Project Management Planning & Organizing

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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…]

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…]

Project Management: Key Players in a Matrix Environment

In a matrix environment, key players have critical roles in every project's success. Working in a matrix environment requires that the project manager deal with the styles, interests, and demands of more [more…]

Project Management: How to Decide What to Delegate

To be an effective project manager, you must learn to delegate — that is, get the help and support of your project’s team members. Knowing why you delegate helps you determine which tasks to turn over [more…]

Project Management: Tips for Delegating to Achieve Results

Project managers know that the purpose of delegating isn't to lighten anyone's workload; rather, it's to achieve results. Delegation always involves some risk because you have to live with the consequences [more…]

How to Develop a Responsibility Assignment Matrix

Project managers like to use a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) to define the roles of the various project team members. Despite the straightforward nature of the information included in the RAM, [more…]

How to Plan Personnel Needs for Projects

As a project manager, you must determine how many people you'll need to complete the project on time. Planning personnel needs begins with identifying whom you need and how much effort they have to invest [more…]

How to Schedule Your Project Workloads

Examining the workload of each member of the project team is the first step in making sure he or she can handle all project workloads. You can help them decide when they’ll work on each activity. If your [more…]

Project Management: How to Coordinate Overlapping Tasks

Overlapping tasks places conflicting demands on your team members. Although successfully addressing tasks that overlap can be more difficult when more than one project manager is involved, the techniques [more…]

Using the Functional Structure to Administer Projects

Project managers need tools for overseeing their projects. The functional organization structure brings together people who perform similar tasks or who use the same kinds of skills and knowledge in functional [more…]

Using a Projectized Structure to Administer Your Project

Many project managers use a projectized organization structure to administer their projects. This type of structure groups together all personnel working on a particular project. Project team members are [more…]

Using a Matrix Structure to Administer Your Project

Many project managers have adopted a matrix organization structure that combines elements of both the functional and projectized structures to facilitate the responsive and effective participation of people [more…]

How to Develop Your Project Team

Merely assigning people to tasks doesn’t create a project team. Any good project manager knows that a team is a collection of people who are committed to common goals and who depend on one another to do [more…]

How to Specify Team Member Roles and Procedures

An effective project manager needs to specify team-member roles and communication procedures. After all, nothing causes disillusionment and frustration faster on a project than bringing motivated people [more…]

How to Maintain Control of Your Project

Whether you're a novice or veteran at project management, the process of maintaining control over projects is the same: You track project-plan details and expenditures, deal with team members, and monitor [more…]


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