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Archive | Project Phases

These articles discuss the tools and techniques project managers use in the five phases of a project. They include project initiation, project planning, project monitoring and controlling, project executing and project closing.

Agile Project Management Methodology

What is Agile Project Management Methodology? There is lots of talk about an emerging approach to project management called “Agile Project Management Methodology.”  Understandably, some may confuse this with managing an AGILE software development effort as part of an organization’s  SDLC (Systems Development LifeCycle). All caps will be used to identify the software development methodology). […]

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Project Launch – Sell the Project & Build Political Support

The project launch meeting is an opportunity for you, the project manager, and the sponsor to build enthusiasm for the project among the project team and the project stakeholders. The team members are the people who will be doing the project work. The stakeholders are the people affected by the project. Other attendees are managers affected by the […]

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Project Plan Blunder #2 – Turf Wars

A project sponsor is meeting with the department managers who are her subordinates. She’s called them together to tell them their company is receiving terrible publicity. Their horrid customer service has made the front page of the local paper. She needs them to create a project plan to improve their customer service. The sponsor explains that they need an integrated effort. Each […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Project Launch – Video

Project launch, also called project initiation, is a critical phase of every project. If it is not done properly, the odds of the project’s success drop significantly. The purpose of the launch/initiation meeting is to build team member and stakeholder enthusiasm for the project. The project manager must also communicate the key strategic issues for the […]

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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 […]

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Project Closeout

Project closeout is a best practice in project management because it pays so many dividends for a relatively small time investment.  It’s tough when you’ve just finished a project and no one feels like having another meeting to talk about what went right and what went wrong. We can ease the burden on our project […]

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Small Project Planning Techniques

Small Project Planning Techniques are often difficult to do well. That’s because new project managers often make the mistake of trying to apply every technique in their project management textbook. They wind up burying small projects under too many meetings and too much paperwork. There are just a few Small Project Planning Techniques that you need to use for success […]

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Large Project Planning Techniques

When your success as a project manager leads to larger assignments, you should learn and be ready to use these Large Project Planning Techniques.  Planning larger projects requires different techniques than those that are successful fro small projects . When you started your career in project management, the projects were small and planning was relatively easy. […]

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Project Approval

 Project Approval Process The project approval process varies from organization to organization. In some, it is a rational process of strategic and tactical planning. In others, it is a highly charged political game where project managers keep their backs to the wall to avoid a dagger from behind. Whatever the environment, there are two classic […]

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How To Initiate Projects

Projects fail when executives and stakeholders initiate projects like they’re ordering lunch at the drive-through window of a fast-food joint. In this situation, you, the project manager, can’t control the scope so the project finishes late and produces very little business value. Consistent project failure usually starts when PMs and sponsors initiate projects with fast food order-taking techniques. […]

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Keys to Successful Project Scheduling

Every project manager does project scheduling. Some do it on a yellow note pad, others use an Excel spreadsheet and still others use software specifically designed for project management. Some project managers have very little data to help them successfully managing their projects, deal with change orders or respond to variances. They may not even […]

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Selling Projects

Whether a project manager works in a consulting firm or in an organizational department, he must “sell” projects to bring in the engagements or gain user support and approval.  Unfortunately, many project managers don’t understand that they must make a major effort to “sell” projects or they will fail. Let’s examine and discuss some situations. Selling […]

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