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What’s a PMO (Project Management Office)?

What’s a PMO?
By Christian Bisson

PMO stands for Project Management Office. Since it’s objective & responsibilities vary from company to company, it is not necessarily easy to understand what it is.

So what is it?

The typical definition of a PMO is a group of people or department in an organization that is responsible for defining and maintaining project management standards. Note that in smaller organization, even one person could be considered the PMO.

Their responsibility may go beyond that:

  • Portfolio management: Either by participating actively to the management of the portfolio or being fully responsible for it;
  • Resource management: They may have the responsibility of managing who works on which project;

  • Actual project management: they will either manage all projects or the most important ones;

  • Documentation / templates: Can also include which PM tools are used; and

  • Project managers’ training: Making sure the efficiency of project managers satisfy the projects’ needs.

Read the Complete Article

PMP Certification: Quick Tips to Prepare

PMP Certification: Quick Tips to Prepare
By Christian Bisson

For those who want to dive into the PMP exam and feel like they don’t know where to start once they applied, here are some quick tips to help guide you:

  • Avoid setting your exam date too quick

    This may vary depending of how much free time you have in your schedule, but give yourself at least 2 months to study, some even need 3 to 4.

  • Plan your studying

    You want to avoid studying at the very last minute, like most of us are most likely to do. Build a weekly study plan that includes every detail to how many pages of the PMBOK per day you’ll read, to how many quiz simulations you do.

    It may seem overkill for some, but it works if you stick to it, assuming your plan is realistic towards your schedule.

  • PMBOK doesn’t have to come first

    The PMBOK guide is great but not necessarily “fun” to read.

Read the Complete Article

What’s Scope Creep and Tips To Avoid It

What’s Scope Creep and Tips To Avoid It
By Christian Bisson

Scope creep is the one of the worst enemy for any PM if not managed properly. It includes anything that was not part of the initial scope of your project and got added without properly going through any processes.

One little scope creep may not have much of an impact, but if they stack up, or if one is a major one, the project can severely go over budget, off schedule, or end up….never ending! There are a few sources of scope creep: client request, team members gold plating (adding more to the project than they should), unknown project requirement that got identified, risks that became issues, etc.

Here are some tips to prevent those scope creep:

  • Manage stakeholder expectations

    This is important, no matter how great what you deliver is, if expectations are above what’s delivered, than you will spend all the budget adjusting, and will end with an unsatisfied client.

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6S for Success!

6S for Success!
By Cécile Bérubé

Managing projects is like riding a bike. At the beginning, we hold the handles tightly, afraid of falling. Then, we learn to let go and ride our bike looking ahead while pedaling.

Putting down and controlling all requirements up front, holding on the handles tightly, having stakeholders clearly explain the product objectives solely via requirements is not efficient. Learn to let go. Building user stories, rather than hammering out all requirements up front is easier to manage with the End Users. It’s tangible and expectations are easier to communicate. Tools are available to facilitate discussions (ex: diagrams, models, prototypes, storyboards).

Poor requirements management is a major cause of project failure, second only to changing organization priorities.¹
Success with 6S!

  • Stories, Small and Subdivided

    Keep it small, break it down. Plan to subdivide into smaller portions and then distribute. It easier to manage and allows for simultaneous effort.

Read the Complete Article

To “Project Plan” or To Not “Project Plan”, That Is the Question!

To “Project Plan” or To Not “Project Plan”, That Is the Question!
By Chrisitan Bisson

Project management plans are more often than not, either scattered documents/emails, completely not existent, or too huge. The result: it’s not being used properly, or not even useful.

Let’s have a look why, and what we can do about it:

Scattered documents/mails

A project plan is actually a combination of several subsidiary plans, carefully stored/combined so it’s easily found/accessible. If all those documents do not have a common location, then they will tend to be scattered on a network, or locally on someone’s computer. Even worse, the information will be scattered through mails that the team will waste time finding again and again.

What’s important is that everything is combined, whether it’s inside one document carefully tailored to the needs of the project, or several documents well stored in one folder, each well named and identified by version. Read the Complete Article

Requirements for the PMP exam

Requirements for the PMP exam
By Chrisitan Bisson

Making the decision to apply for the PMP exam can be hard, and not knowing where to start can be a real demotivator sometimes, so I hope this will help you get a head start. Note that depending of your education, the requirements vary:

If you have a secondary degree

Includes high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent.

  • 35 hours of project management education. There are many courses available, and some will not require to physically be in a class.
  • Five years of project management experience. If you manage two projects in parallel for 3 months, it does not count as 6 months;

  • 7,500 hours leading and directing projects;

  • Hours and time are accumulated while you manage projects or parts of them, it doesn’t mean you officially are a project manager where you work.

If you have a four-year degree

Includes bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent. 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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7 Tips When Estimating a Project

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:

  1. 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.

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Recommended PM App

Recommended PM App

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