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Divide and Direct

by Ronald B. Smith

Dividing your project into smaller parts that are more controllable helps you move closer to your ultimate goal: successfully achieving your project deliverables and high user satisfaction. Follow these seven tips to gain more direct control over your project.

The Pre-Planning Stage

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Sometimes, the most important work is done well before a project even begins--or even before you are planning for the project. The pre-planning stage is a great time for the project to start on the right foot, so keep these tips in mind.

Project Managers: The Level-Headed Heroes that Prevail

by Mike Donoghue

Being a project manager may not be flashy and inspire flowing-cape theatrics, but there are quiet ways in which you can work behind the scenes to ensure that everyone becomes the hero when your projects are completed on time, within budget and to everyone’s satisfaction.

A Project Lifecycle for New Hotels

by Richard Whitfield
Gert Noordzy

Addressing the problems inherent in opening new hotels, this paper advocates that hotel owners adopt a complete and well-defined project lifecycle overseen by an experienced project manager. The goals and deliverables for the key phases within this extended new hotel project lifecycle are identified and the main benefits of following this approach are explained. The proposed approach helps optimize the return on investment for each new hotel and maximizes positive cash flows from operations.

Stepping Your Way Through Vendor Negotiations

by Teresa R. Ramsey

...or how a DIY trouper never stops learning. As this project manager planned her next big do-it-herself project, she started to parallel her effort to those she has encountered many times when executing a program or project at work. What can you learn from her experience...and mistakes?

Tracking Project Benefits

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

A project is only useful if it produces benefits to the organization or client. The project manager and project team should be prepared to track those benefits during the project lifecycle. Here we provide some things to keep in mind.

ERP Business Blueprinting: How to Resolve Schedule Overrun

by Girish Kumar

Organizations still run into many challenges while implementing ERP systems. One of the key success factors is to ensure a project is completed on time and thus avoid schedule overrun. In this article, the author introduces an approach for handling issues related to project timeline and illustrates a concrete case on utilizing this approach in the business blueprinting phase.

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.

Removing the Guesswork from Strategy

by Andy Jordan

For many organizations, strategic planning and the associated project selection is an exercise in frustration. How can we improve things without reinventing the process?

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.

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 once took a cab to a drive-in. The movie cost me $190."

- Stephen Wright

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