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Project Management Professional [PMP]: What’s new in 6.0?

Project Management Professional certification, popularly known as PMP certification, is an internationally recognized certification introduced by Project Management institute [PMI] in 1996 as version 1.0   This world recognized, multi-industry approved, cross-functional and much respected certification is currently in its 5th version with 6 updated version announced on 6th  September, 2017 by PMI.   From 2018, PMP certification will be following the guidance issued by PMI in PMBOK® - 6.0th Edition.   PMBoK stands for Project Management Book of Knowledge and can easily be considered as Holy Book for Project Management Professionals. This books defines, discusses and lays down all the project management principles to be followed by professionals throughout the project from initiation to closure.   This post is about discussing the new introductions and changes in the PMP certification and hence in PMBOK® - 6.0th Edition. It goes without saying that this post assumes you are already well-versed in the history of PMP, PMI, knowledge areas, Process groups and most probably, you are already certified or in the process of getting PMP Certified.   Later, I will write some more on the other topics based on your feedback; but for now, let us discuss PMP 6.0 i.e. PMBOK® - 6.0th Edition changes as announced by PMI on 6th September, 2017.   Why the changes are required in PMP certification or PMBoK?   Since its introduction in 1996, PMP has undergone 5 revisions and this is the sixth one. This revision happens every 3 to 4 years as shown below.  1996, PMBOK® - 1st Edition 2000, PMBOK® - 2nd Edition 2004, PMBOK® - 3rd Edition 2009, PMBOK® - 4th Edition 2013, PMBOK® - 5th Edition  As you can see, there is a method to the madness [as I love to call it]. The revision happen regularly every 4 years. This is because PMI is a distinguished member of ANSI [American National Standards Institute] organization; and this membership requires PMI to update its guidance and book of knowledge every 3 to 5 years. Hence this explains the frequency of updates. Generally what kind of updates come in revisions?   PMP certification and project management Book of Knowledge is not restricted to any specific industry or domain. It lays down the best of practices that are certified by Industries, organization to be the most optimum practices for efficient project management.   You can take any industry; be it Manufacturing, or service; all these best practices apply to all companies uniformly. Hence, PMP certified professionals are in great demand across the globe for their knowledge and ability to work across domains, factories, industries and geographies, due to their usage of uniformly approved terminologies and processes.   In every revision, PMI comes up with learning from latest advances in technology across sectors, updates in governance policies introduced by ruling authorities, updates in the best practices based on the results of last few years and introduction of new concepts that have a potential to be big game changers in project management.   Hence, the updates can be categorized in following manner:   1) New learnings and processes introduced in recent times   2) Updates to best practices based on the results of last few years   3) Updates in processes based on recommendations from standard and authorized bodies across the world   4) Game changer items that are going to be critical in project management.   What are the changes in PMP 6.0 or PMBOK® - 6.0th Edition?   Change # 1: AGILE is now officially part of PMBOK® - 6.0th Edition  AGILE has been creating ripples  across the industries and projects for quite a few years now. PMI has recognized the trend and its potential to transform the way projects of future are going to be managed. There is going to be a dedicated booklet for AGILE, being shipped along with PMBOK® - 6.0th Edition  Change # 2: PMI Talent Triangle   PMI defines talent triangle as trinity of principles to achieve success in the project  As the name hints, it consists of 3 processes Process, People and Technology and how they can be combined together to achieve success PMI discusses this concept in details in the 6th version  Change # 3: Process groups are now 49 processes instead of 47  “Manage project knowledge” has been introduced to define how the knowledge accrued in Project execution can be managed “Control resources” has been introduced to control the resources. Note the usage of word control instead of manage “Implement risk responses” has been introduced as a separate process to manage the responses received during risk analysis. Earlier this was an activity; but now it is a full-grown process in itself owing to increasing uncertainties of projects in current times. “Close procurements” has been deleted. This was a separate process earlier but no more.  Change # 4: Renamed multiple process to reflect the current situation of project management  “Project Human Resource Management” has been renamed to “Project Resource Management”, because resources can also include non-human resources such as electronic devices, software, infrastructure and logistics. “Project Time Management” renamed to “Project Schedule Management” because  schedule management needs to consider constraints on resources, risks, material and time. Hence the word “schedule” is more apt than “time”. “Perform Quality Assurance” changed to “Manage Quality” to reflect the development in thinking that Quality assurance is not a simple activity that you can perform in one go. Quality assurance in an independent career in itself. So this should be managed. “Plan Human resource management” changed to “Plan resource management” is self-explanatory because resources need not be only human. “Acquire project team” has been renamed to “Acquire Resources” “Control Communications” is now “Monitor Communications” to indicate the relaxation,and is debatable because here it takes out the onus of controlling the communications from Project manager and puts it on the team to conduct their communications in a responsible manner. “Control Risks” has been renamed to “Monitor Risks”, because managing risk response has been created as a new process. “Plan Stakeholder Management” is now “Plan Stakeholder Engagement”. Every good project manager knows that stakeholders need to be engaged with at multiple levels rather than simply managing them through reports and status meetings.  “Control Stakeholder Engagement” to “Monitor Stakeholder Engagement” to reflect change in the notion that project management should monitor such engagement rather than being heads-down in controlling them. Change # 5: Role of project manager in a project gets a chapter for itself   This time, PMI spends a chapter on the topic of the role and responsibilities of project   manager as a whole. This is a big deviation from the old times, where PMBoK considered Project manager as a whole sole owner of project. But this time, PMI has expanded the definition of project manager and given him/her a broader role of a guide, mentor and monitor. Change # 6: Distinctions between most commonly mistaken terminologies such as:   On-Going and Non-Ongoing processes  Project Scope and how it is different from product scope  Communication and communication(s) Change # 7: Introduction of Risk response escalation strategy Here it discusses how to escalate the risk and its corresponding actions to the concerned stakeholders and multiple ways to handle this.  So these are 7 major changes in PMP certification and PMBOK® - 6.0th Edition; all of these changes will come into effect in the first quarter of 2018.   If you are planning to get certified before December, 2017 then continue to refer to PMBoK ® Version 5, else start referring to version 6.   In short, I can easily see that PMI has defined the role of Project manager to be more of a guide, allowing greater independence to the execution teams and at the same time, it assigns the tasks of responsible, correct communications, managing the risks to the team rather than only on PMs.   PM, in turn, has to coach the team to identify and plug the holes in their executions, plans and strategies.   The new version of PMBoK is definitely a step towards better and cohesive coordination between project management team and execution team, ensuring success through optimal usage of technology i.e. PMI Talent triangle!   All the best!   Feel free to write to me for questions and clarifications.  
Project Management Professional [PMP]: What’s new in 6.0?
Project Management Professional [PMP]: What’s new in 6.0? 311 Project Management Professional [PMP]: What’s new in 6.0? Project Management
Abhinav Gupta Sep 19, 2017
Project Management Professional certification, popularly known as PMP certification, is an internationally recognized certification introduced by Project Management institute [PMI] in 1996 as version ...
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Obtain a PMP Certification from a prestigious university - How to Succeed?

Earning a Project Management Certification program from a prestigious university is a dream come true for many professionals. It is interesting to note that the various prestigious universities around the world have designed and developed the curriculum to make sure that the advanced skills of the professionals are at par with the industry standards. On the other hand, many renowned universities around the world are also providing distance course on Project Management for busy professionals who are looking forward to impressing their companies. Gain a competitive edge with the PMP certification course It is fascinating to note that the Project Management Course in many universities weaves theory with real life projects that prepare the trainee to apply the principles in challenging work situations. In other words, by undertaking a course in Project Management, a student would develop his or her strategic management skills. On the other hand, the practical applications that are obtained during project management empower professionals to undertake measures that are advantageous to the organization with whom they are employed. If you are an experienced project manager, the tools you would learn to manage various situations will help you to manage tasks and close projects successfully. The Project Management Certificate Program You have to make sure that you only undertake a course in Project Management if it promises to enhance your professional skills. In recent years, many institutes are providing the course on Project Management so that the first time trainees and expert professionals can easily distinguish themselves in the work environment. On the other hand, many project management institutes provide training that is based on hours. The education module related to Project Management explores the outer and inner workings of project management, logistics, and execution. The main focus areas of a project management course include the following aspects: A project management program should include intensive training methods which would also comprise of real life situations.  A lesson lab is the absolute requirement of a Project Management Course that would help the students to take into account the Project Management Body of Knowledge. The role of the instructor is often assumed as one of the essential requirements. The motivating assistance of the instructor is of the most vital points that should be taken into account by the student. Always make sure to opt for training from a prestigious university that would add weight to your curriculum vitae. Always ensure that the university or the institute where you are enrolled has been in the educational domain for a considerable period of years. You can know more about the university by thoroughly researching the reviews and opinions of past students. The focus areas of a Project Management Program It is interesting to note that the Project Management Program of various renowned universities usually revolves around the following aspects. They include: Initiating a project and its related tasks.  Planning the process of project management.  The process of project management that can be undertaken in a competitive work environment.  The careful planning of staffing, quality, and communication that would help the young professionals to initiate various measures. Managing and developing the budgets and cost estimates.  Execution of the assignments related to the project work.  Closing the Project Work.  The overview of the Project Management Curriculum.  The usual course outline of the Project Management Training By taking into account the broad lines of the course related to Project Management Training, you would make sure that you are fully prepared to undertake the challenges that lie ahead of you in the process of taking a course in Project Management. Lesson 1: Commencing with the Project Management Course You may be asked to describe a project. Besides that, the trainer would thoroughly explain to you the correct definition of the project.  Describing the Project Management Cycle that would help you implement measures that are based on real life situations.  Identifying the role of the project manager that would further enhance your management skills.   Lesson 2: Initiating the project  You would learn about the various techniques of determining the scope of the project.  You would learn about the identification of the skills of a project team.  You would also get to assess the risks that are related to a project. Lesson 3: Learning how to plan cost and time Learning to create a work breakdown structure.  Learning to sequence the activities that can be implemented in competitive and challenging aspects.  Learning to create a project schedule.  Lesson 4: Learning to plan for project risks, communication and change control Learning to analyze the risks that are related to a project.  Learning to create a communication plan.  Learning to plan for Change Control.  Lesson 5: Learning to manage a project Executing the Project Plan Implementing the change control Learning to begin the project work Reporting the performance of the team to the leaders.  Lesson 6: Learning to execute the closeout phase of the project Learning to close a project Learning to create a report that would describe the performance of your team members in a subtle manner. With the help of this report, your organization would take a final call on their suitability.  The mode of registration and fees in undertaking a course in Project Management It is important to note that due to the recent popularity of Project Management Training Course, a growing number of individuals are opting for this course. This is the reason you should opt for prior registration in the renowned universities. It is also interesting to note that many institutes also provide the facility of online payment. Hence, with the help of internet banking, you can easily facilitate the payment process. Moreover, it is also interesting to note that you can pay via installments. Your seat is not guaranteed until and unless the payment is received.  With the help of a project management course, you can substantially achieve success in a competitive environment. This would add weightage to your job profile and would also project you as an efficient professional.   
Obtain a PMP Certification from a prestigious university - How to Succeed?

Obtain a PMP Certification from a prestigious university - How to Succeed?

Joyeeta Bose
Earning a Project Management Certification program from a prestigious university is a dream come true for many professionals. It is interesting to note that the various prestigious universities around...
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6 things to do to Set Up your Distributed Agile Team Up for Success

By now we all know that countless software teams all across the world are making the shift to Agile. Agile has helped teams deliver big projects in short bursts, and provide business value to clients, fast, and consistently for over a decade now.  As more and more teams adopt Agile though, we must look for ways to make Agile projects successful for all types of teams.  Originally Agile methodologies were created for small collocated teams working together to deliver their products. The reality now is that Agile is being adopted by teams that are distributed. In some cases these teams work with the onsite-offshore model. In other cases the entire team is distributed with team members being in different cities, countries and even time zones. In such teams it becomes essential to have a water tight collaboration strategy put in place to ensure that teams can work efficiently, sprint after sprint. Here are 6 things I always put into place before I start any Agile project with a distributed team.  1. An inception phase/project discovery phase : This is basically a 2-3 week intensive workshop that you have with the client and all the stakeholders involved to talk about what you will be building in the coming weeks and months. For this phase I would recommend travelling to the client location and spending as much time as you can trying to understand the product, its value proposition, requirements, timelines, budgets etc. If you cannot travel to the client location, ask them for as much information before this phase begins, and then spend the next 2-3 weeks speaking with them on a daily basis about the project, the goal, their vision and their end users.  2. An Initial Story list and release plan: After the discovery or inception phase, you should have an initial list of stories/product roadmap you will be building in the next few months. Remember, this list doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to have ALL of the stories you will be building and not all the details of each story needs to be fleshed out. Having said that though, the team needs to have a high level idea of the roadmap ahead and what is the end goal they are trying to reach, and story list/product backlog helps them do that. Keep in mind though that this story will change over a period of time and your clients and team need to understand that. At this time you should also have some high level estimates and a tentative release plan so that your customer knows when to expect the various features you need to build.  3. Collaboration plan: Before you start the project, you should have a good idea of who the stakeholders are and  involve them in the release plan.  You need to make sure your project has a product owner, who has enough time to spend with your team. You also should know if there are any other subject matter experts(SMEs) you should be speaking with them on a regular basis to ensure you get inputs from the right people when you need it. Remember, you likely are not in the same office as them. So set expectations with them that they will need to be part of sprint planning meetings, retrospectives etc, probably at odd hours. Send them recurring calendar invites for the next few months so they can plan better.  4. Collaboration tools: I cannot stress how important this is. I have seen countless teams where everything is great from the get go, but the team fails to set up the right infrastructure to help a distributed team work well together. Share a communication plan with everyone first, and take care of the following:  ● Make sure everyone has an awesome broadband connection and wifi. This is a distributed team and being able to be ‘online’ is key.  ● Set up the team calendar(Google calendar is super easy, but use whatever works for you). In that team calendar set up recurring stand up reminders, sprint planning meetings, retrospectives, tech huddles, showcases and demos etc. Set invites to the entire team.  ● Setup file sharing folders on Google drive, Dropbox, Box, Drop mark,Invision etc. Make sure everyone has access to the appropriate folders. Discourage e-mailing files, resources, links etc. You do not want to be on the last day of the sprint, looking for a mock up or assets your UI dev needs.  ● Set up a team wall. I don’t care what unicorn telepathic powers your team members have, you have got to do this. Trello is super simple to set up. JIRA is a little more complicated, but super powerful. Mingle is great as well. Whatever you are using, make sure you have a team wall, product backlog and sprints set up in the tool before the project starts.  5. A sprint/iteration 0: So sprint/iteration 0 is typically the first sprint that the team does before starting actual dev work. Usually, this should happen while part of the team is going through the discovery phase with the client. The rest of the team sets up various environments, does research into tools they want to try, sets up databases, sets up their machines etc. This is called iteration 0 because all the tasks that are done in this sprint are mostly not technical and need to be done before the project starts anyway. Once the tasks are done, the team can start work on actual functional stories and start delivering value on day one of sprint 1.  6. A staffing plan: Cross functional teams are key to the success of any Agile team. Once you have a good idea of the timelines and backlogs for your product, it is time to come up with a staffing plan for your time. Think about how many people you will need for your team and if they can work in parallel with each other without blocking each other. Once you know that, decide when they can start working with the team. Usually, it is better to ramp up the team slowly instead of getting everyone started on the same day, but  do what works for you.   Now that you have carried out all the above 6 steps, you are on your way to start sprint 1 of your project and have ensured that you have done everything you can at this point to ensure your team is motivated, and clear about what to expect in the next few months, no matter where they are located!   
6 things to do to Set Up your Distributed Agile Team Up for Success

6 things to do to Set Up your Distributed Agile Team Up for Success

Pritika Gulliani
By now we all know that countless software teams all across the world are making the shift to Agile. Agile has helped teams deliver big projects in short bursts, and provide business value to clients,...
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Importance of ‘Teams’ in Scrum

In a Rugby team, it is the ‘pack’ that keeps the team on track. The stronger the pack is and more technically sound they are, the better core strength they portray in keeping the Scrum upright, thus helping the Scrum half wrestle the ball away from the opposition. However, it is not just the pack that needs to be rock solid. The ‘line’ must consist of fast and agile runners who are capable of maneuvering through any obstacle and make their way to the try line. An Agile team should exactly be like that! They must be able to steamroll through any obstacle or blockage utilizing their skills and competencies to drive the Scrum team towards is Sprint and project objectives. What is a team? It is important to first of all see what a ‘team’ is. A team is a group of individuals who possess knowledge, skills and expertise in a variety of areas. But they all must be committed to a goal where each team member is assigned to a set of tasks geared towards achieving the set goal. Each member in the team may specialize in one area but will have some sort of general skill in other aspects as well. A good team member must be a specialist as well as a generalist capable of taking up any challenge to the betterment of the team. Team Vs Group of Individuals? It is important to understand the difference between a team and a group of individuals performing a certain set of tasks. Let me try to explain using two different scenarios. Scenario 1: A cricket team is chasing a score of 250 runs in a 50 over cricket match. 9 wickets have fallen and the team needs another 8 runs for victory with the last pair standing with 2 overs to go. At the crease is the number 5 batsman, a specialist batsman and the last man who is a specialist fast bowler.  However, the bowler tries his utmost to give back the strike to the senior batsman and to hang around till victory is achieved.  Scenario 2: The production line in a garment factory consists of a supervisor, a designer, a pattern maker, a cutter, a tailor and a quality checker. These individuals do a specialized task and hand over the work to the next in line who adds more value to it and so on. If one person is absent or gets delayed in performing the task, the whole production line may get affected. Another team member may not be able to take up the task as he specializes only in one area. So, which one would you define as a team? Is it scenario 1 or scenario 2? I’m sure all of you agree that the group in scenario 1 is more like a team where each individual is assigned a specific role, but as per the requirements of the team they are able to adapt and contribute to the betterment of the whole.  This is exactly what is expected from a Scrum team. The Scrum team must be, ● Cross functional – This does not mean that QA engineer must mandatorily be able to code or a business analyst must be able to perform UI design work etc. but it just means that each team member must be able to develop at least one additional skill which may be transferable and be applied as and when needed. ● Self Organizing – There is a misconception among Scrum teams that it is the sole responsibility of the product owner to update the backlog and for the Scrum master to manage the stories and tasks. It should not be the case again. The implementation team has the freedom to add or update tasks as required to achieve the product goals. They must also be able to organize themselves during the Sprint, manage their time, carry out scrum ceremonies diligently and basically organize their work for the common betterment of the team. ● Self Healing – A Scrum team must be able to face impediments as a team, discuss about them and identify solution options most suitable to overcome those problems. Yes, the Scrum Master can be the protector and the guide, but the team itself must collaboratively sort out issues and move the project forward. ● Goal Oriented and committed – All activities and tasks carried out by the team must be in order to achieve the sprint goals and objectives and finally the release goals and objectives. The Scrum team must be committed during the sprint to perform tasks diligently to work towards the goal as a team. Thus any decisions made during the sprint must be made with the end goal in mind. ● Led and Protected by a leader, the Scrum Master – The Scrum Master is not a task master like in traditional waterfall projects. He must be a servant leader who leads by example. The scrum master must guide the team about the process to be followed, protect the team from outside interferences and solve problems through subjective and objective discussions and analysis. Thus we can see that a good Scrum team is like a well-oiled machine. A well trained and highly disciplined Rugby team.   
Importance of ‘Teams’ in Scrum

Importance of ‘Teams’ in Scrum

Rumesh Wijetunge
In a Rugby team, it is the ‘pack’ that keeps the team on track. The stronger the pack is and more technically sound they are, the better core strength they portray in keeping the Scrum upr...
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How can you Implement Agile Practices with the help of PMI-ACP?

PMI-ACP stands for Project Management Institute Agile Certified Practitioner. This is a kind of certification course offered for the ones who work in Agile project environments. This exam improves the skill set for the people who are in the Agile practices. There is a need to pass an exam to earn this certificate. There is an eligibility criterion to be filled to sit in the exam. This certification has a high value as it shows professional credibility that is wanted in the Agile sectors. The important features of PMI-ACP Developing an understanding of the principles that will improve the productivity and customer satisfaction skills Understanding of how the communication can be made transparently between the team and the customers Better adaptability to changes and management of the project to its utmost scope Ability to timely develop the projects within a budget Ability to handle the projects of all sizes The implementation of Agile practices with the help of PMI-ACP  There are so many benefits of getting a PMI-ACP certification course. It shows high professional standards. There is a combination of exam, training, and experience on the Agile practices that are of great value in the real-world situation. This value is the reason why the industry people prefer the certified professionals in their workplace. The method is widely recognized as a trusted developer of skills in the workers to enable them to perform better than before. Some of the benefits of implementation of Agile practices with the help of PMI-ACP are as follows- Giving structure to a body of knowledge:  PMI-ACP certification course is a structured course that gives shape to a wide body of knowledge. There are all kinds of needs for the course in the industry. Some have taken the Agile certification in its actual form, and some have changed it according to the requirements of the industry. The certification is necessary because all the branches have been encompassed in one course making it good for those who take the training. The common structure includes all the skills needed by the industries. Being better than the rest of the field:  This course gives a person an edge over the others. The certified person is better equipped to deal with the projects in a structured manner. There is a boost up of the managerial skills due to this course, and that leads to better handling and presentation of the projects. This is the proof of their capability to be an excellent project manager in any scenario they are put. Their skill sets make them more impressive than the rest.  The credibility of the skills in the world market This course boosts the skills of the professionals in such a manner that they are suitable for excelling in the fields ranging from refactoring and coding, to code and design reviews. This is recognized around the world. Therefore, the candidate can prove his skills in any part of the world regarding dealing with teams and leading projects. Development of the specific skills There are benchmarks set by the top companies regarding their projects. The course is developed based on the benchmarks in various sectors. There is a significant job market at the disposal of the certified person as a result of this. The utility of certification is the reason many companies make it compulsory to have the certification to be a part of their companies.  The dealing of critical projects in Agile sectors The certified professionals are better equipped to deal with the tough situations. The companies see them as professionals that come to aid in times of meeting immediate deadlines or in case of troubleshooting operations. They can save the company in situations of serious crisis by their expertise. They deal with the problems in a planned manner. The PMI-ACP is given the projects that are difficult to deal with and can put the company in trouble.  Why should you take the PMI-ACP certification course? There is a great demand in the market for the experts on the Agile principles. The techniques and tools show if an employer is ready to take on the challenges in the field of project management. All the top companies make a demand to see the certification. The certified ones get a higher salary than the rest of the professionals.The learners who want to make use of the technologies for software development benefit from the project. Clearing of the PMI-ACP exam conducted by the PMI is a necessity to get the certification. The list of fields in which people benefit from this course The project and program managers The software and testing managers The analysts and developers The project testers Software architects engineers  Team leaders  IT directors  IT managers  The end users  The general users who are seeking to understand the principles and practices of the Agile sector How can PMI-ACP improve your employment prospects? It is widely known that PMI-ACP qualification is the best way to add weight to the resume if you want to gain a foothold in the industry. It is a world-class management system that is recognized in the global business world and is widely accepted as the best in project implementation. Thus, it is natural that the top companies look for the professionals who are certified in the PMI-ACP course. In any organization, there are a variety of projects on offer that need to be dealt with. The certified one comes with a varied skill set that applies to a wide number of projects. They have great chances of proving themselves as assets to any company or projects they are put into. There have been scenarios where the businesses have sent their existing employees for the certification courses to hone their skills. So you can well understand the value an employee already equipped with the skill set has in the corporate world. Armed with the certification, you will make a mark in the business world with ease. Here're some references of PMI ACP Course Exam Questions to Prepare.  
How can you Implement Agile Practices with the help of PMI-ACP?

How can you Implement Agile Practices with the help of PMI-ACP?

Joyeeta Bose
PMI-ACP stands for Project Management Institute Agile Certified Practitioner. This is a kind of certification course offered for the ones who work in Agile project environments. This exam improves the...
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How can PRINCE2 be Effective for Project Managers in Challenging Situations?

PRINCE2 is an acronym for Projects in Controlled Environments. It is one of the most traditional process based methods that are being used for effective project management. It is being utilized extensively by the UK government, and it is also recognized to be employed in the private sector both in the UK and on international markets. The PRINCE2 method is in the public domain, and it offers one of the best practice guidance on project management on non-proprietor practices. The key features of PRINCE2 It focuses on justification of business It defines the organizational structure for the team of project management professionals It lays great emphasis on  project based planning approach It emphasizes on the division of the project into controllable and manageable stages It ensures that flexibility can be applied at a level that is being perceived appropriate to the project How can PRINCE2 benefit you? One of the main advantages of being adept in PRINCE2 is that it can be applied to any project within any industry sector. As this method is widely understood and recognized, it provides a common vocabulary for all those professionals who are involved in the project & it helps as a roadmap to success a project. This makes the concept easier to the management team, and they can formulate their ideas and valuable inputs by taking help from the everyday vocabulary. Here is a list of benefits of PRINCE2 in an organization’s project management system. It is widely recognized throughout the world Although PRINCE2 began as a standard framework for IT Project Management, it was being developed to make sure that its benefits can be applied to other domains of the industry. Quite interestingly, PRINCE2 examinations are available in 19 languages. So, one can see that it’s not just the qualifications that are globally acclaimed, the PRINCE2 method is also widely recognized. Hence, if a candidate possesses a recognized qualification, it increases the chance of expanding the network and the demand for services of an individual.  Common Vocabulary It is important to note that it is not just the qualifications that are recognized across nations and industries. It is worthwhile to note that over 150 private sector and public sector organizations constitute a virtual committee which consults on PRINCE2. In other words, the language of PRINCE2 is the language of Project Management. Hence, if an individual is adept in handling all the tasks related to PRINCE2, they would have an added benefit in their CV.  PRINCE2 is built for uncertainty The employees in many organizations seem to love PRINCE2 as it prepares the candidate for tough times. In other words, it imparts quality knowledge to the professional to be well equipped in case of emergency situations like quickly meeting deadlines. This applies to recessions and problems within the companies as well. The employers of most of the leading companies across the world see PRINCE2 professionals as troubleshooters. Hence, if a project is in crisis, PRINCE2 can assist an individual to plan and implement systems in a planned manner.   PRINCE2 possesses perfect starter qualification Keeping in mind all the reasons mentioned above, PRINCE2 is one of the ideal ways to master the fundamentals of Project Management. It can teach professional sound principles and can also make one aware to speak the language of Project Management. Moreover, PRINCE2 is not that rigid and is adaptable in numerous ways. Thus, it is increasingly being used for projects that are of any scale.  Why should you study PRINCE2? It is one of the most de facto management standards that enjoy global acclamation. It provides the skills that make you confident about successfully managing projects. It is so because PRINCE2 uses a common language, procedure, and system. It is also handy for a professional who wants to achieve new heights in the future. This also allows an individual to control risks and resources. By mastering the course of PRINCE2, you would be able to do fewer mistakes that would be good for the company in the long run. On the other hand, with the application of PRINCE2 in your company’s project management procedure, you can reap a lot of success. Another key advantage of studying PRINCE2 is that you can tailor it to any situation. You can make the required changes and alter the parameters without having a look at the external environment of your company.  How can PRINCE2 improve your employment prospects? It is a widely accepted fact that PRINCE2 qualification is one of the great ways to add weight to your CV. It is also recognized as a world-class international management system so that it can be implemented for project management. Thus, it is no wonder that so many companies are looking forward to appointing professionals who have a certification course in PRINCE2.  Moreover, as every organization irrespective of its size always depends on various project management techniques, a professional equipped with a PRINCE2 certification would always have a greater chance to showcase their skills and prove to be an asset for the organization shortly.   Why should you implement PRINCE2 in your organization? It is known as one of the international standards for Project Management. It is so because it embodies a substantial amount of time of the best project management practices. It also provides flexible and adaptable approaches for all kinds of projects. It provides an organization with  A consistent and standard approach Regular reviews of progress made against the project management plan and again the flexibility of the business environment It facilitates proper communication channels between project management and the rest of the organization It is also a means of capturing and sharing the lessons learned If you are the owner of the business and looking forward to train your employees, make sure to refer them to a good institute to train themselves in PRINCE2. In this manner, you can ensure that your employees have the right kind of attitude and aptitude to undertake various assignments in their companies. Hence, studying PRINCE2 would be a good alternative for those who are looking forward to creating a mark in the corporate world. We provide PRINCE2 Certification training, to check out the schedule click here.  
How can PRINCE2 be Effective for Project Managers in Challenging Situations?

How can PRINCE2 be Effective for Project Managers in Challenging Situations?

Joyeeta Bose
PRINCE2 is an acronym for Projects in Controlled Environments. It is one of the most traditional process based methods that are being used for effective project management. It is being utilized extens...
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3 Stages on Your Way to Agile Start-Up

Running a business using any predetermined methodology can be stressful and quite risky. You are essentially putting all of your faith into someone else’s hands in hope that their way of doing things will work for you.  One such example is the Agile startup business model that helps young and inexperienced digital entrepreneurs begin their corporate journey. But what are some of the distinguishing features of Agile model and how can you implement them into your own start-up? Being Agile One of the main reasons why Agile is considered a hard business model to work with is the fact that it doesn’t only represent a change in work habits. Agile changes your team’s complete mindset, making sure they are focused on more than just their personal goals and look at the bigger picture instead.  The cornerstone of Agile remains in its name – your team, coworkers and executives have to be “agile” in their everyday working routines in order to drive the project home and have a successful client relationship. Some of the more predominant features of Agile include:  Focus on customer satisfaction and collaboration instead of negotiation and direct sales  Ever-changing working environment that welcomes change and embraces new ideas  Software-based workflow that directly measures productivity and progress  Continued workflow simplicity and sustainability  Individuality of teams that work on their projects and personal skills inside the team  Facetime with coworkers and team members instead of web meetings and email correspondences Adapting to Agile Taking your team and internal company workflow into an Agile environment can take some time and patience depending on your current state of affairs. Giving this work model a chance is always a good idea since a lot of your previous bottlenecks will be resolved by a simple team meeting or a change in direction.  Keep in mind that every single member of your team or company will experience a sudden shift in their everyday productivity due to the new Agile working environment. The transformation may take up to several weeks depending on the cooperation and coordination of your HR department. 1. Simplifying goals Agile is there to make your job easier and simpler. That means that long-term goals should be considered visionary and in order to get there, you will have a lot of smaller goals to go through. This is because Agile revolves around small milestones and checkpoints on the way to team success. This gives everyone on the team a chance to do a bit of work that suits their skills and meet on the other side with everyone else.  Try breaking up your team goal into smaller chunks of work that are manageable even if only one person works on them. Once that person is finished they can move onto another milestone or help out a colleague who got stuck with a milestone he/she can’t handle. This sort of job delegation is the cornerstone of Agile, meaning that everyone can and has to do everything in order to finish the project on time. 2. Scrum meetings Now that your goal is broken up into smaller chunks, it’s much easier to handle and write a report on it. While weekly meetings are always going to stay in your schedule, Agile will make sure that they are never as dominant as before. This is because Agile introduces so called “Scrum” meetings into your everyday schedule in order to make sure that everyone knows what they are doing.  A scrum meeting is basically a quick advice and recap session between you and your team. You can gather in your office in a matter of minutes and discuss what everyone has been up to that day and what they plan on doing tomorrow. This is a good example of how Agile can keep everyone in your startup on their feet and focused on the task at hand.  Developing a transition from a weekly schedule into a Scrum environment won’t go unnoticed and many of your colleagues will think they know better. It’s important to communicate the importance of implementing Agile to the fullest if you are to succeed.  3. Productivity and deadlines One of the hardest parts of Agile to align with is the fact that this model revolves around constant productivity. For example, if you have a deadline of four weeks in order to make five posters, you will have to start making them from day one and not wait until the last week to start the production.  This is because Scrum meetings require constant updates on where everyone stands currently and where they are headed. It’s always better to at least show something for the time that passed between your meetings instead of showing up empty handed.  Showing up to a meeting without anything to report can not only be embarrassing but also detrimental to your entire team’s moral. These people count on you as much as you count on them, and Agile is making sure that everyone needs to be productive if the team wants to succeed. Conclusion Your transformation into Agile will never stop – that’s one of the reasons why people opt for this workflow model. Your team dynamics and workflow will constantly shift and no two weeks will ever be the same once you fully adapt to Agile.  Make sure that your team is fully aware of what this model will bring with it and that they are aboard with it. Having to explain yourself after you have made the needed changes can only slow down your progress towards making an Agile startup with a clear direction.  
3 Stages on Your Way to Agile Start-Up

3 Stages on Your Way to Agile Start-Up

Luisa Brenton
Running a business using any predetermined methodology can be stressful and quite risky. You are essentially putting all of your faith into someone else’s hands in hope that their way of doing t...
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How to Prepare for and Pass the Professional Scrum Master Exam

Whether you are an avid student or attending a Scrum course or preparing for the Scrum Master exam, these are the tips of a Scrum.org Trainer to pass the exam at the first. If you use Scrum in your organization but you do not get the effectiveness you expect and there are many advanced problems that you cannot solve, this is the ideal course for you. The Professional Scrum Master course introduces the principles and theories of empirical process control, which are the pillars of Scrum. Once these fundamental pillars have been built, roles, artifacts and events are explained through individual and team exercises. Through the study of real cases, it goes a step further and introduces everyday situations which organizations that use Scrum face every day such as -planning, portfolio management, leadership and conflict management . The Professional Scrum Master course focuses on the role of Scrum Master. It includes advanced work tools to facilitate leadership through the service and changes needed to use Scrum, work with people and teams, coaching and facilitation, as well as scrum scaling. Planning for Scrum ●    Whether you have attended one of our official courses Professional Scrum Master in London or Manchester or you are preparing on your own or have attended a course from another provider, this article has discussed the fundamental keys to crack the PSM examination and become Scrum Master. ●    The PSM I exam is the most rigorous in the industry. It really prepares you to be a Scrum Master, evaluating your knowledge of Scrum ●    If you have attended an unofficial trainer course, it is likely that you have provided a list of questions or exams and have to pay for the exam yourself. This type of suppliers like David Martí of the company Xsfera, have no relation with Scrum.org and their credentials are more than dubious. Your only goal is to charge you 395 € with a quick course that will leave you with more doubts than you brought in and you will have to a work a lot on your account to approve. Still, it is possible. Let's see how. Study the Scrum guide ●    It leaves most of the PSM exam questions and has all the key knowledge to understand how Scrum works. ●    Not only do you have to devote a quick reading. It needs a comprehensive reading. Take your time to mark what you do not understand and try to find the solution in the guide itself. It is worth devoting that time. ●    Make sure you understand key concepts such as the value of self-organization. Review the glossary of Scrum.org terms ●    Scrum.org has a fairly extensive glossary of terms in which descriptions of each Scrum key word, its events, artifacts, and roles are present. ●    This glossary is essential to prepare for the exam. Also in the realization of the same, be sure to add it to your bookmarks so you have it handy and see it first, instead of searching it on Google. Get ready using Scrum.org open assessment ●    In the Open Assessment of Scrum.org you will find groups of 30 question with solutions that include some real questions of the PSM I. Take your time and do it as many times as you need. You have 30 minutes to complete the assessment. ●    Ideally, before throwing yourself in for the actual test, you should pass at least 3 times in a row without any mistake in the open exam, leaving you plenty of time to finish it. If not, continue practicing and studying. ●    In the end you will nail it. Buy and read Gunther Verheyen's Scrum Pocket Guide ●    Gunther has long been the shepherd of the Professional Scrum series at Scrum.org, making him the ideal person to write a reference book in Scrum . ●    This small book deals in-depth with the topics set out in the official Scrum guide. Along with the glossary of terms from Scrum.org, this will be your ally to pass the PSM exam and become a Professional Scrum Master. During the exam follow these tips: ●    Make sure you pass the Open Assessment easily before you try ●    The exam lasts 60 minutes and consists of 80 questions, so you have less than a minute per question ●    Keep the Scrum guide open and the glossary of terms for questions will be useful. ●    If you get stuck in a question, mark it and you can check it later ●    When you get to the last question, be careful not to press the end of the exam until you have had time to review the questions.  
How to Prepare for and Pass the Professional Scrum Master Exam

How to Prepare for and Pass the Professional Scrum Master Exam

torrie william
Whether you are an avid student or attending a Scrum course or preparing for the Scrum Master exam, these are the tips of a Scrum.org Trainer to pass the exam at the first. If you use Scrum in your or...
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How to Design the Best Project Plan in Less Time!

Every project has something important to say. The goals, enthusiasm, time limits, deliverables, and what not! Expressing everything in just a few pages and that too, with the pressure of approvals or rejections, is not an easy task. It requires lots of efforts to tell the right story at the right time and in the right amount. Some of them are short and sweet, and some are amazingly lengthy.  The stories can either be ‘straight to the point’ or the ‘beat around the bush,' but the beauty is that both types are fine if the crux is correct. No matter what is the length of such stories; if you want to make it popular, wanted, or approved, you have to create an outline which can cover the arc of your proposed matter.  That outline is a ‘project plan’ in the language of project management. It is the most important thing to start with, in any project. It is the process of defining objectives, scope, and the steps of completion of the project. In this article, you will get to know how you can design the best project plan in minimum time!  First of all, let’s understand where we waste our time while working on a project plan;  To make it fancy,  To write a lot of descriptions,  Not using the right project management tools,  Doing constant changes in the initial strategies,  Not following the project schedules, etc. These were the common flaws in project management.. Avoid such issues to be quick. Make a priority list, set goals, make a strategy, and stick to it. You must include situational flexibility in your schedule, but not the sudden or major changes. That activity can confuse your subordinates/ team, and it may create chaos. So, what should we do to minimize the wasting time and focus on the actual and valuable work? Read further… Best design plan in less time 1. Keep it simple As I have mentioned earlier, most of the people waste a lot of time to make a project plan fancy and descriptive. It is not required. The beauty of an effective project plan lies in its simplicity. The reason to keep it simple is that it will be easy to understand. Let’s face the fact that you will be given only a few minutes to explain your plan to the stakeholders, and during this time you have to make them interested in your project. Trust me, they have clear expectations and look only for benefits which your project will deliver. So, the project plan should be scannable. 2. Never avoid your homework Invest your time in homework. A good homework can give clarity to so many things at a time. This process will save a lot of time in future, so it is a good deal to do homework at this stage. If you want to cut the trees with minimum effort, then you have to invest some time to sharpen the axe. First, identify the stakeholders, and then define the beneficiaries, expected benefits, communication channel, skill set requirements, etc. It will make the whole process fast. 3. Choose your warriors wisely Team selection is a major step while working on the project plan. It defines work breakdown structure. It also strengthens the project. You must take it seriously as it will directly affect the output.  Choose a team which is quick, confident, and deliverable. You must know all the team members’ skill sets, as those will be useful to divide the project’s responsibility. Try to make a team of multitaskers, who can handle the given work. 4. Make a SMART strategy The strategy is as important as the research process. There are several tasks, subtasks, milestones, goals, and expectations in the project management. If there is no strategy, everything might become a mess.  As you know, SMART stands for goals which are; ●    Specific, ●    Measurable, ●    Achievable, ●    Realistic/ Result focused, and ●    Time-bound. Make a strategy which covers all these things. Strategy gives a way of thinking about everybody and defines the job roles for each team member. The strategy can also schedule the project, which makes everyone active and gives them an expected deadline so that they can work accordingly. 5. Communicate like a PRO You must have heard that communication is the key to success. How? It's because it gives clarity and avoids many misconceptions/ misunderstandings between two team members. You should also communicate with each other frequently. Inform your stakeholders about the progress, review the project, keep your team members informed, be transparent by sharing details with your team. 'Describing' leads to questions, and to find out the answers to such questions, you all must have some brainstorming session, which leads to more clarity – which will drive to the predictability. 6. Keep a track record and never abandon your expectations If you want your desired results in less time, you have to keep a track record. You should take care when a particular task is supposed to start, who is going to do it, what are the steps to follow, the further actions, when all of these will be completed, etc. Moreover, you should never abandon the expectations, (i.e., goals) which were decided at the time of strategy making. With the passing time, you and your team must know about the project risks. To keep the record of the risks, make risk charts which can display the risk factors. 7.  Be calm  This is the most efficient and important thing (and always works positively). Don’t panic under any circumstances. Hyper mind or actions may lead you and your team in some wrong direction. To avoid silly mistakes, it is fundamental to have a calm mind.  Neither rush too fast, nor go too slow. Be stable and moderate. Balance the whole journey. Take certain breaks and keep your team motivated. Be your team’s biggest support and have faith. Always remember that positive thinking and positive actions can lessen the chances of mistakes, which ultimately saves a lot of time. So, these were some simple, but not so known ideas to design the best project plan in less time. Try to implement these strategies once, and I am sure you will be able to present a perfect project plan to the stakeholders with a much more professional approach.  I hope this article will help you to make a project plan. It will surely save your time as well as extra & unwanted efforts so that you can utilize them in some other important tasks. We provide Project Management Professional training, to check out the schedule click here
How to Design the Best Project Plan in Less Time!

How to Design the Best Project Plan in Less Time!

Bhumi Patel
Every project has something important to say. The goals, enthusiasm, time limits, deliverables, and what not! Expressing everything in just a few pages and that too, with the pressure of approvals or ...
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DevOps & Automation- Advantages Of DevOps

Automation is the key to realizing the philosophy of DevOps and in ensuring that it delivers. The underlying building blocks of DevOps are to ensure that the engineering platform is in place to facilitate continuous delivery, integration, and improvement.  Consider the following processes that have traditionally been carried out manually- Creating development, testing and production infrastructure and configuring networks Harnessing security and data protection Setting up, configuring and deploying software Testing and validation of data – data generated from the application and about the usage of the application Supporting infrastructure and the applications running on it – maintenance, upgrades and transitions In a traditional development scenario, each new environment has to be created from scratch and include all of the above processes, making it a very tedious and lengthy process. However, in a DevOps environment, releases are more frequent and time for testing and quality assurance is therefore much shorter. Performing all these tasks manually therefore severely undermines the efficacy of the DevOps approach. However, it is not just about making DevOps possible, it also has its own advantages. Unexpected errors in production still occur in manual builds as it is difficult to exactly replicate each environment. This in turn, increases the risk of errors occurring in production after testing has been carried out on non-identical pre-production systems. In today’s software world, it is all about productizing and replicating solutions. A product needs to be customized and deployed at a new client site within a really short period of time. Once deployed, the operations support team must be able to support with issues, bug fixes and day-to-day activities in a smooth manner. Similarly, a product deployed for one business domain must easily be configured and utilized by another industry. Such is the flexibility expected from software today. What’s more, in the traditional development cycle, each member of the team has a local copy of the code. When a developer implements a new feature or fixes a bug locally, once complete, the new code is committed back to a central repository. But in a team of developers and system operators, more than one individual can be following this process at the same time, unintentionally breaking the code or affecting another developer’s code. The rule of thumb is that the greater the human intervention, the more testing that will be required. Pre-production or development environments become non-standard which makes processes like testing or releasing new software versions more difficult to repeat and more prone to error. In worst-case scenarios, developers are left to re-invent the wheel each time they need to make changes in response to new business demands. The advantage of DevOps By creating a more responsive development environment that is closely aligned to business requirements and which removes human error from the project lifecycle, DevOps enables organizations to:  Reduce the implementation time of new services from months to minutes  Increase productivity of business and IT teams  Save costs on maintenance and upgrades, and eliminate unnecessary capital expenditure  Standardize processes for easy replication and faster delivery  Improve quality, reliability and reusability of all system components  Increase the rate of success for digitalization strategies and transformation projects  Ensure that money invested in cloud infrastructure, analytics and data management are not wasted Since it focuses on delivering value much earlier in a project lifecycle, DevOps can be seen as an ideal approach to national and government IT projects, as well as massive scale projects for the private sector. It helps accelerate new services through continuous improvement and operational flexibility, providing innovative and cost-effective ways for delivering value through new ways of development and operations. We provide Devops Certification training, to check out the schedule click here
DevOps & Automation- Advantages Of DevOps

DevOps & Automation- Advantages Of DevOps

Rumesh Wijetunge
Automation is the key to realizing the philosophy of DevOps and in ensuring that it delivers. The underlying building blocks of DevOps are to ensure that the engineering platform is in place to facili...
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The Project Manager’s Role In Managing Scope Creep

Managing Scope is one of the most important responsibilities of a project manager as well as a business analyst. As per PMBOK® guide, managing the project scope is the sole responsibility of the project manager. Similarly, according to PMI’s guide to business analysis, the responsibility of managing product scope lies with the business analyst, with some amount of overlooking required from the project manager. The knowledge and capability of managing project scope are thus important elements of a project manager’s day to day tasks and an important knowledge area for anyone preparing for the PMP® or CAPM® exams. What constitutes project scope? PMBOK® guide refers to scope as the project’s boundaries. It defines the work that will be done during the project lifecycle.  The project’s boundaries are defined with respect to specific project goals and objectives, milestones, deadlines and project deliverables, tasks to be performed and resources required and the relevant project costs.  So, what is scope management? Managing scope entails a set of processes and activities required to effectively manage project scope from start to finish. This includes activities to define project scope and relevant parameters, SLAs in managing scope, planning scope management, controlling project scope elements defined on a daily basis, managing changes up until delivering the project and reporting on project scope. It helps project managers to allocate the correct amount of work and resources required to complete a project successfully. What can go wrong? What is scope creep? The uncontrolled growth in project scope at any point after the project has begun is known as scope creep. Scope creep is actually the negative effect on time, cost, and resources, resultant of the addition of additional features to the scope.  Project manager deal with Scope creep can occur when a project scope is not properly defined, documented or controlled and is also known as function creep, feature creep, requirements creep and more metaphorically as “kitchen sink syndrome”. This product scope creep will have adverse effects on project constraints such as time, cost, resources, and quality, and requires to be managed properly. Scope creep may happen naturally. The client may want more features for the same price where the project manager may just bow down to keep the customer happy. Similarly, the implementation team themselves may add more scope by trying to gold-plate or when they try to make things more visual by prototyping. So, it’s clear that project scope may increase knowingly or unknowingly. Importance of managing or avoiding scope creep It is important for a project management professional to avoid possibility of scope creep in order to increase chances of delivering project on time and on budget. Delivering a project on time will depend on how many features are taken up for each milestone or iteration and how the team can work efficiently to achieve the same. Managing scope is thus an important competency for a project manager. Predictive projects may follow formal Change Control Processes through a Change Control Board (CCB) to validate and bring in changes. Adaptive agile projects can be more complex with requirements needed to be groomed and managed as a product backlog. Tips for project managers to avoid or manage scope creep  Understand project goals & objectives It is extremely important for the project manager to be aware of the client’s vision for the project and for the product. The project manager must understand how the project objectives tie up with the corporate vision and strategy. The old adage goes, as ‘Something well begun is half done’. Thus a good understanding of what the client wants will help define what and how to manage. Understand solution requirements Project managers of yesteryears considered that the understanding of the functional and non-functional requirements is not their problem. But now,  it is imperative and the project managers understand the requirements and how they are related to goals and objectives so that they can plan the work and manage it properly. Understanding of requirements will allow the project manager to decompose requirements down to task level, identify milestones and resources and thus assist in keeping the project on track. On Track!  From day one of the project, the project manager must manage project scope and take necessary steps to avoid scope creep. The project manager tracking the requirements and change requests properly will assist in this case.  Devise a bullet-proof process for managing change requests A well-defined process to identify changes, report or take in change requests, evaluate them (evaluating the change, effort required, impact of change etc.) and to select and implement them is an important aspect in scope management. The project manager is responsible for defining this process, executing it, educating the team members on the process and on evaluating the process progress from time to time. In predictive or in adaptive projects, it is always good to limit the authority to request and to approve change requests.  Its alright to say ‘No’ Finally, the project manager as well as the team should be capable of saying no to unreasonable or unrealistic requests.  The project manager must be able to explain to the requester as to why a certain request is rejected with proper facts.  It is always important to avoid gold-plating. If things go wrong or are not possible within the current scope it is always important to say ‘No’ rather than getting into trouble later on. Sometimes it may be difficult to say ‘No’ to client stakeholders. The project manager’s negotiation and facilitation skills come to the fore-front in this case where he must be able to say ‘No’ with a positive manner as well as be able to convince client stakeholders by providing a prioritized list of features and so on. What’s next? As discussed in the introductory section, the responsibility of managing product scope lies with the business analyst. So, await my next article on the business analyst’s as well as the project manager’s responsibilities in managing product scope. Stay tuned!!  
The Project Manager’s Role In Managing Scope Creep

The Project Manager’s Role In Managing Scope Creep

Rumesh Wijetunge
Managing Scope is one of the most important responsibilities of a project manager as well as a business analyst. As per PMBOK® guide, managing the project scope is the sole responsibility of the p...
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