Integration

All Integrated Now?

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

The project manager needs to make sure that integration management is not skipped while all of the other project work is going on. When thinking about how you are going to integrate everything together, the following themes are important to keep in mind.

Scope

Baselining the Scope

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Baselining the schedule dates is the easy part. Trying to baseline the scope will be much more difficult. So how do you go about baselining the scope? Keep these four tips in mind.

All About Project Scope

PREMIUM presentation

Simply put, scope is the size of the project. But there’s more to it than that!

Time

Duration Estimating Worksheet

deliverable

A duration estimating worksheet can help to develop duration estimates when quantitative methods are used. This template will help you keep track of parametric estimates, analogous estimates and three-point estimates.

Project Plan Reality Check

PREMIUM presentation

Before you submit your project plan for final approval, you'd better check it over. Learn the steps for cross-checking a project plan.

Cost

Cost Estimating Worksheet

PREMIUM deliverable

A cost-estimating worksheet can help you develop cost estimates when quantitative methods or bottom-up estimates are developed. Quantitative methods include parametric estimates, analogous estimates and three-point estimates.

Bottom-Up Cost Estimating Worksheet

PREMIUM deliverable

Bottom-up estimates are detailed estimates done at the work package level. Detailed information on the work package and other direct/indirect costs are used to determine the most accurate estimate possible. Use this worksheet to help you keep track.

Quality

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.

People

Human Resource Management Plan

deliverable

Have you assigned all of the roles and responsibilities for your team? Decided authority levels for various managers? Detailed the organizational structure? Those are just a few of the vital tasks that this plan will help you record.

Communications Plan Log

deliverable

Communication is one of the most critical success factors on a project and a strong communication plan will go a long way towards creating a structure of effective communication with all stakeholders. This template provides some basic fields common to all plans but also helps identify each stakeholder’s specific needs.

Communications

From Turkeys to Agile Eagles

by Michael Aucoin

While there is almost unanimous agreement on the importance of teams, the vast majority of people don’t like to belong to them. This raises a loud warning for you and your agile team, one you must address proactively, because an agile project succeeds or fails on the health of the team. Maybe the GCCR Plan can give your team members wings that fly.

Topic Teasers Vol. 30: Changing Agile Attitudes

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

Question: My agile team does okay with the new structure of how we do things, but it seems like we’ve just replaced one set of rules with another. How can I get them to change the way they think about things, not just follow the new processes? I understand that is the underlying key to agile success?
A. Management does not care what team members believe as long as they turn around work more quickly than they did in the past. Leave people to think what they will.
B. In addition to the team rules and the agile methodology process rules, tell people each day what they are to think about the work they do and how they should view others.
C. You can’t mandate change. You can only find a fun way to demonstrate and remind people on the team about the premises of agile philosophy.
D. If your team won’t quickly adjust to knowing and following the agile philosophies, this approach to doing projects will fail. Return to traditional project management practices.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Risk

Probability and Impact Assessment

deliverable

The Probability and Impact Assessment form contains narrative descriptions of the likelihood of events occurring and the impact on the various project objectives if they do occur. It also has a key to assign an overall risk rating based on the probability and impact scores. If a Risk Management Plan is used, this information will become part of that plan.

Assumptions Log

deliverable

For a project to proceed, it is inevitable that assumptions are made. Without them, the project would grind to a halt until all uncertainty was removed. However, in many cases assumptions are made without any further attempt to confirm or correct those assumptions; this can lead to significant downstream project execution difficulties. This template is intended to help capture and track assumptions and the work being done to validate them.

Procurement

Topic Teasers Vol. 22: Agile Procurement

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

Question: Since our agile team is self-managed, we have recently received notice that we can also oversee procurement on items that would not be commonly used by the rest of the organization. None of us has a background in this area. How do we make good buying decisions?

A. People who are agile should not be buying things. That slows down software development. Tell management you will need a Procurement Department to make purchases so you are not involved in this low-level process in any way.
B. Agile projects do not need anything except enthusiastic and inventive people to create success. Leave any procurement issues to those who follow traditional project management processes.
C. If your team is often short of money to add all the extra bells and whistles to the project, being in charge of procurement gives you the opportunity to ask prospective vendors for free merchandise to use for the project or for team incentives.
D. There are some common questions you can ask to help the team make better procurement decisions. It is a positive move to gain procurement responsibility since you are in the best position to evaluate buying options and get the features you really need to optimize your project success.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

The Path to the PMP (Part 12)

by Bruce Garrod

The Project Procurement Management knowledge area often causes stress to potential PMP exam takers, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are, however, a few important elements within the process that will need to be studied in further detail.

Stakeholder

Brewing Effective PMO Communications

by Chi-Pong Wong

Status sharing is key to PMO success, and newsletters have become the favorite transmission for managers to stay on top of milestones. Get help with your communications using TEAPOT--every PMO chef’s magic potion.

Who Is My Customer? And What's My Relationship?

by Mark Mullaly, PMP

It is difficult for project managers to know, at times, who our customer actually is. Is someone a customer just because they are a stakeholder? Or, worse, is someone a customer just because they want to have a say in what your project does and how it is delivered? One hopes--if only for our sanity--that this isn't the case.

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