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How to Complete a Feasibility Study

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April 19, 2017Would you personally risk a million dollars on the chance that something might succeed without at first researching its likelihood of success? Of course not.Yet in a business context, it’s all too common to launch new projects and initiatives with little research into their feasibility.Common sense dictates that your project must be feasible or else you’re not going to successfully complete it. Right? That’s our starting point, always, as project leaders. But knowing the viability of a project upfront is easier said than done. A Feasibility Study will help you identify critical goals and aspects of the project you might overlook if you plunge into the project without assessing its viability and potential impacts to the bottom line, in addition to helping you identify a range of different alternatives solutions to potential problems in advance. Therefore, it’s can also be a crucial tool to help a team decide on which solution is most feasible to implement.While not every …

What Is Project Scheduling?

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April 18, 2017 | SPM Consulting.What Is Project Scheduling?Everyone knows what a schedule is, at least anyone who has had to get anything done on time. But when it comes to creating a project schedule, well, that’s something few have deep experience with.What and who is being scheduled, and for what purposes, and where is this scheduling taking place, anyway?A project is made up of many tasks, and each task is given a start and end (or due date), so it can be completed on time. Likewise, people have different schedules, and their availability and vacation or leave dates need to be documented in order to successfully plan those tasks.Whereas people in the past might have printed calendars on a shared wall in the water-cooler room, or shared spreadsheets via email, today most teams use online project scheduling tools. Typically, project scheduling is just one feature within a larger project management software solution, and there are many different places in the software where scheduli…

Are you a Professional Project Manager?

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What does a professional project manager really mean? Defined simply it means the level of excellence or competence that is expected of a professional.Next you want to know what are the characteristics of a professional project manager.Characteristics of a ProfessionalIn a profession, people would be expected to have characteristics like:Advanced education and expertiseMembership to professional bodiesImplicit adoption of that organisation’s ethicsCommitment to continual professional development and learningSense of responsibility to the wider publicConsistent exercise of discretion and judgementQualified or notProfessionals would have a qualification, an accreditation and/or certification. Let’s look at the definitions to be clear:Qualification – A learning outcome as a result of formal tuition. Diplomas, Degrees and post-graduate degrees in Project Management are available from Training Institutions or at Universities and Business Schools nationally in your country or even internati…

Managing Project Changes

Change requests are inevitable in any project. Successful project managers effectively manage changes through the use of change control boards.Change Control BoardsChange Control Boards (CCB) can take many shapes. Their purpose is to review and prioritize changes presented during the course of the project. The CCB can range from the project manager and the project sponsor meeting on a regular basis to review requests, formally or informally, to a committee of representatives from a variety of disciplines throughout the organization.Where do changes come from?There are three categories of changes that can occur:Changes that are necessary in order to meet the objectives of the project.Changes that were not part of the original scope, but are approved by the CCB along with the associated approved change in schedule and budget. Typically, these changes are in response to:A change in the marketAdditional knowledge forcing a modification in scopeA new technology or product that may not hav…

PROJECT BUDGET: Project Management and the Comprehensive Project Budget

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Project budgets, similar to resource plans, are a reflection of project work and the timing of that work. A comprehensive budget provides management with an understanding of how funds will be utilized and expended over time for projects or operations.The S-Curve displayed below shows the estimated cumulative expenditures of the project over time. In general, a project expends resources slowly, ramps up rather quickly as more resources are utilized and then tapers off as the project comes to completion.Most project expenditures follow this pattern, resulting in a graphical representation that resembles an "S". Knowing the timing of expenditures on a project will assist management in planning appropriately.
High-level estimates, provided by management in advance of a project's start, are not budgets. In Project Insight, these high-level estimates are named 'target budgets.' A comprehensive budget can only be developed as a result of the project schedule and resourc…

What is the difference between projects and operations?

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In any organization, only two aspects of work exist—on-going operations and projects. Projects are defined as unique, temporary endeavors with a specific beginning and end. Operations constitute an organization's on-going, repetitive activities, such as accounting or production.Since all work and/or efforts performed within an organization are characterized as either operations or projects, all of the costs of an organization must be distributed to either operations or projects.
Projects are initiated by organizations for a variety of reasons, such as to meet a business need, attain a strategic objective or meet a market demand. The only way organizations can accomplish any of these goals is by expending resources of the organization over time, for a cost

Five Key Benefits of Project Management

Every once in a while it is worth reminding ourselves of the value of project management. For us that are in the project management field, there should be no question that project management provides value to an organization. However, when you meet skeptics, are you able to articulate the benefits? Here are five key benefits.  Better Planning Helps Set Better Expectations How many times have you heard about or been involved in a project that was not as successful as it needed to be. Did you ever spend time looking back to see what caused the project to go wrong? If you did, chances are that you said, "You know, we should have spent more time planning." Project management focuses first on planning the work. This is a vital discipline, and allows the project team and the customer to have common perceptions of what the project is going to deliver, when it will be complete, what it will cost, who will do the wo…