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Project Management Blog
Monday, 10 December 2007 05:09

Should Project Managers Retire?

The question is: "Should Project Managers Retire and, if so, what is the place for our project management elders amongst the project management community?" Having reached that age when one begins to think of leaving a "legacy", I was persuaded to attend a "Philosopher's Café". This assembly was arranged by our local university to discuss the subject of "The Place of Elders in an Ever-evolving Society". In his introduction, the facilitator observed that "In traditional societies the elders were respected for their knowledge and wisdom."
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The creation of a Project Scope Statement doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Through the use of collaborative decision making and facilitated meetings techniques, it is realistic to build the components of the scope statement while gaining alignment from all project stakeholders in as few as two (2) days. The alignment gained from this upfront scoping effort will form the foundation for success throughout the remainder of the project. The key to this dynamic activity is effective planning and execution of a Project Scope Facilitate Meeting, using collaborative JAD techniques, to build the necessary scope outputs for a project.

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scopeThrough our experiences working with project teams in many industries on hundreds of projects, we come to recognize a common pattern. Although Project Managers and project teams understand the theory and value of developing a Project Scope Statement, many do not have workable tools, techniques or processes for creating a Scope Statement. We have encountered Project Managers who have attempted to write the Project Scope Statement on their own or assigned this effort to a team member. Often, they move forward with a scope statement completed by one person and then route this scope statement to other stakeholders seeking input, buy-in, or approval. This process can take weeks and usually results in missing portions of key information needed to effectively manage scope on the project. More alarming to the overall project success is that there is minimal if any real buy-in and alignment on the scope of the project. In this situation, Project Managers are faced with spending too much time throughout the project trying to identify and manage scope creep due to unclear and uncommunicated project boundaries.  The creation of a Project Scope Statement doesn’t need to be a daunting task. This paper illustrates how to build the scope statement while gaining alignment from all project stakeholders in as few as two (2) days. The alignment gained from this upfront scoping effort will form the foundation for success throughout the remainder of the project. The key to this dynamic activity is effective planning and execution of a Project Scope Facilitate Meeting, using collaborative JAD techniques, to build the necessary scope outputs for a project.
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Thursday, 17 May 2007 15:32

Deming's 4th Point in Project Management

Consider Costs and Benefits of the Entire System and Deliverable Lifetime

The textbook wording of this point varies, but is usually something like “Stop making decisions purely on the basis of cost.” When I read the various descriptions however, I believe the textbook title is not an adequate summary.

When Deming talks about not making decisions purely on the basis of cost, he is referring to a plant perspective and talks about the importance of having regular suppliers.

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Saturday, 12 May 2007 10:43

Deming's 3rd Point in Project Management

Inspection is a Tool for Improvement, Not a Whip

Deming's third point urges practitioners to design quality into processes, using inspection as an information-gathering tool to do so. In project management, the processes and systems make up a methodology. Does your organization have a consistent methodology, or does everyone run projects their own way?

Inspecting project performance through the lens of continuous improvement facilitates applying lessons learned to a consistent and ever-improving methodology. This can not be done effectively unless there is a consistent system of managing projects in the first place.

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Monday, 26 March 2007 08:02

6 Steps to Overcome Misperceptions

People living in the LA area are big on perception.  Billy Crystal used to say, “It is better to look marvelous than to feel marvelous.”  Sometimes this works to your advantage.  When I was in my early 20s my hair started turning grey around the temples.  This gave me the appearance of being older and wiser and others took me more seriously as a consultant.   
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Saturday, 27 January 2007 17:32

Risk Response Planning

Risk Response Planning is the process of developing options, and determining actions to enhance opportunities and reduce threats to the project’s objectives. It follows the Qualitative Risk Analysis and Quantitative Risk Analysis processes. It includes the identification and assignment of one or more persons (the “risk response owner”) to take responsibility for each agreed-to and funded risk response. Risk Response Planning addresses the risks by their priority, inserting resources and activities into the budget, schedule, and project management plan, as needed. 
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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 17:05

Project Risk Management

Risk Management is the process of measuring, or assessing risk and then developing strategies to manage the risk. In general, the strategies employed include transferring the risk to another party, avoiding the risk, reducing the negative effect of the risk, and accepting some or all of the consequences of a particular risk. The Risk Management Plan (RMP) is the document prepared by a Project manager to foresee risks, to estimate the effectiveness and to mitigate them.

 

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Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:40

Motivational Theories

Five theories are of particular importance: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, McGregor’s theory X and theory Y, Ouchi’s Theory Z, Herzberg’s theory of motivation, and the expectancy theory.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs - According to Maslow, people work to take care of a hierarchy of needs. The pinnacle of their needs is self-actualization. People want to contribute, prove their work, and use their skills and ability. Five layers of needs, from the bottom-up, are:

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