Author: Project-Management.com

Interview with Function Point CEO Chris Wilson

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What is Function Point? Who uses it?

Function Point is a finance first project management solution. It’s designed to be an all-in-one tool connecting each stage of a team’s workflow—spanning CRM, resource management, invoicing and accounting. It’s primarily used by creative agencies, internal marketing teams and professional service firms.

What makes Function Point different? Why should customers give you a try?

Our financial focus is actually quite unique within the industry. Function Point’s software isn’t just for tracking deadlines and assigning tasks. It actually helps you figure out inefficiencies in your workflows, identify projects that are at risk of being late or over budget, and highlight where you’re making and losing money. The software provides these insights by tying all the stages of your project and all of your workflows together with an accounting system. Read the Complete Article

Conducting Successful Gate Meetings

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Projects don’t arrive at their conclusion perfectly executed and delivering all the benefits promised in the Business Case, at the advertised cost. They must be measured along the way to ensure they are developing to plan. Our project management training (especially our PMP Exam preparation training) provides us with a variety of tools to measure project progress against schedule, budget, requirements, and quality goals. The most critical of these for demonstrating your project’s successful progress is the Gate Meeting. These meetings are variously called Phase Exit Reviews (by our PMP Exam preparation training), or Business Decision Points.

Whatever your organization calls your meetings, these are the points at which all the project stakeholders will determine whether your project is on track to meeting the organizations expectations for it. This article should provide you with some useful information, tips, and tricks to ensure that your meetings are successful. Read the Complete Article

Relationship vs. Task Oriented Management

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Within project management there are two main types of personalities: Relationship oriented and Task oriented. It is fairly easy to tell the two apart. Aside from having a detailed project schedule, the Task oriented manager has a separate list of things they need to accomplish today and they feel great when all of them are checked off. The Relationship oriented manager’s schedule is really a guideline and they are more likely to have a list of people to call today.

Relationship Oriented managers are great at building a cohesive team. When planning out projects they take in the big picture and appoint people or groups to handle the details. Consensus is a major tool in their arsenal. One of the first artifacts they put together is an org chart and inevitably there is a spreadsheet with contact information posted close at hand. Read the Complete Article

Deliverable-based Project Schedules

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People build many different types of project schedules. There are the massive checklist and the one liner varieties. I’ve seen them with Phases, Activities, Tasks, Sub-Tasks, Sub-sub-tasks and sub-sub-sub-tasks. Some have randomly bolded Milestones and still others fail to communicate anything.

For projects that span more than a couple of months and a handful of individuals, a deliverable-based project plan offers the best way to track and report on it. Over the next several entries we’ll look at:

  1. Definitions
  2. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  3. Creating the Schedule
  4. When is enough too much?

Definitions

Since there are 3 words there are obviously 5 definitions that we need to review.

Deliverable – pre-defined, tangible work product. This could be a report, document, web page, server upgrade or any other building block to your overall project. Read the Complete Article

Requirements Traceability Matrix – RTM

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The Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a tool to help ensure that the project’s scope, requirements, and deliverables remain “as is” when compared to the baseline. Thus, it “traces” the deliverables by establishing a thread for each requirement- from the project’s initiation to the final implementation.

The RTM can be used during all phases of a project to:

  • Track all requirements and whether or not they are being met by the current process and design
  • Assist in the creation of the RFP, Project Plan Tasks, Deliverable Documents, and Test Scripts
  • Help ensure that all system requirements have been met during the Verification process.

The Matrix should be created at the very beginning of a project because it forms the basis of the project’s scope and incorporates the specific requirements and deliverables that will be produced. Read the Complete Article

Project Management Huts

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12 Rules of Delegation

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Delegation is one of the most important skills. Technical professionals, team and business leaders, managers, and executives all need to develop good delegation skills. There are many rules and techniques that help people to delegate. Good delegation saves money, time, builds people and team skills, grooms successors and motivates people. Poor delegation sucks! Ask any employee. It causes frustration, demotivates and confuses people and teams. It is important to develop good delegation skills. These twelve rules of delegation should help you out.

  1. Delegation is a two-way street. That’s right! Delegation is meant to develop you and the people you work with. Consider what you are delegating and why you are delegating it. Are you delegating to build people, get rid of work you don’t like to do or to develop someone?
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5 Free Alternatives of Toggl Time Tracker

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There are many ways to increase your work productivity. In this article, we will talk about time trackers. Most of the existing time trackers have similar functionality. Some of them are very good and some of them are just fine. One thing in common is that they all are alternatives to the Toggl time tracker.

Toggl is currently a leader in the time tracking area, however, its free plan has limited functionality. So, we created a list of time trackers which have the same functionality as in Toggl and, most importantly, they have free plans with unlimited functionality or are simply completely free.

1. TMetric Time Tracker

TMetric is a simple time tracking app and its user-friendly interface gives you an opportunity to start to use time tracker without any tutorials. Read the Complete Article

The Halo Effect and Project Success

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Have you ever seen someone within your organization, being put into a position, just because they had experience, and success in one area, so the folks upstairs assumed this success would transfer into another job or role within an organization, only to watch a disaster unfold before your very eyes? If you said “yes” then, you have seen the effects of the “Halo Effect” in action. The definition of the “Halo-Effect” is as follows: Generalization from the perception of one outstanding personality trait to an overly favorable evaluation of the whole personality (Merriam-Webster). Many times it’s assumed or taken for granted that a great department manager, or some other person with a specialized are of expertise e.g. accounting will be great as project manager on an accounting project, because this is within that persons area of expertise, but this is not necessarily a fact. Read the Complete Article

IPECC in the PMBOK

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IPECC, in the PMBOK, stands for the collection of the five process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling, Closing.

Initiating

A project is found feasible, a project manager is selected, and the project charter is created.

Planning

Well, gee, I wonder what folks do in this process group? Yeah, they plan how the project should go. Planning is an iterative process group that allows project managers and the project team to revisit as needed.

Executing

You’ve planned the work, now your project team completes the work. You execute the project plan, not the project team.

Controlling

You aren’t going to let your project team run helter-skelter, are you? You’ve got to control the work to ensure that’s it done according to plan.

Closing

The project work is complete, so you and the customer have to verify the deliverables and then close out the project finances, team reports, and lessons learned. Read the Complete Article