Earned Value – What is it?

Earned Value Earned value (EV) is one of the most sophisticated and accurate methods for measuring and controlling project schedules and budgets. EV has been used extensively in large projects, especially in government projects. PMI is a strong supporter of the EV approach because of its ability to accurately monitor the schedule and cost variances for complex projects. Although it is sophisticated, EV can be scaled to be appropriate for any size of project. The key is in the project planning. There are three primary advantages of using EV: Accuracy in reporting Ability to deal with the uneven rate of project expenditures and work The early warning it provides project… Read More

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Project Management Confidence

Project Management Confidence If you have been a project manager for any length of time, your confidence has probably been shaken at some point.  When this happens, it can result in a lack of confidence in yourself.  This lack of confidence hurts you, but it also hurts your team members who need you to be confident. You’re their leader after all, and they want you to have strong self-esteem, a vision and the confidence to lead. Obsessing over our personal and organizational shortcomings can trap us. We may think that obsessing is good, that it helps us truly learn from our past mistakes. But, if you are not careful, it… Read More

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Building a Better WBS

Building a better what?   The WBS – work breakdown structure is an incredibly powerful tool in the Project Manager’s Toolkit. But, what the heck is it?  In a nutshell, it is the foundation of the project plan. Creating a work breakdown structure (WBS) helps you consider both the details and the big picture when planning a project.  Keep the following tips in mind to help you build a better WBS. Structure is not a statement. The work breakdown structure is often confused with scope statement. Both come early in a project’s lifecycle. WBS is an outline of work to be done and is a component of the scope statement.… Read More

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Six Trends in Store for Project Management (Part 3)

It’s exciting to think about what global trends and technological changes are out there and how they will impact our profession.  The potential for advancements and improvements in our ability to complete SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS is encouraging.  Over the past few weeks, we have explored emerging trends in employment and learning, emerging tools, artificial intelligence and the changing face of teams.  In my final post of this series, I’d like to explore the Impacts of Big Data/Analytics/Cyber Security and the increasing influence of Women in Project Management. Impact of Big Data/Analytics/Cyber Security We are all overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data coming at us. The demand for products, for performance, for… Read More

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Six Trends in Store for Project Management (Part 2)

In my first blog post exploring trends in project management, we looked at employment trends and trends in new ways of learning.  In this second post let’s explore two more trends including emerging tools, artificial intelligence and the changing face of teams.   Emerging Tools/ Artificial Intelligence It seems like there is an app for everything and project management is no exception.  I cannot tell you how frustrating it is as a project manager to get bogged down with simple repetitive tasks that are tedious and boring. Enter AI – you hear it being discussed everywhere and it’s only going to become more pervasive.  “An Accenture survey of 2,000 top-level… Read More

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Six Trends in Store for Project Management?

Reviewing the new PMBOK® guide, I notice they now include a section in each chapter covering emerging trends in project management.  I love this addition!  It’s exciting to think about what global trends and technological changes are out there and how they will impact our profession and the potential for advancements and improvements in our ability to complete SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS. As I reflect on this topic, I thought I would use my next few blog posts to highlight six trends that I find relevant and exciting.  Project management is positioned to be a perfect vehicle to turn an organizations’ strategy into tangible results.  And, truly effective organizations will make sure… Read More

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Making Projects Successful in an Uncertain World

As the Project Manager, you guide your team in planning and executing their projects.  Managing risk appropriately is what makes projects successful in an uncertain world. Think about it. How often is a project implemented in an environment that isn’t filled with instability, assumptions, change, unexpected circumstances, and risk? Probably never. That is why project risk management is essential to successful implementation and in setting realistic expectations. Risk management provides the basis upon which to identify risks, estimate the amount of cost and schedule contingency reserves that are needed to cover risk responses, and to provide a level of confidence for meeting project objectives. At each stage of your project’s… Read More

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University of Wisconsin-Superior offers Certificate in Project Management

  Project Management Certificate Program Now Being Offered at University of Wisconsin-Superior The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin Superior and Successful Projects recently launched a certificate program for people who are interested in expanding their knowledge and skills in project management.  “New participants may contact us now and start the program at any time.”, says Andy Donahue, who was instrumental in bringing the program into the University. “This Project Management Certificate is a blended program providing online learning with a personable component. The program includes scheduled individual instructor sessions that provide a personal coaching relationship with a credentialed and experienced instructor. As we… Read More

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Validate Critical Data

“Validate Critical Data”.  I don’t remember what wise mentor I learned this from but it is one of those sayings that always goes through my head when I’m jumping into a new project. After many years it continues to be an important part of my project management success (when it is done right) and an unfortunate contributor to my project failures when it is neglected. Below are some keys to correctly validating critical data. The word critical is not excess fluff in this phrase. You shouldn’t try to validate all information – just the information that has been handed to you that affects your project approach. Usually, it involves getting the right information about the project deliverables, scope, schedule and… Read More

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