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What Is a Roadmap in Project Management?

Building a product is a huge undertaking that requires commitment from not just those involved in building the project, but also those investing in the project and the management driving the project. Helping all those involved in the project understand the project goals and benefits of the project, ensures buy-in and commitment from the stakeholders and investors, and helps the development team better plan and space out their work. The project roadmap that presents a bird’s eye view of the project is an essential part of strategic planning and a must for projects of any size or type.What Is a Project Roadmap?  The project roadmap is a visual representation of the goals, mission, vision, resource allocations and key deliverables of the project. It is a high-level view and aims to provide stakeholders and those involved in development with a macro level understanding of important objectives and milestones.  A project roadmap is an easy and simple to follow guide for the entire project. It allows the key stakeholders and project personnel the ability to visualise the project from start to finish and make important decisions without getting into the minute details of the project, which may be more time consuming.  A project roadmap should help convey: Allocation of resources Project progress at any given time Key project releases Whether the project is on track and within budgetWhy Do You Need a Project Roadmap?The project roadmap is an everyday reminder of the objectives or final goal of the project. During the project, changes can be made to several things. Priorities may change, new requirements may arise, release dates may be pushed based on market demand etc. This may need some re-thinking in terms of team and resource allocation and planning of releases. Through this all, the team and others involved with the project should not lose sight of the overall vision and goal of the project. The project roadmap serves as a ready reckoner and a reminder of the high-level goals that must be accomplished, helping the team make more intelligent decisions. The project roadmap is also an essential tool when project information must be conveyed to investors, stakeholders or clients. Any of these parties may show an interest in understanding the position and progress of the project but may not show the inclination to get down to the micro level details of the project or sit through the task-by-task details of the project. The project roadmap serves as a good visual representation that can be shown to interested parties to help them understand the strategic milestones the project has reached.What to Include in Your Project Roadmap?Source: business-docs.co.ukWhat information should you add to your project roadmap and more importantly what should you keep out? What elements would you add in the roadmap to make it relevant to the audience? While each project and organization require its own specific roadmap, there are certain key elements that must be included in all roadmaps. Objectives: The roadmap, after all, defines the key objectives of the project. Hence this is the most important element of your project roadmap. It should help viewers understand the key tasks, project targets, how are the targets being achieved, the time taken to achieve the targets, deadlines, and whether the project is on time and within budget. Deliverables and resource allocation is presented with respect to timelines so that it’s easy to understand whether timelines are being followed and the status of things.  Targets: Targets or project milestones are an important aspect of the project roadmap. They help stakeholder buy-in and help team members to schedule their work commitments and priorities accordingly. Monitoring milestones helps track project progress.  Deliverables Just like targets or milestones, deliverables are also a means to measure project status and help stakeholders clearly understand how the project is progressing. Deliverables are the product releases that are expected to be derived from the project. Resource Management: Resource management helps to track the resources in terms of team members, technology, budget, etc allocated to the project. Plotting them on the roadmap ensures efficient use of resources and helps decide whether to increase or decrease resources allocated based on project performance.  Risk Management: Risk management is among the most important stages of a project lifecycle. The roadmap identifies possible risks or problems the project might run into. By having this always listed out the team members would avoid them or take the necessary actions if they do run into these risks.  Timelines: Timelines and schedules need to be maintained for every stage of the project. This helps the team as well as the stakeholders who can understand if milestones and key deliverables are being delivered on time and if the overall project is on track.Source: pmmajik.comProject Scope Statement The Project Scope Statement is an important part of the project roadmap and maps out details of the project objectives, deliverables, assumptions, requirements and constraints. It is a legally binding agreement between the project sponsors and the project manager and as such must be included in the project plan.  The project scope statement highlights: Organizational needs Project objectives Project need/justification Key deliverables Key milestones or releases How to increase the value of your Project Roadmap A project roadmap is common for different types of projects. But what’s essential is that each team should find out ways to enhance effectiveness and maximize value. This can be done by: Identifying the key internal and external stakeholders Identifying the key project components and defining the project plan Identifying resources and allocating tasks and roles Holding a meeting to go over the project roadmap and clarify doubts and set expectations Defining project scope Identifying project risks Maintaining communication with all involved by developing a solid communication plan Benefits and Challenges of a Project RoadmapA project roadmap offers many benefits including: Offering a clear brief to the team members and the stakeholders: The project roadmap is the best way to easily, effectively and quickly communicate project goals and plans to all those involved in the project. It helps to maintain a high level of transparency and removes ambiguity.  Manage priorities: The roadmap helps team members identify priorities and work towards the goal.  Stay on path: The project roadmap serves as a reference guide for the team to stay on track and meet project goals. Sets expectations: The customers know what to expect when they see the roadmap that has clearly defined goals and milestones. Project roadmap challenges, include: Guess-timating: It’s never a good idea to guess estimates even if for a roadmap. This could lead to several challenges as the project progresses and may lead to compromise on quality.  Not sharing the roadmap: The roadmap is your project’s story. It must be shared with all those involved to maintain transparency and set expectations.  Not updating the roadmap: The roadmap is a living document and should be updated continuously. Any changes that have been made on scope, resource or budget allocation or deliverables must reflect in the project roadmap so that anyone accessing it will know the status of things. Too much information: The project roadmap unlike the product roadmap is a strategic document and only presents a high-level view of the project details? It does not require too many details that would obscure its readability. Not enough foresight: The project roadmap should provide a view of the future. By not planning enough for the future, there are risks that the project may run into delays, risks, cost overruns etc. Roadmap best practicesCreate the roadmap before you create the project plan:  The roadmap and project plan are two different elements of the project. While the project plan outlines the tactical details of a project, the roadmap outlines the strategic details of the project. So, it is obvious that the macro level document that focuses on the overall, high-level view of the project should be created first. This will help as a source to create the more detailed document that is the project plan. Getting an understanding of the overall goal will help in breaking down tasks, roles and responsibilities.  Make sure everyone understands your roadmap: There’s a reason why we create the roadmap and that is so that all those involved, especially those outside the project team, such as management, stakeholders and investors, understand what the project is about, its objectives and goals. If you present this information in a way that is complicated or doesn’t make sense to external stakeholders, then there would be no point is making a roadmap. Hence makes sure to use tools that are clear and help to present information in a visually appealing and easily understandable manner.  Keep the roadmap updated: Any changes in scope, release date modification or change in resource allocation etc should immediately be updated in the project roadmap. This is especially true for complex projects that are very likely to undergo changes due to scope changes or the long duration. Since this is a document that serves as a view on the project dashboard and both stakeholders and project team members can access it, keeping it updated always is important; so that anyone accessing it will know where the project stands and the status of deliverables. Old or non-relevant information can mislead stakeholders and even damage your reputation.  To summarize… The project roadmap sets the stage for you to start the work on your project. The creation of the project roadmap should not be neglected as it brings all those involved on board and ensures that everyone is in alignment with project goals and objectives. The project roadmap gives teams the clarity to be effective, productive and motivated.  
What Is a Roadmap in Project Management?
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What Is a Roadmap in Project Management?

Building a product is a huge undertaking that requires commitment from not just those involved in building the project, but also those investing in the project and the management driving the project. Helping all those involved in the project understand the project goals and benefits of the project, ensures buy-in and commitment from the stakeholders and investors, and helps the development team better plan and space out their work. The project roadmap that presents a bird’s eye view of the project is an essential part of strategic planning and a must for projects of any size or type.What Is a Project Roadmap?  The project roadmap is a visual representation of the goals, mission, vision, resource allocations and key deliverables of the project. It is a high-level view and aims to provide stakeholders and those involved in development with a macro level understanding of important objectives and milestones.  A project roadmap is an easy and simple to follow guide for the entire project. It allows the key stakeholders and project personnel the ability to visualise the project from start to finish and make important decisions without getting into the minute details of the project, which may be more time consuming.  A project roadmap should help convey: Allocation of resources Project progress at any given time Key project releases Whether the project is on track and within budgetWhy Do You Need a Project Roadmap?The project roadmap is an everyday reminder of the objectives or final goal of the project. During the project, changes can be made to several things. Priorities may change, new requirements may arise, release dates may be pushed based on market demand etc. This may need some re-thinking in terms of team and resource allocation and planning of releases. Through this all, the team and others involved with the project should not lose sight of the overall vision and goal of the project. The project roadmap serves as a ready reckoner and a reminder of the high-level goals that must be accomplished, helping the team make more intelligent decisions. The project roadmap is also an essential tool when project information must be conveyed to investors, stakeholders or clients. Any of these parties may show an interest in understanding the position and progress of the project but may not show the inclination to get down to the micro level details of the project or sit through the task-by-task details of the project. The project roadmap serves as a good visual representation that can be shown to interested parties to help them understand the strategic milestones the project has reached.What to Include in Your Project Roadmap?Source: business-docs.co.ukWhat information should you add to your project roadmap and more importantly what should you keep out? What elements would you add in the roadmap to make it relevant to the audience? While each project and organization require its own specific roadmap, there are certain key elements that must be included in all roadmaps. Objectives: The roadmap, after all, defines the key objectives of the project. Hence this is the most important element of your project roadmap. It should help viewers understand the key tasks, project targets, how are the targets being achieved, the time taken to achieve the targets, deadlines, and whether the project is on time and within budget. Deliverables and resource allocation is presented with respect to timelines so that it’s easy to understand whether timelines are being followed and the status of things.  Targets: Targets or project milestones are an important aspect of the project roadmap. They help stakeholder buy-in and help team members to schedule their work commitments and priorities accordingly. Monitoring milestones helps track project progress.  Deliverables Just like targets or milestones, deliverables are also a means to measure project status and help stakeholders clearly understand how the project is progressing. Deliverables are the product releases that are expected to be derived from the project. Resource Management: Resource management helps to track the resources in terms of team members, technology, budget, etc allocated to the project. Plotting them on the roadmap ensures efficient use of resources and helps decide whether to increase or decrease resources allocated based on project performance.  Risk Management: Risk management is among the most important stages of a project lifecycle. The roadmap identifies possible risks or problems the project might run into. By having this always listed out the team members would avoid them or take the necessary actions if they do run into these risks.  Timelines: Timelines and schedules need to be maintained for every stage of the project. This helps the team as well as the stakeholders who can understand if milestones and key deliverables are being delivered on time and if the overall project is on track.Source: pmmajik.comProject Scope Statement The Project Scope Statement is an important part of the project roadmap and maps out details of the project objectives, deliverables, assumptions, requirements and constraints. It is a legally binding agreement between the project sponsors and the project manager and as such must be included in the project plan.  The project scope statement highlights: Organizational needs Project objectives Project need/justification Key deliverables Key milestones or releases How to increase the value of your Project Roadmap A project roadmap is common for different types of projects. But what’s essential is that each team should find out ways to enhance effectiveness and maximize value. This can be done by: Identifying the key internal and external stakeholders Identifying the key project components and defining the project plan Identifying resources and allocating tasks and roles Holding a meeting to go over the project roadmap and clarify doubts and set expectations Defining project scope Identifying project risks Maintaining communication with all involved by developing a solid communication plan Benefits and Challenges of a Project RoadmapA project roadmap offers many benefits including: Offering a clear brief to the team members and the stakeholders: The project roadmap is the best way to easily, effectively and quickly communicate project goals and plans to all those involved in the project. It helps to maintain a high level of transparency and removes ambiguity.  Manage priorities: The roadmap helps team members identify priorities and work towards the goal.  Stay on path: The project roadmap serves as a reference guide for the team to stay on track and meet project goals. Sets expectations: The customers know what to expect when they see the roadmap that has clearly defined goals and milestones. Project roadmap challenges, include: Guess-timating: It’s never a good idea to guess estimates even if for a roadmap. This could lead to several challenges as the project progresses and may lead to compromise on quality.  Not sharing the roadmap: The roadmap is your project’s story. It must be shared with all those involved to maintain transparency and set expectations.  Not updating the roadmap: The roadmap is a living document and should be updated continuously. Any changes that have been made on scope, resource or budget allocation or deliverables must reflect in the project roadmap so that anyone accessing it will know the status of things. Too much information: The project roadmap unlike the product roadmap is a strategic document and only presents a high-level view of the project details? It does not require too many details that would obscure its readability. Not enough foresight: The project roadmap should provide a view of the future. By not planning enough for the future, there are risks that the project may run into delays, risks, cost overruns etc. Roadmap best practicesCreate the roadmap before you create the project plan:  The roadmap and project plan are two different elements of the project. While the project plan outlines the tactical details of a project, the roadmap outlines the strategic details of the project. So, it is obvious that the macro level document that focuses on the overall, high-level view of the project should be created first. This will help as a source to create the more detailed document that is the project plan. Getting an understanding of the overall goal will help in breaking down tasks, roles and responsibilities.  Make sure everyone understands your roadmap: There’s a reason why we create the roadmap and that is so that all those involved, especially those outside the project team, such as management, stakeholders and investors, understand what the project is about, its objectives and goals. If you present this information in a way that is complicated or doesn’t make sense to external stakeholders, then there would be no point is making a roadmap. Hence makes sure to use tools that are clear and help to present information in a visually appealing and easily understandable manner.  Keep the roadmap updated: Any changes in scope, release date modification or change in resource allocation etc should immediately be updated in the project roadmap. This is especially true for complex projects that are very likely to undergo changes due to scope changes or the long duration. Since this is a document that serves as a view on the project dashboard and both stakeholders and project team members can access it, keeping it updated always is important; so that anyone accessing it will know where the project stands and the status of deliverables. Old or non-relevant information can mislead stakeholders and even damage your reputation.  To summarize… The project roadmap sets the stage for you to start the work on your project. The creation of the project roadmap should not be neglected as it brings all those involved on board and ensures that everyone is in alignment with project goals and objectives. The project roadmap gives teams the clarity to be effective, productive and motivated.  
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What Is a Roadmap in Project Management?

Building a product is a huge undertaking that requ... Read More

What Is Project Management Software & What Are Its Advantages

Over the years, there has been tremendous progress in technology. This has resulted in projects getting more complicated and extensive. Also, since our world is shrinking and geographies are getting closer, our projects are getting pan-global, involving resources from across the globe. What project managers need these days to effectively carry out tasks and ensure project success are tools that will help them manage their resources, time and money better.There are several such project management software engineering tools available in the market and this blog is your go-to guide to decide how to choose the right software tools to make your life easier as a project manager.What Is Project Management Software?What do project managers need? A tool that will help them better plan and schedule, manage resources, communicate and collaborate with stakeholders and team members. Project management software helps perform all these activities and more.Here is a list of things a project management software tool helps to accomplish: Project planning and scheduling Resource allocation Performance tracking Budget and cost management Change management Collaboration and communication  Risk mitigation Monitoring performanceThere are several project management software platforms available, that provide several tools for easy project management. The main purpose of a project management software is to help in planning and tracking of the project components and facilitate communication between those involved.  Some of the project management software packages available in the market include: Monday.com Microsoft Projects Skype Celoxis  Wrike Benefits of project management software: There are several benefits that project management software have to offer. Specifically, a project management software should help with: Planning and scheduling:Planning and scheduling are the most important aspects of a project manager’s role. These include assigning tasks to resources, scheduling time for these tasks to be completed and allocating a budget for these tasks. Project planning and scheduling are used to attain project objectives and can be thought of as a comprehensive outline of the project objectives, scope, budget and time. An effective project management software should be able to help the project manager define and map project tasks efficiently.   Team collaboration:Successful projects require utmost collaboration and communication between team members. Today’s projects are more distributed, with teams working from different corners of the globe. In such a scenario having a tool that maximises collaboration between team members will also result in positive outcomes for the project. And not just team members, effective collaboration needs to be maintained with the clients and stakeholders too.This is especially true for Agile projects that focus on transparency and trust. An effective platform to communicate the project milestones and challenges will help keep everyone on the same page in the context of the project.  Task delegation:Task delegation is an important aspect of project management. A good project management tool will help in effective task delegation by allowing the creation of tasks, assignment of tasks to resources, setting of deadlines and generating status reports. Accessing and sharing files:Multiple team members working on a project will need to access shared resources such as files, trackers, reports etc. Efficient project management software should be able to provide a central repository of files and other shared resources that can be accessed by all team members, which in turn will enhance the productivity of the team.  Integrating new members:Just like a good project management software will help automate tasks and collaborate, it will also help in easy integration of new members to the existing team. Risk management and mitigation:Every project is prone to risk and an effective project manager will always think of ways to mitigate risks before they occur. Effective risk management requires the project manager to monitor and ensure that the project does not exceed scope, time or budget. A good project management tool should have the facility to help project managers protect projects against risks and changes through analysis, assessments and tracking.  Budget management: It’s very difficult to justify to stakeholders why the project budget has gone overboard. An effective tool should help a project manager create an accurate budget and help maintain it by monitoring costs and resources.  The markets are fluctuating and so are costs for resources. In such a case it is possible that a project that is very extensive will go over the estimated budget. The project manager can simplify budgeting and keep a track on costs by creating accurate trackers and reports. Adding new costs, tracking labour costs, adding extra costs such as risk mitigation costs etc aid the project manager in maintaining the project budget and ensuring that there is no overrun.  Remote working:Remote working has now become the norm, and the pandemic has made remote working a necessity rather than a convenience. Maybe a decade ago, managing projects remotely, getting resources to work together, allocating tasks etc would have seemed impossible. But project management tools available today have made remote working efficient and effective.  A good tool should allow team members who are geographically dispersed and separated by time zones to work effectively, collaboratively and without a break in communication. From helping team members access shared repositories to sharing ideas to communicating effectively, the project management software should be seamless for virtual teams.  Enhancing productivity:When your team has everything ready at its disposal and does not have to worry about anything other than the development of the project, then productivity increases and so does motivation to be productive. Efficient software can find loopholes in timelines, scope creep or budget and help you address them early on, thus helping you deliver better products on time and optimise processes. Your stakeholders in turn will be happy and so will your team members!  Effective communication:Effective communication is the single most important thing to ensure that a project, be it Scrum, Waterfall, XP or Kanban, is delivered effectively. The project management software should provide a platform where team members can communicate through chat messenger, video or voice calls. This helps disperse information at the right time and in the right format for the right impact.  To sum up... There are several project management software packages available in the market.  Organizations should choose the software which suits their projects and team members. Effective project management software will not just help you track the progress of your projects but will help create an efficient system of communication and collaboration with team members and stakeholders, monitoring performance and mitigating risks before they even occur.   
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What Is Project Management Software & What Are...

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What Is Product Development?

A company’s reputation is reflected in the brands and products it builds. All organizations strive to create products that reflect quality, sustainability and durability. A product’s lifecycle from its ideation to creation and shipping and distribution is a complex route and involves several processes, stages and teams across the company. In this blog we attempt to understand all about product planning and development and the various stages involved in it.  Product Development—what is it?Product development encompasses all the stages involved in a product’s lifecycle and includes everything from its ideation to design, development, testing, and finally shipping and delivery. Irrespective of what product is being developed, whether it’s an IT product or a manufacturing product, the product lifecycle is always the same.   How is Agile Product Development different? The agile approach to product development was born in the nineties when a group of software experts got together and created the Agile Manifesto, the bible for the agile methodology which laid down the guidelines to create processes that would help teams to use new methods for software development. The aim of agile was to put the focus back on the team, customers and quality and help organizations cope with a changing business scenario, making them more resilient to change. Agile uses the idea of iterative product development that requires the collaboration of self-organizing teams to define requirements and implement solutions. Agile product development produces high quality software—on time and within budget and which can improve on recommendations from the client.What are the needs & importance of Product Development?There are many needs for Product Development:  To bring in new products into the markets To improve existing products To increase market share, revenue and profits To scale up to competition To enhance organizational reputation by launching quality products To benefit customers by giving them new and improved products To respond to market changes by launching new products or revising existing ones. The different stages in Product DevelopmentWhile the stages in product development may be different for different organizations and products, there are a few standard steps that all products follow: Ideation: Before jumping in and building the product, the need for the product has first to be established. What is its need, and what problem is it solving? How popular will it be? These and more answers justifying the need for the product can be got from surveys, research and communication with clients and customers. Conceptualization/design planning: The need for the product has been established. The creators have identified what problem or issue needs to be solved. Now they have to devise how the product that they build will solve the issue. Some solutions may be easy to come up with while others may need more in-depth research and brainstorming. The entire team comes together and designs how the product will shape up and how it will serve customer needs.   Developing the product roadmap: The product roadmap is a plan of action that defines the short- and long-term goals of the product to be built. This is an important stage in the product development lifecycle as it outlines the product priority features that need to be delivered first and also outlines the progress of the product over time. The product management team develops the product roadmap. Developing the first version: Also called the minimal viable product, the development team creates the first version of the product that has the bare minimum functionality, but which allows the user to interact with it end to end. The MVP is further iterated and enriched based on user feedback.  Testing: Testing is a part of the development process in Agile product development. It happens in parallel with the development. Continuous testing and continuous feedback help make the product better and ensures continuous improvement.  Releasing the product: The product is released to the customer. Improving based on feedback: This is an ongoing phase where the product is continuously upgraded based on customer feedback. How to create a Product Development Plan in simple StepsProduct development includes stakeholders in order to understand their requirements and concerns while building the product. Every product development lifecycle must include a few basic steps which are important to ensure that the product delivered is of the expected quality. Create a product vision: No product can be built without an idea and a vision. The product vision and idea will define how it will be built and for whom, how it will shape up and what solutions it will provide. The product vision is created after consultations with the stakeholders. Agile is all about the customers and it is important that they are involved from the beginning till the end in the product development. The product vision is the primary stage in product development and also probably the most critical. It may be a little unclear in the early stages but through market research and analysis it soon develops into a ready reckoner for the team as it outlines the product goals and milestones that need to be delivered.  Build the product roadmap: Agile follows the principle of early and continuous delivery of valuable software. The product roadmap defines the features of the product that must be prioritised in order to deliver a minimal viable product to the customer. The roadmap helps the teams to decide the time intervals at which features need to be delivered. The roadmap is built by taking into consideration customer requirements, market trends, and effort required.  Build the product: Once the roadmap has been agreed upon, the teams decide the schedules and the project is broken down into smaller chunks, which in Scrum are called epics and sprints. Once a minimum viable product is created it is continuously iterated in order to improve it, based on feedbacks and testing.Product Development Vs Product ManagementProduct development is concerned with the actual development of the product.  It may comprise of teams that are involved with the implementation of the product such as developers, designers, testers, etc.  Product Management on the other hand is a wider umbrella and comprises of how the product goals will align to the overall organizational objectives and business goals. It includes a whole lot of processes that are all concerned with building the product, improving it and marketing it. The product management team liaises often with the stakeholders and ensures their buy-in during product development.  How Does the Product Roadmap work in Product Development?The product roadmap helps the stakeholders see the broader strategic vision by aligning the product development with the goals and business objectives of the organization. The product roadmap helps the development team by giving them the vision of the product so that they might ensure meeting deadlines and delivering milestones, while avoiding scope creep and mitigating risks. The product roadmap is a go-to document for Product Owners and managers who use it to collaborate, assign tasks, create the product backlog and define priorities.  The product roadmap is also a reference point for the organizational leadership as it helps them understand the overall scope of the project, the liabilities, risks and the advantages associated with the product.  Who Benefits from Product Development?The Organization: This refers to the organization that has created the product for an end-user. The organization that creates the product will not just have its reputation enhanced as a formidable and quality-oriented organization but will also reap the profits of having created a quality product. The organization can counter stiff competition by creating a product that re-affirms its position in the market.  The end-user: The end-user gets a product that is high in quality and solves issues that the user might have faced earlier.  The team: The development team/teams that have created the product have much to gain from product development. The experience of having worked in a high-quality project, the satisfaction of having built a great product along with the goodwill from the stakeholders all go in favour of the development team members.A Last Word Product development is a continuous process. If there are consumers there will be product development. Agile has redefined product planning and development by putting the onus back on the customer. Agile product development follows methods that reduce overheads and streamline processes, ensuring timely deliveries and customer delight.  
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What Is Product Development?

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What Is Scrum in Project Management?

The adoption of Agile has grown and evolved over the past decade, as organizations seek to adapt to changing industry needs and deliver products with higher quality and greater efficiency. Originally used in software development, Agile has now been adopted across all sectors and industries.As reported in the 14th Annual State of Agile, a whopping 95% of respondents are known to practice Agile development methods, of which the majority (58%) prefer to use the Scrum framework and its variants.What is Scrum Project Management?Scrum is the most popular among all the Agile frameworks. It offers immense flexibility—in fact, Ken Schwaber, the co-founder of Scrum, preferred to call it a framework rather than a methodology, as it simply outlines the delivery structure and leaves it to the team to determine their own best practices.In its simplest form, Scrum is a method of iterative and incremental product delivery that uses self-organizing and collaborative teams, who follow clearly laid out processes and follow prescribed events.In Scrum project management, work is executed in short time-boxed cycles called sprints, and the team holds daily meetings to discuss planned tasks and any impediments that need to be cleared.How does Scrum Project Management work?Usually used in software development projects, Scrum project management works well with small teams and for projects that require rapid development and testing, even with emergent and volatile requirements.Teams work in short sprints that are usually between 1 and 4 weeks in duration. This iterative cycle is repeated with a product incremental value being delivered at the end of each sprint. The cycle continues till the end of the project, when the entire product value has been delivered to the satisfaction of customers and stakeholders.  Since the tasks are reviewed at the start of each cycle, and there is continual seeking of feedback from stakeholders at the end of every cycle, Scrum adapts well to changing requirements.This process is in sharp contrast to traditional ‘waterfall’ methods of software development, where the product scope is fixed upfront, and changes cannot be accommodated till the end of the project.  In waterfall projects there is the need for extensive documentation and analysis before development can start, which often delays schedules. What’s more, feedback is not sought till the end, which often results in low quality products that are packed with features that the customer is unhappy with.The Scrum FrameworkA Scrum project starts with a clearly defined product vision and an outline of the features and functionality it is expected to have. These features are prioritised and listed out in the Product Backlog, which is a dynamic document that is ordered with reallocation of tasks at the end of each iteration (called a sprint).  The sprint is a time-boxed event during which the team will complete a subset of the features and create a product increment that offers value. Sprints generally run for one to four weeks, a duration that is pre-set and is maintained through the project.  At the beginning of the sprint, the sprint planning event is held, and the team commits to developing items from the product backlog that are required to be done first. These items go into the sprint backlog, which is a subset of the product backlog and includes the features and functionality that can be developed during the sprint.  As the work progresses, the team meets daily, checking in with each other to discuss the progress of tasks. They tell each other what was done the previous day and plan the tasks for the day ahead and talk about anything that is holding them back from completing the tasks at hand.  At the end of each sprint, the team demonstrates the product increment to the stakeholders and obtains their feedback. In accordance with this feedback received, the product backlog is ‘groomed’ and the remaining tasks are rearranged according to the new priority. A retrospective meeting is also held where they discuss what went wrong during the sprint, and how they can improve upon this in the next sprint.In this manner, Scrum processes follow the three pillars of Scrum: regular inspection, adaptation and transparency.Scrum RolesThe Scrum Team is a small group of people; typically, between 3 to 9 in number, who work together without any hierarchy. The Team comprises three Roles: that of the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Developers.    The Developers, also called the Dev Team, are the people who create the product increment during each sprint.The Scrum Master, often referred to as the Servant Leader, is responsible for ensuring that Scrum practices as laid out in the Scrum Guide are followed. Scrum Masters serve the team (hence the name ‘servant leader’) and also the organization at large.The Product Owner looks into the business side of things, and ensures that the product vision is followed. He or she strives to maximize the value of the product and manages the Product Backlog.The Application of Scrum in ProjectsScrum is applied by following Scrum ceremonies, which are events held at specific instances during a sprint.The main ceremonies are the following:The Sprint Planning Meeting is held at the beginning of the sprint and is when the entire team gets together to plan the upcoming sprint and finalise the user stories that will be completed during the sprint.The Daily Scrum is a short meeting, held daily at the same time, when each team member answers the following three questions: what tasks were completed yesterday, what are you working on today and is there anything blocking your progress?The Sprint Review is the event during which the team shows a demo of the work done to the stakeholders and elicits their feedback and the feedback from the rest of the team. This feedback is tracked by the Product Owner and is added as tasks to be undertaken in the upcoming sprints.The Sprint Retrospective is the last Scrum ceremony, which allows the team to reflect on the sprint that has just concluded and find ways of improving the work and processes for the next sprint.Tracking ProgressThe progress of the team’s work is tracked using three methods: the task board, the burndown chart and the Daily Scrum.During the Daily Scrum, as already mentioned above, the team discusses what was done the previous day and what will be done during the rest of that day.The task board typically has three columns: To Do, Doing, and Done. During the Daily Scrum, each team member will move items across the board (either using post it slips, or small chits that are pinned to the board) to indicate the progress of the tasks mentioned on each chit. It is a visual representation of what the team is working on at any given moment.The burndown chart is a visual representation of the progress of work in the form of a chart, with the x-axis showing the number of days in the sprint, while the y-axis indicates the number of hours of work required to complete all the tasks for the sprint. The slope of the burndown chart should, ideally, come down to indicate that zero tasks are left when the time is completed.Together, these three tools give a fairly accurate idea of the progress of the work. The team will be able to determine whether the tasks are likely to be completed on time, what the impediments to progress are, and how the tasks can be planned.Grooming the BacklogIn between the sprints, it is important to carry out a backlog grooming or refinement session. This basically means that the scrum team meets and discusses the product backlog items and the work to be carried out in the next sprint. This helps in keeping the backlog up to date and getting it ready for the next sprint. Grooming helps to keep the product backlog de-cluttered, removes uncertainty and risk associated with the sprint, helps eliminate further meetings that may be associated with product backlog and leads to better sprint planning.Release PlanningRelease Planning, usually done once in a quarter, is done for multiple sprints together. This is a longer-term plan that is undertaken to get a perspective on when the product release is likely to happen and evaluates value and quality constraints against the available time, resources and budget.  The PO presents the list of features that must be completed during the upcoming quarter, and the team provides gross, rough estimates to check whether this will be feasible. The result of the meeting is internal and does not have to be showcased to the customers.Case study on Scrum in project managementWhile Scrum is most commonly used in software development projects, there are many examples of how Scrum has proved to be of great advantage in non-Scrum projects as well.A Scrum.org case study  outlines the journey of a major US Airline with over 4000 employees that leveraged the Nexus+ framework to scale Scrum across more than 10 globally distributed teams. The result was clean, streamlined processes, with a stunningly quick turnaround and improved ROI.This company had earlier used waterfall methods to create and manage their software products, and it would typically take them months or years to deliver a product to market. In multiple cases, by the time the product was ready to ship it was no longer usable due to the huge lapse of time in the interim.  Lola Tech was one of their software vendors, and their Head of Delivery decided to adopt agile across their entire product development suite for this company. Most of them had already worked with Scrum, and Nexus was their obvious choice.  When they started the adoption, they faced challenges in:The capability of building cross-functional teams, so that outside dependencies could be removed  The culture shift: changing from a Project Mindset to a Product Mindset  Being able to apply the Scrum framework effectively in its entirety, not just in partsBuilding psychological safety across teams  Strictly following the Scrum Values in mind and spiritGetting the teams trained was the first and most obvious step. PSTs trained the team members as well as vendors to achieve certifications that included PSM, PSD, PSPO and SPS, getting them aligned with the values and principles embodied in Scrum.  Once the team had their fundamental knowledge in place, they created an Agility Transformation Backlog and roadmap. Each of the challenges was broken down and solutions found—ranging from organizing team events to foster connections between remote teams, to properly understanding how to apply the framework effectively.  There were 5 Nexuses with each Nexus consisting of 5 to 9 Scrum Teams. Together, they worked on a product family made up of an operations platform for handling products sold, and two e-commerce platforms - a custom one, and another one for selling additional goods and/or services. These teams were brought in line to work with shared goals and a common vision and mission.After the first product releases, the results were quite astounding. They were able to achieve:Decreased Time-to-Market - From delivering yearly or twice a year in a waterfall fashion to delivering better software products, every quarter  Increased Profits – Achieving a 100% ROI in just 2 weeks after going live  Faster delivery - From getting the first releasable increment ‘Done’ in 2 months to having a releasable increment after a two-week Sprint  Greater collaboration - From the Dev team having zero interaction with the PO, to all the Developers having daily interactions which increased transparency and accountabilitySlashed Costs - By automating deployments, features and releases they were able to cut costs dramatically.There are many more such case studies at this link.Understanding the Project Manager Role in Scrum – The Scrum Master vs the Project ManagerBoth the Scrum Master and Project Manager are roles that maximize value for projects. While there are similarities between the two roles, the responsibilities of each are quite different.A Scrum Master is the servant leader on a Scrum team, who ensures that the team adheres to Scrum values, and acts as a mentor, guide, leader and facilitator all rolled into one. The Scrum Master works with only the Scrum framework and does not adopt other methodologies.The Project Manager, on the other hand, is a leader who manages one or several teams to plan, execute and deliver projects, maintaining complete control and responsibility over the project in its entirety. A Project Manager is free to choose traditional or Agile methods or choose a hybrid model, based on the approach that is considered most suitable for the project.The Scrum framework helps organizations to address challenging adaptive problems, delivering products of the highest value. Scrum values, principles, and practices have been proven to empower businesses to adapt to volatile conditions, developing products that delight customers in a quicker time, with optimal use of resources. The Scrum Framework continues to be the preferred choice of agile practitioners. As its popularity continues to soar, with no signs of slowing down, it’s indeed time to go down the Scrum path!
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What Is Scrum in Project Management?

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What is a Technical Project Manager?

Many experienced professionals would like to start their career as a Technical Project Manager. This could be a wise decision, but it is always important to know exactly what the role entails and what are the career benefits before you take it up seriously. You need to know what the job description would be, what skills are expected to perform the role, what would be the average salary you would be earning, what would be the responsibilities, what is expected from that role, and so on. Read on to know more! A Technical Project Manager is someone who can be looked at to be more of a technical professional and less of an inspiring leader. They may be good leaders though and could also be instrumental in providing project planning and management for established initiatives, such as planning and management of IT-related projects, within a company. They ensure that projects are completed as per specifications and most importantly within an established time frame and budget. A Technical Project Manager is the lead SME (subject matter expert) within the company for all technology-related concerns and in turn, they would recruit and train additional support members.  So, if you’re looking for a career as a Technical Project Manager, you are, first and foremost,  required to have a high level of mandatory technical expertise. Good organizational, leadership and communication skills are also essentials for this role. What Does a Technical Project Manager Do?Responsibilities of a Technical Project Manager include but not limited to : Developing a project plan which includes developing an approach of how to execute, monitor and control and close a project Developing a project schedule as a part of planning activity (timelines) showing project start date and end date,  all the activities sequenced, how many resources are working on each activity, what is the duration of each activity, estimated cost of each activity, milestones, and understanding the critical path of each project to control project completion on time. Ensuring training processes are established and then implementing them for all the technical professionals Determining what are the intermediate deliverables and the final product Defining clear roles and responsibilities for all team members Conducting regular team meetings to review status of the project and also to help address issues and/or challenges during the course of the project  Detailed research and evaluation of hardware and software technology options for every project Updating and maintaining all technologies installed on production Helping in recruitment to fill positions within the technical department and then further training all employees and new recruits Developing technical, user and training documentation How To Become a Technical Project Manager?1. Educational QualificationsTechnical project managers are expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, which ensures that they would be having an in-depth understanding of complete software development process (SDLC). They may also add qualifications such as courses in management information systems (MIS) as an added advantage. In recent times, it is expected that these professionals also hold an MBA degree, which takes two years to complete. MBA can be studied and completed while working (Earn and Learn). This matters a lot, because work experience is also equally important. A technical project manager would already have put in several years of working experience (say 5-7 years) before they take on managerial responsibilities. Since every organization in the world uses computer systems, technical project managers can have industry-specific experiences. An IT experienced technical project manager in a manufacturing environment, is unlikely to become a systems project manager in an educational industry later on in the career. 2. Professional Qualifications Apart from the above-mentioned educational qualifications and industry experience, it would be a great advantage if a Technical Project Manager adds a Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential from Project Management Institute (PMI)® to his/her professional qualification.  3. Benefits of PMPWidely recognized Project Management Certification Worldwide recognition of your knowledge of Project Management practices Demonstrates Proof of Professional Achievement Improves the way you manage your Project Increases your Marketability Displays your willingness to pursue Growth Increases Customer Confidence Valued Globally across Industry Verticals & Companies In order to apply, however, you need to meet the following criteria:EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUNDPROJECT MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCEPROJECT MANAGEMENT EDUCATIONSecondary Degree (High school diploma, associate's degree or global equivalent)Minimum five years/60 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience during which at least 7,500 hours were spent leading and directing the project*35 contact hours of formal educationFour years degree(bachelor's degree or global equivalent)Minimum three years/36 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience during which at least 4,500 hours were spent leading and directing the project**Leading and directing the project as identified with tasks, knowledge and skills specific in the project Management professional Examination Content Outline. Experience must be in all five process group across all your project management experience submitted on the application. However, on a single project you do not need to have experience in all five process groups.Your experience leading and directing projects does not refer only to an official project manager’s role, but it can include any of the roles listed below:  Project Lead or Team Lead Assistant Project Manager Project Planner Project Coordinator  Project Expeditor  Any other lead role on a project, which involves managing a small sized team by leading and directing an area of a project Note that you don’t have to be involved in planning a large or complex project in order to be eligible to apply for PMP. If you have been involved in arranging charity functions or small events, even that counts! You must also note that PMP uses waterfall (Plan-driven) methodology to complete projects. The current trend in the industry is that many corporates and organizations are moving to implement Agile methodology, as it is change-driven. This means that changes can be incorporated in the project at any time, and they will be catered to. In the case of Plan-driven waterfall methods, changes if any will have to be carefully managed at the end of the project after the final product is delivered. In short, it means that a Technical Project Manager in the current scenario must be aware of both the methodologies and the technicalities associated with each. PMI has a credential for Agile practitioners, the Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®, which can be also obtained.What’s The Average Salary for a Technical Program Manager?Those who are starting their career as a Technical Project Manager, i.e. as an entry-level professional, can expect to earn a salary between $60,000 to $65,000 p.a. In case you have experience between 1 to 4 years, you can earn a salary between $75,000 to $80,000 p.a. A mid-career Technical Project Manager with experience between 5 to 9 years usually earns a salary between $90,000 to $95,000 p.a.  A senior Technical Project Manager with a good number of years of experience, such as more than 10 years, can earn a salary of up to $105,000 p.a. And those who have 20+ years of experience, can earn upto $120,000+ p.a. as it also depends on how you negotiate. Note: Salaries mentioned above may vary from country-to-country. Technical Skills Requirements-A number of skills are considered as essential skills for a Technical Project Manager. A very clear understanding of the organization’s strategy and objectives is essential Before starting the project, knowledge of the project objective(s), what are we delivering and what the organization is seeking out of it – returns, growth, reputation, relations, knowledge base etc is needed Conduct benefit-analysis with relevant stakeholders to validate project alignment with organizational strategy and expected business value (Is this our cup of tea? Is it contributing to our mission?) Accountability when managing projects A thorough understanding, developing and managing project policies, procedures, templates and other shared documentation (organizational process assets i.e. organization’s knowledge base)  Supervising teams and decision-making capabilities Experience in up-skilling and re-skilling talent in the project management as well as in technology areas Ability to predict and overcome challenges and obstacles Strong competencies such as learning, systems thinking, trustworthiness, time management, adaptability, business acumen, industry knowledge, organization knowledge Apart from these competencies a Technical Project Manager should also possess excellent verbal communication, non-verbal communication, written communication, listening and pro-active skills Skills such as facilitation, leadership and influencing, teamwork, negotiation and conflict resolution and teaching would also add value All the above competencies should be supported by hands-on skills using office productivity tools and technology, project management tools and technology and most importantly communication tools and technology Sample Technical Project Manager Job Description TemplateJob OverviewExample Co. is one of the leading companies in our field in the area. We're proud of our 3.6 rating on Glassdoor from our employees. We are hiring a talented Technical Project Manager professional to join our team. If you're excited to be part of a winning team, Example Co. is a great place to grow your career. You'll be glad you applied to Example Co. Responsibilities for Technical Project Manager Establish and implement training processes and strategies for all technical personnel Analyze, plan and develop requirements and standards in reference to scheduled projects Assign and oversee the daily tasks of technical personnel while ensuring all subordinates are actively working toward established milestones Hold regular technical team meetings to determine progress and address any questions or challenges regarding projects Determine and define clear deliverables, roles and responsibilities for staff members required for specific projects or initiatives Research and evaluate hardware and software technology options and weigh the cost/benefit analysis when making large purchases on behalf of the company Recruit and train exceptional employees to fulfil posted positions within the technical department Update and maintain all production technologies ensuring proper maintenance and installation Qualifications for Technical Project ManagerMaster's degree in Project Management or related technical field required Professional Project Management Certification from accredited institution preferred Demonstrated understanding of Project Management processes, strategies and methods Experience mentoring, coaching and developing rising talent in the technology department Excellent time management and organizational skills and experience establishing guidelines in these areas for others Strong sense of personal accountability regarding decision-making and supervising department teams Experience working in a high-level collaborative environment and promoting collaborative teamwork  Managerial experience applying analytical thinking and problem-solving skills Ability to predict challenges and seek to proactively head-off obstacles Conclusion  A Technical Project Manager is required to have a high level of technical expertise as well as good organization, leadership and communication skills. Any other lead role on a project who is involved in managing a small size team by leading and directing an area of a project can play the role of a Technical Project Manager. Responsibilities of a Technical Project Manager include developing a project plan, developing a project schedule, defining clear roles and responsibilities for all team members, detailed research and evaluation of hardware and software technology options for every project, updating and maintaining all technologies installed on production, for proper maintenance and installation, etc. The minimum educational qualification of a Technical Project Manager should be a degree in science or computer science or any equivalent Global degree or an MBA. A professional who is PMP or PMI-ACP certified will be the icing on the cake. 
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What is a Technical Project Manager?

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How to Project Schedule in Project Management

In project management, project scheduling encompasses listing activities, defining milestones and scheduling deliverables for delivery. This indicates that every project schedule must include a planned start date and planned finish date, estimated resources assigned to each activity and estimated duration of each activity. An effective project schedule is a very critical component of a successful project.The main purpose of project schedule is to deliver the project scope over a fixed period of time (fixed start and fixed end).What is Project Schedule in Project Management?Project scheduling is fundamental for planning and control in project management. All the work that is necessary to complete the deliverables is all accounted for in the project schedule. A project schedule indicates what activities are needed to be performed on each activity, in what sequence, which resources would be performing these activities, estimated duration to complete these activities, the estimated cost of each activity, etc. It also defines the human resources and physical resources needed to complete the activities. The schedule also includes all associated costs as outlined in the project budget.  The project schedule is often used along with a work breakdown structure (WBS) as it defines the scope of the project. The WBS must be created first as it helps to create the project schedule. Hence if there is any change to be carried out in the project schedule, first make changes in the WBS and then make corresponding changes in the project schedule. The project schedule should be updated regularly to gain a better understanding of the project's status. Clearly, the project schedule is an essential tool to deliver a project on time and within budget. Project schedules are created and tracked with project scheduling software, which has key features that allow project managers to monitor the progress of tasks, resources and costs in real time. They can also assign work, link dependent tasks, view dashboards, allocate resources and more. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) This is how a work breakdown structure can be represented.In project management, WBS is a technique used for completing a complex or a larger project by making it more manageable. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a hierarchical decomposition of the required scope of work needed to achieve project objectives and create the required deliverables. It defines the total scope of work required to complete the project. The deliverables and their component sub-deliverables are represented on the WBS in levels of descending order. Work defined at the lowest level of the WBS for which cost and duration are estimated and managed is called a Work Package. It must describe a deliverable that can be adequately scheduled, budgeted and assigned to an individual person or group. An important distinction to be made here is that the ‘work’ referred to in a WBS is actually the product or deliverable resulting from an individual work package and not necessarily always the work itself. The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines WBS as  A deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables Each WBS level represents a new and increasingly detailed definition of work needed to complete the project.  A WBS structure must be constructed in a way that each new level in the hierarchy includes all the work needed, to complete its parent task. This means that every parent task element must have more than one child task within it to consider the parent task element complete. How to create a work breakdown structure?Before you create a work breakdown structure, it's essential to first assess the project scope by talking to all stakeholders and key team members involved. The final product to be delivered is defined at the top level (level 0). Level 0 is then decomposed to identify all the major deliverables that are required to produce the final product. Each level of the WBS decomposes the work further into more and more layers until the work package is at a level that can be assigned, estimated for cost and duration and tracked individually. The goal is to eventually roll up each work package into the level above within the WBS hierarchy to gain overall time and budget requirements. The work package is the smallest segment and includes the to-do activities, so you can apply duration and estimated cost. Level of decomposition is based on specific project needs and the level of granularity that is needed to manage the project effectively.  Here's an example of work breakdown structure. Each work package is further decomposed into the activities or tasks that are required to complete a work package. Activity names are usually stated as a verb and noun, such as “Make Lunch.”  The difference between an activity and a work package is that a work package has a specific product or outcome - or in project management terms - a deliverable - that contributes to the project, whereas an activity on its own does not produce a finished item or outcome that helps to fulfil the objective of the project.What’s Included in a Project Schedule? The entire WBS has to be transferred to the Project Schedule. During Planning: Project calendar, Project start date, Project end date, Activity list, Activity start date, Activity finish date, Activity dependencies, Work Packages, Activity duration, Estimated cost of each activity, Resources assigned to each activity. During Execution: Actual duration that is actual completion percentages will be updated by the project manager. Reports such as Earned Value Management, Resource Availability, and many other reports can be used for project tracking and control. How to Make a Project Schedule? Many professionals, while creating a project schedule, use a project schedule template from organizational repositories. A project schedule is not just a standard timetable that works for every project. There are different project scheduling techniques and project management tools involved in the scheduling process. Also, every project has different resources, timetables, scope considerations and other unique variables that must be considered in the schedule management plan. Project management software can be integrated into other project management tools, such as Gantt charts, dashboards and reports to monitor the progress of your project. Project scheduling occurs during the planning phase of the project life cycle.  After creating the project schedule plan for your project, set the project start and project end dates of your project. Follow these steps to create a project schedule of your own. Define activities from the WBS after decomposition of work packages: Scope statement should be made available during the initial planning. It contains project description, deliverables, acceptance criteria of each deliverable, in-scope and out-of-scope, and any assumptions and constraints of your project. WBS is created from this scope statement. Be thorough when putting an activity list together, you should not, and you don’t want to leave anything out. By using a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) you can organize these activities and lay them out in order of completion.  Figure out task dependencies and then sequence activities: Activities are the small jobs that lead to the final deliverable and it’s crucial to map out the sequence of those tasks before diving into them. Most of the times an activity will be dependent on another activity to start or finish. You don’t want to get halfway through an activity before you realize you can’t complete it due to unclear objectives.  Estimate the realistic resources for each activity using each resource availability. Estimate the realistic duration of each activity. Build project schedule: The critical path is a method for scheduling activities in a project to find those which are critical to completion of the project on time. This will allow you to make choices about activities that can be ignored if time and costs become constraints.  Monitor and control project schedules throughout the project life cycle.Which Are the Project Estimating Techniques?Estimating the duration of project activities as realistically as possible is a key to creating a realistic schedule. There are various project estimating techniques known which are very widely used by project managers. Analogous Estimating: In this technique, project managers interview their team and other stakeholders to get their perspective on how long certain tasks can take. This technique relies on actual duration of previous, similar projects as the basis for estimating the duration of the current project, done in early phases of the project when cost of estimation is low. E.g. duration, budget, size, weight and complexity as the basis for estimating the same parameter or measure for a future project. Parametric Estimating: This technique uses an algorithm or a mathematical model, to calculate cost or duration based on historical data and project parameters, done in later phases of the project when cost of estimation is high. E.g. duration on a design project is estimated by the number of drawings multiplied by the number of labor hours per drawing. Three-Point Estimating (Triangular Distribution): In this technique most likely (tM) –based on the duration of the activity, given the resources likely to be assigned their productivity, realistic expectations of availability for the activity, dependencies on other participants and interruptions, optimistic (tO) – based on analysis of the best-case scenario for the activity and pessimistic (tP) – based on analysis of the worst-case scenario for the activity are determined. Depending on the assumed distribution of values within the range of the three estimates, the expected duration, tE, can be calculated as : tE = (tO + tM + tP) / 3 Another technique which is very widely used uses the same three-point estimates of each activity, and is called Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT). It uses Beta Distribution. Which Are the Project Scheduling Techniques?Project managers can make use of project scheduling techniques to increase the accuracy of their time estimates to minimize scheduling risks. Some of the commonly used project scheduling techniques are: Critical Path Method (CPM): The critical path method (CPM) is a technique that calculates the Critical Path which is the sequence of activities that represents the longest path through a project, and determines the shortest possible project duration (how quickly?). The longest path has the least total float, usually zero.  Other commonly used project scheduling techniques, schedule compression such as schedule crashing and fast tracking, can reduce the schedule duration without impacting the project scope. But also note there would be risks and costs involved in schedule compression techniques which need to be carefully managed. Simulation, resource-leveling and resource-smoothing are other tools that can help with project scheduling. How to Manage and Maintain Your Project Schedule During Execution Once you’ve got every piece of your schedule together, the last thing you want to do is manually create a document to keep a track of activities and update the status of the project completion.What Are Project Scheduling Tools?Project scheduling tools are used to help managers organize and execute their project’s tasks and resources within a given budget. Software offerings range from rudimentary to sophisticated and provide users with a wide spectrum of features that facilitate the scheduling of their project.There are many project scheduling tools available in the market such as MS Project, Primavera, Open Project, Project Server, etc.  which can be useful for simple as well as complex or large projects. Best Practices for the Project Scheduling ProcessEvery project manager must use a project scheduling tool to track projects, estimate realistically, consider 6:30 hours per day for creating a schedule, involve project team members in estimation after they come on board etc. Project Schedule vs Project PlanA Project schedule is a Timeline. It tells you when each activity should start and when it should end, which resources are working on the activities, duration of each activity, dependencies of each activity, estimated cost of each activity, etc. It is not a plan. A Project Plan is an approach which tells how you are going to manage your project, how you are going to re-plan, how you are going to execute, how you are going to monitor and control and how you are going to close the project.  Conclusion: Project scheduling is fundamental for planning and control in project management.  The main purpose of project schedule is to deliver the project scope over a period of fixed time (fixed start and fixed end). It is an essential tool to deliver a project on time and within budget. The project schedule is often used along with a work breakdown structure (WBS) as it defines the scope of the project. WBS must be created first as it helps to create project schedule. Follow these steps to create a project schedule of your own: Define activities from the WBS after decomposition of work packages  Figure out task dependencies and then sequence activities  Estimate realistic resources for each activity using each resource availability Estimate realistic duration of each activity Build project schedule and note the critical path(s) Monitor and control project schedule throughout the project life cycle. Various project scheduling tools can be used to create and track project schedules such as MS Project, Primavera, Open Project, Project Server, etc. These tools are full of features and functionality that a project manager can use to make effective schedules and lead projects to success. 
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How to Project Schedule in Project Management

In project management, project scheduling encompas... Read More