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6 Tips to Improve Your Projects schedule management scope management Jul 14, 2019

These tips are from Pursuing Project Excellence: Six Ideas to Improve Your Projects by Bob Jewell, PMP (with permission).

  1. Define the word "scope" carefully. It is "the ... work to accomplish the ... deliverables (product, service, or other results) to the agreed-upon requirements."
  2. Get clear...
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Look Before the Project - Part II cost management project integration management Jul 14, 2019

Last week we looked at the BCR -- Benefit-Cost Ratio as a way of evaluating a project. This week I'd like to look at a related technique -- Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The purpose of many projects is to introduce a new product or service. Often this new product or service has a later ongoing...

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Limit Firefighting and Cat Herding project integration management risk management Jul 09, 2019

Fire fighting and herding cats is not project management. To bring your project back to a stable environment, pause and consider the following:

  1. Are there unidentified, poorly prioritized, or unmitigated risks that need attention?
  2. Is there a sound problem solving and decision-making process in...
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Look Before the Project - Part I cost management project integration management scope management Jul 07, 2019

For the next few weeks, I'd like to take a closer look at initiating projects, with special attention to costs. This is an area of weakness for many who jump in to do work before looking at the consequences or rewards. Rather than use a microscope, you need a telescope to see to the far and of...

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Timing of Status Information Counts communications management Jun 30, 2019

In general, I recommend checking in on project status no less than once a week. If you wait longer, say two weeks, by the time you find out an issue, get it solved, confirm the solution, and make sure things are on track, you can lose up to six weeks. Serious issues may require more frequent...

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Team Involvement is Key resource management Jun 30, 2019

Projects that are off track may require corrective action or re-planning. Before deciding what to do, make sure the team is aware of the problem. Make them knowledgeable about the issue and empower them to be responsible and a part of the solution. This will:

  • improve buy-in,
  • grow team...
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Keeping Everyone on the Same Page communications management Jun 23, 2019

This week someone questioned the wisdom of having a weekly project status meeting where all project team members participated to discuss issues and potential requirements changes. "Wouldn't that be an expensive meeting?" he asked. "Sure", I replied, "but imagine the expense without it."

It's...

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7 Steps to Better Project Problem Solving project integration management quality management risk management Jun 23, 2019

Problem-solving is a skill needed for all project phases and knowledge areas.  Here are seven steps to take to improve your problem solving:

  1. Understand the problem. Remember, Einstein recommended 55 minutes to understand an hour-to-solve problem.
  2. Identify 3-5 of the best alternatives. These...
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5 Easy Places and Ways to Identify Project Stakeholders stakeholder management Jun 16, 2019

It's always better to over-identify, rather than under-identify stakeholders.  Missed stakeholders, particularly those that are self-appointed, can hold your project back from achieving success.  Here are five easy ways and places to identify stakeholders:

  1. Consult Project Charter:...
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Cheapest Isn't Always Least Expensive cost management Jun 16, 2019

When selecting any resource of any type for a project, always keep in mind the automatic selection of the "cheapest" won't always be the least expensive option. This is why we have competitive bidding for major contracts -- we get a peek at the other dimensions. Does the resource meet our needs?...

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Checklist to Avoid Project Chaos project integration management quality management Jun 09, 2019

If your projects feel like "herding cats" or constant "fire-fighting", you are not doing something right. Check these five items first to avoid project chaos:

  1. Define project success upfront with the project sponsor.
  2. Do sufficient planning and get team and stakeholder buy-in.
  3. Have a sound problem...
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Always Scan for External Environment Change risk management Jun 02, 2019

Good project managers, especially those working in an Agile environment that can be very internally focused on the client-team collaboration, need to continuously scan the environment for external changes that might impact their projects. Make this a part of your periodic risk assessment. These...

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