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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

Six Sigma vs. Total Quality Management

Six Sigma vs. Total Quality Management
By Tony Jacowski

Six Sigma is a relatively new concept as compared to Total Quality Management (TQM). However, when it was conceptualized, it was not intended to be a replacement for TQM. Both Six Sigma and TQM have many similarities and are compatible in varied business environments, including manufacturing and service industries. While TQM has helped many companies in improving the quality of manufactured goods or services rendered, Six Sigma has the potential of delivering even sharper results.

Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management is often associated with the development, deployment, and maintenance of organizational systems that are required for various business processes. It is based on a strategic approach that focuses on maintaining existing quality standards as well as making incremental quality improvements. It can also be described as a cultural initiative as the focus is on establishing a culture of collaboration among various functional departments within an organization for improving overall quality. 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

The Project Handover Checklist

The Project Handover Checklist
By Ron Rosenhead

Here’s a brief checklist of what could be included in the project handover plan:

  • Identifying and managing key stakeholders including the group who will receive the handover
  • A clear date for handover of the project
  • A communication plan that starts early in the life of the project and includes the target group
  • Change management issues and how they will be handled
  • Getting the target group involved as early as possible including someone being on the project team who also acts as a change agent
  • Developing appropriate training for this group or ensuring it is included in the handover plan
  • Clear risk management
  • Having clear roles for the recipients in the department taking on the new work e.g. it may not be your responsibility for organizing the training, it could be their responsibility

Your project handover checklist will no doubt be different having more project specific items. 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

The 5 Phases of the Vendor Selection Process

The 5 Phases of the Vendor Selection Process
By Keith MathisPM Expert Live

Let’s face it. No matter how hard we try or how much we want it, we can’t do it all. Regardless of the size of your organization, you will eventually come across at least one aspect (usually several) that is not feasible or cost effective to do for yourself. Whether it is buying paper, printer ink, food, or a new MRI machine, you will sooner or later find that you must go in search of a vendor.

Hiring a vendor has several advantages. It can reduce operational costs, enhance working conditions, improve responsiveness, and save significant money.

While outsourcing to a vendor may be necessary, there are also times when it is not wise to do so.

  • If you and the potential vendor do not have the same goals.
  • If you feel like you must micromanage the entire project and process.
Read the Complete Article

The Project Charter – What Should Be Included

The Project Charter – What Should Be Included
By Sue Cochran, Northwest University

When you initially charter a plane, you don’t need to provide a seating chart, or list of names to the airline company. You do, however, need to know approximately how many people will be on the plane, how much the trip will cost and where you are going. The Project Charter is much like that for your project.

The Charter is a document that explains the project in clear concise wording without a lot of detail. It’s written for high level management needs. These people do not need all the detail to understand what the end goal is, how long it will take and how much it will cost them.

The project charter includes:

  • The purpose and objectives of the project in clear, concise language.
  • Requirements of the project, very high level, not much detail here.
  • Project description, a paragraph or two that explains the project.
Read the Complete Article

Risk or Constraint – Project Management Processes

Risk or Constraint – Project Management Processes
By James Clements

Risk Management is now accepted as a key ingredient in any mature project management framework and one of the key project management processes that you need to get right to effectively manage bids, proposals and projects.

One small but important part of this process is that a lot of people mix up constraints and risks during the risk analysis process. You will probably find in your risk workshops many constraints will be identified as well as risks and they require a clear differentiation and distinctly different treatment, luckily they are easy to identify if you are conscious of the difference.

As we know, a risk is something that may happen and that is why risk management processes are developed to monitor the project environment to identify their potential occurrence and treat them when and if they do occur.

A constraint however is something that will happen and as such you need to remove it from the risk register. Read the Complete Article

5 Aspects of Project Management

5 Aspects of Project Management
By Atul Gaur

Recently, I read an article 7 Project Management trends to watch on PMI’s blog. I appreciate the work done by the author as I share similar views on the issues raised by Mr. V Srinivasa Rao. My views on five most important aspect of project management are as follows:

  1. Look Beyond the triple constraintsMany times we do complete projects but still feel unsatisfied with the way the targets have been achieved. I feel the value that the project brings apart from the margin should be quantified and communicated to team members well in advance so that every body can work and achieve both tangible and intangible gains from the project. Organizations should concentrate on achieving internal deliverable (values) as much as on satisfying project stake holders by delivering the project within triple constrains. Organizations must establish procedures to ensure that the value delivered by the project is assessed, verified and improved upon on subsequent projects.
Read the Complete Article

Components of a Project Charter

Components of a Project Charter
By Anna Schäfer

Every CI (Continuous Improvement) event or project starts with a Project Charter. The PMBOK book says you start with Stakeholder identification before you make a charter.

This document is best achieved using tables in MS Word. The components of a charter can vary from project to project, however the most common ones are:

  • Date of Project Charter creation
  • Date of Revision
  • Project Manager’s Name
  • Project Name
  • Type or Commodity (product or service)
  • Project Statement (why we are doing this project)
  • Current State
  • Desired State (what success looks like)
  • Contract Expiration (if applicable)
  • Diversity Supplier Potential Opportunity (what an interesting thing to point out!)
  • Stakeholders (list who are negatively and positively affected by the project)
  • Saving Opportunity (quantify it)
  • Describe Current Process or Metrics (what’s going wrong)
  • Describe Future Process or Metrics (what the goal is, mention numbers)
  • Customers (list who the customers are, internal, external, all of them)
  • Customer Requirements (what do they expect, remember we do this for them)
  • Risks (every project has a risk, quantifiable or not)
  • Estimated Project Expense (travelling expenses, subcontracting, etc)
  • Team Members
  • Executive Sponsors (who will approve the charter and modifications to the charter)
  • Steering Committee Members (some names may cross the stakeholder’s list)
  • Project Timeline: milestone (phase 0, phase 1, etc), deliverable (example: prepare contract), status (on time, past due, etc) and due date
  • Approval signatures by phase

Anna Schäfer is currently a Supply Chain Manager working in the biotechnology industry with over twelve years experience, mostly in the aerospace industry. Read the Complete Article

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