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What is the Health of your Project? (Earned Value Management)

What is the Health of your Project? (Earned Value Management) Takeaway: I have seen a number of status reports in my earlier company, which is being prepared by various PM(s). And mostly it is % of completion of each feature. However, does it really convey the status? I am sure, it does not. Here, we will have a simple question to know the status of the project. To know the status of the project, you need to simply ask only these two: 1. What is the SPI for your project? 2. What is the CPI for your project? If SPI and CPI are below 1.0, then the project is not in good health, i.e., not performing well. The calculation for these is also known as EVM, i.e, Earned Value Measurement. SPI: Schedule Performance Index CPI: Cost Performance Index To understand it, we will use a simple example. Example: Say you have a software project (fixed price), which will have to complete 6 modules. Cost of each module is $10,000. And you have to complete the project in 6 months. After 3 months, you find that 2 modules have been completed and the current cost for the project is at $35,000. Now what is the SV, CV, SPI, and CPI. Answer: We will use EVM here to calculate. EV = Earned Value – The value being earned by the project with the current work completed till date. PV = Planned Value – The expected value of work to be completed till date. AC = Actual Cost – The actual cost incurred for this project till date. And all will be calculated in terms of money. This will somewhat difficult to understand initially. However, it will be clear shortly. EV = 2 modules completed = 2 * $10,000 = $20,000 PV = [(6 modules/ 6 months) * 3 months] * $10,000 = $30,000 AC = $35,000 SPI = Schedule Performance Index = EV/PV = $20,000 / $30,000 = 2/3 = 0.667 CVI = Cost Performance Index = EV/AC = $20,000 / $35,000 = 4/7 = 0.557 Analysis: By SPI 0.667 means, for every 1 day effort I am getting a return of 0.667 days of work. By CPI 0.557 means, for every 1 dollar spent on the project, I am getting a return of 0.557 dollar. It clearly means that the project is under schedule and over budget. And it needs remedial actions.
What is the Health of your Project? (Earned Value Management)
What is the Health of your Project? (Earned Value Management) 533 What is the Health of your Project? (Earned Value Management) Project Management
Satya Narayan Dash Feb 09, 2013
What is the Health of your Project? (Earned Value Management) Takeaway: I have seen a number of status reports in my earlier company, which is being prepared by various PM(s). And mostly it is % of co...
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Synergy Between MS Project and PMBOK Guide

I have been asked many times on the white paper that appeared for the Synergy between MS Project Course and PMBOK Guide, in 2009. Some are unable to find it and have requested for an access. This is the ONLY paper of its kind that appeared ever in a typically theoretical driven publications and stands out as it emphasizes on the practicality of PMBOK using the MS Project tool. This white paper has been referred many times in many other management books and publications. Excepts: 3.1.1. Project (PMBOK®) Vs Project Summary Task (MSP): A “Project” is at the highest level when a WBS is created in the “Create WBS” Knowledge Area Process (KAP) of “Scope Management” KA as per PMBOK® guide. A project can be further broken down into phases or deliverables and it is considered to be at Level-0 in the WBS. Similarly in MSP, a Project is known as “Project Summary Task” and it can be viewed by selecting the “Show Project Summary Task” option in the View tab of Tools -> Options menu. 3.1.2 Work Package (PMBOK®) Vs Summary Task (MSP): A “Work Package” is created in the “Create WBS” KAP of “Scope Management” KA. As per PMBOK®, a work package can be assigned to multiple people and can be broken down to “Activity” level. A “Work Package” in PMBOK® corresponds to “Summary Task” in MSP. A Summary Task can also be broken down to individual task levels. Complete Link: Complete Link To the White Paper is HERE (see link), for everyone to access. I’ll update on the new version of it shortly – MS Project 2010 with PMBOK 5th Edition, which is expected to come this month. Stay tuned on this blog! Important Note: Please note that this is ONLY from Schedule Management (or Time Management as PMBOK calls it) perspective. If you are interested to know on how exploit MS Project with various PMBOK principles, please get in touch with me. MS Project covers many aspects of PMBOK – Time, Scope, Cost, Integration, Quality, Resource et al and also various advanced principles such as EVM, Resource Leveling, What If Analysis as well!
Synergy Between MS Project and PMBOK Guide

Synergy Between MS Project and PMBOK Guide

KnowledgeHut Editor
I have been asked many times on the white paper that appeared for the Synergy between MS Project Course and PMBOK Guide, in 2009. Some are unable to find it and have requested for an access. This is t...
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Agile Methodologies – Comparison and Convergence

It pays to be a member of PMI and feels good when you get a copy earlier than others! The copy has been made available last month to all PMI members. Thank you PMI. Copy for public distribution is expected be available in this month. In this post, we will see how PMBOK guide, one of the most referred one worldwide in management practices, talk of Agile. I have been following PMBOK closely since its 3rd Edition on which I was certified. In 5th Edition, there has been significant changes as compared to 4th Edition. But, till 5th Edition, PMBOK, never mentioned the Agile word explicitly in its guide. Before, we go into the Agile and PMBOK, let us take a look at how many times, PMBOK has mentioned of Agile. Number of times Agile word mentioned in PMBOK 3rd Edition – 0 Number of times Agile word mentioned in PMBOK 4th Edition – 0 Number of times Agile word mentioned in PMBOK 5th Edition – Around 5 to 7 times! Now, does it mean that PMBOK suddenly wake up to Agile standards? No! For long, PMBOK has talked of Iterative approach with incremental delivery. PMBOK also talked of rolling wave planning, i.e., plan will be cleared as and when the project progresses. Complete Plan may not be clear in the beginning. However, for the 1st time Agile word has been mentioned in PMBOK guide, with the growing adoption of Agile and understanding that how volatile many project may become – especially in the software world, where requirements keep on changing all the time! Comparison: PMBOK Vs Agile True to its continuous saying, PMBOK says in its 5th Edtion that it is a Guide and NOT a methodology – like Agile, PRINCE2, Waterfall. So, if you want to take on comparison, PMBOK has been explicit – Its principles also can be applied to Agile and some of its heavy or light forms, but in no may it is saying you follow one in particular. In simply words, PMBOK and Agile need not be compared. Convergence: PMBOK And Agile The 5th edition of PMBOK talks of 3 types of life cycles in a project. 1. Predictive Life Cycle – Can be completely planned beforehand 2. Iterative and Incremental (I & I) Life Cycle – Was there also in earlier PMBOK guides, but has been more clearly defined. 3. Adaptive Life Cycle – Here Agile is mentioned explicitly. But then how come it is different from Iterative and Increment development cycles. Good question! In Adaptive cycle, as compared to I & I cycle, the churn is high, the predictability is low and speed of execution is faster. Agile manifesto talks of 2 to 4 weeks of cycle and delivery at the end of each iteration. Please note that delivery does not mean it is to be shipped, but it is potentially shippable. The later part also falls into one of the 12 principles of Agile. Also, in PMBOK in certain sections Agile has been mentioned and how the plans to be treated in Agile mode is mentioned. But, having said that, does it mean that PMBOK has completely explained on how exactly Agile will be followed? I do not think so. There are many areas with confusions – such as WBS, Activities, Contracting methods, Baselining concepts (and hence EVM), Dependencies et al – which needs far better understanding for someone who follows Agile principles! We will check on in on later posts.
Agile Methodologies – Comparison and Convergence

Agile Methodologies – Comparison and Convergence

KnowledgeHut Editor
It pays to be a member of PMI and feels good when you get a copy earlier than others! The copy has been made available last month to all PMI members. Thank you PMI. Copy for public distribution is exp...
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PMP Certification and Maintenance: A Truly Cost Effective Way

I posted an article at PM Hut on how cheap actually PMP certification and its maintenance can be. Thanks to PMHut for publishing it. The inspiration for this article came from HERE, a post by Pam Stanton, of Project Whisper. Cost, of course, is not the entire point of her article, but do form a major argument. With all due respect to Pam, I would like to politely point that PMP certification and maintenance is not at all expensive. Some excerpts from the article: “With all these options for PDU, I really do not believe in anyway that accumulating 60 PDU in a 3 year cycle is very difficult, without a hole in your pocket. Now, if you do not want to read or watch educational video or write an article or author a white paper or even minimally do a community service, you should seriously relook on the management job you are in. Added to that you are considering a job in a manager role in a high knowledge intensive 21st century! You might be in a wrong job in the 1st place!” As I found out PMP certification and its maintenance do not cost more than $2700 and that also considering a 40 year old career as well I am being generous with the amount here. For India, the price is somewhat low, as compared many countries and truth be told, I spent around $900 dollar! The amount I have mentioned includes the exam cost, 35 PDU cost for which I took a training, a PMI Chapter membership to form a study group and also the book by late Rita Mulchay. And I am still maintaining my certificate on, on my 5th year, without spending a dime! I have seen MBA courses on Project Management from various global institutes and the material is almost same as that PMBOK Guide. But the price is too high. Added to that the recognition from PMI is unmatched. I firmly believe PMP certification is still worth taking and pursuing and cost is not a factor at all !
PMP Certification and Maintenance: A Truly Cost Effective Way

PMP Certification and Maintenance: A Truly Cost Effective Way

KnowledgeHut Editor
I posted an article at PM Hut on how cheap actually PMP certification and its maintenance can be. Thanks to PMHut for publishing it. The inspiration for this article came from HERE, a post by Pam Stan...
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Agile – A Philosophy or A Framework?

I come across this question a number of times. In year 2001, 17 minds come up together with these 4 core values. Individuals and Interactions Over Process and Tools Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation Responding to Change Over Following A Plan It must be noted that they did not out rightly reject the values for the items in the right, but they gave more emphasis and value to the items on left. These values are immutable and can not be altered. In addition to that they come up with 12 core principles: 1. Early and continuous delivery of valuable software as the highest priority 2. Welcoming changing requirements, even late in the development 3. Frequent delivery of software with a 2 weeks to a 8 weeks cycle, with emphasis on shorter cycle 4. Daily interaction of business folks and software developers 5. Projects with motivated individuals and trusting them, giving them freedom 6. Face-to-face conversation as the best form of communication. 7. Working Software as the measurement of progress 8. Sustain development at a constant pace 9. Regular attention to technical excellence and good design 10. Simplicity – maximizing art of work not done 11. Self Organizing teams deliver the best 12. Retrospection and adjustments at regular intervals Along with that, we have seen a plethora of methods and practices such as Scrum, XP, Kanban, DSDM, Lean and so on. Some of them are called Lightweight approaches or frameworks or methods. And some as Full/Heavyweight Approaches. Now, if you take Scrum course, it comes with many practices or principles internally. So also XP. If you are coming from a development background, you will immediately realize what a framework means. A Struts or Springs of Log4J framework, does not ask you rigidly follow a practice. They are quite open ended, you can configure the XML files the way to want to, change the main servlet class and so on. In similar fashion, Scrum or XP are not prescriptive at all. They have certain practices or principles – like Pair Programming is an XP principle. Okay. But then when people say Agile is a Framework, Scrum/XP/Lean are also framework – what actually does it mean? Well, again, if you come from a development background, let us say you developed a UI using the Spring framework (which is again on top of MVC). Now some other team wants to use it, but will modify according to its new. Now, your code/design/architecture becomes a framework for them to work on! But, when you learn on it in the beginning, it creates a certain confusion – framework, with framework, within another framework? To have a better understanding: I say – “Agile is a Philosophy”. It is a way of thinking about software development. It is a way of your daily software development life or life cycle – by applying those 4 core values and 12 principles. Scrum, XP etc. can be considered to frameworks under the Philosophy called “Agile”. To make it more personal – let us consider Hinduism. In Hinduism, we consider Buddha as one of the 10 Avatars or incarnations, in the Dashavatara (in Sanskrit). But, Buddhism starts from Buddha and develops with more set of values. If you ask the Dalai Lama, he will say Buddhism again can be used by many with other additional principles. In fact, there are various sects in Buddhism as well. So, Hinduism becomes a philosophy in that respect. Similarly, I do believe it will be applicable to many other religions that we follow in the world.
Agile – A Philosophy or A Framework?

Agile – A Philosophy or A Framework?

KnowledgeHut Editor
I come across this question a number of times. In year 2001, 17 minds come up together with these 4 core values. Individuals and Interactions Over Process and Tools Working Software Over Comprehensiv...
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Business Transformation through Enterprise Cloud Computing

The Cloud Best Practices Network is an industry solutions groups and best practices catalogue of how-to information for Cloud Computing. While we cover all aspects of the technology our primary goal is to explain the enabling relationship between this new IT trend and business transformation, where our materials include: Core Competencies – The mix of new skills and technologies required to successfully implement new Cloud-based IT applications. Reference Documents – The core articles that define what Cloud Computing is and what the best practices are for implementation, predominately referring to the NIST schedule of information. Case studies – Best practices derived from analysis of pioneer adopters, such as the State of Michigan and their ‘MiCloud‘ framework . Read this article ‘Make MiCloud Your Cloud‘ as an introduction to the Cloud & business transformation capability. e-Guides – These package up collections of best practice resources directed towards a particular topic or industry. For example our GovCloud.info site specializes in Cloud Computing for the public sector. White papers – Educational documents from vendors and other experts, such as the IT Value mapping paper from VMware. Core competencies The mix of new skills and technologies required to successfully implement new Cloud-based IT applications, and also the new capabilities that these platforms make possible: Virtualization Cloud Identity and Security – Cloud Privacy Cloud 2.0 Cloud Configuration Management Cloud Migration Management DevOps Cloud BCP ITaaS Procurement Cloud Identity and Security Cloud Identity and Security best practices (CloudIDSec) provides a comprehensive framework for ensuring the safe and compliant use of Cloud systems. This is achieved through combining a focus on the core references for Cloud Security, the Cloud Security Alliance, with those of Cloud Identity best practices: IDaaS – Identity Management 2.0 Federated Identity Ecosystems Cloud Privacy A common critcal focus area for Cloud computing is data privacy, particularly with regards to the international aspects of Cloud hosting. Cloud Privacy refers to the combination of technologies and legal frameworks to ensure privacy of personal information held in Cloud systems, and a ‘Cloud Privacy-by-Design’ process can then be used to identify the local legislated privacy requirements of information. Tools for designing these types of privacy controls have been developed by global privacy experts, such as Ann Cavoukian, the current Privacy Commissioner for Ontario, who provides tools to design and build these federated privacy systems. The Privacy by Design Cloud Computing Architecture (26-page PDF) document provides a base reference for how to combine traditional PIAs (Privacy Impact Assessments) with Cloud Computing. As this Privacy Framework presentation then explains these regulatory mechanisms that Kantara enables can then provide the foundations for securing the information in a manner that encompasses all the legacy, privacy and technical requirements needed to ensure it is suitable for e-Government scenarios. This then enables it to achieve compliance with the Cloud Privacy recommendations put forward by global privacy experts, such as Ann Cavoukian, the current Privacy Commissioner for Ontario, who stipulates a range of ‘Cloud Privacy By Design‘ best practices Cloud 2.0 Cloud is as much a business model as it is a technology, and this model is best described through the term ‘Cloud 2.0′. As the saying goes a picture tells a thousand words, and as described by this one Cloud 2.0 represents the intersection between social media, Cloud computing and Crowdsourcing. The Social Cloud In short it marries the emergent new online world of Twitter, Linkedin et al, and the technologies that are powering them, with the traditional, back-end world of mainframe systems, mini-computers and all other shapes and sizes of legacy data-centre. “Socializing” these applications means moving them ‘into the Cloud’, in the sense of connecting them into this social data world, as much as it does means virtualizing the application to run on new hardware. This a simple but really powerful mix, that can act as a catalyst for an exciting new level of business process capability. It can provide a platform for modernizing business processes in a significant and highly innovative manner, a breath of fresh air that many government agency programs are crying out for. Government agencies operate many older technology platforms for many of their services, making it difficult to amend them for new ways of working and in particular connecting them to the web for self-service options. Crowdsourcing Social media encourages better collaboration between users and information, and tools for open data and back-end legacy integrations can pull the transactional systems informtion needed to make this functional and valuable. Crowdsourcing is: a distributed problem-solving and production process that involves outsourcing tasks to a network of people, also known as the crowd. Although not a component of the technologies of Cloud Computing, Crowdsourcing is a fundamental concept inherent to the success of the Cloud 2.0 model. The commercial success of a migration to Cloud Computing will be amplified when there is a strong focus on the new Web 2.0 type business models that the technology is ideal for enabling. Case study – Peer to Patent One such example is the Whitehouse project the Peer to Patent portal, a headline example of Open Government, led by one its keynote experts Beth Noveck. This project illustrates the huge potential for business transformation that Cloud 2.0 offers. It’s not just about migrating data-centre apps into a Cloud provider, connecting an existing IT system to a web interface or just publishing Open Data reporting data online, but rather utilizing the nature of the web to entirely re-invent the core process itself. It’s about moving the process into the Cloud. In this 40 page Harvard white paper Beth describes how the US Patent Office was building up a huge backlog of over one million patent applications due to a ‘closed’ approach where only staff from the USPTO could review, contribute and decide upon applications. To address this bottleneck she migrated the process to an online, Open version where contributors from across multiple organizations could help move an application through the process via open participation web site features. Peer to Patent is a headline example of the power of Open Government, because it demonstrates its about far more than simply publishing reporting information online in an open manner, so that they public can inspect data like procurement spending numbers. Rather it’s about changing the core decision-making processes entirely, reinventing how Government itself works from the inside out, reinventing it from a centralized hierarchical monolith to an agile, distributed peer to peer network. In essence it transforms the process from ‘closed’ to ‘open’, in terms of who and how others can participate, utilizing the best practice of ‘Open Innovation‘ to break the gridlock that had occured due the constraints caused by private, traditional ways of working. Open Grantmaking – Sharing Cloud Best Practices Beth has subsequently advised further on how these principles can be applied in general across Government. For example in this article on her own blog she describes ‘Open Grantmaking‘ – How the Peer To Patent crowdsourcing model might be applied to the workflows for government grant applications. She touches on what is the important factor about these new models, their ability to accelerate continual improvement within organizations through repeatedly sharing and refining best practices: “In practice, this means that if a community college wins a grant to create a videogame to teach how to install solar panels, everyone will have the benefit of that knowledge. They will be able to play the game for free. In addition, anyone can translate it into Spanish or Russian or use it as the basis to create a new game to teach how to do a home energy retrofit.” Beth describes how Open Grantmaking might be utilized to improve community investing in another blog, describing how OG would enable more transparency and related improvements. Cloud 2.0 As the underlying technology Cloud 2.0 caters for both the hosting of the software and also the social media 2.0 features that enable the cross-enterprise collaboration that Beth describes. Cloud Configuration Management CCM is the best practice for change and configuration management within Cloud environments, illustrated through vendors such as Evolven. Problem Statement One of the key goals and perceived benefits of Cloud computing is a simplified IT environment, a reduction of complexity through virtualizing applications into a single overall environment. However complexity actually increases.  Virtual Machines (VMs) encapsulate application and infrastructure configurations, they package up a combination of applications and their settings, obscuring this data from traditional configuration management tools. Furthermore the ease of self-service creation of VMs results in their widespread proliferation, and so actually the adoption of Cloud technologies creates a need for a new, extra dimension of systems management. This is called CCM, and incorporates: Release & Incident Management The increased complexity therefore increases the difficulties in trouble-shooting technical problems, and thus requires an updated set of tools and also updates to best practices like the use of ITIL procedures. ‘Release into Production’ is a particularly sensitive process within software teams, as major upgrades and patches are transitioned from test to live environments. Any number of configuration-related errors could cause the move to fail, and so CCM software delivers the core competency of being better able to respond quicker to identify and resolve these issues, reducing the MTTR significantly. DevOps DevOps is a set of principles, methods and practices for communication, collaboration and integration between software development and IT operations. Through the implementation of a shared Lean adoption program and QMS (Quality Management System) the two groups can better work together to minimize downtimes while improving the speed and quality of software development. It’s therefore directly linked to Business Agility. The higher the value of speed and quality = a faster ability to react to market changes, deploy new products and processes and in general adapt the organization, achieved through increasing the frequency of ‘Release Events’: It’s therefore directly linked to Business Agility. The higher the value of speed and quality = a faster ability to react to market changes, deploy new products and processes and in general adapt the organization, achieved through increasing the frequency of ‘Release Events’: ITaaS Procurement The fundamental shift that Cloud Computing represents is illustrated in one key implementation area: Procurement. Moving to Cloud services means changing from a financial model for technology where you buy your own hardware and software, and pay for it up front, to an approach where instead you access it as a rental, utility service where you “PAYG – Pay As You Go”. To encompass all the different ‘as a Service’ models this is known at an overall level as ‘ITaaS’ – IT as a Service. Any type of IT can be virtualized and delivered via this Service model.
Business Transformation through Enterprise Cloud Computing

Business Transformation through Enterprise Cloud Computing

KnowledgeHut Editor
The Cloud Best Practices Network is an industry solutions groups and best practices catalogue of how-to information for Cloud Computing. While we cover all aspects of the technology our primary goal ...
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Activity Based Costing

Activity based costing is a different way of looking at an organization’s costs in order to optimize profit margins. Activity based costing is more effective when used long-term rather than in short-term. Implementation in an Organization: When it comes to implementing activity based costing in an organization, commitment of senior management is a must. Activity based costing requires visionary leadership that should sustain long-term. Therefore, it is required that the senior management has comprehensive awareness of how activity based costing works and management’s interaction points with the process. Before implementing activity based costing for the entire organization, it is always a great idea to do a pilot run. The best candidate for this pilot run is the department that suffers from profit making deficiencies. Although one might take it as risky, such departments may stand an opportunity to succeed when managed with activity based costing. Lastly, this would give the organization a measurable illustration of activity based costing and its. success. In case, if no cost saving occurs after the pilot study is implemented, it is most likely that the model has not been properly implemented or the model does not suit for the department or company as a whole. Having a Core Team is Important: If an organization is planning to impalement activity based costing; commissioning a core team is of great advantage. If the organization is small in scale, a team can be commissioned with the help of volunteers who will contribute their time on part-time basis. This team is responsible for identifying and assessing the activities that should be revised in order to optimize the product or service. The team should ideally consist of professionals from all practices in the organization. However, hiring an external consultant could be also become a plus. The Software: When implementing activity based costing, it is advantageous for an organization to use computer software for calculations and data storage. The computer software can be a simple database that will store the information such as customized ABC software for the organization, or a general purpose off the shelf software. The Procedure: Following is the procedure followed for successful implementation of activity based costing in an organization. Identification of a team that is responsible for implementing activity based costing. The team identifies and assesses the activities that involve in products and services in question. The team selects a subset of activities that should be taken for activity based costing. The team identifies the elements of selected activities that cost too much money for the organization. The team should pay attention to detail in this step as many activities may shield their cost and may look innocent from the outside. The fixed costs and variable costs related to activities are identified. The cost information gathered will be entered to the ABC software. The software then performs calculations and produce reports to support management decisions. Based on the reports, management can then, identify the steps that should be taken to increase profit margins in order to make the activities more efficient.
Activity Based Costing

Activity Based Costing

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Activity based costing is a different way of looking at an organization’s costs in order to optimize profit margins. Activity based costing is more effective when used long-term rather than in...
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Progressive Elaboration

All projects begin as a concept. A project concept, to create a new product or service, typically includes a broad vision of what the end result of the project will be. The temporary project results in the unique product or service through progressive elaboration. Progressive elaboration is the incremental design and refinement of the initial concept toward the project plan. As a project management course moves closer to completion, the identified needs that launched the project are revisited and monitored. Complete understanding of the needs-and the ability to fulfill those needs-comes from progressive elaboration. Progressive elaboration is an iterative process designed to correctly and completely fulfill the project objectives. This is evident in how the planning and execution processes each contribute to one another. A similar example can be seen in the process to create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). The WBS begins with the project vision, which is then elaborated upon to create the project scope, and then expanded again into the WBS, and so on. Consider a concept to build a new building that would handle the manufacturing and shipping of blue jeans. It would begin broadly, with materials delivered, the assembly equipment, and the outward-bound shipping bays. As the project team continues to research the needs and expectations of the project, the project vision would be refined, honed, and polished to a detailed outline of what the project would deliver. As you can see in Figure, through incremental steps, the project plan is developed and the unique project deliverable s are created.
Progressive Elaboration

Progressive Elaboration

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All projects begin as a concept. A project concept, to create a new product or service, typically includes a broad vision of what the end result of the project will be. The temporary project results ...
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Implementing Project Integration Management

Project integration management is the heart of project management course and is made up of the day-to-day processes the project manager relies on to ensure that all of the parts of the project work together. Put simply, project integration management is the way the gears of the project work together. Within any project there are many moving parts: time management, cost management, schedule conflicts, human resource issues, iterative planning, and much, much more. Project integration management is the art and science of ensuring that your project moves forward, that your plan is fully developed and properly implemented. Project integration management requires your project, regardless of it size and impact, to mesh with the existing operations of your organization. Project integration management requires finesse, as you, as the project manager, will have to negotiate with stakeholders for a resolution to competing project objectives. It requires organization, as you’ll have to develop, coordinate, and record your project plan. It requires the ability to accomplish your project plan. It requires leadership, record-keeping, and political savvy, as you’ll have to deal with potential changes throughout your project implementation. And, perhaps most importantly, it requires flexibility and adaptability throughout the project execution. In this chapter we’ll cover three big topics you’ll have to master to pass your PMP exam, and you’ll also need these skills to successfully implement projects out in the world. These topics are Developing the project plan Executing the project plan Managing change control As you’ve learned already, all projects need a project plan-it’s up to the project manager and the project team to create one. Then the project manager must work with the project team to ensure the work is being completed as it was planned. The project manager must follow all the subsidiary project plans, such as the Risk Management Plan, the Schedule Management Plan, and the Communications Plan. Finally, the project manager must work throughout the project to control changes across all facets of the project. Figure shows the complete picture of project integration management. Figure: Project integration management uses Development, Execution, and Integrated Change Control.      
Implementing Project Integration Management

Implementing Project Integration Management

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Project integration management is the heart of project management course and is made up of the day-to-day processes the project manager relies on to ensure that all of the parts of the project work t...
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Prioritze tasks for web and software development

As Agile Product Managers, you are constantly prioritizing requirements to get higher value items out sooner. One approach I saw recently, seems very promising. Here is the video. Go ahead and watch it. Basically, divide your requirements into four quadrants with Y-axis being Business Value and X-axis being Complexity. Hence, you would ideally do quadrant number 1 first and quadrant number 4 last. You can take a call between quadrant number 2 and quadrant number 3 – depending on what your current business strategy/ pull is. Simple. Do it over and over again and we will always provide higher value first. [vsw id=”MZaD8oASl3M” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]
Prioritze tasks for web and software development

Prioritze tasks for web and software development

KnowledgeHut Editor
As Agile Product Managers, you are constantly prioritizing requirements to get higher value items out sooner. One approach I saw recently, seems very promising. Here is the video. Go ahead and watch i...
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Transitioning to Agile Course: Five Success Factors

Transitioning from a waterfall process to an Agile framework like Scrum can be a daunting task. However, you can make the effort a whole lot easier if you have a good idea of what needs to change – beyond getting rid of waterfall – if you were to take the plunge for your organization. I have found that there are five broad success factors that need to be addressed in order to successfully transition to Agile. Without addressing these factors, you may be able to make a transition but the viability of the effort is likely to be short-lived. Below is an illustration of the five success factors: Although all five success factors are essential, Culture has a greater impact overall… Technology In this context, we are referring to technology as any process, tool or material that helps solve a problem. Typically, this is the element companies tend to focus on first – and unfortunately often ends up being the only factor they focus on.  Software tools like ScrumWorks, Mingle or  Jira’s Greenhopper are good examples. So is frameworks like Scrum or XP; they all help enable teams to be successful and solve a problem. Unfortunately, by ignoring the other factors, transition efforts suffer. Organizational Design We use the term ‘design’ here rather than ‘structure’ as this refers not only to the organizational structure of the organization, but also the physical (architectural) outline.  If an organization is very hierarchical with several layers of decision-makers, your transition efforts will be challenging. Also, if resources are located in remote locations or have a clear ‘office preference’ where open space and collaboration are frown upon, you will have a hard sell on your hands. But don’t ignore this – you will lose a significant piece of Agile’s potential if your company’s organizational design is not addressed. Leadership This can be one of the most important factors; leadership holds a lot of influence as they ultimately pay the bills and can allocate money, time or people to your transition efforts. Does leadership actively sponsor and support your transition efforts? Do they lend their influence to help Agile grow and prosper in your organization? Without leadership support, any transition effort is going to be difficult to sustain. If senior leadership is not quite on board yet, look for other influential leaders at other levels. However, if you find that you have zero support within the company’s leadership, I would categorize this as fatal to your transition efforts. People Ultimately, your organization’s employees are the ones that are going to make this work or not. If employees thrive on working in the basement alone, abhor team work or are not open to new ideas and ways to work, you are going to have a tough battle on your hands. Resistance is inevitable as change is tough for everyone, but you’re going to need some energetic, motivated ‘agilistas’ in order for any Agile transition effort to work. Look for people with energy, enthusiasm and low egos – you need to be humble in order to complete a successful transition. Culture Which leads us to the last – and most influential – success factor: culture. The organization’s culture has typically been developed over many years, so this is hard to change. But if you recognize what you’re dealing with, you are more likely to design a response to fit the situation. Agile thrives in a collaborative, team-based culture in which transparency is obvious and people are not afraid of making mistakes or letting other people in the organization know if there are problems (in fact, ‘failing fast’ is a virtue as it reveals concerns early on in the project). If you find that your organization extols values in stark opposition to Agile principles (i.e. command and control, fear of failure, ‘CYA’ mentality, etc), this is something that needs to be addressed if you’re going to have any hope of a successful Agile transition. In future posts, we will look into the success factors further and discuss approaches for transitioning to Agile in a way that fits your company’s unique situation.
Transitioning to Agile Course: Five Success Factors

Transitioning to Agile Course: Five Success Factors

KnowledgeHut Editor
Transitioning from a waterfall process to an Agile framework like Scrum can be a daunting task. However, you can make the effort a whole lot easier if you have a good idea of what needs to change –...
Continue reading

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