top menu

Author Archive | Dick Billows, PMP

Leading Teams: Six Techniques For Success

Highly motivated, problem-solving teams are a key reason for project success. These teams are committed to the goal and to completing their assignments on time and within estimates. Teams like that are rare, however. That’s because the correct steps for successfully leading teams are challenging and often missed. The proven techniques you’ll learn here include selecting the […]

Continue Reading 0

Pretend Due Dates – How to Screw Up a Project Plan

Watch this video of a common way to screw up a project plan. Is it familiar? Project Plan – Pretend Project Due Dates The sponsor plucks a project due date out of the sky. Then the tells the stakeholders they’re accountable for meeting that date. No one believes this pretend due date is realistic. They back into the due […]

Continue Reading 0

Project Scope

The Project Scope for larger, complex projects must include the “reach” of the project. “Reach” states how far the project reaches out in defining its overall deliverable. Let’s look at an example of what I mean by Project Scope “Reach.”  Let’s say your boss calls you into their office and talks about a project to fix the […]

Continue Reading 0

Project Duration

Managing project duration to make sure the sponsor and stakeholders are happy is the number one challenge for most project managers. Many executives think the most important metrics are the project duration and the finish date. Sometimes they are the only measures the sponsor and stakeholders ask about. Project Duration: Why Do Stakeholders Manage Only Dates? In […]

Continue Reading 0

Lessons Learned Project Management

Lessons Learned Project Management is a process that is often bypassed. That’s because project managers and team members are sick of talking about the project they have worked on for months. Skipping the lessons learned process says to your team, “This project is too small to do any of that fancy lessons learned stuff. Let’s save […]

Continue Reading 0

Cost-Benefit Analysis in Project Initiation

Cost-benefit analysis is a simple technique for comparing the business value a project will produce with the cost of producing it. Project managers use cost-benefit analysis in the project initiation phase to show the value of doing a project. During project initiation, the sponsor and project manager must justify the project to get the organization’s approval to spend the […]

Continue Reading 0

Program Manager

Program managers are responsible for the performance of several projects, their project managers and the human and financial resources the program consumes. They are also accountable for the benefits, the business value, the projects produce. The program manager is focused on allocating resources to the various projects in the program to maximize business value.  As well, the […]

Continue Reading 0

Project Methodology Stages

It’s important for project managers to understand the project methodology stages in organizations. Here are the five stages organizations go through as their project methodology evolves and reaches project management maturity: 1. Ad-hoc projects 2. Increasing density 3. Resource overload 4. Initiation control 5. Consistent success  Project Methodology Main Page Knowing how the project methodology stages evolve in an organization can […]

Continue Reading 0

Project Management Methodology – 3 Tiers to Fit Project Size & Scope

A project management methodology is the glue that binds all the organization’s project management processes and techniques into a coherent tool where everyone understands their role and obligations. Without a methodology you can’t exercise control over the portfolio of projects to ensure all of them produce business value and doesn’t waste financial and human resources. The project management […]

Continue Reading 2

Failed Projects – How to Screw One Up – Video

It takes a lot of work to make a failed project as bad as this one. Our 4PM.com cast members show you how in a Failed Projects comedy video about how to screw up a project. The PMs and team members are preparing their failed project for a big project status meeting. You’ll see micro-managing […]

Continue Reading 0

CAPM Exam – Pass The First Time

Passing the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) exam the first time and earning the CAPM® credential, requires you to pass a rigorous 3-hour exam from the Project Management Institute (PMI)®. You have to answer questions about the project management processes, definitions of the inputs, outputs, tools and techniques and the basic mathematical formulas used in project […]

Continue Reading 0

Project Management Plan – Video

Knowing how to create a Project Management Plan is tricky. The size of the project is not important. People mistakenly think that longer project plans are better than shorter ones. They think the plan’s word count reflects the amount of thinking that’s gone into the document. The opposite is usually true. In our 25+ years […]

Continue Reading 0

Project Plan Template – Video

On every new project, you need to decide what Project Plan Template elements to include, which to exclude and how to develop them on each particular project. You can use this project plan template to define the project scope and identify major deliverables. You can also use it to manage the project risks, constraints and […]

Continue Reading 0

Project Management Maturity in Organizations

The project management maturity in an organization is an important guidepost for its project managers. In some organizations this process leads to bureaucratic procedures, endless documentation and paperwork. These waste a great deal of time and have no beneficial impact on their project success rates. In other organizations, the project management processes mature by becoming leaner and […]

Continue Reading 0

Scope Creep

First we’ll talk about what Scope Creep is and then we’ll talk about how to avoid it. Scope creep is the addition of new features and functions after the original project plan has been approved.  These additions to the project scope are approved without any compensating adjustment to the project budget or schedule. It is the number one cause […]

Continue Reading 0

Constructive Feedback

Constructive Feedback That Changes Behavior Project managers and team leaders will always have some poor performing team members. Poor performance can encompass assignments that are not what you expect regarding quality, timeliness or completeness. Constructive feedback is an effective tool for changing the behavior of poor performers. It is also useful to give constructive feedback to team members whose assignments meet all the requirements and your […]

Continue Reading 2

What is Scope Creep?

What is scope creep? It is a parasite which, if the project manager and sponsor let it flourish, busts budgets and overruns schedules. It doesn’t attack the project once, it attacks dozens or hundreds of times. In each of these attacks, a good idea is added to the project that increases the amount of work to […]

Continue Reading 1

Project Sponsor Types: Political Operator – Video

There are many project sponsor types. Some are focused only on delivering business value to their organization and have excellent strategic vision. They know how to support the project manager and the team so they can be highly effective. Unfortunately, not all project sponsor types operate like this. There are a number of project sponsor types […]

Continue Reading 1

Accurate Project Estimating – Video

Making accurate estimates of project duration, cost and completion date are critical to your project manager credibility and career. No matter how good your technical skills and judgment are, if decision-makers can’t count on your estimates of cost and duration, your credibility will inevitably suffer. Accurate estimating is not primarily a matter of knowledge or […]

Continue Reading 2

Cut Project Duration – Video

Project managers often receive demands to cut the project duration. Sometimes these demands come weekly or even daily. There’s a right way and a wrong way to handle requests to cut the project duration. If you handle it incorrectly, the stakeholder will go over your head to the sponsor or a senior manager. Those superiors will arbitrarily […]

Continue Reading 0

Project Bidders Conference

Project bidders conferences are part of the process of selecting vendors/sellers who provide goods or services to the project. That process begins during planning when the project manager and team formulate the request for proposal  (RFP). At the same time, they create the vendor/seller selection and evaluation criteria they’ll use to rank the proposals. During procurement planning, the project manager […]

Continue Reading 0

Failed Projects

A failed project is one that has delivered so little value, spent so much money, taken so much time and is so out of control that no one can figure a way to salvage it.  The organization has no option but to end the project.  Many organizations have failed projects.  Some organizations learn from these failures and improve their project […]

Continue Reading 0

Project Change Control – Video

When project managers handle project change control badly, it irritates stakeholders and cause overruns on budget and duration. Fighting all changes doesn’t work and neither does accepting all of them. We’ll discuss the mistakes project managers make on change orders. Then we’ll review a methodology for doing it the right way. On many projects, the […]

Continue Reading 0

How To Avoid Micromanagement

Avoiding Micromanagement: A Big Challenge You’re the project manager and that means you’re the expert on everything about the project. Right? No, that’s wrong. Recognizing that you don’t have to be the expert on everything is the key to avoiding micromanagement. If you have a guru attitude, you are vulnerable to the deadly project disease of […]

Continue Reading 0

Team Micromanagement – Video

Project teams have different cultures and attitudes toward the project and its manager. The project team members bring expectations based on their prior project experience as well as their attitudes about being on project teams. But the primary factor that determines the project team culture is the project manager’s behavior. This behavior includes: assigning work […]

Continue Reading 0

Project Management Skills

Project Management Skills For a Successful Project Manager  What project management skills do consistently successful project managers have in common?  There are personality traits, interpersonal skills, the ability to communicate, and knowledge of the right techniques to use in various project situations. Let’s start by examining the project management skills commonly used to define the consistently successful project manager. […]

Continue Reading 0

How To Be a Successful Project Manager

Here’s how to be a successful project manager. There are several project manager skill sets or techniques that make a project manager successful. Successful project managers have both “hard” and “soft” skills in their project tool belt. They are able to select the appropriate tools and techniques to use on every project they manage. The ability to select […]

Continue Reading 0

Project Team Conflict – Video

  Every project team has conflict and project managers need to use a number of conflict resolution techniques. The same technique does not work in all project team conflict situations. You need to carefully analyze the people who are involved in the conflict and the issues over which they are having their dispute. Then you can […]

Continue Reading 0

PMP How to Pass First Time

How to Pass the PMP Exam the First Time has changed as the Project Management Professional (PMP®) exam has evolved and become more difficult. (To take  the PMP Exam you must document at least 4,500 hours of experience managing projects.) Don’t have that much? Certifications with NO PM experience required: Project Certification,  IT Certification,  Construction Certification,  Healthcare Certification, […]

Continue Reading 1

Enterprise Project Management

When we talk about enterprise project management, we’re talking about the processes organizations use to initiate, plan, monitor and control, track and close projects. We also include processes to prioritize projects and allocate resources to them. Quite simply, enterprise project management is an organization’s way of doing projects. At a minimum, these processes should include: 1.) How the […]

Continue Reading 0

Project Management Process

Organizations realize many benefits when they have a project management process that is consistently used by all the project managers in the organization. The process does not require a big investment in software, although some components are best done with automation. Many companies do the whole project management process on a PC. But the technical aspects are the easy […]

Continue Reading 0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes