Category: Project Management

Signoffs, what are they? Why are they important?

They (signoffs) play a very significant role in the project lifecycle and add tremendous value and leads to an overall positive outcome to your project. But like everything else, there is a time and a place to use signoffs. Using a signoff should not cause and be looked at as an unnecessary burden.

I have seen that using signoffs during a software implementation that is using a waterfall methodology is most appropriate. There are distinct phases, each phase is broken out into more granular tasks and everyone is aware going into the project on what happens next.

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A 40 hour week in 60 minutes – The Status Report

In college during a project management class the instructor was looking for 2 volunteers to act as scribes and present an executive level status report of the course being taught that day. When we met the following week each of us had a 5-page document that covered every aspect of the previous class in great detail. The detail part is a superb quality for a project manager but the instructor actually went around the class, collecting everyone’s copy of the report and promptly dropped it into the recycle bin.

The moral of the story was clear to us: Most people do not have enough time to read what is already on their desk so why clutter their “To Do” list with a 5 page thesis.

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Your Thanksgiving Day Dinner vs. Your ERP Project

Tis the season when most get excited about the holidays and gather with friends and family in celebration.  For some, the holidays are stressful.  There is planning, preparation, execution, and clean up and doing so all on top of your regular daily routines.  Oh and it isn’t always just for one holiday but for two, three, or more in a 2 month period.   I’m just going to think about Thanksgiving.  

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What a Horse has Taught Me About Leadership

For those of you that know me on a personal level, you know that I own a Thoroughbred Rescue Farm and that I also compete in Eventing in my spare time.  Being around and working with horses can teach you a lot about yourself.  You have to learn how to communicate with a 1000lb+ animal.  It first starts with building trust.  And once gained, the horse will look to you to be their leader. 

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How to Build Those Perfect Requirements

As a first step to any project, gathering and understanding requirements is vital to your success; and yet we spend little to no time on this very important process. Identifying and involving the appropriate stakeholders during the requirements phase is just as important as eliciting those perfect requirements.

I spent many years as a business analyst, and I have found that for me the most effective way to elicit requirements was to conduct requirement workshops. In this workshop, I identify specific topics on my agenda and pick stakeholders with clout, i.e. those that are well versed in their specific business units. Also, I push for using stakeholders from different business units to give the workshop the benefit of multiple perspectives.

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Why do I need a Project Manager?

As a Project Manager I am always thinking of the best way to manager and deliver my projects. There is the PMBOK and a host of other books, training courses and networking opportunities out there to better yourself at project management. In spite of the knowledge you bring to the table there is a question almost every project manager has to answer – do I really need a Project Manager?

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Project Sponsor…What?

A Project Sponsor, what is that? Who is that? Why do we need one? Will it cost me more money? These are some typical questions I often hear when I, as a Project Manager, ask the question, “Who is the Project Sponsor”. Every project has a sponsor whether they know it or not.

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