PMP Insights

Scope of Services

Scope of Services

Project Management
The importance of writing a “great” scope of services: How many times are we disappointed because we did not get what we felt we asked for? And how many times have clients and/or other stakeholders told you that their expectations were not met? If you answer “not many,” then you are one of the few people who write very detailed scopes and do not leave much to interpretation and/or to assumptions. More often than not, we look at work, life, ethics and so on throughout own prism, which is normal and helpful because it is what helps us establish relationships with like-minded people, whether they are spouses, friends, or clients and associates. By expressing our opinions and how we see the world, we are sending a message to others of…
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Quality Management Planning

Quality Management Planning

Quality Management
As economies worldwide grow, and manufacturing continues to increase output exponentially in almost every sector, quality control tends, at times, to atrophy and become, to some extent, superfluous. Quality is often relegated to secondary or tertiary levels of importance. This is in large part because reaching production goals, meeting schedules and staying within prescribed budgets are more critical than turning out a good product. In other words, most project manager's focus is almost entirely set on the triple constraints: scope, cost and time. However, we all know that these constraints are only a part of a successful project. This is why we have to have a Quality Management Plan (QMP) in place for all projects, which, at a minimum, must contain Quality Metrics. As I teach in my courses, we…
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Change vs Risk Project Management

Change vs Risk Project Management

Project Management
Change versus Risk:  The quick and straightforward definitions for “Change” and “Risk” are as follows: changes are usually unexpected, and almost always unwelcome, though they need not be. More on that later. “Risks,” on the other hand, are usually identified, qualified, quantified and planned for, to some extent, within the “planned risk response” process. However, there still could be some unforeseen aspects (i.e. changes) in identified risks. Our qualification and quantification of the probability of a risk occurring, as well as their impacts, are, as we all know, estimates and not an exact science. We truly do not know how bad or good a risk will be until it appears and we address it. On the other hand, “changes,” when they occur, almost always automatically come with risks. These can…
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Managing Risk Decreases Stress

Managing Risk Decreases Stress

Risk Management
If you are like me, chances are that most of your stress, the stuff that makes you lose sleep, are things that might happen, but have not yet done so. Sure, there are plenty of things on hand to stress us out, but uncertainty and fear of the unknown are usually at the top of the list for most people. Questions such as - ¨will my project fail altogether?”, “will I lose that key client I really need?”, “will I go over budget on this project?” and so on.   The above and many other questions that go through our mind are ¨risks.” However, so are “positive” uncertainties. Since all is going well on my current project, chances (probability) are high that I will get more work from this client.”…
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The Importance of Project Management Certification

The Importance of Project Management Certification

Project Management
Whether you are considering getting certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP,) or as Agile Certified Professional (PMI.ACP,) or as a PRINCE Practitioner, the benefits to you as well as your employer and/or client are numerous.   In my 30+ years of professional experience, I have been surprised to find that there are so many staff members who carry the title of project manager but do not know the basics of project management, such as developing a project plan, defining the baselines for scope, time and cost, managing changes and risks, as well as other key factors for attaining success in their projects.   Therefore, I am a firm believer that there has to be some sort of licensing process to ensure quality and professionalism in the people we entrust…
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Project Management Fundamentals

Project Management Fundamentals

Project Management
A technique you may utilize to decrease a project's schedule and accelerate task completion with the addition of resources to critical path pursuits or by cutting down on project requirements. Before you begin a project, it's important to be aware of the overall aims of the undertaking, in addition to the scope, deliverables, risks, assumptions, project organization chart, etc.. Each Project has plenty of components. Complex projects are going to have a range of activities running in parallel. The project isn't over when the project targets and objectives are met. Instant access to the important information for architecture and engineering project managers to comprehend the status of their projects like budget control and where projects are regarding profitability. Second that you're seriously interested in the undertaking. Every thriving project is…
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Project Management Change vs. Risk

Project Management Change vs. Risk

FAQs
Change and Risk are similar in the sense that they both deal with uncertainty. In other words, they are both unknowns, which may or may not occur, and they can both have negative and positive impacts on a project. So how do we distinguish them? In the simplest of terms, “risks” can and usually are identified at the beginning of a project, as well as throughout the project, as soon as any potential new risks are identified. However, “change” is unanticipated and, therefore, poses its own unique set of challenges. Whereas a risk, which you identified early in the project cycle, can be addressed through some sort of strategic response (mitigation, transfer, etc.) and monitored through pre-determined triggers, a “change” will occur spontaneously and needs to be addressed as quickly…
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Risk Management is part of everyday life…

Risk Management is part of everyday life…

Risk Management
Whenever I run a project management course or workshop, I always tell people that “Risk Management” is my favorite topic. Unfortunately, I usually do not have the time to explain this clearly, since risk management is just one in a series of knowledge areas critical to any project. Also, my attachment to risk management is personal, but the courses I teach are professional in nature. So why do I find Risk Management so attractive or interesting? Because 1) risk is nothing more than “uncertainty,” which is what we need to deal with on a daily basis; and 2) risk can be an opportunity (positive) as well as a threat (negative risk.) Therefore, in any given situation, we can temper the negative with the positive and, strive for a balance. To…
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Understanding and Accessing Project Risk

Understanding and Accessing Project Risk

Training
Risk is not the enemy! In most languages, the term “risk” carries a very negative connotation. In fact, clients often tell me, whenever I bring up this topic as it relates to their organization or projects, that the term “risk” makes them anxious and they would rather avoid talking about it. However, “risk” is not the problem. Avoiding discussing risks and addressing them is what can get you in deep trouble. First of all, “risk” is just uncertainty. It can be positive uncertainties (opportunities) or negative ones (threats.) Therefore, know that when you start identifying risks, there will be some nice surprises in there. A positive risk or opportunity might be, for example, getting more work later on from a new client, if you perform well for them in the…
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Developing a Project Management Office (PMO) is in itself a Project!

Developing a Project Management Office (PMO) is in itself a Project!

Resources
One of the more exciting parts of the work I do is helping my clients expand their businesses. Whether they buy out another company, open a new office across the country or overseas, or simply increase their staff due to client needs, they recognize the benefits of developing and implementing a PMO. And this “temporary endeavor” is, of course, a project, which needs to be approached as such. However, some of my clients sometimes chuckle when I tell them we need to start with a charter, and then continue on with a project management plan. They see these tools as redundant for an internal PMO. The charter and PM Plan, they believe, is only necessary when running projects for their clients, but both of these documents are essential to be…
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