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Project Management Essentials For Dummies, Australian and New Zealand Edition

Book Description

The fast and easy way to perfect your project management skills

Whatever your profession, effective project management skills are crucial to developing a successful business career. In Project Management Essentials For Dummies, you'll find all the information and guidance you need to plan your projects with confidence and deliver them on time. This comprehensive resource will help you unlock the keys to project management success, gain the know-how to assess your strengths and weaknesses to maximise your project management potential, find proven ways to motivate your project team, and so much more.

In today's challenging business environment, professionals are increasingly working within tight timeframes and constricted budgets, and striving to deliver projects under a range of high-pressure scenarios. Thankfully, Project Management Essentials For Dummies shows you how to put out the fires igniting your workspace and explains how easy it is to organise, estimate and schedule projects more efficiently. In no time, you'll be managing deliverables, assessing risks, maintaining communications, making the most of your resources and utilising time-saving technologies like a project management ninja!

  • Understand how to develop your plans around a sturdy structure — from start to finish

  • Discover how to select the right people and get the very best from your team

  • Recognise ways to take control and steer your projects to success

  • Get up to speed on mastering the basics of project management

  • If you're a business professional looking to take your project management skills to new heights — but don't want to get bogged down with forehead-scratching jargon and complex methodologies — Project Management Essentials For Dummies has everything you need to get up and running fast.

    Table of Contents

      1. Introduction
        1. About This Book
        2. Foolish Assumptions
        3. Icons Used in This Book
        4. Where to Go from Here
      2. Chapter 1: Project Management: The Key to Achieving Results
        1. Taking on a Project
        2. Avoiding the Pitfalls
        3. Deciding if the Job Is a Project
          1. Grasping the four control areas
          2. Recognising project diversity
        4. The Project Manager’s Role
          1. Looking at the Project Manager’s tasks
          2. Avoiding ‘shortcuts’
        5. Adopting a Project Methodology
        6. Understanding Project Stages
        7. Breaking the Project into Stages
          1. Starting the project
          2. Organising and preparing
          3. Managing delivery stages
          4. Closing the project
      3. Chapter 2: Defining the Project and Producing a Business Case
        1. Defining the Scope
          1. Managing expectations
          2. Challenging the scope
          3. Grasping the extent of scope
          4. Being clear
          5. Prioritising
        2. Producing a Business Case
          1. Getting to grips with the basics
          2. Updating the Business Case
          3. Justifying the project
          4. Understanding the justification
          5. Understanding benefits
          6. Writing the Business Case
        3. Going Back to the Scope
        4. Getting to Grips with Techniques
          1. Calculating return on investment
          2. Understanding cost-benefit analysis
      4. Chapter 3: Knowing the Stakeholders
        1. Managing Stakeholders
          1. Identifying stakeholders
          2. Analysing the stakeholders
          3. Understanding the positions
          4. Deciding action
          5. Working with stakeholders
          6. Planning the work
        2. Handling Opposition
          1. Solving the problems
          2. Focusing on the common areas
          3. Realising that you’re a threat
          4. Overriding the opposition
      5. Chapter 4: Planning with Deliverables First
        1. Seeing the Logic
          1. Thinking ‘product’ first
          2. Understanding the problems of an activity focus
        2. Knowing What a Product Is
        3. Finding Good Product Names
        4. Using a Business Project Example
          1. Identifying the products
          2. Developing a sequence
          3. Defining the products
        5. Using a Structured Product List
        6. Unleashing WFD Power
          1. Managing risk
          2. Effecting control
          3. Showing stages
          4. Progress reporting
          5. Getting a picture of the project
      6. Chapter 5: You Want This Project Done When?
        1. Moving to Activities
          1. Identifying multiple tasks
          2. Listing the activities or tasks
        2. Drawing Up an Activity Network
          1. Building a network
          2. Using the Work Flow Diagram
          3. Putting in the time durations
          4. Calculating the project’s length
        3. Understanding Float
        4. Identifying the Critical Path
          1. Watching the critical path
          2. Finding a split critical path
        5. Being Precise with Dependencies
          1. Knowing the dependency types
          2. Staying in touch with reality
        6. Working with the Network
          1. Working to meet end dates
          2. Backing into the schedule
        7. Going for Gantt
      7. Chapter 6: Looking at Resources
        1. Seeing the Need for Plans
          1. Dealing with resource conflicts
          2. Checking availability
          3. Monitoring use of staff
        2. Planning the Staff Resource
          1. Working out the needs for skills and knowledge
          2. Growing your people
          3. Fine-tuning your estimates
          4. Factoring in activity timing
          5. Thinking about productivity
        3. Determining Physical Resources
        4. Making Sense of Budgets
          1. Looking at different costs
          2. Developing the budget
          3. Updating the budget
          4. Monitoring the budget
      8. Chapter 7: Planning at Different Times and Levels
        1. Putting in the Main Structure
          1. Deciding on the stages
          2. Holding a stage gate
        2. Working with Planning Levels
          1. Drawing up new plans
          2. Keeping higher-level plans up to date
          3. Planning at more than one level at once
      9. Chapter 8: Managing the Risk
        1. Understanding Risk
        2. Working Through the Risk Cycle
          1. Identifying risk
          2. Analysing risk
          3. Deciding on risk handling
          4. Modifying plans as necessary
          5. Taking planned actions and monitoring risk
        3. Writing a Risk Management Plan
        4. Using Risk Techniques
          1. Ishikawa (fishbone) diagram
          2. Work Flow Diagram
          3. Risk checklist
          4. Decision tree
      10. Chapter 9: Organising the Project
        1. Designing the Project Structure
          1. Understanding roles
          2. Getting to grips with roles
          3. Looking at specific roles
          4. Deciding the structure
        2. Looking at the Organisation
      11. Chapter 10: Working with Teams and Specialists
        1. Working with Others
          1. Balancing the communications
          2. Working with your own teams
          3. Working with occasional staff
          4. Working with suppliers
        2. Delegating Project Assignments
      12. Chapter 11: Tracking Progress and Staying in Control
        1. Understanding Progress Control
        2. Harnessing Product Power
          1. Compiling a Delivery Checklist
          2. Getting visual
          3. Monitoring at different levels
        3. Preparing a Comms Plan
          1. Identifying communications
          2. Writing a Comms Plan
        4. Taking Action When Off Track
          1. Finding out why
          2. Thinking about what to do
          3. Taking action
          4. Monitoring the action
        5. Monitoring Work and Costs
          1. Keeping an eye on work effort
          2. Monitoring expenditure
        6. Dealing with Change
          1. Understanding types of change
          2. Looking at four control dogs
          3. Reducing scope creep
      13. Chapter 12: Closing the Project
        1. Staying the Course to Completion
          1. Thinking ahead about closure
          2. Dealing with a crash stop
        2. Planning Closure
        3. Providing a Good Transition
        4. Reviewing the Project
          1. Beginning with the end in mind
          2. Learning lessons
          3. Measuring benefits
        5. Passing Work On
      14. Chapter 13: Ten Questions to Ask Yourself for Project Planning
        1. What Are the Objectives?
        2. Who Do You Need to Involve?
        3. What Will You Produce?
        4. Are There Any Constraints?
        5. What Are the Assumptions?
        6. What Work Has to Be Done?
        7. When Will Each Activity Happen?
        8. Who Will Do the Project Work?
        9. Do You Need Other Resources?
        10. What Can Go Wrong?
      15. Index
      16. About the Authors
      17. Business & Investing
      18. Connect with Dummies