Project Health Check

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).

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?

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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

4 Approaches to Data Analytics

As the analytics landscape continues to evolve, application teams who need to embed dashboards, reports, and other analytics capabilities in their applications can choose from dozens of solutions. How do you differentiate one solution from the next?

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

What is Contextual Analytics? The Next Evolution of Embedded Analytics

Download this whitepaper 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.

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.

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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.

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

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!

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.

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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

2021 State of Analytics: Why Users Demand Better

As organizations become more data driven, their analytics requirements grow. Find out how knowledge workers use analytics and explore their needs and preferences.

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

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.

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

3 Ways to Improve Cost Estimates with Your Teams

Project Risk Coach

Do you ever feel like the Lone Ranger when working on cost estimates? Actually, you're not alone; you have a team. Let's explore how to engage your team members and subject matter experts to improve your cost estimates.

2021 238

Report by Dresner Advisory Services: Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study

According to the 2020 Dresner Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study, embedded business intelligence is crucial for application success. This report explores the current state of BI and why application teams are increasingly choosing an embedded solution.

Have You Left Anything Out of Your Project Management Plan?

Project Risk Coach

Have you left anything out of your project management plan? Check out this checklist to help you identify the baselines and plans that will be most helpful to each of your projects. As I define a project management plan, I strive for clarity, brevity, and simplicity.

2021 244

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?

The PMO Game Changer: A Value-Driven Project Resource Management

The Lazy Project Manager

GRAB YOUR FREE EBOOK HERE. What is a Value-Driven Project Resource Management? GRAB YOUR FREE EBOOK HERE. Project resource management by PMO has changed significantly in the last 20 years. It is no more a mere spreadsheet for allocating resources to the projects and plug the holes.

2021 246

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 400

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.

What is Subcontractor Management in Construction?

ProjectManager.com

Projects aren’t a one-man show. They require professionals with an array of skills, and the more complex a project is, the more skills they require. Because of this, owners hire contractors to manage the project, and contractors use subcontractor management to fulfill niche roles.

Future Trends in Project Management: The Debate

Girl's Guide to PM

Recently I spoke with Lela Machaidze on Clubhouse about future trends in project management. Here are the notes from that discussion. Lela: For the last decade, there have been a lot of changes in the PM profession. The trend that is here to stay is remote work and digital teams.

2021 243

How to Prioritize Work When Everything Is #1

LiquidPlanner

All projects—especially large, complex projects—need clear priorities. Easier said than done. You can count on technical projects, no matter how well-planned, to involve change orders, re-prioritization and the regular appearance of surprises. It’s just the natural order of things. But still. Knowing how to prioritize work affects the success of your project, the engagement of your team, and your role as a leader.

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9 Types of Artifacts in Project Management

Girl's Guide to PM

In this article we’ll look at the types of artifacts in project management, typical documents for each type. There’s also a checklist of project artifacts by phase at the end, which you can use as an aide-memoire for creating your own documentation. What is an artifact?

2021 324

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?