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The Project Handover Checklist

The Project Handover Checklist
By Ron Rosenhead

Here’s a brief checklist of what could be included in the project handover plan:

  • Identifying and managing key stakeholders including the group who will receive the handover
  • A clear date for handover of the project
  • A communication plan that starts early in the life of the project and includes the target group
  • Change management issues and how they will be handled
  • Getting the target group involved as early as possible including someone being on the project team who also acts as a change agent
  • Developing appropriate training for this group or ensuring it is included in the handover plan
  • Clear risk management
  • Having clear roles for the recipients in the department taking on the new work e.g. it may not be your responsibility for organizing the training, it could be their responsibility

Your project handover checklist will no doubt be different having more project specific items. Read the Complete Article

Consultants

Consultants

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My 10 Golden Rules for Effective Project Delivery

My 10 Golden Rules for Effective Project Delivery
By Ron Rosenhead

I was running a project management course when someone said to me: ‘Ron, what are your golden rule for effective project delivery?’

What a great question. I picked up a marker pen and wrote the following on a flip chart. Here are my golden rules which should help you deliver more effectively.

  1. If it’s a ‘big’ project then it’s a risk and if it’s a change project then again it is a risk
  2. Assessment of project risks needs to be detailed, deep ,realistic and should be managed.

  3. It is doubtful whether you would go on holiday without knowing where you are going. Why start a project without clearly agreed objectives

  4. Is there a solid business case that really tests the viability of your project? If there is no business case, do you have a project?

  5. Deadlines need to be worked out and not guessed at (senior managers take note)

  6. It’s people who deliver projects so we need to work with them as much as possible.

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Project Sponsors: How Good Are You at Briefing Your Project Managers?

Project Sponsors: How Good Are You at Briefing Your Project Managers?
By Ron Rosenhead

“This is a long; much longer than a briefing note I would normally get from my manager or sponsor.”

These are words spoken by someone on a project management course and words I have heard before.

What was being referred to was a case study, 315 words long which took up less than a page of paper. The person went on to say, and it is something I have heard before, they are lucky to get a one line e mail, or a face to face briefing that lasts less than 30 seconds.

This brings me to a briefing activity we sometimes do with project sponsors. The activity involves 3 people with one person being briefed by another, and with the 3rd person acting as observer. I start the feedback by asking the person who was briefed to say what the project is all about. Read the Complete Article

How Good Is Your Project Planning?

How Good Is Your Project Planning?
By Ron Rosenhead

No, I do not mean production of Gantt charts or estimating time and money or using planning software or even developing a WBS (Work Breakdown Structure). I mean developing a plan so you have sufficient capacity and capability to deliver the overall project management agenda.

  • Capacity – sufficient project manager’s to run the projects you have already and are likely to have in the future.
  • Capability – suitably experienced/qualified project manager’s to ensure you can manage and deliver the projects you have effectively. The ability to perform effectively.

Take a step back for a moment at the overall project/programme management agenda within your company. Some serious questions need answering:

  • How many project manager’s do you have at the moment?
  • Is that number sufficient now?

  • Is it sufficient for the future agenda?

  • How are you developing your project staff? Project staff; sponsors, project manager’s, project team members

  • What are you doing to really look at development issues alongside capability issues

  • What are you doing to encourage staff to take on the sponsor role or the project manager role and what development do they need before during and after this happens?

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Project Sponsor, Will This Meet Your Expectations?

Project Sponsor, Will This Meet Your Expectations?
By Ron Rosenhead

You have the business case in front of you. As you are the project sponsor it’s for you to sign off. You muse over what you have in front of you. Various thoughts literally flash through your mind:

The company does not have a very good record of delivering projects effectively and yet you want this one to really add value to the customer experience. But will it?

  • You think about the project manager. There seems only one option and he has little experience. How about some training for him? I guess so you say to yourself, but the latest edict from the Board was no money for training!
  • Customer satisfaction levels are falling and you are under pressure to deliver, and deliver very fast. Is this the best way?

  • You have thought about the project team who support the project manager.

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Project Management Training – Identify the Key Players

Project Management Training – Identify the Key Players
By Ron Rosenhead

Who goes on to training courses in your company? Is it those who want to go in order to develop their skills? Is it those who are identified as needing training or is there no overall approach to selecting individuals?

Training is expensive! The payoff from it can be many times the cost however I wonder how many companies take a real look at their project management training courses and the return they are getting.

Who attends your project management training courses?

One of the key aspects is the decision – who goes on project management training courses. Too frequently, on our courses, we see people who are either not involved in running or working on projects and nor will they be in the foreseeable future.

Project management training needs to be targeted and here is my suggestion how this should be done:

  • Stage 1: Identify all the key strategic projects (a job for the project office?) – this will ensure you have one overarching list of projects
  • Stage 2: Identify who fulfills which roles in the project.

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My Plea to Project Sponsors

My Plea to Project Sponsors
By Ron Rosenhead

Project manager (PM) – So you are asking me to deliver this project by 30 January 2013? (This is after a 30 minute discussion about the project)

Project sponsor (PS) – Yes, that’s right

PM – At this stage, I cannot be certain that we can deliver this by the end date.

PS – Why do you say this?

PM – Well, we have not developed a business case yet and established what the business benefits will be. I cannot see where the 31 January 2013 fits.

PS – It’s the date I promised delivery. I gave this date to the Board.

PM – I understand the promise however as mentioned, I cannot guarantee that the project will be delivered by that date. I am at a loss as to why you have given a date for delivery to the board when I as a project manager haven’t been involved in discussions on delivery date. Read the Complete Article

8 Golden Rules for Effective Project Management Meetings

8 Golden Rules for Effective Project Management Meetings
By Ron Rosenhead

My company has been collecting statistics for several years. One of the questions is quite revealing: ‘Project meetings are collaborative events which look at achievements not past failures’. The percentages are shown below:

Strongly agree: 1.3%
Agree: 25.6%
Disagree: 57.3%
Strongly Disagree 12.6%
Don’t know 3.2%

Not very good stats are they? Interesting that just over 3% do not know how effective their meetings are!!

So, what can be done? Well, here are some golden rules for project management meetings (and meetings in general):

  • Rule 1: Ensure you have the right people at your meetings. May seem obvious but how many meetings go ahead with the wrong people there and the right people ‘on the way’ or a key stakeholder not even invited?
  • Rule 2: Have an agenda for each meeting and against each item put a time (the length of time the item will take).

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The Meaning of Deadline in Project Management

The Meaning of Deadline in Project Management
By Ron Rosenhead

I have spoken to many people who complain that the person “did not deliver against the deadline”. Issues such as the “figures did not arrive before the deadline,” or “the report missed the deadline” and “because of this we will have to wait further three weeks before the committee meets again.”

It is the main responsibility of the project manager to check that whatever is due actually gets delivered. From evidence given to me it seems that more rigorous systems are needed to ensure delivery takes place on the correct date it should and that the quality of the product is what is required by the client.

What could be included in such a process? Here are some possible examples:

  • a variation form – this is a simple form that shows which activity will not be delivered by the due date or budget.
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Recommended PM App

Recommended PM App

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