Cost engineers understand the value of effective project cost estimation and analysis more than anyone. In today's competitive environment, every dollar counts and organizations cannot afford to remain ignorant about true project costs. Fortunately, there are a few formulas that help cost engineers to track and analyze project cost and to estimate projects with increasing accuracy in the future.
What should a PMs Theme Tune be? Through many LinkedIn discussions I raised the hugely important question - what should the theme tune be for all project managers? PMs responded with 187 suggestions for this and, through assessing the most common suggestions together with ones that I just liked or made me laugh we now have a short list with 55 tunes. You can see the full list at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com if you wish.
So now it is time for the vote off - you can select the 5 tunes that you think should be the PMs theme tune at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/pmsthemetune
Please help to spread the word to all of your PM contacts and let’s get them voting in their hundreds. Survey closes 23rd December.
Let’s face it; virtual teams (where we work with colleagues in remote locations, be they close by or in different countries) are now a reality in the workplace. If this trend in the workplace environment continues, virtual working will increasingly influence the way we operate, and the ‘effective virtual team worker’ will be a valued asset. A key benefit to forming virtual teams is the ability to cost-effectively tap into a wide pool of talent from various locations. There are several definitions of the virtual team worker, but within the context of this article, we are talking about people who work on project teams and who display the following attributes:
- They work primarily from a particular office (maybe a home office, or maybe a fixed work location), and they are not expected to travel each week as a part of their job (i.e. road warrior) or be physically in the office on a daily basis.
- They likely work from home one or more days per week.
Most project managers with a few years experience or more are likely to have managed a project where some or even all of the project members were remotely located. How different is managing a virtual project team from a co-located team? Are there additional considerations or risks involved in managing a virtual team? Before we answer these questions, one must first understand the dynamics of the virtual team worker.
Accurate Project Costs -- How to obtain them, improve estimates with them and dramatically increase your effectiveness by knowing them.
Critical Business Issue (CBI) – Something that might get me fired or put in jail if I screw it up again.
For most IT managers, inaccurate estimates constitute a CBI. Why are accurate estimates so important?
- Inaccurate estimates cause over-commitment. Have you ever worked in a place where ten percent of ten projects got done instead of 100 percent of one project? Ultimately, nothing is accomplished and everyone is totally stressed out. Inaccurate estimates cause over-commitment of time, yet not much gets done.
- Inaccurate estimates cause bad decisions. “Inaccurate” usually means “too low.” When this happens, the return on investment (ROI) calculation shows the project as ‘worth it’ when it is not.
Many of my colleagues, not all, were basically aiming for a certificate. This in my view is not sufficient to demonstrate one's ability in project management.
It is very important that we consider the PMP as a step forward, and not an end in itself. For indeed with the skills proven by the attainment of such a reputable certification, one can improve project performance by applying the principles of project management on the ground.