The Project Charter formally authorizes a project or phase. It defines the reason for the project and assigns a project manager--and the PM's authority level. The content of the Charter should describe the project in high-level terms.
The Budget Template Workbook includes: a cost estimate sheet to document your initial cost assumptions, a planning template to help you take a detailed look at planning costs, and a tracking template to track actual costs against budget and document reasons for variances. It's a great planning and communication tool to help you stay on top of project finances.
When one PM was asked to list the key requirements for a PMIS that would enable it to better support project and organizational effectiveness, he thought about past project, portfolio and program management experiences. The result? A “dream list” of features for a PMIS to support large, traditionally managed projects...a list that was surprisingly agile.
Some studies have indicated that the real benefits of offshore outsourcing can be diminished by issues in communication, skill sets and accountability. But if managed properly, offshore IT projects can reap substantial rewards.
What each vendor and client might think is black and white about their project can actually be gray. Just recognizing and accepting this is a conundrum--and resolving it requires aligning perspectives for the good of the project. Do you have the flexibility to change, collaborate and communicate?
Is "consultant" a dirty word? Many consultants get a bad name from the fact that they become indistinguishable from the organizational employees that they work alongside. How do you know that hiring a consultant is a good idea?
What comes to mind when you ponder the possibility of engaging a consultant? Dread or excitement? The high cost or opportunity for growth? Most of us have heard good things and bad things about using consultants, most of which are true.
Consultants can be a helpful resource on a project or they can take up valuable space. Here are some ideas for the best way to deal with consultants and make sure they are beneficial to the project.
Many consulting engagements see frustrated consultants because they are not allowed to do what they feel is needed to maximize the chances of success. Here, we look at how these scenarios can be avoided--something that starts with trust.
Choosing the best framework or methodology requires thought, but be careful not to overanalyze it. PMs can gain valuable insight from Bruce Lee’s philosophies, which offer a sound approach to achieve success in any area.
Why is LOE as important for a project as other aspects like stakeholder satisfaction, cost overshoot and schedule variance? And are you approaching it the right way?
There is one aspect of project management where it's rare to find any consistency at all within PMOs: project financials. Let’s look at some of the different options and see if we can figure out some models that might work effectively.
The best part about Project Cost Management is that there are only three processes. And while the first two processes are light dumbbell lifting, the third throws some heavy barbell exercises your way. Are you prepared?
Nothing comes free, but do you understand the true cost? When we look for ways to improve business efficiency, we consider two primary factors. But sometimes organizations push so hard for efficiency that they ignore the potential impact--and that’s when the problems start.
Whatever the approach, mandate or processes adopted by each organization, you as the PM should be aware of the following best practices and ensure that they are adopted in one way or the other to guarantee your project’s financial transparency.
Since it’s the cold season, we wanted to share a list of maladies that will take your project down if you aren't paying attention or fail to keep your guard up. Each are preventable, and as the old saying goes: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
PMs don’t always have the right view of what makes a project successful. Our discipline has evolved and now requires us to have a much more complete view of how our projects impact organizations. Just how do you define "failure"?
It's inevitable--organizations will change the way that planning cycles are executed. For many organizations, this is a natural extension of the commitments that they are already making--EPMOs, strong and executive supported portfolio management, and results-focused execution. For others, this is a major shift. Here we explore some of the ways that annual planning can be improved.
There are many different methods a project manager can use to rebaseline the project plan. Unfortunately, the one most often used is reactive instead of proactive. Approach your rebaselining event in a careful and methodical manner to make it worthwhile and benefit the project.
Enterprise PMOs are going to continue to grow and evolve--and over time the vast majority of organizations will evolve their PMO models to an EPMO model. However, as we look at the way that companies manage their PMOs today, we can’t help thinking that there is a lot of work ahead.
Now is a great time for us as project managers to consider how we might change our habits for the better. It’s very easy to get trapped into a set of activities without examining how we can improve our delivery. By incorporating the three “Rs” (reduce, reuse and recycle) we can better manage our projects.
For those project managers practicing agile practices and methods, you already have all the ingredients in place to optimize your green initiatives. This article will attempt to illustrate how agile principles can enhance and compliment projects that have sustainability as one of its main end goals.
To really get environmental awareness to stick in an organization, you have to be prepared to go beyond setting an example and start to define green-aware policy and create a culture of sustainability. Here, we look at some practical, easy-to-implement ways that you can start to have a smaller environmental footprint when you execute on projects.
Adoption of LEED standards is typically framed as a means of reducing operating costs; the greater expense in designing and building sustainable facilities is offset by reduced energy consumption in future years. This becomes a theoretically easy business case that should be readily accepted: an investment in current periods providing future savings in costs. The challenge, however, is two-fold: it requires foresight and a willingness to invest in the long term, and there needs to be confidence that the promised benefits are realistic and attainable.