In the world of IT, each project comes with a different set of expectations and requirements that make everyone nervous about estimating cost, time and level of effort. Estimations based on a mature estimation model (function points) are more likely to be successful than projects that are estimated ad hoc, based on expert judgment alone. Function points translate all project functionalities into equivalent efforts. Combined with a well-defined process, they serve as a powerful tool for accurate estimations.
Effectively communicating schedule information in a VUCA environment can be very challenging, especially when powerful stakeholders create psychological schedule baselines based on preliminary estimates. There are commonalities between the challenges of forecasting project schedules and forecasting weather.
Documentation is very rarely kept up to date often enough—and is usually out of date a few days after it has been approved. When working on a project, out-of-date documentation can be a major issue in executing the project correctly.
The Logical Framework (LF), also known as the Logframe, is generally referred to as a planning tool. The author demonstrates how a new tool, called the New Logframe (NLF), goes a step further in order to increase the effectiveness of project design. The result is a tool that is more practical, summarizes critical project information and is fundamental for strategic planning projects.
Team meetings may provide insight into how the project will be managed. In many cases, the same strengths or weaknesses exhibited in conducting meetings will be pervasive throughout the project. Mastering meeting management can establish your reputation and produce results.
While we all generally know what a pitfall is in the business world and understand that they should be avoided, the most obvious traps are still sometimes the ones we fall into—especially when managing projects with dozens of competing priorities that distract us and take our eyes off the trail ahead. This two-part article series identifies the top 10 reasons projects fail and focuses on how to avoid these common project management pitfalls.
The traditional approach to resolving project delays by throwing resources at the problem is full of issues. Unless we find a more effective way of managing resources, our success will always be limited.
Projects are the manifestations of scores of complex, unique activities that vary from project to project and industry to industry. But there are certain serious mistakes that are common in nature, and that are committed in many large projects. Learn how to deal with seven such major issues that are generally prevalent in almost all projects.
What drives a “Want to get away?” moment in our industry? Perspective matters. In the dynamic world of project management, a deliberate pause with your team to check on the fundamentals can be critical to project success.
Pursuing overseas or cross-borders business requires an understanding of the country and political risk—it is, indisputably, a key consideration. The author demonstrates how PMI risk management processes and best practices can be customized to expand the picture of country political risk assessments, identification, analysis and monitoring.
The project workflow framework enables even the inexperienced project manager to use detailed step-by-step guidance, examples, tools and practical advice, freeing experienced project managers to manage programs and portfolios and promoting better use of project resources to reduce the cost of projects across all industries.
The risk we take in swearing allegiance to a specific approach is that following the approach often becomes more important than achieving the goal of the project. Let’s explore the merits of using the best of different approaches—and how marrying them into a hybrid model impacts the way projects are planned and managed.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure."