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Benchmark forum participants agree about the value of training for project managers and team members—as long as it produces results. Forum respondents view training as an investment in better performance and recommend that training should focus on improving project manager best practices and competencies. As a guide, the companion volume The Superior Project Manager: Global Standards and Best Practices addresses project manager best practices and competencies and their measurement and application.
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It also serves as a guide to identify training needs and develop training programs for individuals as well as groups of project managers. Most companies in the Benchmarking Forum offer five to seven project management specific courses to project managers and project team members. All of the training programs surveyed cover project management methodologies, tools, and techniques of managing projects.
All also emphasize leadership and managing people. Some companies that employ predominately technical people feel that leadership and people management training is so important that as many as three courses out of seven convey this type of knowledge. Companies that are globally diverse offer courses in international project management. Examples of such topics are the global and cultural impacts of religion, politics, race, manners, dress, appearance, mannerisms, speech, and language. The certificate is held in high regard, is globally recognized as reflective of a valid universal approach, and signifies that the holder has a minimum level of experience and knowledge about project management.
Functions, Activities, and Best Practices 11 Best practices project managers and their companies also emphasize maintenance of project management competencies and continuing education. Some participant companies require as much as 40 hours of training each year. Standardized Methodologies, Tools, and Templates The development of standardized methodologies and tools is based on the theory that there is a body of universal best practices that apply to every large project no matter the type or location conducted.
The objective of Global Competency Standards and Best Practices is to address and identify those best practices and competencies. The employment of a standardized set of project specific best practices and methodologies enhances project speed, efficiency, and effectiveness.
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Standardized methodologies and tools make the management approach to projects predictable, increase stakeholder confidence, and paint an image of professionalism. As companies become larger and more globally diverse, predictability of project manager performance assumes increasing importance. For large global organizations standardization enables projects to be conducted in any location and cultural or organizational setting, and to deal with any technology service or task, in a predictable manner with minimal amounts of supervision and contact with central organizations.
Structured methodologies and tools increase project speed. The structured approach to managing projects as compared to a random or ad hoc approach historically has been found to be the consistently fastest way to achieve goals, particularly on large projects. Use of a predictable methodology reduces costs. Efficiency is improved by emphasizing a repeatable and predictable approach.
If the project manager is changed in the middle of the project the new project manager can step in, understand the project management process, and become effective with minimal delay. Effectiveness is improved because there is a higher probability of goal achievement. The procedural approach ensures that all steps are taken to attain project success.
Following a standardized approach improves project management predictability. Stakeholder confidence about project leadership and the manner in which the project will be run is improved. A professional image is presented, particularly when making presentations about project and portfolio op- 12 Chapter 1 tions, alternatives, concepts, opportunities, and status.
When dealing with technical and highly complex topics, the structured approach tends to encourage simplification through a step-by-step, graphical, modularized, and phased view. Improved understanding; more easily understood presentations; and better initiation, selection, planning, execution, and termination result for the project itself. Note that there is a danger in specifying the development and application of a structured methodology as a best practice. Some organizations assume that if a little methodology is good, then a lot should be even better.
The judgment of the forum is that the broad variety of projects necessitates flexibility in the management approach and that the superior project manager applies the simplest methodology necessary to achieve project goals. Most best practices project organizations have a few core documents such as the charter, project plan, variance reports, and termination checklist. A library is maintained of other optional templates and tools.
Agile Project Management Vs. Traditional Project Management
Maintenance of a Knowledge Library to Transfer and Expand the Body of Project Knowledge Best practices project organizations continuously improve project management performance by transferring knowledge from one project to the next. The knowledge library increases project speed, efficiency, and effectiveness. Time to develop the project is reduced, prior problems are avoided, and the new project builds upon historically successful approaches. Maintaining a library of information gleaned from each successive project attains these benefits.
Examples of information retained are the project charter information used to justify and select the project , the project plan, project journals, and lessons learned. Project managers use the information to select, initiate, plan, execute, and terminate new projects. Where large knowledge libraries exist, the process of planning a project is as simple as finding a prior project that is similar and building the new project on that foundation. End-to-End Project Involvement The experience of benchmarking participants concludes that one of the best ways to improve project goal achievement is to involve the project group in the project management process throughout its entire life.
Some high technology companies even send the project manager out with sales personnel during the final definition of the contract. In complicated projects, the practice increases the under- Functions, Activities, and Best Practices 13 standing of the customer as well as the sales personnel about what will be delivered and the manner in which the project will be conducted. The involvement of the project group in the initiation and selection process ensures that the project can be performed and the customer has a better understanding of the manner in which the project will proceed.
The research data conclude that early project organization involvement results in definition of the project before large amounts of money are spent and stakeholder positions become entrenched. There is better understanding of customer requirements, technical feasibility, manufacturing, and marketability of the product or service.
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Trust and commitment of stakeholders is gained early, and false starts are avoided. Response time is reduced because future changes are minimized.
The body of knowledge utilized is the same as that applied to manage any group of assets and originates in the world of financial management. The concept of portfolio management can be visualized by picturing the difference between a disorganized sporting team of independent players i. In portfolio project management, the project organization is charged with optimizing the strategic value of the portfolio of multifunctional projects. The tactic of maximizing overall portfolio financial return or goal achievement while minimizing risk attains the objective.
Organizational risk can be reduced by strategically diversifying the portfolio of projects. Organizational strategy can be more focused and prioritized as a result of ranking projects according to potential financial return or goal achievement, risk, and strategic aspects.
bonguar.wecan-group.com/8224-contacto-con.php In addition, portfolio management makes possible synergy of effort where one project can assist as well as receive help from others. Portfolio project management improves the ability of the project organization to measure performance. Before portfolio management, the tendency of organizations was to measure individual project performance independently of other projects.