December 18, 2014

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Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Project Management Standards Update for 2013

PMBOK

All project managers use the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide to prepare for the certification exams in order to become a Project Management Professional (PMP). This book presents a set of standard terminology and guidelines for project management.

Overview of changes in new editionIt was first published by the Project Management Institute (PMI) as a white paper in 1983 in an attempt to document and standardize generally accepted project management information and practices. The first edition was published in 1996.

The PMBOK Guide is process-based, meaning it describes work as being accomplished by processes. This approach is consistent with other management standards such as ISO 9000 and the Software Engineering Institute‘s CMMI. At the beginning of 2013 the Fifth Edition was published as the latest release.

 

Summary of Changes

This article will give a summary of the changes made in the latest edition.  At the end you will also find a link to a video from IIL explaining what to expect in the newest edition.

As an overview the following changes were made:

  • One new knowledge area (Project Stakeholder Management)
  • Seven new processes
  • Two moved processes (Distribute information, Report performance)
  • Nine process name changes
  • Eleven new process definitions
  • Many changes to the Glossary definitions
  • Chapters are now called sections

The biggest change is to split Project Communications Management into two parts, namely Project Communication Management and Project Stakeholder Management.

There is an increased discussion of Project Management Offices or PMO’s, as well as project life cycles and phases.  The Chapter 3 Project Management Processes has been moved to Annexure A1.

For a complete overview of all the changes made to the PMBOK, please view the following video:

A PMBOK Guide – Fifth Edition Overview

5 Reasons To Become a Certified Project Manager

You may be an aspiring or existing project manager. If you are new to this profession you are perhaps considering certification to become a professional project manager. If you are an existing Project Management Professional (PMP), you may be in doubt about your on-going training requirements. This article should give you clarity about the purpose and motivation for becoming a certified project manager and the benefits for staying certified. In this context certification refers to the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
Project Management Professional

To be Certified or not

Project management certifications matter. Especially given the current unpredictable market in which companies must operate and succeed.  Project management certification makes for better project managers and reduces risk of project failure in an organisation.

After the first best practice project management standard was founded, it became apparent that following best practice and hiring certified project managers are crucial to successful project management and, hence, business success.

5 Reasons to become a Certified Project Mangager

1.       Research is showing that today’s marketplace is demanding an increase in project management certification. Holding a certification and having the letters PMP, CAPM, PgMP, PMI-RMP or PMI-SP behind your name gives candidates access to greater job prospects and thereby places them in a higher salary bracket.

2.       Project management, however, still remains a business skill that is acquired through experience combined with an internationally recognised project management certification, such as Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute. (PMI). The PMI certification currently has the largest footprint and is represented in 238 countries.

3.       The Standish Group International, publisher of the CHAOS Report says that two-thirds of CIOs surveyed regard a PMI certification as valuable and the number of CIOs who require their project managers to be certified grew from 21% in 2005 to 31% by 2009.

4.       Certifications such as the PMP and Prince 2 help unify teams as each member speaks the same language and uses identical processes when executing projects.  This contributes to greater project performance.

5.       Project management certification is also important from a governance perspective as certified members sign a code of professional conduct.  This automatically provides the employer with confidence that the certified professional acts with integrity and executes tasks with soundness of judgment. This minimises risk within an organisation and enhances the chance of project success.

What comes after certification?

Project management certification is an on-going process and every three years certified professionals must recertify and maintain their professional status through on-going development and enhancing the project management profession by attending conferences, writing- and presenting papers, as well as transferring their skills. This on-going learning means that certified project managers stay informed about latest project, programme and portfolio management best practices earning professional development units (PDUs).

Project management professionals stay up-to-date, through the use of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), which assists project managers globally to apply certain standards in project management in order to meet business goals and business intent.

PMBOK

The PMBOK Guide presents a set of standard terminology, guidelines and tools and techniques for project management. It is non-industry specific and provides project managers with a basis from which to work and can be tweaked to suit each project manager’s project. Now in its fourth edition, it was first published by the PMI in 1987 as a white paper to document and standardise generally accepted project management information and practices.

Conclusion

It is important to remember that although a certified professional has dedicated thousands of hours and numerous years to pass the exam, exceptional project managers are those who combine that knowledge with passion and strong leadership abilities. The real test for being an excellent project manager, is in the constant application and enhancement of this knowledge.

Resources to consider for aspiring and existing project managers:
Want to do the PMP exam and become certified, I recommend the PM Prepcast:

For an existing PMP who need PDU’s, I recommend the PDU Podcast, an affordable and convenient subscription to earn PDU’s in your own time:

6 Reasons To Be A Project Management Consultant

6 Reasons To Be a Project Management Consultant

to Business Owners and Service Professionals

Following on from my previous blog post on ‘About Project Management Passion’, I wanted to explain Virtual Project Consulting’s 6 reasons for being Project Management Consultants to Business Owners and Service Professionals.

1. Core Desire To Help

As a Project Management Professional it is my core desire to help, equip and empower people to reach their full potential. I realized one way of doing this is to combine my calling to help more people with the sharing of my knowledge and experience in Project Management as a business tool. If life is about learning, earning and returning, you could say that my Project Management Consulting business is about returning my project management knowledge, skills and experience of the past 11 years to help other people grow.

In choosing a name for my Project Management Consulting Business, I decided on a name that will also work for doing business online with clients over the internet.  Hence the choice of VIRTUAL PROJECT CONSULTING.

What does VIRTUAL mean to me?  Virtual has several meanings as portrayed in the following graphic:

2. Our Vision

As part of our vision to be the Service Provider of choice for Project Management Consulting and related Products on how to manage successful projects in your business, the VIRTUAL component means that you can expect practical, effective and fundamental advice from us. We are the Virtual Project Manager in your business, without actually being there.

3. Support Our Mission

I believe in consistently delivering Professional Project Management Consulting Services:

  • That adds value
  • That meets the needs of clients
  • That provides inspirational leadership
  • That empowers people by equipping them with skills and knowledge required to be successful in business.
  • That is based on ethical business principles

4. Create A Community

Through interaction with different business owners and service professionals I want to use Virtual Project Consulting as the company vehicle to build a community of people who are passionate about what they do, to connect, to learn, to grow and to give back. Share success stories and learn from one another’s horror stories of what can go wrong in business. Aspiring project managers can read more Project Management related articles here.

5. Fill A Need

Many business owners and service professionals are entrepreneurs with no or very little project management training or experience.  Any-one starting out on their own or being a small to medium business, cannot afford to employ a project manager full time for the occasional projects required to be finished from time to time. This is where Virtual Project Consulting will fulfill the need of providing a basic project management methodology and process, guidelines and tools, as well as ready-to-use project management templates that can be customized according to your own needs.  These can be downloaded instantly and used by any-one with little or no project management experience. Solid As A Rock Project Toolkit will make you successful in managing your own business projects.

For service professionals who require assistance with their Online Marketing Strategy, I can help you plan and implement your Internet marketing plan helping you to attract more customers and increase sales for your business.

6. Community Involvement

One of my other passions that I care for deeply is educating people, including adults and school children. Through proper education they can too aspire to a better life. In my country we have a majority of people who are half-educated or completely illiterate – even in these modern times.

I aspire to donate a percentage of all earnings from Virtual Project Consulting to organizations that are positioned to educate less privileged children and adults. Through this my clients will also make a contribution to a good cause that can change the lives of many individuals in this country.

Please comment if you can associate with being a principled driven business who is passionate about what you do! Share your story with us.

Cape Town Waterfront with Soccer 2010 World Cup Stadium

15 PROJECT MANAGEMENT TIPS

VIRTUAL PROJECT CONSULTING

Presents project management tips:

1.   What is a project? 

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. It has a clear start and finish, a set of defined goals and objectives and a  sequence of activities.

2.   What is a good project definition? 

A project has a beginning and an end and is unique; unlike operations that are ongoing. It is about managing team priorities to deliver within time, cost and quality constraints.

3.   Why do we need projects? 

Some reasons why we need projects in business today are tighter budgets, diminishing resources, more time constraints, more competition and to achieve service excellence.

4.   What are examples of projects?

Examples of projects are:

  • developing a new product or service
  • implementation of strategic objectives 
  • restructuring your business organization
  • constructing a new facility
  • office move or re-arranging the office
  • planning a special event

5.   What is project management?

The application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to projects to meet project requirements and deliver projects successfully within budget, on time and with desired quality.

6.   What does project management comprise of?

Project management comprise of a set of skills. Also required is:

  • Specialist knowledge, skills and experience are required to reduce the level of risk within a project and thereby enhance its likelihood of success.
  • A suite of tools for example document templates.
  • A series of processes. In professional project management various management techniques and processes are required to monitor and control time, cost, quality and scope on projects.

7.   What is a project methodology? 

A methodology is a set of methods, processes and practices that are repeatedly carried out as part of a project life cycle to deliver projects. The key concept is that you repeat the same steps for every project you undertake, and by doing that, you will gain efficiencies in your approach.

8.   What is the power of project management? 

The power of project management is that it makes it possible to focus on priorities, measure and track performance.

9.   What are the industries that use project management?

Project management is used in industries like online publishing, banking, software development, information technology and manufacturing.

10.       What skills do project managers need? 

Project managers need to be very skilled in leadership, communications, human resources-, quality-, time-, cost management and integration.

11.       What are the benefits of project management?

Some benefits of having project management in your business are:

  • it helps to meet or exceed customer expectations 
  • it maximizes the use of resources (time, people, money, space)
  • it brings projects to successful conclusion within budget, on time and with desired quality
  • it documents what was done for future reference
  • it builds confidence in your team for future projects.

12.       How is project management different from management?

In project management work is managed towards a single objective for a unique endeavor with a definite beginning and an end. In general management it is about multiple related objectives to manage the workload in an operations environment where work is done continuously.

13.       How are projects different from standard business operational activities?

  • Projects are unique and do not involve repetitive processes
  • Projects have a defined timescale. They have a clearly specified start and end date within which the deliverables must be produced to meet a specified customer requirement
  • A project have an approved budget
  • Projects have limited resources like labour, equipment, material
  • Projects achieve beneficial change. The purpose of a project, typically, is to improve an organization through the implementation of business change. 

14.       Who is the governing body for project management?

The Project Management Institute, or known as the PMI. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is prescribed as their project management handbook.

15.       Is there a special qualification for Project Managers?

The Project Management certification is called the Project Management Professional (PMP). The the title of a PMP certification is known and acknowledged worldwide.

Your VirtualPM

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PS: For related Project Management articles, read here.

PPS: To use a Project Management Toolkit in your business, have a look at the Solid as a Rock here.