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Managing Quality in a Program Management Plan (Part 1)

by Joe Wynne

Working on the program level, quality management becomes complex because of differing elements being measured and differing criteria. A program management plan with a quality management section can fit the bill.

Six Sigma and Innovation

by Patti Gilchrist, PMP

Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach for process improvement. It delivers quality and offers a set of techniques to improve processes. But is it so rigorous that it stifles innovation?

5 IT Infrastructure Lessons Learned from Missed Requirements

by Andrew Makar, PMP

In a typical software development project, gathering and managing requirements is a common process. But what about IT infrastructure projects? Do they have specific requirements beyond the architecture diagram? Here are five lessons learned from an infrastructure project that struggled with missed requirements.

Quality Isn't Free. But It Just Might Be a Worthwhile Investment.

by Mark Mullaly, PMP

Quality takes time, effort and hard work to realize. So what does that mean for project managers? Does it mean we need to be investing even more in our project management processes? Do we need to be learning arcane techniques for statistical process control and total quality management? Do we really need that Sigma Six black belt after all? Not necessarily.

Quality Project Management: A History Lesson

by Mike Griffiths

How do we define quality as a project manager? Is it managing a project really well, or managing a successful project? How about managing a successful project really well? That sounds pretty good. However, it poses the next question: What is a successful project? Let’s look at some examples of project success, failure and ambiguity.

The Repeatable Test Cycle Resource

by Al Taylor

For PMs working in IT application development projects, which resource is the most important (other than people, of course)? For many it is a Technical Quality Assurance model that supports highly repeatable test cycles.

Measuring the Quality of the Project Management Process

by Michael Wood

What does quality project management mean? What does it look like? Can all project management be measured using the same metrics? What might those metrics be? Here's some help with the designing of meaningful metrics for measuring the quality of your organization’s project management process.

The Lack of Execution Quality

by Andy Jordan

Projects usually have some form of quality standards for the product that they are expected to deliver--but when it comes to how the projects are delivered, it’s often a standards-free zone. But the quality of execution is a result of the parameters that are in the triple constraint.

Sample Project Management Plan

PREMIUM deliverable

This sample Project Management Plan for a C3 Coach Communication System Retrofit includes sections for work description and responsibilities, requirements, management responsibilities, management staffing, communications, records management, meetings and more.

Sample Project Quality Plan (Communication System Retrofit)

PREMIUM deliverable

This sample Project Quality Plan for a C3 Coach Communication System Retrofit includes sections for scope, description of work, personnel and requirements, the verification process and a PQP Verification Form sample.

Preparing for the Exam with PMBOK Guide—Fifth Edition (Part 7): Quality Management

by Bruce Garrod

Many project managers are not required to build a quality management section into their project plans. PMI knows that and sometimes exploits the lack of practical experience during the CAPM-PMP exam. This article continues the theme of comparing getting physically fit with getting ready for the certification exam.

The Importance of Oblique Goals

by George Dinwiddie

What are your big goals? Productivity? Speed? Happiness? All of these are understandably desirable. They also share another attribute: They all are best achieved by seeking other, lesser goals rather than by seeking them directly.

Topic Teasers Vol. 31: Change Rests On You!

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP

Question: We have a massive internal change coming, and lucky me…I get to head the project! We have tried this before and had to pull back because of negative employee reactions. I know that this time we need some change management processes, too, but who is responsible to do that part of the project?
A. The good news is, it’s you. You need to take the responsibility and coordinate the change processes in with your usual team activities.
B. The good news is, it’s not you. Focus on the project and on meeting your metrics of time, cost and quality as usual. Corporate management is responsible to make sure employees accept and use these new changes.
C. The PMO is “where the buck stops” when endeavors move from simple projects to create products or software and billow out to vague objectives like “employee acceptance” and “corporate compliance”..
D. Ask your manager. Your project charter is limited to producing the usual product or services and your team is not skilled or experienced in change management processes. Your manager can deal with getting the changes accepted and getting them to stick.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Topic Teasers Vol. 20: QA, QC and Testers

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP

Question: I’m so confused. I was a Quality Tester at my last job, but here the employees seem to use the titles Quality Assurance, Quality Control and Testing interchangeably. I started out in a more traditional organization, but now I’m a tried and true agile believer. Since I have no job description, what are my responsibilities?

A. The three concepts are often used interchangeably. Ask what it means in your new organization and accept that as your role in your workplace reality despite the real definition.
B. Find the specific meanings for each term from a university professor in the town where you work. Use that information to correct the organization so that they use proper terminology.
C. Once you learn your job description from Human Resources, create a new title for yourself so that others can understand what you do. Perhaps Defect Engineer would be apt.
D. Since agile teams work without formal processes or documentation, there is no need to answer to a particular title. Everyone on the team is merely a team member.

PMOs vs. PMs

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

If an organization is engaged in project work on a continual basis, a project management office may be the best investment in securing successful projects. What are the benefits of having a PMO versus just having project managers?

The Four Keys to Task Organization

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

There are hundreds of different methods to organize your never-ending project management “to do” list--and they are not all created equal. Whether the list is a page long or hundreds of rows in a project schedule, you need to have a good and efficient way of organizing your tasks.

Evaluating Consultants

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Just having bodies in seats is not enough for success; it needs to be the right bodies at the right time. When a project involves a consultant, it is important to evaluate the resource and not take their resume or proposal at face value.

Making Project Management Information Systems Agile

by Kevin Aguanno, PMP, MAPM, IPMA-B, Cert.APM, CSM, CSP

When one PM was asked to list the key requirements for a PMIS that would enable it to better support project and organizational effectiveness, he thought about past project, portfolio and program management experiences. The result? A “dream list” of features for a PMIS to support large, traditionally managed projects...a list that was surprisingly agile.

How Successful Are Virtual Project Teams?

by Ken Whitaker

The software development industry has migrated more and more to a virtual, telecommuting industry. But recent headlines have solidified the battle lines regarding virtual teams. Are they good or bad for employee morale and productivity?

Why Planning Can Be Bad

by Mike Griffiths

Why would you not always do as much planning as possible before starting a project? Could it actually be harmful? It all depends on the quality of that input data--when the input data is good, we can reliably plan; when the input data is bad, then we need to get better data and keep evolving the plans.

The Path to the PMP (Part 8)

by Bruce Garrod

Quality Management is a difficult knowledge area for people to connect with as they study for the PMP exam. Sadly, PMI also recognizes the weakness and includes plenty of questions to test your abilities.

Hiring a Consultant: What to Do, What Not to Do...and Why

by Mark Mullaly, PMP

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?

The Vendor-Client Conundrum

by Laura Burford

What each vendor and client might think is black and white about their project can actually be gray. Just recognizing and accepting this is a conundrum--and resolving it requires aligning perspectives for the good of the project. Do you have the flexibility to change, collaborate and communicate?

The Key to Optimum Outsourcing

by Jiju (Jay) Nair, PMP

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.

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"If you think you've hit a false note, sing loud. When in doubt, sing loud."

- Robert Merrill