From To Do Lists to Managing Projects – The Path From Personal to Professional Management

By | October 29th, 2013|Project Management, Project Management Training|Comments Off on From To Do Lists to Managing Projects – The Path From Personal to Professional Management

from personal to professional

Personal life is a good place to start testing the managing skills and also to improve them. Once someone gets to the point when he thinks he is the master of his day by day life he can start extending his skills on his professional life.

No one was born an expert. We all start from low and through study, hard work and exercise will eventually get there. But in time and with patience… This process should start in childhood with the help of parents and continuously evolve in time. Being an organized person will always help in any working domain. Personal life is the right place to practice on. And the best part is that it can be done for free, without constraints and with minimum failure risks.

Know what to do and when

In order to reach the final outcome for any type of work it is important to know what needs to be done and when. Once it is established a to do list it is a good practice to prioritize it. A logical pattern should be followed to reach a goal. One must decide what is going to have the biggest impact either in good or in bad on the final deliverable.

Prepare for battle

Knowing what to do is not enough to be efficient. Nowadays people tend to have so much things to accomplish that they just get distracted from one objective to another. Meditation and exercise are some of the tools that should be used to refocus, that will help anyone to move from one day to another and to stay on track.

A well done plan is the key to efficiency. One solution to achieve it is to do part of the work in the evening – organizational stuff – that will set you up in no time for the next morning. Dead simple: prepare it and then just jump in to get it done.

To mix or not to mix – that is the question

OK, suppose one has what it needs to manage both his life and his job. But is it a good thing to mix them? For simple tasks this may not be a problem but if things get more complicated at work it is a good idea to separate them. Failure in personal life has a smaller impact and will influence only the close people. However not meeting a deadline within a project can be a major risk with a large impact over many people and with high costs… (more…)

Is RationalPlan Supported On Mac OS X Mavericks?

By | October 24th, 2013|RationalPlan|Comments Off on Is RationalPlan Supported On Mac OS X Mavericks?

Starting with Mac OS X Mountain Lion the Gatekeeper was introduced that by default does not allow users to run applications downloaded outside of the App Store. In this situation are also the RationalPlan users that are downloading our products directly from our website.

Now since Mavericks is a free upgrade from Mountain Lion the same restriction applies. Hence if you find yourself a fresh Mavericks user and when trying to install RationalPlan you get an error like this one:

RationalPlan on Mac OS X Mountain Lion

you can solve it by going to Apple menu > System Preferences… > Security & Privacy > General tab and under the header “Allow applications downloaded from:” check the Anywhere box. This will allow you to install RationalPlan. However after the install is complete you might want to set it back to Mac App Store and identified developers.

Mac OS X Mountain Lion Gatekeeper settings

How Important is Domain Knowledge for the Project Manager?

By | October 10th, 2013|Project Management|1 Comment

knowledgeBeing able to communicate effectively, manage people, quickly solve problems, or be organized are essential skills for any good project manager. Being a leader is even better. Knowing how to employ project management tools and techniques is key. But having domain knowledge, or a broad understanding of what the project is creating, is not usually considered an essential skill even though it can be crucial for planning a project properly, creating realistic schedules and work breakdown structures, and understanding the complexity of the team’s tasks.

What is Domain Knowledge?

Importantly, domain knowledge should not be mistaken for technical knowledge; one can have domain knowledge but not be an expert. It is true that sometimes it is not a good idea to have a project manager that is also a technical expert because a project manager needs to manage the people who manage technical tasks, and not perform the tasks in their place. But domain knowledge is essential considering the bulk of a project manager’s job is communication.

The Need for a Common Language

Communication is what takes up most of a project’s manager time, and effective communication is likely the common trait of good project managers. There has to be a common “language” between the team and the project manager, and this implies domain or even technical knowledge. First of all, the project manager needs to effectively exchange information and ideas with the team members. This would be impossible or just ineffective without domain knowledge. Second, the project manager needs to keep all key stakeholders updated with the project’s evolution. Knowing the technical terminology helps the project manager gain the stakeholders’ credibility.

Benefits of Domain Knowledge

From another stand point, a project manager that has first-hand knowledge of what the team is doing should -at least theoretically- earn the project team’s respect or trust more easily than a project manager who is an alien to the project domain. A project manager with solid domain knowledge is able to quickly grasp if the team’s schedule estimates are realistic, although this would be more a question of being a good project manager: earning the trust of the team and using historical data, like lessons learned, to back up the team’s estimates. In many cases, estimates are optimistic; other times, some team members might come up with overestimates just because they assume the domain-alien project manager has no idea of the tasks’ complexity and how long they take to complete. (more…)

Project Management Glossary Of Terms – E

By | October 1st, 2013|Project Management Glossary|Comments Off on Project Management Glossary Of Terms – E

EAC

Earliest Feasible Date

Earliest Finish

Earliest Finish Time

Earliest Start

Earliest Start Time

Early Dates

Early Finish

Early Finish Date

Early Start

Early Start Date

Early Start Time

Early Warning System

Earned Hours

Earned Value (EV)

Earned Value Analysis

Earned Value Cost Control

Earned Value Management

Earned Value Management System (“EVMS”)

(more…)