Project Management 2.0

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New technologies, concepts, and Web 2.0 tools are popping up everywhere. How can you use them to help your project team collaborate, communicate - or just give your project an extra boost? [Contact Dave]

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14 MORE Templates to Save You Time and Improve Your Performance

12 MORE Project Management Templates to Save You Time and Improve Your Performance

Managing a Portfolio of Accidental PMs

16 MORE Project Management Templates to Save You Time and Improve Your Performance

How Active Is Your Project Sponsor?

14 MORE Templates to Save You Time and Improve Your Performance
Categories: New Templates

Happy April and thank you again for being Members of the ProjectManagement.com community!

This month, in addition to our usual template release, we are including 4 NEW templates from our friends at PMI as well as 2 of our own new templates!

Download these quick before they're back in the PREMIUM library! These are all examples of premium content available 24/7 to our Premium Members. However,they are free to every registered member through Thursday, April 17th. We hope these make your life a bit easier – helping us fulfill our mission of making YOU more successful. If you are not already a Premium Plus member but would like to be, Premium Plus membership is available at a $50 discount using the code "KEEP50".

The following premium templates are available to all ProjectManagement.com members until 4/17. We hope you find them useful. 

Human Resource Management Plan (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
Have you assigned all of the roles and responsibilities for your team? Decided authority levels for various managers? Detailed the organizational structure? Those are just a few of the vital tasks that this plan will help you record. 

Milestone List (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
The Milestone List defines all the project milestones and describes the nature of each one. It may categorize the milestone as optional or mandatory, internal or external, interim or final, or in any other way that supports the needs of the project. 

Probability and Impact Assessment (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
The Probability and Impact Assessment form contains narrative descriptions of the likelihood of events occurring and the impact on the various project objectives if they do occur. It also has a key to assign an overall risk rating based on the probability and impact scores. If a Risk Management Plan is used, this information will become part of that plan. 

Duration Estimating Worksheet (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
A duration estimating worksheet can help to develop duration estimates when quantitative methods are used. This PREMIUM DELIVERABLE template will help you keep track of parametric estimates, analogous estimates and three-point estimates. 

Communications Plan Log (NEW THIS MONTH!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
Communication is one of the most critical success factors on a project and a strong communication plan will go a long way towards creating a structure of effective communication with all stakeholders. This template provides some basic fields common to all plans but also helps identify each stakeholder’s specific needs. 

Assumptions Log (NEW THIS MONTH!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
For a project to proceed, it is inevitable that assumptions are made. Without them, the project would grind to a halt until all uncertainty was removed. However, in many cases assumptions are made without any further attempt to confirm or correct those assumptions; this can lead to significant downstream project execution difficulties. This template is intended to help capture and track assumptions and the work being done to validate them. 

Design Milestones Review Checklists
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
This Design Milestones Review Checklist contains four worksheets: Design Milestones, High-Level Pre-Design, Technical Requirements, and Documentation and User Interface. 

Pre-Development Requirements Checklist
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
This checklist will help you assess your user and technical requirements for accuracy, completeness and quality. 

Are You an Effective Project Manager? (a quick self assessment)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
How effectively do you manage your projects? Regardless of your score, this 50 point self assessment will help you identify very practical areas to focus on and improve the skills you have. 

Methodology Implementation Plan
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
This document outlines the strategy for deploying a standard systems development methodology and its supporting tools to IT project teams. It is a framework for ensuring that the project team understands, applies and measures the effectiveness of the methodology. 

Project Portfolio Worksheet
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
The Project Portfolio Management Starter Kit consists of a PowerPoint briefing explaining the initial steps and this Excel worksheet to perform your analysis. With these two tools, you will have the ability to start your portfolio process. 

Sample Project Manager Job Description Form
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
Just what the heck is a project manager, anyway? Here's a starting point. 

Project HEADWAY Project Status Report
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
The purpose of a status report is to provide the project sponsor, the steering committee and other stakeholders with an understanding of how the project is progressing. The status report template allows the project manger to provide the audience members with a high-level view of the project. The template provides them with enough information in order to for them to understand project progress whilst not so much information as to overwhelm them. 

Project HEADWAY Project Team Status Report
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
On many projects, each team is required to submit a status report indicating their progress on their portion of the project. The report ensures the key information required by the project manager is captured from each team in a consistent and complete fashion. 

Have you seen our new Requirements Management Practice Area? It's full of tips and templates to help you define the work that you are engaged in now. Take a look around and let us know what you think. 

We hope you are having an amazing year so far and thank you again for being a ProjectManagement.com member! We sincerely appreciate your support and are completely committed to your success. If we can help with anything project related, please let us know at contactus@projectmanagement.com.

Best,
Dave
Dave Garrett
President & CEO, ProjectManagement.com

Posted on: April 12, 2014 02:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

12 MORE Project Management Templates to Save You Time and Improve Your Performance
Categories: New Templates

Merry March & thank you again for being Members of the ProjectManagement.com community!

 

This month, in addition to our usual "template release", we are including 5 NEW templates from our friends at PMI as well as 2 of our own new templates!

 

Download these quick before they're back in the PREMIUM library! These are all examples of premium content available 24/7 to our Premium Members. However, they are free to every registered member through Thursday, March 21st. We hope these make your life a bit easier – helping us fulfill our mission of making YOU more successful. If you are not already a Premium Plus member but would like to be, Premium Plus membership is available at a $50 discount using the code "KEEP50".

 

The following premium templates are available to all ProjectManagement.com members until 3/21. We hope you find them useful.

 

Bottom-Up Cost Estimating Worksheet (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)

PREMIUM DELIVERABLE

Bottom-up estimates are detailed estimates done at the work package level. Detailed information on the work package and other direct/indirect costs are used to determine the most accurate estimate possible. Use this worksheet to help you keep track.

Cost Estimating Worksheet (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)

PREMIUM DELIVERABLE

A cost-estimating worksheet can help you develop cost estimates when quantitative methods or bottom-up estimates are developed. Quantitative methods include parametric estimates, analogous estimates and three-point estimates.

Cost Management Plan (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)

PREMIUM DELIVERABLE

The cost management plan is a component of the project or program management plan that describes how costs will be planned, structured and controlled. It includes a description of how costs will be estimated and budgeted, and helps define the methods used.

Change Management Plan (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)

PREMIUM DELIVERABLE

The change management plan is a component of the project management plan. It describes how change will be managed on the project. Use this template to help guide the process.

Communications Management Plan (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)

PREMIUM DELIVERABLE

The communications management plan is a component of the project management plan. It describes the communication needs of the project including audiences, messages and methods and is a vital component of stakeholder management.

Sample Weekly Status Report (NEW THIS MONTH!)

PREMIUM DELIVERABLE

Stay on top of your project with this weekly status report template, which helps you track issues, delays, key accomplishments, planned activities and risks.

Sample Program-Level Status Report (NEW THIS MONTH!)

PREMIUM DELIVERABLE

Keep track of major departmental projects using this sample status report, which helps you keep track of progress and risks.

Project Management Roles and Responsibilities

PREMIUM DELIVERABLE

A PMO, Project Managers and Mentors must all act in concert to ensure that projects are executed efficiently and effectively. These role descriptions and matrices help clarify who does what.

Post-Mortem Documentation

PREMIUM DELIVERABLE

Make sure no post-mortem details escape you by using this analysis form, designed to help you avoid potential problems with future projects.

Problem Escalation Matrix

PREMIUM DELIVERABLE

There are always issues with projects and things are much easier if you know what your next option is for moving things along. This matrix offers a process for resolving various types of project problems and delays.

Prioritization Criteria Template

PREMIUM DELIVERABLE

In order to resolve the defects inherent in most initiative prioritization efforts, there needs to be a pragmatic set of criteria against which each initiative can be ranked. This template can be used to help accomplish this objective.

Risk Evaluation Matrix

PREMIUM DELIVERABLE

Once you know which factors are considered risks to yor project, arrange these factors into a risk evaluation matrix. Don't worry. We'll walk you through it.

Have you seen our new Requirements Management Practice Area? It's full of tips and templates to help you define the work that you are engaged in now. Take a look around and let us know what you think. 

We hope you are having an amazing year so far and thank you again for being a ProjectManagement.com member! We sincerely appreciate your support and are completely committed to your success. If we can help with anything project related, please let us know atcontactus@projectmanagement.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on: March 11, 2014 06:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Managing a Portfolio of Accidental PMs
Categories: Interviews

How do you steer a portfolio managed by a "mostly accidental" group of Project Managers?

PPM Software is becoming more "accidental-friendly" and Brightwork is a great example of that. Recently we spoke with Eamonn McGuiness, CEO of Brightwork to get his perspective on how to best manage those who consider PM a role they play rather than a profession. Here are his responses to our questions...

 

Dave:  Give me three words (not phrases) to describe Brightwork.

Eamonn:  Oh man, only three words… you’re breaking my heart!  But if I have to give just three, they would be:

Projects, Success, Easy. 

Hopefully you can see how those go together to create the BrightWork vision.

 

Dave:  What type of business and/or end-user is Brightwork MOST useful for? (e.g. - Small Business vs. Large, PM Mature/Not PM Mature, Line of Business Projects/IT Projects, Professional PM/PM as a role, Industry, Large/Complex One-offs vs. highly repeatable small projects)

Eamonn:  These classifications are very good, so let me talk a little bit about these in relation to BrightWork. 

  • 50% of our customers would be divisions within large enterprises who use our software for their project work.  The other half of our customers are small to medium-sized businesses, who use BrightWork extensively across their entire business.
     
  • The organizations that use BrightWork might have a few formally trained PMs who are leading the charge for project management, but they are not available to all projects. By and large, the majority of the folks are what we call P-MBAs – or “Project Managers by Accident.”  The idea behind our template driven approach to project management on SharePoint is to bridge that gulf in maturity and give project teams a fast and easy place to start, with the amount of project management that the entire team is ready and able for.
     
  • BrightWork can be deployed for use in any number of business areas.  Many of our customers do use it to manage IT projects, but we also have customers using BrightWork in other areas as well such as product development, professional services delivery, marketing projects, and more.
     
  • BrightWork is used by organizations across all industries.  If you check out the case studies on the BrightWork website, you will see that we have lots of customers across several different verticals. A neat thing about BrightWork is that it can be configured to match local or industry standard practices.
     
  • Finally, we have customers using the product to manage large complex projects, as well as more routine, repeatable projects.  When I explain our templates later, I’ll give an example of how this works in the product.

So to summarize the answer, the real strength of BrightWork is that we specialize in the mix of project management scenarios.

 

Dave:  How would you compare Brightwork to Microsoft's Standard Sharepoint offering?  How does it compare in terms of both collaboration and PPM/EPM functionality? In terms of price? 

Eamonn:  When you think of SharePoint you think collaboration.  It does just what the name says – it is a place to bring your team together to work, share and collaborate.  But for those organizations that want to go a step further using SharePoint to manage projects and across portfolios, they will note that there are boundaries to the out-of-the-box project management functionality. 

Microsoft has built SharePoint as a platform that is designed to be extended. So where SharePoint is collaboration, BrightWork adds project and portfolio management functionality, such as:

  1. Best practice templates to consistently initiate, plan, track and control all projects
     
  2. Portfolio management templates and dashboards for visibility across many project sites
     
  3. Status reporting, project metrics and KPIs for quick views into project health
     
  4. Template design sync to easily configure and replicate best practices
     
  5. Enhanced sync with Microsoft Project

SharePoint has a free version, called SharePoint Foundation and there is also a version that you can pay for called SharePoint Server.  Now SharePoint itself does not include PPM, but that functionality can be obtained through licensing a third party tool such as BrightWork on premise, or in the cloud paying per user per month. BrightWork pricing can be found on our website.

 

Dave:  Does the Brightwork Portfolio Management offering work best in a loosely structured or tightly structured environment?

Eamonn:  BrightWork is uniquely qualified to fit a mixed structure environment, so let me explain that. We have developed a really simple framework for project and portfolio management on SharePoint that allows organizations to start in where they are ready, and then add more process as needed, or use some combination of the two.

Here is a really simple spectrum we like to share.  Across the top of the diagram it goes from left to right, starting with a little bit of project management, to a lot on the right.  Then down left hand side, you see we have four workloads such as managing projects, managing portfolios, managing demand and managing work. Then we said well, you could manage projects with a little bit of project management or a lot, so we built templates for each.  You can manage portfolios with a little bit of project management or a lot, and we built templates for those too.  So all combinations of work and process are built into the product as SharePoint templates. 

It’s a very simple approach that we encourage our customers to use and adapt to their own situation.  For example, they might have several routine projects in a Project Lite template, a few complex projects using the Structured template, and then you manage across all those projects with a semi-structured Project Office.

Dave:  How do your best practices templates work? Are they based on proven methods and how does one decide if a particular template might work for them?

Eamonn:  The idea behind the templates is that they allow you put in whatever project management practices you desire and give that to the project team as a starting point.  You give the people a SharePoint site that is a set of rail tracks to guide project managers and teams.  It is a very pragmatic approach to getting started.

The SharePoint templates are based on project management best practices, and are intended to give organizations a fast starting point to manage their project work.   The templates enable teams to get started quickly with the amount of process that is necessary for the project at hand.  The choice of which template to start with is governed by two main factors.  One is the amount of project management that the project needs to be successful and secondly, the amount of project management that the team is capable of absorbing.  The templates are also designed to help you to evolve your project management maturity to where you want it to be.

 

Dave:  What percentage of your portal customers customize the application to integrate with their internal systems?  What are the drivers behind that decision?

Eamonn:  This would not be the primary concern for the majority of our customers. Most of them are more concerned with getting project management up and running really well, as opposed to integrating with financial, budgeting or other internal systems right off the bat.  That type of integration would typically occur in a later iteration.

 

Dave:  You talk about having a structured approach to implementation and rollout.  In your mind, what are the three most important factors when rolling out any sort of Project or Portfolio Management toolset?

Eamonn:  I think you might expect me to call out factors like: a commitment to project management, the aptitude of project management resources and the availability of training.  And those are three factors that are very important to the process.

But at BrightWork we like to use a quote from the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, and that is: “That which we learn to do, we learn by doing.” So the best way to get good at project management, is to practice project management.  With that in mind, here is our approach:

1.      Start quick – with the amount of project management your team needs and is able for, and get some quick wins. 

2.      Stay relevant – decide the amount of project management you aspire to achieve, and then gradually build up to it bit by bit as needed.

3.      Evolve at pace – make the deployment process a series of projects itself, in which you deliver an amount of project management quickly, get feedback from the team, and build that into the next iteration.

Posted on: March 02, 2014 12:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

16 MORE Project Management Templates to Save You Time and Improve Your Performance
Categories: New Templates

Happy February & thank you again for being Members of the ProjectManagement.com community!

This month, in addition to our usual "template release", we are including 5 NEW templates from our friends at PMI as well as 3 of our own new templates!

Download these quick before they're back in the PREMIUM library! These are all examples of premium content available 24/7 to our Premium Members. However, they are free to every registered member through Friday, March 14th. We hope these make your life a bit easier – helping us fulfill our mission of making YOU more successful. If you are not already a Premium Plus member but would like to be, Premium Plus membership is available at a $50 discount using the code "KEEP50".

The following premium templates are available to all ProjectManagement.com members until 3/14. We hope you find them useful. 

Assumption and Constraint Log (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
You can incorporate this log into the Scope Statement, or let it stand alone. For planning purposes, assumptions are factors that are considered to be true or real without proof; while constraints are an applicable restriction or limitation (internal or external to a project) that will affect the performance of the project or process. 

Project Scope Statement (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
The project scope statement details your project's deliverables and describes the major objectives, which includes measurable criteria for success. Use this template to document the six essential elements. 

Project Charter (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
The Project Charter formally authorizes a project or phase. It defines the reason for the project and assigns a project manager--and the PM's authority level. The content of the Charter should describe the project in high-level terms. 

Stakeholder Management Plan (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
The Stakeholder Management Plan is part of the Project Management Plan and identifies ways to effectively engage stakeholders. This template allows you to track each stakeholder and formulate a plan to work and communicate with each of them. 

Inter-Requirements Traceability Matrix (NEW THIS MONTH FROM PMI!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
One way to use a requirements traceability matrix is to trace the relationship between categories of requirements. An Inter-Requirements Traceability Matrix can be used to capture this information. 

Process Development Plan Template (NEW THIS MONTH!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
This template provides a step-by-step guide to developing a new organizational process. It is intended to be completed in conjunction with the development of the process and serves as a checklist for the completion of the work. 

Stakeholder Management Strategy (NEW THIS MONTH!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
This template helps the owner of a stakeholder relationship to determine the best approach to managing that stakeholder. This template may not be appropriate for all stakeholders, but should be used for major ones. 

Stakeholder Management Register (NEW THIS MONTH!)
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
How important is the stakeholder? Can they drive change, cancel it, approve budgets? This template is a simple stakeholder register for identifying and scoring stakeholders based on importance and influence, and also has fields for major concerns and relationship owner. 

Project Plan/Project Definition
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
Behind every successful project is a rock-solid, detailed project plan. This template defines every aspect of your project. The final product can be used to make what you are doing clear to all project stakeholders. 

User Story Template
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
User stories can help you efficiently and effectively describe what knowledge management should look like for your unique organization. This template provides insight on how to use user stories to help you define your KM universe. 

Methodology Implementation Project Charter
PREMIUM 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. 

ezEVA Template
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
The ezEVA template is a historical earned value tracking tool used to measure current progress and forecast future project performance. Use this in tandem with our EVA series of articles. 

Risk Reviewer Job Qualification and Candidate Evaluation Checklist
PREMIUM CHECKLIST
Are you staffing your risk management team? This candidate evaluation matrix (Excel) coupled with the sample job description document (Word) will point you in the right direction for finding the ideal risk reviewer. 

Project Sizing Template
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
The purpose of project sizing analysis is to determine the appropriate level of formality for a project in regard to structure and tools based on four key criteria: Stakeholder Impact, Risk, Project Responsibility Level and Organizational Level Impacted. It is inspired by the article Determining the Appropriate Level of Formal Documentation with Project Sizing

Sample Project: Effort-Based Project Forecasting
PREMIUM DELIVERABLE
Use this plan in conjunction with the effort-based project forecasting article and workbook. 

Design Milestones Review Checklists
PREMIUM CHECKLIST
This Design Milestones Review Checklist contains four worksheets: Design Milestones, High-Level Pre-Design, Technical Requirements, and Documentation and User Interface. 

Posted on: February 11, 2014 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

How Active Is Your Project Sponsor?
Categories: Advice

According to the recently released 2014 PMI Pulse of the Profession report, only 63% of projects have active sponsors. However, Active Project Sponsorship was again listed as the TOP DRIVER for project success.

Just in case you are having some issues (or just want to tune things up), here are a few resources on the site that could help:

Pulse of the Profession Graphic

  • Peter Taylor's blog post "The Campaign for Real Sponsors", gives you a list of job responsibilities for Project Sponsors. You can easily use this list to do a quick gap analysis, then politely suggest changes to your Sponsor.
  • If you want to dive a little deeper, our Sponsor & Change Agent Toolkit gives you a number of awesome resources to help transform your Sponsor into a Change Agent. That helps you AND could help further their career. Bringing them this toolkit might score you some serious brownie points!
  • There's also quite a bit of practical insight in the Enroll Sponsor section of Project Headway (our PM Process), including questions you would ask yourself when identifying your sponsor in the first place.

Best of luck and may you have better sponsorship than a European soccer player.

Posted on: February 05, 2014 08:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
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