Outlining Resource Needs

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

One of the first questions when starting a new project is: What resources do you need? Outlining these needs to executive management is paramount in securing project success, so keep these four tips in mind.

The Consultant vs. In-House PM

by Michael Wood

What's the difference? From time to time, organizations find themselves in a dilemma trying to decide whether they should use an in-house PM or PM consultant to manage important projects. Being aware of the tradeoffs and making conscious decisions on each is the best way to minimize unintended consequences.

Risk Management: Quit Harping and Start Affecting

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Oftentimes, project managers are talking about risks and it seems that no one is listening. Learn to use the risk management process to affect the project in a positive way using these four guidelines.

Tips to Impress the Risk Executive

by Joe Wynne

Your ability to properly anticipate risk executives’ needs and involve them into the management of your projects will set you apart from those who do not have this ability. These tips covering justification, communication, vendor selection and more will help you build this important skill.

Finding the Time to Collect Lessons Learned

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Lessons learned can be a valuable resource to future projects. Collecting them should be a priority for the project team even when they cannot see the immediate benefit of it. Keep these four tips in mind to help the process run smoothly.

Topic Teasers Vol. 31: Change Rests On You!

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

Question: We have a massive internal change coming, and lucky me…I get to head the project! We have tried this before and had to pull back because of negative employee reactions. I know that this time we need some change management processes, too, but who is responsible to do that part of the project?
A. The good news is, it’s you. You need to take the responsibility and coordinate the change processes in with your usual team activities.
B. The good news is, it’s not you. Focus on the project and on meeting your metrics of time, cost and quality as usual. Corporate management is responsible to make sure employees accept and use these new changes.
C. The PMO is “where the buck stops” when endeavors move from simple projects to create products or software and billow out to vague objectives like “employee acceptance” and “corporate compliance”..
D. Ask your manager. Your project charter is limited to producing the usual product or services and your team is not skilled or experienced in change management processes. Your manager can deal with getting the changes accepted and getting them to stick.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Tracking Risks from Start to Finish

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Risk management can be a tricky business--but following a good process can help you track the risks from start to finish. Keep these five steps in mind.

Saving a Slipping Schedule

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

When a schedule starts to slip, the project manager should be ready to jump in and get things back on track. Here are some strategies the PM can use that do not involve forcing everyone to work 80-hour work weeks.

Don't Forget the Schedule Process!

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Having a schedule process is sometimes more important than having a schedule. A schedule without a process to keep it up will turn into just a wistful dream about how one person thinks the project should go. Here are some points to ponder.

Reining in the Wandering Project

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

A project can get in a great deal of trouble when the tail starts wagging the dog instead of vice versa. Here are some issues to look for so that the project manager can keep a tight hold on the project leash.

BI and the Portfolio: Improving Annual Planning

by Andy Jordan

There is no silver bullet that will allow us to remove all uncertainty, but we can apply some business intelligence practices to the concept of annual planning to at least increase our confidence levels and reduce the risks around the decisions that we make.

A Project No One Wants to Work On

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Some people enjoy project work, and some do not. Turning a project into something that no one wants to work on is truly an accomplishment--but not one to brag about. Be on the lookout for these four warning signs…

Rules for Surviving a Project Zombie Apocalypse

by Rob Saxon

Project issues and risks, like zombies, move relatively slowly. It’s extremely rare that a project manager will be introduced to a project one day and be overwhelmed by the same failed project the next. Therefore, like survivors of a zombie apocalypse, project managers have time to prepare--and to look for those indications that projects are turning...

When PMs Turn Bad

by Andy Jordan

One of the most important things to have is self-awareness--we have to recognize when it is we as project managers that are causing the problems, and when our team members are telling their colleagues about horror stories where we are the bad guys. Here are three swivel-eyed demons to watch out for...

Projectball: PM Lessons from America's Game (Part 3)

by Ian Whittingham, PMP

As our series concludes, we continue to examine Moneyball--and how enlightening it is with its instructive lessons about the effective use of metrics, ones that go beyond the narrow world of baseball and provide some insights into how those lessons might be applied to projects generally.

The Right Way to Use Historical Data

by Andy Jordan

The PMO needs to ensure that the information contained in that database of historical information is organized in a way that not just the data can be retrieved, but also that the context of that data can be understood. If we don’t, then not only may the information not help PMs, it could lead them to significant errors in their planning.

Cause and Effect Analysis

by Andy Jordan

If we don’t conduct the proper analysis but rather make assumptions about what is causing a problem, then we jump to our perceived solution--and more often than not we end up wasting time, money and effort on implementing the wrong solution. This article supports the presentation for Cause and Effect Analysis and provides a more detailed explanation of how the tool should be used.

Infamous PM Failures

by Michael Wood

Everyone loves a good project management horror story--especially ones where the writing was on the wall and failure so very predictable. With the season in mind, here are one expert's all-time favorites. Can we learn from these blunders?

Topic Teasers Vol. 19: More than Devices

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

Question: Amazingly, my team and I have come up with the idea for a very clever, innovative product and have secured time with the board to present it for potential production by our employer. We would get a cut of the profits. What do I need to consider in order to present the most professional case for getting this produced?

A. Why take a percentage of the profits when you could have it all? Find an entrepreneur to back you, quit and make a fortune.
B. Check with other organizations with similar production facilities to see what costs will be and where it is best to buy raw materials; then you have a realistic selling price to present.
C. Use social media to begin to build demand for this item. If you can show the board a high number of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube hits, they will be convinced to support you.
D. Think beyond the product itself to other considerations from the corporation’s point of view. Bring in information on more than your design, and show you would be valuable business partners.

Controlling the Emergency Project

by Andy Jordan

When things go crazy, how do you ensure that process doesn’t suffer? PMOs will benefit from having a “process-lite” concept that could be used in emergencies--and more importantly, a framework for determining when the approach could be used.

Developing an Effective Closeout Survey

by Mike Tressler, MBA, PMP

Given the fast-paced environment within which most project managers operate, it is only natural that the closeout phase of the project lifecycle is often addressed in a rush. A closeout survey using one of the many tools available today is one approach to consider.


"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."

- Walt Disney