Month: February 2016

Project Management for Dummies

Project Management Software for Dummies

Project Management Software for Dummies

The title of this article itself indicates that anybody can do project management. So what is project management and how can anybody do it. Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria.

A project could mean anything beginning from cooking an exotic dish to large turnkey engineering projects. Every project needs perfect planning, execution, and co-ordination amongst the participating members.

Because of the ever-growing array of huge, complex, and technically challenging projects in today’s world, project management has become a critical skill. People need special tools, techniques, and knowledge to handle their project management assignments.

This article covers some simple tricks for lay people to master the art of project management.

Tips to Learn the Basics of Project Management

Given below are some of the tips that will help people learn the basics of project management.

Justifying the Project

A key requirement for project management success is knowing why the project was created in the first place. In addition to helping ensure that the appropriate objectives and desired results are framed at the outset, this knowledge energizes project team members and fuels their commitment to achieve those objectives and results. Some of the basic steps to follow here are:

  • Identifying the people who drive the project and determining their needs and expectations.
  • Looking for existing statements that confirm the project’s support of the organization’s priorities.
  • Finding several sources for the same piece of information and whenever possible getting the information from primary sources.

Developing Meaningful Project Objectives

As a project manager, developing concise and unambiguous project objectives increases the chances of successfully accomplishing them. The following pointers ensure that the project objectives are crystal clear:

  • Focussing on outcomes rather than activities and making sure the objectives are SMART (specific, measurable, aggressive, realistic, and time-sensitive).
  • Using clear language without any technical jargon or acronyms.
  • Making sure every objective has at least one measure and every measure has at least one performance target.

Developing Achievable Project Schedules

Producing the project’s results on schedule is an essential requirement for its success. For this a project schedule needs to be developed that is achievable, responsive to the client’s needs, and understood and supported by all project team members. The following steps help to create a realistic and attainable project schedule:

  • Identifying all required activities.
  • Breaking down activities into sufficient detail.
  • Considering both duration and interdependencies to develop the project schedule.
  • Identifying the strategy for performing each activity before estimating its duration.
  • Factoring in the availability of resources.
  • Recognizing and writing down all assumptions related to the project and its schedule.
  • Identifying and planning for all significant project schedule risks.
  • Re-examining and revising the original schedule after the project is approved and work commences.
  • Involving the project drivers and supporters in developing the schedule.

If you are new to project management, there is no reason to panic.  With a calm mind try and understand the tools, methodologies, guidelines which that would help you on your way so as to develop the essential skills of project management.

The Project Planning Pro App is used by many large corporates and start-ups for multiple industrial domains.

Project Planning Pro is cost-effective, easy-to-use and is coming up with project management techniques based on the Agile Methodology.  It is a cross platform application and is available in around 9 languages. It provides user friendly features that include:

  • Creation of multiple tasks giving one’s to-do list a better structural approach.
  • Reminders that notify the managers about the upcoming deadlines and the milestones to be achieved.

The Project Planning Pro App is a multi-location application and is used by many industry people across the globe. This application can be efficiently used by individuals to manage their personal to-do list, and also by project managers to track the following:

  • Projects assigned to the team members
  • Project deadlines
  • Important project milestones to be achieved.

This application helps the project managers to deliver the right product at the right time.

How to import Microsoft Project (.mpp) files on Mac

Project Planning Pro now allows you to import Microsoft Project (.mpp) files on your Mac. Yes! You can import plans that you have made in Microsoft Project and edit it in Project Planning Pro. However, to do this on your Mac you need to install latest version of Java. Here’s a tutorial that shows how to do it and also screenshots to guide you through the process.

Video


Screenshots

 

Screen Shoot 1


JAVA Install. import Microsoft Project


JAVA SE Development Kit. import Microsoft Project


JAVA SE Development. import Microsoft Project

 


10 Tips for Project Management

Project Managers constantly face the problem of keeping each and every project running at the same pace and operate within a fixed budget. There are several constitutional and foreign factors that hinder the progress of a project. Nevertheless, by having an exceptional plan and a few provisions ready, a project manager is ready to edge the project to success.

This document gives some project management tips and tricks that can help accelerate any project efficiently.

Tips to Accelerate your Project

1. Boost on Mobility –

This is a sure and certain way to overcome hindrances in your project. In an era of smartphones and tablets, using project management tools that work on such devices enables project managers to easily access relevant information. . This not only empowers project managers with flexibility and ease of access but also enables them to manage their teams remotely. This helps to increase the productivity of the team.

2. Lock in the Project Details:

Before starting any project, make sure that the project is established on substantial support and that you have all the decision makers in place.

It is essential to appreciate their beliefs and concerns and observe how they resolve issues, even if the project is unsuccessful.

Make sure that the project scope is uniquely analyzed and includes the roles and responsibilities of the team members.

Construct a project plan and verify that its precisely characterized goals are in alignment with the key elements, which should be closely coordinated.

Build an identifiable success benchmark that includes :

  • successfully completing tasks on the agenda
  • managing the financial targets
  • validating the product performance acceptable to the consumers,
  • assuring that the government or industrial governance factors are met.

In order to lay the fundamentals for the projects, all the above details should be taken care of.

3. Determine the Project and Team Requirements:

It is important to have a powerful plan of action in place in order to implement an efficient project team. The team’s success commences with fundamental management to mobilize and arrange available resources who are competent of working together as a team through the assimilation of each one’s ability, expertise and eminence.

It is the project manager’s job to assess every team member’s skills, talent, and eminence and coordinate tasks accordingly.  The project manager should ensure that every individual is sure about the task in hand and the result they need to provide consequent to successful execution of the task.

4. Stand as a Project Lead:

The project lead is one of the most crucial people in any project. The lead possesses certain key roles and needs to tend to specific team dynamics and operate as a mentor to all the team members.

The project lead also needs to coordinate with the leading stake holders and other team members for feedbacks and ideas. The Project charges the team and encourages them to follow you through both tough and soothing times.

5. Determine Analytical Project Breakthrough:

Define a life cycle or a step by step approach to your project like the four main phases such as commencement, outlining, execution and termination. A real assessment needs to be carried out at the completion of each phase. All the details from the product to the documentation is required to set the project stipulation. Every output needs to be examined. The product needs to be built according to the customer’s expectations. This breakthrough not only helps the project managers to dispose off the project risk or monitor the project change, but also notifies them about any ongoing complications and ensures that each module is executed properly.

6. Maintain Open Communication:

Open Communication in project management is critical to ensure project success. The project manager needs to be at the helm of the communication structure.

The project manager should maintain a communication plan and follow it throughout all the phases of the project. The connection within the team should be consistent, transparent and open.

Communication with the customers and teammates during the project is mandatory.

Every member of the team should have the necessary knowledge about the project and then should proceed with the necessary activities. A constant flow of project information and status reports is a must for the project to be executed successfully.

7. Secure Admissible Documentation:

From the commencement of the project to the breakthrough, the project managers should have a clear documentation that is endorsed by the stake holders.  . Determine that the documentation is coordinated with the project management techniques of excellence to ensure your team is concealed in agreement of deliverables and beliefs.

Documentation is essential even if a proper project management software is in place to coordinate and help completion of project on time and within the budget, hence making the project ready for stake holders and plan for any surprises in the project.

Too many complications should be avoided to prevent confusion thereby losing the value to the project.

8. Project Risk Management:

Any project comes loaded with risks and therefore risk mitigation measures are mandatory before the project commences. Prior experience and knowledge of possible risks that may come up during a project can be the ideal guide to project managers. With open communication within the team, one can manage risks before they get out of control. Risk is just a possible problem which can become an actual problem in no time if it is not controlled or any action to mitigate it is not taken. Risk management is essential for project success.

9. Avoid Outlook Slither:

Managing outlook slithering is one of the essential elements to the success of a project. Though certain situations are inevitable in a project, it can still be protected from slithering into a mess.

These situations generally happen when new modules are added to the project that is already approved and there is no scrutiny to increase the budget, timelines, or resources to satisfy the needs of the revised project.

The project documentation must be signed by all the stakeholders on the changes before proceeding with the development on the revised changes.

10. Testing of the Final Output:

The final result needs to be tested at every critical breakthrough to ensure that the project specifications are met from the final product. Make sure that the specifications are met at every stage of development. The final product should meet the customer expectations as it is a closure of the project lifecycle.

It is a gesture of achievement for the project manager, as well as the team members and the stake holders.

Determine that the customer is happy with the final product and hence the mission is accomplished.

11. Assessment of the Project:

It is essential to analyze the project as a whole as well as each module of the project. Make proper decisions and conclude about the project’s quality and performance. Distinguishing between the planned return on investment and the actual return on investment can help understand the level of the success of the project.

To eliminate future failures and ensure future success the project manager needs to take decisions as to which projects to execute. Identifying the team with the right skills and coordinating with the stake holders makes the project successful. . Most of all efficient management of time and resources is important.

Project Planning Pro is one such application that fits all the above mentioned criteria and is one of the best Project Management tools.

Project Planning Pro is cost-effective, easy-to-use and is coming up with project management techniques based on the Agile Methodology.  It is a cross platform application and is available in around 9 languages. It provides user friendly features that include:

  • Creation of multiple tasks giving one’s to-do list a better structural approach.
  • Reminders that notify the managers about the upcoming deadlines and the milestones to be achieved.

The Project Planning Pro App is a multi-location application and is used by many industry people across the globe. This application can be efficiently used by individuals to manage their personal to-do list, and also by project managers to track the following:

  • Projects assigned to the team members
  • Project deadlines
  • Important project milestones to be achieved.

This application helps the project managers to deliver the right product at the right time.

Time Management Tips for Project Managers

A Project Manager plays a key role in the success of any organization implementing small and large projects – be it software development or a large turnkey project. As an aspiring project manager, the first thing one needs to learn is Time Management. The perfect project managers ensure that they are productive for most part of the time.

Proper management of time not only helps to achieve steep targets, but also ensures maximum productivity and return on investments for the organization. Project Managers ideally need to manage their own time as well as the team’s time.

Time Management Tips for Project Managers

What is Time Management?

Time management” refers to the way that you organize and plan how long you spend on specific activities.

It may seem counter-intuitive to dedicate precious time to learning about time management, instead of using it to get on with your work, but the benefits are enormous:

  • Greater productivity and efficiency.
  • A better professional reputation.
  • Less stress.
  • Increased opportunities for advancement.
  • Greater opportunities to achieve important life and career goals.

Get Project Management Software Mac

Failing to manage your time effectively can have some very undesirable consequences:

  • Missed deadlines.
  • Inefficient work flow.
  • Poor work quality.
  • A poor professional reputation and a stalled career.
  • Higher stress levels.

The American Psychological Association survey, released on 3/5/2013 came up with some interesting results on poor time management:

  • One-third of employees maintained chronic stress. Women reported higher levels of work stress than men.
  • 54% felt they were paid too little for what they contributed.
  • 61% said they did not have enough opportunity for advancement (2/3 of the women and 30% of the men).
  • 50% did not feel valued at work.

How does one manage time effectively?

There are various methodologies and techniques to manage time effectively. A transparent technique is to develop an approved checklist of the categorized time-wasters and each time a specific time-waster raises its ugly head, a check mark is applied next to it on the list.

When you have a checklist ready, you will get a clear picture about the time-wasters that are impacting your specific time arrangement adversity. Depending on the derived time-wasters that are impacting you the most, there are different methods available that you can use in some specific scenarios. The procedures are that can be favourable to the project managers in their chase to be more efficient are listed below:

1. Building a Plan: Time utilized in planning is not wasted at the cost of achievement. Understanding what needs to be carried out and an appropriate plan to achieve it results in a huge return on investment. Planning supported by proper breakdown of each task to focus on, can make a project manager spend minimum time negotiating with the problems due to absence of accuracy. Training the staff may look like a disturbance to other work, but it contributes to several long term benefits.

Must Read: Building a Business Plan with Project Management Software

2. Making active conclusions: Differences in opinion and ideas take up a lot of time and decision making. The best alternative is to make crucial decisions quickly so that there is more time to brainstorm on complicated decisions.

3. Communication: Effortless communication is usually one of the priorities to consider when a manager is trying to organize his or her own time. Instead of utilizing the time to appreciate, hear and analyze, the thought process adds to the manager’s work pressure and hence misconceptions occur. The management is very particular about team communication hence the manager needs to keep a daily check to communicate with the team.

4. Utilizing gaps: When there is tremendous work pressure, one tends to always skip the breaks. Skipping breaks could lead to a drain in the absorption level and make your efficiency come down considerable by end of the day.  Hence the manager needs to take breaks in between to set an example to his or her team so that the team does not confuse that taking breaks are an absence of assurance.

5. Handling the complicated tasks in the beginning: Normally there is a tendency to complete the easier tasks first. This later creates a problem as the difficult tasks remain and there is less time to complete them. By giving priority to the difficult tasks first, one can be assured that the comparatively easier tasks can be completed later. Moreover, the more complex tasks are often the most important that need to be completed prior to the assigned time.

6. Organizing E-mails: A manager’s inbox is often engaged with different kinds of emails that need to be forwarded. As a project manager you need to allot some amount of your work period to reply to the emails and not be selective about it. If some emails do not arrive at the set time, make sure to check the inbox regularly and address as many emails as possible along with committing yourself to your work routine.

Also Read: Millennial Project Managers

7. Creating awareness on dealing with distractions: It is important for the project manager to consider the makeshift help or advice of the team members, what issues need to be addressed first should be considered. It is usually exciting to manage all the issues immediately but it would cause interruptions to the working hours and that may not beneficial. It can be better managed by allotting a certain time slot to address the issues of team members.

Tools for Time Management

There are various tools available in the market that help the Project Managers, manage time effectively.

Project Planning Pro is one such cost-effective, easy-to-use tool that is coming up with project management techniques based on the Agile Methodology.  It is a cross platform application and is available in around 9 languages. It provides user friendly features that include:

  • Creation of multiple tasks giving one’s to-do list a better structural approach.
  • Reminders that notify the managers about the upcoming deadlines and the milestones to be achieved.

The Project Planning Pro App is a multi-location application and is used by many industry people across the globe. This application can be efficiently used by individuals to manage their personal to-do list, and also by project managers to track the following:

  • Projects assigned to the team members
  • Project deadlines
  • Important project milestones to be achieved.

This application helps the project managers to deliver the right product at the right time.

i2e Consulting LLC © 2017 | Privacy Policy