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Project Management for Aspiring, New, and Accidental PMs

 

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Take Your Meetings From Good to GREAT communications management Aug 18, 2019

They say that 90% of project work is about communications in some form. Others have estimated that meetings can take up around 50% of project communications time. So, make a commitment to follow these five steps to take your meetings from good to GREAT:

Goals: Pre-plan the meeting and determine what goals must be met to achieve meeting success.

Right people: Determine the right set of people to...

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Time to Ask Another Why? project integration management Aug 11, 2019

Why do our projects not succeed?

Toward the end of last week, I completed a corporate training for UCSD Extension at a major San Diego/US defense contractor. They were taking the final exam, so I covered some short topics to generate discussion rather than cover new material.  I showed them the results of industry studies by organizations such as Standish Group and Meta Group. I showed...

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5 Tips for Handling Difficult to Estimate Tasks cost management schedule management Aug 04, 2019

Getting good estimates is often challenging for projects.  Here are 5 tips for getting better estimates for difficult-to-estimate tasks:

  1. Decompose the work further to understand it more fully. Document all assumptions and constraints.
  2. Look for similar estimates provided for past projects—network with other projects or organizations willing to share their experience and expertise.
  3. Do...
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5 Tips for Creating an Environment for Successful Projects project integration management Jul 28, 2019

The working environment can be as important as having a good plan and will improve planning and other outcomes. Support creativity, innovation, and some risk-taking with these five tips:

  1. Have a clear vision for the project and communicate it clearly to all stakeholders
  2. Encourage open, honest, and transparent communication and collaboration
  3. Become a lifelong learner with a mindset of continuous...
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Happy 1 Year Anniversary: Accidental Project Manager #accidentalpm Jul 21, 2019

It’s been a year since the launch of the Accidental Project Manager book. PPC Group, LLC wants to help as many new, aspiring, and “accidental” project managers as possible during the next month. On 12 August 2019, we are launching Accidental Project Manager: The Online Experience. Continuing in the tradition of the book, this new online experiential course develops essential...

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6 Reasons to Delegate More communications management resource management Jul 21, 2019

Project managers often have a tendency to "jump in" and do project work. Here are six reasons why you need to resist and delegate more:

  1. Your full-time job is managing the project - don't let other tasks get in the way
  2. Delegation is an opportunity for face-to-face communication with team members
  3. Delegated work is a growth opportunity for team members
  4. Delegation is a tool for reducing or...
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Look Before the Project - Part III cost management project integration management scope management Jul 21, 2019

For the last two weeks, we looked at two different ways to evaluate project selections to determine which to work on. This type of activity is often carried out by senior management and not the project manager. The project manager is usually involved once the project charter has been developed. A special form of project charter is the Statement of Work or SOW. Its often associated with a...

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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 requirements. "Assign each of the project's deliverables to a team member and give them the...
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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 operation. For example, if you have installed Oracle Financials, there is a need to develop the...

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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 place?
  3. Has the team been involved in these processes and bought-in to actions?
  4. Have you built...
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