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Thursday, 13 July 2017 00:30

Use These Seven Steps for a Project Audit

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Use These Seven Steps for a Project Audit

In some cases, such as a government project, periodic audits may be called for as a part of the overall contract. The audit could also be described in the Quality Management Plan. An audit is conducted by a third-party. This third party could be any qualified person outside of the project manager and project team. In some cases, your organization may have a project audit specialist. It is possible that the Project Director or the Project Sponsor could also perform this audit. The outside party could be an outside contractor or consultant, but they do not need to be.

The audit itself focuses on whether effective project management processes are being utilized and whether the project appears to be on-track. A project audit asks questions about the processes used to manage the project and build deliverables. The audit can follow this process:

  1. Notify the parties (Auditor) - The auditor notifies the project manager of the upcoming audit and schedules a convenient time and place. Other key stakeholders are notified of the audit as well.
  2. Prepare for the audit (Auditor) - The auditor may request certain information up-front. The auditor might also ask the project manager to be prepared to discuss certain aspects of the project. This ensures that the actual meeting time is as productive as possible.
  3. Perform initial interview (Auditor, Project Manager) - During the initial meeting, the auditor asks the appropriate questions to ensure the project is on-track. If there are any areas that are not on track, the auditor notes them as such.
  4. Perform as many other interviews as necessary (optional) (Auditor, Project Team) - If the project is large or complex, the auditor might need to perform follow-up analysis. This includes meeting with other team members and clients, and reviewing further documentation.
  5. Document the findings (Auditor) - The auditor documents the status and the processes used on this project against best practices. If the organization has standards and policies in place for managing projects, the auditor determines whether any of these are not being followed. The auditor also makes recommendations on things that can be done to provide more effective and proactive management of the project.
  6. Review draft audit report (Auditor, Project Manager) - The auditor and the project manager meet again to go over the initial findings. This auditor describes any project management deficiencies and recommendations for changes. This review also provides an opportunity for the project manager to provide a rebuttal when necessary. The initial audit findings might be modified based on specific feedback from the project manager.
  7. Issue final report (Auditor) - The auditor issues a final report of findings and recommendations. The project manager may also issue a formal response to the audit. In the formal response, the project manager can accept points and discuss plans to implement them. The project manager may also voice his disagreement with certain audit points, and explain his reason why. In these cases, the project sponsor and the project director (manager of the project manager) will need to decide if the project manager should comply with the recommendations or not.

Thursday, 06 July 2017 14:05

Use These Five Steps to Delegate Project Work

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This content is from the Method123 weekly email dated 2017.06.07

Use These Five Steps to Delegate Project Work

As a project manager, you cannot do all the project work yourself. You can't create all the deliverables, respond to all the risks, solve every issue, perform all communication, etc. You have to be able to delegate. Some of the delegation is natural - such as assigning schedule work to team members. The schedule includes the names of the people assigned to do the work, so that is usually pretty easy to manage. However, other work can be done by multiple people - or by the project manager. Make sure your plate is full, and then delegate the rest. Here are fibe key steps to take.

Step 1: Look for team members that can take more responsibility

Delegation is when you assign responsibility to another person to carry out a specific task. The task could be large (such as "revamp our training department" or small (such as "write and distribute the meeting minutes"). It doesn't matter how large or small the task is. What matters is that there is another person that you can delegate the task to. You have to have good people on your team that can take responsibility for work, even if it requires them to work outside their comfort zone.

Step 2: Get comfortable asking others for help

You need to have a mindset where you feel comfortable delegating to others. You may be hesitant. You may feel that it will be faster to get something done yourself rather than having to explain it to others. Or, you may feel as if the other person already has enough to do and you don't want to add more to their plate. In fact, it may take another person longer to do the work - the first time. But you will have something off your plate and the team member will have a chance to learn a new skill.

Step 3: Create your full "to-do list"

Every day you should have a list of the things that you need to do that day. As a project manager, some of this work is your responsibility. There will be meetings, reminders, short-term items, longer-term its, etc. You should include any non-project work as well, such as completing your open enrollment insurance form.

Step 4: Determine which core work you must do

You are going to have a sizable list. You may be amazed at how much stuff you have on your plate to accomplish. Some of these things are extremely important and others may be of marginal value. There may be items on your list that are months old and probably should be deleted. Now figure out the items you and only you can complete. For example, filling out that open enrollment insurance form. Perhaps these can be flagged with a star.

Step 5: Begin delegating

The items that you have not starred are candidates to delegate. Since you did not star these, there must be someone else that can do them. Of course, just because you can delegate them does not mean you will delegate them. Make sure you keep a full plate of work for yourself. But ask others on your team to complete some of the remaining work for you.

This is not an easy process at first. But soon it becomes more comfortable. Delegating work allows you to leverage your time. You are now able to get more work done, with others help, than you could do by yourself.


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This content is from the TenStep weekly "tips" email dated 2017.05.7

Here are Five Strategies for the Responding to Risks

Risks are future events or conditions that have a probability of occurrence and an impact to the project if they occur. Identifying risks is only the start of the risk management process. After you identify risks, you need to analyze them to see which ones are important enough for you to manage. For all "high" risks you must create a risk response. There are a number risk response options that the project manager should consider.

  • Leave the risk (accept). Sometimes we see a high risk and still decide to leave it. This can happen for one of two reasons.


    • First, the project manager may feel that cost and effort of managing the risk is more than the impact of the risk event itself. In this case you would rather deal with the costs of the risk occurring that the cost of trying to manage the risk.
    • Second, there may not be any reasonable and practical activities available to manage the risk. For instance, it is possible that there is a risk of your sponsor leaving and a new sponsor canceling the project. However, you may not be in a position to do much about it as long as the current sponsor is in place, and you may just need to leave it and see how events play out.
  • Monitor the risk. This is a good approach if you have identified a risk that should be managed, but the risk event is far off in the future. In this case, the project manager does not proactively manage the risk, but monitors it to see whether it is more or less likely to occur as time goes on. If it looks more likely to occur later in the project, the team must formulate a different response at a later time.
  • Avoid the risk. Avoiding the risk means that the condition that is causing the problem is eliminated. For example, let's say you identify a risk associated with using new equipment. You could avoid the risk by deciding to use current equipment that you are familiar with. You eliminated the cause of the risk, therefore avoiding the risk itself. 
  • Move the risk (transfer). In some instances, the responsibility for managing a risk can be removed from the project by assigning the risk to another entity or third party. For instance, you may identify a risk associated with a new technology. Outsourcing the function to a third party might eliminate that risk for the project team. The risk event is still there, but now some other entity is dealing with it.
  • Mitigate the risk. Mitigating is the most common risk response. Mitigation means that you create a plan to minimize the likelihood that the risk will occur, or minimize the impact if the risk occurs. You could eliminate the risk by reducing the likelihood down to zero percent, or reducing the impact to zero. However, even if you cannot eliminate the risk, minimizing either the probability or the impact of the risk is often the most viable risk response strategy. 
These are the risk responses for negative risks. After you have a risk response plan in place, you need to monitor the plan to ensure it is working as you expect. 

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stasClick Here to Listen to the Interview: http://bit.ly/PMPodcast393
Read More: http://bit.ly/pmpodcast-393

Are you currently studying or thinking about studying for your PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Exam? Wonderful. That’s what we are going to be talking about.

In this interview you are going to meet Stas Podoxin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/staspodoxin). Stas is not only one of my students but also one of my coworkers. And one of the interesting differences in how he prepared for the PMI-ACP exam is the fact that he took an Agile course at a university that helped him get a better understanding of the Agile mindset. And so by the time he got around to using our own online training course he was already quite far ahead on the curve.

As you know, the rules of all Project Management Institute (PMI)® exams are such that we are not allowed to discuss specific questions from the exam. But we can discuss Stas's overall experience, how he did his PMI-ACP Exam Prep, his general thoughts on the process and his recommendations to you. So you can look forward to an experience and tip filled interview on how to prepare for and pass your PMI-ACP Exam.

Full disclosure: Stas Podoxin and Cornelius Fichtner both work for OSP International LLC, makers of The Agile PrepCast and The PMI-ACP Exam Simulator.

Friday, 30 June 2017 11:34

History and Evolutions of PMBOK Guide

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A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) by PMI documents best practices and standards for project management. The current version of PMBOK is considered as one of the most important exam preparation books for the PMP (Project Management Professionals) and PMI-ACP certification. Soon in the third quarter of 2017, PMBOK 6th edition is scheduled to launch. In this article, we will go through the history and evolutions of the PMBOK Guide:

The first PMBOK® Guide published in 1996. Each successive edition was released to surpass the previous version incorporating new best practices and standards of project management.



PMBOK® Guide 1st Version [1996]

PMI witnessed a need to put together all official documents and guides to upgrade the development process of the project management, and published the first ever edition of the PMBOK® Guide in 1996. This edition was an extended version of "Ethics, Standards, and Accreditation Committee Final Report", a white paper published in 1983.

PMBOK® Guide Version 2 [2000]

The upgraded version of PMBOK Guide i.e. 2nd edition was launched in 2000. This edition includes knowledge and practices that were commonly accepted in the field of project management that were proven valuable and useful to most projects. The PMBOK® Guide Version 2 also reflected the growth of the project management and removed the errors in the previous edition.

PMBOK® Guide Version 3 [2004]

After releasing the PMBOK® Guide 2nd Edition, PMI received thousands of suggestions for improvements of the PMBOK® Guide. The PMI’s editorial committee reviewed those suggestions and tried to integrate the recommendations into the next version of PMBOK® Guide and released the third edition in 2004. The project management practices included in the 3rd edition of PMBOK® Guide would be useful to most projects.

PMBOK® Guide Version 4 [2009]

The fourth edition of PMBOK was launched after the five years of publication of its preceding version. In this edition, the content of the PMBOK® Guide was edited to make it more consistent and accessible. The clear distinction between the project documents and project management plan was made. The “triple constraints” of project management were expanded to six as scope, schedule, quality, resources, risk and budget.

PMBOK® Guide Version 5 [2013]

The current version i.e. 5th version of the PMBOK® Guide was released in 2013. Considering the suggestions and recommendations, PMI made changes in PMBOK Guide 4th Edition and the 5th edition represents PMI’s continual efforts to upgrade and update the body of knowledge. Many PMP certification aspirants refer the PMBOK® Guide to prepare for the PMP certification exam.

PMBOK® Guide 6 [2017]

The PMBOK® Guide 6 will be published in July, 2017. This edition will incorporate Agile in its module as Agile has become one of the fastest growing methodologies in the recent years. In this edition, we can also witness some minor changes in the process groups, processes and naming of the PMBOK® Guide methodology. The PMI Talent Triangle (Leadership, Technical Project Management, Business and Strategic Management), will also be incorporated into the 6th edition of PMBOK® Guide.



PMBOK Guide is one of the major sources to prepare for PMP and PMI-ACP, but after the launch of the new edition, many people find it difficult to understand the newly added terminologies and processes initially. Hence, if you are a PMP aspirant, this is a high time for you to make the decision and book an appointment at PMI before the sixth edition of PMBOK affect the certification exam.









Last modified on Friday, 30 June 2017 11:43

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