Goal Setting Motivational Software

Goalsontrack Smart Goal Setting Software

GoalsOnTrack.com is one of its kind goal-oriented web based application. The software has been designed to assist people in setting, tracking, and reaching personal and professional goals. This web based application keeps track of your progress towards the goal. The primary objective of this web application as it annunciates is getting things done. GoalsOnTrack has a very basic sign-up all you need is a valid email address. A speedy confirmation is sent to your inbox with details on how to log-in. Once you log-in you have a nicely design dashboard where you can begin recording your goals. After your goals for the week, month, or even year has been entered the task editor will quickly organize the objectives in order of importance. Everyday a checklist of the things you need to do appears under each specific goal. As you complete them percentage of progress status is highlighted. The journal operates as a blog or notepad. Past entries are automatically archived. Read more...

Goalsontrack Smart Goal Setting Software Summary

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Creator: Vancouver IT Services, Inc.
Official Website: www.goalsontrack.com
Price: $9.95

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Strategic Goals and Strategy

Ultimately, every component should be aligned to the organization's strategic goals. Without such alignment, management should question why scarce resources are being allocated and why the component is being funded. Strategy is so fundamental to constructing the portfolio that any change in strategy will trigger an ad hoc review to ensure that all components continue to be aligned. When a major change occurs, such as results from an acquisition or market reorganization, the organization may also review its selection criteria and priorities, along with the full set of components.

Use For Establishment Of Project Goals Aiming At Achievement Of Corporate Strategies

Establishment of project goals without control will endanger achievement of strategies. Objectives of projects greatly influence action guidelines and decision-making criteria for people concerned with projects, and policies of projects as well. Project goals developed from strategies serve to closely connect strategies with projects.

Establishing project goals

Before you establish the project goals for your software project, you should become familiar with the goals of the organization. A good software project plan supports and aligns with the strategic goals of the organization. After you define the project goals, all of the other project management processes should support those goals. For example, the quality management plan should support the quality goals of the software project and the product. Have you ever heard the expression, If you don't know where you want to go, then how will you know when you arrive The same concept applies to setting project goals.

The Importance of Smart Goals

Ambiguity at this stage leads to ambiguity in execution. Using SMART goals will aid you in communicating your strategy. Do not allow disagreement between senior leadership to result in a vague strategy. Confront the areas of disagreement rather than settling for vague goals. Setting SMART goals is an effective way of focusing the strategy of the project. Each goal should have the following characteristics

The Cultural Importance of Goal Setting

Implementing a project management system provides a means of institutionalizing goal setting within the organization and monitoring progress toward those goals in a structured and predefined way. The act of setting goals should encourage greater organizational focus and foster innovative solutions where needed in order to achieve the desired goal-based outcomes. If the implementation of the portfolio management system can drive a culture of aggressive goal setting with corresponding accountability, then the benefit will be significant. Indeed, the effects of aggressive goal setting can be so powerful that it may be one of the major contributions of the portfolio management system.

Importance Of The Mission Statement

If you don't know where you're going, how will you know when you get there This questions sums up the reason some projects go astray. The mission statement is developed to prevent confusion on the part of the project team concerning the direction the project should take. After it is created, the mission statement should be used to set goals and objectives, to make decisions, and to select team members that is, to answer any and every question that arises in the course of executing the project.

Understanding Organizational Competencies

Competences today across different divisions. For example, it is good to understand that your organization lacks a process for portfolio management, but it is preferable to break the issue down into its core components to understand the steps required to get there. For example, is the immaturity of the organization's portfolio management driven by lack of defined strategic goals or an ill-defined proposal submission process In practice, it is likely to be a combination of factors, and the factors are not binary but, rather, measured in degrees. Truly understanding the skills across different divisions within your organization is powerful. You can identify the major areas for improvement, share best practices, and create a clear road map to achieve your goals through incremental, manageable steps, rather than setting a broad direction but failing to understand the steps to realizing that vision. Some of the key competencies to access are outlined in Figure 6.2.

Creating Portfolio Alignment

Once strategic goals have been defined, which is itself a nontrivial process, mapping them to projects is relatively straightforward. Each project can be examined to see the extent to which it supports each of the strategic goals and an overall prioritization of projects achieved. This is a key step in the prioritization process. The goal is not to choose the 10 projects with the highest return on investment, but to ensure that the projects map to the strategic goals of the business. This process is the first step in aligning the projects with the strategic goals of the business and, ultimately, determining the extent to which each project will advance the strategy.

Putting Strategy First

Strategy needs to come before portfolio selection. In order to select the right set of projects, the strategic goals must be defined in advance. Furthermore, the strategic goals should ideally be relatively limited three to seven goals are best so that projects can be consistently benchmarked across all of the strategic goals, and the effort of doing this is not overwhelming. It helps to think of it as a matrix, with 50 proposals and 7 strategic goals, creating 350 mappings between projects and goals that must take place. With 20 goals, the number of mappings required would be 1,000. This is not the only reason to keep the number of strategic goals low, but it is a relevant factor. Having a small number of goals also helps to keep the goals memorable and at the necessary high level, thus avoiding strategic goals blurring with the tactics from their implementation. Of course, the process of linking projects to strategic goals is critical. If the projects you undertake don't reflect...

Aligning Projects And Strategy

Many organizations have a well-defined and well-scoped strategic process. This can be augmented by better and broader idea capture to provide supportive tactics, but execution is the critical challenge. Indeed, as is widely recognized, weakness in execution, not weakness in strategy, is a primary reason for CEO failure. Knowing this, it is important to tie the strategic theory governing the business to the experience of project management. Without this linkage, either the project portfolio is blind to the needs of the business or the strategic goals are empty, with no support at the execution level. It is clear that this is an area that businesses must get right for long-term success. There is much evidence that CEO failure is driven not by poor strategy but by poor execution. A Fortune magazine study of several dozen CEOs in 1999 suggested that 70 percent of CEOs who failed did so because of poor execution It is bad execution. As simple as that. A study of 200 companies in the United...

Steering the Enterprise

Executive management's job is to marshal the resources of the firm to set and meet organizational goals. The mechanics of bottom-up planning enable management to see how the resources of the organization are being applied to the strategic goals of the firm in two ways 1. Each goal is associated with one or more projects, so individual project progress becomes an indication of progress against strategic goals. Exhibit 4.1 illustrates how this information is assembled. Strategic goals are broken into projects. Each project forecasts the resources it will require. Resource forecasts from individual projects are combined to estimate resource needs for the enterprise. This information enables the all-important capability of prioritizing projects.

Organizational Impacts

Effective portfolio management can have positive impacts across the organization by facilitating local planning in alignment with strategic goals. Lack of efficient and effective processes and procedures in other functional areas of the organization can have a considerable impact on portfolio management. The portfolio manager will have to factor this into the corresponding plans and decisions.

Understanding Marginal Returns

Simply understanding the marginal returns within your portfolio can help optimize spending effectively. As previously discussed, the goal of any portfolio is to have a strategic impact on the business. The cost of achieving that impact is not constant. Some areas will offer some very attractive returns for low-cost projects (i.e., low-hanging fruit). An example of this might be to take a customer relationship management tool that one sales team is using and broaden usage to other sales teams to achieve the strategic goal of greater customer retention. The tool is already in place, so the cost of rolling it out to other divisions is relatively low, but the impact will be the same as if the tool had been built on a bespoke basis for each division. Some portfolios contain much low-hanging fruit others will find it much more expensive to realize strategic goals. If the cost of realizing strategic goals is high, that is not necessarily bad. Collecting more ideas through an efficient...

Measuring effectiveness

When we try to measure information investment effectiveness, there are many characteristics not measurable by a simple method. In general, we distinguish the effectiveness of IT investment into Quantitative Effects, Qualitative Effects and Strategic Effects. If the investment is to be made for realizing quantitative effects, we could easily measure the effectiveness of such project relatively. However, as the goals of IT investment become qualitative or strategic, measuring the effectiveness of investment in monetary units becomes difficult. Furthermore, there are increasing numbers of information technology investment projects achieving strategic goals lately (Kogure, 2000). Thus, we discuss KPI as one means for solving such a problem. KPI is an indicator to measure and evaluate the progress of qualitative strategic goals that are difficult to measure. Therefore, the merit of introducing KPI is to be able to measure the degree of success even if the objectives of such investment are...

Using Project Selection Methods

Project selection methods are concerned with the advantages or merits of the product of the project. In other words, selection methods measure the value of what the product, service, or result of the project will produce and how it will benefit the organization. Selection methods involve the types of concerns executive managers are typically thinking about. This includes factors such as market share, financial benefits, return on investment, customer retention and loyalty, and public perceptions. Most of these are reflected in the organization's strategic goals. Projects, whether large or small, should always be weighed against the strategic plan. If the project doesn't help the organization reach its goals (increased market share, for example), then the project probably shouldn't be undertaken.

Establish the Projects Concept Organizational Alignment

Provide the context for the project within the organization. What relationship does this project have with other projects How will this project affect strategic goals If this project shares personnel and other resources with other projects, are there established priorities among these projects Though as project managers we often consider our own project to be important, we need to be realistic about how it fits into the larger picture. The statement of work and business case will contain some information about the contribution this project has to the organization. Your sponsor will also be a source of information.

Portfolio Management Metrics

The metrics of portfolio management typically include aggregate measures of strategic goal achievement, financial contribution, asset maintenance and development, enduser satisfaction, stakeholder satisfaction, risk profile, and resource capability. Metrics describe the availability and type of resources needed to support the portfolio components as planned and during execution. Metrics describe progress toward established targets, such as financial and milestone achievements and fulfillment of deliverables. Financial measures, for example, may include aggregate return on investment (ROI), net present value (NPV), and distribution of financial support as part of the strategic goals. Milestone measures could include such indicators as budget vs. actual costs, customer satisfaction scores, product release performance, or other organization-specific measure. Metrics describe the value and benefit realization of the portfolio as a whole, as interpreted by the organization. As appropriate,...

Mapping Projects to Strategy

Figure 2.1 shows what strategic alignment means. The dark gray bars show management's analysis of the relative weighting of strategic goals. Increasing the rate of innovation is the most important goal, whereas reducing working capital is relatively less important. However, the light gray bars show where portfolio resources are being allocated, and there it is clear that too little is being invested on projects that increase the rate of innovation, because too much is being invested in the other areas. Portfolio B shows an example where the strategic goals and the allocation of portfolio resources are well aligned.

Going Beyond Strategic Alignment

Optimization of the portfolio and discussions between those within the organization who have different experiences and perspectives. Ultimately, people, rather than data, make decisions. However, a thorough analysis of the strategic alignment of the portfolio will create a good first cut of the projects for the business to implement and will start the discussion with a strong foundation. As conversations progress, what-if analyses can be done to support different sets of the projects and to examine the business impact. The goal is not to replace manual selection with a metric-driven process, but to supplement ad hoc discussion with more formal modeling of the optimal portfolio, given the strategic goals of the business. Given the complexity of the process, adding some mathematical rigor to it can be enormously beneficial.

Making Processes Transparent

Excitement can be further enhanced by a transparent process. When employees understand how the process works, they are more likely to support and contribute. Putting in place clear, transparent benchmarks improves portfolio performance. Sharing the strategic goals helps the end-to-end process of project management. It also likely means you will get better projects in the first place. If everyone knows what the target is, effort spent on projects that are futile is minimized. The process has most context, so ideas receive sufficient improvement before submission. This improves the caliber of proposals. Knowing these benchmarks ahead of time will help focus proposals on the areas the organization cares about and will ensure that the proposals are written to address the areas that matter. Transparency will help idea submission so the process is not a black box. Feedback should be provided on rejected ideas so that better proposals can be created in the future, or rejected ideas can be...

Performance To Budget Leaving Money On The Table

Without a PMO, it becomes every function for itself, with the CEO trying to referee. However, most CEOs do not have the time, patience or project management skills to track all of the organization' s projects against the organization's goals. Time and again, when we work with organizations that create their initial project portfolio, we witness surprise from the senior executives over how many active projects are in the works. The worst shock of all from senior executives is to find out how many active projects are not directly tied to any of the organization' s strategic goals. This is just one part of leaving money on the table.

Building Legitimacy Through Effective Monitoring

Monitoring also creates the critical link between words and actions. Many organizations have strategic goals, yet few track them in a quantifiable way. Given that CEO failure is often due to execution and not strategy, this sort of tracking is imperative. Lack of tracking not only risks jeopardizing the selection process it may also put at risk the whole strategy of the business. Measuring progress in a systemic fashion is key.

Achieving Company Strategy

The functional strategy level refers specifically to the game plan for a particular business activity, department, or business process. The primary role of the functional strategy is to support the company's overall strategy and competitive approach. The operational strategy deals with how to manage costs, quality targets, and delivery at the frontline. Many companies use project management to deliver strategic goals and actions. Companies are now realizing that in the fast-paced Information Age, weapons such as speed, opportunities, and niches are prized elements in any business arsenal. In all subsequent chapters in this book, I focus on how project managers ensure that strategy succeeds at both the functional and operational levels. Clearly, there is a need to understand something about strategy after all.

Setting Aggressive Goals

Project management processes naturally tend toward goal setting, which is important but just as important for success is ensuring that the goal is ambitious. There are dozens of books on the topic of negotiation that emphasize the importance of bold goals for successful negotiation outcomes, and the same is true of projects. Academic research that supports the value of goal setting across organizations for example, Terpstra and Rozell (1994) found a significant positive relationship between goal-setting and organizational profits, based on a survey of 6,000 employees. It also makes intuitive sense if you target something, you are far more likely to achieve it.

The Value To The Reader The Executive

Executives in relatively large organizations are the primary audience for this book. They will quickly be brought up to speed on the latest thinking and benefits on project and portfolio management, from strategic goal setting and alignment to the latest thinking on postmortem processes. The book shares insights from multiple disciplines, including psychology, to explore the most effective way to think about a project portfolio in an organization. They will understand how technology can be used to support these efforts and magnify the benefits of a well-functioning organization.

Open Design simulation

The focus of Binnekamp's analysis of this case was whether the application of Open Design methodology could have prevented many of the disappointing results. He focused his analysis on two process related aspects Goal setting (Aspect 1) and Conflict resolution (Aspect 3), and on one structure related aspect Standardisation (Aspect 10). 1. Goal setting fixed vs. floating

The Value Created by Building Renewal Activities

Industry, the client commissioned the general engineering company (Company T) to prepare the facility planning and construction. The contract was concluded between the pharmaceutical manufacturer and Company T at a stage when the goal was still unclear, and the project was started. In this way, at an early stage, the two parties proceeded with system setting goal setting by passing through the sequence of mission confirmation, understanding the situation future predictions setting the planning parameters, and system concept. The mission was accomplished two and a half years from the start of the project.

Who has the power to give what you need

For any person who has power you need, start by identifying what his goals are. On a wellrun team, this should be easy because his goals are really the project goals at whatever level of seniority he happens to have. Consider his biases, opinions, and preferred ways for going about making decisions. The better your relationship is with him, and the more experience Thinking from his perspective, work to see how your needs and goals fit into his. Make your request derive from some higher-level project requirement or objective that he is obligated to respect. Instead of saying I need another programmer, understand that you can honestly say To achieve goals X and Y, my team needs another programmer. Our project plan didn't anticipate the three requests that came in last week, and as a result, our goals are currently at high risk. Don't lie or mislead. Be willing to question your own requests for resources if there are better uses for them on the project. (But if that's the case, you...

Monitoring and Controlling

Project Scope Management is concerned with defining all the work of the project and only the work needed to successfully produce the project goals. These processes are highly interactive. They define and control what is and what is not part of the project. Each process occurs at least once and often many times throughout the project's life.

Examples of visions and goals

In this section, I provide some examples of good vision statements and project goals pulled from my own experience. Although I've changed the details, it's easy to imagine what working on these projects would be like, as well as what the goals underneath the visions might contain. As an example of good project goals, here's what the team of people that developed the Palm Pilot handheld organizer used to define their project (2) Good project goals like these are clear and simple, and describe the world as it will be when the work is complete. Remember that simplicity is different from difficulty. It was a significant technological and design challenge to create a product that satisfied these goals. The preceding examples of good vision statements might represent huge challenges for those projects. Depending on how premier, easier to use, and top complaints are defined, those projects could have big challenges ahead of them.

The Ultimate Challenge No Damage

In an environment where the focus is delivering high quality on time and under budget, project managers can be tempted to meet impossible goals by sacrificing the people on the team. It happens in every industry, and always for the same reason Meeting the project goals outweighs the needs of the individual team members. And this attitude isn't reserved just for the project team vendors and even customers are often put through the wringer to satisfy the project goals. But asking people to give 120 percent, project after project, just doesn't work. They get worn out, demoralized, and just plain angry. The ultimate challenge for project managers is to meet the cost, schedule, and quality goals of the project without damage to the people. That means the project ends with high morale, great relationships with customers, and vendors that can't wait to work with you on the next project.

Dedication to Accomplishing Goals

This attribute might also be called determination. Because it is the rule rather than the exception that problems will arise on essentially every project, the PM must be dedicated to getting through each and every problem in order to accomplish the stated project goals. This means not allowing oneself to be victimized by the ''system,'' management, or the customer. After a frustrating day, the PM should have the energy and determination to come back the next day with a renewed sense of how to relieve the frustration and find effective work-arounds, if necessary.

Terms of Reference TOR Template

The TOR documents the rules that project participants must follow. This document includes the vision, mission roles and responsibilities, project goals, budget, project control and QA processes, and escalation procedures, among other factors. It is prepared specifically to describe goals, activities, and scope of work to be undertaken. It should also provide an outline for the business plan, prototype site, evaluation, and readiness. The TOR should usually be limited to 10 to 15 pages.

We Learn through Repetition

Announcing the project goals at the first team meeting gives all participants a vision of why the team exists. That is important, because the goal should be the North Star for the team, a reference point that influences all team activity. For the goal to have that level of influence, each team member must learn it deeply and internalize it, something that happens only with repetition. Here are a few simple actions you can take as a project leader to appropriately repeat the goal.

Answers to Review Questions

Projects exist to create a unique product, service, or result. The logon screen in this question is not a unique product. A minor change has been requested, indicating that this is an ongoing operations function. Some of the criteria for projects are that they are unique, temporary with definitive start and end dates, and considered complete when the project goals are achieved.

Quantitative Quality Management Planning

Now let's consider how project managers at Infosys use the defect prediction approach for quantitatively managing software quality. (As discussed in Chapters 10 and 11, projects also use SPC at the task level.) As discussed earlier, when you plan for quantitatively managing quality for a project, you face two key issues first, setting the quality goal, and second, predicting defect levels at intermediate milestones that can be used for quantitatively monitoring progress toward the goal. In addition, if the project goals exceed the capability of existing processes, the project manager must plan suitable enhancements to the quality process. Let's look at how project managers perform these three tasks at Infosys.

Communicate the Goals and Scope Concept of the Project

Chapter 4 of this book contains a detailed description of determining project goals and scope and recording them in the statement of work. In addition, Chapter 6 describes the work breakdown structure (WBS) technique for creating a detailed description of project scope. Share this information with the project team to give them a tangible description of why this project exists and where it is going. If the team mem

EProcurement Example of Horizontal Integration

Project managers must look and work across the organization with supporting departments that are not directly invested in the project but those who support it. This includes working with procurement and acquisition services that are sometimes at odds with short-term project goals. This means project managers must be attuned to these questions and issues at the interface with the project 2. Supply chain management and the Web, building partnerships with suppliers across an industry to achieve cheaper, better, faster procurement, which, however, sometimes conflicts with short-term project goals.

Clear Business Objectives

Everyone associated with a project must share the same vision. The vision must be clear, concise, and comprehensible. The goal(s) of the project must be known and enthusiastically supported by all. And goals must have measurable success factors. The project's business objectives must map to the corporate vision. This ensures that those associated with a project know and understand the objectives, where they fit in, and how the project goals contribute to the corporate vision. Despite all of the effort devoted to clearly defining project goals and objectives, these are not static and will change. You may have been very successful in working with your client to achieve that clarity, but it may not be long lasting. Business conditions will change, markets adjust to the economy and to new competition, and competitors will change. All of these factors lead to scopc change in your project and place your project at risk. That means your project management process must have a solid change...

Processes And Project Management

A software project has two main activity dimensions engineering and project management. The engineering dimension deals with building the system and focuses on issues such as how to design, test, code, and so on. The project management dimension deals with properly planning and controlling the engineering activities to meet project goals for cost, schedule, and quality.

Supporting vision statements and goals

The claims made in a vision statement, or in project goals, should be supported or clarified somewhere in the document. So, what these statements mean by customer needs, easier to perform, reliability, and top customer complaints should be defined well enough that informed decisions can be made. If those things are important enough to be in the vision, they are important enough to enlist expert help in fleshing them out to the same precision and detail as technological goals. If claims such as easy to use are made, but no one has any expertise about ease of use, the team isn't set up to meet that goal. In producing the vision, leaders should be assessing what resources are needed to be successful and how resource and skill gaps will be filled (the choices are train, hire, change vision, or cross fingers).

Selecting Team Members

Individual skill and knowledge is not sufficient for team success. Team members have to be able to work together to achieve the project goals. A good project manager can help bridge interpersonal differences or accommodate poor interpersonal communications and interaction skills team members. The project manager has many other tasks

Theory x theory y and theory z

Theory Y managers believe people are interested in performing their best given the right motivation and proper expectations. These managers provide support to their teams, are concerned about their team members, and are good listeners. Theory Y managers believe people are creative and committed to the project goals, that they like responsibility and seek it out, and that they are able to perform the functions of their positions with limited supervision.

Bridging the Gap Between Portfolio Planning and Portfolio Management

There is a second gap with which to contend. Our traditional approach is to separate the function of project selection from that of managing the project pipeline. The traditional assumption is that once a project is approved, it is separated from the parental umbilical cord. The criteria on which the selection was based are lost. The only criteria remaining for monitoring project performance are specific to the individual project goals rather than the portfolio as a whole.

Chapter Selecting Software Development Life Cycles

By definition, a project is a unique undertaking, resulting in a uniqueproducf. It follows, then, that a project is likely to employ a uniqu irocess for product development. How does a project manager go about the formulation of an appropriate process, or life cycle, to follow to achieve the project goals Rather than starting from scratch with each project, the software manager is well served to begin with a generic, proven approach and customize it. There are multiple starter life cycles from which to choose. Some of the most widely used ones will be presented here, along with guidelines for selecting an appropriate one and guidelines for tailoring it to the needs of a specific project.

Saving a Baseline and Updating Progress

By now, you've completed the planning phase of your project. The scope is set, along with the project goals and objectives. The tasks and deliverables are scheduled. The budget is approved, and you've procured the necessary human, equipment, and material resources. Your project plan reflects all these details and has been signed off by upper management or by your customers.

Planning Process Overview

The first step in project planning is to examine the scope document and create a work plan to identify and analyze the tasks involved in accomplishing the project goals. These tasks are further broken down into functions and smaller manageable subtasks that form the WBS. The WBS is a hierarchical structure of various functions and tasks and assists in creating a project schedule, assigning functions and tasks to various departments, and in managing these tasks. A WBS is a hierarchical decomposition and organization of activities that need to be done in order to meet project goals (Figure 3-3). The organization and level of detail of the activities should facilitate estimating, work assignment, and ongoing management. To achieve this, the WBS activities should meet the following criteria as described in Table 3-2. As mentioned earlier, breaking work into smaller pieces by identifying required tasks helps make the project goals manageable. Projects might easily have a few hundred tasks...

The Components of PPM

By monitoring performance of active projects against both the project goals and the selection criteria, we can adjust the portfolio to maximize return. This means being willing to restructure, delay, or even terminate projects with performance deficiencies. The ability to monitor such performance exists in all traditional project management systems. All we add in PPM is the routine to do so and the ability to feed these data into the PPM system. This is the set of practices associated with maintaining the project pipeline (Chapter 2.2).

Produce A Risk Management Plan

In addition to the risk management plan, it is important to remember that risk management strategies affect other project management documents (see Exhibit 6.1). For instance, shifting responsibilities among stakeholders to reduce a risk should be reflected in the responsibility matrix. Risk mitigation activities such as the strategy of developing two product designs, described in Exhibit 6.8, result in additional tasks that will be added to the work breakdown structure, project schedule, and performance budget. Since the statement of work contains the overall project goals and constraints, it is also likely to be changed as a result of some risk management strategies.

Functional Composition

Advantage in grouping lies in improvement of corporate skill levels by collecting human resources with similar skills and encouraging exchange of their knowledge. Improvement in skill levels can contribute to long-term competitive power of enterprises, while over-grouping promotes the tendency of part optimization and becomes an obstacle to achievement of project goals.

Well Know Where We Are When We Get There

This game is different from Bring Me a Rock. In Bring Me a Rock, the project goals don't change over time the sponsor wants a shorter schedule. In We'll Know Where We Are When We Get There, the sponsor doesn't change the date but changes the goal of the project. Make sure you have written a project vision, project goals, and release criteria. Gain consensus on the vision, goals, and release criteria. You know where you're headed, what more you might be able to do, and when you're done. So does the rest of the organization.

Strategy versus Methodology

You may encounter projects in which the apparent risks are so small in certain areas that, while those areas should be monitored, no formal project management techniques may be needed. In these areas, you should simply use good business management practices. For example, with an internal project whose resource needs consist of three people working for a year, you might forego a written cost estimate or cost controls because the costs would be inherent in the allocation of labor. Using elaborate or even simple cost tracking systems in such a case would be a waste of time and money. The point of project management is not to drive up your overhead or to require mountains of administration. Project management provides a set of structured techniques to help you think about project goals and risks helps you define, structure, organize, and plan your project and enables you to effectively monitor and control your project as it progresses toward completion.

Identifying Key Elements

If you start your project with an announcement meeting and follow that by holding an initial project team meeting, you should have a fairly well defined task ahead of you. Now you need to identify the elements that will allow you to achieve clearly stated project goals. These include information, a budget, and details of project team commitments.

Using Project Life Cycles

If the project life cycle is a phase-oriented view of the project, then it stands to reason that we can and should use the project life cycle as one of the mechanisms to monitor the project progress against the project goals. Often, but not always, there is a definable set of deliverables associated with each phase. We should pause to review the project accomplishments, as each phase comes to completion. This is one of the times during the project when we look at the objectives and evaluate performance to date against these objectives. If the objectives are not being supported, should the strategy be changed Should the project be terminated Should the objectives be re-examined If the project moves ahead, should new targets be examined and communicated Should the

Single project management

Needs and their projects' critical path. They are not necessarily expected to see the big picture or make decisions on sharing resources with other project managers. They are expected to be narrowly focused on making their project goals, objectives, and deliverables regardless of what else is happening in the company. If they start compromising their focus in the context of the needs of other projects, they do a disservice to their customers and to their project team.

Senior Management Support Proactive Participation and Staff Support and Participation

Our task was to take the collection of miscellaneous programs and determine which were strategically tied to business goals and how to allocate resources across them. Overallocation of R& D and marketing personnel was commonplace in our organization. As a result, project goals were rarely met in a timely basis, and goals were

Priority versus everything else

This priority 1 line must be taken very seriously. You should fight hard to make that list as small and tight as possible (this applies to any goal lists in the vision document as well). An item in the priority 1 list means We will die without this. It does not mean things that are nice to have or that we really want to have it gives the tightest, leanest way to meet the project goals. For example, if we were building an automobile, the only priority 1 things would be the engine, tires, transmission, brakes, steering wheel, and pedals. Priority 2 items would be the doors, windshield, air conditioning, and radio because you can get around without those things. The core functionality of the automobile exists without them you could ship it and still call it a car.

Priorities make things happen

What slows progress and wastes the most time on projects is confusion about what the goals are or which things should come before which other things. Many miscommunications and missteps happen because person A assumed one priority (make it faster), and person B assumed another (make it more stable). This is true for programmers, testers, marketers, and entire teams of people. If these conflicts can be avoided, more time can be spent actually progressing toward the project goals.

Managing changes change control

Someone (PM) writes a summary of the changeincluding its relationship to the project goals or requirementsthe need for the change, and an explanation of the design of the change to be made. (Bonus points are given for identifying possible risks for the DCR's impact on the project.) This should rarely be more than a page or two. A bug (or whatever method is used for tracking issues) should be created to track the DCR, and this document should be attached to it.

An Example Of An It Project Compensation Approach

One of the pluses of the inclusion of all team members in the incentive plan is, obviously, to ensure a strong focus on the project. Another plus is that it will be clear that, in order to share in the incentive plan, everyone is going to have to make a strong commitment to the success of the project and to work hard to meet the project goals. When the team focuses on the incentive to do the work well and on time, peer pressure is going to correct any difficulties associated with a lack of commitment on the part of an individual team member.

The Tradeoff Between Added Value And Increased Project Complexity

In this example, the project team, even though it has considered the need for additional resources and time to handle the project expansion, has put itself in an unfortunate position. By not recognizing the issues of the expansion and increased complexity of the project as they relate to potential difficulty, if not serious problems, the team has set itself up for, at the least, disappointment. Too often as a project expands and it becomes clear that the project is experiencing difficulty, the focus moves to the issue of adding people and time to meet the project goals. While that is an appropriate focus, it is only a partial focus in that the factors of project expansion and its related additional complexity must also be considered in the analysis. In reality, adding people to the project, whether at the beginning of the project or after it has been determined that the project is in difficulty may be an apparently easy answer to the problem, but it may be the wrong answer. Adding...

Organizational Process Assets Updates

Post-implementation audits aren't an official output, but they are a good idea. These go hand in hand with lessons learned because they examine the project from beginning to end and look at what went right and what went wrong. They evaluate the project goals and determine whether the product or service of the project satisfies the objectives. Post-implementation audits also examine the activities and project processes to determine whether improvements are possible on future projects.

Tactics for influencing power

This is a collaborative variant of the direct request. If you and B are competing for the same resources and have discussed the matter together, you ask A to meet with both of you and resolve the issue as a group. Teams that have strong goals and good teamwork do this kind of thing naturally and informally. They trust each other to work toward the shared project goals, and they willingly concede valid points even when those concessions diminish their own power or authority. Strong leaders and managers encourage this behavior because it minimizes the need for their involvement the team will eventually learn to resolve issues on their own (i.e., they learn to replicate the philosophies of A even without him present), and involve A only when there are particularly tough decisions that need to be made.

Motivation Hygiene Theory See Hygiene Theory

Planning This is the second project management process group. The Planning process group consists of processes that involve formulating and revising project goals and objectives and creating the project management plan that will be used to achieve the goals the project was undertaken to address. Planning involves determining alternative courses of action and selecting from among the best of those to produce the project's goals. The Planning process group is where the project requirements are determined and stakeholders are identified.

Design The Evo Means to the Target ends

Many development teams lack a well-defined, efficient decision-making process. Often they make decisions implicitly within a limited context, risking the compromise of the broader project goals and slowing progress dramatically. Evolutionary Development forces many decisions to be made explicitly in an organized way, because feedback on the product is received regularly and schedules must be updated for each implementation cycle.

How Do I Make My System More Usable

The real goals are personal, not task related I want to do my job as easily as possible, not be too bored, and not make too many mistakes or look stupid. Then there are business goals, for example I have to capture orders from customers. Keep both of these in mind - a program can meet the business goals but fail the personal goals, and it will be seen as clumsy, inefficient and frustrating.

Step Improve yourself

You can demonstrate leadership in the overall quality improvement effort through your commitment to personal improvement. This means that you establish and adhere to a structured, disciplined approach to improvement that clearly defines your goals and requires steady, consistent improvement in your personal performance. You should also facilitate communication between yourself and others. Remove the barriers you place in your own way, seek the assistance of others to remove the barriers you do not control, and work to eliminate your own fears of change and improvement. This is best done through education as well as communication with others. Depend on your vision as your guide for improvement, and use that vision to maintain your momentum. Start by looking at yourself

Define The Project Goal

As a project manager, you may be focused on the project management goals, but understand that the overarching reason for this focus ties back to organizational or product goals. Remember Every supply chain starts with a customer. You can use a simple matrix to list your goals and objectives for the project however, sometimes the Ishikawa diagram can be useful in this situation. This diagram is not only used to identify contributors to issues but can also be used in the exact opposite way to elaborate contributors to an overall organizational goal.

The Essence Of Rational Management

Second, require plans to meet the short-term goals. Goals drive plans and the people who will do the work must make these plans. Then have the engineers defend their plans and show you that they are complete and sufficiently detailed to guide the work. If a plan does not meet your goals, negotiate that plan to arrive at one that will meet your business needs and that the engineers will commit to meet. To work this way, the engineers must know how to make plans and they must be required to do so.

Project Schedule and Budget

Alternately, you can define your schedule and your budget from the top-down, as shown in Figure 9.3. In this case, your total budget and schedule are defined and each ISAP underneath (as well as any glue tasks) are parsed out of the total. In this example, the total schedule allotted for your corporate IT security project plan is 18 months and your budget is 250,000. All of the ISAPs underneath are allocated a percentage or portion of the total. This may mean you have to scale time and budgets for the ISAPs down in order to meet your schedule and budget requirements, but you'd have to do that with either the approach anyway, since we're assuming you don't have unlimited time and unlimited funds to accomplish your goals.

Where Are You Now in Your Education

When you should be making progress toward your goals. If you choose incorrectly and then want to change later, you may have amassed (and paid for) college hours that are of no use to your new major. Granted, education is never wasted, but if it doesn't apply directly to your major, you will be taking time away from your final career choice.

Chapter Key Ingredients of a Methodology

Efficiency, proficiency, continuous improvement, and best in class are goals that in large part depend on a consistent application of procedures. These procedures, whose actions are guided by a regimen, are commonly referred to as standards. Standards are documented processes that, when universally adhered to, generally result in the successful achievement of goals. The importance of establishing and following standards is not always clearly understood by workers at all levels of an organization. However, the ability to achieve goals on a consistent basis lies in the unvarying adherence to the use of standards by everyone. There has been a shift in recent years in the area of nontechnical business processes away from standards documentation that describes the rules and procedures to be followed in infinite detail toward guidelines, which allow more flexibility in how they are applied and contain less detail. This is particularly true of project management methodologies. The trend in...

Properties Of Selfdirected Teams

Goal tracking and feedback are critically important. Effective teams are aware of their performance and can see the progress they are making toward their goals. In a study of air defense crews, those with frequent and precise feedback on goal performance improved on almost every criterion. This compares with

Changes cause chain reactions

On the IE 5.0 project, one of our goals was to improve people's ability to organize their list of favorite web sites. We considered four different designs and made simple user interface (UI) prototypes for each one. With these prototypes, we did rough engineering estimates and got basic usability information to use in comparing them. With specs due soon, we chose to focus on design B. But then, days later, we learned that because of a schedule change on a different project, a component design B depended on wouldn't be available to us. So, we had

It is important to define goals at a high level at this stage in order to keep the process manageable

Once we have defined our goals in this manner, we will have our vision. Next, we have to define our scope. To do this, we must begin to make a plan for how we are going to transition from where we are to where we want to be. At this point, we must determine what goals will be accomplished in the first cycle, the second cycle, etc. The goals that will be chosen for the first cycle will be the most critical goals, deliver the most functionality, and fit within the constraints of the project. Once the cycles have been defined, we can focus on the first cycle of the system development.

The Project Life Cycle

Project Life Cycle Uncertainty

It would be a great source of comfort if one could predict with certainty, at the start of a project, how the performance, time, and cost goals would be met. In a few cases, routine construction projects, for instance, we can generate reasonably accurate predictions, but often we cannot. There may be considerable uncertainty about our ability to meet project goals. The crosshatched portion of Figure 1-4 illustrates that uncertainty.

Program or Multiproject Management

Program managers mix in the milieu of vice presidents and CEOs of both their corporations and those of the customer. They tend to interface at high levels where decisions impact broad business performance, business-to-business relationships, workforce planning and management, regulatory issues, financial performance, stockholders, partnerships, and major supplier and contract issues. These factors often bring program managers into play with issues that single project managers may not fully understand, especially if program managers get in the way of achieving narrow project goals. This is the essence of program management balancing between individual projects with broader performance issues and implications across projects.

Project Managers as Champions

Many of the senior managers at ICL today experienced the cultural shift in the company during the 1970s. The lessons of that period were the importance of focusing on customer need, working single-mindedly to achieve goals, deploying resources accordingly, not accepting excuses for things not being done or being late, and empowering managers to use the organization to achieve their goals.

Project Sponsor Responsibilities

The project sponsor, in taking on the role, accepts overall accountability to the organization for achieving the project goals. The project sponsor is, in reality, the boss. The sponsor is typically a senior person within the organization who has a high impact on the business, has the necessary experience relating to the project being undertaken, or has the organizational ability to make things happen. The sponsor could also hold the title of senior manager, director, CEO, or CIO. The sponsor sees that things get done in ways that would normally take the project manager forever and a day to complete. The sponsor also reviews the overall progress of the project and serves as the source of support if there are conflicts. The individual who assumes the role of project sponsor would be responsible for Establishing the project goals

Initiating a Software Project

Project Initiating

When a project is being initiated, you want to capture as much information as possible about the project goals. Without a clear picture of what the project is to capture, it's going to be challenging to plan and prepare for your software project. I Conduct interviews This is fundamental business. You and the key stakeholders must meet several times before the project work begins so that you can discuss the project goals and determine whether both parties are in agreement to the project deliverables.

Creating Project Schedules

Now that we have a basic understanding of the cycles of a Visual Basic project, the goals for each cycle and who is responsible for each goal, we can begin to look at making schedules. We will define a schedule as a visual document that allows you to see how you will use the time resource towards accomplishing your goals. A schedule begins with a set of goals that need to be accomplished. Goals can be divided into three priorities high (critical), medium, and low. Each goal will have one or many milestones that will allow us to measure whether we have accomplished this goal or not. We will have a set of resources, which includes time, money, and human resources, which we can use to accomplish our goals. Because there will almost always be limitations placed on what we can do with our resources (there is never enough time ), we must balance our schedule so that the high priority goals are met within the limits of our resources. Low priority goals may not get done, and medium priority...

Project Management Process Groups

Planning The Planning process is the process group of formulating and revising project goals and objectives and creating the project management plan that will be used to achieve the goals the project was undertaken to address. The Planning process group also involves determining alternative courses of action and selecting from among the best of those to produce the project's goals. This process group is where the project requirements are fleshed out and stakeholders are identified. Planning has more processes than any of the other project management process groups. In order to carry out their functions, the Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing process groups all rely on the Planning processes and the documentation produced during the Planning processes. Project managers will perform frequent iterations of the Planning processes prior to project completion. Projects are unique and, as such, have never been done before. Therefore, Planning must encompass all areas of...

Defining PPM and the Tools for PPM

PPM is a set of processes, supported by people and tools, to guide the enterprise in selecting the right projects and the right number of projects, and in maintaining a portfolio of projects that will maximize the enterprise's strategic goals, efficient use of resources, stakeholder satisfaction, and the bottom line.

What is Organizational Project Management

Organizational project management is the systematic management of projects, programs, and portfolios in alignment with the achievement of strategic goals. The concept of organizational project management is based on the idea that there is a correlation between an organization's capabilities in Project Management, Program Management, and Portfolio Management, and its effectiveness in implementing strategy. The degree to which an organization practices this type of project management is referred to as its organizational project management maturity.

Keep everything as simple as it can be

Goal setting, 30 Goldratt, Eliyahu, 47, 53 Governance, 91 Grassroots events, 135 Gulliver, Frank, 126 Salkowitz, Rob, 93 Schachter, Stanley, 37 Scope, changes, 101 Sengupta, Kishore, 20 Sharpe, Paul, 37 Signal to noise, 158 Simple idea capture, 9 Simple process, 15 SMART goals, 23 Strategic goals, 22

Preliminary project plan

Project Goals and Objectives A list of project product goals and objectives as agreed by the program manager and leadership team. The goals and objectives include a high-level definition of the product concept itself. This plan includes several key project management elements, including project goals, team charter, scope of work, schedule, budget, risk management plan, and, most importantly, the project team composition. The project plan provides the project team with purpose, direction, timing requirements, and cost constraints, to the extent possible. Because this is a product development plan, many variables in the project plan may be soft to begin with, then firmed up as the product enters the next gate.

Procedural Documentation

Another important facet of any project management system is to provide the people in the organization with procedural guidelines for how to conduct project-oriented activities and how to communicate in such a multidimensional environment. The project management policies, procedures, forms, and guidelines can provide some of these tools for delineating the process, as well as a format for collecting, processing, and communicating project-related data in an orderly, standardized format. Project planning and tracking, however, involves more than just the generation of paperwork. It requires the participation of the entire project team, including support departments, subcontractors, and top management. It is this involvement of the entire team that fosters a unifying team environment oriented toward the project goals, and ultimately to the personal commitment of the team members to the various tasks within time and budget constraints. The specific benefits of procedural documents,...

Portfolio Rebalancing Recommendations

The purpose of reviews is to ensure that the organization continues to invest in only those portfolio components that support stated strategic goals and objectives, and to verify that those investments remain on-track to achieve stated strategic goals and objectives. Periodically, an output of the review process may be a recommendation to realign or discontinue funding of existing portfolio components. When the portfolio management team recommends that portfolio rebalancing may be necessary, these recommendations are input to the Strategic Change process. The Strategic Change process then determines if a significant change in strategy has occurred, or if the recommended portfolio rebalancing described above is the extent of needed portfolio rebalancing.

EPM Technology Capability

EPM has a broad scope, which includes successfully managing individual projects, understanding relationships among projects, and selecting and monitoring projects based on their fit with strategic goals. The following list categorizes eight common capabilities of EPM technology as they relate to the discipline of project management.

Figure Simulation Model To Teach New Behavior

In the simulation, teams are presented with a variety of situations where they must solve problems that arise during the simulated project. Most of the problems have a behavioral orientation and deal with such areas as team building obtaining and keeping resources dealing with requests from clients, top management, and budgeting personnel and generally living in a matrix organization. Each situation encountered has a limited number of offered solutions, and the team members must agree on one of the possible choices. During the normal play of the simulation, participants are scored on their ability to develop an effective project team and deliver a quality product while satisfying the often conflicting demands of top management, clients, accountants, and other important project stakeholders. The simulation presents situations that emphasize developing skills in the areas of building the project team, motivating the project team, managing diverse personalities on the project team,...

Imposition of Unrealistic Targets

Sound project management practice suggests that project goals (cost, schedule, quality, and functionality) should be determined through a systematic process of understanding customer needs, identifying the best solution, and formal planning. Throughout this process, realistic assumptions about resource availability, quality of materials, and work process (just to name a few factors) should be used. This approach yields a credible estimation of what is reasonably achievable. If this estimation does not meet business goals, then a systematic risk-vs.-return process should be pursued until it can be verified whether or not the targets can be met within a given level of elevated risk. That's the process that should be followed.

Why Project Management

In spite of the fact that the project manager often lacks authority at a level consistent with his or her responsibility, the manager is expected to coordinate and integrate all activities needed to reach the project's goals. In particular, the project form of organization allows the manager to be responsive to the client and to the environment, to identify and correct problems at an early date, to make timely decisions about trade-offs between conflicting project goals, and to ensure that managers of the separate tasks that comprise the project do not optimize the performance of their individual tasks at the expense of the total project that is, that they do not suboptimize.

Selecting and Prioritizing Projects

Here's how our process works The steering committee requests project ideas from the business staff prior to the beginning of the fiscal year. These project ideas are submitted in writing and contain a high-level overview of the project goals, a description of the deliverables, the business justification for the project, a desired implementation date, what the organization stands to gain from implementing the project, a list of the functional business areas affected by the project, and (if applicable) a cost-benefit analysis (I'll talk about that in a bit).

Twelve Tips for Buyers

Align seller's goals with yours This could be a principle of managing vendors. To get the most from your vendors, make sure their goals are aligned with your goals (which should be in sync with the project goals). The terms of the contract should be set up so that all parties win together. The use of incentives, risk-reward scenarios, and requiring accepted deliverables for payment approval are popular techniques here.

The Link Between Portfolio Management and Organizational Governance

Cross Company Portfolio Management

Portfolio management is one of several governance methods used within organizations. Governance is the act of creating and using a framework to align, organize, and execute activities in a collectively coherent and intelligible manner in order to meet goals. Organizational governance establishes the limits of power, rules of conduct, and protocols of work that organizations can use effectively to advance strategic goals and objectives and to realize anticipated benefits.

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.

What Is Portfolio Management

Portfolio management is an approach to achieving strategic goals by selecting, prioritizing, assessing, and managing projects, programs and other related work based upon their alignment and contribution to the organization's strategies and objectives. Portfolio management combines (a) the organization's focus of ensuring that projects selected for investment meet the portfolio strategy with (b) the project management focus of delivering projects effectively and within their planned contribution to the portfolio. Portfolios have a business scope that changes with the strategic goals of the organization.

Six Functions Of Project Management

Leading is motivating people to perform in a manner that contributes towards meeting or exceeding project goals and objectives. It is the only function that occurs throughout the life cycle of a help desk project. It requires not only doing the right things but doing them continuously, from project inception to completion. Leading is also required during the execution of all the other project management functions. Organizing is setting up an infrastructure that efficiently and effectively executes the plan to achieve project goals and objectives. The idea is to maximize the output of resources with minimum investment via communication and coordination.

Overview of the Conceptual Design Stage

When we eventually build our Visual Basic application in the development phase, we will create methods (functions and subs) that allow a user to make a request to our application to perform some service. Thus, redefining our goals in terms of services will allow us to create methods in our Visual Basic application to fulfill the goals.

Maximizing Your Skills

Acquiring the reputation as a skilled, effective project manager. Be aware that your reputation within the company will affect your career. A positive reputation includes the element of reliability. To become a skilled project manager, practice the ideas and techniques that make the process work. To become an effective project manager, keep your goals and deadlines in mind at all times, support your team, and work well with all resources, internal and external.

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