Truthful Reporting

As a project manager, you are responsible for truthfully reporting all information in your possession to stakeholders, customers, the project sponsor, and the public when required. Always be up front regarding the project's progress. Tell the truth regarding project status, even when things don't look good. Stakeholders will likely go to great lengths to help you solve problems or brainstorm solutions. Sometimes, though, the call needs to be made to kill the project. This decision is usually...

There Ought to Be a

The importance of practicing sound project management techniques has grown significantly over the past several years. The state of Colorado recently passed legislation requiring project managers on large projects conducted by state employees or vendors working on behalf of the state to be certified in project management best practices. This was an attempt to increase the probability of project success and reduce risk. We all know that certified project managers are not a guarantee of project...

The project cost management plan is established using the WBS and its associated control accounts

Control thresholds Most actual project costs do not match the estimate exactly. The control threshold refers to the amount of variance the sponsor or stakeholders are willing to allow before action is required. Document the threshold amount as a percentage of deviation allowed from the cost performance baseline. Rules of performance measurement This component of the cost management plan refers to how you will set the earned value management measurements. It's here you'll document where the...

Project Time Management

The Project Time Management Knowledge Area has six processes, as shown in Table 2.3. This Knowledge Area is concerned with estimating the duration of the project plan activities, devising a project schedule, and monitoring and controlling deviations from the schedule. Collectively, this Knowledge Area deals with completing the project in a timely manner. Time management is an important aspect of project management because it concerns keeping the project activities on track and monitoring those...

Exam Essentials

Be able to name the nine Project Management Knowledge Areas. The nine Project Management Knowledge Areas are Project Integration Management, Project Scope Management, Project Time Management, Project Cost Management, Project Quality Management, Project Human Resource Management, Project Communications Management, Project Risk Management, and Project Procurement Management. Be able to distinguish between the seven needs or demands that bring about project creation. The seven needs or demands...

Budgeting Skills

Project managers establish and manage budgets and therefore need some knowledge of finance and accounting principles. Especially important in this skill area is the ability to perform cost estimates for project budgeting. Different methods are available to determine the project costs. They range from estimating individual activities and rolling the estimates up to estimating the project's cost in one big chunk. I'll discuss these methods more fully in later chapters. After a budget is...

Approved Change Requests

Approved change requests come about as a result of the change request status updates output of the Perform Integrated Change Control process. (We'll cover this process in Chapter 10, Measuring and Controlling Project Performance). Change requests are approved or denied during this process, and once the decision has been made, approved changes come back through the Direct and Manage Project Execution process for the project team to implement. Approved changes might either expand or reduce...

Contingency time See reserve time

Continuous improvement Continuous improvement involves everyone in the organization watching for ways to improve quality, whether incrementally or by incorporating new ideas into the process. This involves taking measurements, improving processes by making them repeatable and systemized, reducing variations in production or performance, reducing defects, and improving cycle times. TQM and Six Sigma are examples of continuous improvement. The Kaizen approach is a quality technique from Japan...

Tools and Techniques of Direct and Manage Project Execution

The tools and techniques of the Direct and Manage Project Execution process are expert judgment and project management information system. You've looked at both of these before. Remember that in the Executing processes, you'll be actively using both of these tools, consulting with stakeholders, professionals, and others and employing the project management methodology you've developed in the Planning process and using the project management information system to update and track progress. Some...

Skills Every Good Project Manager Needs

Many times, organizations will knight their technical experts as project managers. The skill and expertise that made them stars in their technical fields are mistakenly thought to translate into project management skills. This is not necessarily so. Project managers are generalists with many skills in their repertoires. They are also problem solvers who wear many hats. Project managers might indeed possess technical skills, but technical skills are not a prerequisite for sound project...

Project Management Knowledge

Project management is a growing field. Part of your responsibility as a PMP is to stay abreast of project management practices, theories, and techniques. You can do this in many ways, one of which includes joining a local PMI chapter. There are hundreds of local chapters throughout the United States and in other countries as well. You can check the PMI website (www.pmi.org) to find a chapter near you. Chapter meetings give you the opportunity to meet other project managers, find out what...

Project Management Plan and Project Document Updates

As we've discussed throughout the book, the management plans created that document how the schedule, budget, quality, procurement, and human resources will be defined, managed, and controlled on the project become subsidiary plans to the project management plan. Any and all of these management plans may require updates after you perform the risk processes. In addition, the WBS, the schedule baseline, and cost performance baseline may require updates as well. Other project documents, such as...

Its imperative that the project manager and project team are aware of any contract agreements that might impact the

Depending on the size of the organization, administering the contract might fall to someone in the procurement department. This doesn't mean you're off the hook as the project manager. It's still your responsibility to oversee the process and make sure the project objectives are being met, regardless of whether a vendor is performing the activities or your project team members are performing the activities. You'll be the one monitoring the performance of the vendor and informing them when and...

Organizational and Planning Skills

Organizational and planning skills are closely related and probably the most important skills, after communication skills, a project manager can possess. Organization takes on many forms. As project manager, you'll have project documentation, requirements information, memos, project reports, personnel records, vendor quotes, contracts, and much more to track and be able to locate at a moment's notice. You will also have to organize meetings, put together teams, and perhaps manage and organize...

Creating the Project Cost Management Plan

You now have an exhaustive breakdown of project activities, and you have some pretty good duration estimates. Now the question that's forever on the mind of the executive management staff How much is it going to cost The purpose of the Estimate Costs process is to answer that question. Every project has a budget, and part of completing a project successfully is completing it within the approved budget. Sometimes project managers are not responsible for the budget portion of the project. This...

Organizational Process Asset Updates

Organizational process assets updates consist of organizational policies, procedures, and so on. Three elements of this output relate to contracts Correspondence Correspondence is information that needs to be communicated in writing to either the seller or the buyer. Examples include changes to the contract, clarification of contract terms, results of buyer audits and inspections, and notification of performance issues. You'll use correspondence to inform the vendor if their performance is...

Stakeholder Register and Strategy

Stakeholder classification Stakeholders can be classified according to their relationship to the organization (internal or external for example) and, more importantly, whether they support the project, are resistant to the project, or have no opinion. The stakeholder management strategy is the documented approach you'll use to minimize negative impacts or influences that stakeholders may have throughout the life of the project. You could use a spreadsheet approach similar to the stakeholder...

Modeling and Simulation

Modeling and simulation techniques are often used for schedule risk analysis and cost analysis. For example, modeling allows you to translate the potential risks at specific points in the project into their impacts so you can determine how the project objectives are affected. Simulation techniques compute the project model using various inputs, such as cost or schedule duration, to determine a probability distribution for the variable chosen. (Cost risks typically use either a work breakdown...

Answers to Review Questions

Integration occurs when resources, equipment, or property are reassigned or redeployed back to the organization or to another project. 2. A. Starvation occurs because the project no longer receives the resources needed to continue. Resources could include people, equipment, money, and the like. 3. A. Extinction is the best type of project end because it means the project was completed successfully and accepted by the sponsor or customer. 4. C. The project manager is responsible for...

Key Terms

Accurately planning a project budget and schedule is one of the most difficult tasks you'll face as a project manager. Know the processes I've discussed and the terms used to identify them in the PMBOK Guide. Here's a list of the schedule planning processes you'll need to be successful. Define Activities Sequence Activities Estimate Activity Resources Estimate Activity Durations Develop Schedule You've also learned a lot of new key words in this chapter. PMI has worked hard to develop and...

Outputs of Develop Project Team

You're now ready to close out the Develop Project Team process. This process has only two outputs, team performance assessment and enterprise environmental factors updates. Team performance assessments involves determining a team's effectiveness. As a result of positive team-building experiences, you'll see individuals improving their skills, team behaviors and relationships improving, conflict resolutions going smoothly, and team members recommending ways to improve the work of the project. I...

Critical Path Method

Critical path method (CPM) is a schedule network analysis technique. It determines the amount of float, or schedule flexibility, for each of the network paths by calculating the earliest start date, earliest finish date, latest start date, and latest finish date for each activity. This is a schedule network analysis technique that relies on sequential networks (one activity occurs before the next, a series of activities occurring concurrently is completed before the next series of activities...

Review Questions

You are a project manager for Laredo Pioneer's Traveling Rodeo Show. You're heading up a project to promote a new line of souvenirs to be sold at the shows. You are getting ready to write the project management plan and know that all the following are true regarding the PMIS except for one. Which of the following is not true A. The PMIS is a tool and technique of this process. B. The configuration management system is a subsystem of the PMIS. C. The PMIS includes a change control system. D. The...

Plan Communications Inputs

About communication decisions on past projects and their results. Why reinvent the wheel If something didn't work well on a past project, you'd want to know that before implementing that procedure on this project, so review past project documentation. The project management plan is not an input to this process, but you'll recall that it defines how the subsidiary plans will be defined and integrated into the overall project management plan. As such, it's rich with constraints and assumptions...

Project Case study New Kitchen Heaven Retail store

You are a project manager for Kitchen Heaven, a chain of retail stores specializing in kitchen utensils, cookware, dishes, small appliances, and some gourmet foodstuffs, such as bottled sauces and spices. You're fairly new to the position, having been hired to replace a project manager who recently retired. Kitchen Heaven currently owns 49 stores in 34 states and Canada. The world headquarters for Kitchen Heaven is in Denver, Colorado. Counting full-time and part-time employees, the company...

Cost plus percentage of cost CPCC See cost plus fee CPF

Cost reimbursable contract This type of contract charges the allowable costs associated with producing the goods or services of the project to the buyer. cost variance (CV) This is an earned value analysis technique that determines whether costs are higher or lower than budgeted during a given period of time CV EV - AC. cost-benefit analysis This compares the financial benefits to the company of performing the project to the costs of implementing the project. crashing Crashing is a compression...

Project Champion

The project champion is another strong project supporter. Unlike the sponsor, the project champion doesn't necessarily have a lot of authority or executive powers. The champion helps focus attention on the project from a technical perspective. The project champion is usually someone with a great deal of technical expertise or industry knowledge regarding the project. They can lend credibility to the viability of the project and to the skills and abilities of the key project team members to...

Communications Management Plan

There are two outputs to the Plan Communications process. They are communications management plan and product document updates. The updates that may be required as a result of performing this process are the project schedule, the stakeholder register, and the stakeholder management strategy. Let's take a closer look at the details of the communications management plan. All projects require sound communication plans, but not all projects will have the same types of communication or the same...

Project Management Offices

The project management office (PMO) is usually a centralized organizational unit that oversees the management of projects and programs throughout the organization. The most common reason a company starts a project management office is to establish and maintain procedures and standards for project management methodologies and to manage resources assigned to the projects in the PMO. In some organizations, project managers and team members might report directly to the PMO and are assigned to...

Selecting and Prioritizing Projects

Most organizations don't have the luxury of performing every project that's proposed. Even consulting organizations that sell their project management services must pick and choose the projects on which they want to work. Selection methods help organizations decide among alternative projects and determine the tangible benefits to the company of choosing or not choosing the project. Project selection methods will vary depending on the company, the people serving on the selection committee, the...

Project Statement of Work

The project statement of work (SOW) describes the product, service, or result the project was undertaken to complete. When the project is internal, this document is usually written by either the project sponsor or the initiator of the project. When the project is external to the organization, the buyer typically writes the SOW. For example, suppose you work for a consulting firm and have been assigned as the project manager for a project your company is performing on contract. The customer, the...

WBS Templates

Work breakdown structures can be constructed using WBS templates or the WBS from a similar completed project. Although every project is unique, many companies and industries perform the same kind of projects repeatedly. The deliverables are similar from project to project, and they generally follow a consistent path. WBS templates can be used in a case like this as a tool to simplify the WBS process, saving the project manager time. Don't get too carried away when creating a WBS. The object is...

Process Interactions

We've covered a lot of material, but I'll explain one more concept before concluding. As stated earlier, project managers must determine the processes that are appropriate for effectively managing a project based on the complexity and scope of the project, available resources, budget, and so on. As the project progresses, the project management processes might be revisited and revised to update the project management plan as more information becomes known. Underlying the concept that process...

Industry Knowledge

Contributing and applying professional knowledge goes beyond project management experience. You likely have specific industry or technical experience as well. Part of applying your professional knowledge includes gaining knowledge of your particular industry and keeping others informed of advances in these areas. Information technology has grown exponentially over the past several years. It used to be that if you specialized in network operations, for example, it was possible to learn and...

Assessment Test

The project sponsor has approached you with a dilemma. The CEO announced at the annual stockholders meeting that the project you're managing will be completed by the end of this year. The problem is that this is six months prior to the scheduled completion date. It's too late to go back and correct her mistake, and stockholders are expecting implementation by the announced date. You must speed up the delivery date of this project. Your primary constraint before this occurred was the budget....

Precedence Diagramming Method PDM

The precedence diagramming method (PDM) is what most project management software programs use to sequence activities. Precedence diagrams use boxes or rectangles to represent the activities (called nodes). The nodes are connected with arrows showing the dependencies between the activities. This method is also called activity on node (AON). The minimum information that should be displayed on the node is the activity name, but you might put as much information about the activity on the node as...

Project Management Process Groups

Don't confuse project phases and life cycles with the project management process groups. Project phases and life cycles describe how the work Let's start with a high-level overview of each process group. The remainder of this book will cover each of these processes in detail. If you want to peek ahead, Appendix A lists each of the process groups, the individual processes that make up each process group, and the Knowledge Areas in which they belong. (I'll introduce Knowledge Areas in the section...

Team Building and Motivating Skills

Project managers will rely heavily on team-building and motivational skills. Teams are often formed with people from different parts of the organization. These people might or might not have worked together before, so some component of team-building groundwork might involve the project manager. The project manager will set the tone for the project team and will help the team members work through the various stages of team development to become fully functional. Motivating the team, especially...

Planning Processes

Table A.2 lists the inputs, tools and techniques, outputs, and Knowledge Areas for the processes in the Planning process group. Process Name Develop Project charter Expert judgment Project manage- Integration TABLE A.2 Planning Processes continued Define Scope Project charter Expert judgment Project scope Scope Requirements Product analysis Project document Enterprise environ- Rolling wave Activity attributes Project schedule Time network diagrams Estimate Activity Activity list Resources...