Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Article Archive 2009-2010

Our extensive archive of articles provides valuable insights into the discipline of project management.

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The Social Media Standard for Project Management

~ By Gil Junqueira

With the rise of social media in projects and organisations, there is a need for some kind of guidance. Here are 10 simple rules to guide the discussion.

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Risk Management

~ By Kareem Shaker

Risk management is the heart and soul of project management. Failing to practice it right can have fatal consequences on projects and programmes.

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The Six Principles of Project Management

~ By Theo Gilbert-Jamison

The six principles of project management transitions easily to any type of project or initiative you are trying to effectively implement.

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Resolving Project Team Conflicts

~ By Gina Abudi

Conflicts on project teams are a fact of life! Only on rare occasions do conflicts not arise. As project manager you must manage these conflicts.

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Six Clichés That Make You a Better Project Manager

~ By Duncan Haughey

Just because something is a cliché doesn't mean it can, or should be, ignored. Here are six clichés we can use to help us become better project managers.

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Why You Need to Plan the Project Before Delegating Tasks

~ By Paul Naybour

A small effort in planning can make a huge difference to the ultimate success of a project. Follow our simple five step plan to success.

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Why PRINCE2's Approach to Quality is Flawed

~ By David Hinde

PRINCE2 has many excellent ideas for project management, but its approach to quality is at best weak and at worst entirely inappropriate.

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Requirements Hurried…Project Buried

~ By G Chandrashekar

Innumerable studies have shown that Requirements Gathering is the single most important step in the Software Development Life Cycle.

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Top Five Communication Skills for Project Managers

~ By Jo Ann Sweeney

Communication is a critical skill for project success, both for keeping team members up-to-date and for winning the support of key stakeholders.

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Understanding the Software Development Process

~ By Mark Spenser

The software development process has undergone drastic changes over the years. Avoid the common obstacles and plan for a successful project.

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Leading Meetings with Multicultural Audiences

~ By Dana Brownlee

Multicultural meetings are becoming more common. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when leading a session with a multicultural audience.

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Facilitating a Requirements Validation Meeting with Ease!

~ By Dana Brownlee

Ensuring that a requirements document is accurate, complete and fully supported by key stakeholders can be critically important.

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How Do You Project Confidence Leading Meetings When You're Really Not?

~ By Dana Brownlee

Often we're thrust into situations where we're expected to lead a meeting, and we may lack confidence. Don't fret; here are a few simple tips.

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How Do You Help the Group Reach Consensus When They Simply Don't Agree?

~ By Dana Brownlee

Do you ever feel that you're herding a group of feisty cats instead of leading a meeting because your team members simply can't agree?

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How Do You Get Team Members to Come Prepared to the Meeting?

~ By Dana Brownlee

Often meeting attendees don't complete the assignment requested, which drags down the entire group. Before you lead your next meeting, consider these tips.

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7 Properties of Highly Successful Projects from Crystal Clear

~ By Alistair Cockburn

Crystal Clear focuses on three properties Frequent Delivery, Close Communication and Reflective Improvement because they should be found on all projects.

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Agile Metrics: A Seminal Approach for Calculating Metrics in Agile Projects

~ By Prashant Ram

Traditional project metrics don't fit agile projects. This article talks about the comprehensive agile metrics that can be used by organisations.

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Project Management Checklists

~ By Howard Vaughan

Checklists are underused in the planning and managing of projects. Here is a high level twelve-point checklist for use during project planning.

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How to Build a Project Schedule in 5 Easy Steps

~ By Andrew Makar

You've been given your first project and your boss wants to see a project schedule at next week's status meeting. Follow these five steps to achieve your task.

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Outsourcing Key Projects: Bringing Companies One Step Closer to Business Virtualization

~ By Bill Balcezak

Outsourcing key projects can help you to provide a higher level of customer service while lowering costs at the same time.

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14 Ways to Be the World's Worst Web Project Manager

~ By Chris Roane

There are a great number of ways to manage website projects, but regardless of your management style, there are behaviours you should learn to avoid.

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10 Golden Rules for New Project Managers

~ By Duncan Haughey

Today dozens of new project managers will start their first project, a daunting prospect. Here are my tips for surviving life as a project manager.

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Top 10 Steps to Successful Goals

~ By Jeff Herring

Help avoid the great 'Rinse and Repeat Trap' by following these 10 steps to setting successful goals. You may have to work for it, however!

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Making Change Stick

~ By Michelle LaBrosse

Are you tired of hearing people say the only constant is change? We need to keep saying it to remind ourselves we have to always be ready to keep changing.

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Trust Me, You Are in Good Hands

~ By Ann Drinkwater

Savvy project managers have radar and can sense and predict events and circumstances. Their brains are gigantic magnifying glasses. They see what others don't.

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10 Things Every Manager Should Know

~ By Gina Abudi

What's important for managers to ensure they are successful? Here are 10 things every manager should know to be successful in their management role.

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How Agile Practices Reduce Requirements Risks

~ By Ellen Gottesdiener

Every software project carries some risk, but many of these risks can be mitigated. That's true of problems related to product requirements.

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Deming's 14 Points and Quality Project Leadership

~ By J. Alex Sherrer

Edward Deming's fourteen key principles of management for transforming business effectiveness as it applies to project managers today.

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Process Driven PPM

~ By Neil Stolovitsky

From R&D to Customer Service, effectively serving the Value Chain is an integral part of an organisation's success when bringing new products to market.

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The Benefits of Documentation

~ By Ann Drinkwater

How are you using, or not using, documentation within your projects? Documentation is a form of communication so make good decisions about what to document.

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Don't Just Manage the Plan, Engage Your Team Members!

~ By Jennifer Russell

As project managers, it's tempting to focus entirely on our project plan. But successful execution of your project plan is dependent on your project team.

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A Project Manager's Guide to Systems Thinking: Part II

~ By J. Alex Sherrer

If we want to solve a problem or influence outcomes, we need to understand why the system is behaving as it is. This article looks at the basic behaviours of systems.

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A Project Manager's Guide to Systems Thinking: Part I

~ By J. Alex Sherrer

What's needed for complex problem-solving is a technique that looks holistically at the whole and this is what systems thinking can help us do.

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Project Management the Agile Way

~ By Larry Port

Agile project management has a lot to offer legal case management. Imagine you could continually wring out the inefficiencies in your law practice.

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Helpful Suggestions For Managing Difficult Clients

~ By Gina Abudi

Every consultant has had to deal with a difficult client. The nice thing about being a consultant you just need to get through the project and move on.

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Scrum vs. Waterfall Round 2: The Fight Continues

~ By Elizabeth Larson, CBAP, CSM

The fight continues between Agile methods and the Waterfall approach. This time Waterfall is compared to Scrum in a variety of different ways.

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A Heavyweight Fight: Scrum vs. Waterfall

~ By Elizabeth Larson, CBAP, CSM

In the world of business analysis the current fight seems to pit Agile methods against the Waterfall approach. Which method will win?

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Writing A Project Proposal

~ By Jonathan Wold

Ten tried and tested tips for writing excellent project proposals guaranteed to improve your acceptance rate.

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Project Management as Sunscreen: How to Avoid Getting Burned

~ By Michelle LaBrosse

If you're working on a team where the temperature is rising, make sure you use your Project Management skills to protect yourself and keep your project on track.

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5 Things Project Management is Not

~ By Joelle Godfrey

Five things that Project Management is not, to help answer that age old question; 'What is it, exactly, that you do?'

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Project Management Tips: Master the Restart

~ By PMAlliance

Projects delayed by the sour economy will bubble back to the surface. The landscape may have changed, so a reassessment of the projects parameters is in order.

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Every Beginning is Difficult

~ By Uwe Kaufmann

This case study looks at the challenges faced by Schenker Singapore, a transport and logistics company, when they embarked on a Lean Six Sigma programme.

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The "V" Model as Applicable Today in IT as it Has Always Been

~ By Cameron Watson

One of the initial concepts created and applied by early IT practitioners was the V Model. This article gives a definition and describes 7 steps of the V model.

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Change Management: The Horror of it All

~ By Stephen Warrilow

The failure rate of significant change projects is about 70%. Here's a brief summary from a cross section of sources that reveal the horror of it all.

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5 Goals Every Project Manager Should Aspire to Achieve

~ By Jason Westland

If you can meet these five goals for each project, you will achieve project and professional success.

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The Five Stages of Team Development: A Case Study

~ By Gina Abudi

Every team progresses through five stages of team development. An understanding of these five stages enables a manager to reach a high performing team quickly.

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The Change Control Myth

~ By Kevin Aguanno

There is no such thing as change control. Yes, you read that correctly. The idea that we can control change is a myth.

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Project Managers: The Enemy Within?

~ By Harvey Kandola

Who would be a Project Manager? There are times when it is akin to being a referee at a particularly fractious soccer match.

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Post Project Resource Evaluation: a Forgotten Contributor to Project Success

~ By Kiron D. Bondale

Without balanced resource performance evaluations across operational and project performance those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it!

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Why is 'Reflection' so Important to Project Lessons Learned?

~ By Mel Bost

Reflection is something we don't allow ourselves to experience because we are too busy getting to the next task, yet reflection is the very essence of success.

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Are You a Micro Project Manager?

~ By Gil Junqueira

The systems theory viewpoint. How system theory can help project managers be more effective in their job.

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Top Three Causes of Project Failure

~ By Lisa Anderson

The top three causes of project failure, which if addressed will greatly increase the chances of project success.

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Project Management Approach for Business Process Improvement

~ By Gina Abudi

As organisations grow, they need to continuously analyse and refine their processes to ensure they are doing business as effectively as possible.

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Nothing Stays the Same: Leadership Techniques to Empower People During Change Initiatives

~ By Jonathan Gilbert

Using the Change Management Life Cycle methodology's three phases, provides organisations with a framework for creating an environment for lasting change.

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Establishing Project Management Best Practice: Where Do You Start?

~ By Gina Abudi

A step-by-step guide to establishing project management best practice in your organisation, starting with a discussion of what best practice is.

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The Best Project Managers are Emotion-driven Leaders

~ By Claude Emond

Charles J. Pellerin's personal ill-fated story, as project director for the launch of the Hubble telescope, on his journey to the discovery of true leadership.

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10 Principles of Good Project Management

~ By Jason Freih

This article details ten solid principles of project management that are crucial to achieving your goals.

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Successful Project Management: Eight Simple Steps to Follow

~ By John J Lawlor

As projects become more complex and critical to business performance, improve your chances of success by following these eight simple steps.

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Traditional Project Management vs Scrum: Adapting Square Pegs to Round Holes

~ By Frank Rios

With the Agile methodology proving a major force when it comes to software application development, the role of ScrumMaster is becoming more and more valuable.

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The Top 5 Wrong Reasons For Not Hiring Testers

~ By Luc Richard

Considering whether or not your software company should hire a dedicated team of testers? Here are the Top 5 Wrong Reasons why you shouldn't.

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Using a Time-Sequenced Network Diagram

~ By Dave Paradi

How to create a time-sequenced network diagram that tracks what needs to be done each day and how those tasks affect others in the project.

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A Simple Plan for Improved Project Results and Increased Maturity

~ By Bryan Peterson & April Boland

How to establish common project processes that can be adopted throughout your organisation, providing better performance and tangible results.

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How Can I Have Responsibility Without Authority?

~ By Mark Reed

How can I get my project team to actually accomplish their tasks on time or even at all, if I have responsibility without authority?

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10 Steps to Setting SMART Objectives

~ By George Ambler

Setting SMART objectives to guide your team is important for a leader to get right. Badly formulated objectives will steer a team in the wrong direction.

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How Should the Project Manager Deal with Scope Creep?

~ By Kuntal Thakore

Scoping is the separation between what is included in and what is excluded from project. Scope creep occurs when the line is moved, usually outwards.

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Project Managers Need Leadership Skills

~ By Gina Abudi

Many project managers have strong technical skills, but are sometimes lacking in the critical soft skills necessary to be truly effective.

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Managing the Project Document

~ By Neil Stolovitsky

Effective document management for projects has a practical impact on improving the visibility of a project's status to help you better respond to the reality of change in your day-to-day work.

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Seven Key Principles of Project Management

~ By Simon Buehring

If you're looking for guidance to help you manage your project with added confidence, then this article will help you.

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Meet Your New Best Friend: The Project Charter

~ By Cameron Watson

The project charter has been around for as long as the concept of work. Anyone can grasp the concept using six simple words: what are we trying to do?

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Common Project Management Mistakes: Badly Handled Changes

~ By Dave Nielsen

No matter how well a project is planned and how well the requirements are defined, there will always be requests to change something about the project.

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Using ROI to Evaluate Project Management Training

~ By Gina Abudi

Case Study: How XYZ law firm used Phillips ROI Methodology to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of their project management training programmes.

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Turning Projects Round Using Communications

~ By Jo Ann Sweeney

There is a right time to begin communicating and that is at the beginning of a project. But it is not the only time.

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Are you a Project Management Gantt Chart Slave?

~ By Phil Marks

This article looks at the potential pitfalls of using Gantt charts and provides some tips and strategies for ensuring successful project management.

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What Makes a Successful Project Manager?

~ By Ty Kiisel

Like any good leader, great project managers understand that successfully leading people is half the battle to successfully managing a project.

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The Hidden Costs and Dangers of the Shortcut

~ By Michelle LaBrosse

We live in a world where we are often pressured to take shortcuts to save time and cut costs as much as possible. Here's an anecdote to think about.

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Why Scheduling Mustn't be Allowed to Become an Extinct Science

~ By Dan Patterson

Savvy project schedulers are at risk of becoming a dying breed. As project management specialists, we need to do everything we can to reverse this trend.

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Project Risk: Is It All Bad?

~ By Paul Slater

Risk Management is an essential part of any programme or project and can vastly contribute to successful delivery.

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Is an Agile PMO Possible?

~ By Curt Finch

The agile PMO can bridge the gap between PMBOK process flows and CMM best practices and help organisations to carry out projects more successfully.

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Three Myths About Organisational Change

~ By Heather Stagl

If you feel like your change initiative is getting stuck, review these three myths and you might find the reason you're stuck in a rut.

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The Value and Costs of not Doing a Project are not Necessarily Zero

~ By George F. Huhn

If you don't know the values and costs of not executing your projects then you're probably not maximising the value of your project portfolio.

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Project Management

~ By Dave Nielsen

Corporations are more sensitive to social issues than ever before. So how do you rationalise the organisations' demands for CSR with project objectives?

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Managing the "Meeting from Hell!"

~ By Dana Brownlee

Have you just finished the meeting from hell and need help? This article explores three common dysfunctional personalities and how to manage them effectively.

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Defining Project Goals and Objectives

~ By Rhonda Goetz

The very first step in all projects: business, home, or education, is to define goals and objectives.

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Better Risk Management With PRINCE2

~ By David Hinde

PRINCE2 has always had a solid, but simple way of dealing with risk. With the latest version a number of excellent ideas and concepts have been introduced.

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The Project Manager's Guide to Dealing With Difficult Sponsors

~ By Dana Brownlee

What do you do when your sponsor is your problem team member? Sounds horrible, but it's not too uncommon unfortunately. Here's what to do.

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Get Agile: Applying the Lessons From Software Development to Business Process Design

~ By Kevin M Smith

When 60% of all process redesign projects fail, how can you improve your odds while simultaneously accelerating results?

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Managing Hidden Project Costs for Better ROI

~ By ExecutiveBrief

The most common argument for outsourcing is cost-savings. In the face of the current economic climate, cost figures largely in the decision for outsourcing IT projects.

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Root Cause Analysis

~ By Dave Nielsen

The Root Cause Analysis method, when used properly, gives the project manager the ability to diagnose a problem that negatively impacted the project and remove it when it is first noticed.

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72 Project Management Tips

~ By Alec Satin

Here are 72 project management tips designed to help you lead your projects with skill, authority and grace.

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Controlling Project Scope

~ By Dave Nielsen

Controlling the changes to a project is only half the battle in the war to deliver projects that meet the needs of the client and are on time and on budget.

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The Most Common Sourcing RFP Mistakes

~ By John Meyerson

Five of the most common mistakes in internally developed RFPs and how companies can better manage these issues by improving their RFP processes.

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IT Methodology: A Long and Winding Road

~ By Cameron Watson

As simple as the term IT Methodology may appear, it is intriguing to see how it can be applied in such a variety of contexts, by such a wide array of experts.

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How to be Ready for the Recovery

~ By Curt Finch

CNN recently published an article about the aftermath of the recession, claiming that the economy is back in gear. What does this mean for your business?

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Planning More Effective Milestones in Web Design Projects

~ By Chris LeCompte

Most successful web design projects are organised into a system of milestones with each one representing a critical piece of the project.

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Change Management: 3 Key Reasons for the Catastrophic 70% Failure Rate

~ By Stephen Warrilow

Any organisational initiative that creates change, or has a major change element to it, has a 70% chance of not achieving what was originally envisaged.

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The Project Liberation Checklist: Finishing Unfinished Projects

~ By Michelle LaBrosse

The longer a project goes unfinished, there is an exponential increase in the time to finish the project. Sound familiar?

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Project Management Maturity Model

~ By Stephen Warrilow

The concept of a project management maturity model has evolved considerably from the software industry. Where does your organisation sit on the maturity model?

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Project Scope is King

~ By Cindy Vandersleen

Project managers should seek out opportunities to communicate scope as often as possible. Here are some venues, audiences and aids for scope communications.

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Identifying Performance Issues With Your Project Team

~ By Dave Nielsen

Tips to help you identify and deal with performance issues in your project team. Poor performance can be missed deadlines, over budget or poor quality.

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Stake Your Project Claim

~ By Laura Bamberg

Many projects begin with the stakeholders' expectations making you feel frustrated and overwhelmed. How can you ensure they're all completed?

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Are Your Project Managers Working too Hard to be Successful?

~ By Peter Taylor

The latest Standish Group report shows more projects failing and fewer successful projects. So what is going wrong out there?

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Great Sponsor + Great PM = Great Success: Ten Truths of an Effective Sponsor/PM Partnership

~ By Lonnie Pacelli

A sad tale of a how a sponsor/PM relationship killed a project. Here are ten truths of an effective sponsor/PM partnership.

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Why is People Capability Maturity Model Necessary?

~ By ExecutiveBrief

In a competitive global business, recruiting people with technical skills is not enough. On top of their technical skills workers must have the necessary business skills.

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Controlling Change Requests

~ By Dave Nielsen

Project managers can accept all projects need to change during their life cycle, but sometimes changes can get out of hand and end up derailing the project.

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Has Your Project Team Considered all the Key Dimensions of the Problem?

~ By Rune Aresvik

A Blue Team is a structured meeting held once or twice during a project, where the project team gives a short presentation on what it considers the key issues.

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3 Key Components of an Effective Business Case Study

~ By Rachel Agheyisi

The purpose of a case study is to tell a success story, which explains its appeal as a marketing tool. The persuasiveness of a business case study depends on its credibility.

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Writing the Project Statement of Work

~ By Dave Nielsen

The Statement of Work, or SOW, is the bible for the work your project must produce. So how do you go about writing one for your project?

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The Project Scorecard

~ By Dave Nielsen

Want to have the communications to your project sponsor and project stakeholders read every time? Try using the scorecard approach.

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Using Change Management and Change Control Within a Project

~ By Dave Litten

Setting up a systematic and common approach to change is vital. This article outlines the approach and steps needed for change management and ultimate project success.

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Sponsoring a Project

~ By Dave Nielsen

There's a lot of information and advice available in print and on the Internet about project management, but relatively little about project sponsorship.

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Successful Software Development: It's Not Rocket Science

~ By Duncan Haughey

Avoiding the common pitfalls of software development is not rocket science; it's simply a case of taking a few sensible measures.

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There's a Reason IT PMOs Fail

~ By Ken Hanley

Only a third of IT PMOs will ever work and the rest of them won't. So what does it take to set-up a successful IT PMO?

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Building a Business Case as the Foundation for Project Success

~ By John Moore

Detailed steps for establishing a solid Business Case to ensure project success and maximise the results from investments made in money and resources.

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Avoiding the Accidental Project Sponsor

~ By Ken Hanley

Getting the right project sponsor isn't easy; many times we get unqualified sponsors and all too often an accidental project sponsor.

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The Real Costs of Failed Projects

~ By Ilya Bogorad

Ever since the CHAOS report of 1994, we have been hearing increasingly more alarming stories of failed projects and their costs to the world economy.

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Project Ranking: The Heart of Project Portfolio Management

~ By George F. Huhn

A good project portfolio ranking system should not only make the job much easier and faster, but also yield a superior result over doing it manually.

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Taming MS Project

~ By Dave Nielsen

Microsoft Project can become a huge overhead, even for seasoned project managers. This article contains some tips and tricks that will help you tame the tool.

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Agile Project Management: AFP

~ By Jorge Dominguez

Adaptive Project Framework is an iterative and adaptive approach to delivering maximum value to clients within the limits of their time and cost constraints.

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Five Really Useful Tools For Project Management in Social Care

~ By Carolyn Barber

There are a wide range of well established planning tools which can be used to aid the project management process. Here I outline five of the most useful.

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How Does Your Quality Management Assessment Method Stack Up?

~ By ExecutiveBrief

Not all testing methodologies are created equal. TMMi was developed to complement the CMMi framework and features maturity levels for quality assessments.

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What Mismanaging Small Projects Will Cost You

~ By Curt Finch

Are you winging small projects using status emails and Excel spreadsheets to manage them? If so, you could be making a great mistake.

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How to Deal with the People Factor of Change Management

~ By ExecutiveBrief

A 2008 survey by McKinsey of 3,199 executives around the world found that only one in three organisational transformation or change projects succeeded.

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Critical Chain Project Management Reduces Project Lead Time

~ By Mark Woeppel

In spite of the fact project task durations are often conservatively estimated to begin with, the presence of certain behaviours can cause them to increase.

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The Seven Essentials of Highly Successful Project Initiations

~ By ExecutiveBrief

Project Initiation is that critical stage of a project where information about how the project will be delivered must be laid down.

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Putting People Management Back into Project Management

~ By Lisa Walker

This article focuses on the communication issues within the project team, in particular, the people management aspect.

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SMART Goals Aren't Good Enough

~ By Stacey Barr

SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Sounds great, but that's actually not enough.

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Project Sponsorship: Get the Sponsor You Deserve

~ By Michael L Young

A good project sponsor will be clear about the project's objectives, have power over resource expenditure and be able to influence key decision makers to support or resource the project.

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The Point and Pitfalls in Portfolio Management

~ By Jonathan Ward, Michal Karshen and Erik Eisenman

Does the use of portfolio management drive maturity in project execution, or is mature project execution necessary before adopting portfolio management?

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Green Projects

~ By Dave Nielsen

Green projects place new demands on the project manager. This article describes one such project and some of these new demands.

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Top 5 Ways to Incorporate CMMI with Agile Methods

~ By ExecutiveBrief

Five ways to institutionalise Agile Methods with CMMI through the adoption of generic practices associated with Maturity Levels 2 and 3.

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7 Things You Need to Know About Development Project Estimations

~ By ExecutiveBrief

Project estimations do not need to be too complicated. There are tools, methodologies and best practices that can help project management teams.

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The Principles of Risk Management

~ By Simon Buehring

Every project manager and business leader needs to be aware of the practices and principles of effective risk management.

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Turn Your Customer's Needs into Successful IT Projects

~ By Jim Cochran

Every IT project is driven by a business requirement; the hard part is translating that requirement into an end product that meets that business need.

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Five Steps to a Winning Business Case

~ By John Goodpasture

Building a winning business case. It's just about the best first step you can take to a successful project. Learn how with this five step methodology.

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The Curious Case of the CHAOS Report 2009

~ By Jorge Dominguez

The CHAOS report shows that software projects now have a 32% success rate compared to 35% from the previous study in 2006 and 16% in 1994.

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The Top 6 Things to Consider When Choosing a PPM Solution

~ By Curt Finch

Choosing the right Project Portfolio Management solution can be challenging, these are 6 key criteria that buyers should focus on during the selection process.

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Being a Project Sponsor Means Championing a Cause

~ By Tim Millett

A project team needs a champion, or someone who keeps the team spirit alive while steering the project to ultimate success.

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How to Apply PRINCE2: Engaging Senior Management in Your Projects

~ By David Hinde

The Project Board is a group of people who make the key decisions such as; should the project start, should it go on to its next stage and is it ready to end?

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Managing Large Projects with Ease: 9 Pressure Reducers That Work!

~ By ExecutiveBrief

Gain invaluable insight into how to manage the challenges inherent with large software development projects. An industry expert reveals proven strategies.

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Does a Project Charter or Project Initiation Document Lead to a More Manageable Project Delivery?

~ By Susan de Sousa

Initiating a project usually involves writing one of two documents; a Project Charter or a Project Initiation Document, but which is better?

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Recipe for Great Virtual Teamwork: The Right Communications Tools at the Right Time

~ By Nancy Settle-Murphy

This article offers some simple guidelines to keep in mind as you assemble a communications plan to make it easy for virtual team members to communicate.

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How Agile Offshore Practices Can Avoid the "Real" Costs of Offshore Outsourcing

~ By Jason Lin

In this article, you will learn practical tips on using agile methodologies and open offshore models to mitigate major offshore outsourcing risks.

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Rolling Wave Planning

~ By John Goodpasture

What is rolling wave planning and how does it affect the critical chain? This article by John Goodpasture provides a detailed explanation.

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Project Planning in a Nutshell

~ By Thomas Pyzdek

This article provides an overview of why it is important to prepare a project plan. It also shows what elements a good project plan will include.

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Project Management Kick Off Meetings: What is the Point?

~ By Ron Rosenhead

Why slow down a project when it needs quick delivery? What is the real benefit of having a kick off meeting and what is a kick off meeting anyway?

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Predicting the ROI of Change

~ By ExecutiveBrief

Implementing process change is a risky business, fraught with uncertainty and unknown cost. Discover how Process Simulation Modelling (PSIM) can help you zero-in on the changes that will deliver a positive ROI.

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An Effective Design Walkthrough: A Step Towards Delivering the Best Design

~ By Taruna Goel

Design walkthroughs, if done effectively, are one of the most powerful quality tools that designers can leverage to detect defects early.

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Applying Earned Value Management to Software Intensive Programmes

~ By Bob Hunt

Many IT projects have been declared too costly, too late and often don't work right. Applying appropriate management techniques can improve the situation.

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PRINCE2 2009: What's Changed?

~ By Simon Buehring

PRINCE2 the UK's most widely used project management framework is being refreshed. The name remains the same, but there are some fundamental enhancements.

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Improving Project Success Rates with Better Leadership

~ By Dr. Karen McGraw

Factual and anecdotal evidence confirms that IT investments are inherently risky. On average, about 70% of all IT related projects fail to meet their on-time, on-budget objectives.

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Estimating: Part 3

~ By William R. Duncan

Estimating topics including the key outcome of estimating, converting effort estimates into budgets, dealing with poorly defined work and more.

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Estimating: Part 2

~ By William R. Duncan

It may seem obvious, but the first requirement for developing an estimate is to know what you are estimating.

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Effort Estimating: A Primer

~ By William R. Duncan

Good estimating is a skill like any other, it can be developed with practice to the point where it may seem like magic to the uninformed.

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Undertaking a Successful Project Audit

~ By Michael Stanleigh

A project audit provides an opportunity to uncover issues, concerns and challenges encountered during the project lifecycle.

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Stakeholder Commitment: Why Is It Important?

~ By Wilf Voge

If that carrot-at-the-end-of-the-stick tactic seems useless to get commitment from your stakeholders, try these how-to's shared by experts.

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Four Keys To Successful Project Management

~ By Raven Young

Four skills a project manager should establish as a solid foundation and continue to enhance with work experience, continuous learning and personal development.

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Effective Project Management: Five Laws that Determine Success

~ By Howard Vaughan

Every year countless projects hit trouble for the same reasons. Why? Because the fundamental principles that determine project success are not being respected.

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How to Sell Function, Feature and Benefit to Stakeholders

~ By John Reiling

Most projects have numerous stakeholders. One of the first tasks for a project manager is to identify the stakeholders and establish a rapport with them.

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Are You Using Your Resources Ideally?

~ By Neil Davidson

Everyone talks about the economic crisis as though it will pass if we take the proper financial medicine. But that is a naive assumption.

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Building a Project Management Office

~ By Mark Piscopo

An effective solution, created to establish a more centralised management structure for large groups of projects, is the Project Management Office (PMO).

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Creative Problem Solving Leads to Organisational Innovation

~ By Tim Millett

Creative problem solving is a method of finding innovative approaches for problem resolution. The problem may be any of a number of situations or needs.

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A Practical Approach to Project Management

~ By Duncan Haughey

Keep it simple! A successful project comes with great leadership, not lengthy and unwieldy project management processes.

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The Three Ps of Project Management

~ By William Thom

This article discusses the 3 Ps of project management. They are broken down and reviewed to provide an understanding of what needs to be addressed for project success.

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Picking a Project Management Methodology

~ By Mark Phillips

Both agile and waterfall can be powerful approaches to software development. How do you find the right fit for your project?

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What Is the Mission of Your Project?

~ By Jurgen Appelo

The stakeholders in a project can have lots of different goals, but a software project is more than just the sum of its parts.

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Your Project Does Have A Goal

~ By Trevor Roberts

Projects don't (or at the very least, really shouldn't) start because there are some developers sitting around twiddling their thumbs, with nothing to do.

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Your Software Project Has No Goal

~ By Jurgen Appelo

What is the goal of a software project? On Twitter I asked people what their thoughts were about the goal of software projects.

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The ABC's of Project Management for Project Managers

~ By William Thom

The seven ABC's of project management. Derived from the competencies of project managers, this article reviews areas that make project managers successful.

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Metrics that Matter in Agile Projects

~ By ExecutiveBrief

Metrics measure the health of a project, however, Agile methods need only the most important metrics, the ones that tell the whole story about the project.

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The New Face of Strategic Planning: Bridging it with Project Management is the Key to Success

~ By Bruce A. McGraw

With the economy in crisis, businesses are scrambling to stay afloat. Many are abandoning their strategic, long-term objectives for quick fixes and short-sighted survival tactics.

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How to Avoid Being Seen as 'Project Management Overhead'

~ By Curt Finch

PMOs today have a choice, they either justify their existence by highlighting their achievements and true value, or fall by the wayside when cuts are made.

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Communication is Key: Getting Everyone in the Loop

~ By ExecutiveBrief

Communication is key. Is inefficient communication plaguing your organisation? Learn how to get everyone on the same page with Microsoft SharePoint.

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Do You Know Where Your Project Is?

~ By Curt Finch & Bruce McGraw

Projects are ultimately about making an organisation stronger and better, and that means it's important to make sure you're choosing the right projects.

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Tips For Avoiding Project Failure

~ By Don Wood

Studies have shown that many IT projects are considered failures. A recent study by KPMG found about half of the respondents reported at least one failed project in the past year.

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6 Success Factors for Managing Project Quality

~ By Michael L Young

Commentators have differing views on what constitutes a quality project. On time and within budget, plus these six key factors will improve project quality.

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A Corporate Project Selection Process

~ By William Thom

How does your organisation determine what projects gain approval and receive the funding to proceed and are they really worth the expense?

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PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

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