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Insights from a High-Performance PMO

by Bruce Harpham

Low client satisfaction scores. Inadequate project success. Internal coordination problems. Such problems can be found in many organizations. However, how many organizations find ways to deliver significant improvement in all three areas?

Leading Beyond the Iron Triangle

by Byron A. Love, MBA, PgMP, PMP, CISSP

The failure of a “successful” project came as a shock to an experienced PM. Turns out that managing projects according to the triple constraints alone is not enough.

Team Members: The PM's Critical Communications Channel

by Suvrutt Gurjar

We always give a great deal of attention to project communications with senior management, customers and sponsors. But in order to make the project and all of these stakeholders successful, the project manager needs to diligently nurture one more channel: project communications to and from project team members.

The Top 10 Reasons Projects Fail (Part 2)

by Marc Lacroix

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 Top 10 Reasons Projects Fail (Part 1)

by Marc Lacroix

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 HOPE Method of Project Management

by Jon Quigley, Kim H. Pries

People often misunderstand the story of Pandora’s box: When the ills that afflict mankind flew from the box, only hope remained. Unfortunately with project management, it is a problem many of us know all too well...are you guilty of hope?

Stop the Madness: Proactive Project Resource Management

by Andy Jordan

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.

Dealing with a Project in Trouble

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Despite all of your best intentions, sometimes the project will be in trouble. If it is, it’s time to take a step back and learn how to deal with it. Here are some things to keep in mind as you try to stop seeing red.

High-Impact Project Mistakes and Remedies

by Partha S. Ghose, PMP

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.

Systematic Risk Register

by Jon Quigley, Kim H. Pries

A significant source of project failures are due to insufficient risk management diligence. One approach we can take to help mitigate these nightmares is through the use of a document similar in concept to the failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) methodology.

Planning, Assessing, Analyzing and Monitoring Country and Political Risk During the PMI Risk Management Process

by Fadi Shawtah, BSc, MBA, PMI-RMP, CAPM

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.

Best Practices When Dealing With Critical Situations

by Hari Doraisamy, PMP, Nick Del Grande

In a crisis, stakeholders look to the project manager to remedy the situation. The authors manage a team of critical situation managers in a large software and services company and share a list of best practices based on their team’s collective experience in dealing with similar situations over several years.

Project Workflow Framework: An Error-Free Project Management Environment

by Dan Epstein

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.

Looking at Risks: A Logical Approach

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Every project will have risks—this is simply a fact of life. But you need to know how you are going to look at and deal with risks throughout the entire lifecycle of the project. Here are five areas to keep in mind.

Project Profile: How Chevron Sustained Production in California

by Bruce Harpham

Energy firms are aware that the world is watching their actions concerning environmental impact. In this context, Chevron’s El Segundo Coke Drum project—winner of PMI’s Project of the Year Award in 2015—is well worth studying. The project was successful, delivered under budget and with an excellent safety record.

Project Task Duration Estimation and Scheduling

by Jon Quigley, Kim H. Pries

In this article, we look at the key to schedule success, historical and repeatable tasks, why schedules fail, how to eliminate the target date tango and build a schedule defense that manages the risks.

Taking Over a Failing Project

by Anand Thiagarajan, PMP

Continuing to develop a failing project is a big challenge. Improving the environment and culture to ensure successful delivery requires integrating the bottom-up approach from a small task level with a top-down orientation of strategic management. Learn how to diagnose failure and implement useful techniques.

Topic Teasers Vol. 76: Curing Repetitive Problems

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

Question: It’s always something! No matter how carefully I plan or how energetically my team works, there is always some issue that rises up to prevent us from feeling like our projects are really successful--either for us or for our organization. And the frustrating part is that the same things don’t happen each time. I don’t see any project processes that we can implement to solve this issue. Ideas?
A. You are using the incorrect project processes. If you have exhausted the ones commonly used in the United States, try PRINCE II, DSDM or DSDM Atern (agile). They have a 96.43% success rate in European countries.
B. While PMI standards try to pass along the collective wisdom of experienced, active colleagues, there are always so many unique situations that these can only be general guidelines. Sometimes you have to develop your own process to stop failures or quasi-missteps that aren’t happening in other places.
C. When projects fail, it is usually the organization’s internal processes that are at fault. If they tie your hands or don’t provide you with the lines of communication you need, you are powerless to succeed with even the most talented and dedicated team.
D. It is a misconception that any projects can achieve 100% of their goals. Average the cost, schedule and quality rates for the last 100 projects completed in your organization. If you meet those metrics, you have done an exemplary job as the project manager. Update these statistics to set new goals each quarter.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Team Stress Management

by Andy Jordan

No matter how hard we try to prevent it, there are times when our project teams feel overwhelmed. How do we manage those stressful times effectively?

Build a Better Risk Plan by Pretending to Fail

by Donald Charles Wynes

Do you have team members that don't want to be seen as negative thinkers, thus hindering your risk management efforts? This PM decided to turn things around and came up with a technique that turns finding a threat into a positive thing.

Testing From 40,000 Feet: Types and Purposes of Tests

by Wayne Watts

Testing is crucial to risk management, allowing components and systems to be put through their paces. Ignoring testing can lead to disastrous consequences, possibly even cancellation of the project. Gain an understanding of the purpose of different types of testing and where each type is appropriate.

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