Method 123 Blog

Five Options for Project Start Dates

One of the characteristics of a project is that it is a temporary endeavor. In other words there is a start and end-date. This seems simple enough until you start to try to define exactly what these dates mean. Is it after the Project Charter is signed? Is it when the schedule is finalized? There are no universally recommended definition for either date. It depends on each organization and whether there are any implications for choosing one alternative over another. Here are some of the options for identifying the project start-date. The need/idea is generated. The d...

Seven Components to a Risk Management Plan

The Risk Management Plan describes how you will define and manage risk on the project. This document does not actually describe the risks and the responses. This document defines the process and techniques you will use to define the risks and the responses. The information in this plan includes: Roles and responsibilities. This section describes the leading and supporting roles in the risk management process. The project manager typically has overall responsibility for risk management, unless the team is large enough that this role can be delegated to another team membe...

Five Project Management Mistakes, Mistake 3

Mistake #3: Not Keeping Schedule Up-to-Date Many project managers create an initial schedule but then don't do a good job of updating the schedule during the project. There are trouble signs that the schedule is not being updated. The project manager cannot tell exactly what work is remaining to complete the project. The project manager is unsure whether they will complete the project on-time. The project manager does not know what the critical path of activities is. Team members are not sure what they need to work on next (or even what they should be working...

Five Project Management Mistakes

Mistake #2: Poor scope management practices Managing scope is one of the most critical aspects of managing a project. However, if you have not done a good job of defining scope, managing scope will be almost impossible. The purpose of defining scope is to clearly describe and gain agreement on the logical boundaries and deliverables of your project. The business requirements are gathered to provide more detail on the characteristics of the deliverables. Defining scope means that you have defined the project boundaries and deliverables, and the product requirements. Th...

Root Cause Analysis

A plant manager walks past the assembly line and notices a puddle of water on the floor. Knowing that the water is a safety hazard, he asks the supervisor to have someone get a mop and clean up the puddle. The plant manager is proud of himself for “fixing” a potential safety problem. The supervisor, however, is suspicious. He is not sure why the puddle is there. It wasn’t there yesterday. He wonders what caused the puddle to be there today. Therefore, he looks for a root cause by asking ‘why?’ He discovers that the water puddle is caused by a leak in an overhead ...

Five Project Management Mistakes

#1: Inadequate Planning I have heard project managers say that the time they spend planning could be better spent actually "doing the work". This is not right. Before the project work begins, the project manager must make sure that the work is properly understood and agreed to by the project sponsor and key stakeholders. The larger the project, the more important it is that this information be defined formally and explicitly. When you think about it, many project problems can be traced to problems in planning. These include Poor estimates based on not understanding t...

Branding Your Project

Branding is a more sophisticated form of marketing communication. The purpose of branding a project is to associate an emotion or a feeling with your project. This is exactly what marketing people try to do when they brand a product. For instance, The Coca-Cola Company hopes that you feel good about its products and that you will choose its products from a crowded store shelf because you like the image and emotion associated with it. Maybe it works. The purpose of branding a project is to associate a positive image and emotion with your work. This is not something most pro...

Kickoff Meeting

Start Your Project with a Kickoff Meeting The purpose of the kickoff meeting is to formally notify all stakeholders that the project has begun and make sure everyone has a common understanding of the project and his role. Like all formal meetings, there should be an agenda. There are a number of specific things you want to cover at this meeting: Introduce the people at the meeting. Recap the information in the Project Charter, including the purpose of the project, scope, major deliverables, risks, assumptions, etc. Discuss the important roles and responsibil...

Using Project Templates

By using project templates when you are planning your next business opportunity, you will bring speed and consistency to the process. This is what this project management tool can provide for you and your organization when you are in search of that next great revenue stream. The modern project templates are in a digital format. This allows for them to be repeatedly used without any wear and tear on them. It also permits them to be changed or customized to fit the particular needs of your organization. This is not a tool where one is a fit all situations for organizat...

Benefits of Project Management Training

Four Benefits of Project Management Training The following are five reasons training is invaluable to you as a project manager. #1 – Training Keeps You Engaged Are you feeling a little sluggish on the job? Do you dread the ride into work each morning thinking about the long and boring day ahead of you? Training dispels the monotony. Take a course about an aspect of project management that really interests you. It may be risk management, agile methodologies, or root cause analysis. Deepening your knowledge in areas of interest will shake up your otherwise normal routine...
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