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Project Management Blog
Monday, 23 April 2007 08:24

Diffuse Anger, Strengthen Relationships

What me, upset? OK not you, but let’s consider the fact that perhaps one day, someone close to you may become angry. Perhaps even in the workplace. And you already know that communications become clouded when anger does the talking. Try this recipe next time anger appears on the menu.

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 22 March 2007 10:02

The Success Conundrum

I hope that since you are reading this, you are a project management proponent and interested in “spreading the word” so to speak.  Many of us find ourselves a lone voice in the wilderness singing the praises of project management, yet unable to make any headway. 

Why is this so and what can be done about it? How do we get those obstinate so-and-sos to listen? 

In one way we are our own worst enemy.  Our consistent success and brilliant performance is often interpreted by others as an inherent talent.  In other words, we are seen as good at project management in the same way that musicians are seen as good musicians – it’s a talent thing.   Now, not taking away from anyone’s talent, our personal attributes are not the only cause of our success – you know that or you would not be reading this.  The first hurdle then is to demonstrate that skill AND talent make good project managers, that you can learn this and be good – never as good as those of us who are truly talented, but – hey - not everyone can be the best... just us J This means that success alone can not demonstrate the benefits of project management – let me say that differently – the prevailing mindset in a capability-maturity ignorant world is that people alone create success.  

I’m not saying that a great process can overcome incompetence, it can’t.  Nor am I suggesting that you credit your achievements solely to a great methodology (you worked hard!) – so what do you do? There are a lot of actions you can take, but since I’m a PMO guy, I’ll start there.  In the case of building a PM culture, a PMO can succeed where individual achievements fall short.  A PMO is an organizational entity, and as such does not suffer from the success conundrum. 

When a PMO succeeds, the prevailing opinion will be “they must be doing something right.”  This process-oriented point of view is an opening into organizational consciousness.  If you don’t have a PMO, consider creating a community of practice around project management.  Meet with other PMs and share ideas and practices.  Publish these on the company’s intranet (if you have one).  Send emails on PM topics or print articles and pass them around. 

I’ve really had some good luck with sharing short articles and ideas via email.  In fact I just sent another one using Josh Nankivel’s article on Theory of Constraints.  The cartoon is great, and fun communications never hurts!   So that’s my first two cents, PMOs and other PM-based organizations are a great way to demonstrate and communicate the benefits of our profession, get together with your peers and spread the word.

 

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 17:37

Project Management Plan

The project plan is a key integrative document that uses the outputs of the other planning processes to create a consistent, coherent document that is the guide to both project execution and project control. Be familiar with what the project plan is used for and what items are often included in a project plan. The PM uses it to guide project execution, to document our planning assumptions, to document planning decisions regarding some of the alternatives that we have chosen. We use it to facilitate communication among the stakeholders and define key management reviews as to content, expense, and timing. It is a baseline for progress measurement and project control.

The project management plan can be either summary level or detailed, and can be composed of one or more subsidiary plans and other components. Each of the subsidiary plans and components is detailed to the extent required by the specific project.

The Develop Project Management Plan process includes the actions necessary to define, integrate, and coordinate all subsidiary plans into a project management plan. The project management plan content will vary depending upon the application area and complexity of the project. This process results in a project management plan that is updated and revised through the Integrated Change Control process. It also defines how the project is executed, monitored and controlled, and closed. The purpose of planning is to develop a Project Plan.


Subsidiary plans

  • Project scope management plan
  • Schedule management plan
  • Cost management plan
  • Quality management plan
  • Process improvement plan
  • Staffing management plan
  • Communication management plan
  • Risk management plan
  • Procurement management plan

Other key components include, but are not limited to:

  • Milestone list
  • Resource calendar
  • Schedule baseline
  • Cost baseline
  • Quality baseline
  • Risk register
Published in Blogs

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