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Project Management Articles

Over the years, we have written several articles for various publications. We've put them on our web site with the permission of the original publishers. We hope you enjoy them.

Published for
The "Rap" An on-site course in Manila, Philippines. While I was preparing for this course, the client looked at my business suit and commented that the participants were young and that they'd need something to jolt them awake. Hence the Rap, which I used to introduce the course. Despite this, I still got top evaluations.
A Primer on Risks Catapulse, a division of Rational Software This article describes risk management in projects and the unfortunate tendency of many project managers to act as if risk planning is all that is required. As you'll see in this article, it's not.
What do Project Managers Actually Do? Westwind Consulting I am often asked what project managers do. Sometimes, I’ve even been asked that by members of my own project team. It’s not easy to describe: My mother, when I patiently explained to her my job, replied, “That’s nice, dear.”

This article is a primer on what it is we actually do.
Requirements vs. Expectations Catapulse, a division of Rational Software Many projects that deliver the requirements are regarded poorly by the client because they did not meet the expectations, which are difficult to meet because they are usually subjective and unstated. This article describes the difference between requirements and expectations and gives some hints for dealing with the latter.
The Fear of Public Speaking allPM.com Reportedly, one of the greatest fears that people face is public speaking, apparently even more than death--although this should not be surprising: make a poor speech and you're still around to face the consequences. This article discusses techniques to overcome this fear.
Building High-Performance Teams allPM.com High-performance teams can produce productivity benefits of up to four times over bunches of people who are working on more or less the same thing. Therefore, building such teams is one of the key objectives of good project management. This article describes how to do so.
The Fourth Dimension: Justifying Information Technology Projects Project Management Institute, PM Network® Magazine. Like all projects, Information Technology (IT) projects are considered successful if they meet budget, schedule, and scope. However, projects must also deliver the benefits that were expected of them. Unfortunately, IT project benefits are poorly understood, leading to improper or missing benefits statements. The result is either that large numbers of IT projects do not deliver benefits or organizations cannot state whether or not benefits were realized.

This article identifies four requirements for a sound benefits statement: benefits are financial, they should be goals and not predictions, they differ from effects, and they cannot be intangible.
Managing for Benefits in Information Technology Projects Project Management Institute, PM Network® Magazine. Although delivering benefits is crucial for Information Technology (IT) projects, many IT project managers regard benefits as outside their responsibility. However, understanding benefits allows project managers to advise management on the disposition of the project and to manage for benefits. Advising management means defending the project against cutbacks and informing management when a project is no longer justified. Managing for benefits means improving the probability that benefits will be realized. It provides guidance in making technical decisions and in recommending for or against scope change requests, and ensures that implementation plans includes concrete steps to realize benefits.
The Benefits of Project Management Westwind Consulting It is one thing to describe the benefits of project management, quite another to measure them. How much do slipped projects cost your organization each year? That's the potential recovery from good project management. This article presents a set of steps to make that calculation. The article and an accompanying spreadsheet are available from our contact page.
When the Client Violates the Terms of the Project Agreement Westwind Consulting Suppose that a client violates the agreement you have with him on aspects of the project. For example, he has committed to a five-day turnaround to review deliverables, but his team is taking three weeks. This article presents the concept of "constructive scope changes"—a tool that you can use to deal with this type of problem.
Why Project Management Suffers Westwind Consulting Why do so many projects run into so much trouble? Why can’t companies and governments, that have had years of experience in projects, seem to get it right? After all, there are professionals, called “project managers,” who are supposed to be running projects and whose job is to keep them on budget and on schedule. Why do so many of them fail?
The Context of Project Management Westwind Consulting

Project management is management, but there are five characteristics make it unique: responsibility without authority, the source of power, project transience, you get what you get, and specialized tools and techniques.

What is a Successful Project? Westwind Consulting According to most project managers, a successful project is one that comes in on time, on budget, and in scope. That's wrong and in this article, I point out why and what a successful project really is.


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