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Agile vs. Waterfall Project Management [Project Management Fundamentals]

[fa icon="calendar'] 18-Feb-2021 12:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Project Management

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Two big concepts in project management are waterfall and agile. 

Both are methodologies for executing projects with waterfall being the traditional one and agile the newer, more modern one. 

This is another post in my project management fundamental series and we'll look at the two  approaches, their differences, advantages and disadvantages.  

Let's describe briefly the two concepts first. 

Waterfall project management is about chunking the project into linear sequential phases, with each new phase beginning only when the prior phase has been completed. It's often used in construction. 

Agile, on the other hand, is an iterative approach with less initial planning focusing on continuous releases and incorporating customer feedback with every iteration. It's often used in software development.

What Waterfall and Agile Look Like

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How to Manage Scope Creep [Project Management Fundamentals]

[fa icon="calendar'] 09-Dec-2020 14:17:26 / by Eric Weisbrot posted in Project Management

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This is a guest post by Eric Weisbrot from JW Surety Bonds.

Scope creep is a silent killer for projects. Even the most seasoned professionals can easily miss rising costs and scope since they tend to slowly grow over the life of the project. Luckily, there are many simple ways to manage scope creep before it gets out of control.

An effective project kick-off meeting is a major way you can tackle sources of scope creep. This meeting is the time to establish a realistic schedule for your project along with reasonable deliverables and outcomes. Getting this in writing in your project charter can hold both you, your client and stakeholders on both sides accountable to the scope you first agreed on.

Your first meeting is also the time to manage expectations and misunderstandings your client might have with your team’s work process. Answering questions in the beginning and ensuring mutual understanding can cut down on questions, feedback and project changes down the line.

Even so, the best project charters and most efficient kick-off meetings can only do so much. You’ll inevitably run into times where your client or other stakeholders request a change to a project that’ll change your original scope. All changes aren’t bad. Sometimes they’re necessary when legitimate unforeseen circumstances occur. They become an issue when they stack up over time or don’t bring value to the project.

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The 5 Project Management Process Groups [Project Management Fundamentals]

[fa icon="calendar'] 29-Oct-2020 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Project Management

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If you start learning to get yourself certified by the Project Management Institute, you'll encounter a very organised approach to the practice.

You'll also have to make use of the PMBOK book. One of the first things you'll learn from it is that there are five project management process groups, 10 knowledge areas and 47 processes, each with inputs, outputs, and tools & techniques. 

In this post, we'll look at the five project management process groups which I believe are key to be able to plan any project.  

This article is a continuation of my series on project management fundamentals - if you missed the previous topics, here's what we've covered before: the differences between projects and operationsprojects, programmes and portfolios, the DARCI model for stakeholder engagement, how to run an effective project kick-off meetinghow to create a project charter, how to create a work breakdown structure and the top soft skills of a project manager.

The 5 Project Management Process Groups

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The Top Soft Skills of a Project Manager [Project Management Fundamentals]

[fa icon="calendar'] 03-Sep-2020 11:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Project Management

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A good project manager needs to develop both hard skills and soft skills. 

While hard skills are all about knowledge and execution according to project management standards (e.g. knowing how to create a project charter, how to do agile etc.) and are easier to learn, soft skills need years practising and mastering. 

Some people are born with a natural ability to be great project managers, others need to cultivate their soft skills more. 

Regardless, to be a great project manager, today we will cover the top soft skills that you need. 

This is a continuation of my series on project management fundamentals - if you missed the previous topics, here's what we've covered before: the differences between projects and operations, projects, programmes and portfolios, the DARCI model for stakeholder engagement, how to run an effective project kick-off meetinghow to create a project charter and how to create a work breakdown structure.

Now to the top soft skills of a project manager.  

The Top Soft Skills of a Project Manager [Project Management Fundamentals]

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How to Create a Work Breakdown Structure [Project Management Fundamentals]

[fa icon="calendar'] 03-Jul-2020 09:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Project Management

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Today, we continue with our project management fundamentals series. 

So far we've covered the differences between projects and operations as well as those between projects, programmes and portfolios, the DARCI model for stakeholder engagement followed by how to run an effective project kick-off meeting and lastly, how to create a project charter

Now, we'll look at another crucial piece of project management and probably my favourite one as I love looking at the details and planning the execution - the work breakdown structure or WBS. 

A work breakdown structure (WBS) is basically the breakdown of all deliverables into smaller components. The goal of the WBS is to organise the project team so they can work in manageable sections. 

The Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) by the Project Management Institute (PMI)defines the WBS as a “deliverable oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team.”

The WBS starts with the end objectives and then divides them into smaller components (called work packages) again and again in terms of size, duration and responsibilities until they can't be broken down any more and until they allow to complete all the steps necessary to achieve the objectives.

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