You are previewing What You Need to Know about Project Management.
O'Reilly logo
What You Need to Know about Project Management

Book Description

Project management is about getting things done without spending too much or taking too long. But it often seems buried in technical jargon which makes it difficult to understand.

What You Need to Know about Project Management is here to help. It explains:

  • Why setting clear goals matters

  • How to estimate absolutely everything

  • How to get things back on track after they've gone wrong

  • How to track big projects

  • Why work/life balance matters when you're running a big project

This clear and simple approach will mean you'll never panic when faced with a big project again.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. INTRODUCTION
  3. 1. GOAL SETTING
    1. 1.1. THE BIG PROBLEM IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
    2. 1.2. THE MAGIC LINE
    3. 1.3. 1. THE GOAL OF THE PROJECT MUST BE CLEAR AND NOT VAGUE
    4. 1.4. 2. YOU MUST CONTROL CHANGES TO THE GOAL
    5. 1.5. CHANGE CONTROL – ANOTHER WAY TO LOOK AT IT
      1. 1.5.1. Big change
      2. 1.5.2. Use contingency
      3. 1.5.3. 'Suck it up'
    6. 1.6. 3. YOU MUST MAXIMISE THE WIN-CONDITIONS OF THE STAKEHOLDERS
    7. 1.7. THE DEFINITION OF A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT?
    8. 1.8. SMART GOALS
    9. 1.9. GOAL SETTING GIVES YOU THE MOTIVATION TO DO THE PROJECT
    10. 1.10. WHEN TO CONSIDER SOMETHING A PROJECT
  4. 2. ESTIMATING
    1. 2.1. NOW THAT YOU HAVE A GOAL, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PLAN
    2. 2.2. HOW TO PREDICT THE FUTURE
      1. 2.2.1. 1 Looking at What Happened on Previous Projects
      2. 2.2.2. 2 Detail in the Plan
    3. 2.3. DURATION AND WORK
    4. 2.4. THE BUDGET
    5. 2.5. ASSUMPTIONS
    6. 2.6. GANTT CHARTS
    7. 2.7. SOME USEFUL APPROXIMATIONS
    8. 2.8. CRITICAL PATH
    9. 2.9. HOW MUCH PROJECT MANAGEMENT DOES THE PROJECT NEED?
    10. 2.10. PROJECT MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGIES
    11. 2.11. PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOLS
  5. 3. SUPPLY AND DEMAND
    1. 3.1. PROJECT MANAGEMENT IS A PROBLEM IN SUPPLY AND DEMAND
    2. 3.2. 1. EVERY JOB MUST HAVE SOMEBODY TO DO IT
    3. 3.3. 2. AVAILABILITY – THE SILENT KILLER OF PROJECTS
      1. 3.3.1. Calculating Availability
    4. 3.4. DANCE CARDS
      1. 3.4.1. Figuring Out Demand
      2. 3.4.2. Figuring Out Supply
    5. 3.5. 3. PLAYING TO THE STRENGTHS (AND NOT PLAYING TO THE WEAKNESSES!) OF THE TEAM
      1. 3.5.1. Harnessing the Strengths Of the Team
    6. 3.6. WHAT YOU'VE ACHIEVED
  6. 4. MANAGING RISK
    1. 4.1. CONTINGENCY AND RISK ANALYSIS
    2. 4.2. CONTINGENCY – WHY YOU NEED IT
    3. 4.3. CONTINGENCY – HIDDEN VS. EXPLICIT/HOW MUCH AND HOW
    4. 4.4. CONTINGENCY USING WHAT THE PROJECT IS DELIVERING
    5. 4.5. CONTINGENCY USING 'WHEN'
    6. 4.6. RISK ANALYSIS
    7. 4.7. ASSESSING A PROJECT IN FIVE MINUTES
    8. 4.8. MEASURING THE PSI
    9. 4.9. INTERPRETING PSI SCORES
      1. 4.9.1. If the Goal Isn't Right, Nothing Will Be Right
      2. 4.9.2. 40 Is an Important Threshold
      3. 4.9.3. Low Scores Always Point You at the Priority Problem Areas
      4. 4.9.4. You Can Do Anything You Like on a Poorly Planned Project and It Won't Make the Blindest Bit of Difference
  7. 5. MANAGING EXPECTATIONS
    1. 5.1. MAKING COMMITMENTS TO STAKEHOLDERS
    2. 5.2. COMING UP WITH OPTIONS
      1. 5.2.1. Options Using the 'What' Factor
      2. 5.2.2. Options Using the 'When' Factor
      3. 5.2.3. Options Using the 'Work 'Factor
      4. 5.2.4. Options Using the 'Quality' Factor
    3. 5.3. NEGOTIATION USING THE FACTS
    4. 5.4. IMPOSSIBLE MISSIONS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM
    5. 5.5. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SAY YES TO IMPOSSIBLE MISSIONS
    6. 5.6. SHORTENING PROJECTS
      1. 5.6.1. 1 Basic Techniques
      2. 5.6.2. 2 Scope and Plan a Project in a Day
        1. 5.6.2.1. Scoping and Planning a Project in a Day – Why
        2. 5.6.2.2. Scoping and Planning a Project in a Day – How
        3. 5.6.2.3. Preparation
        4. 5.6.2.4. The 1-day Session
      3. 5.6.3. 3 Calculate the Value of Getting It Done Early
      4. 5.6.4. 4 Lay the Plan Out As a Strip Board
      5. 5.6.5. 5 Do a Mission Briefing for the Team and for the Stakeholders
      6. 5.6.6. 6 Make Every Day Count
      7. 5.6.7. 7 O'Connell's Law
  8. 6. TRACKING AND STATUS REPORTING
    1. 6.1. USING THE PLAN AS INSTRUMENTATION TO DRIVE THE PROJECT
    2. 6.2. MANAGING PEOPLE
    3. 6.3. USING DIFFERENT MANAGEMENT STYLES
    4. 6.4. DEALING WITH PROBLEM PEOPLE/SITUATIONS
      1. 6.4.1. Step 1
      2. 6.4.2. Step 2
      3. 6.4.3. Step 3
      4. 6.4.4. Step 4
    5. 6.5. THE PROJECT MANAGER'S DAILY ROUTINE
      1. 6.5.1. Project Meetings
      2. 6.5.2. Status Reporting
    6. 6.6. HOW YOU NEED TO DO IT – STATUS REPORTING
      1. 6.6.1. Level 1
      2. 6.6.2. Level 2
      3. 6.6.3. Level 3
    7. 6.7. PROJECT POST-MORTEMS
    8. 6.8. THE DIRTY DOZEN – THE TWELVE MOST COMMON REASONS WHY PROJECTS FAIL
    9. 6.9. RESCUING PROJECTS THAT HAVE GOTTEN INTO TROUBLE
  9. 7. RUNNING MULTIPLE PROJECTS
    1. 7.1. THE IMMUTABLE LAWS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT
    2. 7.2. PRIORITISING
    3. 7.3. DEFINING MULTIPLE PROJECTS
    4. 7.4. THE ISSUES WHEN RUNNING MULTIPLE PROJECTS
    5. 7.5. CAREERS IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
    6. 7.6. WHAT MAKES A GOOD PROJECT MANAGER?
  10. 8. HAVING A LIFE
    1. 8.1. WHY IT'S OKAY TO HAVE A LIFE
    2. 8.2. WHY BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT IS NOT THE ANSWER
    3. 8.3. EXTREME TIME MANAGEMENT
    4. 8.4. THE SECRET TO HAVING A LIFE – THE THREE FILTERS
      1. 8.4.1. Filter 1: Learn and Practise The Skill of Saying 'No' Nicely
      2. 8.4.2. Filter 2: Learn and Practice The Skill of Prioritising Viciously
      3. 8.4.3. Filter 3: Learn and Practice the Skill Of Planning
  11. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS