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The Project Management Tool Kit: 100 Tips and Techniques for Getting the Job Done Right
     

The Project Management Tool Kit: 100 Tips and Techniques for Getting the Job Done Right

by Tom Kendrick
 

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Today’s projects are more challenging than ever—and project managers need all the help they can get to succeed amid shifting priorities, budget cuts, interruptions, and other obstacles. Now in its third edition, The Project Management Tool Kit is a must-have strategic partner, filled with step-by-step guidance

Overview

Today’s projects are more challenging than ever—and project managers need all the help they can get to succeed amid shifting priorities, budget cuts, interruptions, and other obstacles. Now in its third edition, The Project Management Tool Kit is a must-have strategic partner, filled with step-by-step guidance that will enable managers to get complex projects completed on time and on budget. Extensively updated and revised to reflect the latest changes to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), this results-oriented resource offers 100 powerful, practical tips and techniques in areas including:

Scope planning • Schedule development and adjustment • Cost estimating and control • Communications • Defining and using project metrics • Decision making and problem solving • Motivation and leadership • Stakeholder engagement and expectation management • Risk identification and monitoring • Software and technical tools • And much more

Complete with checklists, charts, examples, and tools for easy implementation, this handy guide will help project professionals tackle any challenge that comes their way.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814433454
Publisher:
AMACOM
Publication date:
12/19/2013
Edition description:
Third Edition
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
605,590
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Time Process

1

Activity Definition
(PMBOK® Guide 6.2)

What:   Documenting the activities resulting from the lowest level of the project work breakdown structure (WBS) and assigning an owner to each.

When:  Project planning.

Results:       Clear descriptions of all identified project work and delegation of responsibilities.

An activity is generally the smallest portion of a project used in planning, tracking, and control. In some projects, activities may be referred to as tasks, stories, work packages, or use cases, or using other descriptors.

Verify Activities

Activity definition is a key step in project plan development. After developing the work breakdown structure (WBS), verify that all work listed is necessary. Begin assembling your project activity information based on your schedule planning. If the work at the lowest level might require more than a month to complete or seems likely to consume more than 80 hours of effort, strive to decompose it further.

People often overlook work related to organizational, business, or legal requirements. Examples include preparation for project life cycle checkpoints, methodology or regulatory requirements, project and other reviews, scheduled presentations, and specific documents the project must create. Add any missing work you discover to your WBS and scope baseline.

Describe Activities

Convert the lowest-level WBS entries into project activities that can be estimated, scheduled, and tracked. Check that each represents a discrete, separate piece of work that has a starting and a stopping point. For each piece of work, capture and document any assumptions.

Describe each lowest-level work package concisely in terms of the work to be done and the task deliverable (examples: install power, edit user documentation). These verb-noun descriptions ensure clarity and make planning and tracking easier.

Identify one or more specific deliverables for each lowest-level activity. For each deliverable, specify the acceptance or test criteria. Be able to describe any requirements relating to standards, performance, or specific quality level. If no one can clearly define the deliverable for an activity, the work may be unnecessary; consider dropping it.

Assign Owners

Seek capable, motivated owners for each lowest-level activity. Look for willing volunteers for all defined work and remember that you will be responsible for all tasks for which you fail to find an owner.

For each activity, assign one and only one owner, delegating responsibility for the work. Owners will be responsible for planning, estimating, monitoring, and reporting on the activity but will not necessarily do all the work alone. In some cases, owners will lead a team doing the work, or even serve as a liaison for outsourced tasks. For each activity, identify all needed skills, staff, and any other resources and use this information to complete your responsibility analysis and required skills analysis.

Identify Milestones

In addition to project activities, which consume time and effort, project schedules also have milestones—events of negligible duration used to synchronize project work and mark significant project transitions. Uses for milestones include:

•   Project start

•   Project end

•   Completion of related parallel activities

•   Phase gates or life cycle stage transitions

•   Significant decisions, approvals, or events

•   Interfaces between multiple dependent projects

•   Other external activity dependencies and deliverables

List all project milestones.

Document Activities

Document all activities and milestones in your software scheduling tool or using some other appropriate method. Include activity names, owners, assumptions, deliverable descriptions, any identification codes (based on your WBS hierarchy, phase or iteration prioritization, or other organizing technique), and other important information. The activity list (often part of a WBS Dictionary, “burn down” list, or plan of record) serves as the foundation for project planning, risk analysis, monitoring, and control. Provide all activity owners a thorough description of their work.

Use activity definitions as a foundation for other planning processes, including activity duration estimating, activity resource estimating, activity sequencing, schedule development, cost estimating, and risk identification.

As the project planning and execution proceed, keep activity information current. Periodically review and update the activity list to reflect additional work identified during the project, particularly work added because of scope change control or uncovered in a project review.

Meet the Author

TOM KENDRICK, PMP, is a program director for UC Berkeley Extension. His experience includes almost four decades of directing projects for Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, DuPont, and Visa, Inc. He is the author of Results Without Authority and Identifying and Managing Project Risk.

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