Method 123 Blog

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...

Manage Communication – Large Projects (Part 1 of 2)

Manage Communication - Large Projects (Part 1 of 2) In a large project, all communication takes place in context of an overall Communication Management Plan. Status meetings and status reporting are required, just as for a medium-size project. In addition, there are many other types of proactive communication that need to be considered. This creative and proactive communication is laid out in a Communication Management Plan, which is created as follows. Beginning of Project - Plan Communication Determine the project stakeholders. In some cases these are stakeholde...

Escalate a Performance Problem with a Formal Plan

Escalate a Performance Problem with a Formal Plan One of the hardest jobs of a manager is to take an employee down a path that may ultimately result in termination.  It is hard enough for most managers to provide performance feedback to begin with – even when the employee performance is good.  When the employee performance is not where it needs to be, it is even harder.    The first thing you need to do when you see a performance problem is sit down with the employee, discuss the performance observations, try to determine a cause and put a short-term acti...

Managing Staff

Managing Staff Topic 1. Overcome Team Resistance to Project Management It's one thing to build a Project Charter and the schedule. It's another thing to effectively manage the project. If you could issue the plan and the work assignments and have everyone complete his activities on time, your life would be much easier. However, the process of managing the team and the schedule becomes complicated because of the people element involved. People are unpredictable. To understand how the project is proceeding and to ensure that it stays on track, controls are needed. You m...

Manage Quality and Metrics – Techniques

Manage Quality and Metrics - Techniques Gather Subjective Metrics with Client Satisfaction Surveys Gathering metrics is important because it allows you to see how you are performing against the expectations of your clients. If the world were perfect, all of the metrics you collect would be factual, relevant and accurate. However, in many cases it is impractical or cost-prohibitive to try to gather exact and quantitative numbers. One way to supplement quantifiable metrics is with client satisfaction surveys. For instance, instead of trying to measure the exact r...

Implement Critical Change Requests

Provide Leadership to Implement Critical Change Requests Scope change is not inherently bad or good. However, the team can react to changes in positive and negative ways, depending on the state of the project. A typical reaction from most project teams is to just go ahead and make the approved changes. However, there is another reaction that can be more problematic - the team may not want to make any more changes. This is the scenario for this column. This situation could occur for a variety of reasons. This may be a long project, perhaps requiring overtime, and peop...

Understand Your IT Project Staff and Manage Them Accordingly

Remember is that it is impossible to categorize everyone within a profession.  You can make some general assumptions about technical people, but this does not mean that the assumptions apply to everyone.  As a manager, you must ultimately have multiple techniques that you can apply to different people in different circumstances.  One technique will not work for all people at all times.  That being said, let’s make some generalizations about managing technical staff on your project. They tend to be introverts.  Generally speaking, the definition of an introvert...

Manage Quality

Many people find quality management to be one of the more difficult project management processes to implement. This is because quality is hard to define, and formal quality management requires you to collect metrics to validate the state of quality. The following process will help create a framework for the quality management process. 1. Create a Quality Management Plan Develop a Quality Management Plan to identify the major deliverables, completeness and correctness criteria, quality control activities and quality assurance activities. The Quality Management Plan...

Learn About Earned Value Management (EVM) (Part 1 of 2)

Have you ever been asked how far along you were on a project? Of course you have. If you do not have a valid schedule, or if you are not keeping the schedule up-to-date, you know that your answer is pretty much a guess. If you have a good schedule and you are keeping it up-to-date, you should have a sense for how much work is remaining and what the projected end-date is. But are you 50% complete? Or 90% complete? It is not always easy to know. Earned value metrics were established to remove the guess work from determining where you are at in relation to a baseline. Using...

Use the Schedule for Project Integration

In the TenStep® Project Management Process, once the project is executing, all of the project management processes are integrated in the schedule. The integration occurs here because of an overriding philosophy of the TenStep process – “what’s in the schedule gets done”. In other words, all of the work of the project should be in the schedule and if an activity is not in the schedule, it should not be worked on. The schedule is the focal point of managing the project, and all the project management processes are integrated in the schedule. You should have activi...
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