One measure of project success hinges on the ability of the estimator to predict the right schedule and budget, since projects that go over budget or fall behind are deemed failures. This article looks at the factors behind the difficulty of getting good estimates and suggests a combination of psychology (soft skills) and science (robust estimation software) to increase project success rates.
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The use of program and production scheduling integrates project information and obtains the commitment of the organization while providing a way to track and update status. Through an organization-wide iterative approach to scheduling and a commitment to schedule deadlines, unity in project effort can be achieved.
In this world of constant communication, being able to focus on one thing is sometimes a luxury--but a luxury that is sorely needed. Whether you are a detail-orientated expert or someone who is easily distracted, it is important to keep the following points in mind while managing projects.
When a schedule starts to slip, the project manager should be ready to jump in and get things back on track. Here are some strategies the PM can use that do not involve forcing everyone to work 80-hour work weeks.
|A.||Add a +15% pad to the project estimate, then meet with functional managers to set up an on-demand workflow system.|
|B.||Ask each potential team member to vow to put aside what is on their desk if your project work needs to be done.|
|C.||Ask Human Resources to institute a 10% bonus for the workers if your project meets the original project estimate deadline.|
|D.||Demand a dedicated team from upper management, as this is the only efficient way to do a project.|
Having a schedule process is sometimes more important than having a schedule. A schedule without a process to keep it up will turn into just a wistful dream about how one person thinks the project should go. Here are some points to ponder.
It's hard to know if we're producing systems as fast as we could produce them. We can, after the fact, always identify ways in which we "wasted" time without contributing to our desired outcomes. But why can't we identify which will be waste before the fact? Because we want to go as fast as possible!
One of the most complex issues in project management to handle is when a team struggles at getting to “done” at key milestones. This article presents the problem along with suggestions on how to combat it.
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.
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.