The importance of defining Goals and KPIs

A project manager is asked to manage a project that is supposed to improve a software. He plays around with the software and also thinks that there is room for improvement but asks for data that supports the need to improve. He also wants to know what the business impact of an improvement would be. What are the KPIs, the Key Performance Indicators, that show that the project is successful? Unfortunately, the customer does not have any data whatsoever, there is just a “feeling” that something is wrong. Also, as he does not really know what is wrong, no business value can be attached to the project.

The project manager insists that a baseline is needed but the customer replies that he was not too happy about having a project manager involved in the first place since that conversation proves that project management increases complexity and adds unnecessary steps to the project. Sounds weird? No, that’s a true story. And I have experienced this more than once. And to be completely honest, I have experienced it on both sides of the fence: As a product manager, I was often annoyed by the additional questions asked by developers and project managers, and as a developer or project manager, I have seen product managers being annoyed when I asked those questions. In fact, starting a project without clearly defined goals and KPIs is like flying without a precise destination and without instruments that let you know where you are above the clouds. Continue reading

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All new terms of the PMBOK 5th edition

It took a bit longer to go through this, but here they are, all the terms that have been added to the 5th edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge, 5th edition. There are some interesting terms in it, terms that we would have thought were already part of the project management world but that had not been added officially. And who would have thought that Emotional Intelligence finally made it into the PMBOK? 238 new terms while some terms also had to leave our beloved PMBOK. Schedule Activity had to leave the PMBOK already in the 4th edition, but what has S-Curve done to the project world that it did not make it into the 5th edition?Continue reading

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A fool with a (project management) tool is still a fool

This should not come as a surprise but most people don’t really want to hear this: You can buy and use as many project management tools as you want but if you don’t know how to manage a project, then you will still fail. Project management tools can make your project management efforts more efficient, and the scale of the projects you are able to manage can be different, but if you just rely on tech and tools, you will just fail at scale.Continue reading

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PMBOK 5th Edition

[UPDATE April 28th, 2016: There are more than 200 new terms in the 5th edition of the PMBOK, and we are adding new terms every day now!]

In 2013 already, the PMI has updated the PMBOK. Please note that not all new terms have been added yet, we are working on this right now. There have been significant changes, i.e. a huge number of terms has been added and another huge number of terms has been removed. Having said that, even if some terms are officially “outdated”, they will still be used by some project managers. In some cases, project managers have been using the new terms even before they have been added to the PMBOK which clearly shows that the PMBOK is also updated to reflect the changes in reality. Please note that we try to mention in which version of the PMBOK terms are mentioned or not mentioned so that you know for which version the term is important if you are preparing for your Project Management Professional certification or any other certification the PMI is offering.

We will also update the abbreviations/acronyms.

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Tools for Success: Concepts and Resources That Will Make Any Project a Snap

If you’re a project manager who’s working or actively looking for work, you’ve probably heard of the various methodologies of project management (PM), such as the Association for Project Management’s focus on “soft skills” or Prince2’s focus on the importance of honing in on your “hard skills.” Project Accelerator News and have both promoted these concepts at length and promote workshops at which project managers can attend and contribute. Building on these important skills, combined with intuitive management software, is a recipe for project success for most managers. Here are a few technical tools paired with soft skills that will help you to better navigate up that ladder of success.Continue reading

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Take a Project Management Refresher Course for 2013

Project managers always have room for project improvement. Whether you are new to the world of project managing or have been in the role for quite some time, take a look at some of the tips below. If you’re new to the world of management, read on and pick up a few new ideas. If you’ve been at it for a long time, think of this as a refresher course—there might be a few concepts that could escape you and keeping yourself green is always a good idea.Continue reading

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