Archive for the ‘PMP Hints’ Category

Communication Management Plan Examples

There are three types of communication – mandatory, informational and marketing. When you create a Communication Plan for your project it might make sense to have different types of communication that fit into all three categories.

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Opening and Closing remarks of Construction Lifecycle Risk Management Conference

Construction Lifecycle Risk Management Conference

Date: 17th & 18th April 2011

Venue: Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Welcome and Opening Remarks by the Chairperson, Samer H SkaikWelcome and Opening Remarks by the Chairperson Samer H Skaik

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning.

I am delighted to join our speakers in welcoming you all and open this Conference on “Construction lifecycle Risk Management” in Abu Dhabi.

It gives me great pleasure and honor to chair this conference. I am so happy that we have in this hall, dedicated individuals from different backgrounds and expertise, from various industries across the GCC region. Those delegates who travelled for miles remind us how important this conference is. Thank you all for coming.

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Inherent Risk Factors

Inherent risks are those that exist based on the general characteristics of the project. These are risks that can appear regardless of the specific nature of the project.

None of the inherent risks mean that the project is in trouble. Many of these risk factors will be rated as low or medium-level risks. Even if you identify an inherent risk as high, other project factors will come into play as well. For instance, the checklist below states that a large project is inherently more risky that a smaller project. This is generally true. However, an experienced project manager can mitigate many risks associated with large project size. Also remember, if your project falls into a high-risk category, it does not mean you will not be successful. It only means that you should put plans into place to manage the risks. (Read more..)

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Estimating Techniques

Estimate in Phases

One of the most difficult aspects of estimating projects is that you do not know exactly what work will be needed in the distant future. It can be difficult to define and estimate work that will be done three months from now. It’s harder to estimate six months in the future. Nine months is even harder. The reason is that decisions made and deliverables produced earlier in the project have an impact on what the work looks like further along. Therefore, there is more and more estimating uncertainty associated with work that is farther and farther out in the future. (Read more..)

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Projects, Programs, and Portfolios Defined

Many people hear the terms projects, programs and portfolio, but are not sure what they all mean and how they fit together. Project managers probably have a good sense for what a project is, but the other two terms might be a little fuzzy. In general, you can divide all the work of a corporation into projects (large and small) and support (ongoing operations). Administration may be considered separately, or as a part of support. At a high level,
Projects are where all the new work gets done, including new enhancements. They have a beginning and an end, have specific objectives and deliverables, and are unique. 

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Create Cost Management Plan

 

The Cost Management Plan describes the process that will be used to manage the project budget including tracking current expenditures, upcoming expenses, identifying potential budget overruns and evaluating overall project spending against the budget. The components of the Cost Management Plan can include:

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Negotiating With a Client’s Representative Requires Different Tactics

By Michael Strogoff, AIA

Effective negotiating requires that parties understand each other’s goals, aspirations and underlying concerns. Some of these can be ascertained indirectly: clients can gain a preliminary understanding of what’s important to design professionals through reading their statements of qualifications and other marketing collateral; design professionals can gain insight into a client’s perspective through reading their request for qualifications, talking to design professionals that previously worked with the client, or through third parties that know the client. No matter how much prior research is done, however, it is only when parties meet in person to negotiate that they can fully understand what drives each other. To design professionals, this means negotiating with a client’s key decision-maker. (Read more..)

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Project Kickoff

Projects don’t always go through an organized sequence of planning, approval and execution. Sometimes a project is in various stages at once. Before you know it, you can be executing the project and find that team members and stakeholders have varying levels of understanding about the purpose and status of the project. Just as a project should have a formal end-of-project meeting to signify that it is complete, it also makes sense to hold a formal kickoff meeting to start a project. (Read more..)

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Manage Political Problems as Issues

Manage Political Problems as Issues
The larger your project gets, the more you will find that the issues you encounter are more and more political in nature. The issues have to do with the use of resources, project direction, project deliverables, how the project should be run, how the project impacts people, etc. The resolution of these issues requires you to gain consensus among people that have differences of opinion. In other words, the resolution requires you to recognize and work in office politics.
Generally speaking, politics is all about interacting with people and influencing them to get things done. This can be a good thing, a bad thing, or a neutral thing, depending on the tactics people use. The behavior of people can make office politics good or bad. Let’s consider some examples of how utilizing political skills might be good, but can also be bad.
You are able to move your ideas forward in the organization and get people to act on them (good), by currying favor, suppressing other opposing ideas and taking credit for the ideas of your staff (bad).
You have an ability to reach consensus on complex matters with a number of different stakeholders (good), by working behind the scenes with people in power, making deals and destroying people who don’t get on board (bad).
You receive funding for projects that are important to you and to your organization (good), by misrepresenting the costs and benefits, and by going around the existing funding processes (bad).
You develop a reputation as someone who can get things done (good), by using legitimate and illegitimate tactics and by walking over people that get in your way (bad).
The point of the examples is to show that influencing people and getting things done in a company bureaucracy is a good thing and the general term of “office politics” can have good connotations or bad. However, the typical use of the term is used to describe the shady methods that are used to get things done in the company bureaucracy.
It is not uncommon for a project team to be impacted by office politics. This can occur when there is a difference of opinion on the project deliverables, requirements, scope change requests, risk perceptions, etc. Are these differences of opinion caused by office politics, or just a legitimate and valid difference of opinion between people who both think that they are representing the best interest of the company?
Dealing with office politics is not a standard project management process. However, once the politics start to impact the project adversely, the situation should be identified as an issue, since the resolution is outside the control of the project team. You can’t utilize a checklist to resolve political issues. Political problems are people-related and situational. What works for one person in one situation may not work for another person in the same situation because people, and their reactions, are different. Identifying the problem as an issue will bring visibility to the situation and hopefully get the proper people involved in the resolution.
Generally, project managers need to become good at identifying and trying to resolve political issues. There are three areas to work on.
Try to recognize situations and events where politics are most likely to be involved. This could include decision points, competition for budget and resources, and setting project direction and priorities.
In general, deal with people openly and honestly. When you provide an opinion or recommendation, express the pros and cons to provide a balanced view to other parties. Make sure you distinguish the facts from your opinions so the other parties know the difference. You should always try to communicate proactively with all stakeholders.
If you feel uncomfortable with what you are asked to do, get your sponsor or your functional manager involved. They tend to have more political savvy and positional authority, and they should be able to provide advice and cover for you.
If you feel good about what you are doing, how you are influencing and how you are getting things done, then you are probably handling office politics the right way. If you feel guilty about how you are treating people and if you have second thoughts about the methods you are using to get things done, you are probably practicing the dark side of office politics.
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The larger your project gets, the more you will find that the issues you encounter are more and more political in nature. The issues have to do with the use of resources, project direction, project deliverables, how the project should be run, how the project impacts people, etc. The resolution of these issues requires you to gain consensus among people that have differences of opinion. In other words, the resolution requires you to recognize and work in office politics. (Read more..)

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Being a Client

A successful project requires a good client. Each project is unique and to achieve the right design outcome and design quality a strong team of designers need to work with a strong client group with focus and leadership. Delivering a capital project from start to finish is complex and challenging but also hugely rewarding. The role of the client is fundamental to its success. (Read more..)

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