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
Common Project Manager Mistakes: #5 Assuming Estimates Can Be Right
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.
Estimating is fortune telling. When we estimate how long something will take or how much it will cost or how much resource will be needed, we are using the best information available to us and our experience to predict what is required for an event, activity or deliverable before we begin. This is self-evident, particularly when we see it in writing, but it belies assumptions that we usually fail to account for in the way we estimate or plan.
Since estimating is an attempt to predict a future event, it will never be done with consistent accuracy, and yet we often present our estimates to our stakeholders as if they were clear facts. Read the Complete Article
6 Steps to Improve Time Tracking Compliance
By Simon Tang
Knowing where your employees spent their time is important. With this information, you can get a better idea whether your people have been spending too much time in some areas or too little in others. Time tracking is also one of the key activities for professional services companies. They rely on this data to invoice their clients. Even with a fixed price contract (that means the total dollar amount is predetermined), knowing how time was spent on the various project tasks will provide insights to the productivity of your project teams. Not having accurate data can be risky for the business. Furthermore, management needs accurate data to continuously improve on its project efficiency.
The one challenge that many companies face is how to get their people to log their time. There seems to be resistance to log the hours worked in a timely manner. Read the Complete Article
The Rock N’ Roll Of Project Management: Getting Your Facts Straight
By Carl M. Manello
Facts are simple and facts are straight/ Facts are lazy and facts are late/ Facts all come with points of view/ Facts don’t do what I want them to. “Cross-eyed and Painless,” Talking Heads
Music, when composed and played well, is a joy. As I’m trying to teach myself how to play guitar, I’m learning that there is more to it than simply learning some chords and strumming patterns. Music theory, progressions, complex patterns, scales, and technique all come into play. Project management is similar. When a plan is well-defined and executed by a professional, experienced PM, the results can be a joy. But there is more to project management than creating a plan and managing due dates. Project management theory, base-lining, dependency management, resource loading, and soft skills also come into play.
I think the parallels between music and project management are interesting. Read the Complete Article
Software Estimates and How to Make Them
By Spencer Hoffman
When it comes to making software estimates, there are a few things you’ll want to understand first. In this post, we’ll go over some ways to make estimates, understand where they come from, and how they (usually) work in the land of software development. Let’s start with some things that often remain unspoken, but shouldn’t:
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- Some people do not want estimates. They want unrealistic promises for purposes that have less to do with the project, and more to do with making themselves look good in the short-term (for a promotion, bonus, whatever.) If you’re in this situation, you need to go out-of-band with your communication about the project (i.e., above someone’s head.) If it’s a client, you might consider talking to another stakeholder, or even to that stakeholder’s boss. This is a delicate act, and needs to be done with great care.
4 Reasons Why You Should Track Time
By Christian Bisson
Time is precious, especially when it comes to using the very little that’s available to do all the work that’s in front of us, or in front of the very limited resources we have for our projects.
So why not try to manage it a little better? Tracking time is a very good start, and just to be clear, I do not mean just tracking how much time you spend on a task, but also track how much time is available while it’s being used. For example, if a developer enters “4h” for a task, that’s great, but it’s even better if he is informed that 10h are left for that task.
Here is why it’s important:
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- Makes us realize the truth
How many time have you heard “in will only take two minutes”? Or maybe you are the one who has a habit of saying that!
Time Management for Project Managers and Success
By Michelle Symonds
Time management is one of the core functions of a project manager. A project manager, or management team, need to ensure that every job is carried out within a time scale for the project to be a success, and the sorts of areas they should be looking at are:
- Deciding on priorities
- Carrying out activities around those priorities
- Reducing time spent on non priorities
- Effectively scheduling the tasks
- Match resources to workloads
- Planning the amount of time spent on specific activities
- Creating an environment for effectiveness
The dictionary definition of time management says – The analysis of how working hours are spent and the prioritisation of tasks in order to maximise the efficiency of the workplace. The definition couldn’t be any clearer; that is exactly what time management is, and lack of it can prevent a business or project reaching its full potential. Read the Complete Article
The Best Approach To Estimation Is To Use More Than One Technique!
By Kiron D. Bondale
A logical question when approaching any new project is “What is the best technique to estimate project effort or costs?”.
Anyone who has taken a foundation course in project management will have been exposed to a large number of estimation methods including analogous, parametric and three-point estimates.
On most projects, particular techniques simply aren’t applicable. For example, on a highly unique project, parametric estimation may not be feasible since there would have been no past history to develop rules of thumb.
However, on most projects more than one estimation method is viable, especially once planning activities are well underway and scope definition and decomposition are substantially complete.
A common choice is to utilize a single, bottom-up estimation method. Occasionally, this bottom-up method is performed using three-point estimates for those activities with which the team has limited experience or confidence. Read the Complete Article
7 Tips When Estimating a Project
By Chrisitan Bisson
Estimating a project is a very important part of your project, and can often be taken lightly. Truth is, if you avoid having good estimates, you will likely have a hard time staying on budget, and during your project (or after), it may be hard to analyze why you are outside your budget.
There are some key tips that can help you with that:
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- List what is being estimated
Seems obvious at first glance, but bear with me. Listing what is being estimated is more than simply writing: Programming = 40h. If you review your estimate 6 months later, you will have absolutely no idea what was included inside that 40h.
It is important to list each specific item of your project (home page, contact form, shopping cart, login,etc.).
How detailed must you go? Detailed enough for you to be able to understand it in 6 months, but also, detailed enough to be able to estimate each item easily.
Project Management – Sequence Activities Process
By Marc Derendinger, Northwest University
The sequence activities process takes all the activities you defined in the Define Activities process and orders them by precedence. You are creating a map or diagram that illustrates the relationship between these activities and identifying the order in which they need to be done. It is important to note that you are not creating the schedule itself during this process, and therefore do not assign any start or finish dates to these activities.
Your inputs for this process include: activity list, activity attributes, milestone list, project scope statement and organizational process assets. Your activity list contains your schedule activities and needs to be arranged into the order they should be performed for your diagram. Your activity attributes provides additional insight into which activities need to be performed before others. Your milestone list provides you with key milestones that might influence the order of your activities. Read the Complete Article