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Value of Project Management Through proper project management, you can assure that the purpose/vision and goals of the project are maintained, all while supporting the audiences’ tasks and objectives.  Additionally, you avoid risks and effectively and efficiently use your available resources.  It also helps the team members to understand their responsibilities, the deliverables expected, and the schedule everyone needs to follow to complete the project on time and within budget.
Areas within Project Management The Project Management Institute (PMI) has identified nine areas of knowledge within project management: integration managementscope managementtime managementcost managementquality managementhuman resource managementcommunication managementrisk management andprocurement management Building a Team and Encouraging Communication Depending on your project needs, the may vary.  Keep in mind that members on your team may fulfill one role or may fulfill many.  Regardless of the size of…
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Project Phases, Life Cycles, and Incorporating User-Centered Design Principles





Projects are typically broken down into phases.  Each phase outlines the work that needs to be done and who is involved.  Generally, in order for a phase to be considered complete, specific deliverables need to have been completed and handed off.  Some project teams, however, do choose to implement fast tracking, which is when phases are overlapped.  A lifecycle defines the beginning and end of the project; it represents all of the phases together.  When defining the project’s life cycle, the first phase is noted as Step 0.  It usually captures the visioning and conceptualizing of the project.  According to the Project Management Institute, most life cycles have four or five phases but some may have more.  The most common lifecycle approaches are Waterfall and Agile., Regardless of the approach you choose, you will need to incorporate user-centered design (UCD) best practices and methods.  At a high-level, …
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A cost baseline is an approved time phased plan. Once a detailed budget is developed and approved, the project manager should publish this baseline and set it as a point of comparison for actual performance progress. One of the biggest challenges a project manager faces is determining when to set the baseline for the budget. A baseline is an approved time phased plan. Creating a baseline should not be a 'scary' thing. It is just a starting point from what to measure performance against. There will always be unknowns in the project, especially early on. Accept that projects will always experience changes and evolve in order to ensure delivery of the scope defined. The baseline budget is the tool for measuring how project changes affect our schedule and budget.
When to Add a New Baseline Ideally, new baselines should only be added when there is a change in scope. If the scope stays the same, then there is not a need to add a new baseline. Again, the baseline is a benchmark to me…
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Project budgets, similar to resource plans, are a reflection of project work and the timing of that work. A comprehensive budget provides management with an understanding of how funds will be utilized and expended over time for projects or operations. The S-Curve displayed below shows the estimated cumulative expenditures of the project over time. In general, a project expends resources slowly, ramps up rather quickly as more resources are utilized and then tapers off as the project comes to completion. Most project expenditures follow this pattern, resulting in a graphical representation that resembles an "S". Knowing the timing of expenditures on a project will assist management in planning appropriately.
High-level estimates, provided by management in advance of a project's start, are not budgets. In Project Insight, these high-level estimates are named 'target budgets.' A comprehensive budget can only be developed as a result of the project schedule and reso…
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Duration is the expected timeframe needed to complete the task while taking into consideration the skill level and general availability of the resource. Duration should account for reality. If the activity 'identification of focus group targets' (WBSID 1.1.1.1) is expected to take two weeks, but historically, employees are only available 70% of the time due to general meetings, holidays, vacations, etc., then planning for a duration of three weeks would be more reasonable. The resource types used in your organization may be different than what is depicted in this chart. Utilize the resources types that exist in your own organization. The objective here is to associate a responsible party with the appropriate skill set to each of the tasks. The work package 'project management' has been identified as a level of effort (LOE) activity. This means that the individual(s) assigned to that activity will perform various activities during the full duration of the project. Level…
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The project schedule is the tool that communicates what work needs to be performed, which resources of the organization will perform the work and the timeframes in which that work needs to be performed. The project schedule should reflect all of the work associated with delivering the project on time. Without a full and complete schedule, the project manager will be unable to communicate the complete effort, in terms of cost and resources, necessary to deliver the project. Online project management software allows project managers to track project schedules, resources, budgets and project related assets in real time. The project schedule can be viewed and updated by team members associated with the project, keeping everyone well informed on the overall project status.
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) The building blocks of a schedule start with a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). The WBS is a hierarchical reflection of all the work in the project in terms of deliverables. In order to prod…
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In any organization, only two aspects of work exist—on-going operations and projects. Projects are defined as unique, temporary endeavors with a specific beginning and end. Operations constitute an organization's on-going, repetitive activities, such as accounting or production. Since all work and/or efforts performed within an organization are characterized as either operations or projects, all of the costs of an organization must be distributed to either operations or projects.
Projects are initiated by organizations for a variety of reasons, such as to meet a business need, attain a strategic objective or meet a market demand. The only way organizations can accomplish any of these goals is by expending resources of the organization over time, for a cost. Project Insight,project management software, empowers teams to track project time and expenses, and/or non-project time.