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What is PMP® ?

PMP®  or Project Management Professional is a project manager certification, offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI®).  Project Management Professional is the gold standard of project management and is the most desired as well as recognized professional certificate for Project Management.A Project Management Professional is an experienced project manager who is certified and trained to direct teams toward a project goal. Being PMP® certified is recommended as it helps project managers in their career growth by making them eligible to apply for the best roles in the top companies globally. They stay abreast with the new technologies, network with other certified colleagues of their same field, and stumble upon the best projects prospects.PMPs lead projects in almost every country, without focusing on a particular geography or domain, making PMP® truly global.An overview of PMP® certificationPMP® certified professionals demonstrate that a project manager possesses the knowledge, skill set, and experience to manage their projects and bring them to successful completion. They compile work from associative teams to form a final product that fits according to the client’s demands.By being PMP® certified, managers validate their knowledge, experience, and training, along with their ability to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and control all the other factors involved in a corporate project.A PMP® certification helps a professional in the following ways:Grow in the role of project managerGives them a hike in their salary Stand apart from the other project managersHandle projects globallyGet value from your organization.What is the role of PMI? What does it do?Project Management Institute (PMI®), is a professional organisation for project management. It serves more than 2.9 million professionals, with 500,000 members in over 208 countries and territories around the world.It provides services in the development of standards, research, education, publication, hosting conferences and training sessions, networking opportunities in local chapters and providing accreditation in project management.It is recommended to be PMP-certified as it helps you to stay leveled up with the new developments, communicate in a better way with the employers and build a network with certified colleagues.PMP® HandbookThe Project Management Institute (PMI) has published a Project Management Professional (PMP®) Credential handbook. It holds and explains everything that one needs to know about the process of taking the PMP® examination and to become PMP® certified.It discusses the PMP® Eligibility, PMP® Exam Information, PMP® Exam Day and what one should do after the PMP® exam.Who all can apply for PMP® Certification?If you love to manage projects, make sure that everything and everyone is working with the best of their ability, and wish to be continued to be challenged in your career, then you are a desired candidate for PMP® Certification.Candidates wishing to be PMP®certified must meet certain educational and professional experience requirements in order to be eligible for PMP® certification. The following states the eligibility requirements:A four-year degree along with the following requirements:Minimum 36 months (3 years) of Professional Project Management experience4,500 hours of work in directing or leading projects.Minimum of 35 hours of Project Management education.A high school diploma along with the following requirements:Minimum 60 months (5 years) of Professional Project Management experience7,500 hours of work experience in project management.Minimum of 35 hours of Project Management education.All project management working experience should be augmented within the last eight years consecutively before you submit your application.How do I become PMP® certified? What is the examination process?Once the candidate has gained eligibility, he/she can now take the PMP®  certification examination within one year of the eligibility period. Candidates can opt for a computer-based test at nearby Prometric testing centre. The paper-based option is also available for locations with no Prometric testing centres.The candidate must answer 200 multiple-choice questions. 25 questions out of these 200 questions are pre-released ones, hence they are not included in the exam scoring. The final score of the examination is calculated based on the rest of the 175 questions. The candidates are allotted four hours to complete the centre-based examination.The following video will give you a clear picture of the process of becoming a PMP® certified professional.What are PDUs? After being PMP® certified, you need to renew your credentials every three years from the day of becoming a PMP®. PMP® Renewal can be attained by earning 60 PDUs (Professional Development Unit)  in a three-year period of time. This comes under the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program, with the aim to maintain active certification status. The three year period is often referred to as a CCR Cycle. PDU RenewalThere are multiple options by which you can earn PDUs. You can choose to attend courses, seminars, webinars, or volunteer for the same. The main motive of PMP® renewal is to keep you updated with the current profession and also make a contribution back to the profession. The added advantage is the fact that you need not write the exam all over again! How is PDU Renewal beneficiary?In order to keep the PMP® practitioners updated with the changes in tools and techniques, PDUs renewal was introduced by PMI®. It reflects the knowledge, skills and tasks that project management professionals perform on a daily basis. This is done so that one doesn’t stay stuck to the tools and techniques that were introduced 30 years ago when the PMP® exam first came into existence. What is the cost of PMP®Certification?The overall cost of PMP® certification depends on different factors like PMP exam certification fee, the exam preparation courses and study guides. A set of possible expenses that you may be exposed to for acquiring a PMP® certification are mentioned below:FEE TYPECOSTPMI Annual Membership$139PMP Exam Testing FeeNon-PMI Members$555PMI Members$405PMI® offers the Project Management Professional Certification Examination for PMI® members as well as non-PMI members. The cost of examination for a PMI member is $405 (USD), while that for a non-PMI member is $555 (USD).The PMI® membership fee costs around  $129(USD) for new members, with an additional $10(USD) as a one-time application fee. This membership is valid for one year and needs to be renewed annually with a fee of $129(USD).To prepare yourself well for the PMP® examination, you can refer to many resources. PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge) which is issued by PMI®, covers most of the topics on which the questions are based on. Hence, it is an essential part of your preparation. The hard copy of the same is available for $70 and for PMI® members, it can be accessed for free as a soft copy (available on the PMI® website after becoming a member of PMI).Can I request for a refund for my PMP Certification? If yes, then how?To avail a refund for the PMP® certification, the candidate must make a request to the PMI® at least 30 days prior to the exam eligibility expiration date., though it will retain a processing fee of $100 (USD) if the candidate has not yet scheduled or taken the exam. The application will be closed and the eligibility period will no longer be valid after the refund has been processed.Also, a candidate can request for a refund if their application gets rejected or they fail an audit. PMI® will not provide the candidate with a refund in any of the following cases:If the candidates’ one year eligibility period has expired and he/she has not scheduled an examination, the whole fee amount will be forfeited. If the candidate still wishes to obtain the certification, he/she will have to reapply and submit the affiliated fee again. If the candidate has scheduled an examination but failed to take it, nor provided PMI® with the necessary cancellation or rescheduling notification, the whole fee will be forfeited. Benefits of PMP certification:Project Management is a challenging career, and as a PMP® certified practitioner, you will be able to face and overcome new challenges. There are various benefits that a PMP® certified professional comes across. To name a few:  Being PMP® certified will give your career an extra boost by making you eligible for the best roles in the top companies globally.Those with a PMP® certification garner a higher salary (20% higher on average) than those without a PMP® certification.The rigorous training and coursework of PMP® will help you to increase your versatility and expand your skill set.Being PMP® certified add credibility to your resume, making you stand out than the rest of the candidates.There is a global community for PMP certification holders where you can reach out to other project managers of the same field across the globe, helping you to expand your market and scope while at the same time, keep yourself up to date with the technology.PMP® certified project managers get hold of better job opportunities as they have knowledge, experience, and training for the same. They showcase better performance as compared to the non-certified managers.The standards for PMP® exams are higher than the other project management exams. With your skills and knowledge, you can work in a much more efficient manner.Being PMP® Certified can help you get challenging roles as the certification signifies your dedication to project management. Also, you will be trained to face such challenges in your day to day life.Career growth and opportunities with PMP:According to a survey conducted by PMI®, professionals with PMP® certification get a 20% hike in their salary as compared to a project manager who is not certified. The demand-supply equation for PMP® certified professionals is still tilted more towards the demand side. Hence, being credentialed acts as a major advantage. For the States, it is anticipated that the demand for project management professionals will upsurge to an estimate of 700,000 jobs by 2020. Project Management Professionals are found to be leading major projects in nearly every top organisation around the globe. PMP® professionals need not focus on a particular industry, domain or geography, making PMP® global on a true basis. A PMP® professional can work for any industry, in any location. They are known for their practices and coordination of projects in multiple and diverse industries, including government, IT sector, construction, energy/utilities, retail, digital media, healthcare, finance, etc.Learn more about the scope and growth as a PMP® certified professional by sharing your views and queries with the professionals in the field.

What is PMP® ?

6540
What is PMP® ?

PMP®  or Project Management Professional is a project manager certification, offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI®).  Project Management Professional is the gold standard of project management and is the most desired as well as recognized professional certificate for Project Management.

A Project Management Professional is an experienced project manager who is certified and trained to direct teams toward a project goal. Being PMP® certified is recommended as it helps project managers in their career growth by making them eligible to apply for the best roles in the top companies globally. They stay abreast with the new technologies, network with other certified colleagues of their same field, and stumble upon the best projects prospects.

PMPs lead projects in almost every country, without focusing on a particular geography or domain, making PMP® truly global.

An overview of PMP® certification

PMP® certified professionals demonstrate that a project manager possesses the knowledge, skill set, and experience to manage their projects and bring them to successful completion. They compile work from associative teams to form a final product that fits according to the client’s demands.

By being PMP® certified, managers validate their knowledge, experience, and training, along with their ability to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and control all the other factors involved in a corporate project.

A PMP® certification helps a professional in the following ways:

  • Grow in the role of project manager
  • Gives them a hike in their salary 
  • Stand apart from the other project managers
  • Handle projects globally
  • Get value from your organization.

What is PMP Certification

What is the role of PMI? What does it do?

Project Management Institute (PMI®), is a professional organisation for project management. It serves more than 2.9 million professionals, with 500,000 members in over 208 countries and territories around the world.

It provides services in the development of standards, research, education, publication, hosting conferences and training sessions, networking opportunities in local chapters and providing accreditation in project management.

It is recommended to be PMP-certified as it helps you to stay leveled up with the new developments, communicate in a better way with the employers and build a network with certified colleagues.

PMP® Handbook

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has published a Project Management Professional (PMP®) Credential handbook. It holds and explains everything that one needs to know about the process of taking the PMP® examination and to become PMP® certified.

It discusses the PMP® Eligibility, PMP® Exam Information, PMP® Exam Day and what one should do after the PMP® exam.

Who all can apply for PMP® Certification?

If you love to manage projects, make sure that everything and everyone is working with the best of their ability, and wish to be continued to be challenged in your career, then you are a desired candidate for PMP® Certification.

Candidates wishing to be PMP®certified must meet certain educational and professional experience requirements in order to be eligible for PMP® certification. The following states the eligibility requirements:

A four-year degree along with the following requirements:

  • Minimum 36 months (3 years) of Professional Project Management experience
  • 4,500 hours of work in directing or leading projects.
  • Minimum of 35 hours of Project Management education.

A high school diploma along with the following requirements:

  • Minimum 60 months (5 years) of Professional Project Management experience
  • 7,500 hours of work experience in project management.
  • Minimum of 35 hours of Project Management education.

All project management working experience should be augmented within the last eight years consecutively before you submit your application.

How do I become PMP® certified? What is the examination process?

Once the candidate has gained eligibility, he/she can now take the PMP®  certification examination within one year of the eligibility period. Candidates can opt for a computer-based test at nearby Prometric testing centre. The paper-based option is also available for locations with no Prometric testing centres.

The candidate must answer 200 multiple-choice questions. 25 questions out of these 200 questions are pre-released ones, hence they are not included in the exam scoring. The final score of the examination is calculated based on the rest of the 175 questions. The candidates are allotted four hours to complete the centre-based examination.

The following video will give you a clear picture of the process of becoming a PMP® certified professional.

What are PDUs? 

After being PMP® certified, you need to renew your credentials every three years from the day of becoming a PMP®. PMP® Renewal can be attained by earning 60 PDUs (Professional Development Unit)  in a three-year period of time. This comes under the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program, with the aim to maintain active certification status. The three year period is often referred to as a CCR Cycle. 

PDU Renewal

There are multiple options by which you can earn PDUs. You can choose to attend courses, seminars, webinars, or volunteer for the same. 

The main motive of PMP® renewal is to keep you updated with the current profession and also make a contribution back to the profession. The added advantage is the fact that you need not write the exam all over again! 

How is PDU Renewal beneficiary?

In order to keep the PMP® practitioners updated with the changes in tools and techniques, PDUs renewal was introduced by PMI®. It reflects the knowledge, skills and tasks that project management professionals perform on a daily basis. This is done so that one doesn’t stay stuck to the tools and techniques that were introduced 30 years ago when the PMP® exam first came into existence. 

What is the cost of PMP®Certification?

The overall cost of PMP® certification depends on different factors like PMP exam certification fee, the exam preparation courses and study guides. A set of possible expenses that you may be exposed to for acquiring a PMP® certification are mentioned below:

FEE TYPE
COST
PMI Annual Membership
$139
PMP Exam Testing FeeNon-PMI Members$555
PMI Members$405

PMI® offers the Project Management Professional Certification Examination for PMI® members as well as non-PMI members. The cost of examination for a PMI member is $405 (USD), while that for a non-PMI member is $555 (USD).

The PMI® membership fee costs around  $129(USD) for new members, with an additional $10(USD) as a one-time application fee. This membership is valid for one year and needs to be renewed annually with a fee of $129(USD).

To prepare yourself well for the PMP® examination, you can refer to many resources. PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge) which is issued by PMI®, covers most of the topics on which the questions are based on. Hence, it is an essential part of your preparation. The hard copy of the same is available for $70 and for PMI® members, it can be accessed for free as a soft copy (available on the PMI® website after becoming a member of PMI).

Can I request for a refund for my PMP Certification? If yes, then how?

To avail a refund for the PMP® certification, the candidate must make a request to the PMI® at least 30 days prior to the exam eligibility expiration date., though it will retain a processing fee of $100 (USD) if the candidate has not yet scheduled or taken the exam. The application will be closed and the eligibility period will no longer be valid after the refund has been processed.

Also, a candidate can request for a refund if their application gets rejected or they fail an audit. 

PMI® will not provide the candidate with a refund in any of the following cases:

  • If the candidates’ one year eligibility period has expired and he/she has not scheduled an examination, the whole fee amount will be forfeited. If the candidate still wishes to obtain the certification, he/she will have to reapply and submit the affiliated fee again. 
  • If the candidate has scheduled an examination but failed to take it, nor provided PMI® with the necessary cancellation or rescheduling notification, the whole fee will be forfeited. 

Benefits of PMP certification:

Project Management is a challenging career, and as a PMP® certified practitioner, you will be able to face and overcome new challenges. There are various benefits that a PMP® certified professional comes across. To name a few:  

  • Being PMP® certified will give your career an extra boost by making you eligible for the best roles in the top companies globally.
  • Those with a PMP® certification garner a higher salary (20% higher on average) than those without a PMP® certification.
  • The rigorous training and coursework of PMP® will help you to increase your versatility and expand your skill set.
  • Being PMP® certified add credibility to your resume, making you stand out than the rest of the candidates.
  • There is a global community for PMP certification holders where you can reach out to other project managers of the same field across the globe, helping you to expand your market and scope while at the same time, keep yourself up to date with the technology.
  • PMP® certified project managers get hold of better job opportunities as they have knowledge, experience, and training for the same. They showcase better performance as compared to the non-certified managers.
  • The standards for PMP® exams are higher than the other project management exams. With your skills and knowledge, you can work in a much more efficient manner.
  • Being PMP® Certified can help you get challenging roles as the certification signifies your dedication to project management. Also, you will be trained to face such challenges in your day to day life.

Career growth and opportunities with PMP:

According to a survey conducted by PMI®, professionals with PMP® certification get a 20% hike in their salary as compared to a project manager who is not certified. The demand-supply equation for PMP® certified professionals is still tilted more towards the demand side. Hence, being credentialed acts as a major advantage. For the States, it is anticipated that the demand for project management professionals will upsurge to an estimate of 700,000 jobs by 2020. 

Project Management Professionals are found to be leading major projects in nearly every top organisation around the globe. PMP® professionals need not focus on a particular industry, domain or geography, making PMP® global on a true basis. A PMP® professional can work for any industry, in any location. They are known for their practices and coordination of projects in multiple and diverse industries, including government, IT sector, construction, energy/utilities, retail, digital media, healthcare, finance, etc.

Learn more about the scope and growth as a PMP® certified professional by sharing your views and queries with the professionals in the field.

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut

Author

KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.
Website : https://www.knowledgehut.com

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What Is Crashing a Project in Project Management?

Projects come in different shapes and sizes. They may face unique challenges during various stages. A large and complex project is likely to face more problems than a small project that only involves a handful of people.  What are the problems a project may face?  A delay Lack of quality A problem with coordination Mismatch of expectations A poor plan Unforeseen circumstances External factors Change of scope While each of these problems could be discussed in detail, we are more interested in what you should do if your project faces any of these issues. What could be the impact of a project going off track? The completion date is delayed, the project costs go up, or the project gets scrapped. There are ramifications for each of these scenarios.  Depending on the type of project, the decision that you need to take may differ. If the project gets scrapped, then there is nothing to do other than to learn from it and find out how to prevent something like that from happening again. In the case of a delay or any other issue you should try to bring the project back on track. You could do this by calculating the cost the problem has caused. Some projects may involve penalties for missing the completion date.  You may need to advance the completion date of a project even if it is going on track because of an external factor. For example, a competitor is working on a similar project.  In both cases you will need to find a way to improve the speed of the project and shorten the time that is required to complete the project. This is what project crashing aims to do.What Is Project Crashing?Project crashing involves shortening the expected time taken for a project. This is primarily done by adding more resources to it. 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In some cases, it can also involve reducing the scope of a project. For example, the plan for a four-lane highway may reduce its scope to build a two-lane highway instead to reduce the time required for completion and to meet immediate needs.What Prompts Crashing in Project Management?The reason for the need to crash a project need not be about something going wrong with the project itself. Sometimes it is also an external factor that changes the estimated delivery time or brings a need for faster completion.  If there is a heavy penalty for failing to meet a project completion deadline, then the increased cost of crashing could be justified to an extent. A bonus for faster completion can also similarly be a reason for crashing a project. If there is an external change where a competitor is working on a similar project, the cost of not speeding up the project would lead to the loss of a competitive edge. In case there is an activity that delays a host of other activities, crashing that activity could bring benefits across the project. Or, if there are new people or an idle workforce available that was not previously anticipated, the project plan can be changed to use this additional workforce to bring down the time for completion. Sometimes the need for crashing might depend on another project. If there is a new project that requires the individuals working on the current project to be available, you may need to crash the current project. There cannot be an exhaustive list of reasons for the need to crash a project. There could be any number of project environmental aspects or an external factor that requires the project to be completed at a faster pace. An Example of Crashing in Project ManagementThere are projects happening all around us. Projects frequently run into problems or might need to be reprioritized or sped up due to a range of reasons. One of the prominent examples we saw in this was with developing vaccines. As the COVID pandemic was spreading around the world, several companies and countries were working on projects to develop a vaccine. A process that would normally take years was brought down to under a year by doing things differently. As the need to develop and deploy a vaccine became critical the funding needed was not an issue. Procedures involved were shortened or fast tracked to speed up the project. Fast tracking involves doing activities simultaneously and does not form a part of project crashing.Source Link:redd.itCaption: The image is an example of how fast-tracking helped in developing the vaccine faster by getting things done simultaneously. In a normal situation each phase would start only after the completion of the previous phase.Even though many of the bureaucratic processes and documentation were sped up, there were parts of the project that could not be sped up. Regardless of the money that goes into the project, the time required for testing and waiting to see effectiveness of the vaccine in the volunteers could not be sped up. This is the crash limit.  Within a year there were many projects around the world that successfully came out with a viable vaccine with more in the pipeline. This shows how project crashing can work effectively without a compromise on the quality. Best Practices When Crashing Your ProjectCrashing a project is usually done as a last resort. If crashing did not involve a significant cost, the timing for the activity in question would be optimized in the original project plan. There are quite a few things you should consider while crashing into an activity in your project. Critical  Path    A critical path is the chain of activities that span the length of a project. Reducing the timing of an activity in this critical path will bring down the total project completion time. 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What Is Crashing a Project in Project Management?

Projects come in different shapes and sizes. They ... Read More

What Is a Project Communication Plan?

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A Project Communication Plan is a document that identifies the communication needs that would arise during a project and aims to address those needs in an organized and timely manner. This is to be created along with the project plan so that the project moves forward smoothly at every stage. The plan considers all the different stakeholders and all types of communication that are needed to establish and maintain healthy channels of communication. Can a document make much difference in improving communications? The document is only the first step in identifying communication needs and planning to stay on top of those needs. The success of the plan will depend on how well it is executed. We will examine how it works in detail. Before that we need to understand what exactly are the things that can go wrong with miscommunication or lack of sufficient communication?Why Does Effective Communication Matter?Communication can create massive problems when it is not optimized. Too little communication hampers alignment where teams are not aware of what another team is working on and what they are expected to do. Too much communication can also slow down work. Long meetings that are not focused or clear about their objective can keep individuals away from their work, delaying projects. When the marketing team receives an update, do they go ahead and inform the sales team, or do they assume that the sales team got the update as well? When one team spots an issue that affects another team, do they flag it or expect the other team to be working on it? When there is a change in the plan who needs to know about it? What stakeholders, both internal and external, will need regular status updates? What can you expect to achieve with a communication plan?Importance of a Project Management Communication PlanA communication plan is about setting up a project that meets the communication requirements of a project. It sets up and coordinates:  Purpose of each piece of communication. Who are the stakeholders that need updates? What kind of meetings are needed? Who will attend meetings?  How or where will the meetings happen? How often will these meetings be held? What reports need to be sent to whom? The mediums of communication to be followed (both scheduled and unscheduled) How can the communication plan be improved? The last point deserves special mention. A communication plan evolves with the project. You can decide to change the frequency of meetings or reports depending on how the project is progressing. You could also add new meetings where you see the need or scrap ones that prove unnecessary. The plan provides details about the purpose of each communication and who the audience should be.  The communication plan is created through a step-by-step process that considers the diverse elements of communication required for the project. Let us see how this process would work if you were to make a Project Communication Plan for your upcoming project. How to Create a Project Management Communication PlanWhat are the steps you should follow to create your own Project Communication Plan? We’ve broken the process down for you!  Define Purpose Before starting with any idea of a communication plan you should understand the scope of this plan and what is to be achieved with this exercise. What are the issues that can be addressed in this plan? Who are the people that need to be included and taken on board for the plan to work? For a plan to work the expectation of it should be known to the stakeholders. That brings us to the question of who are the stakeholders? Identify stakeholders Stakeholders include everyone that is working on the project and everyone the project impacts. All stakeholders need to be a part of the communication plan, but to what degree they are involved will depend on the role they play.  A particular team like sales may only be involved in meetings that have an issue that impacts them. Accounting may be involved in discussions that have to do with budgets or revising expenses. Members of a steering committee will be involved in regular meetings to take stock of the progress. Frequency The third question that needs to be answered is to fix the frequency of communication. Frequent meetings can create a logjam where people talk about things, delay making decisions. Such projects get stuck. If there is a complicated report that takes up time the frequency of it could be reduced. You do not have to have all the answers at the start of the project. You should plan all the things that could make communications easier.  Tools and Medium What tools are to be used to make reports? How are the meetings going to be held? If it is to be done in a meeting room can the room be booked in advance? If the meeting is online, which videoconferencing platform will be used?  These are a few of the questions that could avoid problems when the project starts. Clarity on how a meeting is held or how a status report is to be sent can make the communication process smoother and ensure that all stakeholders adhere to the communication plan.  Review There is no perfect plan. No amount of foresight can ensure that a plan stays infallible at all levels. There will be unforeseen problems or changes in expectation that require the plan to be flexible. Plans can and should be improved continuously to make them more efficient.  If a meeting is found to be unnecessary, it can be scrapped. Similarly, if there are areas that require more coordination you can introduce new meetings or procedures to address the need for better communication. Communication Plan ExamplesEach project that you will handle will have challenges of their own. All projects will benefit from having a communication plan. A basic communication plan will look like this at a high level.ParticipantsAgenda / TopicMedium / PlatformFrequencyTimingOwnerReviewTeam AItem listFace to face (Conference Room A)WeeklyEvery Monday 3:00 pm (Local Time zone)Team LeaderFeedback formTeam BItem listWeb Conference (Zoom)Bi-weeklyEvery alternate Wednesday starting on 15/12/21 at 11:00 am (Local Time zone)Division HeadOnline surveyCustomersNewsletterMail ReportMonthlyLast Day of the month 5:00 pm (Local Time zone)Marketing HeadOnline surveyAll StakeholdersProgress ReportMail ReportMonthlyFifth of every Month 5:00 pm (Local Time zone)Project ManagerAn email mailbox for feedbackSteering CommitteReview MeetingFace to Face Meeting (Conference Room A)WeeklyEvery Thursday 2:00 pm (Local Time zone)Project Manager1 on 1 discussionsThere would be more detailed plans at lower levels of the project within teams and for specific purposes depending on the scale or complexity of the project. If you look at holding the summer Olympics as a project, there would be thousands of people involved. A team that is tasked with the accommodation of athletes, officials and support staff will have frequent meetings with each other on the specific issues affecting them. The availability of specific accommodation, the proximity to the venues or the routes they need to take may be topics of interest to this team.  When somebody from this team attends a high-level meeting with other members from different functions like telecasting, these issues may not be discussed or brought up unless there is a clear connection between them. A good project communication plan also takes care to streamline the flow of information according to its relevance.6 Best Practices for Using Your Communication PlanHaving a great communication plan does not ensure that it will be followed, and everyone will accept the plan in the right spirit. You need to be vigilant of gaps in communication and fix them wherever they appear. Ensuring that a communication plan stays effective cannot be guaranteed, but there are some practices that can dramatically improve your chances.  Focus only on a few important points It might be tempting to be comprehensive and cover all aspects of a project early on. This might overwhelm or confuse the participants, especially if it is a meeting. Make meetings, emails, and other communication focused and target only a few topics at a time. This way the participants or audience will know what the meeting is about and what was the outcome of it. Establish clarity and context Projects can involve individuals from different teams having distinct functions. The vocabulary used in communication should be simplified or the context should be set so that someone who does not know about the aspect of the project will still be able to make sense of what is being discussed and how it may relate to them.  Be vigilant to signs of confusion One of the biggest risks that you should watch out for in your communication plan is the possibility of the audience missing important facts. An email going into the spam folder or looking too routine to be opened may not communicate what it was supposed to do.  Similarly in large and extended meetings individuals are bound to lose their attention from time to time. Keeping meetings short and small can help make communication more effective. Look for signs of disinterest or confusion from your audience.  Take feedback and involve others If your audience is engaged in communication, they can and will give input. These inputs could be used to make the communication plan more effective and relevant to the stakeholders. If the participants of a particular meeting do not feel like there isn’t value in it then it would make sense to scrap it.   You do not have to bear the entire burden of improving communication across the projects. Individuals in different profiles and roles will have unique inputs. Understand communication needs You should keep looking out for the changing needs in communication throughout the project. Who are the stakeholders not receiving information in a timely manner? Who are the participants that are not contributing to or benefitting from a meeting? Asking such questions would make communications more relevant to the audience.  Build relationships If the participants in a project do not share a good relationship with each other, it would help to account for some time for them to get properly acquainted before getting into the project. Understanding who is responsible for what would increase clarity and improve the quality of communication.Benefits of a Good Project Communication PlanA good project communication plan that is executed in the way it is meant to be can help your project on several levels. All the different stakeholders involved in the project will work in a coordinated manner. There will be clarity for each participant on what is expected from them. Individual teams will have a better idea of dependencies in all directions. They will identify the teams that they depend on and the teams that depend on them. A good communication plan evolves as the project progresses, improving the effectiveness of communication. Stakeholders get accurate updates about how the project is progressing. You can identify and fix issues early before they cause problems. There is greater transparency and cooperation. Why a Communication Plan Is More Important Than Ever There is no need to stress the importance of communication. What needs attention is how the needs are evolving. We are changing the way we communicate. People expect information to be readily available. We are also working on more complex projects that span organizations, continents, and time zones. To keep all stakeholders informed at every stage can appear to be a challenging task. A good project communication plan makes the job of all the stakeholders easier. A thorough, and flexible plan can go a long way in helping you and your organization achieve the desired project outcomes and could be seen as a critical component in your project. 
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What Is a Project Communication Plan?

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Project Management vs Product Management: Key Differences

With businesses getting increasingly competitive, steady and sustainable planning and management is needed to guide business strategies and set you up for success. Project management and product management are critical to this business strategy. These two vital roles are often confused, and while they might sound the same, there are some key differences between them.  In this blog, you’ll learn how project management and product management are two sides of the same coin, how they are complementary and how they differ. Which role is right for you? Find out!Defining Product Management and Project ManagementLet’s first start by defining the terms product and project. A product could refer to a physical product, like a new version of an Apple phone, or a software application, such as a CRM tool, or even a service offered to a group of customers. A project, on the other hand, is the effort involved, from start to finish, to create the product. Product management, therefore, is the function that is responsible for managing the product lifecycle—from the initial conceptualization, through the stages of its development and until it is introduced in the market, grows in acceptance and is eventually retired. There is no fixed timeline as it will be based on the success of the product in the market. A product manager makes sure that a great product is built, and that it meets the expectations of customers and the needs of the market.Project management is the function that is involved with the actual creation and execution of the product or service. It has a fixed timeline and is a one-time endeavour as it is completed when the project is closed, and the product is delivered to the customer. The lifecycle of the project goes through five stages—the initiation, planning, execution, tracking and controlling, and closure. A project manager oversees the project from start to finish, ensuring that all the goals are met.The Role of Product Manager Vs. Project ManagerLet’s now see what makes the role of a product owner different from the role of a project manager. A Product Manager owns the product from start to finish. They create and maintain the product vision, and act as the liaison between the stakeholders, users and the development team. They will understand the stakeholder requirements, translate them into design goals and coordinate with the team to see that the development is aligned with these goals. Quite often, the product manager is called the CEO of the product—probably because this role entails in-depth product knowledge as well as sound business sense. The Project Manager understands the product vision and goals that are laid out by the product manager, creates schedules and plans, and manages the execution of the tasks that are required to achieve the goals. They take care of the nitty gritty of the budget, time and quality, and ensure successful completion of the project. The project manager can be compared to the captain of the ship, steering the project in the right direction. To help make the distinction between the two roles very clear, imagine that you are a product manager. You might be able to answer questions like: What is the product brief? Who are the end users? What are the problems we are trying to address? How will the product look and feel? What does the competition look like, and how can you ensure that this product scores over the others in the market? And these are some of the questions that might land up on your plate if you’re a project manager: How much time do we have to complete the project? What is the budget? How can I manage the timelines? Is the team delivering on the promised quality? How can I optimize resource allocation? Here are some of the differences between the two roles, laid out in the form of a table: Product Manager’s RoleProject Manager’s RoleRole descriptionStrategic and requires product knowledgeTactical and requires planning skillsProduct visionOwns the visionFollows the visionProduct goalsOwns the goalsAchieves the goalsInteractionsInteracts with stakeholders and project managerInteracts with product manager and teamsDeals withThe ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of the productThe ‘how’ and the ‘when’ of the projectTimeframeWill focus on the product even after delivery, trying to maximize its marketability and improve sales.The job of the project manager ends when the product is delivered. They are not required to be a part of the marketing and launch.SkillsetMust be good at market research, strategic thinking and business-savvyMust be good at planning, budgeting, organizing and time management.Responsibilities of Product Managers Vs Project ManagersAlong with the difference in the two roles, comes the differences in the responsibilities as well. Essentially, the product manager has external responsibilities; those of dealing with stakeholders, management and end users, and understanding the technical aspects of the product. The project managers have internal responsibilities, which involve issues that have to do with functionalities, planning and execution, and they look inward toward the development team. The responsibilities of a product manager might involve (among others):  Understanding the product and doing some market research Gathering the user requirements and collating them Working on a business analysis, and identifying risks and opportunities Defining the product features that can maximize value Technical trouble-shooting Chalking out the product roadmap Managing tasks and deciding the priority Strategizing product launches to gain competitive advantage Retiring the product when it is no longer viable The responsibilities of a project manager are quite different, and could be along these lines: Planning doable timelines, based on the development team’s capabilities Identifying potential risks and mitigating them Managing any issues that arise during development Planning tasks Ironing out any conflicts or roadblocks to progress Allocating the right resources to the right tasks Daily management of task lists, materials, schedules, finances and so on Managing the project scope by balancing timelines, budgets and quality Is There Any Overlap Between Product and Project Managers?There is certainly quite a bit of overlap between the two roles of Product Manager and Project Manager. Both roles have the product in focus, and work to maximize product value, enhance customer satisfaction and deliver quality products on time and within budget. They are both required to be excellent communicators and should have great organizational skills and leadership capabilities. For both roles, experience and the right training are very important. However, product managers drive product development, while project managers drive project execution. There are certainly instances, usually in smaller companies, where one person could wear both hats. This does not always work out well, however, and there could be several issues that could arise as a result. These issues could include the following: As we have seen, product managers have more focus on the product itself, and not on the process of creating it—which comes under the purview of the project manager. If one person plays both roles, either of the two responsibilities will suffer as a result. Product managers usually take part in many external activities, such as attending trade fairs to keep an eye on the competition, interacting with stakeholders and so on. If they spend all their time in looking after the daily work, these activities will languish. Project managers might not have sufficient knowledge about the product itself and may not be able to define and prioritize the features adequately, as they will not have sufficient knowledge about the market. Whereas, for the product manager, it’s all about the product, and their primary work revolves around product strategy, product vision, product goals and maximizing product value. Product managers, when tasked with managing the project, might not have adequate expertise in balancing and juggling scope, quality, financial outlays and time schedules. When one person is weighed down with too many responsibilities, it’s a given that something will have to fall short. Quite often, and understandably so, quality is what gives way first. As projects grow increasingly complex, having a product manager focus on the strategy, while the project manager takes care of the tactical aspects will lead to more successful outcomes. Wrapping Up: Final Thoughts  As we have seen, the two roles are complementary, and both are equally important for successful outcomes. If you’re trying to decide on which role might suit you best, take a look at your skill sets, understand the responsibilities that come with each role and then make your decision! Rest assured, both roles will continue to be in demand in the foreseeable future, and either way you can’t really go wrong!  To equip yourself with industry best practices and start your career on the right foot, explore these sought-after project management certifications. 
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Project Management vs Product Management: Key Diff...

With businesses getting increasingly competitive, ... Read More

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