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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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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Love Learning on Your Own Terms

Yes, I admit it, I love learning.  I’m an avid reader and I enjoy both in class and virtual learning experiences but I must say, I prefer the online environment to the physical classroom environment for project management learning. I know the arguments that critics have about it … it doesn’t have the same social bonding benefits as meeting face-to-face, it’s hard to demonstrate skills, it’s not as fun, etc. And I admit that there are some people it doesn’t work for. But to many others (especially those who are computer savvy, good readers, and self-motivated) it is a valuable learning method.  Consider the benefits! The Internet is the Work Field for Project Management Learning… Read More

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Hold a GREAT Meeting

Ask most people to describe meetings at work, and they will probably say “boring,” or “worthless.” But, holding a great meeting isn’t unattainable with these tips in mind. G – Goals for the meeting should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound.   SMART goals are very appropriate for meetings but often not the best approach for people’s goals. People’s goals should be HARD: heartfelt, animated, required, and difficult. R – Roles and Rules: Roles should be rotated among project team members so that everyone gets an opportunity to show leadership. Make sure to invite someone who is a decision maker.  Ground-rules for discussion should be agreed upon beforehand so the items discussed get accomplished. E… Read More

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Personal Time Management

Personal Time Management is a subset of project time management, but an important topic for project managers where tips can be tremendously useful.  Our brains need to focus and remember in order to be productive in our work. So with today’s technology, how do we discipline ourselves to focus until we complete a task? Here’s some great tips: Separate the projects from the tasks on your to-do list.  Projects do not belong in your task list. Projects will have surprises, and need to be broken down into tasks to be worked (which do go on the task list).  Tasks take less than a few hours, and can be completed alone in one sitting. If… Read More

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