Whatever you do, wherever you do it and whomever you do it for, your business is subject to an immutable law… productivity is the key to profitability. And in order to keep yourself, your team and your entire operation productive, you need cogent project management. Project management is not a new discipline. In fact, it’s been around in some form or another since the 1900s. Whenever businesses have sought to establish themselves, make major changes or trim the fat off of their operations, project management has helped them to do it. And, as in most things, technology and software can go a long way towards making it easy and efficient to employ the discipline of project management in your business projects.
There was a time when project and task management software solutions were only available to large companies with big budgets. But that was before the explosion of SaaS (Software as a Service) and the cloud based app marketplace. Read the Complete Article
By Abhilash Gopi
Changes in a situation can result in new risks. Such changes include replacing a team member, undergoing a reorganization, changing the scope of the project.
In this case, the probability of the risk occurring at the beginning of the project is very high (due to the unknown factor), and diminishes along as the project progresses. In contrast, the impact (cost) from a risk occurring is low at the beginning and higher at the end.
Within a project, many tasks and deliverables are interdependent on each other. These delay in these tasks will have a cascading effect on the other related tasks, and the result could be a domino effect.
The relationship of probability and impact are not linear in this case, and the magnitude of the risk makes a lot of difference. For example, consider the risk of spending $1 for a 50/50 chance to win $5 versus the risk of spending $1000 for a 50/50 chance of winning $5000. Read the Complete Article
Project Operational Readiness
By Bruno Collet
Activities for ensuring smooth roll-out, operation, and maintenance of solutions produced by projects are often overlooked. The objectives of these activities constitute operational readiness (OR). A good definition of operational readiness (OR) is “the capability to efficiently deploy, operate, and maintain the systems and procedures.” The main purpose of OR is to reduce operational risks, which is defined as “the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems or from external events.”
OR is often neglected because OR activities are usually not part of the project lifecycle. Indeed the job of the project manager and of the project team is essentially completed when the solution is ready for deployment. At this point, another entity such as “solution delivery” or “release management” takes over. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen IT projects linger for several months and incur significant (unplanned) costs in release management, before being finally delivered to users. Read the Complete Article
What is the RACI/ARCI Matrix in Project Management? (#2 in the series The RACI/ARCI Matrix for Structuring Roles in Project Management)
By Swapnil Gyani
The RACI/ARCI Matrix is a responsibility assignment matrix system that brings structure and clarity to assigning the roles people play within a team. It is a simple grid system that you can use to clarify people’s responsibilities and ensure that everything the team needs to do is taken care of.
It is a system that brings structure and clarity to assigning the roles people play within a team. It is a simple grid system that you can use to clarify people’s responsibilities and ensure that everything the team needs to do is taken care of. Sounds complicated, how do I use it? Using the RACI/ARCI system, you list every task, milestone and decision, then clarify who is responsible, who is accountable, and where appropriate, who needs to be consulted or informed. Read the Complete Article
Risk Management: Risk Workshops
By Dave Nielsen
One of the most powerful tools available to the project manager is the collective knowledge of the project team. A project manager’s success or failure on a project is determined, to some extent, by how well they use this tool. This is particularly true in the case of risk management. Sure there are other sources the project manager can turn to when searching for information on the risks their project faces. Information is available from professional associations, consultants, government organizations, historical databases, and risk management artifacts from previous projects. These are all valuable sources of information but they will not provide you with information specific to your project. Even if they could, they would not be able to provide you with information specific to your project, and your project team. The best source for that information is from the project team.
The team combines the knowledge they have of your project, its goals, objectives, schedule, tools, and technology which you provide with the knowledge and experience they have gained from projects they have worked on in the past. Read the Complete Article
The Importance of Effective Communication in Project Management
By Sue Cochran, Northwest University
Effective communication is essential to every relationship in life and successful project management is no exception. In your planning you discovered who the people are who have an interest in the project and how you will communicate with them. You understand the issues need attention to in order to keep everyone on the same page with current information. You have a plan to document the important communication pieces because you will need to provide periodic reports to management on what is happening. Many projects fail because the communication was ineffective. Because someone thought they heard one thing but, the intent was something totally different. You do not want to get to the end of the project and have the customer say “but that’s not what I said”.
There are tools that project managers can use to develop effective communication plans such as the stakeholder analysis. Read the Complete Article
Choosing the right project management software will ensure that you maximize levels of efficiency and productivity in your business model. It ensures that you can manage scope, budget and time constraints and guarantees that you can deliver an effective solution every time. Are you confused about where to begin? Then this is the guide that you need!
Best Software Options on the Market
Before we start with features to consider and keep at the top of your list, let’s explore some of the best software options currently available on the market.
The following 5 software have been taken from this Top 10 Best Project Management Software.
Monday is a tool that keeps things simple, you can use this platform to ensure that work is effectively managed and deadlines are met. With a single, user-friendly board, you will be able to clearly see who is operating on what task and guarantee that everyone is on track. Read the Complete Article
It has been 18 long months since this project started, and now it is done with just a few small details waiting to close out. There is only one remaining question, now what?
There is one thing that I’d like to focus on for this post, the closing meeting.
After so many days and weeks and months on this project, it seemed anti-climatic to just end the project by simply stopping work. Besides, I would not be doing my part to really wrap it up the right way. So, I invited all 25 team members and other stakeholders to a long, but not grueling, meeting to finish things up. The agenda looked like this:
- Project Overview (we also had a pot-luck to break it up a little during this time)
- Accomplishments (including value adds)
- Lessons Learned
- Final Thanks
Now this meeting lasted all morning, but after 18 months, 3 more hours was not going to hurt anyone and produced a great pay-off. Read the Complete Article
The Importance of Motivation in Project Management
By Michael L Young
A poorly motivated team has been known to unravel even the best project plan. A good project manager needs to know how to harness the initial excitement that comes with starting a project and use it to maintain motivation – leading to success throughout the project’s lifecycle. We now know that contemporary project managers need to be more than just schedulers and contract managers. They need excellent skills in managing those complex human elements that have the potential to bring any project down.
Motivation Theory and how it works
Most people who’ve been around management for a while would have heard of the key management theories about motivation. There’s the difference between intrinsic (like values and beliefs) and extrinsic (like money and recognition) motivation. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is also often referred to. This theory proposes that people need to meet lower level goals such as the need for food, shelter and security before they are motivated by higher level goals such as the need for achievement and social acceptance. Read the Complete Article
The Role and Significance of an Interior Design Project Manager in Commercial Construction
By Kathryn Grube
The question of “what value does an interior design project manager really add to a commercial construction renovation or new construction project,” in addition to the structural responsibility of the architect, has been too long misunderstood. Interior designers who work as project managers seem to get the “short end of the stick”, due to the lack of knowledge by building owners or by the premises of other industry professionals, who do not find any worth in what a certified and practicing professional interior design can provide for the owner’s benefit. After reviewing many sources on interior design and project management, I was unable to locate a “basic‐101” educating document that provides an overview in layman’s terms for owner’s representatives that are perplexed or confused about just what an interior design project manager can provide for their project. Read the Complete Article