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Monday, August 27, 2007

PMO Best Practices Checklist

Does your organization have a PMO? How is it going? If you are just starting a PMO review the checklist below and see if it makes sense for your group.

Identify the participants and their roles
Identify potential project team members as well as the major players in the user community that will test and except the final product or service. Ensure the Sponsor is engaged and has signed the Project Charter

Assign the project manager early
The Project Manager will make or break a project. Be sure the individual has the expertise to manage the project and they work well with others. Do not hesitate to look at outside sources if there is no one on staff that qualifies.

Assess the qualifications and experience of the planned project team members
Along with the project manager, assess carefully the qualifications and experience of each team member as they pertain to the specifics of this project. Keep in mind the importance of team players, and the ability to get along with others.

Conduct a project kickoff meeting
Officially start the project with a meeting of all parties involved. The project team should be introduced, the milestones reviewed with estimated completion dates, and expectations as to the level of participation, should be outlined.

Complete a detailed work plan
A preliminary work plan with major milestones should have been completed while developing the Requirements Document or Statement of Work. Now is the time to work with the project manager in identifying the tasks involved for each milestone. The work plan should list the tasks for each milestone with the estimated hours, start and stop dates, costs and responsible parties. Sample work plans and templates are available through the PMO upon request.

Establish an issues control tracking system
Establish a method by which, all issues pertaining to the project are recorded and can be reviewed regularly and tracked by the project team. All issues should eventually have a documented resolution.

Establish a regular project team review meeting schedule
Regularly scheduled project review meetings should be incorporated into the work plan. These meetings are to review the current progress of the project including the percentage of completeness of work plan tasks.

Establish a participant update meeting schedule
Periodic participant update meetings should be incorporated into the work plan. These meetings are to present the current progress of the project to upper management and major participants in the user community.

Follow your Work Plan, create and maintain an issues list, and
Track, Manage, and Obtain Approval for
ALL Scope Change
I didn't create the above checklist and don't know the original author.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tom Peters and the Dozen Truths

I have posted before about Tom Peters before, and he is someone I really admire. In reviewing some of his materials I came across the "Dozen Business Truths" below. Mr. Peters isn't about doing things the way that have always been done. I like his approach to business and it fits right in with cutting edge project management practices.

Successful Businesses' Dozen Truths: Tom Peter's 30-Year Perspective

1. Insanely Great & Quirky Talent

2. Disrespect for Tradition

3. Totally Passionate (to the Point of Irrationality) Belief in What We Are Here to Do

4. Utter Disbelief at the BS that Marks "Normal Industry Behavior"

5. A Maniacal Bias for Execution and Utter Contempt for Those Who Don't "Get It"

6. Speed Demons

7. Up or Out. (Meritocracy Is Thy Name. Sycophancy Is Thy Scourge)

8. Passionate Hatred of Bureaucracy

9. Willingness to Lead the Customer... and Take the Heat Associated Therewith. (Mantra: Satan Invented Focus Groups to Derail True Believers)

10. "Reward Excellent Failures. Punish Mediocre Successes"

11. Courage to Stand Alone on One's Record of Accomplishment Against All the Forces of Conventional Wisdom

12. A Crystal Clear Understanding of Story (Brand) Power