TOP 3 TOOLS TO MANAGE TIME & COST IN ANY PROJECT

TIME MANAGEMENT 

Time Management is an appropriate & efficient allocation of time throughout various stages of project Life Cycle by estimating, scheduling and controlling various activities. Current economic challenges have forced companies to approach lean methodologies and drive a change in attitude. For example: In construction, contracting opportunities have rapidly declined due to the rise in competing companies. This has led to companies adopting timesaving systems for faster project outputs. Failure to constantly update project plans, lack of effective planning and not applying critical path techniques, immensely affects project performances and result. It may encourage the team to adopt shortcuts, maintaining improper documentation and ultimately decrease the quality of the project. Good time management is central to avoiding overruns.

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

A.     Resource Levelling: Using Microsoft Projects or Primavera, ongoing and upcoming resource requirements can be efficiently managed to meet project needs. It’s a powerful tool for maximizing effective resources utilization.

B.     Timesheet Register: This tool can help track involvement and actual work done by each team member and enable a degree of control to resources allocated to various activities. The can also assist in change management.

C.     Gantt Charts & Network Diagrams: These tools illustrate interrelated functions, highlight dependencies and help visualize the project over time. They can help identify overruns, adapt to changes and measure progress by determining key milestones.

COST MANAGEMENT

Cost management is a key to project management planning. Costs are derived after scheduling activities on considering the risks associated with them. A baseline budget is established to keep a track of actual cost involved. The most important aspect of cost management is determining the impact of variances and rectifying them if necessary. It involves monitoring task completion and tracking activities. Cost management plays a vital role in overall project planning, tracking and success.

 TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

A.    Performance Measurement Analysis: These techniques can help us gauge the magnitude of variances and develop key values for any work package or scheduled activity. The cumulative value of scheduled work in the project is compared with actual costs to determine variances and decide for corrective action.

B.    Cost Performance Index: If the ratio of earned value to actual value is less than 1, it indicates cost overrun for the executed activity. To forecast the project cost at completion, cumulative CPO is calculated by dividing the sum of earned values taken periodically to the individual actual costs.

C.    Cost Tracking:  This tool can help measure job performance and gives an accurate picture of necessary elements. It can help us define thresholds, allocated additional resources or suspend work quickly for effective change management. Thus, it acts as an important tool for cost control and management.

 

 

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Top 10 Characteristics of a GREAT Project Manager.

10 TRAITS OF PROJECT MANAGER

1. Command authority naturally.
In other words, they don’t need borrowed power to enlist the help of others – they just know how to do it. They are optimistic leaders who are viewed in a favorable light and are valued by the organization.

2. Possess quick sifting abilities, knowing what to note and what to ignore.
The latter is more important since there’s almost always too much data, and rarely too little. Ignoring the right things is better than trying to master extraneous data.

3. Set, observe, and re-evaluate project priorities frequently.
They focus and prioritize by handling fewer emails, attending fewer meetings, and generally limiting their data input.

4. Ask good questions and listen to stakeholders.
Great project managers don’t just go through the motions. They care about communication and the opinions of the parties involved. They are also sufficiently self-aware to know how their communication is received by those stakeholders.

5. Do not use information as a weapon or a means of control.
They communicate clearly, completely, and concisely. All the while giving others real information without fear of what they’ll do with it.

6. Adhere to predictable communication schedules
…recognizing that it’s the only deliverable early in a project cycle. All this takes place after very thorough pre-execution planning to eliminate as many variables as possible.

7. Possess domain expertise in project management as applied to a particular field.
It’s not just that they have generic project management skills; they have a deep familiarity with one or multiple fields that gives them a natural authority and solid strategic insight.

8. Exercise independent and fair consensus-building skills when conflict arises.
But they embrace only as much conflict as is absolutely necessary, neither avoiding nor seeking grounds for control of a particular project segment.

9. Cultivate and rely on extensive informal networks inside and outside the firm to solve problems that arise.
They identify any critical issues that threaten projects and handle them resolutely (vs. ignoring them).

10. Look forward to going to work!
They believe that project management is an exciting challenge that’s critical to success. The truly great ones view project management as a career and not a job, and they treat it like so by seeking additional training and education.

Source: http://99u.com

Increasing Your Perception as a Leader

Bob McGannon- Increasing Your Perception as a Leader

15 June, 2015

PMI Adelaide’s monthly member meeting had an interesting speaker this time. Bob McGannon handles a senior leadership position at IBM and moved to Australia from USA, 7 years ago. His topic- “Increasing Your Perception as a Leader” examines behaviors and situations that inhibit or enhance your effectiveness as a leader, and addresses tools and techniques to alter your approach. He believed that appointed leaders, whether in a corporate, government or other organisation type, must rely on their leadership skills to assemble and maintain viable teams and produce expected results. His presentation presented practical tools and techniques to examine and increase our leadership perception .

Key Hightlights:

  • A project leader should always highlight problems to the sponsors and be ready with a “multiple-choice” solution to address the problem inorder to make the process efficient, result-oriented and fast.
  • Project leaders always encourage risk taking, ask “why” questions, instill trust within the team members and motivate the team to achieve the desired goal.
  • Project leaders are always measured on managerial qualities but to be able to execute such tasks, they have to conduct and view things based on their leadership qualities.
  • Variables for choosing a leadership style:
  1. Being predicatable
  2. Extroverted / Introverted Style
  3. Nature of the team
  4. Stage of the project
  5. Timescale
  6. Experience of the team
  7. Being consistent
  • Usually, team members forget the clear objectives and conduct their daily activities much like playing “Wack-a-mole” and to be able to lead such members it is important for you to ask a lot of questions to analyse the situation.
  • Types of Work Styles: (Eg: Trip to Melbourne)
  1. Action-Oriented – Leaps before thinking (Awesome, let’s go fuel up and drive)
  2. Social – Wastes time (We can book a campervan, have Dj, etc)
  3. Planner – Doesn’t know when to stop (Ok, so how far is MEL? Do we have enough fuel? Is the car okay?)
  4. Questionner – Makes sure you took care of everything.

Understanding which team member fall in the above categories, is vital for your project success. If these team members are identified and assigned roles as per their tendencies, the project leader stands a better chance to achieve the deliverables.

Recommended Book: Fail Forward by John Maxwell.