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5 Essential Tools for Project Schedule Control risk management schedule management Apr 12, 2020

These can assist you to keep a project on schedule:

  1. Ask for "as soon as possible," rather than set a deadline.
  2. 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?"
  3. If falling behind, carefully consider:
    • Can I start some tasks earlier or eliminate unnecessary tasks?
    • Will the...
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Managing Risks of Fixed Schedules risk management schedule management Sep 15, 2019
As Project Managers, we often have to perform with a fixed schedule. This type of situation can occur for almost any project or industry, but it is a special issue in the software industry when we want to meet monthly, quarterly, or other periodic release schedules. Here are my top 5 tips for successfully managing the risk and meeting the deadline:
 

 1) Be sure there is a project...

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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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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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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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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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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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5 More Tips for Better Plans with MS Project schedule management Apr 14, 2019

Here are some additional tips for getting better plans with MS Project:

  1. 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.
  2. As plans expand, section them out by project phase or major deliverables through space separation, changing bar colors, highlighting,...
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5 Tips for Better Plans with MS Project schedule management Apr 07, 2019

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:

  1. Add project critical success factors as milestones at the top of plans as a reminder. They will not have any effect on plan computations.
  2. Add the Type column to the Entry Table...
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