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Do You Understand Project Scope Management?

Do You Understand Project Scope Management?
By Harry Hall

Project managers have difficulty managing project scope. Many project managers encounter scope creep, but don’t know what’s happening or what to do about it. Why? Frankly, some individuals don’t grasp the core principles.

Do you understand project scope management? Test your understanding. Try this quick quiz before reading the terms below.

Let’s review key terms for managing scope.

  • Project. A project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.” Every project is temporary. It’s not perpetual. Each project has boundaries in terms of a definite beginning and ending.
  • Program. A program is “a group of related projects, subprograms, and program activities managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them separately.” The scope of a program is the sum of its related projects and program activities.

  • Product. A product is “an artifact that is produced, is quantifiable, and can be either an end item in itself or a component item.” A product may be a building, a software application, or a golf course, to name a few.

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The Project Charter: A Concise Definition

The Project Charter: A Concise Definition
By Jeremy Siegel, Northwest University

The project charter is constantly the subject of misinterpretation by many in the PM realm. Below is an accurate, concise, and clear definition of the project charter. The importance of the below definition is that it highlights the authority of the project charter especially when it comes to clearing out ambiguities and resolving high level conflicts during the execution of the project.

The Project Charter is a document that authorizes the project. It also names and empowers the project manager. Objectives of the project are established, and scope of the project is recorded. Another important aspect of the project charter is that it gives definition to what the finished product should be.

The significance of the charter endures beyond the initiating phase of the project; it serves as the unifying document for the stakeholders for the duration of the project. Read the Complete Article

What Is Kanban

What Is Kanban
By Michelle Symonds

Anyone who has ever been on project management training knows that there are constantly new and innovative methods being introduced to help you become a successful project manager. These are often based on research within the field, and the observations of experts in the field of management. If you have recently been on one of these project management courses, it is possible that you may have come across the Kanban Method.

Aims of the Kanban Method

This approach was originally formulated by David J. Anderson and there are two main aims. The first of these is to help you to remove the chaos of a project by focusing and prioritizing. The second aim is to make delivery more consistent by finding solutions to problems associated with workflow and processes.The catchphrase linked to the Kanban Method is ‘stop starting and start finishing’.

The Basic Principles

This method uses four basic principles:

  1. Use what you already do now.
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The Cone of Uncertainty – The Basics

The Cone of Uncertainty – The Basics
By Michelle Symonds

The Cone of Uncertainty is a well known theory which was developed by Mr Barry Boehm in the early 1980’s. This concept was introduced in the book titled Software Engineering Economics.

The Cone of Uncertainty relates to the aspects of uncertainty within project management and how they evolve throughout the process. Often when a project is in its infancy, it is impossible to accurately predict how the work will progress, estimations cannot be precisely predicted and so the project is subject to uncertainty. As the project develops, research is undertaken in various areas and more details can be obtained allowing those involved to gain more information therefore decreasing the overall level of uncertainty. This reaches 0% when the continual risk has been accounted for or eliminated with risk management strategies.

The closing of the project should involve these risks being eliminated or responsibility for management of these risks transferred to a group dedicated to the ongoing maintenance of the project. Read the Complete Article

Key Project Management Methodologies – Outcome Mapping, DMAIC, Six Sigma and Kanban

Key Project Management Methodologies – Outcome Mapping, DMAIC, Six Sigma and Kanban
By Michelle Symonds

A methodology is a process used by a project manager to help them organize and strategize their project successfully. Here are just a few of them:

Outcome Mapping

This is a process usually used within the charity sector as the structure of the methodology is orientated towards social change.

It involves two phases; record – keeping and design. The design phase is where managers will look at the records that will be kept and in the second phase document those outcomes. The key difference between this methodology and others is that it does not measure financial or other solid outcomes but behavioral and social change. The mapping is a way to document beneficiaries and contributory factors and isn’t commonly used in general project management.

DMAIC

A method used alone or as part of a Six Sigma method, DMAIC stands for five different categories which relate to data and improving the company processes involved in the optimization of this data. Read the Complete Article

Project Governance – A Practical Introduction

Project Governance – A Practical Introduction
By Bruno Collet

This is a video presentation.

Project governance is a hot topic. However, there is a lot of confusion regarding what it is. It’s easy to define it abstractly (“a decision-making framework to govern an organization’s capital investments.” – Wikipedia) but difficult to understand what it looks like practically.

We’ll try answering following questions:

  • What is project governance?
  • Why is it important?

  • Where does it fit compared to other better known processes such as project portfolio management (PPM), program management (PgM) and project management (PM)?

  • What are the main components of project governance and how do they interact?

  • What part of project management pertains to project governance?

Bruno Collet combines business acumen with technology know-how. His successful track record comprises Daimler-Chrysler, Siemens, and Loto-Quebec, with roles such as management consultant, project manager, SAP consultant, and software architect. Bruno Collet’s skills are firmly grounded in academic excellence by achieving an MBA at John Molson School of Business and a Master of Computer Science. Read the Complete Article

What Is a Balanced Scorecard?

What Is a Balanced Scorecard?
By Keith MathisPM Expert Live

As an organization, it’s important to meet the goals and expectations outlined in the mission and vision of the company. At times, an organization’s mission statement isn’t the easiest to understand, let alone measure. So, how can we ensure that we are headed in the right direction? One approach to use is a Balanced Scorecard.

A balanced scorecard is a tool that leaders can use in communicating to employees and external stakeholders the outcomes and performance drivers the organization will use to achieve its mission and strategic objectives. It uses a carefully selected set of quantifiable measures taken from an organization’s mission and strategy. It also enables companies to track financial results while monitoring progress in building the capabilities and acquiring the intangible assets they need for future growth.

Using the balanced scorecard will provide a balance between short-term and long-term objectives while clarifying and translating the vision and strategy. Read the Complete Article

What Is a Project Management Methodology

What Is a Project Management Methodology
By Cora Systems

Modern project management is said to have begun in the 1950s when there was a drive to organise work into projects and communicate this work across a number of teams and departments. As time has moved on the means and best practice of managing projects has grown.

The lifecycle of a project tends to run over the following headings:

  • Initiation
  • Planning/ Designing
  • Execution
  • Control
  • Close

What is a Project Management Methodology?

A project management methodology is a series of repeatable methods, processes and best practices that should be followed by project managers when managing a project in order to deliver a higher rate of success. Methodologies provide project managers with a roadmap of key deliverables to ensure no tasks are missed during the course of the project. It also guarantees that the rest of the project team are reading from the same hymn sheet. Read the Complete Article

What Is the Product Roadmap?

What Is the Product Roadmap?
By Demian Entrekin

The roadmap is a process to create shared agreement on product development priorities.

Typical product roadmap characteristics:

  • The product manager should be able to clearly and accurately explain how the product roadmap supports the business plan, marketing plan,the product strategy and the product design.
  • Without a strong connection between the roadmap and these key plans and designs, the product development process becomes disconnected from the business and can be subject to the whims of personalities.

  • If the management team is struggling to make roadmap decisions, then the roadmap process must be changed.

  • The product roadmap shows the major market-facing commitments and usually includes two sub-roadmaps: a feature roadmap and a technology roadmap.

  • The product roadmap communicates the specific product development commitments that support the business plan, the marketing plan and the product strategy. The product design guides how the product works for the users.

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Project Management Objectives

Project Management Objectives
By James Clements

Project Management Objectives are not the same for every project or program, unlike Project Manager/Management Responsibilities which indeed you could generalize for all projects and I think some may confuse these two terms.

Project Management Objectives are the specific objectives that the project sets out to achieve. They are objectives that satisfy both the client needs and requirements and your organization/teams reason for doing the project. This latter point being very important because while we want to fully satisfy our client, projects are a vehicle for driving business strategy and these strategic objectives need to be defined, communicated and their achievement measured.

Each project should have Primary and Secondary objectives. Projects can only have one Primary Objective, usually where you address the client requirements, however there can been multiple secondary objectives and this is where you can state what you want to achieve from the project. Read the Complete Article

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