Method 123 Blog

The Power of the Aligned Organization

The Power of the Aligned Organization   When was the last time you rode in a car with wheels that were not properly aligned? Chances are it was a pretty rough ride. The car either pulled in one direction, making it hard work to keep it in your lane, or, it worked against itself as one tire pointed one way and another tire another way. The same thing can happen in our companies. The ride can be pretty bumpy, not to mention noisy, unless everyone is pointed in the same direction. That’s why it’s important to understand the five benefits of an aligned organizatio...

Five Options for Project Start Dates

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....

Seven Components to a Risk Management Plan

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 t...

Five Project Management Mistakes

Five Project Management Mistakes 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 nex...

Be Proactive Managing a Project with Unrealistic Budget

If you are a project manager dealing with what you perceive to be an unrealistic budget, the first thing you will want to do is discuss this with your sponsor to see if there are any factors that are driving the project budget. For instance, there may be budgetary restrictions. If you are a vendor, it is possible your sales people committed to a fixed price for the project. In some cases your manager or sponsor might set an arbitrary budget without much justification. It does not necessarily make your challenge any easier, but you may find that by better understanding the r...

Be Proactive Managing a Project with Unrealistic Budget

If you are a project manager dealing with what you perceive to be an unrealistic budget, the first thing you will want to do is discuss this with your sponsor to see if there are any factors that are driving the project budget. For instance, there may be budgetary restrictions. If you are a vendor, it is possible your sales people committed to a fixed price for the project. In some cases your manager or sponsor might set an arbitrary budget without much justification. It does not necessarily make your challenge any easier, but you may find that by better understanding the r...

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 overhea...

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 overhea...

Determine Whether Full-Time or Contract Resources are Appropriate

Perhaps the place to start is to understand whether there are employees available in the timeframe needed for your project. It usually doesn’t make sense to hire contract people when you have employees that are available and otherwise would have nothing to do (assuming the employees have “close-enough” skills). Let’s assume that you do not have current employees available to staff your new project. Let’s also say you work for an organization that is open to utilizing contractors or hiring employees depending on the needs of the specific project. Let’s look at...

Assumptions and Risks – Two Sides of a Coin

Assumptions and Risks - Two Sides of a Coin Let's take an example of a common statement that is included in many Project Definitions - that the resources needed for this project will be available when needed. What kind of a statement is this? Most people would say it is an assumption. After all, when a project starts, you always assume you will get the resources you need. However, is it really an assumption? Can you imagine starting a project where the people and equipment were not available and there was a realistic possibility that they would not be ready when you nee...
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