Project Hero Blog - Weekly Best Practices and Tips
Project Management for Aspiring, New, and Accidental PMs
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Not all organizations can afford a full or certified project maturity assessment, such as PMMM or OPM3. But using elementary quality tools that are easy to learn and may already be in use, any organization can improve its project management maturity. Here's a 5-step example:
- Collect and categorize key issues metrics weekly (e.g., missed requirements, the amount of variance of...
Decision making is a skill we need to apply to weigh the pros and cons of alternatives and choose the best path forward. Bad decisions contribute to project risks and can put a team into firefighting mode, correcting wrong decisions after bad choices. Here are six tips to improve your project and other decision-making efforts.
- Treat decision making as a process. There are many...
Project managers need to be able to calmly and professionally deliver bad news, when it happens, ranging from missed budgets and deadlines to team layoffs. Here are five tips for improving the delivery of bad news.
- Don't surprise, delay, or hide it. Deliver the news promptly. Make an appointment and set the agenda for a face-to-face meeting, if at all possible.
- Be prepared. Don't wing it or...
These can assist you to keep a project on schedule:
- Ask for "as soon as possible," rather than set a deadline.
- Never say, "I don't have time." According to Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, it is the same as saying, "I don't want to." Better: "I can fit it in next week, would that work?"
- If falling behind, carefully consider:
- Can I start some tasks earlier or eliminate unnecessary tasks?
- Will the...
Project managers, coordinators, and administrators are three distinct roles that often get blurred within an organization. It is important to understand the distinctions:
1. Project Manager (PM): Ultimately responsible and accountable for all aspects of a project and its successful delivery, including planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing, or some component of these in...
Use these six important tools to keep your project on budget:
- Contracts: Contracts, whether formal or informal (e.g., MOU), can reveal what aspects of the project are most important. Incentive clauses in contracts can keep everyone on the same page.
- Reviews: Short interval reviews, such as status reports, should include cost variance analysis. Long interval reviews can provide information...
Whether you are a project manager or a business analyst, these five open-ended questions posed to the project sponsor and other senior executives can get you vital information you need for project success in a short amount of time:
- What does success look like to you? – Learn what is most valuable to manage the triple constraints appropriately.
- What are your biggest challenges and...
Agile is popular, but good project leaders know that there is not a “one size fits all” method. If you are going to use Agile, consider how it may need tailoring to meet project goals better.
- List the 12 Agile principles and consider how each might impact project objectives, positive or negative
- Decide which principles to keep and which to reject
- Analyze the results and see...
As Agile and iterative methods grow in popularity, it is easy for those with a solid project management background to work in a new environment. These 5 tips will help:
- Question traditional PM practices: everything you know still applies, but question how to tailor and improve past practices for the new environment.
- Use pictures over words: lighter Agile documentation benefits from...
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