PMP® Exam Quality Primer: Quality Concepts – Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) (#7 in the series PMP® Exam Quality Primer)
By Samuel T. Brown, III, PMP, Global Knowledge Course Director and Instructor
CPI is a concept that recognizes that the world is constantly changing and any process that is satisfactory today may not provide the same value tomorrow. CPI is a holistic approach that is applicable to projects because it supports quality goals by making gradual improvements in processes and sub-processes that tend to repeat themselves over several projects, or often within a project. The CPI procedure is as follows:
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- Define and standardize (sub)processes: Document current understanding; maintain and update formal standards; measure performance against current standards.
- Assess (sub)process performance: Measure process; assess performance against goals and customer needs; select improvement targets.
- Improve (sub)processes: Use teams for shared processes; pursue individual improvement; follow improvement cycle (similar to the Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle) of
- Measure progress: Measure performance against goals and standards; evaluate customer satisfaction, evaluate method and document results; continuously improve.
Defining the Scope in IT Projects – Part II (#2 in the series Defining the Scope in IT Projects)
By Neville Turbit – Project Perfect
How Scope is usually defined
Scope definitions often account for a paragraph or two in a Business Case or Project Charter. Often, they are qualitative and/or focus on general statements.
“We will improve service by providing an information system to respond to customer inquiries.” Is it a real time system? Is it all screen-based?
What reports can be produced? Where does the information come from? What manipulation is required for the data? Is all the data compatible? Do you want to generate standard letters? How many letters? How customizable are the letters? Do you want to store the questions? Do you want to store the answers? Etc. etc. etc.
Define the Outcome
We will cover several different ways to successfully define scope. All should start with an agreement on the outcome. Read the Complete Article
A Risk Management Lesson – Evaluation (#2 in the series A Risk Management Lesson)
By Andy Murray
When evaluating a risk we need to consider:
- Likelihood of occurrence
- Detection rate
Impact – We have identified (some of) the impacts already, e.g. cost of alternate travel
Likelihood of occurrence – for UK only, we can take recent history as a means to predict the future. In the past two years we have had four incidents which have affected UK transport
So one could take a view that the likelihood is on average 1 in 91 that when you travel there might be a terrorist incident on that day (based on there being on average 2 days disrupted travel for each incident).
Or if you applied the fact that terrorist activities in the US and Europe only take place on weekdays then you could argue that the likelihood is in fact 1 in 65 if you travel during the week and close to zero if you travel at the weekend. Read the Complete Article
Supporting Frameworks for Successful Program Management – Introduction (#5 in the series Foundations, Frameworks and Lessons Learned in Program Management)
By Robert Prieto
Successful program management requires the implementation of a comprehensive set of framework processes that transcend those required in a project context. A number of these framework processes, listed alphabetically, are described below but the list is not intended to be all encompassing. The range of issues to be assessed, managed and monitored is characteristic of differences between program and project management. Key to successful program management is the degree of integration between each of these processes. While a range of individual tools exist to implement each framework process, benefits accrue when these tools are as seamlessly integrated as possible.
Program Management – Integrated Framework Processes
Note: Each of the below will be described in details
- Budgeting, Fund Management and Allocation, Expenditure Approval and Tracking of Funds Committed and Expended
- Change Impact Assesment (CIA)
- Configuration Management
- Constructability Analysis – Systemic
- Construction Mobilization
- Construction Technology
- Contingency Management
- Cost Estimating
- Ethics Training and Compliance
- Knowledge Management
- Life Cycle Cost Analysis
- Material Management
- Operations & Maintenance
- Project Security
- Risk Management
Robert Prieto, Senior Vice President
Robert Prieto is senior vice president for Fluor, where he leads strategy for Fluor’s Industrial and Infrastructure group. Read the Complete Article
Corporate Singularity Vs Project Multiplicity
By John Bolden
Corporate Singularity is a dynamic state that is composed of two discrete elements. The first element is the ‘operating state’ of the organization right now. No matter how long it lasts, it is the status quo now and, there is only one. For the purposes of this exercise this is ‘what is now’.
The second element comprises multiple views of the ‘operating state’ of the organization as it will be in the future – one view for each business improvement or transformation project. These views of the organization capture what will be different as each project is injected, integrated or implemented into the organization. For future reference, each view equates to ‘what will be’.
As you read this passage, your organization is executing tasks in order to fulfill its prescribed mandate now and will continue to do so until the outcomes of the next project are integrated into the operating fabric of the organization. Read the Complete Article
Adrift in a Sea of Conflicting Priorities and Assignments? Here’s a Life Preserver!
By Damon Poole
Do you ever feel like things are out of control on your project, that you are adrift in a sea of conflicting priorities and requests? Do you suddenly find out at the last minute that you are the bottleneck and everybody is breathing down your neck asking you what is taking you so long to create the moveStuff() method but you had no idea that anybody even cared about moveStuff() or that you owned it? Do you ever find yourself in the exact opposite position, wondering why Sue and Bob didn’t get their stuff done that you need and then your boss walks by while you are surfing the net waiting for Sue and Bob? And who is Bob anyway?
The solution is simple! All you need to do is get everybody to move to MS-Project. Read the Complete Article
Rise of the Project Workforce, Chapter 7: The Workflow Foundation (#7 in the series Rise of the Project Workforce)
By Rudolf Melik
For more details about how Project Workforce Management automates workflows and enables business process management, see Rise of the Project Workforce.
Using email and spreadsheets to manage projects, and following habitual manual processes for most business procedures may feel like the most efficient course of action. It is natural to do what is familiar and to resist change. However, in a flat world, we must adjust to working with fragmented and remote workforces, and we must address mounting compliance issues. We must automate our business processes and link them together to find new ways to be efficient.
Workflow is a structured way to define and automate business processes. A workflow can be diagrammed using a flow chart, from one initial state (such as “Open Purchase Request”) to one or more final states (such as “Request Rejected” and “Purchase Completed.”) Workflow also provides mechanisms to assign, search, and report on tasks. Read the Complete Article
By Rich Maltzman, PMP
That’s Akapalah as in “a couple of” with a New England accent. OK. It’s a stretch. The subject today is the role the Project Manager plays in getting all of the data that flows around in different directions in gargantuan quantities to be as meaningful as possible to the stakeholders. Which brings me to something called the Knowledge Pyramid. Which of course allowed me the play of words in today’s title, and the picture of “a couple of” pyramids that I’ve placed to the right and above.
This is one of the cases in which PM is a microcosm of ‘general management’, but the environment of a project makes us as PMs even more responsible than in a general management situation. Here’s the scenario: your project is big. It has many stakeholders. It may be a clinical pharma trial, a new release of software, a telecom network upgrade, a research effort, whatever. Read the Complete Article
Project Managers and Vendors: Creating a Successful Partnership – Part VIII (#8 in the series Project Managers and Vendors: Creating a Successful Partnership)
By Linda Miller of Traveling Coaches, Inc.
Project management offices (PMOs) and project managers (PMs) are a necessity in today’s law firms, to ensure that IT projects stay on track. Anyone acting as a PM on a project requiring multiple outside vendors knows that if not managed properly, chaos can reign. Working with your own staff on a project can usually be orchestrated with ease, but throw in a vendor or two (or more) and the project can quickly get out of hand. Creating a successful partnership between vendors and your own project team is a necessity to ensure project success.
Schedule Project Financial Reviews
Develop a financial review meeting schedule with the vendor. The project manager should require the vendor to submit timely information including budgeted versus actual hours used to date and hours (costs) remaining on the project. Read the Complete Article
Real World Project Management – Communications – Part II (#2 in the series Real World Project Management – Communications
By Joseph Phillips
The Written Word
Written stuff, like this article, can seem to be direct. I write. My editor edits. You read. But what if I’m not clear in my writing? What if you don’t get my jokes? Or my grammar and punctuation is so poor that you miss the point? Communication fails.
This is true in your life, too. Imagine that you sent an email to Susan, a team member. Here’s one draft of your email:
I need a project team member who knows what Oracle is all about. You are smart, talented, on time, and savvy. Team members who are not like you admit to knowing nothing about Oracle. Our project is horrible when you’re away. This project is going great.
Your favorite Project Manager
Wow! Susan sounds fantastic. Read the Complete Article