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What Is a Project Office and Why Is It Different From a PMO?

What Is a Project Office and Why Is It Different From a PMO?
By Glen D. Ford

If you’ve been involved in construction or other similar businesses, you’ve no doubt heard the term project office.

If you’ve been reading the business media, you’ve no doubt heard the term PMO or project management office.

So what is a project office and why is it different from a PMO?

In this article, I’m going to explain what each is, how they are related and how they are different.

A project office is typically a trailer or other short-term facility that is used as an office for a project. Normally they are used whenever office facilities are needed near a long-term temporary endeavor. Construction projects such as building a housing tract, or an office building or a bridge often use these offices.

These offices typically are used to house the project manager and any office workers who are needed on site. Read the Complete Article

Project Identification

Project Identification
By Chuck Tryon

Introduction

The key feature of this activity is recognizing that identifying candidate projects is something that an organization should do on a regular basis, not just once each year. Further, when examining projects for approval, it is vital to also examine the resource capacities and capabilities available for assignment. It is futile to assign a major new project requiring extensive discovery of business requirements if no business analysts are available.

Project Identification proceeds Project Initiation.

Process Description

Project Identification is a repeatable process for documenting, validating, ranking and approving candidate projects within an organization.

Process Purpose

Due to the changing financial conditions within the total organization, it is necessary to establish a stable process for approving projects for initiation. This process will…

  • Validate the business reason for each candidate project.
  • Provide the base information for more informed financial commitments to projects.
  • Establish a more objective ranking of candidate projects.
Read the Complete Article

Crashing in Project Management: A Comprehensive Guide

Crashing in Project Management: A Comprehensive Guide
By Donald Patti

Nearly every experienced project manager has been through it. You inherit a project with a difficult or near-impossible schedule and the order comes down to deliver on time. When you mention how far the project is behind, you’re simply told to “crash the schedule”, or “make it happen.”

As a long time project manager who now advises others on how best to manage projects and project portfolios, the term “schedule crashing” still makes me bristle. I picture a train wreck, not a well-designed product or service that’s delivered on time, and for good reason. While schedule crashing sounds so easy in theory, in practice schedule crashing is a very risky undertaking that requires some serious evaluation to determine whether crashing will actually help or hurt.

In this article, I’ll explain the underlying premise behind schedule crashing and describe some of the typical risks involved in a schedule crashing effort. Read the Complete Article

Definition of Crashing (In Project Management Terms)

Definition of Crashing (In Project Management Terms)
By Sivaraj Dhanasekaran

Crashing is a schedule compression technique used to reduce or shorten the project schedule.

The PM can various measures to accomplish this goal. Some of the common methods used are

  • Adding additional resources to the critical path tasks
    This option has various constraints such as the securing of the budget to add the resources, and the availability of the resources.
  • Reduce the project requirements or scope
    This can be done only if the sponsor and major stakeholders agree to reduce the scope

After applying the crashing, the critical path might have changed and result in creating a different critical path. Always revisit the project schedule to ensure the schedule has been crashed.

Dhanasekaran, Sivaraj is a certified PMP and works as a Senior Project Manager in one of the leading MNC banks in Singapore. He has over 13 years IT experience and handled banking projects as well as managed production support team for complex Treasury applications for various MNC banks. Read the Complete Article

What Is Construction Project Management?

What Is Construction Project Management? (#1 in the Hut Project Management for Construction)
By Chris Hendrickson

The management of construction projects requires knowledge of modern management as well as an understanding of the design and construction process. Construction projects have a specific set of objectives and constraints such as a required time frame for completion. While the relevant technology, institutional arrangements or processes will differ, the management of such projects has much in common with the management of similar types of projects in other specialty or technology domains such as aerospace, pharmaceutical and energy developments.

Generally, project management is distinguished from the general management of corporations by the mission-oriented nature of a project. A project organization will generally be terminated when the mission is accomplished. According to the Project Management Institute, the discipline of project management can be defined as follows:

Project management is the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources throughout the life of a project by using modern management techniques to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, cost, time, quality and participation satisfaction. Read the Complete Article

The Project Baseline – A Project Management Definition

The Project Baseline – A Project Management Definition
By Moises Ortiz

The project’s baseline is used to measure how performance deviates from the plan. Your performance measurement would only be meaningful if you had an accurate baseline.

A project’s baseline is defined as the original scope, cost and schedule. The project’s baseline must be completely defined and documented before the project execution and control activities can begin.

Once the project starts execution, the project’s baseline is put under change control to help you evaluate any further change and its impact on the project. No meaningful measurements can be made if the scope, cost and schedule are not under strict change control disciplines.

If any change is approved then your new baseline is redefined as the original plan plus the approved change. It is a good idea to keep records that show how the plan has progressed and changed over time.

Frequent requests for changes to the project requirements may indicate that there was an incomplete initial requirements analysis or the lack of meaningful communication with users and customers early in the project initiation phase. Read the Complete Article

PMO and Project Management Dictionary

Project Management Dictionary
By John Filicetti

Below is the definition of virutally all PMO/Project Management terms as written by John Filicetti. If you want to search for a specific word/acronym, press CTRL and the letter F (at the same time) on your keyboard and enter your search word, most probably you will find it here.

Abstract resource – imaginary resource introduced so its availability and activity requirement gives an extra means of control. (For example, two jobs not being worked upon simultaneously in order to obviate an accident hazard)

Acceptance – the formal process of accepting delivery of a product or a deliverable.

Acceptance criteria – performance requirements and essential conditions that have to be achieved before project deliverables are accepted.

Acceptance test – formal, pre-defined test conducted to determine the compliance of the deliverable item(s) with the acceptance criteria.

Accountability Matrix – See responsibility assignment matrix.

Accrued costs – earmarked for the project and for which payment is due, but has not been made. Read the Complete Article

What Is a Business Project?

What Is a Business Project?
By Glen D. Ford

I know it sounds strange, but a few days ago, one of my small business clients actually asked me, “What is a business project?” I found myself wondering how to answer that. After all, we’re all being bombarded with advice about projects. The media is constantly filled with news of one project or another that fails. But they usually talk about major construction or municipal infrastructure projects. And then they try to justify business people learning about project management because of the construction failures.

But they never seem to explain what is a business project.

So in this article, I’m going to try to explain what is a business project and why it is unique from other types of projects. And while I’m at it, I’ll explain where they are the same. First of all, let’s clarify what a project is and then we’ll talk about the specific version. Read the Complete Article

The Project Executive – Role and Responsibilities

The Project Executive – Role and Responsibilities (#10 in the Hut Introduction to Project Management)
By JISC infoNet

The Project Executive would normally come from the senior management of the customer organisation – that is the organisation who are to directly use the output of the project – the new object, system, process or structure. The Executive has ultimate responsibility for the project and ‘owns’ the Business Case throughout the life of the project. He or she has the following specific responsibilities:

  • Oversee the development of the Project Brief and Business Case
  • Authorise expenditure levels, set stage tolerances and ensure funding for agreed expenditure is available
  • Authorise or reject proposed changes to cost or timescale beyond tolerance levels and all proposed changes to scope, checking for possible effects on the Business Case
  • Ensure Risks and Issues are being tracked and mitigated/resolved
  • Liaise with Programme or Corporate Management on progress
  • Organise and chair meetings of the Project Board
  • Authorise the project’s continuance or early closure at stage review meetings of the Project Board
  • Authorise formal closure of the project
  • Hold a Post-Project Review to ensure benefits are realised

JISC infoNet aims to be the UK’s leading advisory service for managers in the post-compulsory education sector promoting the effective strategic planning, implementation and management of information and learning technology. Read the Complete Article

Functional and Non-Functional Requirements: A Primer

Functional and Non-Functional Requirements: A Primer
By Ben Snyder, CEO of Systemation

What does it do and how does it work?

These two questions should be top of mind for every business analyst embarking on a new project. That’s because, at a very basic level, these two questions will guide you towards the functional and non-functional requirements that are critical for ensuring a successful end result.

Functional vs. Non-Functional: What’s the Difference?

As the questions above imply, functional requirements identify what the product should do, while non-functional requirements define how the product should work.

But those definitions probably have you asking more questions, like: Does…works—what’s the difference? and Why does it even matter?

One of the easiest ways to understand the difference between functional and non-functional requirements is to look at a real product.

For example, consider the cell phone and what it does. There are lots of bells and whistles that have become standard expectations, like calling, emailing, texting, photography, voice activation and notifications. Read the Complete Article

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