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Project Management Blog
Sunday, 11 November 2007 11:49

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

No, we cannot all get along all of the time. It is unrealistic to think that all team members will absolutely agree with you or with each other all of the time. I f every time you are together, there is never any disagreement, look out – you have problems.

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Tuesday, 28 August 2007 13:15

Date for a Date

What can you do if a participant at your project status meeting is only a representative and has no power to make decisions provide information?

As a proactive and proficient project manager you have done everything possible to guaranty that the right people show up at your weekly or monthly project status meetings.

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Tuesday, 21 August 2007 06:14

Project Planning:

Every year thousands of projects are completed over budget, out of scope and past deadline.  Still, with each passing year, project managers continue to rush into projects without due diligence in defining the project and creating a plan for project execution.  By lightly addressing these critical components they are, in essence, failing their projects before any work has even commenced.  So how can project managers efficiently execute a project plan while at the same time meeting the deadlines and expectations of senior management?

 

Published in Blogs
Tuesday, 19 June 2007 08:33

The Commitment Calendar

Do you have a commitment calendar? Do you think your peers keep a commitment calendar?

Chances are that those of you who consistently stay on top of your deadlines use some type of tracking system. A commitment calendar is a tool which can help you (or your chaos challenged associates) stay ahead of your obligations.

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The superhero gene inherent in project managers can mutate and become something ugly. Such is the case with Ms. Bellows. Instead of discussing, she yells. People leave her office in tears. Behind her back people call her Yelly Kelly.

The problem is that she is successful. People jump when she says to and projects get done on time. This makes upper management happy and she is rewarded, reinforcing the original problem. Eventually no one willingly works with her and some of the best resources leave the department, company or even country.

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Friday, 16 March 2007 14:01

How to Really Fix a Failing Project

Your project is in trouble.  You know it.  Your team knows it.  But somehow you have been able to keep it from your management.  You need a quick fix.  But there aren’t any.  What can be done to get back on track?  Since yesterday's ideas didn't help, here are some suggestions that might point you in the right direction.

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:17

Quality Control

The PMBOK defines quality control as “monitoring specific project results to determine if they comply with relevant quality standards and identifying ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory performance”.

Cause and Effect Diagrams (also referred to as Fishbone Diagrams OR Ishikawa diagram)

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Thursday, 25 January 2007 15:18

Organizational Structure

Projects, of course, are not operated in a vacuum. They are parts, or subsystems, of much bigger organizations with much larger goals. Each project has or uses elements such as processes, participants, policies, procedures, and requirements, some of which are dependent upon and interact with related elements in the larger business system. By taking a systematic approach, the project manager can see how all the elements interact, and assess the impact on the individual project. Project managers must recognize the role of the project as a component within an organization. The role of the project, as a component, is to support the business model of the organization as a whole-not to necessarily replace it. Organizations are categorized into one of five models:


Functional
This traditional structure groups people by specialization (for example, marketing, contracting, accounting, and so on). The project manager has no formal authority over project resources and must rely on the informal power structure and his or her own interpersonal skills to obtain resource commitments from functional managers. Conflicts tend to develop over the relative priorities of various projects competing for limited resources.

Weak Matrix
The matrix organization maintains vertical functional lines of authority while establishing a relatively permanent horizontal structure containing the managers for various projects. The project managers interact with all functional units supporting their projects. In a weak matrix, the balance of power leans toward the functional manager rather than the project manager. That is, workers’ administrative relationships, physical proximity, and relative time expenditures favor the functional manager.

Balanced Matrix
A balanced matrix structure has many of the same attributes as a weak matrix, but the project manager has more time and power regarding the project. A balanced matrix still has time accountability issues for all the project team members since their functional managers will want reports on their time within the project. In a balanced matrix the project manager has a full-time role as a project manager with a reasonable level of authority and has a primarily part-time project team

Strong Matrix
The strong matrix is the same as the weak matrix except that the balance of power favors the project manager rather than the functional manager. The project manager has medium to high formal authority.

Projectized
In a projectized organization, a separate, vertical structure is established for each project.  Personnel are assigned to particular projects on a full-time basis. The project manager has total authority over the project, subject only to the time, cost, and performance constraints specified in the project targets.

These are the functional organizations; project expeditor, which is little more than a functionary who helps support the concept of project management but not really the practice; the project coordinator is a step up from that. Then a weak matrix is where you actually have the project manager getting resources from the functional organizations; a strong matrix is where the balance of power is shifted to the project manager. The way you tell whether or not that balance of power has shifted is where the money and the reporting come from. If all money and reports are generated by the project and are respected as being from the project, then it is a strong matrix. If the functional organizations are seen as generating revenue for the organization rather than the project organizations, then it is a weak matrix. And finally, PMI’s ideal structure: the projectized organization, a place where the project has its own reporting structure within the organization.


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