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You are here: Home Blogs Displaying items by tag: productivity
Project Management Blog
Saturday, 16 June 2007 10:17

Deming's 7th Point in Project Management

Teach and Institute Leadership

It is the age-old distinction that usually merits much lip service and little true implementation. There is supervision/management, and then there is leadership. Project managers can either be supervisors or leaders, regardless of their job title.

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Saturday, 16 June 2007 10:12

Deming's 6th Point in Project Management

Job/Task-Related Training

A quality organization understands the value of the people who work in it. The same goes for project management. Training project managers, analysts, and everyone else who regularly works on projects in the company methodology, soft skills, etc. can bring significant rewards.

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Saturday, 16 June 2007 09:46

Deming's 5th Point in Project Management

Continuous Improvement

This is one of my favorite points from Dr. Deming. I see so many mistakes that are made again and again, and lessons learned that are either completely undocumented or filed away after a project, never to be seen again.

Do all of the other project managers in the firm get exposure to lessons learned from other projects? Usually not, in my experience. Surely, individual project managers and sponsors learn from their projects, but organizational learning and continuous improvement require a formal process for the documentation, analysis, and incorporation of lessons learned into a common methodology.

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Thursday, 17 May 2007 15:32

Deming's 4th Point in Project Management

Consider Costs and Benefits of the Entire System and Deliverable Lifetime

The textbook wording of this point varies, but is usually something like “Stop making decisions purely on the basis of cost.” When I read the various descriptions however, I believe the textbook title is not an adequate summary.

When Deming talks about not making decisions purely on the basis of cost, he is referring to a plant perspective and talks about the importance of having regular suppliers.

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Saturday, 12 May 2007 10:43

Deming's 3rd Point in Project Management

Inspection is a Tool for Improvement, Not a Whip

Deming's third point urges practitioners to design quality into processes, using inspection as an information-gathering tool to do so. In project management, the processes and systems make up a methodology. Does your organization have a consistent methodology, or does everyone run projects their own way?

Inspecting project performance through the lens of continuous improvement facilitates applying lessons learned to a consistent and ever-improving methodology. This can not be done effectively unless there is a consistent system of managing projects in the first place.

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Adopt a Philosophy of Cooperation Where Everyone Wins and Teach it to Everyone

Often, projects can become battlegrounds where the project manager and team are at odds with the sponsor and other stakeholders. These conflicts can arise when the project environment is not conducive to a win-win approach.

In project planning and initiation, clearly define the WIIFM (What’s in it for me) for everyone on the project.

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Monday, 07 May 2007 08:50

Less Obvious ROI

When I was working with a system support group we had to scramble each month to determine the Return on Investment (ROI) for the system enhancements.  Changes ranged from new reports to added functionality with other odd things in between.  Needless to say, determining the ROI for adding a product color field to a report lacks a certain excitement and requires a lot of creativity.  Technically it is the responsibility of the business group to assign ROI, but it generally falls on the technical team to make it happen. 
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Dr. W. Edwards Deming was recently re-introduced to me in my Project Performance and Quality Assurance class. I have heard of him before and touched on some of his philosophy in other classes, but focused much more in-depth this time. The majority of his philosophy around quality and organizational management resonates with me. So, I've decided to do a series of articles on Deming's 14 points, and how they relate specifically to the field of project management.

Here are Deming's 14 points, paraphrased in my words:

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:06

Quality Planning

The PMBOK defines quality planning as “identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project and determining how to satisfy them”. A key output of the planning process should be the quality management plan for the project.

Cost-Benefit Analysis - This is the process of determining the pros and cons of implementing any process, product, or activity. When it comes to project management, cost-benefit is concerned with the benefits of quality management activities versus the costs of the quality management activities. There are two major considerations with the benefit/cost analysis in quality management:

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Thursday, 25 January 2007 19:16

Activity Duration Estimating

Duration includes the actual amount of time worked on an activity plus the elapsed time.

Effort is the number of workdays or work hours required to complete a task. Effort does not normally equal duration. People doing the work should help create estimates, and the PM should review them. Duration estimating is assessing the number of work periods (hours, days, weeks,) likely to be needed to complete each activity. Duration estimates always include some indication of the range of possible results, for example, 2 weeks + or – 2 days or 85% probability that the activity will take less than 3 weeks. Activity Duration Estimating:

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