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Project Management Absolute Beginner’s Guide, Third Edition

Book Description

Succeed as a project manager, even if you’ve never run a project before! This book is the fastest way to master every project management task, from upfront budgeting and scheduling through execution, managing teams through closing projects, and learning from experience. Updated for the latest web-based project management tools and the newest version of PMP certification, this book will show you exactly how to get the job done, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time. Project management has never, ever been this simple!

Who knew how simple Project Management could be?

This is today’s best beginner’s guide to modern project management… simple, practical instructions for succeeding with every task you’ll need to perform! Here’s a small sample of what you’ll learn:

• Master the key skills and qualities every project manager needs

• Lead projects, don’t just “manage” them

• Avoid 15 most common mistakes new project managers make

• Learn from troubled, successful, and “recovered” projects

• Set the stage for success by effectively defining your project

• Build a usable project plan and an accurate work breakdown structure (WBS)

• Create budgets and schedules that help you manage risk

• Use powerful control and reporting techniques, including earned value management

• Smoothly manage project changes, issues, risks, deliverables, and quality

• Manage project communications and stakeholder expectations

• Organize and lead high-performance project teams

• Manage cross-functional, cross-cultural, and virtual projects

• Work successfully with vendors and Project Management Offices

• Make the most of Microsoft Project and new web-based alternatives

• Get started with agile and “critical chain” project management

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Contents at a Glance
  4. Table of Contents
  5. About the Author
  6. Dedication
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. We Want to Hear from You!
  9. Reader Services
  10. Introduction
    1. About This Book
    2. Who Should Read This Book?
    3. How This Book Is Organized
    4. Conventions Used in This Book
  11. Part I. Project Management Jumpstart
    1. 1. Project Management Overview
      1. What Is Project Management...Exactly?
      2. What Is the Value of Project Management?
      3. Why Are Projects Challenging?
      4. Growing Demand for Effective Project Managers
      5. Trends in Project Management
      6. Additional Resources
    2. 2. The Project Manager
      1. One Title, Many Roles
      2. Key Skills of Project Managers
      3. Qualities of Successful Project Managers
      4. 15 Common Mistakes of Project Managers
    3. 3. Essential Elements for Any Successful Project
      1. What Exactly Is a “Successful” Project?
      2. Learning from Troubled Projects
      3. Learning from Successful Projects
      4. Essential Project Manager Toolkit
  12. Part II. Project Planning
    1. 4. Defining a Project
      1. Setting the Stage for Success
      2. How Does Defining a Project Relate to Project Planning?
      3. Project Definition Document
      4. Project Definition Checklist
    2. 5. Planning a Project
      1. Key Project Planning Principles
      2. Important Questions Project Planning Should Answer
      3. Building a Project Plan
      4. Summary of Supplemental Project Plan Components
      5. Project Plan Checklist
    3. 6. Developing the Work Breakdown Structure
      1. What Exactly Is a WBS?
      2. Why Is the WBS Important?
      3. The Process of Building a WBS
    4. 7. Estimating the Work
      1. Next Step in the Schedule Development Process
      2. Managing the Risk, Managing the Estimates
      3. Reasons for Estimating Woes
      4. Powerful Estimating Techniques and Methods
      5. Best Practices
    5. 8. Developing the Project Schedule
      1. The Impact of the Project Schedule
      2. The Goal of the Schedule Development Process
      3. Key Inputs for Building a Schedule
      4. Creating a Schedule
    6. 9. Determining the Project Budget
      1. The Impact of the Project Budget
      2. Principles of an Effective Budget
      3. Creating a Project Budget
      4. Common Budget Challenges
  13. Part III. Project Control
    1. 10. Controlling a Project
      1. What Is Project Control?
      2. Management Fundamentals for Project Control
      3. Powerful Techniques for Project Control
      4. Performance Reporting
      5. Variance Responses
      6. Leveraging Earned Value Management Concepts
      7. Common Project Control Challenges
      8. Lessons from Project Recoveries
    2. 11. Managing Project Changes
      1. What Exactly Is a Project Change and What’s the Big Deal, Anyway?
      2. Fundamentals for Managing Project Change
      3. What Causes Unplanned Scope Changes?
      4. Essential Elements of a Project Change Control System
      5. Powerful Techniques for Minimizing Project Changes
      6. Common Project Change Control Challenges
    3. 12. Managing Project Deliverables
      1. “Managing Project Deliverables” Means What Exactly?
      2. Why Do This? It’s Too Much Work
      3. Identify, Protect, and Track: The Principles of Managing Work Products
      4. Best Practices
      5. Configuration Management Plan
      6. Common Challenges and Pitfalls
    4. 13. Managing Project Issues
      1. The Goals, Objectives, and Principles of Project Issue Management
      2. Key Features of Issue Management Systems
      3. Options for Issue Log
      4. Best Practices
      5. Some Special Situations
    5. 14. Managing Project Risks
      1. Key Risk Management Principles
      2. The Essential Process for Managing Project Risks
      3. The Common Sources of Project Risk
      4. Typical Problems
      5. Powerful Risk Control Strategies
      6. Are You Sure It’s a Risk?
    6. 15. Managing Project Quality
      1. What Is “Project Quality”?
      2. Unique Aspects of Managing Project Quality
      3. Principles of Managing Project Quality
      4. Powerful Tools and Techniques for Project Quality
      5. Powerful Quality Strategies
      6. Typical Quality-Related Challenges
  14. Part IV. Project Execution
    1. 16. Leading a Project
      1. More Than Managing
      2. Where Is Leadership Needed on a Project?
      3. Twelve Keys to Better Project Leadership
      4. Power of Servant Leadership Approach
    2. 17. Managing Project Communications
      1. What Are Project Communications?
      2. The Importance of Project Communications
      3. Why Communicating Can Be Tough
      4. Seven Powerful Principles
      5. Best Practices of Effective Project Communicators
    3. 18. Managing Expectations
      1. Value of Reviewing Stakeholder Expectation Management
      2. Critical Aspects of Expectations
      3. Seven Master Principles of Expectation Management
      4. Essential Elements of Managing Expectations
    4. 19. Keys to Better Project Team Performance
      1. High-Performing Teams
      2. Ten Key Principles
      3. Proven Techniques
      4. Special Situations
    5. 20. Managing Differences
      1. Five Key Principles
      2. Proven Techniques for Leading Cross-Functional Projects
      3. Proven Techniques for Leading Cross-Cultural Projects
      4. Proven Techniques for Leading Virtual Projects
    6. 21. Managing Vendors
      1. First, Let’s Clarify a Few Terms
      2. Ten Proven Principles of Vendor Management
      3. Twelve Tips for Buyers
      4. Seven Tips for Sellers
      5. Twelve Key Project Management Skills for Better Vendor Management
      6. Stuff You Need to Know About Contracts
    7. 22. Ending a Project
      1. Three Key Principles
      2. Project End Checklist—13 Important Steps
      3. Common Project Closing Challenges
      4. Methods for Ending a Contract or a Project
  15. Part V. Accelerating the Learning Curve...Even More
    1. 23. Making Better Use of Microsoft Project
      1. Understand This...and It All Becomes Easier
      2. Need-to-Know Features
      3. New Project Best Practices
      4. Keys to Making Resource Leveling Work
      5. Powerful Reporting Secrets
      6. More Insights to a Better Project Schedule
      7. Project 2010—Get Fired Up!
    2. 24. When Reality Happens
      1. What If I’m in a Project Management “Lite” Culture?
      2. What If I Can’t Develop a Detailed Schedule?
      3. What If I Must Manage to a Hard Milestone Date?
      4. What If I Have Difficult Resources?
      5. What Can I Do About Turnover?
      6. Tips for Managing a Selection Process
      7. Tips for Managing a Testing Process
    3. 25. Intriguing Project Management Concepts and Topics
      1. Agile Approaches
      2. Project Management Offices
      3. Portfolio Project Management
      4. Governance Processes
      5. Critical Chain Project Management
      6. Web-Based Project Management and Collaboration Tools
      7. Requirements Management Tools
      8. Mind Mapping Tools
      9. Value of Certifications
      10. Project Management Training
  16. Index
  17. Add Page