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Project Dashboard

deliverable
by Prakashkumar Natarajan

The Project Dashboard is the summary of the project status. It contains project details, a brief scope, the current phase (status), gating processes plan versus actual, cost analysis (BAC, EAC, ETC, Actual Cost), cash flow forecast/analysis, change order tracking and status, earned value analysis (PV, EV, AC), project schedule status, project hours booking, project highlights/improvements, CPI, SPI, risk costs and HSE safe hours. The template is useful for project managers to track the project progress and report to management about the project status.

Divide and Direct

by Ronald B. Smith

Dividing your project into smaller parts that are more controllable helps you move closer to your ultimate goal: successfully achieving your project deliverables and high user satisfaction. Follow these seven tips to gain more direct control over your project.

Methodology Weakness in Project Control

by Arild Sigurdsen

Budget overruns are typical for all industries, especially for those dealing with complex, non-repetitive projects. Control over projects is often lost because the most popular project control tools simplify the control issue to the extent that vital steering parameters are lost or missed. A probabilistic forecasting tool like the Range Forecasting Method (RFM) can help address uncertainty and reduce extra costs.

Project Charter Document

deliverable
by Ralph Moore

This sample project charter helps you define the scope, objectives and overall approach for the work to be completed. It is a critical element for initiating, planning, executing, controlling and assessing the project. It should be the single point of reference on the project for project goals and objectives, scope, organization, estimates, work plan and budget. In addition, it serves as a contract between the project team and the project sponsors, stating what will be delivered according to the budget, time constraints, risks, resources and standards agreed upon for the project.

Dynamic Project Management

by Pradeep Sangal

Large infrastructure project teams continuously struggle to manage several issues posed by the volatile environment of projects. It's time to develop a holistic and dynamic project planning and monitoring tool for the effective management of ever-changing project requirements and environments.

Project Managers: The Level-Headed Heroes that Prevail

by Mike Donoghue

Being a project manager may not be flashy and inspire flowing-cape theatrics, but there are quiet ways in which you can work behind the scenes to ensure that everyone becomes the hero when your projects are completed on time, within budget and to everyone’s satisfaction.

An Agile Look at Change

by Andy Jordan

The alternative to embracing change doesn’t have to be completely rejecting it. Are there ways we can introduce more flexibility to waterfall projects without losing control of change? Can traditional project execution approaches learn anything from the agile approach to change?

Project Status Report (Monthly)

PREMIUM deliverable
by Dan Roman

This Project Status Report is a monthly document presented to the Project Control Group (Steering Committee). This report is used to monitor the progress of the project, discuss and support tactical decisions that need to be taken to keep or put the project on track, mitigate risks and issues escalated by the project team and/or the Project Working Group, and recommend/approve changes in scope, budget or schedule.

Project Management as a Service: The New Model

by Elizabeth Harrin

Do you deliver Project Management as a Service? That doesn’t mean outsourcing your PM to a consultancy, but changing the way you think about project management and your customers--they are clients of the project management processes that you provide.

Cost Estimating Worksheet

PREMIUM deliverable
by Renato Barrios

This document describes a template for a bottom-up project cost estimation worksheet based on a project WBS having disciplines as basic elements. The worksheet is based on WBS elements commonly adopted on the development of new products in the electromechanical industry involving HW and SW development, qualification, integration of new components into a system, development of system configuration rules, training and industrialization.

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…

Combining Soft Skills and Hard Tools for Better Software Estimates

by Carol Dekkers

One measure of project success hinges on the ability of the estimator to predict the right schedule and budget, since projects that go over budget or fall behind are deemed failures. This article looks at the factors behind the difficulty of getting good estimates and suggests a combination of psychology (soft skills) and science (robust estimation software) to increase project success rates.

Managing Contingency

by Rob Seiler Jerry B. Insall

Contingency covers costs that are reasonably expected to occur but are not specifically known on a given project. Keeping estimates of contingency up-to-date and relevant to the current environment and phase of the project in real time can be a challenge. Through the use of a project information database, application of a PMO reserve, and the use of iterative risk planning, the authors offer a solution to this problem.

Six Questions on the Path to Financially Justified Projects: Developing Cash Flow Models

by Bill Kay

Projects are financial and strategic investments that exist to deliver value. Cash flow modeling is an essential step to produce return on investment (ROI) financial measurements that support the project selection process. The author poses six key questions project managers should ask at the onset of the process to produce an accurate financial representation of the project and enable value creation.

The Use of Task Rates in Monitoring and Evaluating Projects

by Francisco J. Toro

The author presents an approach for using a rate to monitor projects, based on the re-evaluation of two key concepts, work total, and the rate per unit of work. By periodically recalculating and updating rate values, considering the comparison of the actual work vs. the planned work, the project manager may develop reliable databases for use in future evaluations and follow-up projects.

How to Keep a Project Under Budget

by Mike Tressler, MBA, PMP

Using a step-by-step approach to budgeting will make your life easier in the long run, allow you to accurately answer any questions about project expenditures, make much more accurate future cost estimates for similar projects and generally give you more control over the project. Here's some help.

Can Agile Projects Self-Organize with a Fixed-Price Mentality?

by Sachin Dhaygude

The answer is “yes”, even though the typical fixed-price mentality violates the values stated in the Agile Manifesto. But fixed-price contracts are necessary for the market, so agile projects will have to adjust and offer a workaround.

Making Project Management Information Systems Agile

by Kevin Aguanno, PMP, MAPM, IPMA-B, Cert.APM, CSM, CSP

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.

The Key to Optimum Outsourcing

by Jiju (Jay) Nair, PMP

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.

The Vendor-Client Conundrum

by Laura Burford

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?

Hiring a Consultant: What to Do, What Not to Do...and Why

by Mark Mullaly, Ph.D., PMP

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?

The Pros and Cons of Consultants

by Michael Wood

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.

The Consulting Relationship: A Matter of Trust

by Andy Jordan

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.

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"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."

- Albert Einstein

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