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Your Project Management Coach: Best Practices for Managing Projects in the Real World

Book Description

A pragmatic approach to project management

Many projects fail to deliver on time or on budget, or even to deliver a workable product that satisfies the customer. While good project management goes a long way towards ensuring success, managers often fail to follow the plans they implement. This unique guide helps you understand and successfully handle project management, once and for all. Covering practical ways to solve problems you'll typically face when managing actual projects, this pragmatic book takes you through a full project management lifecycle. You'll find ample tips, tricks, and best practices--all richly illustrated with real case studies.

Find out how to plan for risk, get wayward projects back on track, manage a whole portfolio of projects, and much more. Each topic in the book is mapped to the exam topics of the PMP Certification Exam, so PMP certification candidates can also use this book for test prep. The book's companion web site offers downloadable forms, templates, and checklists.

  • Explains project management for the real world using a pragmatic approach that includes field-tested techniques, case studies to illustrate concepts, helpful tips and tricks, and downloadable content

  • Guides you to project management success by providing friendly advice, as if you had a friend or project management consultant at your side, discussing issues

  • Explores how to run successful meetings, how to get wayward projects back on track, planning for risk, and how to manage multiple projects

Manage your next project with a personal consultant: your own copy of Your Project Management Coach: Best Practices for Managing Projects in the Real World.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Introduction
  3. Part I: Understanding Projects and Project Management
    1. Chapter 1: Getting to Know Projects
      1. What Is a Project?
      2. How Do Projects Differ from Other Work?
      3. Summary
      4. Coach's Review
    2. Chapter 2: Getting to Know Project Management
      1. What Is Project Management?
      2. Project Management Processes: Start to Finish
      3. Balancing Scope, Time, Cost, and Quality
      4. Project Management Methodologies
      5. Project Management Knowledge Areas
      6. Who Makes a Good Project Manager?
      7. Summary
      8. Coach's Review
  4. Part II: Planning a Project
    1. Chapter 3: Getting a Project Off the Ground
      1. From Idea to Project: An Overview of Project Initiation
      2. Defining a Project
      3. Identifying the Project Stakeholders
      4. Preparing the Project Proposal
      5. Getting Approval or Sign-Off
      6. Publicizing the Project Charter
      7. Assembling the Project Notebook
      8. Summary
      9. Coach's Review
    2. Chapter 4: Getting to Know a Project Plan
      1. What Work Has to Be Done?
      2. How Much Will the Project Cost?
      3. Who Will Do the Work?
      4. When Will the Project Be Done?
      5. How Will the Project Be Managed?
      6. Summary
      7. Coach's Review
    3. Chapter 5: Identifying the Work to Be Completed
      1. Understanding the Work Breakdown Structure
      2. Identifying Work
      3. Organizing Work in the WBS
      4. Specifying Task Details
      5. Summary
      6. Coach's Review
    4. Chapter 6: Estimating Work and Cost
      1. Who Should Estimate a Project?
      2. Managing the Uncertainty of Estimates
      3. Preparing Estimates
      4. Estimating Project Costs
      5. Building a Budget
      6. Summary
      7. Coach's Review
    5. Chapter 7: Planning Project Resources
      1. Documenting Roles and Responsibilities
      2. Identifying Resource Needs
      3. Summary
      4. Coach's Review
    6. Chapter 8: Building a Schedule
      1. Tools for Building a Schedule
      2. Sequencing with Dependencies
      3. Applying Date Constraints
      4. Assigning Resources to Tasks
      5. Modeling a Realistic Schedule
      6. Optimizing the Schedule
      7. Summary
      8. Coach's Review
    7. Chapter 9: Planning for Quality
      1. Defining Quality
      2. Quality Standards and Methods
      3. Developing the Quality Plan
      4. Building in Excellence with QA
      5. Verifying the Standards with QC
      6. Summary
      7. Coach's Review
    8. Chapter 10: Setting Up a Communication Plan
      1. Guidelines for Good Communication
      2. The Components of a Communication Plan
      3. Who Are the Audiences?
      4. What Do You Communicate?
      5. What's the Best Communication Method?
      6. Summary
      7. Coach's Review
    9. Chapter 11: Setting Up a Change Management Plan
      1. When to Manage Changes
      2. Who Sits on a Change Review Board
      3. The Anatomy of a Change Management Process
      4. Summary
      5. Coach's Review
    10. Chapter 12: Managing Risk
      1. Identifying Risks to a Project
      2. Analyzing the Risks
      3. Choosing the Risks to Manage
      4. Planning Risk Responses
      5. Establishing Contingencies
      6. Tracking Risks
      7. When a Risk Becomes Reality
      8. Tracking Issues
      9. Summary
      10. Coach's Review
  5. Part III: Executing a Project
    1. Chapter 13: Kicking Off a Project
      1. Preparing to Execute the Project
      2. Obtaining Resources
      3. Next Steps
      4. Summary
      5. Coach's Review
    2. Chapter 14: Taming Processes, Problems, and Conflicts
      1. Defining Project Processes
      2. Guidelines for Effectiveness
      3. Summary
      4. Coach's Review
    3. Chapter 15: The Keys to Successful Meetings
      1. Running Effective Meetings
      2. Types of Project Meetings
      3. Following Up after Meetings
      4. Summary
      5. Coach's Review
    4. Chapter 16: Transforming People Into a Team
      1. Developing a Team
      2. Evaluating People's Performance
      3. Summary
      4. Coach's Review
  6. Part IV: Monitoring and Controlling
    1. Chapter 17: Gathering Progress Information
      1. Choosing the Data to Collect
      2. Obtaining Time and Status
      3. Summary
      4. Coach's Review
    2. Chapter 18: Evaluating Progress and Performance
      1. Evaluating Progress and Variance
      2. Earned Value Analysis
      3. Evaluating Financials
      4. Summary
      5. Coach's Review
    3. Chapter 19: Getting a Plan Back on Track
      1. Ways to Correct Course
      2. Who Approves Course Corrections
      3. Getting a Project Out of Trouble
      4. Summary
      5. Coach's Review
  7. Part V: Closing the Project
    1. Chapter 20: Obtaining Acceptance and Other Wrap-Up Tasks
      1. Determining Whether the Project Is a Success
      2. Obtaining Sign-Off
      3. Documenting the Project: The Project Closeout Report
      4. Financial, Legal, and Administrative Closeout
      5. Project Transitions
      6. Summary
      7. Coach's Review
    2. Chapter 21: Documenting a Project for Posterity
      1. Gathering Information
      2. Organizing the Project Archives
      3. Storing the Project Archives
      4. Summary
      5. Coach's Review
    3. Chapter 22: Don't Forget Lessons Learned
      1. How Lessons Learned Help
      2. Gathering Lessons Learned
      3. Documenting Lessons Learned
      4. Summary
      5. Coach's Review
  8. Part VI: Taking the Next Steps in Project Management
    1. Chapter 23: Running a Project Management Office
      1. Defining PMO Functions
      2. Setting Up a PMO
      3. Summary
      4. Coach's Review
    2. Chapter 24: Managing a Portfolio of Projects
      1. What Is Project Portfolio Management?
      2. Evaluating and Prioritizing Projects for the Portfolio
      3. Tracking and Managing the Project Portfolio
      4. Summary
      5. Coach's Review
    3. Chapter 25: Selecting the Right Projects
      1. Capturing Ideas for Projects
      2. Selecting Projects
      3. Summary
      4. Coach's Review
  9. Part VII: Reference
    1. APPENDIX A: Answers
      1. Chapter 1: Getting to Know Projects
      2. Chapter 2: Getting to Know Project Management
      3. Chapter 3: Getting a Project Off the Ground
      4. Chapter 4: What Goes into a Project Plan
      5. Chapter 5: Identifying the Work to Be Completed
      6. Chapter 6: Estimating Work and Cost
      7. Chapter 7: Planning Project Resources
      8. Chapter 8: Building a Schedule
      9. Chapter 9: Planning for Quality
      10. Chapter 10: Setting Up a Communication Plan
      11. Chapter 11: Setting Up a Change Management Plan
      12. Chapter 12: Managing Risk
      13. Chapter 13: Kicking Off a Project
      14. Chapter 14: Taming Processes, Problems, and Conflicts
      15. Chapter 15: The Keys to Successful Meetings
      16. Chapter 16: Transforming People into a Team
      17. Chapter 17: Gathering Progress Information
      18. Chapter 18: Evaluating Progress and Performance
      19. Chapter 19: Getting a Plan Back on Track
      20. Chapter 20: Obtaining Acceptance and Other Wrap-Up Tasks
      21. Chapter 21: Documenting a Project for Posterity
      22. Chapter 22: Don't Forget Lessons Learned
      23. Chapter 23: Running a Project Management Office
      24. Chapter 24: Managing a Portfolio of Projects
      25. Chapter 25: Selecting the Right Projects
    2. APPENDIX B: Forms
      1. Chapter 3: Getting a Project Off the Ground
      2. Chapter 6: Estimating Work and Cost
      3. Chapter 7: Planning Project Resources
      4. Chapter 10: Setting Up a Communication Plan
      5. Chapter 11: Setting Up a Change Management Plan
      6. Chapter 12: Managing Risk
      7. Chapter 15: The Keys to Successful Meetings
      8. Chapter 17: Gathering Progress Information
      9. Chapter 18: Evaluating Progress and Performance
      10. Chapter 20: Obtaining Acceptance and Other Wrap-Up Tasks
      11. Chapter 21: Documenting a Project for Posterity
      12. Chapter 22: Don't Forget Lessons Learned
      13. Chapter 25: Selecting the Right Projects
    3. Glossary