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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 solving and decision-making process (and follow it).
  4. Have a strong project management methodology...
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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 can include legal, compliance, regulatory, financial, economic, and cultural changes.

Examples:

  • ...
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Keeping Your Projects on Track with Earned Value cost management schedule management scope management Jun 02, 2019

A lot of folks in San Diego wonder how the construction of Petco Park, a managed project, could have possibly spent all the funding before it was half completed without anyone knowing. While I certainly don't have proof as to the actual cause, there is a very good way a project can get into this state -- they failed to look at all three key project success factors -- time, cost, and...

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3 Basic Requirements Types PMs Should Know scope management May 26, 2019

Getting the right requirements are important for project success. Whether you are in a dual role or collaborating with a business analyst, project managers should make sure all their projects include, at a minimum, these three basic types of requirements:

  1. Business requirements usually represent the rationale - high-level goals and objectives - for undertaking a project. These should include...
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5 Tips Toward More Ethical Project Management ethics project integration management May 19, 2019

Projects conducted with higher ethical standards have less risk and are usually more successful. Here are five tips to improve your ethics as a project manager:

  1. Be a model of ethical behavior - lead by example: As others observe your actions, they will adopt more ethical practices.
  2. Focus on issues, not people: Stress can cause unethical behaviors and a culture of blame causes stress.
  3. Disclose...
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Earn Your Value - Part III cost management schedule management scope management May 19, 2019

To recap parts one and two of this post, we saw:

- how earned value is useful for monitoring both costs and schedule
- the basic formulas used to see if our projects are off track (and by how much)
- the recommendation that earned value be looked at weekly
- the ideal values for cost and schedule index are one (1.0)
- a simple way of communicating earned value information to our clients.

This week...

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5 Tips for Improved Risk Management risk management May 12, 2019

Risks can have an adverse impact on the success of your project. Here are five tips to help you successfully navigate project risk management:

  1. Identify risks early and often. Start when you are handed the project charter, continue during planning, and be sure to re-visit your risk log periodically. If there were notable issues during the project, be sure these become a part of the lessons...
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Earn Your Value - Part II cost management schedule management scope management May 12, 2019

Last week we looked at the basic principles and formulas surrounding Earned Value Management. While the full practice of EVM may be very complex, it also provides a simple way to update clients on the status of smaller projects. But before we look at the "how", let's take a look at the "how often".

The frequency will actually depend on many things, but I recommend you start with once a week. If...

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Earn Your Value - Part I cost management schedule management scope management May 05, 2019
As I was thinking about what to write this week, I noticed my only mention of Earned Value Management was both brief and some time ago. It's an important topic, so I'm going to devote my next three entries to it. This week, we're going to look at the basics. Next week, we'll look at how to report Earned Value to clients and stakeholders. In the third and final post in this series, we'll look at...
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7 Questions to Prompt Attention to Risk Management risk management May 05, 2019

According to PMI's 2017 Pulse of the Profession Report, only 28% of project managers always use risk management processes, with 14% rarely or never using them. Often this is because project sponsors and senior management don't see the value of the process. They feel it is a waste of time and encourage the project manager to skip best practices. Here are seven questions the project manager may...

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