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Moving Past Risk Analysis

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Risk analysis is a wonderful tool for project managers. But in order for risk management to be useful to a project or a program, the management team will need to move past risk analysis and into taking actions based on the analysis.

The Importance of Identifying Risks

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Managing risks on a project is part of best practices, but how do you get started identifying risks? There are many avenues--and the project manager should explore as many as possible and realistic.

Accurate Resource Planning

by Andy Jordan

The need for accurate resource plans is not new, and yet we still consistently get it wrong. Why is that, and how can we change things?

The PM Finish Line

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Do you struggle over the finish line with a gasping breath, or do you stride easily past it with the satisfaction of a job well done? Finishing well is just as vital as anything else on the project, but how do you get there?

The Fallible Future (and How to Fix It)

by Ian Whittingham, PMP

How far away is the future? It’s the kind of philosophical question a curious child might ask as they ponder their growing sense of the elasticity of time. It’s also the kind of question a less philosophically minded project manager might ask as they try to estimate the point at which their project will achieve its goal.

Method in the Mayhem: Managing Megaprojects (Part 1)

by Ian Whittingham, PMP

What is it that makes a megaproject more than just an ordinary one on steroids? Certainly the challenges that megaprojects create make exceptional demands on project management expertise. But what are those challenges? And in what ways does expertise respond to those exceptional demands? A close look at a couple of examples--one ancient and one modern--might help us understand how megaprojects have responded to those questions.

Rules of Engagement for Project Resources

by Paul Baumgartner, PMP

Resources assigned to your project vary in experience with projects. Communicate these proven rules of engagement at your kickoff to equip your team for top project performance.

Setting Up Sponsors for Success

by Andy Jordan

Good project sponsorship is critical for success, but that accountability starts long before the project itself is approved. So why are sponsors frequently set up for failure by their organizations, and how can you change that?

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.

Standard Business Case

PREMIUM deliverable
by Michael Wood

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!

Project Concept

PREMIUM deliverable

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.

Risk Assessment Summary Checklist

PREMIUM checklist

This checklist is a quick and dirty way of weighing risk factors against project criteria to discover level of risk.

Business Case Planning Checklist

PREMIUM checklist

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.

Business Case

PREMIUM deliverable

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.

Methodology Implementation Project Charter

deliverable

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.

ROI Calculator

deliverable

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.

Tips for a Successful Business Case

deliverable
by Joe Wynne

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 Your Business Case to Management

PREMIUM presentation
by Michael Wood

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.

Risk Analysis and Contingency Plan Guidelines

deliverable

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.

Project Sponsor Checklist

checklist

The project sponsor checklist describes ways for the project sponsor to provide commitment and project support in an effective, visible manner.

Application Development Risk Assessment Checklist

PREMIUM checklist

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.

Quick Project Risk Assessment Questionnaire

PREMIUM checklist

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.

Strategy-Focused Project Charter

deliverable

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.

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I'd rather be a failure at something I love, than a success at something I hate.

- George Burns

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