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Project Management Blog
On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful powered airplane flight. It was quite an amazing accomplishment, but I don’t believe it would have been possible if they were working in today’s business world. The problem would have been the drive for perfection. It would have started something like this…
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Monday, 16 April 2007 08:18

A Question of Ethics

Ethics has been the topic of several separate conversations I have had recently.  One friend expressed near outrage about a discussion she overheard between two of her managers.  It ended with one saying, “Well, your ethics aren’t necessarily mine!”  Another friend found it amusing that he was able to avoid the company ethics meeting by lying about already attending. 

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Friday, 23 February 2007 08:49

PMP VS. Masters Degree

Original Question: One of my friends is going for masters in project management from University of Calgary, Canada. Even though, the reputation of university is first-rate as it is one of the top universities in North America for Project Management. However, UofC is not among the accredited schools of PM from PMI perspective. What is your opinion about non-accredited schools of PMI? In addition, how do you see the graduates from UofC getting jobs in Canada & around the world?

I would appreciate your valuable advice.
Cheers
Naseem

Published in Blogs
Monday, 05 February 2007 17:14

Tips for taking the PMP exam

THE APPLICATION PROCESS
  1. Join PMI. It's about $150 between the national and local chapters. Then you get a $100 discount on the exam which is normally $550, I think.
  2. Get 35 PDUs, or be sure you complete the PDUs before you take the exam.
  3. Fill out the online app. It will break down all of your PM experience into about 50 different areas. Have your referenes updated contact info. PMI does a random audit of applicants, so fill out the info as best you can.
  4. PMI responds that your application has been accepted in about a week.
  5. Only then can you schedule an exam date.
  6. Pass the exam.
  7. Status is good for 3 years. To main status, you need to earn 60 PDU's over the 3 years. Then pay again to renew status. You don't need to take the test again.
Published in Blogs
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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