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Project Management Blog
Thursday, 29 March 2007 09:48

Band-Aids and Merry-go-Rounds

As I child I had a lot of experience with both of these.  I assume everyone is familiar with band-aids, the merry-go-round I’m referring to is the kind you find on a playground.  These are basically a large dish parallel to the ground mounted on a central axis with some handle bars to hold on to - here is a picture of one.  Aside from a trip down memory lane, what do these two things have to do with managing a PMO or even project management or even work?   I’m glad you asked – both of these items and their lessons from childhood give us insight into change.  First, I want to look at each type of change and then talk about which is better (or not)?  
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Saturday, 27 January 2007 17:15

Risk Identification

PMI defines risk identification as determining which risk events are likely to affect the project and documenting the characteristics of each. This process involves identifying three related factors: (1) potential sources of risk (schedule, cost, technical, legal, and so on), (2) possible risk events, and (3) risk symptoms.

The timing of risk identification is also of vital importance. PMI® advocates that risk identification should first be accomplished at the outset of the project and then be updated regularly throughout the project life cycle. 

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Saturday, 27 January 2007 17:06

Risk Planning & Analysis

Risk analysis is a technique to identify and assess factors that may jeopardize the success of a project or achieving a goal. This technique also helps define preventive measures to reduce the probability of these factors from occurring and identify countermeasures to successfully deal with these constraints when they develop.

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Thursday, 25 January 2007 14:56

Defining "Project"

Several definitions exist for “project.” According to the PMBOK®Guide, it is: “A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.” Whichever specific definition you choose, nearly every project you manage will have many of the same characteristics. Let’s examine some of the most important ones.

At the most basic level, a project is actually the response to a need, the solution to a problem. Further, it’s a solution that promises a benefit—typically a financial benefit. The fundamental purpose for most projects is to either make money or save money. That’s why projects should be financially justifiable.

By definition, a project is temporary in nature; that means that it has a specific start and finish. A project consists of a well-defined collection of small jobs (tasks) and ordinarily culminates in the creation of an end product or products (deliverables). There will be a preferred sequence of execution for the project’s tasks (the schedule). A project is a unique, one-time undertaking; it will never again be done exactly the same way, by the same people, and within the same environment.

This is a noteworthy point, as it suggests that you will rarely have the benefit of a wealth of historical information when you start your project. You’ll have to launch your project with limited information or, worse yet, misinformation. There will always be some uncertainty associated with your project. This uncertainty represents risk—an ever-present threat to your ability to make definitive plans and predict outcomes with high levels of confidence. All of your projects consume resources—resources in the form of time, money, materials, and labor. One of your primary missions is to serve as the overall steward of these resources—to apply them as sparingly and as effectively as possible. So, there’s a general definition or explanation. Here are some examples of projects: introducing a new product to the marketplace, building and installing a piece of equipment, and running a political campaign. In contrast, the following activities are not projects: operating a manufacturing facility, supervising a work group, and running a retail business. These activities are ongoing.

There are three main characteristics of a project


   1. Temporary Endeavor
      A. Opportunity or Market Window
      B. Project team seldom outlives project
   2. Unique Product, Result or Service
       A. Project Product, Service or result is not temporary
       B. Uniqueness is an important characteristic
   3. Progressive Elaboration
       A. Works in steps or increments
       B. Coordinated with proper scope and definition


 

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