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Friday, October 14, 2005

Organizational Project Management Best Practices

A good reference book about Project Management is “The Portable MBA in Project Management by Eric Verzuh”. In the book Eric sites a major study that was conducted around what Project Management Best Practices look like in a typical large organization. Perhaps we can learn a few things by looking at the results.

Formal (agreed-upon) Project Management Structure

Companies that successfully implement and use project management have a formal structure in place. These organizations have repeatable project management processes, and executives of the company are engaged and accountable for the success of project management and the project’s that they sponsor.

A Repeat Project Management Process

Repeatable processes that are aligned to PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide’s Nine Knowledge areas have been shown to increase the probability of project success.

Alignment of Projects to the Organizations Strategy

Projects that aren’t aligned will probably not be given a high priority (or proper support) within the organization. Projects that are aligned will have an executive sponsor that is engaged and measured against the project’s success.

Use of Tools

Project Managers need tools to do their job just like any other profession. The tools can be project management software, templates, and other items. The tools need to be closely aligned around the organization’s project management processes.

Experienced Project Managers

This was found to be the single most important success factor in the companies studied. The skills that successful project managers exhibit were:

Experience in Project Management
Ability to see the big picture
Excellent communications skills (verbal and written)
Willingness to do what it takes
Leadership and organizational skills
Problem solving skills
Collaborative and cooperative
Positive Attitude

The book is a great Project Management reference, is well written, and contains a wealth of information that will help you to be a better project manager.

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