Project Management For Dummies®

Book description

More than two thirds of American companies use teams to execute their most important projects, making project management a highly valuable skill for advancing your career.

Project Management For Dummies, Second Edition

introduces you to the principles of successful project management and shows you how to motivate any team to gain maximum productivity.  You’ll find out how to:

  • Define your project and what you intend to accomplish

  • Identify project stakeholders and their expectations

  • Develop a project plan

  • Establish project schedules and timetables

  • Determine which skill sets and resources the project requires

  • Choose team members and define their roles

  • Launch you project and track its progress

  • Encourage peak performance

  • Conclude your project successfully

  • Complete with helpful tips on delegating, shortening schedules, and optimizing your own performance Project Management for Dummies, help you get your project, and your career, off the ground in no time.

    Table of contents

    1. Copyright
    2. About the Author
    3. Dedication
    4. Author's Acknowledgments
    5. Introduction
      1. About This Book
      2. Conventions Used in This Book
      3. What You're Not to Read
      4. Foolish Assumptions
      5. How This Book Is Organized
        1. Part I: Understanding Expectations (The Who, What, and Why of Your Project)
        2. Part II: Determining When and How Much
        3. Part III: Putting Your Team Together
        4. Part IV: Steering the Ship: Managing Your Project to Success
        5. Part V: Taking Your Project Management to the Next Level
        6. Part VI: The Part of Tens
      6. Icons Used in This Book
      7. Where to Go from Here
    6. I. Understanding Expectations (The Who, What, and Why of Your Project)
      1. In this part . . .
      2. 1. Project Management: The Key to Achieving Results
        1. What Exactly Is a Project?
        2. Defining Project Management
        3. Knowing the Project Manager's Role
          1. Looking at the project manager's tasks
          2. Staving off potential excuses
        4. Considering the Life and Times of Your Project
          1. The conceive phase: In the beginning . . .
          2. The define phase: Establish the plan
          3. The start phase: Get ready, get set
          4. The perform phase: Go!
          5. The close phase: Stop!
        5. Anticipating the Most Common Mistakes
        6. Do I Have What It Takes to Be an Effective Project Manager?
      3. 2. Clarifying What You're Trying to Accomplish — and Why
        1. Defining Your Project with a Statement of Work
        2. Looking at the Big Picture: How Your Project Fits In
          1. Figuring out why you're doing this project
            1. Identifying the initiator
            2. Recognizing other people who may benefit from your project
            3. Distinguishing the project champion
            4. Considering people who'll implement the results of your project
            5. Determining your project drivers' real expectations and needs
            6. Assuring that your project addresses people's needs
            7. Uncovering other activities that relate to your project
            8. Emphasizing the importance of your project to the organization
            9. Being exhaustive in your search for information
          2. Drawing the line: Where your project starts and stops
          3. Designing your approach to project work
          4. Specifying your project's objectives
            1. Making your objectives clear and specific
            2. Probing for all types of objectives
            3. Anticipating resistance to clearly defined objectives
        3. Marking the Boundaries
          1. Working within limitations
            1. Understanding the types of limitations
            2. Looking for project limitations
            3. Addressing limitations in your plan
          2. Dealing with needs
        4. Facing the Unknowns When Planning
      4. 3. Knowing Your Project's Audience: Involving the Right People
        1. Understanding Your Project's Audiences
        2. Developing an Audience List
          1. Ensuring your audience list is complete and up‐to‐date
          2. Making an audience list template
        3. Identifying the Drivers, Supporters, and Observers in Your Audience
          1. Deciding when to involve them
            1. Drivers
            2. Supporters
            3. Observers
          2. Using different methods to keep them involved
        4. Getting People with Sufficient Authority
      5. 4. Developing Your Game Plan: Getting from Here to There
        1. Dividing and Conquering: Working on Your Project in Manageable Chunks
          1. Thinking in detail
          2. Thinking of hierarchy
            1. Asking three key questions
            2. Making assumptions to clarify planned work
            3. Using action verbs at the lowest levels of detail
            4. Using a Work Breakdown Structure for large and small projects
          3. Dealing with special situations
            1. Representing a conditionally repeating activity
            2. Handling an activity with no obvious break points
            3. Planning a long‐term project
        2. Creating and Displaying Your Work Breakdown Structure
          1. Considering different hierarchal schemes for classifying activities
          2. Developing your WBS
            1. Top‐down approach
            2. Brainstorming approach
          3. Taking different paths to the same end
          4. Labeling your WBS entries
          5. Displaying your WBS in different formats
            1. The organization‐chart format
            2. The indented‐outline format
            3. The bubble‐chart format
          6. Improving the quality of your WBS
          7. Using templates
            1. Drawing upon previous experience
            2. Improving your WBS templates
        3. Identifying Risks While Detailing Your Activities
        4. Gathering What You Need to Know about Your Activities
    7. II. Determining When and How Much
      1. In this part . . .
      2. 5. You Want This Project Done When?
        1. Illustrating Your Work Plan with a Network Diagram
          1. Defining a network diagram's elements
            1. Event
            2. Activity
            3. Span time
          2. Drawing your network diagram
            1. Activity‐in‐the‐box approach
            2. Activity‐on‐the‐arrow approach
        2. Analyzing Your Network Diagram
          1. Reading your network diagram
          2. Interpreting your network diagram
            1. The forward pass — determining critical paths, noncritical paths, and earliest start and finish dates
            2. The backward pass — determining slack times and earliest start and finish dates
        3. Working with Your Project's Network Diagram
          1. Determining precedence
          2. Using a network diagram to analyze a simple example
        4. Developing Your Project's Schedule
          1. Taking the first steps
          2. Avoiding the pitfall of backing in to your schedule
          3. Meeting an established time constraint
          4. Illustrating ways to shorten a schedule
            1. Performing activities at the same time
            2. Devising an entirely new strategy
            3. Subdividing activities
        5. Estimating Activity Duration
          1. Determining the underlying factors
          2. Considering resource characteristics
          3. Finding sources of supporting information
          4. Improving activity span‐time estimates
        6. Displaying Your Project's Schedule
      3. 6. Establishing Whom You Need, How Much, and When
        1. Determining People's Skills and Knowledge
          1. Working with a Skills Roster
          2. Depicting skill and knowledge levels in more detail
          3. Creating the Skills Roster
          4. Reconciling ratings: When a person and her supervisor's views differ
        2. Estimating Needed Commitment
          1. Using a Human Resources Matrix
          2. Describing needed personnel
          3. Estimating required work effort
          4. Factoring in productivity, efficiency, and availability
          5. Reflecting efficiency when you use historical data
          6. Factoring efficiency into personal estimates
        3. Ensuring You Can Meet Your Resource Commitments
          1. Planning your initial allocations
          2. Resolving potential resource overloads
          3. Coordinating assignments across multiple projects
      4. 7. Planning for Other Resources and Developing the Budget
        1. Planning for Nonpersonnel Resources
        2. Making Sense of the Dollar: Project Costs and Budgets
          1. Looking at different types of project costs
          2. Developing your project budget
            1. Refining your budget as you move through your project
            2. Estimating project costs
      5. 8. Dealing with Risk and Uncertainty
        1. Defining Risk and Risk Management
        2. Focusing on Risk Factors and Risks
          1. Recognizing risk factors
          2. Identifying risks
        3. Assessing Risks: The Likelihood and Consequences
          1. Gauging the likelihood of a risk
            1. Relying on objective info
            2. Counting on personal opinions
          2. Estimating the extent of the consequences
        4. Managing Risk
          1. Choosing the risks you want to manage
          2. Developing a risk‐management strategy
          3. Communicating about risks
        5. Preparing a Risk‐Management Plan
    8. III. Putting Your Team Together
      1. In this part . . .
      2. 9. Aligning the Key Players for Your Project
        1. Defining the Organizational Environment
          1. Matrix structure
            1. Advantages of a matrix structure
            2. Disadvantages of a matrix structure
          2. Other structures
            1. Centralized structure
              1. Advantages of the centralized structure
              2. Disadvantages of the centralized structure
            2. Functional structure
              1. Advantages of the functional structure
              2. Disadvantages of the functional structure
        2. Recognizing the Key Players in a Matrix Environment
          1. Project manager
          2. Project team members
          3. Functional managers
          4. Upper management
        3. Working Successfully in a Matrix Environment
      3. 10. Defining Team Members' Roles and Responsibilities
        1. Understanding the Key Concepts
          1. Distinguishing authority, responsibility, and accountability
          2. Comparing authority and responsibility
        2. Making Project Assignments: Everything You Need to Know (And More)
          1. Deciding what to delegate
          2. Supporting your delegations of authority
          3. Delegating to achieve results
          4. Sharing responsibility
          5. Holding people accountable when they don't report to you
        3. Illustrating Relationships with a Linear Responsibility Chart
          1. Reading an LRC
          2. Developing an LRC
          3. Ensuring your chart is accurate
        4. Dealing with Micromanagement
          1. Understanding why a person micromanages
          2. Helping a micromanager gain confidence in you
          3. Working with a micromanager
      4. 11. Starting Your Team Off on the Right Foot
        1. Finalizing Your Project's Participants
          1. Confirming your team members' participation
          2. Assuring that others are on board
          3. Filling in the blanks
        2. Developing Your Team
          1. Reviewing the approved project plan
          2. Developing team and individual goals
          3. Defining team member roles
          4. Defining your team's operating processes
          5. Supporting the development of team member relationships
          6. Helping your team to become a smooth‐functioning unit
        3. Laying the Groundwork for Controlling Your Project
          1. Selecting and preparing your tracking systems
          2. Establishing schedules for reports and meetings
          3. Setting your project's baseline
        4. Announcing Your Project
        5. Laying the Groundwork for Your Post‐Project Evaluation
    9. IV. Steering the Ship: Managing Your Project to Success
      1. In this part . . .
      2. 12. Tracking Progress and Maintaining Control
        1. Controlling Your Project
        2. Establishing Project Management Information Systems
          1. Identifying the three parts of a PMIS
          2. Monitoring schedule performance
            1. Defining the data to collect
            2. Analyzing schedule performance
            3. Collecting schedule performance data
            4. Improving the accuracy of your schedule performance data
            5. Choosing a vehicle to support your schedule tracking system
          3. Monitoring work effort
            1. Analyzing work effort expended
            2. Collecting work effort data
            3. Improving the accuracy of your work effort expenditure data
            4. Choosing a vehicle to support your work effort tracking system
          4. Monitoring expenditures
            1. Analyzing expenditures
            2. Collecting expenditure data and improving its accuracy
            3. Choosing a vehicle to support your expenditure tracking system
        3. Putting Your Control Process into Action
          1. Heading off problems before they occur
          2. Formalizing your control process
          3. Identifying possible causes of delays and variances
          4. Identifying possible corrective actions
          5. Getting back on track: Rebaselining
        4. Reacting Responsibly When Changes Are Requested
          1. Responding to change requests
          2. Creeping away from scope creep
      3. 13. Keeping Everyone Informed
        1. Choosing the Appropriate Medium
          1. Just the facts: Written reports
          2. Move it along: Meetings that work
            1. Planning for a successful meeting
            2. Conducting an efficient meeting
            3. Following up with the last details
        2. Preparing a Written Project‐Progress Report
          1. Making a list (of names), checking it twice
          2. Knowing what's hot, what's not in your report
          3. Earning a Pulitzer, or at least writing an interesting report
        3. Holding Key Project Meetings
          1. Regularly scheduled team meetings
          2. Ad hoc team meetings
          3. Upper‐management progress reviews
      4. 14. Encouraging Peak Performance by Providing Effective Leadership
        1. Practicing Management and Leadership
        2. Developing Personal Power and Influence
          1. Understanding why people will do what you ask
          2. Establishing the bases of your power
        3. Creating and Sustaining Team‐Member Motivation
          1. Increasing commitment by clarifying your project's benefits
          2. Encouraging persistence by demonstrating project feasibility
          3. Letting people know how they're doing
          4. Providing rewards for work well done
      5. 15. Bringing Your Project to Closure
        1. Staying the Course to Completion
          1. Plan ahead for concluding your project
          2. Update your plans as you prepare closure activities
          3. Charge up your team for the sprint to the finish line
        2. Handling the Administrative Issues
        3. Providing a Good Transition for Team Members
        4. Conducting a Post‐Project Evaluation
          1. Preparing for the meeting throughout the project
          2. Setting the stage for the post‐project evaluation meeting
          3. Conducting the post‐project evaluation meeting
          4. Following up on the post‐project evaluation
    10. V. Taking Your Project Management to the Next Level
      1. In this part . . .
      2. 16. Managing Multiple Projects
        1. Defining a Multiple‐Project Environment
        2. Planning in a Multiple‐Project Environment
          1. Identifying project audiences
          2. Preparing the Statement of Work
          3. Developing the Work Breakdown Structure
          4. Differentiating people's roles
          5. Identifying cross‐project dependencies
          6. Heading off conflicting resource demands
          7. Addressing risks in a multiple‐project environment
        3. Starting a Project in a Multiple‐Project Setting
          1. Formalizing resource commitments
          2. Creating the project team
          3. Introducing the project to the organization
        4. Performing the Project(s) — Putting the Plan into Action
          1. Detailing for successful daily activities
          2. Reporting on progress
          3. Managing changes
        5. Taking Advantage of Special Opportunities
          1. Planning for similar activities
          2. Making use of economies of scale
      3. 17. Using Technology to Up Your Game
        1. Using Computer Software Effectively
          1. Looking at your software options
            1. Stand‐alone, specialty software
            2. Integrated project‐management software
          2. Supporting your software
          3. Introducing project‐management software into your operations
        2. Making Use of E‐Mail
          1. The pros and cons of e‐mail
          2. Using e‐mail appropriately
          3. Getting the most out of your e‐mail
        3. Utilizing Communication Technology to Support Virtual Teams
      4. 18. Improving Individual and Organizational Skills and Practices
        1. Continuing to Improve Your Skills and Knowledge
          1. Attending the appropriate formal training
            1. Program content
            2. Program presentation style and format
            3. Instructor's credibility
            4. Instructor's style
            5. Organizational credentials
          2. Working with a mentor
          3. Obtaining a professional certification
        2. Bringing Improved Project Management Practices to the Workplace
          1. Using your new skills and knowledge
          2. Sharing your new skills and knowledge
            1. Through your organization's intranet
            2. Through informal means
            3. Through your organization's project management office
      5. 19. Monitoring Project Performance with Earned Value Management
        1. Defining Earned Value Management (EVM)
          1. Understanding the EVM formulas
          2. Looking at a simple example
          3. Determining the reasons for observed variances
        2. Applying EVM to Your Project: The How‐To
        3. Calculating Earned Value
    11. VI. The Part of Tens
      1. In this part . . .
      2. 20. Ten Questions to Help You Plan Your Project
        1. What's the Purpose of Your Project?
        2. Whom Do You Need to Involve?
        3. What Results Will You Produce?
        4. What Constraints Must You Satisfy?
        5. What Assumptions Are You Making?
        6. What Work Must Be Done?
        7. When Does Each Activity Start and End?
        8. Who Will Perform the Project Work?
        9. What Other Resources Do You Need?
        10. What Can Go Wrong?
      3. 21. Ten Tips for Being a Better Project Manager
        1. Be a “Why” Person
        2. Be a “Can‐Do” Person
        3. Say What You Mean; Mean What You Say
        4. View People as Allies, Not Adversaries
        5. Respect Other People
        6. Think Big Picture
        7. Think Detail
        8. Assume Cautiously
        9. Acknowledge Good Performance
        10. Be a Manager and a Leader
      4. A. Glossary
      5. B. Combining the Techniques into Smooth Flowing Processes
        1. Preparing Your Project Plan
        2. Controlling Your Project during Performance

    Product information

    • Title: Project Management For Dummies®
    • Author(s): Stanley E. Portny
    • Release date: December 2006
    • Publisher(s): Wiley
    • ISBN: 9780470049235