (Statistical Process Control) to measure/control your project(s) performance or to measure/control your project management process?  George Lewis  Jul 9, '16 4:50 PM 
scheduling without dates  Roger Schiller  Jul 8, '16 2:40 PM 
task naming convention  Robert Gray  Jul 8, '16 12:29 PM 
MRP program recommendations inquiry for midsize company  Kay Faesel  Jul 7, '16 11:18 AM 
Dealing with project showstopper  Freddy S. Usman  Jul 6, '16 2:28 AM 
Do you consider there is value in focusing on process dimension?  George Lewis  Jul 2, '16 7:19 PM 
What other questions would you ask when Studying Project Cost Management?  George Lewis  Jun 29, '16 10:22 AM  11 
What other questions would you ask when Studying Project Time Management?   George Lewis  Jun 25, '16 11:13 AM 
What other questions would you ask when Studying Project Scope Management?   George Lewis  Jun 24, '16 8:16 AM 
I was thinking about obtaining my PMI-PBA certification. Suggestions? Helpful thoughts?  Dustin Hudson  Jun 24, '16 2:11 AM 
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