30 July 2010

9 Knowledge Areas and 44 Processes must be known to a Great Project Management Professional

This has been expereienced that absence of a good project manager resulted in delayed project delivery or many a times project failure. There is a good shartage of experienced and good project management professional. PMP certification is a good way out to know about the techniques and then polishing them up by implementing in your projects. A good project Manager must know following 9 important knowledge areas.

1. Project integration Management.

2. Project Scope management.

3. Project Time Management.

4. Project Cost Management.

5. Project Quality Management.

6. Human Resource Management.

7. Procurement Management.

8. Project Risk Management.

9. Project Communication Management.

As per mu understnading the most important part here is Communication Management. A PM spend maximum of time in communicating. So communication must be very effective and must be clear and crisp. He should be able to send the clear message to targeted person.

In next blog, I will cover every knowledge areas (one--by --one ).

Keep reading....................

12 July 2010

7 Must Have Qualities to be Successful Project Manager

Keeping Project failure rate in preview, the demand for a qualified and result oriented project managers are increasing drastically in market. Though PM technical knowledge is important but above and all, there are certain most important qualities a project manager must possess to be successful in his/her profession. What are those qualities? Look at some of these.

1. Lead From Front - The Project Manager must exhibit as a leader. He has to lead the team from the front. Please remember that Human resources are the real asset in the Organization.

2. Respect Stakeholders and Keep Them Updated Many a times it has been observed that PM is not in touch with stake holder consistently. Please note that You have to keep stakeholders always updated. This will create trust of stake holders in PM and also if something goes wrong, they will come for rescue.

3. Monitor Project Progress on daily basis PM must observe the project progress continuously. In no time, he should keep himself away from the project. Please note that Daily Morning briefing to team a proved to be a strong tool to keep the project status updated. In every daily morning brief, the task for today should be defined and status of previous day task should be updated.

4. Promote learning within the team Project Manager must ensure that learning and working goes hand in hand. Unfortunately, some of the project managers just look for the work and does not raise any request for the training. Please note that a nicely conducted training has excellent impact on the project team members and they will be ready to do anything for you.

5. Prove a Good Link The Project Manager is a bridge between Sr Management and Project Team. He must ensure(at least try his best) that the required attention is given to the team members by management. This will help a lot to keep the moral of team up.

6. Look and monitor the new challenges PM should always be ready to accept the new challenges. In case he is not able to meet the challenges or not tracking the new expected challenge then he is likely to loose the grip on project.

7. Strong Coordination PM must act as a strong coordinator among the project teams or within the team members. He must look for the participative management within the team. The success of the project majorly depends upon the members happiness.

I hope all above mentioned point are easily understandable. Every PM must inculcate these points within himself to be a good manager. Please share your thought if your take is not aligned with  my thoughts.

Thanks. Happy Reading. 

04 July 2010

Importance of Project Charter in Project Success

Just imagine following situation.

Two senior management persons talked about the project and its scope. Both agreed and then one ordered to start the project. The project manager was finalized by senior management after talking to CTO/Functional manager verbally. The designated project manager was called and the project scope was explained to him. The project manager was not having guts to say "NO" or ask some question to baffling senior manager. The project team was finalized by Project manager and CTO. The project started without proper documentation. And believe me the end results we as follows.

1. The project was much behind the schedule and cost overrun.

2. Finally the project was dumped.

3. The Project manager was blamed for the same and fired.

4. Company incurred losses.

To avoid such situations, we must always obey the rule that "Respect Quality Process to derive the Quality in Product". But in above situation the first step of the project was not followed. The first step of the project is to prepare the project charter. But unfortunately, it was not followed. Second problem was that PM was not having enough courage to discuss the issues with the Sr Management. The Project charter is very important document. I would call Project charter as the ignition to the project. You can understand that without ignition is it possible to start the vehicle. I would like to mention some of the major points which must be jotted down in Project Charter clearly.

Image result for project charter

1. Project name.

2. Project Details (Project Owner, Project coordinator).

3. Identification of the Project manager.

4. Project Statement (Business Objective).

5. Project mission and Goal.

6. Project Scope.

7. Deliverables.

8. Estimated Phase wise schedule.

9. Estimated phasewise budget.

10. Assumptions.

11. Dependencies.

13. Constraints.

14. Risks.

15. Communication Plan.

16. Review Process.

17. Scope Management Plan.

18. Change request management Plan.

19. Expected Quality of the Project.

20. Tentative Team Members.

21. Special conditions with respect to local procedures.

Image result for project charter

Please note that all these points should be mentioned nicely and clearly in the project charter to make it a good document which will be driving force for the project manager to drive the Project. Since everything is clearly written in the project charter therefore, even if PM does not have the courage to ask Sr manager, he has all required information in written. The Project charter is very important document and it must be written before starting the project. I hope this will help to understand the importance of Project charter. If any question, please write to me directly.

03 July 2010

Resolving Language Barrier on Project

I would like to share one problem which was faced by me in one of my international project. The project was launched to design a application for one international client. I was designated as project manager of this project. The coordinator/ project facilitator at client side was very poor in English. We received first document by mail. We were trying to understand this deeply but unfortunately, the English written was not at all linking the clear requirements. But we were asked to start the project.

As a project manager, I mentioned the Language barrier in my Risk register. But due to some business requirement, it was not shared with the client. The project started based on the RFP received from customer. The team started working, plans were base lined and we were following rapid spiral model of development. We used to develop something and send to client for verification. We were also getting the good response from their side.

The project was proceeding in a normal manner and there was no much schedule or effort variance. These matrices were well within the limits. We were proceeding very happily considering that we have done a great job as we have saved lot of money by avoiding the travel to client site. The system was about to complete and we were thinking to celebrate the success. But one day a mail from customer came a bomb shell on our head. He pointed out that the system GUI, Display etc are same, but the result displayed is not accurate. Probably the formulae applied are not accurate. We have done some mistake in application for formulae. Our all test cases were designed on that consideration. All designs were designed under that consideration.

The we took out the documents supplied by the customer. We found that the formulae applied by us are in same way as explained in document. There were series of mails to find out the root cause. Finally it was decided that a trip should be there at client site to find the reason. Myself and one more person visited at client site and there were series of discussions. Interpreter was used to discuss the issues. One day in one meeting, when the coordinating person was explaining something on the projector, she took the material on his language and used tool to translate the same. The results were not as we were expecting or whatever he wanted to say. I was astonished. I asked him whether he used same system to translate RFP as well. The answer was yes and we found out the reason for the same.

The tool translation done using the designated tool created problem and the formulae were made something different. Not only that even our understanding to that system was also changed when we discussed in detail. With heavy heart we came back. Started again. Though the extra cost was borne by the customer, but this incident left a good learning for us. I noted following point in bold in my lesson learnt document.

1. The language barrier must be addressed well in advance.

2. The method of countering the barrier must be made available before project starts.

3. The RFP should be questioned whether, this is written in English or tool translated.

4. Since the development model was rapid spiral, we should have questioned about the correctness of data also, because the customer thought that we just want approval on GUI etc.

therefore, please note that LANGUAGE BARRIER Must be addressed well in advance and nicely. The counter measures must be written in project plans.

It is advised to enrol a person in the project who knows that foreign language well.

I hope this happening is good learning for all of us.

Project Management The need of hour

From today, I am resuming to update my blog. The blog will revolve around project management and I will try to share all my knowledge which I attained through my experience. Many projects fails in today's arena up to incompetency of project manager or non availability of efficient and competent project manager. The final word is that insufficient and uncontrolled project management came out a sole reason for half of failing projects. Since the India is growing very fast and many projects are in line and many projects will be coming in future. Without the proper Project Management it will be a wasteful efforts to think about the success of the projects. The future of the project management is really very challenging and excellent opportunities are on the cards. Let us get together and face this challenge and embrace the coming opportunities. From tomorrow, please look for my blogs in new pattern. Keep reading and happy learning................

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