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The Commercial Project Manager

The client called the project manager to ask if the final performance test and approvals meeting could be moved to Friday, one day delay, ‘it would fit in really well because Sarah (Technical Manager) will be in the office’. No problem, agreed the Project Manager, looking forward to the final sign-off, invoice issue and associated $200,000 balance payment.[1] The PMBOK[2] contains the word ‘cash’ three times, only once referring to ...

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The Vision of Your Project

The ability to identify, articulate and share a clear vision for the project is one of the key ingredients to project success. When we run projects we must begin with the end in mind as Stephen Covey put it in his best-selling book; The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Beginning with the end in mind – in a project context – is about envisioning what we ultimately would like ...

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How to Carry Out a Schedule Risk Assessment

One of the key roles in any project core-team is an expert planner and scheduler. I was recently called upon to carry out an external review of a project schedule. This was a two year $20m project to deliver a turn-key manufacturing facility to a new customer. The project was two months in, and already two weeks late to schedule. Understandably management was becoming nervous about late delivery penalties. Although ...

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Is Your Project at Risk Due to Poor Stakeholder Relationships?

Have you ever been involved in a project where there were too many misunderstandings and disagreements about scope and priorities and where it was a struggle to gain buy-in and traction for important decisions and you found it difficult to influence your stakeholders throughout the project? Some stakeholders were not engaged, information wasn’t flowing to those who needed it and internal politics were getting in the way of effective collaboration. ...

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25 Practical Project Team Development Practices

Project managers don’t usually have a specific budget for team development, and yet, as the PMBoK says, teamwork is a critical factor for project success, and developing effective project teams is one of the primary responsibilities of the project manager. Of course, there are many dimensions to team leadership. However, this article looks at just one aspect of this – how to balance the competing imperatives of work delivery versus team ...

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Top Tips for Realistic Project Estimations

Poor estimation is a major cause of project failure. According to the PMI, inaccurate cost estimates is a contributing factor in 28% of projects that fail. Many project professionals have first-hand experience in how devastating it can be to underestimate a project. Perhaps you have too. When an estimate has been delivered, clients and executives will often see it as binding and will expect the project to track to it. ...

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Strategic Risk Management and Projects

Experienced managers know the value of the ‘elevator view’, that is, knowing when to press the button for the top floor to look down at the bigger picture, and when to descend to the ground floor to get down ‘amongst the weeds’. From the top floor, we can observe how the elements of our organisation, the projects, programmes, and portfolios, combine to deliver our organisation’s strategic objectives. At the ground ...

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Is Your Strategic Project at Risk Due to Poor Implementation of Proven Project Management Practices?

According to the PMI’s Pulse of the Profession, 52% of projects completed in the last 12 months experienced scope creep. This is a significant increase from 43% reported five years ago. The Project Management Institute also reports that in the projects that were deemed failures, the following causes were contributing factors: change in project objectives (37%), inaccurate requirements gathering (35%), inadequate vision or goal for project (29%), failure to identify ...

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