July 23, 2017

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

Looking for a Project Management Training Service Provider?

Review Article

Training with KnowledgeHut

In the dynamic world we live in today, learning policies within organisations are evolving at rapid speed in response to emerging technologies. Traditional, formal and scheduled training methods have given way to more informal and on-demand forms of learning, with an increasing accent on blended and e-learning delivery modes. Continuous training and collaboration helps organizations stay at the cutting-edge of change.

Global Training Provider

KnowledgeHut is a Global leader in online and classroom training for on-demand certifications like PMP, PMI-ACP, MS Project, PRINCE2 and more. As an industry-leading training company operating across 70 countries and 6 continents, their courses are aimed at delivering measurable improvements in business performance and productivity. Training is delivered across the US, Canada , Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, UK, Ireland, APAC and SE Asia.

Training with KnowledgeHut

Agile and Scrum training in Sydney on 1st February’17

Professionals who have completed their courses are equipped with state-of-the-art knowledge and technical skills that enable them to stay at the forefront of their careers.

KnowledgeHut works with the Global Blended Model of Approach (GBMA), an effective method that makes training and learning easier for individuals and organizations in the industry. This methodology works through a blend of extensive online training in tandem with traditional classroom based learning. Participants have consistently achieved positive training results, with a shorter learning curve and significantly higher retention of the subject matter.

Specialties

KnowledgeHut is a registered Education Provider (REP) of Scrum Alliance, PMI and IIBA. It’s also an ATP of EC-Council, CompTIA, APMG for PRINCE2 training, as well as a certified partner of AXELOS and the disciplined Agile consortium and Scaled Agile Inc.

KnowledgeHut offers an extensive selection of vendor-authorized training and certifications for PMI, Microsoft, APMG, CompTIA, and Scrum Alliance among many others.

Close the skills gap

They specialize in training, consulting, Scrum Master Training, Certification courses as well as e-Learning. Have a look at their Infographic on the Future of IT.

If you want to train with a company whose mission it is to empower human capital through industry accredited, nationally and internationally recognized courses to close the skill gap, visit KnowledgeHut and find the course that will make you more successful in 2017 and beyond.

Training Service Provider: GreyCampus – Training Project Professionals, Enhancing Careers

Certification training to develop new skills is an important aspect of career advancement. It not only recognizes your skills, but helps you get hired in a dream job. A 2012 Microsoft study highlights certification as an important hiring criteria. For hiring managers, a certification represents high skillsets for a candidate.

In a recent IT professionals survey, more than half of respondents stated that they landed new jobs due to a certification. It is part of important criteria for selection in project management jobs. If you plan to become certified in 2017 and you are looking for training, consider GreyCampus as the one-stop destination for all your training needs.

Introduction to GreyCampus

GreyCampus is a private education management company. Founded in 2014, it has its head office at Dallas, Texas in the United States. It is a leading training provider and has helped train more than 10,000 professionals worldwide. It provides training to professionals in the areas of project management and quality management. It is a registered education provider (REP) for many professional training courses. GreyCampus has also partnered with institutes like PMI, Axelos, PeopleCert, PRINCE2 and more.

Training methods

GreyCampus conducts training through the following methods:

  • Instructor-led online classes
  • Instructor-led traditional classroom courses
  • Self-learning online courses.

Project Management Training

PMP exam preparation courseThe project management courses at GreyCampus are available in the following modes:

  • Instructor-led
  • Online self-learning

The course provides learners with the essential tools needed to pass the exam. It is aligned as per the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK) Guide, Fifth edition. It is also competitively priced to make learning affordable.

The instructor-led classes, both online and classroom are priced at $999. The online self-learning course is priced at $400.

GreyCampus also offers courses on CAPM and PMI-ACP certifications in different learning modes.

PRINCE2 Training

PRINCE2 FOUNDATIONGreyCampus offers the following courses around PRINCE2:

  • PRINCE2 Foundation Training and Certification course. It is available in both instructor-led and self-learning modes.
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner Training and Certification course. It is available in both instructor-led and self-learning modes.
  • There is also a 3-day instructor-led only PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner Combo course.

Project Professionals

GreyCampus training offers short courses to help project professionals earn Category A Professional Development Units (PDU). These PDUs help them keep their PMI certification, to develop themselves and to be up to date in the job market.

For example, the Microsoft Project Fundamentals priced at $5 will earn the student 5 PDUs. The Project Schedule Management Basics priced at $10 will gain the student 10 PDUs.

The other project applicable courses available are Project Collaboration and Management, MiniTab Online Training, Slack Introduction and many more.

Special offer

Project managers who are looking for training in 2017 can check the details of the project management courses on the GreyCampus website. You can check the course schedule, eligibility and location and make your choice as per your needs.

In partnership with Virtual Project Consulting, GreyCampus offers a special discount of 50% if you sign up from here. Just use coupon code PROJCOL.

***Some links are affiliate links.

New Project Manager – How to start projects successfully

By Linky van der Merwe

athlete startMost people know that a race is half won when the athlete has a good start!  For project managers, a good start is just as important to win the project ‘race’. You will be a successful project manager if you learn to define the project clearly from the outset.

 

Where to start

The following basic questions need to be answered when starting any project:

  • Why is the project being initiated?
  • Who is this work being done for?
  • Who are the project sponsor(s) and the key project stakeholders that might use the final product, service, or results?
  • How are we going to achieve the project’s goal and objectives?
  • What are we going to deliver? What work do we need to complete; what resources and funds do we need to produce these deliverables?
  • When will we produce the deliverables?
  • When will the project stakeholders review them?
  • When will the project sponsor approve and accept the final project outcome?
  • Where will the deliverables be used?
  • How will success be measured?

Solid foundation

A project manager needs to lay a solid foundation to start a project successfully. This would include the following:

  • Define and control the scope
  • Understand the client’s business drivers
  • Build strong relationships of trust
  • Support delivery on the project with appropriate tools, techniques and processes, but tailored to suit the size, culture and context of the organisation

Let’s take a closer look at the building blocks of a good foundation.

Project Definition

When you define the project, you need to begin with the end in mind. This means that you want to know the project vision, objective, high-level requirements, high-level risks and milestones. This is normally documented in the Project Charter.

Based on your understanding of what the project is set out to achieve, you will select the best execution approach.

Scope agreement

Define and agree what is in and out of scope. The components of a scope statement include:

  • Project justification
  • Product description
  • Project objectives
  • Project deliverables

It is a good practice to document the project scope in a document that is generically known as a Scope Statement. The document has different names depending on which methodology is used. This is to explain what is in and out of scope, a step-by-step process for managing changes in project scope, project deliverables, constraints and assumptions.

Work Breakdown Structure

Work breakdown structureBased on the agreed project scope, you can continue to create a work breakdown structure, known as the WBS. The WBS is a decomposition of the total scope of the work. A work package is work defined at the lowest level of the work breakdown structure for which cost and duration can be estimated and managed. For more about the WBS, read Project Planning – Work Breakdown Structure.

When you’re new to project management, you may need clarification on project deliverables and milestones.  We differentiate between them as follows.

A project milestone is referring to a significant point in time when something is complete.  For example, the end of the planning phase could be a milestone. If you use MS Project as a scheduling tool, a milestone will have a zero duration.

A project deliverable is a tangible output of the project, for example, a completed document, a piece of code, or a documented list of requirements or product specifications.

Understand business requirements

Next, you will follow a process of collecting and analysing requirements. It is very important to understand the requirements by answering the questions above. You need to be clear on how you will measure each benefit that is realised.

Build strong relationships of trust

You will have to identify all stakeholders to the project. You also need to plan how you will effectively engage stakeholders throughout the project life cycle.

Support delivery

By now you should have a good understanding of the size, culture and context of the organisation in which project execution will take place.

If your organisation has a Project Management Office, you will have a standard project management methodology that is customised to the needs of the organisation. That will give you access to tools and processes that can be used to support the delivery of your project.

If not, you will need to select appropriate tools, techniques and processes, which will help you to execute your project. Consider using a standardised project management templates from Method 123 that will guide you through the project processes of Initiation, Planning, Execution and Closure.

After having a great start, it’s time for Planning! Read the short article on Time Management and Gantt Charts as a planning tool.

If you’re new to project management and would like to grow critical project management competencies fast, check this self-paced online training, called the Growth Program today.

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Attention Aspiring Project Management Professionals

Important announcement for project managers who plan to do the PMP exam in 2016.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has changed the PMP Exam on January 11th. Cornelius Fichtner has published information in this regard on his PM Prepcast website and explains what it means for you.  This is to share it with you and to help answer any questions you may have while preparing for this important exam.

Click here to read more

Remember that there’s a 10% discount on the PM Prepcast in January, which means $18 off if you use coupon code Jan16

Reflections on 2015

2015Another year is coming to an end which calls for a personal reflection on the year of 2015. What a wonderful journey it has been with numerous highs and very few low points.

 

Memorable moments

There were plenty of highlights in 2015. At work we concluded a 14-month long Programme successfully. I facilitated a number of closing workshops and project reviews on lessons learnt. Many new relationships were developed with a few growing into friendships that will outlast the projects. What will make this Programme very memorable, is the honour of receiving a CIO award for Delivery Excellence at the end.

As one Programme came to an end, I moved on to the next Programme with its own challenges, complexities and relationships to be formed with new team members. And in that lies the pleasure and fulfilment of being a professional project manager. There is never a dull moment and what an interesting journey to get to know new processes, systems and new people. To work with and appreciate all the talented individuals who are chosen to work on big corporate Programmes.

Virtual Project Consulting

As far as Online activities are concerned, our presence through Virtual Project Consulting, continued to grow as a website with the most comprehensive recommended resources about project management software, training, products, books and events.

In the blog section appeared several articles covering leadership, change management, project methodology, project success stories from experienced project managers, guest posts, reviews of different project software, how to compare online project management software, Agile project management and emotional intelligence among others. Podcasts of our Best Practice articles, as well as the Success Stories have been published.

Contributing Author

This year a Book opportunity presented itself to me through an invitation to contribute a Chapter to a book about the Strategic Integration of Social Media into Project Management Practice, due for publishing in 2016. This came about as a result of the extensive research I have conducted in prior years around the use of social media for small business marketing, and more specifically in the project management context. See more in Social Media for Project Managers.

 

AnniversaryAnniversary

On the personal front, I am privileged to share that 18 December 2015 is my 22 year wedding anniversary, and I consider it a blessing to be happily married with three children as a reminder of our faithful commitment to each other.

Game Changers

There were a few events that shifted my priorities this year. I worked with a coach who really helped to broaden my perspective, but at the same time, who guided me to focus on getting specific things done that will contribute greatly to growing my online business in future. Some strategic partnerships were also formed which could lead to interesting new opportunities in the new year.

Growth Program for New Project ManagersI had my first experience of running my own webinars, of doing a Pilot training program and eventually developing a fully online, self-paced Growth Program for New Project Managers aimed especially at the many Accidental Project Managers in every organisation.

This makes me look forward to making more contributions to the project management field in future. Like a quote from Audrey Hepburn saying: “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible”.

I will continue to live and work my passions and to always be grateful. I wish you a happy and fulfilling time with your loved ones over Christmas and a Prosperous New Year in 2016!

Virtual Project ConsultingIf it’s your first time visiting, please subscribe to Virtual Project Consulting not to miss future future articles, tips and success stories!

 

 

Virtual Project Management Conference on-demand from IIL

This is a reminder that it’s the last week to watch the free presentations from the Virtual Project Management Conference hosted by International Institute for Learning (IIL) on International Project Management Day: Power of the Profession 2014 on 6 November.

The speakers cover topics like Leadership, PMO, Productivity, complex project management, Portfolio Management and many more.

It is highly recommended and existing PMP’s can use the opportunity to claim PDU’s.

Register and attend the on-demand sessions until 30 November 2014.

The on-demand period ends November 30. Pre-order the IPMDAY 2014 DVD for permanent access to standout presentations long after the event has closed.

Project Management Leadership Master Class

By Kiruben Reddy

Project Management LeadershipThis promotional article is aimed at seasoned project and programme managers in South Africa who aspire to be more successful and outstanding in how they deliver projects. The information to be presented will also apply to CEO’s, Managing/ Project/Chief Directors, Engineering Directors, Project Leaders, Operations Executives, COO’s, HOD’s, I.T. Directors, Municipal Managers, Financial Project Managers, Team Leaders, Project Planning Managers, Business Analysts, Construction Managers.

Organisations more than ever are under pressure to operate and deliver more effectively and efficiently, place greater emphasis on stream-lining internal operations, increase focus on customer needs, on superior service delivery in relation to competitors and within shorter timeframes. This is necessary to retain their existing customer base as well as to increase their market share. With the current rate that Companies are moving at globally, coupled with the pace of change, now more than ever an organisation’s ability to execute (on time, on budget, to stakeholder expectations) is not only good for business but is a necessity.

This shift in mind-set requires organisations to have the ability to manage and effectively utilize their resources to the best of their ability to derive direct tangible value through the projects they initiate.

The Project Management Leadership Master Class will provide you with the essential insights in today’s industry and project efficiencies and touch on what’s required today to initiate, manage, monitor and drive delivery through the life cycle of a project successfully. Delivery is not only measured by the fact that it was brought to existence, but the manner in which it was executed and whether it is in line with the original expectations and business benefits of what it was intending to deliver.

Key strategies to be discussed, include:

  • Implementation of a project lifecycle methodology
  • Risk Management
  • How to deal with shortage of project management skills in South Africa
  • Achieving project results through our people

For more information, download the Project Management Leadership Master Class brochure and register for this today.

About the Author: Kiruben Reddy is the General Manager of Solutions Bridge, a 100% Black Women Empowered company and is Level 3 B-BBBEE certified. Your organization can recognize 110% of your spend for the Leadership Master Class hosted by them.

Understanding PRINCE2 and How to Implement

Today is the second article in the 2-part series for project managers to understand PRINCE2 and how it can be implemented. Now that you know that PRINCE2 is a process-based approach to project management, you may be interested in the history of PRINCE2.

What is the history of PRINCE?

PRINCE stands for Projects in Controlled Environments. It is a project management method covering the organisation, management and control of projects. The Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), now part of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), first developed PRINCE in 1989. The intention was to produce a UK Government standard for IT project management.

Since its introduction, PRINCE has become widely used in both the public and private sectors and is now the UK’s de facto standard for project management. Although originally developed for the needs of IT projects, PRINCE has also been used on many non-IT projects. The latest version of the method, PRINCE2, is designed to incorporate the requirements of existing users and to enhance the method towards a completely generic, best practice approach.

How is PRINCE2 implemented?

The most important prerequisite to implementing PRINCE2 is awareness and buy-in at the most senior level of the organisation. Once this has been achieved, project staff (from sponsors right through to team members) can be trained to a level of competence appropriate to their individual roles. This training also provides staff with the skills necessary to oversee the PRINCE2 implementation, though often it is recommend to use an external consultancy. This can inject in-depth knowledge not just of PRINCE2, but of the ways in which both the method and the organisation’s existing business processes must be married together to create an environment in which PRINCE2 can deliver maximum benefit.

PRINCE2 training

There are different levels of training available for PRINCE2.

Overview: Aimed at managers new to formal project management methods, plus senior managers and executives considering the introduction of PRINCE2 into their organisations.

Foundation: For those who will be involved in projects, but not necessarily in a leading role, such as project support staff.

Practitioner: For anyone requiring an in-depth understanding of PRINCE2, particularly current or aspiring project managers.

Both Foundation and Practitioner training lead to optional examinations that will provide successful delegates with an internationally recognised qualification.

Visit the AFA PRINCE2 Training for more details if you’re interested. Also visit the Resources page for more training providers in the project management space.

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