Project Health Check

Project Start-Up: The Plan for a Plan

Project Health Check

Du ring the Project Start-up and planning phase, projects will execute detailed planning processes to produce a Performance Measurement Baseline of Cost/Schedule/Scope and an associated Project Management Plan. The project schedule will then steer the project through the foggy waters of its lifecycle and eventually help it to find its way to delivery and closedown. But what about the planning phase itself when the schedule doesn't exist yet?

Introducing the PRINCE2 Principles

Project Health Check

PRINCE2 is a popular UK Project Management methodology, that continues to gain traction in other locations around the world. Now managed by Axelos, it is part of a comprehensive and integrated best practice suite along side other methodologies such as Management of Risk (M_o_R) and Managing Successful Programmes (MSP).

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Cancelling Projects: The Project Isn't Being Done Right

Project Health Check

In part 1 of this article series, we accepted that Projects sometimes need to be cancelled. In part 2, we look at how sometimes the Project being worked on is no longer the right Project. In this part 3, we will look at the other cause of cancelling: the Project isn't being done right. A classic way to consider project performance is via the triple constraint of scope/cost/time, often with quality thrown in the mix.

2017 179

Project Status Reporting – 6 Key Considerations

Project Health Check

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Project Managers (PMs) live and die by the Plan. The entire purpose of the Start-up Phase of a Project is to produce a comprehensive Plan for the Project; consisting of an integrated Performance Measurement Baseline (Time, Cost, Scope) and an associated Project Management Plan to monitor and control it. Once the planning is complete, the Project shifts into the main Execution phase which will form the vast bulk of the timeline.

2017 192

What is Contextual Analytics? The Next Evolution of Embedded Analytics

Download this white paper to learn what contextual analytics is, how BI platforms like Yellowfin revolutionize the way users discover insights from their data with native contextual analytics, and how it adds value to your software solution by elevating the user experience.

Project Team: Role & Skill Assessment

Project Health Check

Delivering projects is a tricky business, achieved by skilled practitioners in their field – be it software development, events management, construction, oil & gas etc. It is the wonderful individuals who work on projects who deliver the output that will ultimately mean the project meeting its business case.

2018 156

Risk Identification Workshops: An Overview

Project Health Check

Risk Management is one of the well established fundamentals of Project Management. Whatever system or tool you use, the basics of rating risks with some degree of severity and impact is well understood, and then doing something to stop it (because they usually are threats). But I have a challenge for you: look back over your last Project and consider - how many of the issues that occurred along the way were from impacted Risks that were identified on your Risk Log? I predict very few of them.

Cancelling Projects - It's Not the Right Project

Project Health Check

In part 1 of this article series, we accepted that Projects sometimes need to be cancelled. In this part 2, we look at one of the two reasons we identified: it's no longer the right Project. Projects are often part of a Programme, a wider organisational structure that looks at the bigger picture and the long term business strategy across many years. Individual Projects on the other hand tend to come-and-go,the way, maybe lasting a couple of years at most.

2017 177

Scrum Meetings: 7 Steps To Get Them Right

Project Health Check

Agile is a methodology which is getting more and more traction in the IT industry, to the point where the word is agile is thrown around out of context and with incorrect capitalisation. There are many variants, but a feature now common to many is the idea of a daily Scrum meeting to manage the work. In our experience, how this meeting is planned and executed will set the tone for the entire project, and how effectively they embrace the true Agile approach.

2017 160

Knowledge Transfer

Project Health Check

When you're starting a new project, you of course identify staffing requirements as part of your estimating. You start to "put bums on seats" as you ramp up the project towards the Execution phase and on-board your project team. You hopefully even have a Team Management Plan that describes how you manage the team; how you on-board, train, mentor and recognise staff. You do all of that and think "phew! That's another job done!"

2017 120

How to Measure DevSecOps Progress and Ensure Success

Speaker: Shannon Lietz, Director of DevSecOps Team, Intuit

The new DevSecOps team is up and running, and you feel ready to take on rising security threats while delivering quality software updates. But that leaves just one question: how do you monitor your new program as effectively and efficiently as possible? Join Shannon Lietz, Director of DevsecOps at Intuit, and award-winning innovator, to learn the answers to these questions so you can lead your DevSecOps team to the top!

Dependency Management

Project Health Check

Let's talk Dependencies. A Dependency is a relationship between two activities, and is most often encountered in the Project Schedule. In this case they are used to structure the order of tasks, to help you plan the Project. Logically, there are four type of Dependency relationship - shown in the diagram below: F-S: Finish to Start - When the first task finishes the second can begin.

Risk Management: Known / Unknown Unknowns

Project Health Check

On February 12 2002, US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld made a now famous remark that has since went on to be commented on widely by critics and thinkers. It would become so famous that it would become the title of his autobiography "Known and Unknown: A Memoir", and provides a superb basis to discuss our approach to Project Risk Management: ". because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know.

Risk 120

Project Assumption Management

Project Health Check

We all make Assumptions every day, mostly without thinking about it. The reason we don't think about it is because we are so confident they are true; be it how something will turn out, what someone will do or what something is like. They are the bedrock of day to day life, and we just don't notice them. Project Management is exactly the same; we make many Assumptions in planning our Project, things that we almost take for granted.

2017 131

Issue Logs

Project Health Check

Project Risk Logs are pretty well institutionalised, and we mentioned them in our last blog post. But what about Issue Logs? We've heard Issues defined as an impacted risk, an unknown question that needs answering, or just a general spanner in the works that will cause you to go off-plan. In our experience, Project Issues pop up so thick and fast that most never even get documented.

2017 120

Are Your Embedded Analytics DevOps-Friendly?

Does your analytics solution work with your current tech stack and DevOps practices? If not, any update to the analytics could increase deployment complexity and become difficult to maintain. Learn the 5 elements of a DevOps-friendly embedded analytics solution.

PRINCE2 Principles: Manage by exception

Project Health Check

We’ve all been there, a manager taking far too much interest in our every action at work, micro managing our day to day lives. We may have even fallen accidentally into this trap ourselves, spending far too much time in the detail. Either way, it should soon become obvious that this micromanagement approach is unsustainable and ineffective; this is where the Principle of “Manage by exception” comes from.

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Project Health Check

Lean Six Sigma, a management buzzword that seems to persist and many don't understand. But what is it and how is it related to Project Management? Lean Six Sigma is an approach for Process Improvement Projects, combining many different conceptual tools depending on the situation. Essentially Lean Six Sigma is a fusion of two ideas: "Lean" and "Six Sigma": Lean Lean is a approach that seeks to eliminate Waste during a production process; it originated in Japan on the production lines of Toyota.

Lean 139

Scrum Experiences & Suggestions

Project Health Check

Agile is an approach which is extremely prevent in the IT industry, to the point where unfortunately the word “agile” tends to be thrown around everywhere, often out of context. Agile is strictly speaking a mind-set, with four foundational values and twelve supporting principles from the Agile Manifesto.

2017 120

Project Lessons Learned - A Reflection

Project Health Check

Here's the thing about Lessons Learned: you're not learning them. In our experience, most organisations at best identify them - but is anything actually learned? Is changed behaviour ingrained into the lifeblood of the organisation? We have our doubts. A few reflections we have on Project Lessons Learned activities: Does your organisation have a Lessons Learned repository? If not then how do you hope to record and implement them?

2017 120

Business Monitoring Systems: Using ML to Analyze Metrics

This whitepaper discusses how automated business monitoring solutions like Yellowfin Signals revolutionize the way users discover critical and relevant insights from their data.

What's your Data Point?

Project Health Check

There's lots of talking on Projects; too much really. And so little of value said. People lurch from meeting to meeting, telecon to telecon, wear out the carpet on their mobile phones. People proffer opinions, half baked viewpoints, analysis and hot air. Next time they do that, just stop them and ask "What's your data point?". They won't know what you mean of course; but then it is a phrase we basically just made up.

2017 120

Lessons Learned - A suggested Process

Project Health Check

In our Precious Blog entry we reflected generally on Project Lessons Learned. Now let us spell out a structured Process that we suggest: Plan Lessons Capture - Lessons Learned (L.L.) need to be pro-actively orchestrated by the Project Manager, they won't just happen by accident. A specific effort must be made in the same way as all other project activities.

Introduction to Kanban

Project Health Check

Ka nban is something that features in both Lean Six Sigma and Agile software development. It descended from the Lean improvements of the Toyota Production System, and is a proven approach to optimise effectiveness of a production line system. How then can it be useful for a project manager, if it’s about production lines for motor vehicles I hear you ask?

2018 120

Book Review: Project Management Pocketbook

Project Health Check

This is a new one for us - Book Reviews! Continued learning and development is important not just for Project Managers, but for practitioners in any field; this development needs to be a combination of new in-the-field experiences, and the theoretical grounding it is based upon. This particular book is the "Project Management Pocketbook", by Keith Posner and Mike Applegarth, and stands out on my Project Management Bookshelf both physically and conceptually.

2017 120

4 Approaches to Data Analytics for Your Application

Selecting the right solution for your embedded analytics is crucial to the success of your application. But with so many solutions and vendors, how do you make this critical selection? Learn about the different approaches to analytics and the pros and cons for each.

Processes and Project Management

Project Health Check

We regard Processes as the bedrock for successful Project Management. I think W. Edwards Deming said it best: " If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing" Our Project Plans should describe how we intend to leverage and operate our organisation's Standard Processes - which should (hopefully) exist above and beyond the Project. And not just our Project Management Processes (Schedule/Cost Management etc) but the technical delivery aspects also.

Cancelling Projects - Should We?

Project Health Check

Work in Project Management long enough, and eventually you will come across everything - this will include having a Project you were working on cancelled. This can be a difficult process because we are often personally invested in Projects, and seeing all that hard work being seemingly be in vein can be difficult. In this article series I give some considerations to cancelling projects, discussing if it should be done, why it should be and how.

2017 171

Cancelling Projects: How?

Project Health Check

In part 1 of this article series, we accepted that Projects sometimes need to be cancelled. In part 2, we look at how sometimes the Project being worked on is no longer the right Project, and in part 3, we looked at the other cause of cancelling: the Project isn't being done right. In this final part 4, we will look at how Projects should be cancelled.

2017 152

The Risk Management Process in Project Management

ProjectManager.com

When you start the planning process for a project, one of the first things you need to think about is: what can go wrong? It sounds negative, but pragmatic project managers know this type of thinking is preventative.

2021 401

How to Select an Embedded Analytics Product: 12 Criteria to Consider

This report is designed to help readers select an embedded analytics product. It provides 12 criteria to consider when evaluating embedded capabilities. It also comes with a companion spreadsheet that enables users to score and compare products along these 12 dimensions and others they may add.

Risk Mitigation Plan: Definition & Top Strategies

ProjectManager.com

Risk is always present. This is true in life and projects alike. If we were to try and avoid all risks, it would be paralyzing—not to mention impossible. We couldn’t step out of the house, let alone embark on a project. There’s just too much that could go wrong!

Production Schedule Template

ProjectManager.com

Getting goods to customers involves a lot of coordination. There are demands to meet and raw materials to procure—not to mention scheduling the manufacturing of the commodity to deliver it in time and meet customer needs.

2021 248

Small Business Plan Template

ProjectManager.com

To start your small business journey off on the right foot, download our small business plan template and break down your idea into actionable components. Before you can start your business, you need to find your niche, seek out financial backing and create a plan to bring your idea into fruition.

2021 243

6 Plan Templates to Get Your Project Started Right

ProjectManager.com

Planning a project involves a lot of coordination of time, tasks and costs. It can feel like an insurmountable job, but just remember that plenty of projects are planned and executed every single day. You can do it too!

2021 303

5 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Homegrown Analytics

If you built your analytics in house, chances are your basic features are no longer enough for your end users. Is it time to move on to a more robust analytics solution with more advanced capabilities? Follow this free guide for tips on making the build to buy transition.

Punch List Template

ProjectManager.com

A project isn’t complete until all the work is done. But what do you do when there are straggler tasks that fall outside of the boundaries of the contract? How do you keep track of these items and ensure they’ll be completed? That’s where this punch list template comes in handy.

2021 252

Will a Project Management Certification Help Your Career?

LiquidPlanner

Let’s say you’re well-qualified in your technical skills—be it Java, programming languages, infrastructure, networks or system administration. Qualifications take time and effort, but as well as learning useful skills, you’re also building confidence—your own and the others’ confidence in your ability to do a great job. But what if you’re switching from a purely technical role to one that involves managing projects?

What Is a Project Deliverable? Definition, Examples & More

ProjectManager.com

Projects create deliverables, which are simply the results of the project or the processes in the project. That means a deliverable can be something as big as the objective of the project itself or the reporting that is part of the larger project.

2020 325

Cost Benefit Analysis for Projects – A Step-by-Step Guide

ProjectManager.com

When managing a project, one is required to make a lot of key decisions. There is always something that needs executing, and often that something is critical to the success of the venture. Because of the high stakes, good managers don’t just make decisions based on gut instinct.

2020 405

Task Management For Project Managers

How can project planning that stretches over months or years remain relevant and account for new ad-hoc activities that arrive every day?