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An Introduction to PMI’s Project Management Life Cycle

An Introduction to PMI’s Project Management Life Cycle
By Brian EganGlobal Knowledge

The term “life cycle” implies two things: that a process is perpetual and that the sequence of events is obligatory or uni-directional. There is no beginning or end to a life cycle and the sequence of events cannot change. A seed cannot go directly to being a mature plant nor revert back to the blossom stage.

The Project Management Life Cycle

The term “life cycle” is misleading, because it is neither a perpetual circle of events nor is the sequence of events rigidly fixed. There are five stages to the project management life cycle that usually occur in sequence. During large complex projects it is often necessary to return to planning several times. In this case, the project management life cycle can become very complex with multiple repeats of planning and even initiating processes.

Project Life Cycle vs.

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Keeping-Up Your Skills as a Project Manager

Keeping-Up Your Skills as a Project Manager
By Brian EganGlobal Knowledge

A project manager I know was working on a short-term project. The project team decided they needed some extra help, and I just happen to have the skill sets they required. The project lasted just three months, but it only required six weeks of my time, based on the skills I was providing. Working on the project gave me a great opportunity to observe how someone else manages their projects.

I tried to pay attention to the differences in style — how does my friend manage projects compared to me? How are the issues managed?
How are people managed? How is the analysis managed? I was especially interested in how my friend dealt with the minutiae of details… keeping track of all the needs, the scheduling, the scope creep, etc.

What I noticed more was how weak my skills had become. Read the Complete Article

Project Portfolio Management = Investment Optimization

Project Portfolio Management = Investment Optimization
By Brian EganGlobal Knowledge

The principle behind portfolio management (of both projects and stocks) is that an organization has limited capital to invest and has to make sure that it’s put to the most productive use. Projects are investments and must provide the highest possible return relative to alternative uses of capital.

Just like stocks, projects need to be managed ‘as a portfolio’ — that is, in a coordinated way.

It’s hard to imagine a stock portfolio manager not managing investments on an overall strategic basis rather than individually. Stock managers continuously compare the value of each individual stock with other possible investments. However, it’s rare for an organization’s projects to be managed in the same sort of strategically coherent way.

Objective

The project portfolio management objective is to coordinate all project investments to maximize collective value. This is very logical and simple in theory but very difficult in practice. Read the Complete Article

How Are Contracts Used in Projects?

How Are Contracts Used in Projects?
By Brian EganGlobal Knowledge

When you hire someone to do work or to deliver a product, you expect them to do it right, and they expect to be paid. When transactions are simple, such as the purchase of fuel at a gas station, there is no confusion about whether the services were delivered or the right amount paid.

However, complex purchases (procurements) are not so easy to assess. Contracts become necessary when there is uncertainty about who will do what (scope), by when (schedule), and for how much (cost). They are used to clarify expectations and to define mechanisms for problem resolution in the event of misunderstanding that leads to conflict.

Contracts are meant to solidify/clarify/explain commitments on both sides of an agreement. Contracts should state exactly what the seller will do or deliver, and when, as well as what consideration the buyer will provide (and when) in exchange for those goods and services. Read the Complete Article

Project Closure: Planning the End

Project Closure: Planning the End
By Brian EganGlobal Knowledge

Closing a project is, in itself, a project. Everything has to be ‘finalized’ in some way – every deliverable, every expectation. A recent client of mine was not really understanding the closure idea. This person was sure (s)he could just hand the product over to the client, and that was the end. But, you should use a formal process every time!

The end requires a process; a set of procedures that close out all the elements of the project. If there is software for example, there must be some way for the client to acknowledge that the product meets the requirements. So, an acceptance test plan needs to be created.

The closure process also requires a formal meeting that specifies the end is near and establishes a processes to finalize the handover or ‘go live’ of the software. At this point, you also obtain the final authorization signatures that signify the project is closed. Read the Complete Article

An Introduction to Procurement Management in Project Management

An Introduction to Procurement Management in Project Management
By Brian EganGlobal Knowledge

Project procurement activities are often managed by specialists. By this I mean that the procurement department takes over responsibility for purchasing and contract management from the project manager. As a result of this separation of responsibilities, the steps and stages of procurement are often poorly understood by PMs.

Procurement Steps

  1. Make purchase decisions – Planning

    Purchase decisions follow from project planning and analysis. Project needs are analyzed and compared with available resources and skills. Anything the organization cannot provide must be procured.

  2. Prepare bid documents

    These documents include a SOW statement (Scope of Work), general terms and conditions, bid response instructions, and an explanation of how proposals will be evaluated (source selection criteria).

  3. Distribute bid packages to potential vendors

    Potential vendors can be identified through advertising, the internet, or through an organization’s qualified vendors list.

  4. Bidder’s conferences

    Bidder or vendor conferences are used to efficiently deliver detailed information to potential vendors.

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Please note that it is the responsibility of the author to handle the whole process for claiming the PDUs, PM Hut’s role is currently only limited to supplying its own physical address to the author.

1 – A1 Enterprise 286 – Karl Fischer
2 – Aaron Sanders 287 – Kathlika Thomas
3 – Abdulla Alkuwaiti 288 – Katy Whitton
4 – Abhijat Saraswat 289 – Kay Wais
5 – Abhilash Gopi 290 – Kaz Young
6 – Adam Leggett 291 – Keith Custer
7 – Ade Miller 292 – Keith L.
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