Project Management

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The Recipe For Risk: Risk Appetite Assessment

by Michael Beller

Risk appetite calculations are making greater penetration in boardrooms across the world. This article overviews how organizations can look at risk appetite across the entire enterprise for assessing their portfolios. In doing so, it reports the results of PMI's 2013 Pulse of the Profession report, which found that for every US$1 million they spent on projects, organizations put US$135,000 at risk. When projects fail, the study found that an average of one-third of the projects' budgets are gone for good. It discusses how organizations can get a holistic view of risk across the portfolio, once an organization knows those risks on each project and identifies several factors that affect risk appetite. The article then details the benefits and perils of the four major risk ingredients: (1) The right tools for the task; (2) global appetites; (3) tricky recipes; and (4) the unknown ingredient. It concludes by examining the last ingredient of risk appetite: the fundamental ability to actually mitigate risks.

Finding The Competitive Edge: Bucking Mediocrity Amidst Economic Turbulence

by Sarah Fister Gale

No matter their sector or location, organizations face a highly complex business environment that demands innovation and the agility to respond to shifting global priorities. As a result, in today's complex global environment, the organizations that thrive are the ones that value project management. This article reports the results of PMI's 2013 Pulse of the Profession--the annual global benchmark research report for organization project and program management.

Big Delivery in Small Packages Through Agile

by Matt Alderton

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects are notorious for running late and over budget. This article discusses how adopting agile processes can help ERP projects stay on budget and on schedule. In doing so, it details how a consultancy specializing in ERP solutions used agile techniques and best practices on its projects to make them more productive. It then notes how ERP systems make it easier for an organization to control structured and optimized workflows and allow a real-time view on an organization in terms of key performance indicators (KPIs) using the benefit of a single source of data. It reports the results of the 2012 ERP Report, published by Panorama Consulting Solutions, reporting that 56 percent of ERP implementations went over budget. Then, it examines reasons for the overrun. In addition, the article identifies how agile techniques can benefit ERP implementations and details the benefits. Next, it reveals some of the tactical barriers that teams members often struggle with in common agile practices, including that agile was originally intended for use on software-development projects. The article concludes by identifying ways to mitigate risk for ERP implementation projects. Accompanying the article is a sidebar discussing how to sell executives on agile ERP.

Better Performance Through Team Building

by Mário HenriqueTrentim

Project success generally depends on whether stakeholders are happy with a project's results. On each project, project managers do their best to get stakeholders involved, but projects still get into trouble. This article discusses how better performance can be obtained when more time is spent on building the team. It describes how these four actions will result in happy team members: keep team members informed; get to know team members; protect your team; and use positive reinforcement.

Life Or Death: Risk Management in Health Care

by Cindy Waxer

Poor risk management can be fatal to any project. But what happens when properly planning for risk factors really is a matter of life and death? This article examines how the staff at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago moved more than 100 critically ill children from an aging facility to the new Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

The Cost of Quality: Tata Group Case Study

by Prasad Menon

A quality-driven program is essential to good project management. This article features the chairman of Tata Quality Management Services (Mumbai, India) discussing how his organization meets global standards for business excellence with a quality-driven program. It details the organization's use of the Tata Business Excellence Model (TBEM) across its companies to measure how each is performing. It then provides an example of Tata's approach to project management using its US$4.5 billion, 4,000-megawatt power plant project in Gujarat, India. The article also explores the organization's approach to innovation noting that intuition and entrepreneurship can take precedence over process. It examines how quality processes help companies better manage their projects. It concludes by suggesting ways companies can make quality part of their project management process.

Active Participant: Self-awareness can go a long way in advancing your career

by Lindsay Scott

Self-awareness is the most important part of career planning, and it's also the most difficult. Without understanding who you are and what you have to offer, taking steps to change or improve is impossible. This article discusses how self-awareness can go a long way in advancing your career. It begins by detailing the first step toward better self-awareness. It then explains the importance of personality and values in relation to work in project management. Next, the article examines motivators and how they help you understand the opportunities that may be presented throughout your career. It looks at how understanding the marketplace will help a project effectively manage his or her career. It concludes with a discussion on resumes, online profiles, and marketing.

A Higher Plane: Tapping Into Team members’ Spiritual Intelligence

by Steve Hendershot

Spiritual intelligence is considered by some as an essential component of both personal and professional development. This article discusses how project managers can tap into team members' spiritual intelligence to create close ties to the project and improve creativity, motivation and performance. It explains the concept of spiritual intelligence and details how it is related to Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It shows how organizations that use bottom-of-the-pyramid motivational levers run the risk of inadvertently keeping their employees at the wrong end of the motivational spectrum. The article then explores how spiritually intelligent team members identify with and feel engaged by the broader mission of their organization. It overviews Danah Zohar's book SQ: Spiritual Intelligence, the Ultimate Intelligence and explains how negative drivers such as fear, greed, anger, etc., often lead to destructive behavior, while project managers who lead according to spiritual intelligence result in more positive behaviors. The article concludes by listing do's and don'ts when tapping into teams' collective spiritual intelligence. Accompanying the article is a sidebar listing the 12 indicators of spiritual development.

PMO 2.0: Resurrecting A Failed PMO

by Matt Alderton

A project management office (PMO) is designed to manage projects and improve the management of an organization. However, what happens when the PMO fails? This article discusses how to resurrect a failed project management office. It reports the results of a study by Forrester Research that shows three-quarters of PMOs fail within the first three years of being launched. It then examines how an aeronautics and space institute in Brazil resurrected its PMO with a unified strategic plan by putting portfolio management and project management into one organizational structure. It details the many reasons why PMOs fail, including lack of direction, organizational changes, insufficient resources and cost pressures. The article looks at how a business case should be developed to convince skeptical senior managers that the PMO should be relaunched and lists the important components needed in the business case, for example, services performed and metrics. It identifies three key areas that can go a long way toward giving the new PMO longevity. Accompanying the article is a sidebar listing three signs that a PMO should be closed.

The Blame Game: It's Not Always the Project Manager's Fault

by David Whitemyer

The factors that can push a project toward failure are almost limitless. An unrealistic schedule, budget shortfalls, scope creep, even internal politics can wreak havoc on a project. Sorting out the root cause of the problem amid the wreckage of a failed project isn't always easy, though, and oftentimes the finger of blame gets pointed at the most convenient scapegoat: the project manager. This article discusses how to find the true source of project failure. In doing so, it examines the role of the project manager, executive management and the project sponsor, noting that the latter two are responsible for ensuring that the project manager has the necessary resources, tools and policies to do the job. It then overviews two steps to take after a mistake or failure occurs. Next, the article lists four clear signals that a project manager may be letting things slip on a troubled project. It then examines a course of corrective action when the project manager is at fault. Finally, the article identifies a positive sign for a project manager's future performance: the project manager voluntarily takes the blame for project failure.


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