OUR BLOG: HONEST VIEW OF THE GOOD, BAD & UGLY
IN THE WORLD OF DELIVERING PROJECTS

Is the word ‘control’ a good or a bad thing in projects?

What is 'project control'? The word 'control' in the world of projects generates a lot of controversy, but we would say through a lack of appreciation of what it really means and in this post we will explain why. So let’s look at one extreme view: can it ever even exist? Some say that you can’t use the word control on projects as projects carry a great deal of uncertainty and it gives the impression of the opposite.  ...
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When Agile can’t be used on projects

Purpose of this Post There are some proposing that Agile could be used on virtually any kind of project.  Agile contains some great ideas and some of the practices of Agile can be used on almost any project.  However, the heart of Agile, being incremental product development and flexibility are always going to be limited to certain projects and circumstances. Let me use a real example to share why. State of the art Hospital Project A contractor has a design and build ...
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Agile Versus Waterfall?

The Pros and Cons of Agile and Waterfall Agile and Waterfall (1) are potentially two very different ways of delivering projects.  Firstly we will describe them both and then compare their respective advantages and disadvantages. Waterfall (V) Model:   Waterfall (1) projects go through a number of sequential or overlapping phases.  This defines the life-cycle of the development effort of the project.  The principal difference with Agile is that in Waterfall, requirements are defined near the start of the ...
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How to set Smart Objectives

Setting Smart Project Objectives - An Example All projects, especially 'business projects' benefit a great deal from having crystal clear objectives. However, no matter how obvious this statement may seem they are often far from clear or even plain wrong.  'SMART objectives' also helps with this question but in the world of projects, this discussion can be extended even more. This may sound obvious but it is a really common mistake: We see many projects every year. ...
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Example Project risks – good and bad practice:

Firstly, poor examples: from page 1 of the world's favourite search engine Projects always carry risk.  If you search online for “example project risks” there are some extremely poor examples on page 1 of the world’s favourite search engine.  Most are very misleading, at best.  We see many real risk registers every year and their contents are often unfit for purpose. This post shows why. The PMI defines project risk as: “an event or condition that, ...
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New video – what’s really important in project management?

We have released the short and punchy video, which describes a number of things we see in customers businesses who are more successful at delivering projects.  This challenges some of the current trends in project management. Enjoy and if you like this please share with others:   © PMIS Consulting Limited - all rights reserved.  
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How to create a work breakdown structure (WBS)

Purpose of a WBS A work breakdown structure is one of the most useful things you can have on a  project.  It has an initial purpose in the planning phase: to enable the definition and capture of the complete scope of work of a project, so that estimating and planning is effective. In the delivery phases, the WBS can then be used to help for example with assessing progress against workscope and enable analysis of performance against budgets ...
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How to really learn project management lessons

Ways to transfer and share lessons successfully: You hear the expression “lessons learned” all the time, but what does it mean?  Sadly, too often it means a single meeting, followed by the publication of a set of minutes, capturing the 'lessons learned'. Job done ! Really? Actually 'learning' from lessons is really hard. This post provides the basis of doing this more successfully. So let’s look at the challenges when we do this and some better ideas: It ...
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The real role and responsibilities of Project Managers

How to make project managers role crystal clear: There are many variations in interpretation of the role of a Project Manager, especially by PMs themselves.  What follows in this post is our interpretation, but it is based on what we have seen delivers by far the best results (i.e. from projects). Origins of the Role One of the most important aspects of the role of a project manager was the introduction of a single point responsibility for a ...
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Role and Responsibilities of Project Managers – Lessons learned

Going well beyond "on time & within budget": Far too many organisations appoint project managers with far too little definition of what the specific role and responsibilities of project managers are.  Too often, you see little more than “to deliver the project on time and within budget”.  While those words are true, they are no more than the goals of project management and are not the specific responsibilities of a project manager. Why is this an ...
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How to become a Project Manager

Firstly what does a Project Manager do? They are responsible for ensuring a project is delivered successfully by actively planning and managing their project. That's the very short version.  In truth, the their role can be complex and very challenging.   What demand is there for their skills today and in future? Project Managers are in increasing demand, and in general, project management skills are considered highly valuable by businesses across the globe today. Many surveys have predicted the demand to ...
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The huge problem with Project Dashboards

  The negative 'behaviour' they encourage and the damage they do to real data: In recent years, Project Dashboards have become very popular in major businesses engaged in large-scale projects. The principle behind them is simple and fine (in theory). It is to give visibility to senior managers and Exec's of performance of individual projects.  However, what they often 'encourage' destroys the chances of meeting this goal. The format and content can vary greatly, but usually they will ...
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