Working with the Budget

Once in the execution phase, the project budget should already form the baseline for which all project costs are measured. From this point forward, it becomes extremely difficult to turn back. The project manager should understand that the budget is fixed and that no additional funds will be allocated to the project. However, many projects do not follow this route, as many organizations or even their own departments have phenomenal budgets, and can allow for the transfer or re-allocation of...

Outsourcing

One of the options open to project managers is to outsource either (a) part or (b) the entire project to an external contractor. There are a number of reasons why this might look like an attractive option. The decision to outsource to a third party or contractor stems from the realization that the skills and knowledge to achieve a successful outcome do not, and should not, reside in the client's capabilities. It is important to recognize that outsourcing does not reduce risk unless the...

Chapter Becoming an IT Project Manager

We'd all like to be like Tiger Woods or Ernie Els, but we're not, so my answer to you is to get over it. The best we can do is to hit our drive in the fairway, knock an iron shot in the middle of the green, make some putts, and keep grinding away. Who knows where the practice will take you The same applies to project management. I'm a huge fan of project management as a business management discipline all its technologies, processes, techniques, skillsets, tools, and annual conferences make it...

Work Breakdown Structure WBS

Time and time again, project managers get caught up with the notion that every conceivable task should be included in the development of the project WBS. The end result is a big list of tasks that does not reflect what the project manager will be doing. Building a WBS for a major project can be time-consuming but well worth it. I have seen many project managers produce wonderful and complex WBS documents that leave their seniors admiring the detail and staggering results the document describes....

Knowledge of Project Management

The first step for a newcomer to become qualified in project management is to complete a program of education. Meeting with others who are learning about project management is helpful, but it takes time. Alternatively, a prospective project manager can gather the information on his or her own. Those new to the profession don't always need degree programs or pay large sums of money just to learn project management. Many of the world's leading project managers learned their skills and techniques...

Cost and Schedule Variance

Project managers have traditionally always measured the actual project costs to their planned costs as documented in their project plans and budgets. There are a few possible variances a project manager could face. 1. Positive cost variance. This indicates that the project manager is well within spending and is under budget for project tasks or activities. For example, Task G had 6,000 planned against it, but only 4,800 was spent on this task. This indicates a positive variance of 1,200. 2....

Strategic Leadership

All companies require that the overall strategy be driven from the top of the company in order for projects to be successful. The organizational executive team usually provides the leadership for the overall business and IT strategy. Before any project is even considered, the executive team must assess and align the solution against the business and IT strategy, before committing any project resources to it. Companies can achieve this by formulating a strategy steering committee, which is...

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...