How to Minimize the Risk of Delaying Your Project by a Customer

By | March 29th, 2013|Business Management, Project Management, Risk Management|1 Comment

How to minimize risksWhen it comes to project delays there are several factors that can lead to such situation. The customer is one of them and there are two issues that can be discussed: what to do when the delay already happened and the other how to minimize the risk of happening such a delay.

Customer delaying the project is a major risk that should not be overlooked in any project. Minimizing this risk is not easy to be accomplished and its probability differs from client to client. But in case it happens mitigation actions must be performed.

Write clear specifications

In order to keep things clear and avoid misunderstandings it is important to create a solid project plan with clear specifications regarding possible project delays and the measures and penalties that apply. When it happens communicate clear factual evidence of the cost and timescale impact of delays caused by the customer. This is very important to keep things clear and to avoid the situation when the customers may argue that it is his fault and the contractor is suspected for hiding other delays behind those caused directly by them. Issues need to be resolved in a timely fashion to minimize risk and loss on both sides.

When dealing with external clients and when creating a contract it is advisable to add a clause that states that the client is responsible for prompt responses to ensure the project is not delayed. If the client provides delayed responses, actions etc. that lead to project delays then it nullifies timeline clauses in the contract. If the contract doesn’t have this kind of specifications then it is preferred to get a lawyer, or a better one in case a lawyer already exists.

In return when dealing with internal team the project manager has to take the same actions. Although there are no contractual terms that can generate a direct financial penalty, it will get noted at review time and possibly no raise…

Know the customer management

Avoiding the project delay problem is not a healthy thing to do. Escalation might reveal there are issues on the customer side where their project manager is not communicating clearly enough internally. This is why when contracting a new project it is good to know the customer and almost a must to know his management team. Knowing what to expect from them can decide whether to accept the new contract or to reject it. And even if the project is accepted contractual terms can be added to compensate the lack of professionalism on the customer management side. (more…)

Traditional and Agile Project Management in a Nutshell

By | March 20th, 2013|Project Management Methodology|2 Comments

Project Management in a NutshellThere is no standard project management approach that works for all projects. The choice of the right approach for managing a project depends on various factors, ranging from the complexity and type of project to the experience in conducting projects of the organization, the customer’s willingness to be involved in the project, and the norm in the industry.

Traditional vs. Agile Projects

Essentially, there are two approaches: traditional and agile. Typically, traditional project management works for most construction projects, for example, where the whole project can be completed in one sequence, and the success is defined by completion of the deliverables in time and below budget. Agile project management is better suited to volatile and innovative projects, such as software development, where there are many risks, where the scope of the project is likely to change, and where an iterative methodology is needed so that risks are mitigated and opportunities fully exploited.

Traditional Project Management

Traditional project management is an established methodology for running projects in a sequential cycle: initiation, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. For each of these five project steps, there are tools and techniques, such as the ones defined by the PMBOK®, the standard methodology for traditional project management. Traditional project management approaches include other methodologies, for example PRINCE2, adopted by the UK government organizations, but also by private organizations, such as Vodafone or Siemens.

Be Agile to Adapt to Changes

More and more projects have requirements that are subject to change as the project progresses, sometimes to keep up with the market conditions. In these cases, a traditional project management approach, in a single sequence of five processes, is not possible in order to take full advantage of the opportunities that may arise. Any projects associated with a high level of uncertainty (such as research and development, software development), or in highly volatile industries (such as IT or oil and gas industry), can benefit from an agile approach. (more…)

Project Management Glossary Of Terms – B

By | March 20th, 2013|Project Management Glossary|Comments Off on Project Management Glossary Of Terms – B

BAC

Back Charge

Backward Pass

Bad Debts

Balance

Balanced Matrix

Balanced Scorecard

Balanced Scorecard Approach (“BSA”)

Bank

Banking

Bar Chart

Bargaining

Bargaining Power

Barriers

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MOOS Project Viewer 2.9 Integrates With Dropbox Platform

By | March 13th, 2013|Microsoft Project, MOOS Project Viewer|Comments Off on MOOS Project Viewer 2.9 Integrates With Dropbox Platform

DropboxThe team behind MOOS Project Viewer just released version 2.9. This version comes with a new feature: integration with Dropbox. Users can now also open Microsoft Project files that are stored on a Dropbox account and not just local files from their computers.

The biggest advantage of using a cloud storage service is that the files can be accessed at any moment in time and from any location. Further more the files can also be shared within the company, or even more can be shared with the project stakeholders.

When a project manager creates a project plan that needs to be distributed to the team managers or even to the entire team the best solution is to use a fast and easy to access system. In this case the generated project file gets stored within the company account on Dropbox and each member that needs to have access to that file can open it directly with MOOS Project Viewer. This is a cost effective solution if the team members only need to see the project details and do not need to make changes to it. (more…)

Place Your Bet: Project Management Experience vs. Project Management Certification

By | March 12th, 2013|Project Management Certification, Project Management Training|Comments Off on Place Your Bet: Project Management Experience vs. Project Management Certification

Project Management CertificationWhile people relatively new to project management understand the advantage of getting a formal certification such as PMP or PRINCE2, especially when looking for a job, many experienced project managers are outraged that organizations place so much emphasis on certifications when screening résumés. They claim that experience is the one that counts, that no formal certification guarantees that a project manager can successfully lead a project, and that it is frustrating to see that organizations care for certifications more than they care about experience.

Experience vs. Certification

How important is to get a project management certification when you have years of experience and have led numerous successful projects for an organization? Which one counts more, experience or formal certification?

Whether you should get formally certified depends on your status. If you are a job-seeker with project management experience, the answer is definitely yes. If ten or 20 years ago acronyms such as PMP or PMI-ACP were mostly irrelevant for employers, an increasing number of organizations use these and other certifications as a selection criterion for candidates to a project manager position. And where the certification is not a requirement, it is definitely an advantage. In such harsh times for job seekers, no advantage is to be neglected.

Certification Gets You the Interview, Experience Gets You the Job

The frustrated experienced project managers are right when they say that experience should count more than any certification. What many of them seem to miss is that experience and certification are not mutually exclusive. It is not the certification that gets an experienced project manager the coveted position, it is his or her skills, training, experience, and so on. But while the certification may not get a candidate the job, it is likely to get him or her to be shortlisted. (more…)

RationalPlan 4.3 – Project Management Software On Premise Or In The Cloud

By | March 1st, 2013|News, RationalPlan|Comments Off on RationalPlan 4.3 – Project Management Software On Premise Or In The Cloud

RationalPlan Project Management Software version 4.3 is ready for the public. Current version offers easier printing capabilities, more reports, better integrations with Microsoft Project and last but not least automatic email notifications within the Server system.

RationalPlan is a project management solution that puts the accent on productivity, ease of use and fast learning. It was created to serve many types of users starting from novice project managers, users that need an environment to handle multiple projects and up to companies that need a distributed solution with concurrent access. For the latter case RationalPlan Server can be used as an on-premise solution or in the cloud aka SAAS offering.

The On Premise solution requires the customer to download, install and manage upgrades on his own hardware. The price for the system is a one time payment that will vary depending on the number and type of users. Running it in the Cloud has the advantage of not bothering with all the above maintenance problems. There are several tiers available depending on the users needs: Beginner, Master and Production. This type of solution is offered as a monthly payment.

Important changes for this version:

  • More reports: added resource costs distribution report, added resource work distribution report
  • Easier printing capabilities
  • Better MS Project files loading
  • Automatic email notifications on Server

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