Lessons in Project Management PM00.90A

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There are many project management classes that teach processes, techniques and best practices. However, few classes explore the practical application of project management techniques to solve real world problems.

This class is an opportunity to learn project management skills in a collaborative group environment. Situational scenarios are presented based on the Lessons in Project Management book co-authored by Tom and Jeff Mochal. From the 50 project management topics available you can pick up to 16 lessons for a typical two-day class. The topics represent every step in the TenStep methodology, from Defining the Work and Building the Schedule to Managing Quality and Managing Metrics. For each topic, a story is introduced that highlights a real-world scenario which is then read and discussed by student teams of 4-5 people. Afterwards, the teams compare notes and come up with a consensus on the best way (or ways) to respond to each situation. This leads to a great collaborative solution that each attendee can apply to similar situations in the future.

Prerequisites

  • None

General Topics (Detailed topics are below)

Coursework will be determined by the selection of 16 of 50 available situational scenarios from the following topics. Specific scenarios are detailed on the next two pages

  • Define the Work

  • Build the Schedule

  • Manage the Schedule

  • Manage Issues

  • Manage Scope

  • Manage Communication

  • Manage Risk

  • Manage Documents

  • Manage Quality

  • Manage Metrics

Who Should Attend

  • Project managers

  • Senior managers and middle managers

  • Senior staff members

  • Key client staff

  • Any individuals interested in learning project management skills.

Course Outline (For each topic)

  • Read a story that describes a “real world” problem within a project

  • Formulate response within each team

  • Create a general consensus and recommended approach

Class Length

  • Two days (16 PDUs)

Project Management Step

Lesson / Topic

Define the Work

  • Understand the Characteristics of a Project

  • Make Sure You Always Have an Identified and Committed Sponsor and Client Organization

  • Apply Some Level of Project Management Discipline—Even on Small Projects

  • Define and Plan the Work First to Ensure Better Project Execution

  • Use the “Big Three” Documents— Project Charter, Project Schedule, and Requirements— As the Foundation for Your Project

  • Cancel Projects That Lose Business  Support, Relevance, and Focus

  • Scale Your Project  Management Processes Based on the Size of the Project

  • Define and Plan the Project, Even If You Have to Start the Work at the Same Time

  • Define the Overall Project Approach Before Building the Detailed Schedule

Build the Schedule

  • Change the Underlying Assumptions to Revise a Well- Prepared Estimate

  • Use One or More Formal Techniques to Estimate Project Work Effort

  • Use Milestones in the Schedule to Track Overall Progress

  • Use the Work Breakdown Structure Technique to Identify All the Work  Required for a Project

Manage the Schedule

  • Focus on Deadline Schedule Dates First When Managing a Project

  • Don’t “Microbuild” Schedule or Micromanage the Schedule

  • Understand the Schedule Critical Path on Your Project and How This Path Drives the Deadline Date

  • Keep Your Schedule Up to Date Throughout the Project

  • Be Proactive in Applying Techniques to Accelerate the Project Schedule

  • Make Sure One Person Is for Responsible Each  Activity in the Schedule

  • Focus on Your  Deadline Date to Keep Your  Project from Wandering

Manage Issues

  • Ensure Issues Management Is Everyone’s Responsibility

  • Identify the Root  Cause of Problems, Especially If They Are Reoccurring

  • Use Issues Management to Help Choose the Best of Bad Alternatives

Manage Scope

  • Define the Many Aspects of What Is in Scope and out of Scope

  • Use Scope Change Management to Allow the Sponsor to Make the Final Decision (Many Times the Sponsor Will Say “No”)

  • Don’t Use Your Estimating  Contingency for Scope Changes

  • Batch Small Scope Change Requests Together for Sponsor Approval

  • Get Sponsor Approval Before Investigating Large Scope Change Requests

  • Gain Sponsor Approval for Scope Changes Requiring Budget and Deadline Changes

  • Report Status on All Projects (There are Many Alternatives to the Format and Delivery)

Manage Communication

  • Shorten Long Meetings to Sharpen the Focus

  • Develop a Communication  Plan to Address Complex Communication Requirements

  • Don’t Shortchange Face-to-Face Communication on Your Project

  • Gain a Common Understanding First to Effectively Manage Client Expectations

  • Write Your Status Reports with the Readers’ Interest in Mind

  • Use Risk Management to Her Project Respond to Problems Before They Occur

Manage Risk

  • Look for Risks Inherent to Your Project Before You Begin

  • Evaluate All Risk Response Options in the Risk Plan

  • Update Your Risk  Plan Periodically Throughout the Project

Manage Documents

  • Manage Documents Properly to Avoid Confusion and Mix-Ups

  • Save Knowledge for Future Projects, Leverage Knowledge from Prior Projects

Manage Quality

  • Use Quality Assurance Techniques to Validate the Status of a Project

  • Focus Your Quality Management on Processes, Not People

  • Make Sure Quality Is a Mindset and an Ongoing Process on Your Project

  • Establish Processes to Catch Errors As Early in the Project As Possible

  • Don’t Practice Goldplating— Delivering More Than the Client Requested

Manage Metrics

  • Collect Metrics to Evaluate How Well You (and Your Project) Are Performing

  • Make Sure the Cost  of Collecting Metrics Does Not Exceed Their Value

  • Collect Metrics That Can Lead to Fundamental Improvements

  • Collect Metrics, but Gain Agreement on Their Significance Ahead of Time