I was recently involved in a virtual discussion on the Association for Project Management (APM - UK) website around the use and differences between a Product Breakdown Structure (PBS) and a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). The resulting briefing document produced by the APM is summarised here with some additional commentary.
The concept of a WBS goes back to the development of PERT, in the USA, in the1950s (if not earlier) and is integral to the concept of Earned…Continue
Added by Patrick Weaver on September 8, 2015 at 6:22am — No Comments
A couple of conversations in the last week or so has highlighted the importance of effective communication if you want anyone to take notice of the project information you have carefully gathered and analysed. Good data, good analysis and good information are useless if no one gets the message.
Far too many project controls professionals and project managers think they have done their job once the data has been gathered, analysed and the information developed to facilitate an…Continue
Added by Patrick Weaver on August 9, 2015 at 6:21am — No Comments
If you are in the middle of preparing to take the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam you have undoubtedly read through A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition at least once and possibly even more. If you are just starting to prepare to take the PMP Exam, then you should be planning to read through the PMBOK® Guide at least a couple of times. The PMBOK® Guide should be your primary resource when studying for the PMP Exam as it is the…Continue
Added by Cornelius Fichtner on August 5, 2015 at 4:34am — No Comments
Project delivery in the IT space is a fun job. You get to do interesting things, usually no two things are exactly the same and in the process get to play with technology. Life couldn’t be better. That is until you run into some oddities. Agile methods have not been everyone’s cup of tea. Ambiguity is the enemy of most bureaucratic environments. Before committing to any…Continue
Added by Shoaib Ahmed on July 16, 2015 at 9:30pm — No Comments
On many occasion we, and others, have defined good governance as balancing the needs of stakeholders and the objectives of the organisation to achieve long-term, sustainable value for the majority, if not all, stakeholders (see: Mosaic’s governance archives). From these considerations, Dr. Lynda Bourne developed the ‘…Continue
Added by Patrick Weaver on July 12, 2015 at 2:29am — No Comments
If you are working towards or just considering taking the Project Management Professional (PMP®) exam it is certain you have concerns about taking the exam itself. Concerns that can only be answered by practicing, or what types of questions are on the exam, or do I understand the material enough to pass, and can I answer 200 questions in four hours. You can discover the answers to these concerns and others like them through taking mock exams or answering mock online exam questions before you…Continue
Added by Cornelius Fichtner on July 7, 2015 at 8:23pm — No Comments
The need for effective planning and scheduling has been recognised for well over 100 years. Projects fail when they overrun the allocated time and budget and overrunning on schedule is a great way to make sure you also overrun on cost.
The elements needed to enhance the probability of project success are also well known, starting with a skilled project manager and team, with the necessary knowledge, skills and experience. The next layer of support to build success is making sure the…Continue
Added by Patrick Weaver on June 20, 2015 at 7:23pm — No Comments
If you are just beginning or are in the middle of studying for the Project Management Professional (PMP®) Exam, you probably already know that in order to pass, you need to fully understand both A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2013 and the Project Management Institute (PMI) Code of Ethics. You have probably spent some time thinking about the many study techniques available to you. In this article, I…Continue
Added by Cornelius Fichtner on June 18, 2015 at 8:42am — No Comments
In our previous article we discussed the 7 questions that most of our PMP Exam coaching students ask us as they start out their journey. However, over the years we have identified a second set of 7 questions - the questions students SHOULD be asking us but they don’t. Here they are:
1. What’s the most important brain dump or diagram to learn?
This is an easy question! It’s Table 3-1 in the PMBOK® Guide. This…
Added by Cornelius Fichtner on May 5, 2015 at 2:26pm — No Comments
Project controls processes and project reports are full of numbers and calculations and one would think that most project stakeholders, particularly senior managers, would see and understand the numbers in the same way. Unfortunately resent research suggests this is not the case – many people have real difficulty understanding and interpreting…Continue
Added by Patrick Weaver on April 17, 2015 at 9:43pm — No Comments
When students start their Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam prep (for the first time, or again after having failed the exam), there are a number of questions that come up time and time again. In this article we share the top 7 questions that every student asks us in our role as their PMP exam coach. Whether you have a coach or not, knowing the answers will help you get started more quickly with your own exam preparations.
Let’s dive straight in with the first…
Added by Cornelius Fichtner on March 26, 2015 at 7:09pm — No Comments
One of the hardest things to do is to stop wasting money and resources on a losing proposition, emotions, biases and focusing on simple but irrelevant measures can all lead to bad decisions. A proper consideration of ‘sunk costs’ can help eliminate these ‘always wrong’ decisions.
The fact you have spent several months and $thousands on a mission to accomplish something should not influence your thinking about expending more time and money (but it frequently does)! The past is past,…Continue
Added by Patrick Weaver on March 25, 2015 at 5:41am — No Comments
As part of the process of preparing to take the Project Management Professional(PMP®) Exam you have most likely read about the use of a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM), Roles and Responsibilities, and the Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS). Each of these tools & techniques are discussed within A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2013, the…Continue
Added by Cornelius Fichtner on March 2, 2015 at 3:52pm — No Comments
Some organisations perform consistently well, others don’t! This statement is true of all aspects of an organisation’s performance including its ability to manage projects and programs effectively. Consistent high performance in the creation of value from projects and programs certainly requires the technical capabilities to manage projects effectively (see more on the strategic management of projects); but technical…Continue
Added by Patrick Weaver on February 27, 2015 at 11:21pm — No Comments
Using MS Project is a bit of a right of passage for most people that have done project management in an enterprise scale. While many have grizzled and grumbled about the application, for a long time it was really the only one that would allow you to do what you needed to get done. What made it worse was between 1998 and 2010, there had been little new in terms of functionality and user interface that made life easy. With 2010 (and 2013) with the development of Project Server, Microsoft has…Continue
Added by Shoaib Ahmed on February 9, 2015 at 6:10pm — No Comments
Are you thinking about studying for and obtaining the Project Management Institute® Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification? Are you wondering what study tools and methods others have used to successfully pass the PMI-ACP® Exam? Are you interested in reading about and learning from the exam experiences of those who have already passed the PMI-ACP Exam? Then there is a forum you should check out on The PMI-ACP Lessons…Continue
Added by Cornelius Fichtner on February 1, 2015 at 12:15pm — No Comments
As a Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holder, you must earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years in order to maintain your certification status in good standing. Not obtaining the required 60 PDUs within your certification cycle will lead to your credential being suspended. That is the last thing you want to happen, but life being what it is, you probably have family commitments, work- and social-organization…
Added by Cornelius Fichtner on January 7, 2015 at 4:12pm — No Comments
Studying for the Project Management Professional (PMP®) Exam can be a long undertaking that at times may seem overwhelming. One known effective method for studying for the PMP Exam is using flashcards. Flashcards are compact, quick and easy to use study aids that typically cover one question, formula, or tidbit of information per card. Flashcards can be used just about anywhere; waiting in line, on the bus or train, or even when you just have a few moments between meetings. In this article,…Continue
Added by Cornelius Fichtner on December 2, 2014 at 6:32pm — No Comments
Reading endless research papers for my MBA may finally be paying off. I’m finding one or two gems. This one from Frederick Herzberg is one such article. He contends that dissatisfaction and satisfaction actually contends with two different human needs. First, being the nature to avoid pain from the environment, second being our drive and…Continue
Added by Shoaib Ahmed on October 23, 2014 at 1:16am — No Comments
Projects are routinely finishing late. Whilst many have no effective schedule controls a significant proportion do outlay significant amounts of money on scheduling software and people to operate the computer systems and still finish late. The simple fact is most schedulers have no effect on the management of the projects they are working on - they are either there to comply with client specifications or to gather data for the ‘inevitable’ claims or both.
The problem with scheduling…Continue
Added by Patrick Weaver on October 1, 2014 at 5:28am — No Comments