Category: "Project Management"

Project Management Tools

Project Management, PM Skills Development
Source: Articles by Mind Tools As you move ahead in your career, you are likely to face more complex and difficult challenges. Some of these will involve the coordination of many different people, the completion of many tasks in a precise sequence, a… more »

The 3 Rs of Project Management

Announcements, Project Management, Project Management Methodology, Quality Management, HR Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew It may be said that a social contract, between a project team, the mother organisation, the client and society in general, is required to maintain trust. This type of social contract could be based on the ‘3 Rs’:… more »

Practical Wisdom and Project Management

Announcements, Project Management, Project Management Methodology, HR Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew We need more wisdom in our lives, not the wisdom of philosophers and poets, but practical everyday wisdom, that will help us do the right things in the right way. These are the words of Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sh… more »

Risk and Uncertainty-Are They The Same Thing?

Project Management, Project Risk Management, Project Management Methodology, Project Planning, Project Scope Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Britain’s Royal Society, one of the oldest and most prestigious scientific bodies, has selected 12 key issues, which they believe will shape science in the 21st century and might gives us some idea of what we can expect… more »

What Do Project Managers, Edward Hubble and Bats Have in Common?

Project Management, Project Risk Management, Project Management Methodology, Value Management, HR Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew The famous Austrian physicist, Christian Johann Doppler, gave his name to a very important phenomenon in physics called the Doppler Effect. Light and sound waves appear to change their frequency if the source of the… more »

There’s Nothing New Under the PM Sun

Project Management, Project Risk Management, Project Management Methodology, Project Planning
Source - Article by Bob Andrew The famous English Franciscan friar and philosopher Roger Bacon (c. 1214-1294) must have worked in project management. In a well known quotation of his, he stated a critical factor that is relevant to managing a… more »

Cognitive Biases in Project Decision Making

Project Management, Project Risk Management, Project Planning, Project Scope Management, Project Estimating
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Cognitive biases are mental errors caused by our simplified information processing strategies. The human mind is limited in how much information it can process and in how much detail it can remember. In order to reduce… more »

Turn Creative Project Team Members Into Skunks To Keep Them Away From Predators

Project Management, Project Risk Management, Project Management Methodology, HR Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew There are usually two types of people in any project team; those that generate new ideas and those that don’t. The creative ones are those that make mistakes and the non-creative those that don’t. Regrettably, it is… more »

Problem Analysis and Decision Making

Project Management, Project Risk Management, Quality Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Each of us, every day of our lives, have to make decisions. Our decisions can be small, big, critical or mundane. Generally, we don’t make the best decisions even if we have the best information. This is often because… more »

Time and Complexity in Project Management

Project Management, Project Risk Management, Project Management Methodology, Project Planning
Source - Article by Bob Andrew The famous philosopher of science, Karl Popper, believed that we live in a universe of clocks and clouds. Clocks are predictable and unchanging, but clouds change all the time in a complex manner, with their existence… more »

Individual Worth and Professionalism

Project Management, Value Management, Best Practices, HR Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew One of the most subjective and misunderstood words in the English language is ‘value’. Engineers define value as function (or performance) per unit cost. The cheaper an item is, for a given function, the higher its… more »

Social Intelligence Can Lead To Emotional Contagion

Project Management, HR Management, Project Communications
Source - Article by Bob Andrew The term ‘Social Intelligence’ was first coined by in the 1940s by the American psychologist Edward Lee Thorndike as ‘the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls and to act wisely in human… more »

Putting Good People in the Right Jobs

Project Management, Value Management, Quality Management, HR Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew In many of companies, especially ‘high-profile’ ones, which often have no difficulty in attracting superior staff, you will generally find very few poor performers, but you often find good people who are in the wrong… more »

Project Simplicity

Project Management, Time Management, Project Management Methodology, Project Planning, HR Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew A famous cricketer once said: “Cricket is a simple game, if you play it simply”. Similarly, project management is simple, if you keep things simple. The most famous commentator on simplicity was probably the 14th… more »

Positive Deviance

Project Management, Project Management Methodology, HR Management, Project Communications
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Positive Deviance is a social behavioural phenomenon, where certain members of a community(the so-called ‘positive deviants’) are able to solve problems that other members of the community cannot. They do this on their… more »

The Scientific Method and Project Management

Project Management, Project Management Methodology, Project Planning, Project Reporting, Project Scope Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew The scientific method is what keeps scientists busy and earns them a living. Using established principles and processes of discovery and demonstration, they observe nature and physical phenomena, formulate hypotheses… more »

Conversations in Project Management

Project Management, HR Management, Project Communications
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Project management is generally a formal environment. Regular meetings are held at scheduled times, stylised minutes must be produced and frequent reports, using approved templates, are widely circulated. Does this… more »

Are Best Practices Best?

Project Management, Project Management Methodology, Best Practices
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Project management teams are generally requested, encouraged, and often instructed, to ensure that ‘best practices’ are used. These practices are techniques, processes, methods, activities that current ‘conventional… more »

Communicate Thoughts and Meanings Not Facts and Data

Project Management, Project Communications, Project Reporting
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Steven Rose, in The Making of Memory, describes how many ancient philosophers were dubious about having a written culture. They claimed that writing was inhuman-it depersonalised thoughts and weakened the mind.… more »

Project Management Needs More Ideas and Fewer Opinions

Project Management, Project Coaching & Mentoring, HR Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew A project team is often a very opinionated environment. Everyone on the team has opinions on the way the project is being managed, how good or bad the client is, how project risk should be managed, what things should be… more »

Expecting Better Results By Praising

Project Management, Project Coaching & Mentoring, HR Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Does your project team ever ask you why you never praise them when they do a really good job? Is it because you believe praise does not work? Every time you have praised a member of your team for some good work, the… more »

The Relevance of Crew Resource Management (CRM) to Project Management

Project Management, Project Risk Management, HR Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew In the 1970's, aircraft accident investigators determined that that the major cause of accidents involved human error, with other causes, such as equipment failure and weather being less significant. Subsequent to… more »

The Psychology of Health and Safety

Project Management, Project SHE Management (OHS Act)
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) is a relatively new branch of Occupational Health and Safety. This field is concerned with behavioural psychology as it affects the implementation and sustainability of work-place… more »

Does Your Project Have ‘Wicked’ Problems?

Project Management, Project Management Methodology, Project Scope Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew A ‘wicked’ problem, with the term first being coined by Horst Rittel in the 1970s, is generally defined as one that is either too difficult to solve or does not have a solution. If you do manage to solve one of these… more »

Being Happy With Work

Project Management, HR Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Project Managers don’t normally talk about their team members being happy working on projects. They might say that they always encourage employee satisfaction or job satisfaction, but one wonders whether they understand… more »

Project Team Obligations

Project Management, Quality Management, HR Management, Project Communications
Source - Article by Bob Andrew A lot has been written about the responsibilities of a Project Manager, for example, to provide a clear understanding of project objectives, define all roles and responsibilities, review and supervise the execution plan… more »

Geodesic Domes and Project Management Teams

Project Management, HR Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Summary Geodesic domes are structures that are strong, stable and yet easily modified. This article points out some of the similarities in properties between geodesic domes and highly efficient project teams. A few… more »

Complex and Complicated Projects Can Benefit From Simplicity

Project Management, Time Management, HR Management
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Some projects are complex in nature with many interdependent and interrelated components. Some projects are complicated with difficult-to-understand and intertwined processes and procedures. And of course, some projects… more »

The Success of a Project Depends on the Ability of the Project Team to Organise Itself

Project Management, HR Management, Project Communications
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Summary A project team can be described as a dynamic system, ever changing as the project proceeds. In nature, such systems are usually self-organising and these can provide us with a good lesson in the management of… more »

Unlike JF Kennedy, Project Managers Should Not Be Jelly Doughnuts

Project Management, Project Communications
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Language is a powerful instrument and constitutes one of the principal forces controlling and forming human behaviour. Why is it then that, in so many areas of project management, we are destroying the art of language… more »

Johnny Cash’s Piece-By-Piece Motor Car

Project Management, Time Management, Project Management Methodology, Project Planning
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Summary This article uses the song 'One Piece at a Time' by Johnny Cash, where a car is built over 20 years using components from different years, as a metaphor for ensuring that changes in project parameters are… more »

Situational Awareness: A Key Tool For A Project Manager

Project Management, PM Articles
Source - Article by Bob Andrew As project managers we all know how difficult it is to get things done or to get things done properly. Lack of time is often the excuse given to us. Often, however, our team seems not to know what to do or not even to… more »

Taking a Systems View of Project Management

Project Management, Project Management Methodology, PM Articles
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Conventional project management methodologies are highly mechanistic and rigid, assuming a world of perfect order and predictability, with little flexibility and tolerance for handling uncertainty and rapidly changing… more »

Are Good Project Managers Just Lucky?

Project Management, Project Management Methodology, PM Articles, Best Practices
Source - Article by Bob Andrew Some people say jokingly, or perhaps not so jokingly, that there are no good project managers - only lucky ones. It could be that these people use the phrase as a ‘catch all’, when they really don’t know why or how they… more »

Project Management is Knowledge Management

Project Management, PM Articles
Source - Article by Bob Andrew The exciting economic and developmental opportunities, brought about by globalization and driven by new technology, have provided an enormous thrust to the discipline of project management. Wherever one looks these… more »

Micro-manage A Project Team?

Project Management
Source: Articles by Dick Billows of 4PM "What if they assign you to a critical project that will really affect your career and you don't want anything to "fall between the cracks"? Watching every little detail is the way to go, right?"… more »

Your Organization Culture Influences Your Project Management Success

Project Management, PM Articles
Source: TenStep Article by Tom Mochal Summary: There are a number of organizational factors that support or inhibit the ability of your project managers to be successful. Granted, “culture” is a broad term, but your organizational culture plays the… more »

"Fast-Food" Project Management

Project Management, IT Project Management, Best Practices
Source: Articles by Dick Billows of 4PM Summary: When our project planning with customers is like letting them order at a fast-food drive-up window, we get an endless list of requirements. Then we can't control scope, finish on time or produce any… more »

The Role of a Project Manager

Project Management
Source: Method123 - MPMM Project Methodology The role of a Project Manager is to "Deliver the project on time, within budget and to specification". So in other words, you need to specify clearly upfront what must be delivered by the project, and then… more »

Why Do So Many Projects Fail?

Project Management, Project Planning
Source: Articles by Dick Billows of 4PM Summary: Project failure is not always the fault of the Project Manager. Most of the lessons learnt analysis we do identify problems with the performance of executives and team members as well. The solution is… more »

The stadium showdown: Soccer City vs Bird's Nest

Project Management, Construction Project Management, Benchmarking
Source: Article by Terence Creamer Any doubts about the building prowess of South Africa's construction industry were dispelled decisively by the impressive delivery of the World Cup stadiums ahead of the 2010 FIFA tournament, which reached its… more »

Project Approval Games: Three Fantasies

Project Management, PM Articles
Source: Articles by Dick Billows of 4PM Multiple Project Approval Fantasy Land Both Executives and Project Managers kid themselves about what goes on in a project approval process. Let's look at two Executive fantasies and one PM fantasy and see how… more »

Managing Contractors

Project Management, Best Practices
Source: Articles by Dick Billows of 4PM Managing Contractors There are lots of ways to work with vendors on your projects and several contract types to choose from. But the best of all is a performance & achievement "triangle" that ties… more »

Check Your Project for These Four Warning Signs

Project Management, Project Risk Management, Best Practices
Source: TenStep Article by Tom Mochal Obviously your project is in trouble if you are missing deadlines and consistently exceeding the estimated effort and cost to get work done. However, you may have a project that actually appears to be on schedule,… more »

Moments of Truth and marching Behind the Elephant

Project Management, PM Articles
Source: Articles by Dick Billows of 4PM Project Team The difference between a high performance team and one that performs poorly is often determined by three moments of truth [MOT] with the Project Team. Handled properly, these MOT's produce team… more »

The Hidden Costs and Dangers of the Shortcut

Project Management, Project Risk Management, Project Planning
Source: Article by Michelle LaBrosse, PMP - Founder of Cheetah Learning Summary: We live in a world where we are often pressured to take shortcuts to save time and cut costs as much as possible. However, if you’re not a skilled and experienced… more »

Gantthead.com - The Return of the Project Manager

Project Management, IT Project Management, PM Articles
Source: Article by Jacqueline Dasso Haddad, PMP - Senior Product Manager, Microsoft My fellow community members, I have a confession to make. For the last several years I have shied away from a project manager title for fear that I would be… more »

4PM.com - Project Planning - The Really Creative and Highly Political First Step

Project Management, Project Planning
Source: Articles by Dick Billows of 4PM Project Planning The very traits and talents that earn people their promotion to Project Management often prove to be the barriers to effective project planning. Poorly done planning leads an otherwise talented… more »

4PM.com - Influencing, Persuading and Selling in Project Management

Project Management, PM Articles, Best Practices
Source: Articles by Dick Billows of 4PM Selling Projects Project managers need soft skills and effective techniques to secure approval and gain support from stakeholders and commitment from their team. The foundation is an understanding of what… more »

HR should put PMP in Proper Perspective

Project Management, IT Project Management
Source: TechRepublic - by Brad Egeland Summary "Brad takes issue with HR departments that overlook qualified project manager applicants simply because they aren’t PMP certified." The feedback I hear from project manager job seekers is that some HR… more »

The Blending of Traditional & Agile Project Management

Project Management, Project Management Methodology, IT Project Management
Source: PM Forum Articles An Article written by Kathleen B. Hass for Project Management World Today. A pdf to download. Published in PM World Today - May 2007 (Vol. IX, Issue V) more »

Agile Work - Core Practices & Axioms

Project Management, Project Management Methodology, IT Project Management
Source: Agile Advice by Mishkin Berteig Agile Work consists of seven core practices. These practices form a solid starting point for any person, team or community that wishes to follow the Middle Way to Excellence. The Seven Core Practices. An… more »

Agile vs. Waterfall Teams

Project Management, Project Management Methodology, IT Project Management
A little flash video of an Agile team vs a Waterfall Project Development Team. The message: Join the agile revolution - it appears to be better and more flexible. If you have difficulty in rendering the video, you will find it here more »

What Can we Learn from IT, HR, Soft Skills Projects?

Announcements, Project Management, Project Management Methodology, Benchmarking
It has become clear to me that Project Management in the "brick and mortar" game [Construction of large Infrastructure related projects such as buildings, dams, bridges, roads etc..., or Minerals Extraction projects such as mines, processing plants,… more »

What is benchmarking?

Project Management, Benchmarking
Source: TenStep Tom Mochal Benchmarking is the ongoing process of improving performance by identifying, understanding, and adapting outstanding practices and processes found inside and outside the organization. The following are five common myths… more »

The Role of the Project Manager

Project Management
The project manager, in the broadest sense of the term, is the most important person for the success or failure of a project. The project manager is responsible for planning, organizing and controlling the project. In turn, the project manager receives… more »
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