Computer Based Technology

Project managers often speak a language all their own. That language has been reflected in a special class of software since shortly after the advent of computers. Project management software was developed to track activities and tasks, to facilitate understanding of the project, and to find a way to communicate that understanding to others. Project management software packages (e.g., Microsoft Project, Sciforma Project Schedule, Niku Workbench, Planview, Primavera, Artemis Prestige, and so on)...

Human Resource Plan Purpose

The human resource plan, in its many forms and formats, provides an understanding of when and how team members will be applied to the project and to what degree. A natural extension of the project plan, the human resource plan defines what resources are required to achieve the project goals. The human resources plan is used on a variety of levels. For senior management, it identifies all of the resources that have been delegated to a given project and the degree to which they will be working on...

Cost Baseline Purpose

The cost baseline is a real or theoretical construct that captures the approved budget distributed over time. It is used to provide a comparison or contrast with the actual costs and their application over time. The cost baseline is used to determine if performance to date is within acceptable parameters. The baseline is normally maintained with other project information in either project management or spreadsheet software. It is used both for comparison and reporting and is normally a critical...

Risk Management Plan Purpose

The risk management plan lays down the groundwork for how risk management will be carried out in a project. It serves as guidance for the risk process, its thresholds, and its formats, defining the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in risk management. It is notable that the risk management plan is not a listing of specific risks and is not used to establish the particular strategies for risks, once they are identified. The risk management plan is shared with project stakeholders to...

The Nature of Project Communications

Communication is the cornerstone of effective project management, and yet most of it is done ad hoc, driven by individuals, personalities, and preferences, rather than by needs, protocols, processes, and procedures. Communication breakdowns are continuously cited as one of the key reasons that projects fail, which is why communication needs to be addressed as a critical activity and skill for project managers. The rationale for this book is that it will help managers improve or enhance their...