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.
Many projects get stuck in the middle: the execution phase. Project managers need to be ready to fight that problem to help your project succeed all the way to the end. Keep these four recommendations in mind.
Projects are becoming more strategic, why isn’t project leadership? The argument for the CPO is becoming stronger and stronger, so let's consider the case for an executive responsible for project execution.
The executives of an organization are not interested in the details of a project, but they do want to know what the roadmap is for the project. How are you going to present that to them? Keep these four tips in mind.
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.
Many organizations fail to recognize that they are driving significant change to a PM’s job--and even fewer do anything to try and make the transition a constructive one. Here, we look at portfolio management in terms of the impact on PMs--and offer some guidance on how to help ensure that those PMs are champions of the evolution rather than resistors.
Stakeholders are the key to success on a project, and you need to manage them toward that success. It’s more than just “normal” stakeholder management--it requires a PM who understands the business environment that he is delivering a project into.
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.
We now look to PMOs to take more of an active role within the entire lifecycle. For that expanded role to be successful, the PMO needs to be more than simply the guide and controller for project execution; it needs to be accepted into a leadership role within the organization--partners with business units and accepted experts on portfolio execution.
You can put as many management and oversight layers in place as you like, but ultimately the frontline of project execution is made up of project managers and their teams. The first Thursday of November is almost here again--International Project Management Day--so let’s celebrate PMs (but let’s plan that celebration properly first...).
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...
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.
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.
Requirements cannot stand alone. So why do we so often fail to acknowledge that connection to other project elements...and what is the consequence of that failure?
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 becomes much easier when they are well defined from the beginning so that you avoid confusion and rework. Here are some key concepts to help you get it right the first time.
The road to successful requirements management begins with a quality requirements discovery process. Learn why this process can help you avoid costly mistakes, scope creep and even project failure.
Sometimes it's a knock-down, drag-out brawl between proponents of insourcing and outsourcing. When the final bell rings, who will still be standing?
Done well, contract-based project management can deliver the kind of results that simply wouldn’t be possible using only employee resources; done poorly, it can be a disaster.
Is "consultant" a dirty word? Many consultants get a bad name from the fact that they become indistinguishable from the organizational employees that they work alongside. How do you know that hiring a consultant is a good idea?
Some studies have indicated that the real benefits of offshore outsourcing can be diminished by issues in communication, skill sets and accountability. But if managed properly, offshore IT projects can reap substantial rewards.
Many consulting engagements see frustrated consultants because they are not allowed to do what they feel is needed to maximize the chances of success. Here, we look at how these scenarios can be avoided--something that starts with trust.
Consultants can be a helpful resource on a project or they can take up valuable space. Here are some ideas for the best way to deal with consultants and make sure they are beneficial to the project.
How strictly should an organization enforce its process methodology? In this article, we look at ways that organizations can provide flexibility to their project managers without damaging the effectiveness and credibility of their project approaches.