Free Resources for Project Managers - Velopi Articles, Part 2

23 April, 2014

In our last article, we provided directions to articles relevant to career development in project management. But we have also posted many more articles that provide useful tips on the nuts and bolts of project management. While many of these are tutorials explain topics that are relevant to students preparing for project management certification exams, quite a few are of interest to the practicing project manager.

For instance, agile project management has become a hot topic in recent years. Unfortunately, it has been greeted with a degree of cynicism, which might explain the title of our first article on agile: “What’s all this Fuss about Agile?” Here we explore the basis for agile methods and explain the Agile Manifesto. Then we show how agile is a legitimate project management approach in “Want to try Agile Project Management?” Then we go a stage further and introduce “Lean Principles”. Taken together with agile, these open up interesting possibilities for project managers.

No project management site would be complete without some words on the infamous triple constraint. Practicing project managers will relate to the title of our article: “Wrestling with the Project Management Triple Constraint”. We also cover those items that seem to partake in all the project management processes – “Enterprise Environmental Factors” and “Organizational Process Assets”.

We look at vision statements in “The Vision Thing” and recommend this sort of strategic thinking at the project level. We also consider project failures with a bit more sympathy than the title suggests – “Schadenfreude”. Since projects are carried out in “Organizations”, we look at different ways of modelling them. Below organizations, you find groups and teams, which means we have to consider how decisions are made in groups – “Group Decisions in Projects”.

Seeing as Velopi is very much a Project Management Institute Registered Education Provider, we have posted many tutorials on topics that are relevant to the PMP® and CAPM® exams. Fortunately, these topics are of general interest to project managers on the ground.

For instance, what project manager has not had to solve problems – “Problem Definition for Project Managers” – or has not, at some time, had to conduct a feasibility study? However, some project managers can have a very happy existence without worrying about budgets. But even these people can gain from financial management techniques – “In Software Project Management, Time is Money”. Even if you do not want to consider time as a cost, we cover the other scheduling techniques – “Gantt Charts”, the “Critical Chain Method” and we have two articles on “Taking the Critical Path”. We also warn against the temptation to throw resources at a late project in “The Dangers of Crashing”.

If you do manage a budget, then “Project Management Budgeting” and “Components of a Project Management Budget” are for you. We also outline the basics of Earned Value Management in “What is Earned Value Management?” and we look at using the technique for forecasting in “Forecasting the Earned Value Way”.

Quality is a major concern in most industries, so project managers will enjoy “Getting Projects Right”. They will also appreciate “Finding the Causes” of problems. The famous seven basic quality tools and the seven quality management and control techniques are given in two articles. We even expand one of these tools by explaining “Flowcharting the SIPOC Way”.

Dealing with people is often the most difficult part of a project manager’s role, so the three part article “Dealing with Problem People” is a useful reference, as is the two part article “Conflict Resolution for Project Managers”. In today’s multi-national, globalized world, “Project Management: Coping with Culture” offers helpful advice, as do the pieces on “Acquiring the Team”, “Who Does What, When?” and “Leading the Troops”.

Speaking of people, stakeholders are a vital group to manage and we offer two articles on this – “Project Stakeholders” and “Engaging Project Stakeholders”. We do have a piece on “Communication Channels”, but this is likely to be of interest to PMP® exam students only.

All project managers are tasked with identifying risks, but how do you set about doing this? Try “Finding Project Risks”. If you need to decide between various courses of action, based on risk, you can consider Expected Monetary Value analysis as described in “Being Decisive”. Some of you will have a background in Six Sigma, so you will welcome “Risk Analysis with Failure Mode and Effect Analysis”.

We hope project managers will find these articles useful. We also hope that they may inspire interest in our project management certification courses. For your convenience, we run our project management courses in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.  To find out more, please visit our training page or contact us directly.

By Velopi Seamus Collins

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