Project Hero Blog - Weekly Best Practices and Tips
Project Management for Aspiring, New, and Accidental PMs
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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 especially important when dealing with a virtual team or remote clients. Without it, instead of managing...
Problem-solving is a skill needed for all project phases and knowledge areas. Here are seven steps to take to improve your problem solving:
- Understand the problem. Remember, Einstein recommended 55 minutes to understand an hour-to-solve problem.
- Identify 3-5 of the best alternatives. These should solve the problem most efficiently, completely, ethically, and with the least cost.
- Select a...
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:
- Consult Project Charter: Project Sponsor, project manager, possibly project team members, and other stakeholders may be listed...
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? Will our requirements be met? Will quality meet our standards?
Let's suppose we can choose between 3...
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:
- Define project success upfront with the project sponsor.
- Do sufficient planning and get team and stakeholder buy-in.
- Have a sound problem solving and decision-making process (and follow it).
- Have a strong project management methodology...
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...
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.
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:
- Business requirements usually represent the rationale - high-level goals and objectives - for undertaking a project. These should include...
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.
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:
- Be a model of ethical behavior - lead by example: As others observe your actions, they will adopt more ethical practices.
- Focus on issues, not people: Stress can cause unethical behaviors and a culture of blame causes stress.
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