The most significant challenge for any project manager is when projects shift modes. The shift from startup to execution, and the shift from execution to closeout, requires a change in mindset. Each shift needs the PM to adjust their focus and emphasis--and a corresponding change to how they deal with people.
The mistake that many project managers will make is that they will rush headlong into planning the project without first ensuring that the fundamental pieces of the project infrastructure are in place. What should we be doing to ensure that the project starts as smoothly as possible? Not ignoring initiation is a good start.
The Olympic rings are five intertwined circles that represent the elaborate and complex Games. Similarly, project managers can bring five rings of discipline together to manage very complex projects. Each of these rings builds upon the other--and they give the project manager a taxonomy by which to manage Olympian efforts
Want to engage all of your stakeholders quickly and communicate with them throughout the project? Stop being so selfish! It's not just about you. The decisions one PM made that supported communications on his project had mixed results, giving him some valuable lessons in the process.
Leadership gaps arise as projects trend toward higher complexity. It will take some significant new skills to succeed in complex near-future projects. When you succeed with the workforce, however, much of the complexity evaporates.
One of the unsung PMO functions is managing risk. There are a lot of aspects of risk management where the PMO can provide tangible support to project managers in their endeavors. In this article, we explore some of that support in terms of identification, analysis and response.
Nothing helps a project get headed down the right path than a well-planned and professionally organized project kickoff. The five-step process outlined here will help insure that the customer and your delivery organization are of the same mind as you start your engines.
The basic premise for the New York state project management methodology is that there are two lifecycles in managing a software project: the Project Management Lifecycle and the System Development Lifecycle. This article briefly examines both cycles, worthy processes to follow for any organization seeking a quality PM solution.
Too many projects, and not enough money or resources to do them all! We need to make prioritized decisions to determine which projects to fund. Chances are that you are in a software leadership role and can’t make the final determination alone; but your expertise will certainly be called upon to help make that determination. This article presents tips that can assist you in making those “fateful” project decisions.
Is a project "vision statement" necessary? Let’s look at some of the perceived advantages of having a documented vision statement in place at the beginning of the project engagement to find out.
It’s time that we face up to a fundamental reality: organizations grapple with making project management work successfully on a consistent basis. Yes, there are exceptions--and some notable ones--but on the whole they simply prove the rule. It's time for a different approach.
Document a business case to persuade upper management to fund your project. Keep it short and succinct enough that the busy executive management audience will read and digest it. It should directly convey the information they need to know with salient, hard-hitting, supporting evidence that addresses the bottom line. This is a basic instructional framework of the information you should include in your business case. Enhance it as you wish!
Finding sponsors to back your project is an art. Make a compelling case for the project to gain sponsor support when you are pitching your business case to executive management. Here is an example of a brief, direct project concept designed to lure sponsors into your camp.
This checklist is a quick and dirty way of weighing risk factors against project criteria to discover level of risk.
Formulating a business case and proposing your project to senior management for buy-in can be tricky. Don't dive right in and start writing. Begin with a solid checklist of guidelines to ensure a business case that's more than buzzword hype.
Mission-critical projects need to be well-justified, with clear goals that can be referenced throughout the life of the project. This business case template offers an excellent approach to goal-setting and a way to communicate those goals effectively.
This is a high-level example of a Project Charter for implementing a methodology, but the structure and approach will work for many projects. This example is heavy on risks and assumptions, light on budgeting, role descriptions and conflict resolution.
The project sponsor is your project's champion. This guideline will help you pick the right person for this important job.
The attached tool has been developed to assist you in generating some solid payback data to be used to evaluate the return potential of your proposed method. Not only will it help the gods of finance see the light, but will also help you to understand whether your project is a winner or loser before you ever put your signature on the purchase requisition.
This excellent project justification guide will provide sophisticated advice to maximize the impact of your business case, making it accurate, complete and persuasive. In addition, learn some handy tips, techniques and strategies to complement existing procedures, templates and spreadsheets that you already use.
Presenting a winning business case with the right amount of the right information for the right audience is the key to getting approval and funding for your project! Here is a presentation that will give you the fine points on how to do just that.
No project was ever completed on time and within budget. Identifying risks associated with a project and mitigating them is a crucial activity of project planning. Managers need to not only analyze project risks, but also must develop contingency plans to address those risks.
The project sponsor checklist describes ways for the project sponsor to provide commitment and project support in an effective, visible manner.
Building an application? This checklist outlines 52 potential risk areas in application development, defining low, medium and high risk levels for each. Classifying your project risk in each of these areas will not only guide you in forming mitigation strategies, but really help you focus your management attention during the course of the project.
What's the first step in looking at the risks you face in delivering your project? Before performing a full-blow assessment, you may want to ask yourself a few simple questions. This 10 minute, 27 question worksheet will help you quickly identify a number of risk factors common to many projects. It's a great first step in looking at the risks you may be facing at a macro level.
This template outlines a classic Project Charter with a focus on project definition and strategic ties. Risks and stakeholder needs are covered, but not in granular detail. It is appropriate for fairly low-risk projects where the goal is to get everyone on the same page up front.