Question: We are being pressured to take unused vacation days before the end of the year. However, I don’t know how to be away from my project and still get it completed. Should I just allow my vacation days to lapse or just accept that my project will suffer while I am gone and take them?
Keeping your job is more important than using up vacation days. In this economy it is better to let them lapse than to be out of the office and allow the organization to see they can get along without you.
Take your vacation days, but plan when in the project cycle you will be gone and work ahead to delegate your work to others. Check in regularly while you are away.
Ask the company if they will send the entire team on vacation together. That way you can work on the project during the day and relax and unwind together at night. It could be billed as a team bonding exercise.
Take the vacation days but stay at home. Arrange to be in the office on alternating days and then stay home in between. That way you use the days but complete the project as well.
A lot can happen during planning and requirements. The business may be discovering what it wants for the first time, or stakeholders may see what the solution demands. Those are just a few of the creatures lurking in the dark...
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...
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.
The waterfall methodology for projects is aptly named, because it is equally painful to try to go back to prior phases of a project once the effort has advanced to the next phase. This article will outline two reasons to avoid waterfall, and three ways to approach software projects that are more useful.
Managing requirements successfully does not happen by accident. The project manager in charge should have a solid plan for making sure the requirements provide a solid basis for the rest of the project.
Why would you not always do as much planning as possible before starting a project? Could it actually be harmful? It all depends on the quality of that input data--when the input data is good, we can reliably plan; when the input data is bad, then we need to get better data and keep evolving the plans.
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.
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?
A few articles ago you committed to getting in PMP shape. Every muscle from head (Integrating) to foot (Closing) has been used. It’s time now to start working very specific areas. Up first: Project Scope Management.
In the journey to PMP fitness, you have taken three decisive steps. But many PMs have not had the opportunity to participate in a suite of courses where most knowledge areas are explored from a combined approach of PMI theory and real-world application. While this can put you at a real disadvantage, it’s still possible to be successful. In out latest installment, we cover Project Integration Management.
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.
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 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.
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.
I watched the Indy 500, and I was thinking that if they left earlier they wouldn't have to go so fast.