Project Management

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Four Key Questions to Ask About Organizational Detail

Determining how much detail you need in a work breakdown structure (WBS) isn’t a trivial task. As the project manager, you want to describe your work in sufficient detail to support accurate planning and [more…]

How to Plan a Long-Term Project

Planning and managing a long-term project presents special challenges. Often the work you perform a year or more in the future depends on the results of the work you do between now and then. Even if you [more…]

How to Determine Precedence in Your Project’s Network Diagram

To draw your project’s network diagram, you first have to decide the order of your project’s activities and that means setting precedence. Although some tasks have to be performed in a specific order, [more…]

How to Develop Your Project’s Schedule

Project management involves creating and maintaining your project’s schedule. Developing a project schedule requires the combination of activities, resources, and activity-performance sequences that gives [more…]

Project Management: How to Estimate Activity Duration

Part of creating a project plan for any project you manage involves estimating how long each activity will take to complete. A duration estimate is your best sense of how long you need to actually perform [more…]

How to Improve Activity Duration Estimates when Managing Projects

To manage a project and keep it on track, you need to produce accurate activity duration estimates during the planning process. In addition to ensuring accurate and complete data, do the following to improve [more…]

How to Improve Your Work Breakdown Structure

Project managers should strive to constantly improve a project's work breakdown structure (WBS). You increase the chances of your project’s success when your WBS is accurate and complete and when people [more…]

Identifying Unknowns when Planning Project Details

Using a work breakdown structure (WBS) helps project managers identify unknowns that may cause problems as the project progresses. Dealing with unknowns cost time and money, so identifying and anticipating [more…]

Develop Project Schedules by Analyzing Network Diagrams

Project managers develop project schedules by analyzing network diagrams — a skill that may seem overwhelming at first. Knowing how to analyze network diagrams requires a little patience and understanding [more…]

How to Create a Network Diagram

Creating a network diagram can be an involved process that begins after you've determined predecessors to your activity. Here's a simple example that can help you learn how network diagrams can be useful [more…]

How to Assess a Project Audience’s Power and Interest

In any project that you manage, your project audience will affect the project outcome. The audience’s impact on a project depends on the power it has to exercise and the interest it has in exercising that [more…]

How to Create a Work Breakdown Structure

Creating a work breakdown structure (WBS) helps you be both comprehensive and specific when managing a project: Thinking in detail is critical when planning your project, but you also need to consider [more…]

Create a Network Diagram of Your Work Plan

Planning and organizing is time well spent when managing a project. A network diagram is a flowchart that illustrates the order in which you plan to perform project activities. No matter how complex your [more…]

How to Read a Network Diagram

For the uninitiated project manager, reading a network diagram can be challenging. A network diagram helps you visualize all aspects of a project that you need to monitor. Reading a network diagram is [more…]

How to Choose Which Risks to Manage in a Project

All identified risks affect your project in some way if they occur (after all, that’s the definition of a risk). However, you may determine that anticipating and minimizing the negative consequences of [more…]

Estimating Required Work Effort

When managing a project, you need to determine how much work effort is required for a given task. Estimating work effort helps you staff your project properly. For all work packages, estimate the work [more…]

Accounting for Productivity and Efficiency in Work-Effort Estimates

As a project manager, you'll be accounting for productivity and efficiency with work-effort estimates. You know that being assigned to a project full time doesn’t mean a person can perform project work [more…]

How to Estimate Project Costs

In a world of limited funds, as a project manage you're constantly deciding how to get the most return for your investment. The more accurate your estimate of project cost is, the better able you will [more…]

How to Refine the Budget as a Project Progresses

As a project manager, you create an initial budget for your project. As your project continues you may find that your budget needs to be updated. To refine your budget as your project moves through its [more…]

Create a Project Budget Using the Top-Down Approach

There are two ways to create a budget for you project: bottom-up and top-down. You develop a top-down budget estimate by deciding how much you want the total project to cost and then dividing that total [more…]

Two Ways to Estimate Indirect Costs of a Project

Project managers can choose from two approaches when estimating the indirect costs associated with an activity: The first approach defines two different indirect rates; it’s more accurate but requires [more…]

Understanding and Managing Risk in Your Project

To manage projects effectively you need to be able to recognize and manage risk. Risk is the possibility that you may not achieve your product, schedule, or resource targets because something unexpected [more…]

How to Identify Risk Factors in Your Project

A risk factor is a situation that may give rise to one or more project risks. A risk factor itself doesn’t cause you to miss a product, schedule, or resource target. However, it increases the chances that [more…]

Identify Specific Risks Associated with Project Risk Factors

After you recognize your project’s risk factors, the next step in your project risk assessment is to identify the specific risks that may result from each of your risk factors. With this information in [more…]

Assessing the Likelihood of a Risk in Your Project

As you refine your project’s schedule, you need to assess the various risks that you have identified. Determining the likelihood of each risk will help you manage risk if the worst happens. The first step [more…]


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