Project Managers are involved with managing and controlling quality processes all the time while running their projects. But what about the cost of achieving acceptable quality or the price you pay for not stopping poor quality from reaching a customer? This concept is known as the “cost of quality” and is crucial to understand for the PMP exam and beyond.
In project management, “quality” refers to meeting or exceeding the expectations you establish with your client. If your deliverables meet or exceed expectations, they are high quality. If they don’t, they are low quality.
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A picture is worth a thousand words. The flowchart, a project management tool, exemplifies that saying with the power to quickly convey complex information using a diagram. A flowchart can not only convey interconnecting steps but be used in monitoring progress and periodic status reporting. When preparing for the Project Management Professional® (PMP) exam, project managers should know the Seven Management and Planning Tools, including the flowchart, by definition and application within the context of project work.
Project teams need to actively identify a problem and understand the root cause of the problem if they are to solve it. In the Project Management Professional ® (PMP) certification exam, the “cause and effect” diagram is a tool used to better understand the root of a problem.
To understand the impact of a scatter diagram, it is important to know the correlation between the data sets has the most meaning. Also, knowing how the data correlates aids with determining the type of scatter diagram. When preparing for the PMP exam, project managers should know the three categories of scatter diagrams based on correlation:
A matrix diagram for the Project Management Professional® (PMP) holder is one of the Seven Quality Tools used for data collection and analysis. It is the arrangement of data in the matrix diagram that reveals “the strength of relationships between factors, causes, and objectives.” It is also an important concept that could be asked about on the PMP exam. Knowledge of the matrix diagram for the PMP exam encompasses (1) knowing how to use it on the job as a project manager and (2) understanding its value as a quality tool for the exam.
Project Management Professional® (PMP) holders know it is a data-driven world. They also know data thrown at them for a project, or the data collected during a project is not always immediately clear nor easy to connect to project work. Using tools like an affinity diagram, can not only solve an immediate data problem but can also build teams through the collaborative process to create it.
Project management is challenging because things don’t always go as planned. Changes to your project scope or deliverables can happen through gold plating or scope creep. Avoiding these will prevent delays, increased costs, and other project management issues.
Ever use that old saying, “a lot is at stake” when speaking to the impact an event can have on others? Stake refers to something to gain or lose; a stake in a new business means you want it to be profitable. A stake in a game can be a bet on the final score. Within any project, there are Stakeholders; entities to which there is an impact depending on the outcome of the project. Whether you are a practicing Project Manager seeking to enhance your understanding of this important tool or a newer Project Manager prepping for your Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification exam, knowing who is a stakeholder and documenting key information in a register will benefit your work. Let’s dive in and see how to create a Stakeholder Register and explore it’s value.
Project Managers know how clients will react when presented with large amounts of data in the form of a spreadsheets with hundreds (better yet, thousands!) of rows of numbers with no context or clear meaning; it will not be a reaction of gratitude. On the other hand, if that same large dataset is presented using data visualization and a quality tool, like a histogram, then the client will be able to see the connection to the project decision needed. Histograms are a statistical tool included in the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification exam as they are used by project managers to plan and manage quality.
The Project Management Professional (PMP)© certification is well-respected industry-wide as a credential proving project management expertise and experience. Its many benefits, including professional development and career advancement, make it a highly valued certification. However, the PMP certification is not easy to earn. The PMP exam is rigorous and challenging, which leaves many PMP exam applicants wondering: what is the PMP passing score?
What are the Project Management Professional (PMP) knowledge areas, and are they still relevant to the new PMP exam? In the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) most recent update to the PMP exam, some familiar concepts may seem to have “disappeared.” While the PMP exam now focuses on three domains with various tasks, enablers, and tools, this does not mean information about process groups and knowledge areas is now obsolete.
Experiments are not just for scientists; they are in fact a tool project managers and engineers have used for years to better understand and refine processes. In the context of project management, an experiment is not in a secret lab with bubbling liquid in beakers; instead, the testing is done in a controlled manufacturing setting. In project management, the quality planning tool of setting up tests for a process is known as “Design of Experiments.”
As a Project Management Professional (PMP), influence diagrams are a valuable tool for illustrating influences on a project or project element. Project Management Academy can help you break down the influence diagram PMP significance in more detail. Understanding PMP influence diagrams can help as you study for the PMP exam and manage actual projects.
As you look at your recipe and then at your motley collection of ingredients, you realize you are missing many required ingredients. No butter, but would the olive oil work instead? If ketchup is needed, and you have tomato sauce and vinegar, could you create the needed ingredient? How fast could an online delivery service come and is it worth the added cost? Perhaps you ignore it all and just order a pizza delivery. Or you give up and munch on a stale cracker until you have exactly the ingredients as listed. How would you deal with this situation? The ability to pivot effectively to evolving situations is one of today’s most sought after skill sets: adaptability.
On November 18th, Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber released a new version of the Scrum Guide – the definitive source for Scrum. While there are a number of people who have done comprehensive reviews of the changes and debated in excruciating detail the meaning behind each of these changes (see this article by Johnannes Geske for a side-by-side comparison), that is not my intent with this commentary. Instead, I want to give you a few things that I like about the updates and a few things that will challenge most organizations as they continue to seek the most effective way to deliver value to their customers.
When the project is done, it is easy to simply slip into planning for the next project, whether because you have pressing deadlines, or you are looking for the next challenge. Seasoned project managers know the risk of skipping the project close, or postmortem, and ensure that they and their teams always take time to reflect, share insights, and document lessons learned. With the increase in remote teams, Project Managers must blend best practices for project close meetings with considerations of virtual meetings.
Project Managers know that change is inevitable, and that it can be a barrier to goals or a window for opportunity. The other word for change is “disruption” and it is often used in the context of industries; new products disrupting the market, or new services disrupting exiting ones. Well known examples of industry disruption include Netflix, Amazon, and Uber. However, disruption is by no means limited to industries; it happens at the career level as well. Project Managers who can seize disruption as an opportunity will have more career longevity.
Whether you are pursuing a Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, looking to record your Professional Development Units (PDUs), or interested in any type of project management training, knowing how to describe and document your project management experience is essential. Your PMA experts can help you break down what PMP experience examples should look like.
In marketing, best practice is to understand your customer to make an emotional connection leading to brand loyalty. In sales, the customer relationship is paramount; lose that trust and you lose business. In project management, the customer’s needs should be paramount, but sadly are often lost in the cacophony of voices from various stakeholders. Project Managers can enjoy more successful project outcomes and yes even “repeat business” when they put the user first. The User Story tool is a great way to ensure all team members have a shared understanding of the work at hand.
In the past, our company has seen success through referrals and a small amount of marketing. When we decided to take it up a notch to be more intentional in our growth, we reached out to Barb Bertsch, a marketing wiz, to evaluate our efforts.
Virtual or video interviews had already become a norm in the interview process back in 2015, when
One of the most important questions a project manager can ask, regardless of the methodology practiced or size of the business is: “What is the business reason for this work?”. And if the answer is, “because the CEO (or any high-ranking leader) said so,” the project manager most likely is facing endless challenges trying to force something to come together than really has no proven purpose. On the other hand, if the answer is, “because the work aligns with the business strategy in this way…” then the project manager will likely have less barriers and more success. Alignment with strategic objectives can result in projects that are three times more likely to be successful.
Many of us would agree that when you are trying to implement a large change, start small. Just as it is easier to swallow a small pill than a huge one, the ability to adopt and sustain change is often simpler when the change involves baby steps.
Those with Project Manager responsibilities in their work may be responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars of company budget, be overseeing the work efforts of dozens of people or multiple teams yet have no formal authority within the organization. This is one of the challenges of project management, that you cannot depend on your place in the hierarchy or your title to convince others to follow your lead in reaching the desired business outcome. Influence is the way the most successful of project managers are able to navigate organizational structures and motivate team members. Being able to influence towards positive outcomes can help project managers to reach formal leadership roles. It is a leadership skill that serves all project managers throughout their careers.
Regardless of the drivers of the team or how it was formed, completing training together has benefits for the individuals, the group, and the larger organization. Employees who go through training as a team are more likely to have higher morale and deliver better work faster.
Critical skills are those that apply across industries, across roles, and in any size organization; emotional intelligence (“EQ”) is a critical skill. Project Management, a skill that fits within any industry, most roles, and any size organization, has wide professional applications. As such, emotional intelligence as a skill has great significance for any Project Manager who has any interaction with any other human. EQ matters for all Project Managers who enjoy success.
What all professionals need, those with formal Project Management titles and those without, is a keen understanding of what makes a business function and how that business fits into the relevant industry. That understanding is known as “business acumen.” Consider this scenario:
Pursuing a professional certification, such as those awarded by Project Management Institute® (PMI)® and International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA)®, is no small undertaking. It requires focus, determination, and tenacity.
An article published this week on HBR.org indirectly identified another casualty of low psychological safety: future leadership.
As you would approach any high impact effort, you need a plan for your own professional development. Your Project Management Skill Development plan should be more than just “get a new job!” which in fact, is a desired outcome not a plan. Carefully consider your goals, resources, and timeline to create a measurable and actionable skill development plan. To keep your career on track, including a job change or advancement, apply your project management skills to your own development.
The Daily Stand-Up or Stand-Up is baked into Agile, with the team gathering every day for a focused review of tasks. The daily team meeting is by no means limited to those formally practicing an Agile methodology, project teams across industries hold them. A time to connect with each other, to refocus on the immediate work ahead, to recognize recent success, and to address current barriers; the daily team meeting or Stand-Up is a go-to tool for project managers.
I’ve delivered a number of presentations this year on the importance of building psychological safety within project teams and the role which project managers play. During these presentations I’m frequently asked the question “How do I go about creating it?“. While there are existing models such as Timothy R. Clark’s progressive four stage model, a simple three step approach which I support is to Plan It, Live It and Champion It. I will cover these steps within my upcoming articles.
How a business is structured can impact efficiencies, and Project Managers need deep understanding of the organizational structure to successfully realize the best project outcomes. A common model is the “matrixed” organization, in which employees have both departmental and functional managers. In a matrixed organizational structure, an employee has a primary manager plus one or more project managers they work under, and skills are the driving factor. To understand matrix, you must also know of the “functional” approach in which employees are organized by the work output type, such as marketing, R&D, and finance. It is possible to have a hybrid organization with both matrix and functional structures. Matrix vs. Functional Organizational Structure If you are familiar with the 1999 movie “The Matrix,” the protagonist Neo is given a choice of the red pill or the blue pill and learning more about the reality of his existence. Project Managers may not be saving all of humanity from an evil software program like Neo, but they do need to make choices and navigate complicated situations. You need to know the different in matrix and functional organizations because it directly impacts how project teams are formed, supported, and work is tracked.
While there are many cases where we might have to use our powers of influence and persuasion to sell stakeholders on supporting what we feel is the right thing, I thought I’d share three specific examples which might be a much harder sell than usual.
Regardless of your company or industry, 2020 changed lives and careers. For Project Managers, the challenges of guiding a team through work processes are now heavily impacted by changes in team member’s personal environment in addition to changes in the business. To navigate 2021, Project Managers must balance management and leadership skills, and know when to apply either or both.
One of the most powerful advantages of being a Project Manager is that it is a skill set not confined to any industry or business type. The Project Management Institute (PMI) research indicates that project management-oriented careers in seven sectors are expected to grow by 33%, or nearly 22 million jobs, through 2027. In the next seven years, that means employers will need 88 million people for project management jobs; that is great news for job seekers and also indicative of a very competitive landscape. All levels and tenures of Project Managers should actively seek training and Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification to maintain their professional edge.
Gaining marketable skills, earning a globally recognized certification, and learning from verified training providers, is the best way to invest your personal training budget. Working towards a Project Manager Professional (PMP ®) certification, with PMP holders earning 25% more than counterparts without it, is an important professional goal. Make sure that you are informed about the PMP process and your training investment will have the needed returns. With the PMP® certification exam changing on Jan. 2, 2021, all project managers should know the content changes and how to prepare for exam.
A question which I’m asked regularly during my classes is what the best place is to start an agile transformation within a company? Given a choice, I’d prefer to use the cop-out (but correct) answer “It depends”, but otherwise I usually respond that you’d want to do both a top-down and bottom-up approach simultaneously.
After deciding to invest in your professional development, you can maximize your investment by setting yourself up for successful comprehension of the course content by improving how you take notes during your class. Your personal note taking style, the format in which you take notes and what you do with those notes, can have a direct impact on how much you gain from a training. In fact, the >act of taking notes can increase the chance of remembering the information by as much as 34%, in contrast to a mere 5% chance of remembering without note taking.
What is LinkedIn LinkedIn is a network founded in 2002 with a focus on career development, job advancement, and professional networking. It’s power of influence is supported by the $26.2 billion price tag Microsoft paid for it in 2016. Unlike Facebook, Instagram or other social networks, Linked is an “employment-related social network” offering members professional profiles, supported by job postings, job applications, company profiles, and networking.
Are you one of the 1,000,000+ Project Management Professionals (PMP)® who are thinking about your next career development move to stay fresh, keep current, reinvent yourself, or just refine your knowledge in a professional area of interest? That’s good. Because this is not the time to let your skills stagnate and there are so many opportunities for enhancing your value proposition in the project economy!
Teams that seek to deliver quality, tested deliverables in as short a timeframe as possible are likely already using Agile practices even if they do not know it. The Agile Project Management framework in fact leverages practices that are so common that they do not have an “origin” story, such as prioritization, stand-up meetings, and visual management of tasks. However, the formal Agile Project Management has become tightly connected to software development and projects within the Information Technology (IT) space. When considering whether to “go Agile,” it’s important to understand Agile Project Management as a methodology and in a business context.
The time you spend to ensure you have effective and efficient status reporting, will benefit you in current projects and beyond. Use the three tips below to take a careful look at your current reporting and find ways to make it move from a “yellow” or “red” status to “green” thus ensuring better communications in all aspects of your projects.
In 2015 I wrote an article intending to debunk some common myths about project management. Like many of you, I spent a reasonable amount of time during my first few years participating in online forums correcting agile misconceptions. Unfortunately, just like lopping heads off the Hydra, every time I’d address one myth, a short time later it would re-emerge. Recognizing the futility of trying to permanently suppress fallacies, I stopped responding to such discussions. However, as I would still like to help, writing an article on five of the most common agile myths will give me a reference to provide to folks in the future.
As the job market evolves, you should always be working on keeping skills fresh and expertise sharp. A Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification enhances the professional standing of anyone, regardless of whether your official title is “project manager” or if project management is a skill set within many you have. Research for the U.S. suggests PMP certification holders earn 25% more than counterparts without the designation. The PMP exam is a challenging experience that requires good planning for a successful outcome.
If you have ever planned a family event, arranged for friends to do an activity together, completed a residential move, you have conducted project management. It is a skill set used every day across the world in countless ways, but the formal recognition of it as a profession unto itself occurred in the mid-20th century. Project Management encompasses balancing a project’s timeframe, budget and overall scope as the team works to meet its objectives. The international governing body of Project Management, Project Management Institute (PMI) defines project management as:
With Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Authorized Training Partners (ATP) program, you can be confident that your training content and instructors align with industry standards and credential testing. Whether you are looking for training for your Project Management Office, your department, your team, or yourself, the ATP program ensures content consistency and quality.
It would be an understatement to say that project managers have had to deal with a lot of change this year. Projects have had their budgets vastly reduced or been cancelled outright, and remote work has become the norm rather than the exception. We are still far from the end of the pandemic, but in those areas where they have successfully flattened their first waves, some companies are starting to encourage their staff to return to the office.
Everything is ready for your Project Kick Off: a scope statement, a defined process for approvals, a documented change process, and a detailed Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Everything will go exactly as planned from Day One, right? Uh, likely not. Project Managers have to manage the change requests guaranteed to come from the start. The skill of managing change requests is known as “managing scope” and being good at that can protect the project manager and the performing organization. Managing Project Scope effectively can also keep your projects out of the 71% that fail.
It is hard to count the times I have been asked, “what is the best project management software?” with the implied belief that the right software will ensure project success. Project management software is a very powerful tool helping to manage the team’s tasks, to manage changes, and to monitor the progress towards deliverables. The key idea here is tool. A project manager should be able to determine what type of software tool they need, and/or the features within an existing tool, to support the work.
There you are, making yet another change in your once perfect project schedule; the client keeps changing the scope, the team’s productivity is slipping, and your budget cannot cover the newly requested features. How did this happen? Project Managers of all levels of experience and in every industry will face the dreaded project with an ever-changing schedule. High quality training in negotiation, emotional intelligence, and project scheduling can keep your evolving project on schedule.
If when you were hiring an expert, they told you there was maybe a 50% chance they could actually complete the work you requested but that you should pay them up front and never ask questions, you would most likely look for a different solution. And yet, managers expect Project Managers to plan for a host of variables that no one can fully predict and to do so with no change in scope, time, or budget. A 2017 Pulse of the Profession research report from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) shares that 49% projects experience uncontrolled changes, 32% fail due to budget, and 14% were outright failures; those projects at some point were all “troubled.” Project managers must know how to recognize trouble and how to guide work back to successful outcomes.
I was asked a very unique question by one of the learners in a project management course I taught this week: “How do I motivate my team members when even I don’t believe in the project?“.
Project teams are as varied as the industries in which they work, with those of different skills or backgrounds working together in new and evolving ways. In fact, diverse teams continue to be more common as they reflect the workforce itself; they can also lead to an array of challenges for the project manager seeking effective and efficient collaboration. Project Managers benefit from training in team building, emotional intelligence, and conflict management to better guide diverse project teams.
Articles have been written about the importance of doing just enough planning to develop confidence in what we are proposing to do as well as the perils of either too much or too little planning.
When a project fails, blame is often thrown in many directions: lack of budget, technology issues, or communication gaps. Yet root cause analysis frequently reveals project failure begins in requirements that are poorly scoped or lacking in end user input. Some reports have gone as far as estimating 71% of project failure is the result of poor requirements management. Project Managers that fully understand the significance and complexity of customer requirements can better ensure successful project outcomes.
Economic Shifts due to Covid-19: Risk is Constant Although risk has always been inherent in business, almost no industry was prepared for the global economic impact of Covid-19. March 16, 2020 saw the Dow Jones largest-ever single day fall, and the impact on global stock markets is still not fully known.
The Disciplined Agile (DA) principles were recently refactored and as part of this refactoring, a principle was added: “Organize Around Products/Services”.
The 13th Annual State of Agile Survey, released in 2019 and reflecting a global audience, revealed companies are moving to agile to increase productivity, improve team moral, and decrease project costs. Those same business drivers are embedded in the emerging area of Disciplined Agile (DA) which has continued to grow since it’s 2012 inception at IBM. In fact, The Disciplined Agile (DA) toolkit became part of the Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI) in August 2019, and with that, 4000 DA credential holders became part of PMI. Whether you are growing your company’s in-house Agile skill set or looking for a tool kit to connect existing Agile frameworks, Disciplined Agile will help.
Sabina Nawaz’s article “In Times of Crisis, a Little Thanks Goes a Long Way“, which was published this week on HBR.org, is a great reminder of the need we all have to be appreciated.
The workforce is experiencing unprecedented change with stay-at-home orders and extended work-from-home environments. Not to mention those that are balancing working-from-home with school-aged kids, pets, roommates, and family members underfoot for long periods of time. And yet, new research shows that for both businesses and professionals, seeing the productivity maintained or even increased during enforced remote work will have far-reaching impacts. National research conducted by IBM generating data from 25,000 adults in April 2019 reveals that COVID-19 has impacted perspectives and expectations for the workforce:
Lean Six Sigma (or Six Sigma) is an internationally recognized methodology for continuous improvement. Any professional seeking globally recognized certification status with career potential across multiple industries should consider Lean Six Sigma Certification.
Remote teaming is not a new concept but physical distancing restrictions have forced many project managers who had never previously worked with teams of dispersed team members to quickly adapt. While this transition might create a few hiccups with a well established team it will be much more challenging when we are working with teams whose members have never worked together. In such situations, the forming, storming and norming phases can take much longer than it was with the “old normal” but your key stakeholders are unlikely to accept prolonged delays in the team becoming productive.
The same drive for efficiencies in manufacturing processes that sparked what is now known as “Lean” can help businesses reduce costs and decrease time-to-market while simultaneously boosting talent retention. The 2015 Lean Business Survey concluded that 92% of companies leveraging Lean enjoy “moderate to significant improvements in project success.” Growing your team’s Lean skill set can produce ongoing business benefits.
In a $200 billion marketplace saturated with vendors of all kinds, finding corporate training classes is easy. However, finding quality corporate training solutions that align with your business goals and enable your talent to gain needed skills, takes more than a mere internet key word search. There are five factors you can use to ensure you get more than just a class with a good title, but that you secure an effective training solution for your team.
All project management training is not the same in terms of what it covers or how it is delivered; the variables in training types can make finding the right choice for your team or company a challenge. To ensure you maximize your training budget, align your corporate training solution with your team’s development needs.
COVID-19 is like that car accident just up ahead which you know you shouldn’t be focusing on while driving, but which draws the attention of all around it. After doing a number of articles related to the pandemic, I’d planned to write about something completely different, but as my weekly blogging time drew near I realized that there was (at least) one more topic I needed to write about.
March 2020 saw a record broken for unemployment claims, and in coming months, according to Moody’s Analytics, more than 50% of the US Workforce is at risk for unemployment. With companies examining their bottom line in terms of remaining viable for an unknown time span, including economic recovery, savvy professionals are seeking training to demonstrate their value. Your skills can be a part of your own professional survival kit.
The most successful Project Managers inspire others to reach goals, apply critical thinking skills to complex situations, and navigate organizational challenges. One way to enhance your Project Management career is through mentoring as either Mentor or Mentee. And mentoring as a development tool is recognized and respected by the C-Suite as an important training investment.
Virtual classes combining live instruction and online materials enable you to learn from the experts from the convenience of your home office space. To prepare for your Project Management Professional or PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMP® or PMI-ACP®) certification, start with a virtual training that provides the opportunity to: engage with the faculty directly, expand your professional network across industries, and leverage digital resources as part of your personalized study plan. Research shows that a carefully designed virtual training is highly effective with 86% reporting ”…the experience “just as engaging” or “more engaging than” traditional classroom training…” In that same study, students in the virtual version of a class actually scored higher than their counterparts in the face-to-face classroom.
In this time of uncertainty, we, like you, are monitoring COVID-19 with an eye towards the health and safety of our students and instructors. At the same time, we are trying to balance students’ needs to take the course when they have scheduled it, especially knowing that people may want to use this time as productively as possible.
Training managers know that training encompasses much more than what happens during the class itself. There is an infrastructure of talent, logistics, training materials, vendor management, and employee engagement that must come together for effective learning to occur. Training Magazine’s Industry Report, a standard for over three decades, reported in 2019 total U.S. training expenditures as $83 billion, including the costs of training staff and vendor services. Both direct and indirect costs should be included when determining the true cost of any corporate training effort so that budgets can be determined and the ROI of corporate training calculated.
The January 2020 issue of PM Network provide a case study for one of the 2019 PMI Project of the Year finalists, the Société de transport de Montréal’s (STM) eight-year project to modernize the underground Montréal rail system. I have a soft spot in my heart for this system, having spent most of my formative years in Montréal and having been a frequent user of its services while commuting to university and my first job. I always found it to be a clean, safe, efficient and reliable method of getting around the city. As such, it was a bit of a surprise for me to read about the operating challenges faced by the STM in recent years and the anticipated growth projections, both of which were the impetus for this ambitious project.
Most managers are seeking ways to extend product development time to use up more resources, to lose their best talent so that they can spend time and money to constantly be replacing them, and of course, to keep their internal costs as high as possible, right? Uh, no. In any business, regardless of size or complexity, the goal is to produce the product or service in a way that is sustainable and efficient. To achieve that goal, investments are made in corporate training to help employees gain the skills needed to get the job done. According to one industry report, companies invested $83 billion in corporate training in 2019, demonstrating the perceived value companies place on professional development.
It is a common challenge for anyone who has managed projects for a meaningful amount of time. One or more of your key stakeholders who are integral to the successful completion of the project appears unwilling to engage as expected. It could be the project sponsor who ignores your pleas for assistance with a project issue, the functional manager who turns a blind eye to your requests for staffing support or the executive who never seems to have the time to review and sign off on a key deliverable.
With 49 processes in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) - Sixth Edition, it may seem hard to believe that there is any other formal documentation left to write for a project. The PMBOK® Guide details how those 49 processes are organized, and as John Filicetti, PMP, MBA shares, the resulting five process groups each focus on a type of work being performed. The PMBOK® Guide processes do not speak to what the rules for work are nor the steps to accomplish the work. That is where “policy” and “procedure” fit into the project documentation. The 49 processes in 5 groups serve in a professional standardization capacity and should work in conjunction with the specific policy and procedures you may have in your company or project. Process, policy, and procedures all fall into the arena of “procedural documentation” which when done well, can shorten project timelines, reduce risks, and foster communications that lead to more successful outcomes.
Earning professional certifications is a wise career move for project managers. But, there are multiple certifications you can earn, each with their own set of benefits. Two of the most common certifications are the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification and the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) certification.
Project Management is a dynamic and diverse field which can provide career opportunities across industries and even the globe. The international governing body Project Management Institute (PMI) closely monitors the requirements for achieving the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification to ensure standards are met no matter where the project manager is working. Yet, the earning your PMP certification is just one component in a robust project management career which you can develop to reflect your professional interests.
Have you considered earning your Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification? This is the gold standard of project management certifications and comes with a number of benefits for those who pass the exam. Explore this article to learn more about these benefits and the steps you must take to earn your PMP certification.
Are you considering an investment in corporate training? More and more companies are making this investment in their employees. According to one industry report, companies invested $83 billion in corporate training in 2019 – a staggering number that demonstrates the value companies place on professional development.
Today’s Project Manager must have a resume reflecting the expertise and skill-readiness for a digital age rife with change. The Project Management Institute (PMI) reported 1.4+ million certifications worldwide in their 2018 Annual Report, indicating the global significance of the profession and the incredible competition in the job market. Use the steps below to create a modern project management resume.
Corporate Training and Development is the term used to describe learning opportunities provided by a company to help its employees gain the skills needed to perform specific job duties. For project management, corporate training includes employee’s mastery of industry standards for Agile, Lean Six Sigma, ITIL, and Business Analysis. Corporate training, or learning and development as it may be called, is focused on helping a business grow in-demand skills, reduce turnover, foster morale, and meet customer needs.
As you look to advance your career one of the first things that will typically come to mind is to earn a certification to validate your skills and experience. The Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is one of the most globally recognized and highly coveted certifications. Having this credential opens the door to a multitude of opportunities for career advancement that otherwise might not be available.
The Statement of work is an important governance document created during the plan procurement process. The statement of work can either be your best asset or the downfall of your project. Think of it as a blueprint to a construction project, if a measurement is slightly off the error will be compounded as more work is completed. Eventually, this will lead to extensive rework or project failure. As overwhelming as this sounds, don’t panic if you follow some basic steps you will be able to create a solid statement of work for your project.
Inspection and adaptation are two of the pillars of the Scrum framework but all agile methods recognize the wisdom of Deming’s Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle.
While you may recognize that training for project managers is essential, you may not realize the benefits of training your project managers in a group setting. Many organizations facilitate and host group training sessions for their employees. Whether you have seasoned project management professionals on staff or you have employees interested in pursuing a profession in project management, group training could be the ideal option for your organization.
Today, project management is focusing more on the human element of organizational change management. Fundamentally, PMI is placing a greater emphasis on leadership and communication. In fact, leadership is one of three components making up PMI’s project manager competency model known as the PMI Talent Triangle®. In fact, the word ‘manager’ is starting to develop a negative connotation. For that reason, I believe in 10 years, we will be called project leaders and not project managers.
As you think about the trajectory of your career, do you wonder what options are in front of you?
The biggest Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification problem is potential failure. Taking and preparing for the PMP exam is a major investment in terms of time, effort, and money. To ensure you receive a positive return on that investment, you want to complete the process having earned your PMP certification.
This blog originally appeared on our sister site Watermark Learning.
Taking any big step in your career can come with challenges. Earning your Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is no different. While each individual may face their own unique challenges as they navigate the certification process, there are three common problems that you’re likely to face:
Every project manager faces worries about underperformance throughout their career. In fact, most projects present challenges that seasoned project managers must learn to overcome. In this article, we will look at some real-world examples of project management underperformance, how these experiences negatively impact the success of a project, and how Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential holders can overcome these challenges.
(This is the fifth in a five-part series on this topic where we will discuss how organizations can approach or refine their Agile delivery methods.)
Are you among the many professionals considering earning a PMP certification? Before you begin preparing for the Project Management Professional certification exam, you should know what you’re getting into in terms of cost. Learn more about the costs associated with the PMP exam, and how to plan for these expenses.
(This is the fourth in a five-part series on this topic where we will discuss how organizations can approach or refine their Agile delivery methods. Read parts 1, 2, and 3.)
(This is the third in a five-part series on this topic where we will discuss how organizations can approach or refine their Agile delivery methods.)
(This is the second in a five-part series on this topic where we will discuss how organizations can approach or refine their Agile delivery methods.)
Earning a project management certification is a smart way to set yourself apart from your peers and increase your earning potential. Today, the Agile Methodology is being used worldwide to streamline projects in countless industries. In fact, according to the Project Management Institute, Agile organizations complete a higher percentage of projects – 75 percent versus 56 percent – than their non-Agile counterparts.
(This is the first article in a five-part series on this topic where we will discuss how organizations can approach or refine their Agile delivery methods.)
Earning a project management certification is a great way to develop your skills, position yourself as a valuable asset, and make a higher salary. Two of the most popular certification options are the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification. What is the difference between the CAPM vs. PMP certification in exam difficulty, requirements, effects on salary, and more? Use our CAPM vs. PMP guide to fully understand your options and decide which certification is right for you.
Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification holders face challenges each day. However, the mark of a successful PMP® certification holder is that you are able to overcome these challenges and still deliver successful projects. Find out more about some of the common challenges PMP credential holders face, and learn some strategies to help you overcome them.
Why is Communicating Effectively Important? You spend countless hours creating a Communications Plan for your stakeholders. You identify and prioritize them and create an extensive strategy regarding what, when, and how often you’ll communicate with them. But what about your project team members? Do you know what Josh is working on, where Chrissy sees risk, and the fact Shannon hasn’t been to work for a few days? The rigor you apply to project stakeholders should also be extended to the team. In fact, I’ve found it is often more important to be thorough and strategic in communications planning and execution with team members than stakeholders outside the team. Remember, without effective project team communication, what are you going to communicate with the other stakeholders? Incorrect, incomplete, and possibly inappropriate messages?
Earning PDUs, or Professional Development Units, is required if you want to become a Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holder and maintain your certification. You’ll find that there are many ways to earn PDUs, including options for earning free PDUs. However, free PDUs aren’t always the best choice for your career.
PMP Exam Change Background
I have been a project manager and instructor for many years and in this capacity, I have often had to coach and/or mentor team members, especially junior project managers. I had never actually been trained in either coaching or mentoring, so I provided the kind of insight I would have liked to have gotten when I was starting out.
With more and more project managers entering the industry, it is important to stay ahead of the competition. When project managers complete the exam and earn the Project Management Professional® certification, their chances of winning bigger business drastically increases, because they’re expanding their skills. Earning Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification can give you the competitive advantage you need to win more clients, increase your earning potential, and regularly deliver successful projects.
Taking the step to schedule your Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam is a big part of your journey and one which can be confusing. Understanding where to start, who to contact, and what to expect on the day of the exam can help remove unnecessary stress from a potentially stressful undertaking. One of the most important names to know in the process is Pearson VUE Testing Centers, the exclusive electronic exam provider for the PMP® exam. Within this article, you'll learn about: i) the roles of Pearson VUE and the Project Management Institute (PMI) in relation to the PMP exam, ii) how to schedule your electronic exam at an approved testing center, iii) what to bring to your exam, and iv) what to expect at the actual testing center.
As a project manager you know your primary responsibility and skill is communication. And you know a lot of your communication is done through team meetings. But, how can you be sure your team meetings are as effective as possible? Research shows most project managers believe their meetings are highly effective, yet most team participants rate meetings as less than effective. Why the difference of opinion? One thought is whoever is doing the most talking believes (disproportionately) they are being effective; the opposite is true. If you’re going over the project plan and asking for status updates, is this the best use of your team’s valuable time? If you think your meetings are productive you probably aren’t soliciting feedback nor looking for opportunities to improve. I’ve utilized a 4-part process to continually improve my meetings; Assess, Prepare, Facilitate and Reassess.
The Project Management Professional (PMP)® and the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certifications are two popular options for project managers who want to take their careers to the next level. While the PMP® certification and the PMI-ACP® certification are both earned after passing an exam, the primary difference between the two is the methods on which they focus. The PMP exam is focused on the Waterfall methodology, and subsequent project management approaches that support this methodology. In contrast, the PMI-ACP exam is entirely focused Agile practices.
According to PMI's A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) - Sixth Edition, every project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.” It goes on to say, “the end is reached when the project’s objectives have been achieved …”1 Since the endeavor is unique and has, by definition, never been done before, there is an element of uncertainty, and in that uncertainty, there is risk.
With every project management approach, project managers will face some challenges. As with other Agile approaches like Scrum or Lean, the Scaled Agile Framework has its own unique uphill battles you will need to overcome if you use this approach for your team. Because SAFe was designed specifically for large organizations, challenges may be difficult to spot and even more difficult to remedy.
While all facets of project management and leadership are important, the most important skill a project manager or leader can possess is communication. It is said a project manager spends 90% of their time communicating. I have seen the single greatest factor impacting project success is communication. In fact, project communication is so vital, it really encompasses two entire knowledge areas in project management; “Project Communications Management” and “Project Stakeholder Management.” The two go hand-in-hand. You must communicate effectively to drive stakeholder engagement, which is critical to overall project success and adoption.
Agile, Scrum, SAFe. If you work in the project management industry, these are terms you’ve likely heard over the past few years as these approaches have gained popularity. However, you may not have a full understanding of how these concepts differ and where they overlap. Agile, Scrum, and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) are all popular methods of project development that can increase efficiency and improve your processes. Before you’re able to apply these concepts to your own organization, you need to know a little more about how they differ.
Agile methods and frameworks have existed for several decades. The V-model, Rapid Application Development (RAD), and the Spiral model are three such methodologies which predate the 2001 creation of the Agile Manifesto. Because agile methods have been around for quite some time in the technology sector they are often viewed as being exclusively for software development and Information Technology (IT) organizations. However, several companies now realize merely adopting agile methods and frameworks are not enough to sustain competitiveness in an unstable business climate. Agility requires a wholesale replacement of a management paradigm invented in the Industrial Era but has evolved very little since that time. Organizations need to rethink every aspect of their operating model. Agility requires more than process adoption. In this article, we’ll explore what this means to managers and leaders.
In today’s environment of being connected all the time, it can seem like a far-fetched goal of achieving the ever-elusive work-life balance. There is no proven method, flow chart, or simple formula to reach a perfect work-life balance. It is going to require you to understand why you work and live, and to define what a work-life balance means for you.
As a project management consultant, I frequently work with senior managers at the Director level and above. Currently, I am reporting to two C-level executives – the Chief Operating Officer of the consulting firm for whom I consult, and the Chief Technology Officer of the company where I am embedded. (Three, actually, if you count the VP who I am dotted-line reporting to on a particular cloud project.)
Developing and improving your team’s project management skills is always a wise decision. This not only makes them more effective project managers, but it also helps you improve your organization, compete for bigger and better projects, and ultimately increases your bottom line revenue.
There is a myriad of reasons why projects fail but they often come down to certain repeatable issues which, left unsolved, will make it next-to-impossible to ever fully succeed. Here is a list of ten reasons we’ve found to recur in poorly run or failing projects.
Are you thinking about earning a project management certification? Earning a certification can take your career to the next level and increase your earning potential. However, there are numerous options out there, each one with its own benefits. It can be difficult to determine what the right option could be for your future.
As a project manager, if you meet your scope, schedule and cost baselines, was your project successful? If it takes a prolonged time period to achieve the business outcomes planned, is that your responsibility? Does your involvement end when the project is finalized, or do you have some responsibility to ensure project adoption? If you believe you’re responsible for meeting project baselines and ensuring project adoption you will need to look beyond project management. Project adoption is about change management, so you must integrate change management into your project activities to ensure success.
Agile is a flexible, streamlined project management approach. Due to this flexibility, numerous Agile software solutions have emerged, each one ideal for a different type of business or team structure.
Project management is a complex, ever-evolving forum of methodologies, principles, and best practices. So, it’s little wonder why Project Management Institute (PMI) asserts that a continuing education is an essential part of a project manager’s professional development. Consequently, PMI requires certain post-exam educational standards be met in order to maintain certification status. These requirements, known as Professional Development Units (PDUs), may seem ill-defined at first glance. In this article we’ll attempt to answer your questions about the quantity, frequency, and availability of PDUs necessary to maintain your certification.
In a perfect project management world, all projects would be done on time, within scope, and under budget. But any practicing project manager will tell you the sad reality: things are not always going as planned. In that sense, it’s plausible that conflict will occur at some point in your project’s development. Taking appropriate preventative and corrective action against this conflict will grant your project the highest probability of success. In this article, we’ll explain some tips to alleviate potential project conflict.
In this article, we will briefly look at project management as an investment and provide some suggested approaches for turning an investment in project management into big dividends.
Becoming a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® credential holder takes some work, but the investment of your time and effort will have long-term positive results in your career. Because earning the PMI-ACP® certification requires so much time, you need to know exactly what you’re required to do to earn this certification, so you can plan according to your personal and professional schedule.
Are you looking for a way to use Agile Methodologies in your business, but your worried your workforce might be too big or too small for some of the common Agile approaches? Fortunately, there’s an answer to finding an Agile framework that works well for any company: the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). SAFe is a popular Agile implementation that blends both Agile and Lean enterprise concepts for a scalable approach that enables rapid development of complex software solutions and systems, regardless of the size of your business.
Have you dedicated long hours of study and hard work to prepare for the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification exam? Successfully earning your PMI-ACP® credential is a major accomplishment. But if you want to continue reaping the benefits of holding your certification, passing the exam is not the end of your education. All PMI Agile Certified Practitioner® credential holders are required to meet specific certification renewal requirements every three years.
When Agile Methodology was first developed, it made waves in the software development space. And, in many cases, Agile continues to be closely associated with the industry.
Lean Six Sigma is a widely used approach that enables teams to eliminate waste and maximize operational efficiency. Because this is a popular and beneficial approach, many professional seek a Six Sigma Certification to improve both their career prospects and their organization’s outcomes.
Are you thinking about bringing Agile project management practices to your organization? Customers, vendors, and project managers alike all benefit from using the Agile Methodology. Traditional project implementation practices can be ineffective on complex projects with unclear requirements. This often lead to projects being completed late, ineffectively, or not at all. In these types of projects, Agile can lead to greater success.
When it comes to project management, the future is now.
Are you ready to take your project management approach to a new level? One of the most popular project management approaches today is commonly referred to as Agile. Agile is more of a mindset then a defined methodology and is purposefully lightweight and adaptable. In organizations that adopt agile and have projects with high complexity or ambiguous requirements, projects are completed at a rate of 75%, while companies that use more traditional project management approaches for this type of work only have a 56% project success rate.
Over the past few years, you may have noticed more and more job postings for certified project managers popping up. Project management experts are in high demand, because it’s a role that can ensure major projects are executed successfully.
For many in the project management industry, Agile and Scrum are terms you have likely heard for a while. And at first glance, it can feel like some people use the terms Agile and Scrum interchangeably. However, these terms have specific meanings, so it’s important to understand Agile vs. Scrum, and how they work together help you get your work done.
(This is meant to explain psychometrics in broad strokes, as there are plenty of articles that already exist on validity and reliability)
For those that operate in the project management space, you’ve likely heard a lot about Agile Methodologies. And while you may have a vague idea of what Agile means, it’s hard to picture the real-world benefits of Agile without a comprehensive understanding to this project development approach.
The PMI Talent Triangle® combines technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise to focus competencies that are vital in professional development and continuing education for project and program managers. Traditionally, project managers have focused on the technical skills that they need to be successful in an organization. The PMI Talent Triangle ensures that project managers are well rounded professionals with the knowledge and skillsets necessary in a complex business environment.
It's no question that study guides are essential for passing the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification Exam. But, every aspiring PMP® credential holder has different schedules and learning styles, which means you need a PMP exam prep program that offers a wide variety of materials to meet everyone’s needs.
Have you decided to take the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification exam? If so, congratulations! This is the first step to moving up in the field of project management. But, before you can sign up to take the exam, you should first take a project management training course to help you adequately prepare.
Are you preparing to take the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam and become a Project Management Professional® credential holder? If so, you’ll feel more comfortable taking the exam when you know what to expect.
Becoming a Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holder is a huge accomplishment. If you have earned your PMP credential, you have joined the ranks of proven project management experts. And while this is an accomplishment you should certainly be proud of, there are more requirements to meet if you want to maintain your active PMP certification status. So much emphasis is placed on meeting the PMP certification requirements and passing the PMP certification exam, that many PMP credential holders may fail to realize that there is more work to be done. In fact, the work to maintain your status should begin the moment you pass the PMP exam! Let’s look at some common questions PMP and aspiring credential holders have about how to maintain the PMP certification. How Do I Maintain the PMP Certification? In short, you maintain the PMP certification by continuing to earn PDUs, which promote continued learning and industry engagement.
Are you planning to pursue a career as a Project Management Professional® credential holder? If so, you’re making an exciting decision! Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification holders have a much higher earning potential than their non-certified counterparts. A PMP® credential holder earns 22% more on average than project managers who haven’t earned their certification.
There’s a lot you should know about the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification exam prior to taking it. In particular, you should know that passing this exam could have a huge impact on your salary. It’s estimated that if you’re a Project Management Professional® credential holder, you could make 22% more on average than your peers.