Project Management


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No PM, No Strategy

by Bruce McGraw, PMP

When project managers aren’t part of the strategic planning processes, strategic plans aren’t likely to leave their bulky binders and become part of the business reality. This holds true no matter how small or large a project — be it planning a blood drive or implementing enterprise-level financial software.

When You Assume

by Andy Clark

The plan looks good on paper. Competent professionals are executing it. But unexpected delays and costs still crop up. It could be the one area of project management where your years of experience can actually hurt you: assumptions. So how do you weed them out of your plan? Here are some unassuming ideas.

Know-Account Projects

by Steve Kirk

Business-as-usual financial processes don’t address the unique realities of managing project costs. Here are some project accounting best practices, which can help bring project managers, sponsors, clients and the company bean counters closer to one version of the truth.

Pre-Check, Please

by Karen Klein

Managing strategic change initiatives and complex project turnarounds can be like trying to solve a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle with a ticking alarm clock. In order to improve your odds of ending up with a pretty picture, consider adding a project pre-check to your toolset to see if any pieces are missing.

Be Objective

Objectives define why an organization wants to go forward with an initiative, detailing desired benefits and clarifying constraints. Here are some steps to help you develop and measure them.

Make Strategic Planning Matter

by Ron Price

Strategic planning is too often associated with boring, predictable meetings that sap participants of energy and dilute accountability. To engage people and produce results, strategic planning should be treated as an ongoing, dynamic process with three distinct phases.

Scheduling Is a Drag

by William Duncan and Stephen Devaux

Too many projects are focused on minimizing the chances of finishing late rather than on maximizing the likelihood of finishing early. Shorter schedules are good. And shorter schedules result from focusing attention on the critical path. Here is a metric that helps.

The Estimating Challenge

Poor project estimation remains a major challenge for software organizations, and they’re shifting away from overtime as a remedy, according to a new Cutter Consortium survey.

Crunch Proof Your Projects

by Elizabeth Harrin

If you’ve been fortunate enough to rely on a contingency fund when managing your project budgets in the past, your luck has probably run out by now. Everyone is tightening belts, and project managers need to find ways to tighten up their financial monitoring, too.

The Handoff

by Cathy Smith

On bid projects, a poorly managed transition from the sales team to the service delivery team can put the engagement at risk even before the kickoff meeting. Here is advice on what, how and when information should be shared during and after the sales phase in order to align expectations.

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"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18."

- Albert Einstein