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How to Choose Project Management Software

How to Choose Project Management Software
By Claudia Vandermilt

Trying to manage all the moving pieces of a complex project using pen and paper can prove problematic. In the worst case scenario, deadlines are missed, critical tasks are overlooked and the entire undertaking gets sidelined before it even gets off the ground. That is precisely why project management tools have come into existence to help managers plan out, execute and oversee all aspects of the project management process from beginning to end.

Project management tools are designed to help enable easier oversight of each task involved in a complex project so managers can ensure on-time completion of all related tasks, balanced workloads for staff and sound time management. They are meant to enhance efficiency while ensuring that no detail is left unattended.

Project management software is not all alike, however. Managers seeking to invest in tools to help them better oversee large projects should take four main points into consideration when reviewing the options to determine which tools are suited to their needs:

Planning Abilities

Having the ability to carefully map out an entire project from beginning to end with all required tasks included is the hallmark of a solid project management program. Read the Complete Article

Making an Impact as a Project Manager

Making an Impact as a Project Manager
By Claudia Vandermilt

Project management can be a valuable approach when attempting to control spending and improve project deliverables. The benefits can produce the collective effect of reducing unnecessary risks and improving rates of success. When the economic recession put a burden on business managers to make cost-effective decisions, several found that applying project management methods were crucial to the organization remaining profitable, despite downturns in international business.

In 2010, an Economist Intelligence Unit report noted that many businesses relied on project management when the recession began. Compared to 2007, 40% of survey respondents noted an increase in time spent on project planning, and 37% noted they spent more time on risk assessment and documenting key milestones. In times when resources are tight, businesses have relying on project management to help ensure their resources are well-utilized.

Benefits of Project Management

In today’s ultra-competitive business world, teamwork has become a vital component of overall project strategy. Read the Complete Article

Product Scope vs. Project Scope

Product Scope vs. Project Scope
By Claudia Vandermilt

For those seeking certification in project management, there are two terms that can sometimes cause confusion: product scope and project scope. While “scope” refers to the overall goals of a project, or how we get to the point where we consider a project complete, the two constituent forms of scope are less clear-cut. Any confusion for the project management beginner is understandable, particularly since the two forms of scope do work together in some ways. This article highlights the similarities and differences between the two forms of scope with an example to help clarify the two concepts.

Product Scope

Product scope can be defined as the features or characteristics of a product itself. Whether considering design, function or component parts, the key point is that product scope refers to the actual tangible product. In the case of a good, questions of product scope would address how it works, how it is physically made and how it can be improved in future iterations. Read the Complete Article

Boost Your Project Management Career with PMP® or CAPM® Certification

Boost Your Project Management Career with PMP® or CAPM® Certification
By Claudia Vandermilt

Are you an experienced project manager who’s ready to take your career to the next level? Distinguish yourself by earning the prestigious Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification, awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). The PMP® is the most recognized and respected credential in the profession – and it’s in demand by employers across the globe.

PMI® certification is also offered for project managers who are newer to the profession, as well as those who wish to change careers and pursue the field of project management. The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) demonstrates a proven knowledge of the fundamentals, process and terminology of project management. This valuable certification shows your commitment to professional education and project management – and helps you stand out among your peers.

Preparing for certification in project management through online PMP® or CAPM® prep courses enhances your skills and increases your knowledge of key concepts, such as:

  • The role of strategic planning in project management.
Read the Complete Article

Project Management and Its Impact on Information Technology Project Success

Project Management and Its Impact on Information Technology Project Success
By Claudia Vandermilt

When you’re dealing with information technology projects, the use of specialized IT project management techniques will be very beneficial to your ongoing progress and lead to a much higher success rate in the long run. Planning and carrying out information technology projects can be particularly tricky for a number of reasons, making the ability to complete them successfully a very valuable asset to any employer.

Some Common Information Technology Project Management Complications

The difficulty of IT project management is reflected in the relatively high rate of failure for information technology projects. In fact, a 2009 report published by The Standish Group indicates that only 32% of the information technology projects undertaken by companies were considered successful. Nearly one-quarter of all IT projects failed, while 44% were considered “challenged,” meaning that they were late, over budget or did not meet all of the project requirements.* With that kind of failure rate, it’s easy to see why special IT project management skills and knowledge may be necessary to keep information technology projects on track. Read the Complete Article

How to Be a True Leader and a Better Manager

How to Be a True Leader and a Better Manager
By Claudia Vandermilt

Are you a hard-working manager aspiring to advance in your career? To get to the next level, you need to transform management skills into leadership skills. Read on for tips to help you become a leader who inspires teams and impresses executives in any industry.

Skills to Set a Leader Apart

You’ve probably observed that in a difficult economy, companies will retain and promote only their top managers – those who not only possess excellent management skills, but exemplify the best qualities of leaders, too. The good news is that leadership skills can be developed, if you know where to focus your efforts.

What Skills Make a Leader Stand Out From the Crowd?

  • Great leaders learn every day – from everyone.
  • A leader is an effective listener.

  • Leaders embrace the past when planning for the future.

  • Leaders help everyone feel like part of the solution.

Read the Complete Article

What Is the Value of PMP Certification Through PMI?

What Is the Value of PMP® Certification Through PMI®?
By Claudia Vandermilt

When you earn Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification through the Project Management Institute (PMI®), you’ll position yourself for the best and most lucrative job opportunities. No matter what industry you choose to work in, PMP® certification will be a huge asset as you move forward in your career. Not only does the credential itself carry prestige, but the skills and knowledge that you develop as you work towards attaining it will help you consistently deliver superior performance.

Personal and Professional Benefits of PMP® Certification

Obtaining PMP® certification is the best way to prepare to assume greater responsibilities in your job, and show your supervisors that you have the dedication and knowledge to be entrusted with those responsibilities. Also, because the certification process through PMI® is so thorough and rigorous, completing the program is a great boost to your self-confidence. Read the Complete Article

IT Project Management Success

IT Project Management Success
By Claudia Vandermilt

Just as with any large-scale business project, IT project success depends on the careful execution of many individual elements. In this way, IT project management is not that much different from most other types of project management. However, due to the complexity of many IT projects, certain aspects of project management are more crucial to master when you’re trying to guide one of these projects to a successful completion.

Basics of IT Project Management

When creating an IT project management plan, you’ll need to include some key strategies for managing costs and keeping the project moving forward on schedule. IT projects are particularly susceptible to problems in these two areas, and building an awareness of this from the beginning will help you keep your project on track. Additionally, you need to have a clear definition of what a successful outcome will be for your project so that you will know whether or not you are headed in the right direction. Read the Complete Article

IT Project Management Best Practices

IT Project Management Best Practices
By Claudia Vandermilt

When it comes to successful IT project management, having a thorough understanding of best practices in the field is essential. IT projects are notoriously difficult to keep on schedule and on budget. In fact, the CHAOS Summary 2009 report issued by The Standish Group found that less than one-third of IT projects were considered successful.* If you are responsible for coordinating IT projects, you will need to make the best use of all of the tools at your disposal. IT project management best practices can put your projects on the path to success.

Best Practices in IT Project Management

IT project management best practices can be divided into three general categories: organizational, team and individual. These designations specify at what level the process will benefit the company, and can help keep each aspect of the project framed in the proper context.

  1. Organizational Best Practices

    Initiatives relating to continuous improvement, scalability of practices, knowledge management, and corporate policies and governance fall under the category of organizational best practices.

Read the Complete Article

Top 3 Questions Asked During an Interview for a Project Management Position

Top 3 Questions Asked During an Interview for a Project Management Position
By Claudia Vandermilt

When you’re preparing to interview for a project manager job, it’s important to know what types of questions you’re likely to get and how to respond to them. Whether you’re applying for a full-time position or pitching your services as an independent consultant, your answers to these questions will not only determine whether you get the job but also your potential for success as a project manager.

1. In Your Experience, What One Skill Does a Project Manager Need to Succeed?

This is a favorite question among interviewers because it forces the applicant to choose one of the many skills required of a project manager. While there is technically no single right answer to this question, you need to be aware of what your answer reveals about you, your experience and your focus as a project manager. Read the Complete Article

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