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Project Management Absolute Beginner's Guide, 3rd Edition

By Greg Horine

Published by Que

Published Date: Oct 16, 2012

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Description

Succeed as a project manager, even if you’ve never run a project before! This book is the fastest way to master every project management task, from upfront budgeting and scheduling through execution, managing teams through closing projects, and learning from experience. Updated for the latest web-based project management tools and the newest version of PMP certification, this book will show you exactly how to get the job done, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time. Project management has never, ever been this simple!

 

Who knew how simple Project Management could be?

 

This is today’s best beginner’s guide to modern project management… simple, practical instructions for succeeding with every task you’ll need to perform! Here’s a small sample of what you’ll learn:

 

• Master the key skills and qualities every project manager needs

• Lead projects, don’t just “manage” them

• Avoid 15 most common mistakes new project managers make

• Learn from troubled, successful, and “recovered” projects

• Set the stage for success by effectively defining your project

• Build a usable project plan and an accurate work breakdown structure (WBS)

• Create budgets and schedules that help you manage risk

• Use powerful control and reporting techniques, including earned value management

• Smoothly manage project changes, issues, risks, deliverables, and quality

• Manage project communications and stakeholder expectations

• Organize and lead high-performance project teams

• Manage cross-functional, cross-cultural, and virtual projects

• Work successfully with vendors and Project Management Offices

• Make the most of Microsoft Project and new web-based alternatives

• Get started with agile and “critical chain” project management

Table of Contents

Introduction......................................................................................................................1

About This Book......................................................................................................... 2

Who Should Read This Book?................................................................................... 4

How This Book Is Organized..................................................................................... 4

Conventions Used in This Book................................................................................ 5

 

I Project Management Jumpstart

 

1 Project Management Overview.............................................................................7

What Is Project Management…Exactly?.................................................................. 8

    What Is a Project Exactly?.................................................................................... 8

    Managing Projects..............................................................................................10

    An Academic Look..............................................................................................10

What Is the Value of Project Management?..........................................................13

Why Are Projects Challenging?..............................................................................14

Growing Demand for Effective Project Managers ...............................................16

Trends in Project Management .............................................................................17

Additional Resources...............................................................................................18

 

2 The Project Manager..............................................................................................23

One Title, Many Roles.............................................................................................24

Key Skills of Project Managers................................................................................25

Qualities of Successful Project Managers..............................................................27

15 Common Mistakes of Project Managers..........................................................28

 

3 Essential Elements for Any Successful Project..................................................33

What Exactly Is a “Successful” Project?.................................................................34

Learning from Troubled Projects............................................................................35

Learning from Successful Projects..........................................................................38

Essential Project Manager Toolkit..........................................................................40

 

II Project Planning

 

4 Defining a Project...................................................................................................47

Setting the Stage for Success.................................................................................48

How Does Defining a Project Relate to Project Planning?..................................49

Project Definition Document...................................................................................50

    Required Elements..............................................................................................50

    Additional Elements to Consider......................................................................52

Project Definition Checklist.....................................................................................54

    General.................................................................................................................54

    Scope....................................................................................................................55

    Stakeholders........................................................................................................55

    Project Approach.................................................................................................56

    Other.....................................................................................................................56

    Acceptance..........................................................................................................56

 

5 Planning a Project...................................................................................................59

Key Project Planning Principles...............................................................................60

Important Questions Project Planning Should Answer........................................62

Building a Project Plan.............................................................................................64

Summary of Supplemental Project Plan Components.........................................72

Project Plan Checklist...............................................................................................74

 

6 Developing the Work Breakdown Structure.....................................................77

What Exactly Is a WBS? ..........................................................................................78

    Isn’t WBS Just Another Name for the Project Schedule? ..............................81

    Key Differences Between the WBS and the Project Schedule.......................83

    Different Types of Breakdown Structures.........................................................84

Why Is the WBS Important?....................................................................................84

The Process of Building a WBS...............................................................................86

    Getting Started....................................................................................................86

    Guidelines for Effective WBS.............................................................................86

    Knowing When to Stop......................................................................................88

 

7 Estimating the Work..............................................................................................93

Next Step in the Schedule Development Process ..............................................94

Managing the Risk, Managing the Estimates .......................................................96

Reasons for Estimating Woes ................................................................................97

Powerful Estimating Techniques and Methods ...................................................99

Best Practices..........................................................................................................101

 

8 Developing the Project Schedule..................................................................... 105

The Impact of the Project Schedule ....................................................................106

The Goal of the Schedule Development Process...............................................109

Key Inputs for Building a Schedule .....................................................................110

Creating a Schedule...............................................................................................111

    Determining Task Relationships (Sequencing the Work)..............................113

    Building the Preliminary Schedule...................................................................115

    Perform “Reality” Check...................................................................................116

    Shorten the Schedule.......................................................................................117

    Walk Through the Schedule.............................................................................118

    Presenting the Schedule...................................................................................119

 

9 Determining the Project Budget...................................................................... 123

The Impact of the Project Budget .......................................................................124

Principles of an Effective Budget..........................................................................125

Creating a Project Budget.....................................................................................126

    Sources of Project Costs .................................................................................126

    Develop Initial Budget......................................................................................129

    Finalize Budget..................................................................................................130

Common Budget Challenges................................................................................131

 

III Project Control

 

10 Controlling a Project........................................................................................... 135

What Is Project Control? .......................................................................................136

    PDA: The Principles of Project Control ..........................................................137

    Components of Project Control.......................................................................138

Management Fundamentals for Project Control................................................139

Powerful Techniques for Project Control.............................................................141

Performance Reporting..........................................................................................144

Variance Responses ..............................................................................................146

Leveraging Earned Value Management Concepts.............................................146

Common Project Control Challenges..................................................................150

Lessons from Project Recoveries..........................................................................151

 

11 Managing Project Changes................................................................................ 155

What Exactly Is a Project Change and

What’s the Big Deal, Anyway?..............................................................................156

    Project Change Types—More Than Scope....................................................157

    Relation to Configuration Management and Organizational

    Change Management.......................................................................................158

Fundamentals for Managing Project Change.....................................................159

What Causes Unplanned Scope Changes? ........................................................160

Essential Elements of a Project Change Control System...................................162

    Principles............................................................................................................162

    Guidelines..........................................................................................................163

    Components......................................................................................................163

Powerful Techniques for Minimizing Project Changes.......................................165

Common Project Change Control Challenges....................................................166

 

12 Managing Project Deliverables......................................................................... 171

“Managing Project Deliverables” Means What Exactly? ..................................172

Why Do This? It’s Too Much Work.......................................................................173

Identify, Protect, and Track: The Principles of Managing Work Products.......174

Best Practices..........................................................................................................175

Configuration Management Plan..........................................................................180

Common Challenges and Pitfalls..........................................................................181

 

13 Managing Project Issues..................................................................................... 185

The Goals, Objectives, and Principles of Project Issue Management..............186

Key Features of Issue Management Systems......................................................187

Options for Issue Log.............................................................................................190

Best Practices..........................................................................................................191

Some Special Situations........................................................................................192

 

14 Managing Project Risks....................................................................................... 197

Key Risk Management Principles..........................................................................198

The Essential Process for Managing Project Risks..............................................199

    Risk Response Options.....................................................................................201

    Key Risk Management Tools............................................................................202

The Common Sources of Project Risk..................................................................203

Typical Problems....................................................................................................207

Powerful Risk Control Strategies...........................................................................209

Are You Sure It’s a Risk?........................................................................................210

 

15 Managing Project Quality.................................................................................. 213

What Is “Project Quality”?....................................................................................214

Unique Aspects of Managing Project Quality.....................................................215

Principles of Managing Project Quality................................................................215

Powerful Tools and Techniques for Project Quality...........................................217

Powerful Quality Strategies...................................................................................220

Typical Quality-Related Challenges.....................................................................221

 

IV Project Execution

 

16 Leading a Project................................................................................................. 225

More Than Managing............................................................................................226

Where Is Leadership Needed on a Project?.......................................................228

Twelve Keys to Better Project Leadership...........................................................230

Power of Servant Leadership Approach..............................................................233

 

17 Managing Project Communications.................................................................. 237

What Are Project Communications?....................................................................238

The Importance of Project Communications.......................................................239

Why Communicating Can Be Tough....................................................................240

Seven Powerful Principles......................................................................................242

Best Practices of Effective Project Communicators............................................244

    General Communications Management.........................................................245

    Communications Options.................................................................................246

    Tips for Email (and Other Text-Only) Communications................................250

    Status Reporting................................................................................................251

    Meetings.............................................................................................................252

    Interpersonal Skills............................................................................................253

 

18 Managing Expectations...................................................................................... 257

Value of Reviewing Stakeholder Expectation Management..............................258

Critical Aspects of Expectations...........................................................................259

    Balancing Reality and Perception....................................................................259

    Not Just Scope Management..........................................................................260

Seven Master Principles of Expectation Management.......................................264

Essential Elements of Managing Expectations...................................................266

    Project Planning and Control Elements—A Quick Review...........................266

    Leveraging Kickoff Meetings...........................................................................268

    Requirements Management—The Difference Maker....................................269

 

19 Keys to Better Project Team Performance..................................................... 277

High-Performing Teams.........................................................................................278

Ten Key Principles..................................................................................................279

Proven Techniques.................................................................................................282

Special Situations...................................................................................................285

 

20 Managing Differences......................................................................................... 291

Five Key Principles.................................................................................................292

Proven Techniques for Leading Cross-Functional Projects...............................295

Proven Techniques for Leading Cross-Cultural Projects....................................298

Proven Techniques for Leading Virtual Projects.................................................298

 

21 Managing Vendors............................................................................................... 305

First, Let’s Clarify a Few Terms.............................................................................306

Ten Proven Principles of Vendor Management..................................................306

Twelve Tips for Buyers...........................................................................................309

Seven Tips for Sellers.............................................................................................311

Twelve Key Project Management Skills for Better Vendor Management........312

Stuff You Need to Know About Contracts..........................................................313

    Conditions for a Legal Contract......................................................................313

    Key Contract Elements.....................................................................................313

    Primary Contract Types....................................................................................314

    The Impact of Each Contract Type.................................................................315

 

22 Ending a Project................................................................................................... 319

Three Key Principles...............................................................................................320

Project End Checklist—13 Important Steps........................................................320

Common Project Closing Challenges..................................................................322

Methods for Ending a Contract or a Project.......................................................323

    Terminating a Contract.....................................................................................324

    Terminating a Project........................................................................................324

 

V Accelerating the Learning Curve…Even More

 

23 Making Better Use of Microsoft Project......................................................... 329

Understand This…and It All Becomes Easier......................................................330

Need-to-Know Features........................................................................................333

New Project Best Practices....................................................................................341

Keys to Making Resource Leveling Work............................................................345

Powerful Reporting Secrets...................................................................................347

More Insights to a Better Project Schedule.........................................................353

Project 2010—Get Fired Up!.................................................................................355

 

24 When Reality Happens........................................................................................ 361

What If I’m in a Project Management “Lite” Culture?.......................................362

What If I Can’t Develop a Detailed Schedule?...................................................364

What If I Must Manage to a Hard Milestone Date?...........................................365

What If I Have Difficult Resources?......................................................................368

What Can I Do About Turnover?..........................................................................369

Tips for Managing a Selection Process................................................................370

Tips for Managing a Testing Process...................................................................376

 

25 Intriguing Project Management Concepts and Topics................................. 383

Agile Approaches...................................................................................................384

Project Management Offices................................................................................386

    Traits of Successful PMOs................................................................................388

Portfolio Project Management..............................................................................390

Governance Processes...........................................................................................391

Critical Chain Project Management......................................................................392

Web-Based Project Management and Collaboration Tools..............................395

Requirements Management Tools.......................................................................396

Mind Mapping Tools..............................................................................................398

Value of Certifications............................................................................................399

Project Management Training...............................................................................400

Purchase Info

ISBN-10: 0-13-311559-3

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-311559-8

Format: Safari PTG

This publication is not currently for sale.