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The Manager's Pocket Guide to Project Management

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If you want a concise distillation of all the essential tasks an effective project manager should be executing, The Manager's Pocket Guide to Project Management is the book for you. The author presents a performance support system based on the Project Management Institute's Project Management Body of Knowledge. It reflects the best practices in the emerging field of project management. The Manager's Pocket Guide to Project Management is a set of worksheets, guidelines, checklists, and other tools for use by novices to perform specific project management tasks in a step-by-step fashion. It's not necessary to read through the entire book to apply a particular tool. The Manager's Pocket Guide to Project Management allows those new to project management to quickly acquire broad knowledge and skills related to the project management processes, terminology, tools, and techniques.

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Appendix A: Potential Shortcuts for Low-Risk Projects

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Appendix B: Guidelines—When to Kill the Project

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Appendix C: Glossary of Management Terms

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Part I: Your Deliverables, Phases, and Project Life Cycle

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Part I

Part I: Your Deliverables,

Phases, and Project Life Cycle

A project is a temporary endeavor under1 taken to create a unique product or service.

Because projects by definition are temporary, project managers must make sure their projects are completed by expending only the amount of time, money, labor, and other resources that have been allocated. In addition, because projects result in unique products or services

(deliverables), projects are typically organized into specific phases which most appropriately reflect the evolution of these unique deliverables.

These project phases, taken as a whole, make up the overall life cycle of the project. Thus the deliverables of your project, the project’s phases, and your project’s life cycle are inextricably linked. Let’s look at each of these.

Project Deliverables

By deliverables we are referring to any measurable, tangible, verifiable output that must

2 be produced to complete the project. These may include interim deliverables (like scripts, system specifications, or blueprints) and finished deliverables (like the finished motion picture, software package, or com

 

Part II: Your Essential Project Actions

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Pocket Guide to Project Management

Initiating

Initiating means getting the project authorized.

It involves obtaining the organization’s commitment to the project as a whole.

Alternately, initiating may involve getting the organization’s commitment that a particular

16 project phase should be started.

Typically, the sponsor, customer, or person providing the funds gives the authorization to begin a project or phase. So, in effect, initiating means getting the “green light” from the client to begin work.

Planning

Planning is of major importance on a project because by definition the project involves

17 creating something unique. In other words, you may be heading into uncharted waters, so you should have a plan to help you get through them safely. There are two types of planning: essential planning and discretionary planning.

Essential Planning

Essential planning consists of these four

18 subprocesses:

• Defining scope (all the products and services

to be provided by the project)

• Determining required activities, resources, and

 

Part III: Your Project Management Action Tools

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Pocket Guide to Project Management

YES

NO

QUESTIONS

Have I expressed the core project concept clearly and succinctly? If no, redefine the core project description and have it checked by someone who “thinks like the sponsor.”

Does a market analysis or needs analysis show a bona fide need for the product

(deliverables) of the project? If no, consider abandoning the project or conducting an appropriate analysis that

“proves” project need.

Have we clearly expressed the costs and benefits of the project? If no, restate the description of costs and benefits and have it checked by someone who ‘thinks like the sponsor.”

Have I consulted all project stakeholders to obtain their opinions about the need and feasibility? If no, identify missing stakeholders and review the need/feasibility with them, asking for feedback.

Have we defined a project strategy in enough detail to enable the sponsors to really understand “what they’re getting into?” If no, restate the project strategy and have it checked by someone who

 

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