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Navigating Life's Passages Using Project Management

by Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP

While learning how to navigate the Inside Passage to Alaska on a rebuilt wooden boat, this project management professional picked up five points to keep in mind when navigating important projects through their own passages.

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.

Preparing for Difficult Situations

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

While it may seem like all of project management is dealing with issues, risks and problems with the team, if you can learn to deal with the problems in the correct manner, then every now and then you might just have one of those days where everything goes right.

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?

Organizing a Charge

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

At some point during a project--if things are running behind or there are issues and obstacles to overcome--the project manager may need to organize a charge for the project team. Are you ready to lead it?

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.

Managing Contingency

by Rob Seiler Jerry B. Insall

Contingency covers costs that are reasonably expected to occur but are not specifically known on a given project. Keeping estimates of contingency up-to-date and relevant to the current environment and phase of the project in real time can be a challenge. Through the use of a project information database, application of a PMO reserve, and the use of iterative risk planning, the authors offer a solution to this problem.

The Missing Link in Project Driven Organizations

by Matthew Gentile

The Project Controls Department fills the gap between the executive team, Operations, and Finance. These specialists provide the project manager with the data to fully understand the current health of the project and the trajectory it may be taking tomorrow. The author provides four possible organization structures to aid in increasing your project’s returns with more reliability and transparency.

Getting Over Change

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

The only constant in life is change--it comes to everybody whether they like it or not. The best way to handle it? Get over the hump and keep moving forward. Keep these tips in mind...

The Case for the Chief Project Officer

by Andy Jordan

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.

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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"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."

- Milton Berle

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