Project Hero Blog - Weekly Best Practices and Tips
Project Management for Aspiring, New, and Accidental PMs
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Happy Passover and Happy Easter to family, friends, and colleagues around the world who are celebrating. Easter, in addition to being a religious holiday, is also a marker of the start of Spring (celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of Spring). Here are 5 tips for project managers in the Spring:
- Review your annual personal and project goals (hopefully...
Here are some additional tips for getting better plans with MS Project:
- Manually scheduled tasks have shortcomings. Set up Project such that new tasks are automatically scheduled (Options>Schedule>Scheduling options for this project); use manual sparingly.
- As plans expand, section them out by project phase or major deliverables through space separation, changing bar colors, highlighting,...
Microsoft Project does not encourage best practices and may result in plans with unintended consequences. Here are 5 functions to use as you create your plan. These tips are good for virtually every version of Project:
- Add project critical success factors as milestones at the top of plans as a reminder. They will not have any effect on plan computations.
- Add the Type column to the Entry Table...
I've heard from several industry experts that many new project managers do not know how to effectively create and manage schedules. Here are 5 tips for better control of schedules:
- It is essential to start with a well-constructed schedule.
- Track all time on a daily basis. On Friday, most people won't remember how many hours they worked on specific tasks and projects on Monday. Be sure to...
Having a good schedule is critical for project success. Time is money because every day worked means resources are paid. Here are five tips to improve your project schedules:
- Include project critical success factors and other key messages at the top of the schedule (and all project plans).
- Get the right level of detail. The WBS work package level becomes a summary task with action...
Once project execution begins, you will need to track your budget regularly. Here are five tips to help you control your budget:
- Review progress weekly: Update schedule and budget actuals, check for trends, and take corrective actions as required to get back on track. Record the changes so you will learn how to budget better next time.
- Have a change control process in place: This process...
Starting a project with a proper budget is one of the best ways to be able to manage the budget. Here are five tips for creating a solid budget:
- Develop a deep understanding of project requirements: Know what the stakeholders really need and want so your budget is stronger. Don't forget to do a WBS with the team too.
- Work from the effort, not duration: Task level of effort is a better gauge of...
Risk management is not a one-time event. During the course of a project, good project managers continue to help the team focus on monitoring risks and repeating the processes of identification and analysis as the project changes. Here are five tips for helping team members maintain their focus:
- Encourage open and transparent communication about risk.
- Remind the stakeholders that risks aren't...
Risks are both threats and opportunities which can hinder or help project success. Proper risk management can save you from later firefights to bring things back under control. Here are five tips to improve risk management and/or reduce project risks:
- Don't skip or skimp on risk management. Larger and more complex projects need to have more robust processes that begin to examine risks earlier...
Most Agile projects consist of one or more sprints. The Agile project manager can play an important role in aiding sprint planning. Here are 5 tips to be sure each sprint is as effective as possible.
- Begin with the end in mind: work with the business or product owner to set a theme or goal for each sprint to keep the team focused.
- Carefully prioritize: be sure every story for the sprint...
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