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IPECC in the PMBOK

IPECC in the PMBOK
By Joseph Phillips

IPECC, in the PMBOK, stands for the collection of the five process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling, Closing.

  • Initiating. A project is found feasible, a project manager is selected, and the project charter is created.
  • Planning. Well, gee, I wonder what folks do in this process group? Yeah, they plan how the project should go. Planning is an iterative process group that allows project managers and the project team to revisit as needed.
  • Executing. You’ve planned the work, now your project team completes the work. You execute the project plan, not the project team.
  • Controlling. You aren’t going to let your project team run helter-skelter, are you? You’ve got to control the work to ensure that’s it done according to plan.
  • Closing. The project work is complete, so you and the customer have to verify the deliverables and then close out the project finances, team reports, and lessons learned.
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Project Management Foundations

Project Management Foundations
By Marge Tam

As a professional Project Manager, what would the most fundamental sound advise that one would provide to fellow Project Managers at all different levels – entry level, mid-level, or senior level Project Managers? The key to project success and the fundamental principle that every Project Manager needs to know and practice is the management of the triple constraint, or the iron triangle. This involves Scope, Budget, and Schedule.

In the most simplistic words, imagine the triangle in having three sides for each of the constraint area – Scope, Budget, and Schedule. Every time each side changes, the other two sides have to change as well. We have all heard about the request for project results with the low budget, fast cycle, and highest quality possible. To fulfill one’s professional responsibilities, the Project Management’s role is to gather all the facts on project budget baseline, detailed project scope, and timeline to meet all business and user requirements. Read the Complete Article

Common Project Manager Mistakes: #6 Project Management Is All in the Details

Common Project Manager Mistakes: #6 Project Management Is All in the Details
By Samuel T. Brown, III, PMP, Global Knowledge Course Director and Instructor

This article is part of a series. The previous article can be found here.

Many of us are accidental project managers. We entered our profession with a different path in mind but we were recognized as individuals who were technically competent, focused and detail-oriented. Often we were given project assignments with little or no preparation or training in project management and we had to figure out how to use the skills we had in different ways in order to meet the different expectations of project stakeholders.

Project managers certainly need to attend to the details in their projects but they also need to see the big picture. As much as anything else, project management is about balance. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide - Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2013 says that project management is “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements” (PMBOK® Guide Glossary, page 554). Read the Complete Article

The Curse of Project Management Knowledge

The Curse of Project Management Knowledge
By Harry Hall

Can I be painfully honest with you for a minute?

What I am about to say may not feel good. In fact, I am certain that you will NOT enjoy it.

I have been hoping someone else would do the dirty work. But no one has stepped forward (at least that I know of).

You know how you’ve been struggling with your projects? Are you tired feeling like you live on another planet and no one understands you.

Well, it’s not because you aren’t trying. It’s not because you don’t follow the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). After all, you have your Project Management Professional (PMP) credential. You are a cut above the rest in your knowledge of project management.

So here it is.

It’s because you’re not communicating. Oh, you’re saying lots of words, but few people know what you’re talking about. Read the Complete Article

Military Orders Process vs. Project Management Methodology

Military Orders Process vs. Project Management Methodology
By Daniel Stober, Global Knowledge Course Director and Instructor

Round 1: Receiving and Analyzing the Mission

For a project manager (PM) who has served as a military officer on a battalion or higher staff, the parallels between the military decision-making process (MDMP), the orders production process, and project management doctrine prescribed by the Project Management Institute (PMI) are difficult to ignore. Both the MDMP and the processes outlined in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge—Fifth Edition (PMBOK® Guide) are iterative in nature, allow for the introduction of changes to the original plan, assign tasks and responsibilities, and involve the concept of managing the scope of the operation or project.

The project management plan’s sub-plans, such as the communications management plan, risk management plan, and configuration management plan, are not unlike the annexes, tabs, and appendixes produced to supplement a military operations order. Read the Complete Article

PMP Exam Adjusted: 5th Edition of the PMBOK Guide

PMP Exam Adjusted: 5th Edition of the PMBOK Guide
By Chrisitan Bisson

The PMP exam is now updated with the fifth edition of the PMBOK guide. It is very important to take that into consideration if you are thinking of taking the exam from now on.

In general, the adjustments are great, I love them! Amongst other things, the processes are more consistent amongst each-other, and have been adjusted to make sure we concentrate on the values and goals of the organizations while planning. In addition, some elements are less confusing, so it’s easier to understand the logic between processes and ITTOs.

Here is a summary of the changes:


– A 10th knowledge area was added: Stakeholder management;
– 5 new processes going from 42 to 47; and
– 13 processes were changed, moved, or both.

  • Integration management:
    • “Direct and manage project execution” is now named “Direct and manage project work”.
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No One Can Implement the PMBOK

No One Can Implement the PMBOK
By Ammar W. Mango

The PMBOK is short for the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, which is the standard of choice for most project managers worldwide. It is published by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and is probably among the best-selling books in the field. Anyone who applies for PMI certifications including the Project Management Professional (PMP) must read the PMBOK and be intimately familiar with it.

I respect all the effort that has been put into developing this important standard and had the honor to be allowed to review and give my feedback on many of its versions, including the fifth edition, which is soon to be released. The PMBOK, as useful as it is, can easily be misunderstood as a project management methodology that can be applied by organizations worldwide. This is not true.

Let me explain with a story from my experience. Read the Complete Article

PMBOK #5 Standardizes Its Approach to Planning

PMBOK #5 Standardizes Its Approach to Planning
By Lynda Bourne

The PMBOK® Guide has always been designed for large projects, and assumes intelligent project teams will scale back the processes appropriately for smaller projects. The 5th Edition keeps this focus and introduces a standard process to ‘plan the planning’ at the start of each knowledge area. This concept has been embedded in earlier editions of the PMBOK, it’s made explicit in the 5th Edition.

Why plan the planning?

As a starting point, on larger projects there will be a significant team of experts involved in developing various aspects of the project plan, on $ multi-billion project frequently more than 100 people so their work needs planning and controlling the same as any other aspect of the project. With a budget of several $ millions and the success of the rest of the project dependent on the quality of the project planning this is important work. Read the Complete Article

PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition – Some Technical Differences

PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition – Some Technical Differences
By Lynda Bourne

We are busily working through the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition updating our training courses and making them ready for the scheduled examination changes. Three of the more technical changes (out of many) are:

The Good

Quality management has been tidied up. The seven basic tools of quality management are now dealt with in on place, once, in 8.1.2.3 and referenced through the rest of the chapter. The ‘magnificent 7’ are: Cause and Effect Diagrams, Flow charts, Checksheets (checklist), Pareto Diagrams, histograms, control charts and scatter diagrams. Other specific techniques are discussed in the appropriate process. There is also an attempt to relate the different project/quality cycles including the basic process groups, the ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, the cost of quality and quality assurance and control.

The Bad

Monte Carlo is missing from Time Management and Cost Management! One area that needs a major update in the 6th Edition are the aspects of time and cost management focused on three point estimates and variability. Read the Complete Article

Comparing PMBOK and PRINCE2

Comparing PMBOK and PRINCE2
By Bruno Collet

Working as project management consultant in Canada and Belgium has its advantages. One of them is to use methods based on both PMBOK, which prevails in North-America, and PRINCE2, which prevails in UK and is common in Western Europe.

Wikipedia provides a good overview of PRINCE2 and PMBOK.

I summarized the key differences between the two methods:

  • PRINCE2 is more prescriptive than PMBOK. PRINCE2 is a methodology framework. PMBOK is a body of knowledge of best practices.
  • PRINCE2 is process-oriented (who does what, when). PMBOK is knowledge-oriented (what the project manager should know).

  • PRINCE2 is easier to apply without prior project management experience because it prescribes processes. PMBOK is easier for learning project management skills because it is organized as knowledge areas.

  • With PRINCE2, the project manager has less power, more a coordination role leaving real power to executives. With PMBOK, the project manager is more central and has more decision power.

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