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PMP Concepts: The Workflow Diagram

PMP Concepts: The Workflow Diagram

The Workflow Diagram is a powerful technique helpful in conveying the significant activities of the project and their relationships. In one view, it presents a complex picture of how work gets done in projects. On the other hand, such a diagram can easily depict the overall project management process and provide a basis for discussions among team members.

What is Workflow Diagram?

The workflow diagram is one of the essential diagrams in PMP. It illustrates the various steps involved in a process with multiple inputs, outputs, and activities.

A workflow diagram can be used to describe any process with multiple stages. This includes project management, manufacturing, construction processes, and IT development projects.

The workflow diagram also helps to identify all possible paths through the process, their relative importance, and how they relate to one another. In addition, it allows you to determine the order of events within each activity (i.e., what needs to happen first).

To create a workflow diagram, you need to know how to use Microsoft Visio or some other software tool that can help you draw a flowchart-style diagram. Most software tools allow you to create simple flowcharts by drawing boxes and connecting lines between them.

However, suppose your company already has an established template for creating flowcharts. In that case, there's no need for you to learn new software – use the existing template!

Use of workflow Diagram

Workflow diagrams are often used in project management. Still, they are also helpful in describing any complex process with multiple steps. They can be used to document organizational processes or identify improvement opportunities within an existing process.

The primary purpose of workflow diagrams is to help people understand how things get done to identify areas where improvements could be made.

Benefits of Workflow Diagram

The Workflow Diagram is a high-level view of the project management process. The diagram shows the project management process's primary inputs, outputs, and activities. It is an overview of the entire project management process for a single project or program.

The Workflow Diagram can be used as a guide to ensure that all activities are completed in a logical sequence. It also helps to identify any missing tasks or gaps in the workflow.

The Workflow Diagram is an essential tool for Project Managers to understand the flow of information in their projects. It also provides them with an opportunity to analyze how efficiently resources are being utilized and if there are any areas where improvements can be made.

The following are some of the benefits of using the Workflow Diagrams:

  • First, it allows you to see how various activities within your project relate to each other and their relationship with other processes or departments within your organization.
  • It helps you understand where bottlenecks might occur within your project so that they can be addressed before they become significant problems.
  • You can use this diagram as a reference when creating other types of charts, such as Gantt Charts or PERT Charts.
  • It helps identify risks early on so they can be mitigated or avoided altogether.

Project Management Workflow Methodologies

Three of the most common workflow methodologies are:

  • Agile Project Management Workflow
  • PRiSM Project Management Workflow
  • Waterfall Project Management Workflow

Let's know about these three methodologies in brief:

Agile Project Management Workflow methodology

Agile project management is a methodology that focuses on the quick and regular delivery of products. It is a collaborative environment where the project team members work in short iterations to deliver working software. The process involves:

  • Cross-functional teams.
  • Frequent delivery of working software.
  • Close customer collaboration.
  • Regular feedback from customers.

Agile project management is a methodology that was developed from the concepts of Lean Manufacturing. The Agile Project Management Workflow has five steps:

Planning: The team works with the customer to determine what needs to be done, how long it will take, and what resources are required.

Implementation: Once planning is complete, the team breaks down each task into smaller chunks that can be completed within the timeframes specified in the plan.

Testing: When an iteration is complete, a short testing period takes place where users test functionality to ensure it meets expectations and functions as intended.

Deployment: Once testing is complete, new functionality can be deployed with minimal downtime or impact on other applications or services.

Monitoring: After deployment, monitoring ensures new functionality meets expectations and doesn't produce bugs or errors in other system areas.

PRiSM Project Management Workflow methodology

PRiSM is a project management methodology that uses a structured process to organize the work of a business or organization. The purpose of PRiSM is to help project managers manage projects efficiently and effectively.

PRiSM was developed by Project Management Institute (PMI) as an extension of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). PMI's goal was to create a way for organizations to streamline their project management practices.

The PRiSM methodology is based on three basic principles:

  • First is the use of a structured process to organize the work of an organization or business.
  • Integrating all aspects of the organization into one common language and set of tools.
  • A commitment to ongoing improvement through the use of metrics.

Waterfall Project Management Workflow methodology

Waterfall Project Management workflow is one of the most common project management methodologies used in today's software development environment. It is a sequential, linear, and time-boxed approach to managing projects. Therefore, the waterfall methodology is considered the most basic form of project management.

The waterfall model consists of six distinct phases:

First, requirements gathering: The requirements are collected from the client and other stakeholders using interviews, questionnaires, surveys, and workshops.

Analysis: The requirements are broken down into smaller tasks that the development team can carry out.

Design: Once all the requirements have been analyzed and broken down into smaller tasks, the design phase starts. These tasks are planned out in detail so that they can be converted into workable solutions by software engineers or programmers. This includes defining user interface designs, system interfaces, database schemas, etc. This step also includes documenting everything done so far during this phase for future reference purposes.

Implementation: In this phase, actual coding follows what was designed during the design phase above. Suppose any changes occur during execution due to new requirements being added or changed. In that case, these will also happen here before continuing with testing, etc.

Testing: This is where you test out what was built during implementation for any mistakes or errors made along the way. This is also known as testing or checking in with stakeholders to ensure everything went according to plan and that nothing was missed during implementation.

Maintenance: The final phase of the waterfall model includes delivery, maintenance, and improvement of the software. After successful completion of the test phase, the software is released for productive use.

A workflow diagram gives you more flexibility in managing your projects and tracking your progress while keeping yourself and your project partner on the same page. Projects don't always go as planned, but with a workflow diagram, we can be prepared when something goes wrong. The diagram layout is also great for explaining a complex process.


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A Guide to CAPM Certification

A Guide to CAPM Certification

Project management is a drastically growing profession. According to a survey, employers will need to fill around 2.2Mn new project-based roles each year through 2027. With the CAPM certification, you will be on the fast track to new doors.

What is the CAPM Certification?

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is an entry-level certification accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed for aspirants to learn skills necessary for the project management roles.

It can be the first step towards the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Irrespective of your career stage, the CAPM is an asset that will distinguish you from the crowd and improve your effectiveness and credibility working on/with project teams.

What Does CAPM Do?

The CAPM certification requires enthusiasts to demonstrate skills in five functional PMBOK framework processes, that are:

  • Project initiation
  • Planning and budgeting
  • Project execution
  • Monitoring and controlling
  • Project Closure

CAPM Prerequisites

Though the requirements for CAPM certification are not as strict as PMP certification; however, it does have two basic ones that aspirants must note before appearing for the credential exam.

  • Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate's degree, GED or the global equivalent)
  • 23 hours of project management education, before the time of the exam

CAPM Certification Cost

 

Component Costs

PMI Member

PMI Non-member

Exam Fee

$225

$300

PMI Membership Fee

$129/year + $10 (Application fee)

n/a

Re-exam Fee

$150

$200

Re-certification Fee

$150

$200

Renewal Fee

$225

$225

PMBOK Guide Ed 6

$49.5

$49.5

Reference Books

$50

$50

Training Cost

(Depends on location and edutech providers)

 

-

 

-

Simulation Test

$50 - $100

$50 - $100

 

Suppose you are a full-time student in an accredited degree program. In that case, you may be eligible for the student bundle, which is $257 - including a membership fee of $32 + CAPM exam fee. You can also approach faculty members who teach project management programs at your schools to see if they have a bulk purchase deal with PMI. Doing so will further save you money.

If you are employed and think the CAPM certification can be beneficial to your workforce, consider approaching your manager to check out if the company will cover the exam and training costs.

The CAPM Credential Exam

The CAPM credential exam consists of 150 questions, and the duration is three hours (180 minutes). Out of these 150 questions, 15 are pre-test questions. As mentioned in previous blogs, pre-test ones are used for testing future examination questions and not for score counting. Moreover, PMI does not release the average score required to pass the test. As the questions are scored based on their difficulty, hence it is critical for you to get these questions correct as possible.

The credential test is based on the PMBOK Guide Ed 6, and the exam topics breakdown are as follows:

 

CAPM Exam Topics

% Weightage

Introduction to Project Management

6%

Project Environment

6%

Role of the Project Manager

7%

Project Integration

9%

Project Scope

9%

Project Schedule

9%

Project Cost

8%

Project Quality

7%

Project Resource

8%

Project Communication

10%

Project Risk

8%

Project Procurement

4%

Project Stakeholder

9%

TOTAL

100%

 

Is CAPM Certification Worth It?

After knowing what CAPM certification and other details are, let's brief on how CAPM certification is worth the time and effort.

Achieving a CAPM certification opens new doors to aspirants in almost every industry vertical. Below mentioned are a few benefits of a CAPM certification:

  • Better career choices: There is a growing demand for enthusiasts with project management skills in nearly every organization. A CAPM certification will allow individuals to attain good career choices globally, as the credential is a globally renowned certification.
  • Professional and personal development: The credential is a stepping stone towards professional and personal growth among aspirants. The learning path of the CAPM certification course adopts competencies and confidence among the participants, making them aware of top-notch practices to lead and direct challenging projects.
  • Increased pay scale: Though the salary depends on several factors such as industry, country, and job positions, the CAPM certification adds value to any resume. The credential will likely increase the certification holder's salary by 25 percent.

CAPM Jobs and Salary Prospects

CAPM certification helps you get into a wide range of entry-level project management positions where the salary varies according to the roles you perform and countries. Let's see different job roles, experience levels, and corresponding salaries followed by CAPM demands in other countries.

                               

 Salary Prospects According to Different Job Roles

Job Roles

Salary (in USD)

Program Manager

$80,000

Project Control Specialist

$76,117

Project Manager

$74,997

Project Analyst

$60,440

Jr. Project Manager

$51,341

Project Coordinator

$50,827

                                           

Salary Prospects in Different Countries

Country

Salary (Per Year)

USA

USD 67K – 126K

Canada

CAD 67K – 129K

India

INR 647K – 2L

UK

GBP 40K – 80K

Australia

AUD 87K – 159K

New Zealand

NZD 69K – 87K

South Africa

SAR 324K – 428K

UAE

AED 104K – 144K

Germany

EUR 40K – 60K

                                  

                            Salary Prospects Based on Years of Experience

Years of Experience

Salary (in USD)

Less than 1 year

50K – 59K

1 – 4 years

58K – 65K

5 - 9 years

66K – 80K

10 - 19 years

82K – 105K

More than 20 years

100K – 126K

 

CAPM Exam Application Process

The CAPM exam application process begins as soon as you fill out the application form. The main points you have to remember during the process are:

  • Once you start, your application must complete within 90 days.
  • On submission, note that it takes up to 5 days to review your application for completeness.

For the entire application process, you can go through the CAPM Handbook. You can expect the following application procedure steps:

  1. Check your eligibility for the CAPM exam. The criteria to be fit for the exam are mentioned above.
  2. Fill out the application form. This step comes only if you meet the eligibility criteria. The application form is on the PMI website. Before the form submission, refer and agree with the PMI Code of Ethics and professional conduct.
  3. PMI takes nearly five days to review your application form. On successful completeness notice, you get a confirmation mail, after which you have to pay the exam fee and schedule the test.
  4. There are chances that PMI might select your application for audit to quality-check your application. If your application is selected, you will receive an email for which you've to submit copies of experience certificates, educational qualification certifications, and others as per CAPM exam requirements. The audit takes up to 5-7 business days. Once the audit is complete, you receive another mail stating whether the application is selected or rejected.
  5. This step happens when PMI doesn't select your application for an audit. In this case, you will receive a confirmation email with a code to schedule the credential test date.

Skills Required to Pass the CAPM Exam

A few skills you need to pass the CAPM credential exam are:

  • Project milestones
  • Project lifecycles
  • Meeting of deadlines
  • Quality control
  • Cost and budgeting
  • Procurement
  • Risks management
  • Setting of timelines
  • Project scope
  • Meeting of stakeholder expectations

Conclusion

The CAPM certification is the initial step towards a project management career. If you meet the eligibility prerequisites, you are fit for the credential and start your journey as a certified project manager.

 

For more information about CAPM® Certification Training courses worldwide, please visit us at https://www.icertglobal.com

Do visit our Corporate Training to know more about core offerings for enterprises in empowering their workforce.

Download our Free CAPM Brochure for more information.


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Quality Management: PMP Questions to Review

Quality Management: PMP Questions to Review

Q1. Experienced project managers always tell that accuracy and precision are not the same. Precise measurements may not be accurate and accurate measurements may not be precise. Which of the following statement about precision and accuracy is CORRECT?

  1. Precision means the values of repeated measurements are clustered and Accuracy means the measured value is close to the actual value
  2. Accuracy means the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfill requirements and Precision means a category assigned to products or services having the same functional use but different technical characteristics
  3. Precision means the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfill requirements and Accuracy means a category assigned to products or services having the same functional use but different technical characteristics
  4. Accuracy means the values of repeated measurements are clustered and Precision means the measured value is close to the actual value

Q2. A project management team came up with certain metrics such as defect frequency, failure rate, availability, and reliability. These are usually defined as an output of what process?

  1. Manage Quality
  2. Define Scope
  3. Plan Quality Management
  4. Collect Requirements

Q3. Which of these statements is accurate regarding quality management?

  1. Project requirements are turned into customer needs, wants, and expectations
  2. Quality and grade are essentially the same
  3. Modern quality management complements project management
  4. Overworking the team to meet requirements is not likely to increase attrition and rework

Q4. Which of these tools is NOT a part of the Seven Basic Tools of Quality?

  1. Scatter Diagram
  2. Control Chart
  3. Flowcharting
  4. Statistical Sampling

Q5. A control chart is used to determine whether or not a process is stable or has predictable performance. When a process is within acceptable limits, the process need not be adjusted. What are the upper and lower control limits usually set as?

  1. + / – 2 sigma
  2. + / – 3 sigma
  3. + / – 1 sigma
  4. + / – 6 sigma

Q6. A project manager used a control chart to determine whether a process was stable or not, and to determine if its performance was predictable. He determined the upper and lower specification limits based on the contractual requirements. A set of eighteen data points were taken. Of these, 8 consecutive data points were above the mean. What can you say about such a process?

  1. A process is considered as being within control if less than half the data points are above or below the mean. Hence the process is within control.
  2. A process is considered as out of control if five consecutive data points are above or below the mean. Hence the process is out of control.
  3. A process is considered as out of control if seven consecutive data points are above or below the mean. Hence the process is out of control.
  4. A process is considered as out of control if six consecutive data points are above or below the mean. Hence the process is within control.

Q7. Which quality control technique or tool should be used when trying to determine the cause of a major defect?

  1. Control Chart
  2. Fishbone diagram
  3. Pareto Chart
  4. Histogram

Q8. The term ____________ indicates the degree to which a particular product or service meets requirements, while ____________ indicates a category or rank used to distinguish that item from other similar items.

  1. Grade, quality
  2. Quality, grade
  3. Quality, standard
  4. Grade, standard

Q9. You work at a software company that authors Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for chemical companies. Prior to releasing the MSDS to the company you have created a list of items to be reviewed to see that they appear on the document such as: chemical name, CAS#, protection required, what to do an emergency, etc. This is an example of what type of tool?

  1. Quality Metrics
  2. Process Improvement Plan
  3. Quality Management Plan
  4. Checklist

Q10. The process of auditing the quality requirements and the results from quality control measurements to ensure appropriate quality standards and operational definitions are used is the definition of: _____________

  1. Scope validation
  2. Quality planning
  3. Quality control
  4. Quality assurance

Q11. A good quality audit should be:

  1. informal and internal
  2. structured and independent
  3. structured and internal
  4. informal and independent

Q12. In order to keep costs low, a project management team decided to apply statistical sampling while inspecting some of the work products. They decided to select 10 out of 50 engineering drawings for inspection. During which process should the sample frequency and sample size be determined?

  1. Control Quality
  2. Collect Requirements
  3. Plan Quality Management
  4. Manage Quality

Q13. You are in the execution stage of your project and you have been informed that “corporate” will be sending in a team of consultants to review whether your project activities comply with the company’s and PMI’s policies, standards, and procedures. This is an example of?

  1. Recommended Corrective Actions
  2. Organizational Process Assets
  3. Process Analysis
  4. Quality Audit

Q14. Select the best answer: Continuous process improvement reduces ___________ and ___________ , which allows processes to operate at increased levels of efficiency and effectiveness.

  1. Departmental and organization processes
  2. Process and policy overhead.
  3. Waste and non-value added activities.
  4. Cost and scope

Q15. A project manager used a control chart to determine whether a process was stable or not, and to determine if its performance was predictable. He determined the upper and lower specification limits based on the contractual requirements. A set of eighteen data points were taken. Of these, 8 consecutive data points were above the mean. What can you say about such a process?

  1. A process is considered as out of control if five consecutive data points are above or below the mean. Hence the process is out of control.
  2. A process is considered as out of control if seven consecutive data points are above or below the mean. Hence the process is out of control.
  3. A process is considered as out of control if six consecutive data points are above or below the mean. Hence the process is within control.
  4. A process is considered as being within control if less than half the data points are above or below the mean. Hence the process is within control.

Q16. A team of engineers is reviewing a scatter diagram to determine how the changes in two variables in a new type of automobile tire are related. The closer points on the diagram are to a diagonal line, ______________ .

  1. the less likely a control group will be required
  2. the more likely a control group will be required
  3. the less likely they are to be related
  4. the more closely they are related

Q17. On a control chart, if six consecutive plot points are above the mean, then what can be established about the process?

  1. The process is out of control
  2. Nothing can be established
  3. The process is in control
  4. The process will be out of control after plotting the seventh point.

Q18. Which of the following tools would be most appropriate for collecting data to study the symptoms of a problem?

  1. Checklist
  2. Histogram
  3. Check Sheet
  4. Control Chart

Q19. The cost of scrap rework, in a product quality cost system, is categorized as a:

  1. Appraisal costs
  2. External failure costs
  3. Prevention costs
  4. Internal failure costs

Q20. The four categories of costs associated with product quality costs are:

  1. External failure, internal failure, prevention, and inspection
  2. External failure, internal failure, repair, and appraisal
  3. Warranty, product liability, training, and appraisal
  4. External failure, internal failure, prevention, and appraisal

Q21. Which of the following quality costs are failure costs?

  1. Pre-dispatch inspection costs
  2. Customer satisfaction survey costs
  3. Product recall costs
  4. Equipment calibration costs

Q22. In which of the following control chart the control limits will vary from subgroup to subgroup?

  1. Xbar-R Chart
  2. c Chart
  3. p Chart
  4. np Chart

Q23. If there are seven data points either above or below the mean, but still within the control limits, what should you do?

  1. Reinspect the product
  2. Ignore it and continue to measure the process
  3. Find the cause because this means that the process is out of control
  4. Reject the product

Q24. Two variables, x and y, are related. Variable x increases or decreases with y. Which of the following tools could best be used to graphically show this relationship?

  1. Histogram
  2. Scatter Plot
  3. Control Charts
  4. Control Charts

Q25. Which of these quality gurus introduced the concept of Control Charts?

  1. Crosby
  2. Taguchi
  3. Juran
  4. Shewhart

Q26. Control Limits are the same are Specifications Limits.

  1. True
  2. False

Q27. What does COQ stand for?

  1. Cost of Quality
  2. Carry on Quality
  3. Cost Oriented Quality
  4. Corporate Quality

 


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Top 50 Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam Questions for 2022 

Top 50 Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam Questions for 2022 

PMP certification is undoubtedly the forever's market trend. We can say the demand for PMP professionals will not fade, not any time soon at least. They always stay on demand, taking into account any industry vertical. Hence the course is beneficial both for your career advancement and future.

For people who are new to PMP, let's brush up the concepts of its and salary trend, that will make you decide why to take up PMP exam and succeed in it.

What is PMP Certification?

One of the most prestigious and globally known professional qualifications for project managers is the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. A US non-profit professional organization, Project Management Institute (PMI), offers this certification.

This well-known credential is essential for those who wish to advance their career for a bright future. A central point of being a certified PMP professional is the cash flow. Across the industry, the average salary of certified project managers is significantly higher.

This has consistently been the highest-paid IT certification that will continue to grow shortly. The accreditation also improves job security. Some organizations value the core competencies learned through PMP during downtime. Therefore, the credential aids in fighting a potential lay-off better than a non-certified one.

 In this blog, we will see top 50 PMP exam questions with answers for 2022.

Top 50 PMP Questions with Answers for 2022

Q1. A manager and the engineering head discuss a change to a major work package. After the meeting, manger contacts you and tells you to complete the paperwork to make the change. This is an example of:

A) Management planning

B) A change control system

C) Management attention to scope management

D) A project expediter position

Answer – D

Q2. Which of the following can't be a part of Group creativity techniques?

A) Affinity diagram

B) Vendor Bid Analysis

C) Nominal group technique

D) Brainstorming

Answer – B

Q3. What is a program?

A) A collection of subprojects having a common customer

B) A collection of projects which have common resources

C) A collection of sub-projects having a common goal

D) A very large and complex project

Answer – B

Q4. You are a new project manager who has never managed a project before. It would be best in this situation to rely on _____ during planning in order to improve your chance of success.

A) Historical information

B) Stakeholder analysis

C) Configuration management

D) Your intuition and training

Answer – A

Q5. A project has a 60 percent chance of a $100,000 profit and a 40 percent of a US $100,000 loss. The Expected Monetary Value (EMV) for the project is:

A) $40,000 loss

B) $100,000 profit

C) $60,000 loss

D) $20,000 profit

Answer – D

Q6. Cost baseline is the output of which of the following?

A) Determine budget

B) Estimate costs

C) Plan cost management

D) Control costs

Answer – A

Q7. What is the SPI of a software development project where EV = $6,000, PV = $5,000, AC = $4,000?

A) 0.73

B) 1.2

C) 0.8

D) 1

Answer – B

Q8. During project execution, a team member comes to the project manager as he is not sure of what work he needs to accomplish on the project. Which of the following documents contain detailed descriptions of work packages?

A) Scope management plan

B) Project scope statement

C) WBS dictionary

D) Activity list

Answer – C

Q9. What is meant by RACI?

A) Responsible, Accountable, Confirm, Inform

B) Recommended, Accountable, Consulted, Inform

C) Responsible, Accountant, Consulted, Inform

D) Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Inform

Answer – D

Q10. All of the following should be included in a plan resource management except:

A) Resource identification

B) Project interfaces

C) Obtaining resources

D) Responsibilities and roles

Answer – C

Q11. The person or group providing the resources and support for the project, program or portfolio and is also responsible for enabling success is called:

A) Sponsor

B) Client

C) Senior management

D) Project manager

Answer – A

Q12. What is known as project scope?

A) It is the combination of the cost and the schedule which is required to complete the project work.

B) It is the description of the required work that is necessary to complete the project.

C) t is the design of experiments that are used to complete the project work.

D) It is the description of the required work and resources that are needed to complete the project.

Answer – B

Q13. Which of the following comprehends the project life cycle?

A) Milestones

B) Phases

C) Estimates

D) Activities

Answer – B

Q14. Which of the following is not valid according to McGreger’s Theory X?

A) Employees seek to be directed

B) Employees avoid work

C) Employees are self-centered

D) Employees are self-motivated

Answer – D

Q15. You are finding it difficult to evaluate the exact cost impact of risk. You should evaluate on:

A) Numerical basis

B) Quantitative basis

C) Economic basis

D) Qualitative basis

Answer – D

Q16. What is meant by portfolio management?

A) Project decision making

B) The centralized management of one or more portfolios to achieve strategic   objectives

C) Managing various contents of the project file

D) Managing the levels of the levels of financial authority to facilitate

Answer – A

Q17. A project manager is quantifying risk for her project. She needs expert opinion in this process and related experts are spread over to different geographical locations. How can she continue?

A) Determine options for recommended corrective action

B) Using Monte Carlo analysis online

C) Applying the Delphi Technique

D) Applying the critical path method

Answer – C

Q18. What is the role of the change control board?

A) Assessing the impact of the change on Project objectives

B) Defining requirements for the customer

C) Doing performance appraisal for team members involved in implementing changes

D) Encouraging team members to raise more change requests

Answer – A

Q19. All of the following are always inputs to the risk management process EXCEPT:

A) Historical information

B) Lessons learned

C) Work breakdown structure

D) Project status reports

Answer – D

Q20. A project manager is in the middle of creating a request for proposal (RFP). What part of the procurement process is he/she in?

A) Control procurements

B) Close procurements

C) Plan procurements

D) Conduct procurements

Answer – C

Q21. You want to group your project stakeholders based on their authority and involvement in the project. Which of the following is appropriate model for this?

A) Power/Influence grid

B) Salience model

C) Power/Interest grid

D) Influence/Impact grid

Answer – A

Q22. Which of the following a resource histogram shows but a responsibility assignment matrix does not?

A) Interrelationship

B) Time

C) Activities

D) Activities assigned to

Answer – B

Q23. Which of the following represents a set of conditions that should be satisfied before deliverables are accepted?

A) Deliverables list

B) Test plan

C) Acceptance criteria

D) Punch list

Answer – C

Q24. Which of the following can be used for Trend Analysis?

A) Control charts

B) Cause and effect diagram

C) Pareto chart

D) Run chart

Answer – D

Q25. The best project organization structure for a small but highly technical project will be:

A) Mixed organization

B) Functional organization

C) Matrix organization

D) Projectized organization

Answer – B

Q26. What is the acceptable range used for determining the realistic activity cost estimates?

A) Level of accuracy

B) Cost management plan

C) Level of precision

D) Units of measure

Answer – A

Q27. If a risk has a 20 percent chance of happening in a given month, and the project is expected to last five months, what is the probability that the risk event will occur during the fourth month of the project?

A) 20%

B) 60%

C) > 1%

D) 80%

Answer – A

Q28. Your construction project was damaged by an earthquake. Your contractor says that he cannot fulfil the terms of the contract due to a specific clause you both had signed the contract. He is referring to the:

A) Contract obligation terms

B) Fixed price clause

C) Force majeure clause

D) None of the above

Answer – C

Q29. You are the project manager of a software project team consisting of 2 analysts, 4 software developers and 3 test engineers. One new test engineer will join the team in two weeks. What will be the number of communication channels after new test engineer joins the team?

A) 50

B) 45

C) 36

D) 55

Answer – D

Q30. Being the project manager of the ABC Project, you have allowed subsequent project phase to begin even before the predecessor phase completes. Which of the following relates to this scenario?

A) Crashing

B) Fast-tracking

C) Risk management

D) Tandem scheduling

Answer – B

Q31. You find that activity in your project is very risky. How will you estimate the duration of this activity when your team member has given the optimistic, most likely and pessimistic duration for the activity?

A) Using variance analysis

B) Using sensitivity analysis

C) Using PERT formula

D) Using performance reports

Answer – C

Q32. Being the project manager on a STP project, you decide to respond to an identified risk by contracting out work. Which of the following will lead to the minimum risk of the buyer?

A) T&M

B) CPPC

C) CPFF

D) FFP

Answer – D

Q33. Which of the following is used to display sensitivity analysis?

A) Tornado diagram

B) Data flow diagram

C) Sensitivity diagram

D) Decision tree

Answer – A

Q34. How will a Pareto Chart help in a project with a lot of identified action items?

A) Understand the trend of deviations

B) Prioritization

C) Complete all activities on time

D) Identify root causes

Answer – B

Q35. Web interfaces to scheduling and project management software, as well as electronic communications management, are examples of:

A) Internal management systems (IMS)

B) Project records databases

C) Internal communications systems (ICS)

D) Project management information systems (PMIS)

Answer – D

Q36. The project manager meets with the project team to review lessons learned from previous projects. In what activity is the team involved?

A) Performance management

B) Scope identification

C) Risk identification

D) Project team status meeting

Answer – C

Q37. During which risk management process is a determination to transfer a risk made?

A) Identify Risks

B) Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis

C) Plan Risk Response

D) Monitor and Control Risks

Answer – C

Q38. The activity relationship between the start of cleaning and the start of digging is represented by which of the following?

A) Start-to-Finish

B) Start-to-Start

C) Finish-to-Start

D) Finish-to-Finish

Answer – B

Q39. What is the company-wide policy which mandates all project quality referred to as?

A) Quality policy

B) ISO 9000

C) Quality planning

D) Quality control

Answer – A

Q40. What is the Japanese method of modern quality management called, which relies on continuous small improvements involving everyone from the top management to the lowest level worker in the organization?

A) Deming Cycle

B) PDCA

C) Kanban

D) Kaizen

Answer – D

Q41. WBS is an excellent and most effective tool that is used for tracking of:

A) Project Resources

B) Project Schedule

C) Project Scope

D) Project Risks

Answer – C

Q42. Schedule Variance is:

A) A negative value means that the project will likely be delayed

B) This always affects the CV

C) A positive value means that the project will likely be delayed

D) This never affects the CV

Answer – A

Q43. If SPI = 0.75 and CPI = 0.8, then which of the following reports is correct?

A) SV = $3750

B) CV = $4000

C) TCPI = 0.8

D) The project likely needs more money than planned to complete

Answer – D

Q44. Which is NOT true about tools and techniques of Perform Integrated Change Control?

A) They include project plan updates

B) They include change control meetings

C) A change control board (CCB) is responsible for meeting and reviewing the change requests and approving, rejecting, or other disposition of those changes

D) They include expert judgment

Answer – A

Q45. Parametric estimating entails:

A) Estimating the cost of the present project based on the actual cost of a prior similar project

B) Defining project life cycle cost and duration parameters

C) Creating a cost estimate for project work by using a statistical link between relevant historical data and other variables

D) Creating independent cost estimates for each work package and combining them to determine the final project cost

Answer – B

Q46. What will be the BAC of your project, if it has a CPI of 0.80 and an EAC of $ 1265825?

A) $1,000,000.00

B) $1,012,660.00

C) $1,582,281.00

D) None of the above

Answer – B

Q47. What are the three ‘I’s’ of stakeholders?

A) Interest, influence, and involvement

B) Interest, influence, and impact

C) Interest, influence, and importance

D) Importance, inquiry, and influence

Answer – B

Q48. What is the role of the change control board?

A) Doing performance appraisal for team members involved in implementing changes

B) Encouraging team members to raise more change requests

C) Assessing the impact of the change on Project objectives

D) Defining requirements for the customer

Answer – C

Q49. In which of theory, Douglas McGregor has defined two models of worker behavior?

A) Expectancy Theory

B) Theory Z

C) Theory X and Theory Y

D) Contingency Theory

Answer – C

Q50. A road project was planned to be completed in 8 months. Calculate the SV when the earned value information at the end of six months is given as: BAC = $8000, AC = $12000, % complete = 100%.

A) $4,000

B) $2,000

C) $8,000

D) $6,000

Answer – B

 

 

iCert Global helps you with every step towards being a certified PMP professional. Besides these PMP exam questions and answers, we have come up with a curriculum that will aid you in cracking the exam with flying colors.

Hope you found this blog informative. Find out our other training courses in the project management field on our website:

https://www.icertglobal.com/

Please do leave queries, if any,  in the comment section. We will get back to you.

Happy Learning!

 


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Trend Analysis: PMP Topics to Know

Trend Analysis: PMP Topics to Know

Trend analysis helps you pay attention to the trends in your project so you can be aware of anything that might affect its outcome. For example, suppose your sales team struggles to meet sales goals. In that case, you'll want to understand why before drawing conclusions about your product and adjusting your approach.

Trend analysis allows project managers to understand their projects' status better to make course correction decisions. Trend analysis, sometimes called trend spotting, can be described as identifying trends and patterns in data.

What is Trend Analysis in Project Management?

Trend analysis is a technique used in project management to track changes in the project's environment. It helps to identify the project's current situation and make decisions based on it.

Trend analysis uses data from past experiences to predict future outcomes and make more informed decisions. It can be used for short-term and long-term projects and provide valuable insights into the current state of affairs.

Trend analysis helps you identify whether your project is on track or off track compared to its original plan. If your project is off track, trend analysis allows you to make informed decisions about bringing it back on track or whether you should adjust your strategy altogether if that's not possible.

Trends are changes in the overall direction of a data set. They can be positive or negative but rarely go back and forth. When you see a trend, it means that something has changed in your organization and will change again.

You might see an increase in sales revenue or the number of defects in production. The next step is to determine what caused those changes so that you can begin to predict future changes based on past performance.

Trends are significant because they tell us what's happening with our customers and employees, how their needs are changing, and how we need to adjust our strategy accordingly.

For example: If sales are up but profit margins are down, we need to find ways to cut costs to improve our bottom line. If customer complaints are up, we need to either improve our customer service or lose customers altogether (if there aren't any other options). If employee turnover is increasing month-over-month, we need to raise wages or find new ways to retain employees, such as improving benefits packages or instituting mentoring programs for new hires.

When is Trend Analysis Used?

Trend Analysis is the process of monitoring and identifying trends in project data. It's a powerful tool for identifying patterns, spotting issues or opportunities, and planning for the future.

Trend analysis is used to spot changes in the project environment so that you can plan and make adjustments accordingly. This can be done by comparing the results from different periods, such as comparing costs from one month to another or comparing estimates with actuals over several weeks or months.

Trend Analysis can help you identify where problems might occur, allowing you to take action before they become an issue. It can also help to highlight opportunities that may not have been obvious before.

Steps Perform in Trend Analysis

In the project management field, trend analysis is a way to study the behavior of variables over time. This is a helpful tool for project managers because it helps them understand how things are changing and whether changes are likely to continue or end. It can also help predict what might happen in the future.

Identify the Trends: Identify the trend that you want to analyze. You can choose any trend as per your requirement. For example, suppose you are working on a project related to mobile app development. In that case, you can analyze the movements of mobile app development in 2022-23.

Collect Data: Collect data related to your identified trend using various sources such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, etc.

Analyze the Data: After collecting data from various sources, analyze them and find their patterns and trends. You can use Excel or any other tool to analyze the data. The main objective of this step is to find out what's happening in the market and how it's changing over time.

Trend analysis is used in several different ways in project management. One way is by looking at trends in the performance of specific tasks or resources. Project managers can use this information to make adjustments to improve performance and meet deadlines.

Another way that trend analysis is used is by studying cost or schedule variance trends. If expenses exceed estimates or schedules slip, this can be an early warning sign that your project may have problems ahead. By tracking these trends over time, you can better prepare yourself for issues before they arise so that they don't affect your bottom line too much or cause delays that will affect your delivery date.

Conclusion

Trend analysis is a valuable tool in any discipline and can be very impactful in project management. By viewing trends in project manager performance and industry data, executives can gain valuable insights into where the business may be headed and how best to prepare for the future. They can plan more effectively and act on their findings to drive the business strategy forward.

Furthermore, trend analysis helps managers lead their teams in the right direction by providing them with a long-term vision of where their employee performance is headed.


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Project Management Professional (PMP) -The Deal of the Day!

Project Management Professional (PMP) -The Deal of the Day!

With pandemic disrupting technologies and industries for the past 2 years, 2022 is striving to evolve from the trouble by beginning the year with a positive start, captivating a lot of technology attention. These emerging techs augment the way organizations do business and take technology innovation to the future and beyond.

Professional certification comes to the rescue in this competitive and digitally-driven world, wherein people are offering their best to prove excellence and stand out.

Up-skilling your career and keeping updated with the latest tech trends in the industry verticals, these credentials help you radiate brighter in the crowd and get you appointed without a second thought.

Today, we will see why PMP is popular and a great deal in modern businesses.

What is PMP?

The Project Management Professional (PMP) is a globally-renowned project management certification accredited by Project Management Institute (PMI). The certificate indicates the experience, education, skill and competency needed to direct and lead projects.

With predictive, agile and hybrid methods, PMP certification proves project leadership experience, high-gearing careers for project leaders across different industry verticals and assisting companies in hiring individuals to work smarter and better.

According to pmi.org, there are more than 1Mn PMP certificate holders globally. Each year through 2027, employers require 2.2Mn new project-based roles.

Significance of PMP

Like a proverb, "Everything has a reason," project professionals in more than 200 countries have a reason for holding PMP certification. It offered real value in professional credibility, in-depth knowledge and maximized earning ability.

It's not only about earning higher salaries across the arc of a career but also about getting credit for what you know and sharpening your skills along with pushing you ahead to excel.

What's more, some recruiters need their project managers to be certified PMP professionals or offer to hire preference in the field of study. Research shows this can assist organizations to be more productive competitive and meet their targets at a swift turnaround time.

Additional studies prove that, on average, 40% of projects are successful, while over 20% fail across different industry verticals. Project success rates tend to be linked with the qualification and experience of project managers, and PMP certification is observed as an indication of success.

In companies where at least 1/3rd of project managers are PMP certified managers, more projects are completed within time, budget and scope. This makes it the most recognized project management certification across the globe.

Who Can Take PMP Certification?

PMP certification is best suited for experienced project managers or leads with significant experience in project management and leadership. However, the certification is not limited to a particular domain and can be leveraged across many sectors.

The following professionals are best suited for the PMP certification course:

  • QA managers
  • PMO office representatives
  • Managers
  • Coordinators
  • Off-site & on-site coordinators
  • Program managers

What is the Prerequisite for PMP?

If you are a skillful project manager responsible for project delivery, directing and leading multi-functional teams, then the PMP is for you. Before taking the PMP certification exam, you must know the test requirements.

Participants must have one among two of the following:

  • 4-year degree
  • Project leading and directing hours: 4,500
  • Project management education hours: 35

OR

  • High school diploma, affiliated degree or any other secondary degree
  • Project leading and directing hours: 7,500
  • Project management education hours: 35

Performance Domain of PMP Certification

Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK) is leveraged as the guide for candidates. The examination validates the aspirants on tasks out of 5 performance domains (till 2019):

  • Project initialization (13%)

Initiating any project, sharing ideas, creating project goals, or being part of project management.

  • Project planning (24%)

Converting ideas into proper work structure, developing work breakdown structure (WBS), creating blueprints, resource planning, developing, and communication scheme.

  • Project execution (31%)

Execution of project scope within a constrained period, problem resolutions, quality management, budgeting, and risk management.

  • Project controlling and management (25%)

Project tracking, reporting the project progress and changes needed, performance analysis, issue fixing, resource management, shareholder management, expense management and many more.

  • Project completion (7%)

Project delivery, reviewing, documentation, finalizing and final report management. 4500 or 7500-hours of experience can include all the knowledge you have worked for in the project management process, and not necessary to have the designation 'Project Manager'. Moreover, you are not required to have experience in all the 5-performance domains for each project. In PMI's PMP handbook, experience doesn't necessarily have to be paid and be in a professional setting.

What is PMP Exam Format 2022?

The PMP examination has advanced to meet today's market demands of the profession, companies, and you. According to Exam Content Online (ECO) 2021, PMP targets 3 domains for you to gain a competitive edge and prove your talent, they are:

PEOPLE (42% of the exam)

It emphasizes the soft skills you require for the efficient leading of a project team. The people section questions include conflict management, leading and building teams, mentoring, virtual team support, and other related subjects.

PROCESS (50% of the exam)

It strengthens the technical features for the successful management of projects. This section tests your knowledge on the approach of seeing a project through completion and asks about budget management, scheduling, handling of project modifications, and identifying best practices for the project.

BUSINESS (8% of the exam)

It demonstrates the connection between project and company strategy. The exam deals with more business-related subjects such as compliance, value delivery, and company change support in this section.

Approximately half of the content includes predictive project management methods, while the rest consists of hybrid or Agile methodologies.

The PMP exam format is:

  • Total questions: 180
  • Exam duration: 230 minutes (3 hours 50 minutes)
  • Exam break: two 10-minutes break for online-based tests. No scheduled breaks for offline mode exam.
  • Question type: combination of MCQs, multiple responses, match the following, hotspot and limited fill-in-the-blank.

How to Get PMP Certification?

1. Meet PMP Certification Prerequisites

Before you take the PMP certification exam, ensure that you are eligible. The eligible criteria or PMP prerequisites are mentioned earlier in this blog. Kindly go through the points to have a brief understanding.

You will want to keep track of your projects and training record information such as roles, responsibilities and training period so that you have the required document handy. The training requirements can be waived off if you are a CAPM professional.

The certificate's validity is 3 years, and you are required to spend 60 hours during that period on professional development programs to maintain it. Else, you will have to sign up to retake the exam.

2. Application

Create a PMI account and start with your application for the PMP examination. This will require sharing basic personal details such as qualification background and project details you worked on. Once you are approved, you can schedule a test by paying the exam fee.

3. Preparation

This is when you prepare for the exam, either yourself or through coursework. Several training centers suggest the spending of 60 to 120-hours for studying. However, this can even take several months, depending on how frequently to study. Therefore, it is always advisable to create a timetable, scheduling your time for learning.

4. Take the Test

You can attend the exam at the nearest test-conducting place or online. The exam duration is less than 4-hours.

5. Maintain the Certificate

As said in the first point, the validity of the PMP certificate is 3-years, and you will have to spend 60 hours on development programs to maintain it.

Should You Get PMP Certification?

As a PMP professional, you can work in any industry vertical. While it requires to complete a few steps to take hold of it, PMP can be a robust tool. Here are some pros and cons of PMP. As pros outweigh the cons, it will justify why you should get PMP or why it is worthy?

PMP Certification Pros

1. Industry Recognition

PMP is a globally recognized certificate. According to several reports, as the number of certified project managers in a company increases, the profit or success rate of the project also increases.

Also, organizations recognize that certified managers are better at project completion on time and within the budget. If you are about to start a career in project management, then this certificate will make up for your lack of experience.

2. Networking Opportunities

According to PMI, there are 16.5Mn PMP-certified professionals around the globe. When you sign in as a PMI member, congratulations you become part of PMI. It holds frequent member meetings in major cities.

These are arranged to assist the members in earning Professional Development Units (PDUs) - needed to fulfil Continuous Credential Requirements (CCRs). Benefits of networking - by constant meetings, one could learn about the new project manager job opportunities.

The meetings allow specific time for job adverts. There are several online and offline mode communities where the PMPs communicate. Hence, we could say these communities can help create a professional network.

3. Adds Value to Resume

There is a wide array of professional certificates that you can obtain for career advancement. But PMP always shines brighter than the rest, making it the most valuable certification.

Anyone can be applicable for project managers, but recruiters who are trying to fill in a position of project managers always prioritize profiles with PMP certifications over the one which doesn't.

Recruiters often find the potential assessment process daunting, with numerous applications reaching their days each day. The PMP certification leads, as it is one of the most targeted methods to shortlist the candidates.

Some companies make it mandatory to have a PMP certification before applying, making the skimming process much more manageable. The certification can be worth it if you plan to advance in your current company. Moreover, a certified manager can handle an exhausting project management interview much better than a non-certified individual.

4. Higher Pay-scale

Another central point of being a certified PMP professional is the cash flow. Across the industry, the average salary of certified project managers is significantly higher.

This has consistently been the highest-paid IT certification that will continue to grow shortly. The accreditation also improves job security. Some organizations value the core competencies learned through PMP during downtime. Therefore, the credential aids in fighting a potential lay-off better than a non-certified one.

 

PMP salary in 2022 – Glassdoor.com

Country

Salary

US

US $88,907

India

INR 15,000,000

UK

GBP 46,201

Singapore

SG $6,200

Canada

CAD 83,811

Germany

EUR 62,000

Australia

AU $1,20,000

 

 

5. Validates Job Dedications

There are specific requirements needed to be fulfilled before being a PMP certified professional. If you are an associate, you need a working experience of 60 months to be eligible.

If a person has a Bachelor's degree, his work experience must be 36 months to be eligible. Since the certification has high standards, clearing the exam takes dedication to the job.

It highlights that you are serious about making project management your ultimate moto and long-term career. A workforce that invests in learning is a significant company asset.

The certification indicates your drive to enhance professional potential, knowledge, and credentials. It helps you to command respect among co-workers and team members.

PMP Certification Cons

1. Time-consuming Factor

Several people complain about the cost of the time it needs to be a certified PMP professional. As the PMP examination is strenuous, you will need to allot some daily time to be proficient in the PMBoK Guide. Hence a part of the time goes into exam preparation.

But, that’s not all - you will have to read lots of other guides, join preparatory sessions and attend sample tests as a part of PMP preparation. These tasks do take a lot of time. Since most candidates are currently employed, they feel even more frustrated.

Moreover, PMP applications require the documentation of all projects that you perform. Writing even the minutest detail can consume more time than you think it would. Since PMI conducts an audit process to indicate application authenticity.

2. Expensive

The cost of PMP certification is less for PMI members than for non-PMI members. Though PMI membership seems expensive, other benefits associated with it seem to outweigh. Hence, it would be apt to become a PMI member before registering for the exam.

Taking into account the worst scenario where you failed in your first attempt and decided to retake the exam. The cost of retaking the test is quite expensive. So, it's always better to clear it in the first attempt by seeking help from PMP experts to cut down the unnecessary re-examination costs.

Other costs include PMP training classes, preparation resource materials, and sample questions, apart from test costs.

3. Strenuous

Most people argue that the PMP Certification examination is the hardest. The strenuous task is not only the concept memory but also the practical applications. But the cracking of exams truly depends on each individual. Some may take 2 to 3 months, while others can't get certified even after preparing for years.

If the exam was a piece of cake, then there won't be any global value as it has now. This certification's prosperity lies in the rigid standards that are needed to clear and maintain the PMP.

 

 

About US

For more information on how iCert Global can help you to achieve your Project Management Certification goals, please visit our website.

https://www.icertglobal.com/

We provide instructor-led classroom and online training across the globe, followed by Corporate Training for enterprise workforce development.

 


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Business Value vs. Business Case: PMP Topics to Learn

Business Value vs. Business Case: PMP Topics to Learn

Now that you have learned the basic knowledge of Project Management from the previous blogs, it's time to understand the associated terms and concepts. One of them is a Business Value vs. Business Case. These two phrases do not sound as similar.

However, they have a lot in common as well. Both of these phrases compare costs and benefits. The difference is value is a long-term outcome. In contrast, a business case justifies how a project achieves the set result.

The PMP certification is the most widely-recognized project management certification in the world. However, it's also an expensive exam that can take months to prepare for, so it's important to know what you're getting into before committing to it.

What is the business value?

Business value is the importance of a project to the business. It's measured by the amount of money a project will bring in or save for the company and its impact on its operating efficiency.

PMI defines business value as "the positive impact a project or program has on the organization's strategic goals, key performance indicators, and other important measures of success."

The Components of a Business Value

The Business Value is usually not part of the business case. Still, it should be considered to understand why we are doing a project. The business case is a document that describes the business value and provides justification for how it's measured.

The components of a business value are:

Business goals: The goal is to achieve something important to the organization. It might be increasing sales, reducing costs, or improving customer satisfaction.

Benefits: Benefits are the result of achieving your goal. For example, benefits could include increased revenue and market share if your goal is increasing sales.

Costs: are anything that can be measured in money — such as salaries, materials, and supplies — and any other expenses incurred during a project.

In addition, they include indirect costs such as lost production time due to illness or injuries on the job, travel expenses when traveling for company meetings, etc.

Risks: Risks adversely affect the company if your project doesn't work out as planned.

What is Business Case?

Business cases justify how much money should be invested in a project. These documents include cost-benefit analyses and other information that support the decision whether or not to invest in a project.

The business case's purpose is to ensure that any risks are mitigated by identifying potential problems before starting work on the project.

The Components of a Business Case

A business case is a document that describes the reasons, goals, and objectives behind a project. It explains how a project will achieve its aims, which it will benefit, and why it is worth investing in.

A business case should be carefully planned, organized, and written so that it can be easily understood by everyone involved with the project.

It should also contain detailed information about costs, timeframes, and resources required to complete the project.

The components of a business case concerning PMP are:

Executive Summary: This section overviews the project or initiative and its goals and objectives. It also explains how each goal/objective will be achieved by implementing related tasks. This section can be prepared by someone who is well versed with the subject matter or by someone who has been assigned this task by management (e.g., Project Manager).

The Problem Statement: A problem statement describes what needs to be done to resolve an issue or problem within your organization. It identifies the problems that need solving and outlines how they could be resolved.

The Solution Statement: The solution statement includes all possible solutions for resolving each problem identified within your organization. It should consist of pros and cons for each key and any estimated costs associated with implementing each one.

The Value Proposition: The value proposition identifies how each potential solution will benefit your company or organization by reducing costs or increasing revenues over time.

Business Value Analysis: A business value analysis (BVA) identifies how an investment will improve company performance through increased revenue, decreased expenses, or enhanced competitive advantage. It quantifies the financial impact of implementing a solution on a company's bottom line.

Business Case vs. Business Value

The difference between these terms is that a business case focuses on the financial aspect of a new or existing project. In contrast, a business value focuses on how the project will help your organization achieve its goals.

The business case is a set of metrics to justify a proposed project or initiative. It includes the projected cost savings from implementing a project, along with any costs associated with implementing it.

Business Value is the actual benefit that a project delivers to an organization. It is measured in terms of how well it meets stakeholder needs and expectations, how efficiently it uses resources, and how successfully it meets objectives.

The difference between the business case and business value may seem subtle at first glance, but they are not interchangeable concepts. Project managers should understand both concepts and be able to explain them clearly when their superiors or client stakeholders ask during proposal development meetings, status reviews, or other discussions about a project's viability.

In PMP certification, you need to understand the two terms clearly to make strong statements about your projects when needed. If you have a good understanding of both, it would be easier for you to convince others about your project's worth and necessity.


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7 Major Leadership Theories Every Manager Should Master in 2022

7 Major Leadership Theories Every Manager Should Master in 2022

Does a good manager make a good leader or vice versa? Well, it's a challenging question with no specific, precise answers. This often leads individuals to ponder the difference between a manager and a leader. Though leadership and management aren't the same; however, they must go hand-in-hand.

To be productive in their role, managers must absorb specific leadership skills. Leaders who want to lead efficiently must know how to manage their team, peers, and stakeholders, so they feel more motivated, engaged, and inspired, leading to a successful company.

Eventually, both roles require understanding human behavior to create an engaged workforce and more efficient workspaces.

This article will discuss seven major leadership theories that will intensify your leadership skills and help you perform better as a professional.

7 Major Leadership Theories That Managers Must Know

Several studies have targeted leadership for years, giving rise to many theories. Researchers and philosophers put forward these theories, and cognitive professionals describe what goes into the making of a leader. These theories highlight the characteristics and behaviors that can aid people in developing their leadership skills.

  1. Contingency Theory

This theory indicates that no one style of leadership may apply to every scenario. In other words, the theory identifies that variables might influence any particular scenario, and a leader must select the right course of action, considering those variables.

The best leaders have the suitable characteristics and the potential to assess the requirements of their followers, analyze the scenario, and act accordingly.

  1. Situational Leadership Theory

Similar to the above Theory, Situational Leadership Theory stresses the significance of situational variables and doesn't consider anyone's style to be a better leader than the others.

According to US professor Paul Hersey and leadership mentor Ken Blanchard, this Theory is a combination of leadership style and follower maturity level.

According to the Situational Leadership Theory, different scenarios demand different leadership and decision-making styles.

  1. Transformational Leadership Theory

This Theory, also called Relationship Theory, focuses on the relationship between leaders and their followers. The Theory talks about the type of charismatic and inspiring leader, thus motivating their followers to change and become better at what they do.

Transformational leaders are usually motivated by their potential to showcase to their followers the importance of the task and the higher good involved in execution. As a result, these leaders aren't just focused on a team's performance but provide individual team members the necessary push to reach their ability.

These theories assist you in sharpening your skills.

  1. Transactional Theories

Also called the Management Theories or Exchange Leadership Theories, they revolve around the role of teamwork, supervision, and organization. In addition, these theories consider punishments and rewards as the basis for leadership actions.

This is one of the primarily leveraged theories in an enterprise, and the supporters of this style leverage punishments and rewards to encourage the workforce.

  1. Behavioral Theory

In this Theory, the emphasis changes from the qualities of leaders to their actions and behaviors. In contrast to the Great Man Theory and the distinctive approach to leadership, this Theory considers efficient leadership to be the outcome of several acquired skills.

It proposes that a person can learn to be a good leader, and it's one of the best leadership theories.

  1. Great Man Theory of Leadership

Great Man Theory of Leadership is one of the earliest theories based on the assumption that leadership is an inborn process and leaders are born than created.

Here, a person capable of leading has the personality characteristics of a leader, such as communication skills, confidence, intellect, and more, from birth, making them stand out from the crowd.

Great Man Theory of Leadership emphasizes leadership as a trait you either possess or don't; it isn't something you can grasp or learn.

  1. Trait Theory of Leadership

This theory follows the Great Man Theory in assuming that the leaders are born with qualities that make them more beneficial for the leadership role than others who lack those inborn traits.

As such, the theory highlights traits like creativity, intelligence, responsibility, and accountability, among others, that let a person excel at leadership.

A significant flaw in the distinctive approach to leadership is that it doesn't provide a definitive leadership quality list. However, the theory credibility lies in the fact that the importance of personality qualities in leadership is well supported by research. Trait Theory of Leadership will assist you in enhancing your leadership theories.


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Cost of Quality: PMP Topics to Learn for the Exam

Cost of Quality: PMP Topics to Learn for the Exam

Cost of Quality

The Cost of Quality is an essential topic for the PMP exam. The Cost of Quality is a management accounting concept that can help you measure the cost of defects or poor quality in your project, product, or service. This information can improve quality and reduce costs in future projects.

The PMBOK® Guide defines the Cost of Quality as: "The cost required by a company to prevent poor quality and implement good quality in products, services, and processes."

You can calculate the cost of poor quality using two approaches: Cost of Conformance and Cost of Non-Conformance.

Cost of Conformance

These are the costs incurred when a product, service, or process does not meet specifications. This may include costs for rework and the use of defective materials. The Cost of Conformance is made up of Preventions costs and Appraisal costs.

Prevention Costs

Prevention is the most effective means of preventing defects. These costs include all those incurred for activities specifically designed to avoid poor product quality from happening in the first place. Preventing mistakes is much less costly than fixing them after they have been made. For example, organizations use statistical process control (SPC), Quality engineering, training, and more advanced techniques like Lean Manufacturing or Six Sigma to help prevent defects from occurring in the first place.

Appraisal Costs

Appraisal costs are also referred to as inspection costs. These costs encompass the cost of inspecting a product before it is shipped to customers. In most cases, an appraisal does not prevent defects from occurring but instead identifies these defects before the customer receives their order. Therefore, appraisal activities should be performed by employees responsible for quality control and designing defect-free products from the beginning.

Cost of Non-Conformance

These are the costs incurred when a product, service, or process does not meet customer requirements. These may include lost sales and customer dissatisfaction due to product or service errors. The cost of non-conformance is made up of internal and external failure costs.

Internal Failure Costs

Internal failure costs result from identifying defects before they are shipped to customers. If flaws are detected internally, it is more likely that the organization will be able to correct them before they are sent to customers. This leads to a reduction in the external failure costs that arise from the production of defective units.

External Failure Costs

A company incurs external failure costs when delivering damaged or defective products to the end customer. These costs include warranty, repairs, and replacements, product recalls, liabilities arising from legal action against a company, and lost sales stemming from a reputation for poor quality. They are not included in an income statement, but they can have an adverse impact on it.

If you haven't already started studying for the PMP exam, consider reading through this infographic to help guide your studies. Please start with the fundamentals and work your way up to more complicated topics as you become familiar with them. The goal here is not just to give you a list of issues but to help you learn methodically from the ground up.


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Introduction to Data Science: Lifecycle, Applications, Requirements and Roles

Introduction to Data Science: Lifecycle, Applications, Requirements and Roles

Data science is a vital part of any business today, given the colossal amounts of data generated, and is one of the most discussed subjects in IT sectors. Its fame has grown over the years, and organizations have begun introducing data science practices to expand their enterprises and increase customer satisfaction.

Data science is a field of study that deals with massive data leveraging modern techniques and tools to determine hidden patterns, derive meaningful insights, and make business decisions.

This domain uses complex ML algorithms to create predictive models. The data leveraged for analysis can come from various sources and are presented in several formats.

The Lifecycle of Data Science

Data science's lifecycle includes five phases, each with its own activities:

  1. CAPTURE: This phase involves collecting raw structured and unstructured data, and its activities are data acquisition, data entry, signal reception, and data extraction.
  2. MAINTAIN: This phase covers raw gathering data and placing it in a form that can be leveraged. Its activities include data warehousing, staging and cleaning, architecture, and processing.
  3. PROCESS: Here, data scientists take the prepared data and probe its ranges, patterns, and biases to find how beneficial it'll be in predictive analysis. Its activities include data mining, data summarization, classification/clustering, and data modeling.
  4. ANALYZE: This phase involves executing several analyses of the data. The activities include predictive analysis, qualitative analysis, confirmatory/exploratory, text mining, and regression.
  5. COMMUNICATE: This is the final lifecycle stage, where data scientists prepare the analyzes in easily readable formats like reports, charts, and graphs. In this phase, the activities include data reporting, Business Intelligence (BI), data visualization, and decision-making.

Requirements for Data Science

Here are a few technical concepts you should know before starting to learn what data science is.

  • Machine Learning (ML): ML is the backbone of data science; hence, data scientists must have a strong understanding of the topic.
  • Modeling: Mathematical models allow us to make quick calculations and predictions based on what we know about the data. Modeling is also a part of ML and involves finding which algorithm is most suitable for solving the given issue and how to train these models.
  • Statistics: It's the core of data science, where a sturdy handle on statistics helps you extract more intelligence and acquire meaningful insights.
  • Programming: Some level of programming is needed to perform a successful data science project. The most common languages are Python and R.
  • Databases: A potential data scientist requires to learn how databases operate, how to manage them, and how to extract data from them.

Roles of Data Scientists

Data scientists are the most recent analytical data experts who have the technical potential to tackle complex problems and the desire to probe what questions require to be answered.

Some of the daily routine activities or tasks for a data scientists include:

  • Identify patterns and trends in datasets to get insights
  • Enhance data quality by leveraging ML techniques
  • Leverage data tools like SQL, R, SAS, or Python for data analysis
  • Create forecasting algorithms and data model

Other than these daily tasks, a data scientist also solves business issues through a series of procedures, including:

  • Before handling the data collection and analysis, the data scientist identifies the issue by asking the right questions and meaningful insights.
  • They then determine the accurate data and variable sets.
  • The scientists then collect unstructured and structured data from several disparate sources such as public data, enterprise data, and more.
  • Once the data is collected, they process the raw information and convert it into a suitable format for analysis. 
  • Once the data is rendered, it's fed into the analytic system, i.e., ML algorithm or statistical model. This is where the scientists analyze and determine trends and patterns.
  • When the data is completely rendered, they interpret the data to identify opportunities and solutions. 
  • They complete the task by preparing the outcomes and insights to share with suitable stakeholders and communicating the results.

Application of Data Science

Some of the sectors where data science has become massively popular are:

  • Image recognition
  • Fraud detection
  • Augmented Reality
  • Recommendation systems
  • Gaming
  • Internet search
  • Healthcare
  • Logistics

 


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Top 8 Reasons Project Management is a Top Career Choice

Top 8 Reasons Project Management is a Top Career Choice

Irrespective of the industry, project managers are always in high demand to plan and provision the work. However, that is just the top-level project management view, which can be a challenging and rewarding career, but why project management career?

If you have pondered whether becoming a project manager is appropriate, this blog will illuminate the top 3 reasons why project management might be the best career move.

The Role of Project Managers

The fundamental project management principles include planning, organizing, monitoring, controlling, leading, and managing resources and activities to attain particular business objectives.

This personnel identifies strategies to start the project, evaluates and understands the project criteria, analyzes and gathers the needed workforce on board, and monitors the work progress.

Some of the other roles and responsibilities of project managers include:

  • Set the work budget
  • Decides how the task will be finished
  • Manage the team and organization culture
  • Leads meetings to track the progress of the project
  • Decides which talent needed for the project
  • Fix the schedule and deadline for the projects and subprojects
  • Reports on the project progress to stakeholders

Shuffling multiple projects, activities, and schedules can be daunting, but with proper training and experience, professionals can learn how to handle this.

Methods Leveraged in Project Management

It's crucial to note that any business or workflow in the modern world will pace towards success only if it adopts the innovative forms of approaches that fit into the digital world.

In addition, project management has no predefined steps that can be followed hazily. Therefore, the goals of a project can be satisfied only when one or more effective project management approaches are applied.

Here are some well-adopted methods to perform the project management functions efficiently:

  • Agile
  • Scrum
  • Lean
  • Six Sigma
  • Waterfall
  • Kanban
  • Extreme Programming (XP)
  • Adaptive Project Framework (APF)
  • PERT

Sectors Demanding Project Management

There are no limitations in the frequency of project management to a specific sector. However, there are distinct and various areas that demand the input of project managers, which are:

  • Manufacturing
  • Software and IT
  • Marketing
  • Insurance and financing
  • Constructions
  • Architecture and infrastructure
  • Engineering

Top 8 Reasons Project Management is a Top Career Path

With the growing business procedures and the idea of expansion, there is a strong demand for professionals who have a greater understanding of the sector and streamline the method to attain definite project objectives.

This is where the role of project managers comes to light, making management a great career path. A professionally accredited person in this domain has a high chance of tempting offers that aren't only profitable for business goals but also to help satisfy personal gains.

Here are the top 8 reasons why choose a project management career:

1. Handsome Remuneration

The pay scale is the first thing we come across when applying for a job. Besides the salary payment, we check a few before enrolment, such as stability, incentives, and bonuses.

The positions in project management pave off very well. But, sooner or later, you'll notice a drastic progression in your designation and salary terms. According to Glassdoor.com 2022 survey, the average salary of an entry-level project manager is $88,907/year.

Your salary package shall increase with the years of expertise you gain as a project professional. Therefore, ensure that you grab the best opportunities if you have significant skills and ideal project management accreditation.

2. Communication Skills

Other than your technical skills, there is a vast space and opportunity to work on having excellent communication skills. The fundamental role of a project professional is to interact with several people in the business hierarchy. Therefore, there is no getting away from constant working mode on your communication to complete the task.

Discussions have to be modified according to the teams you interact with. For instance, communication will be different when speaking to a group from HR and interacting with a team from the IT department.

As a project professional, you can swiftly recognize the best course of action, formal or informal communication, keeping in mind the end goal.

3. Rising Demand

The demand for project professionals has been sky-rocketing ever since there was a drastic growth in the industrial and digital phase. Within the company, there's always a constant requirement for people with essential skills and proficiency, and this can be best fulfilled via project management.

Based on a survey from various reliable sources, it is estimated that by 2027, the project management jobs in different industries are expected to grow by 33%, which is approximately 22Mn new job roles.

Project management is a vast area to flourish, and you can explore to grow in different ways. You don't have to work in a specific organization, whether large or small-scale businesses; clients are available. The type of sector that you can access is also surplus. You have the fair means to get exposure to different work situations.

4. Enhance Work Culture

Its team members will follow and collaborate on a project manager's goals and vision. If you're a project professional, you can easily influence your team. Juniors working under a professional will learn suitable managerial lessons. Undoubtedly, an enhanced work culture increases the demand and standard of a company.

5. Greater Career Choices

Project management provides you with vast opportunities if your vision is to have constant and steady growth in your career. PMPs are the most sought-after career due to the emerging demands. You can prepare, manage your projects, and expand your skills by choosing a project management career.

Most excellent job security in any dynamic field is a part of this role. In addition, it allows for global travel to take the lead in multiple projects.

Moreover, some sectors do provide opportunities to project professionals given below:

  • Telecommunications
  • Engineering
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Insurance
  • Architecture
  • Software development

6. Skill Development

You will develop several skills and learn new techs as you move ahead in the profession. Project professionals develop soft and hard skills to succeed in a project. Each project will need novel ideas and visions.

You can enhance creativity and talent as this workspace domain will never limit your invention. Your current skills will be developed, helping you handle the clients and projects efficiently.

In addition, a project manager must bring their team together from initial to final, find out the team member's strengths and weaknesses, make them challenge themself, and motivate them.

You're responsible for analyzing business requirements and making accurate decisions as a leader. Strong analytical and leadership skills can assist you in being efficient and enhance team productivity.

7. Flexibility and People-based Working

A quality work-life balance is what everyone requires. Project managers are expected to work extensively on a project in hand which may be strenuous. On the other hand, you've a flexible time and work place.

Remote, freelance, digital, and part-time project management career choices are available. Flexible working is a vital benefit for project professionals.

A good project manager is always people-centered. If you like to be surrounded by people and are good at managing them, this career offers you immense opportunities.

Project professionals are great at managing clients and are also detail-based; thus, keeping an eye on everything to perform projects successfully.

They often meet with stakeholders, manage conflicts between several stakeholders, and encourage them.

8. Better at Problem-solving

Effective problem-solving is actually a vital part in project management. As a project professional, you'll be given issues and need to find creative resolutions. The five phases to exhibit your problem-solving potential are:

  • Define an issue
  • Identify root causes
  • Generate ideas
  • Choose the best solution
  • Take action

Conclusion

Constant learning is vital for your career development in the evolving job market. You have to learn more and develop unique skills and expertise for a better job landing. In addition, this will aid in making a shift from your existing firm to another industry or a specific type of project management.

Simply put, project managers with professional accreditation have the highest probability of receiving handsome remuneration and more opportunities for development than non-certified people. The two most common project management certifications are PRINCE2 and PMP.

iCert Global provides multiple project management training courses that can help project enthusiasts receive the certification education and real-world expertise beneficial for any project management career.

 


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Top 30 PMP Interview Questions and Answers 2022

Top 30 PMP Interview Questions and Answers 2022

The project manager profession traces back to the early 19th century but wasn't popular or recognized as a distinct job career until the late 20th century. However, in the modern job market, it is one of the most renowned and reputed careers offering handsome remuneration.

But understanding it's not an easy task, where you'll have to compete with others worldwide. In this top 30 project manager interview questions and answers 2022 article, we will help you prepare for your interview and excel in it.

Q1. According to you, what is Project Management?

Project management helps in performing numerous methods, techniques, knowledge, skills, and experience to attain the goals of a unique project. However, the final deliverables and a definite deadline are critical factors differentiating project management from standard management. Therefore, a project manager must always follow the project management rule - 6P (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Project Performance).

Q2. How do you define an ideal project?

This is one of the most important interview questions of the project management, to know what type of project you would take up. By answering this question, you open up new opportunities to manage projects that help you ace. Ensure that your answer includes multiple points, such as whether you're interested in working alone or as a team, the kind of timelines you prefer, and whether you're keen on creative projects.

Q3. How to prioritize tasks in a project?

Task prioritization is crucial and especially when a project is challenging. It helps to ensure the successful and timely completion of the project. Follow the below-given points to state your task prioritization in the project:

  • List responsibilities and tasks

  • Differentiate between significant and urgent

  • Assess the value of each task

  • Order the tasks by measured efforts

  • Stay flexible

  • Known when to say 'No'

Q4. Give an example of a failed experience. Mention if you had any such experience?

Failure and success are part of the project management career. Therefore, it's not ideal to answer NO to this question. Hence think of a scenario in your previous projects where you have experienced failure. In addition, this interview question focuses on checking your experience in risk management as well. So, ensure you include how you handled the risk issue.

Q5. What are the knowledge domains? State its relevancy in a project.

Knowledge domains are the central technical subject matter that is essential for the efficient management of a project. Knowledge domains are the main technical subject matter that is essential for the efficient management of a project:

  • Project Integration Management

  • Project Scope Management

  • Project Schedule Management

  • Project Cost Management

  • Project Quality Management

  • Project Resource Management

  • Project Communications Management

  • Project Risk Management

  • Project Procurement Management

  • Project Stakeholder Management

Q6. What are processes and process groups in a project management system?

This question aims to grasp your domain expertise. In a project management framework, processes mean a defined way of doing tasks to complete projects successfully. On the other hand, process groups are the process collection executed on the different project phases - Initiation, Initiation, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Control, and Closing.

Q7. How will you a tackle a difficult stakeholders involved in your project?

Since stakeholders hold a top authority and are the central part of a project; hence, having their consent is of utmost importance. However, sometimes they can be adamant to tackle; in such cases, project managers should:

  • Accept the authority without fights

  • Eradicate the negative emotions

  • Understand their problems

  • Seek for advice and listen to them

  • Be honest and tactful with your decisions

  • Encourage them and strive to build a connection

  • Enhance your communication

Q8. Imagine your project has gone off the rails, so, what will be steps you would consider to get back on the track?

Once you realize that the project is going as per the planned time, scope, goal, or budget, the following top priority is to get on the right track. The project manager should be proficient in taking vital steps to resolve the inconsistency between planned and actual progress. Your answer to this question may include re-adjusting resource management, determining the exact cause of off-tracking, putting in extra effort, and more.

Q9. How will you start you job as a new project manager?

When you start your job as a project manager first few things that you need to take care are:

  • Listen, observe and learn

  • Understand your client's demand and requirements

  • Know your team and their personalities

  • Take the opportunity to learn new skills

  • Help around the working environment

  • Strive to excel the tools your organization possess

Q10. Explain your strategy to deal with internal conflicts among the team members?

Here, the recruiter is trying to understand your mediation skills and how unbiased you are during conflict resolution. You can state why it is vital to listen to both the parties and understand their viewpoints. Your answer should also include how you convince either party to reach a conclusion that works best for the project and delivers a win-win scenario. Moreover, it would help if you communicate how you ensure both parties aren't benefitting from the other's loss.

Q11. What is RAID in project management?

RAID stands for Risks, Actions, Issues, and Decisions, which is a crucial tool for any project manager – used to track these factors in an organized way. Therefore, while answering this question, you should also include the definitions of Risks, Actions, Issues, and Decisions.

Q12. Mention the techniques you might leverage to define a project scope?

This question aims to understand your expertise in the concerned area. Here, you can explain various concepts involved in defining a project scope like Product Breakdown, System Analysis, Alternatives Analysis, Requirement Analysis, Value Engineering, System Engineering, and Value Analysis.

Q13. Name some tools leveraged to enhance process activities?

  • Comparing and Baselining a Process

  • Flow-charting

  • Value-Stream Mapping

  • Cause and Effect Analysis

  • Hypothesis Testing

Q14. Explain the team forming process you follow in managing a project?

A project manager should know about the different phases a team goes through during a project; therefore, this is one of the most common questions seen in exams and project management interviews. For example, for the formation of a team, there are five development phases - Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. While answering this question, you should explain each of these stages accurately.

Q15. Which project management technique do you prefer in your projects?

As a single technique can't be applied to all sorts of project. Hence the selection of project management technique must be based on:

  • Strategic targets and core organizational values

  • Key project business drivers

  • Project constraints if any

  • Project stakeholders

  • Risk that may happen

  • Complexity level of the project

  • Estimated size and expense of the project

Q16. What do you mean by the triple constraint triangle of project management?

Any project has hazards and restrictions that must be tackled to have a successful project completion. Project managers must know that time, budget, and scope are the three crucial restrictions, sometimes called the project management triangle. This is yet another technical question wherein the recruiter assesses your expertise and how you leverage it in your daily task. Hence, ensure that you explain the definition and how you would leverage it.

Q17. Explain how will you avoid gold plating?

  • To prevent gold plating, the top management should stay away from anything above the needs and scope baseline.

  • An independent inspector can swiftly recognize gold plating by verifying the deliverables to the project's scope baseline.

Q18. When would you escalate an issue?

Consider escalating an issue if:

  • The issue may cause a budget overrun or project delay.

  • You have tried to reach an agreement and establish a common point with everyone worried

  • You have previously strived and failed to solve the issue with numerous techniques

  • You or other team members are forced to take on a massive amount of addition work because of the issue.

Q19. Mention some risks that you as a project manager might encounter in a project?

  • Cost Risk

  • Schedule Risk

  • Performance Risk

  • Resource Risk

  • Market Risk

  • Legal Risk

  • Strategic Risk

  • Operational Risk

  • External Risk

Q20. Explain Ishikawa diagram

Ishikawa, also called the Fishbone diagram, is a tool leveraged for root cause analysis of a particular issue. The added benefit is the explicit depiction and effectiveness in studying complex problems with hidden elements. As a result, project managers can go beyond the manifestations and treat the root problems.

Q21. How to calculate the three-point estimating method?

The three-point estimate can be calculated in two ways:

(a) Triangular Distribution E = (P+M+O)/3 Beta

(b) PERT Distribution E = (P+4M+O)/6

Where, P = Pessimist, O = Optimist & M = Most likely

Q22. Explain the Pareto principle analysis?

Pareto principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 principle, means that 20% of the people produce 80% of the results. This method helps prioritize activities based on their importance rather than their urgency.

Q23. What are the motivation theories and formal methods to keep a team motivated?

A project manager must always keep encouraging their entire team. The following motivation theories are beneficial for project success:

  • McClelland's Hypothesis

  • Vroom's Prediction Theory

  • Theory of Hertzberg

  • McGregor's Hypothesis

  • Maslow's Theory of Motivation

Q24. What's your leadership style?

There are numerous ways to lead, each with its pros and cons. Regarding project management, it's impossible to avoid bringing up a leadership manner. A project manager may have to select how they lead depending on the project, from top-down to servant leadership. Examine their understanding of leadership methods and apply them to project management.

Q25. What is Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)?

The WBS is leveraged to determine a project's core work activities and the various sub-activities that might be needed to complete the tasks. With a top-down/bottom-up method, WBD's structure follows a hierarchical pattern, with core tasks split into subcategories housed under each parent.

Q26. How do you ensure you & your team deliver or exceed customer expectations?

The recruiter wants to see in detail how you can succeed as a project manager. After all, meeting or exceeding customer demands regarding delivery is your ultimate target. Therefore, it's significant not to be hazy and give a generalized answer; you will want to provide accurate instances and details of your process.

Q27. How do you control a project change?

Some levels of change are inevitable, but as a project manager, it's vital to adapt to those changes rapidly. Explain to your recruiter how you continue to maintain your team on track whenever any project changes randomly show up.

Q28. How do you monitor and review the delegated responsibilities?

As a project manager, it's essential to stay on top of your teammates' tasks and responsibilities daily. Discuss how you do this with specific instances, whether by scheduling brief meetings or using project management software.

Q29. What is stakeholder analysis and Power-Interest Grip leveraged for?

Stakeholder analysis involves assembling a list of all capable stakeholders who will be involved in some manner with the project. In addition, a power-interest grid helps categorize stakeholders based on their significance and influence. These two methods help create all-important stakeholder engagement strategies for diverse groups by outlining the stakeholder's position.

Q30. State few instances of proactive decision-making in your past projects and your life.

It's always crucial to take the initiative as a project manager, and your recruiter wants to see just how you do so. Think of certain project instances that included much proactive decision-making, but don't forget to add cases that took place outside the workplace.

 

This brings us to the end of today's article. If you found this PMP interview question article helpful and relevant, check out the PMP training course by iCert Global, a PMI-approved training institute with services offered worldwide.

Got a question? Please mention it in the comment box below, and we'll get back to you.

Happy learning!

 


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The Affinity Diagram: PMP Planning Tools that You Should Know

The Affinity Diagram: PMP Planning Tools that You Should Know

Are you looking for a focus tool to help with your PMP exams? As someone who managed projects daily, prioritized cost reduction and faster delivery. However, other things became my focus, especially when preparing for the PMP certification exam.

The product manager's job is not just about managing the team and timelines but also ensuring that each project has the necessary budget allocated to meet quality standards. The only way to go about this process is what's known as the Affinity Diagram, which offers a variety of planning tools that can help you achieve optimum results.

What is the Affinity Diagram?

An affinity diagram is a process-mapping tool that helps you organize your ideas and identify relationships between them. This can be applied to project planning, for example, where you might locate all the inputs and outputs of a project and then determine the activities between these elements.

The affinity diagram is one of several tools in the PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge) that can help you plan your projects.

 It's a visual representation of how people think about the project based on their input or output. It's useful because it lets you look at different aspects of your project and get an overall view of where everything fits together.

The affinity diagram can be used for the following purposes:

  • First, to identify relationships between items in a list.
  • To organize thoughts into groups related to similar concepts or ideas.
  • To prioritize items in each group so they can be easily understood when viewing them side by side.

How can we use this tool?

In project management, affinity diagrams are used at the start of any project to identify key relationships between different elements of the project (such as tasks). This helps you understand how various tasks relate and how they might impact each other's completion time or cost.

Using an affinity diagram can help you:

  • Understand how different tasks relate to each other (and how they might impact each other's completion time or cost)
  • Identify which tasks need more attention than others (and why)
  • The affinity diagram enables you to classify ideas and gather them into groups based on common characteristics. This helps you gain insight into the project's structure or process and make improvements based on what you find out.

Why Use an Affinity Diagram?

An affinity diagram can be used for brainstorming during problem-solving sessions. It helps you organize your thoughts before deciding how to solve problems within projects/programs/portfolios and how they relate to each other.

For example, if you are trying to determine how many people should be assigned to a project, instead of listing all possible options and then making a decision based on that list, use an affinity diagram first so that you can see which ones are more likely than others before making a final decision.

Here are reasons why you should use an affinity:

The Affinity Diagram Helps You Understand Your Audience

It's easy to get lost in the weeds when developing a project plan. Using an affinity diagram helps you understand what your audience needs from the project and what they don't need from it. This will help you create a better plan that covers all of their needs while not wasting time on things that don't matter.

The Affinity Diagram Helps You Prioritize Your Ideas

Once you've figured out what your audience wants and doesn't want, it's easier to prioritize your ideas and determine which ones matter most and which can wait until later in the process (or maybe never). This will help streamline your planning process so that you don't waste time on things that don't matter now and can focus on what matters most.

It helps you to identify themes and group similar ideas together

An affinity diagram allows you to group similar concepts so that you can easily see the most common types of solutions. This makes it easier for you to choose the best answers from all the possible solutions.

It helps teams come together around a common goal

One of the main benefits of using an affinity diagram is that it forces team members to collaborate. When everyone has input into the process and contributes their ideas, it creates a sense of ownership within the team. It helps them feel more engaged with each other's work.

What are the benefits of using an affinity diagram?

  • A great benefit of using this tool is its ability to organize ideas. It will help you become more organized with your thoughts, which will help you make better decisions.
  • It allows you to devise solutions for problems by grouping them so they can be dealt with efficiently. For example, suppose the problem is on one side. In that case, it will be easier for you to solve it because they are all together in one place instead of being scattered around different parts of your mind.
  • An affinity diagram helps you identify all possible relationships between your tasks to determine how they should be sequenced or linked together with dependencies. Doing this will ensure that there are no gaps or overlaps in your project plan. In other words, this tool allows you to create a solid and robust schedule with no holes!

Affinity diagram is used in many PMP exams.

Affinity diagram is one of the planning tools in the PMBOK® Guide. It lists ideas or concepts and then organizes them into logical groups. The affinity diagram is also known as a Cluster Diagram or KJ Method.

An affinity diagram consists of two steps: identifying key characteristics and grouping similar items together. Once you have your list of ideas, you can use an affinity diagram to organize them into similar groups based on common characteristics.

Affinity diagrams are often used during project planning because they help identify different aspects of a project and group them according to their relationships. This helps decision-makers understand how various parts of a project work together, which can be very useful when deciding how best to proceed with your project plan.

While most people who use affinity diagrams do not refer to them as such, there are many similarities between this tool and mind mapping techniques like concept maps or mind maps. Both methods identify key traits among items considered for inclusion in a group.

Conclusion

As it turns out, the PMP is all about planning. In many ways, my favorite concept in project management is one called an affinity diagram.

That's where you get all the team members together and work with them to sort and group your ideas. This tool is helpful for planning because it helps you build a plan even if you don't have every detail of what you'll be doing until the end of your project.


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Service Delivery Manager: Job, Skills, Salary, and More

Service Delivery Manager: Job, Skills, Salary, and More

A service delivery manager ensures services are delivered to a company's client. They are responsible for several activities like progress monitoring, budget management, project team leading, KPI tracking, and correcting reliability problems.

These managers significantly enhance a user's experience by ensuring seamless delivery of superior services that fulfill and exceed customer requirements.

This document offers you everything you require to know to start a career as a service delivery professional.

Who is a Service Delivery Manager?

The role of a service delivery professional is completely customer-facing. Their responsibilities involve overseeing a wide range of activities to ease the delivery of top-notch services to clients.

One of the crucial roles of these professionals is to ensure that service delivery and support processes are on track for seamless delivery of top client service in a budget-oriented manner.

In a full-time role, these managers are also expected to determine customer problems and requirements by maintaining a good relationship with clients and stakeholders.

These managerial jobs, which welcome both technical and administrative actions, are most suited for hard-working and skilled people who possess excellent interpersonal and leadership skills and are passionate about delivering customer-driven solutions.

Service Delivery Manager Job

With increasing competition, service delivery professional demands are drastically intensifying across different industry verticals. Today, almost every sector needs these managers to fulfill client requirements, solve customer issues, and drive client satisfaction. The responsibilities of these professionals vary, and their roles massively depend on the company for which they work.

Their most common duties include:

1. Performance and Quality Management

  • Recommends enhancement techniques and see that practices are executed on time for delivery upgrades.
  • Building strong relationships with stakeholders and teams to enable effective conversations between departments.
  • Offer precise and daily reports to the management regarding service delivery performance.
  • Lead personnel management, including performance evaluation, mentoring, staff hiring, and mentoring.

2. Meeting Support

  • Educates departmental employees on the efficient use of conference room technologies.
  • Offer technical support for corporate conferencing and ensures the availability of meeting room resources like audio-visual and software systems.

3. Service Management

  • Develop deep project understanding to gain meaningful insights into the service delivery scope
  • Monitor and manage desktop support, VIP support functions, and IT services desk to ensure top-notch service
  • Take ownership of crucial situations, coordinate with resolution teams, and establish effective communication between stakeholders for post-incident reviews.
  • Analyze third-party and internal processes and creates techniques for service delivery optimization
  • Maintain high-performance levels service-based processes, and execute enhancement tasks whenever required

4. Technical Perception

  • Enable top-notch performance benchmarks for access devices like mobiles, PCs, and laptops
  • Supervise desktop management teams to ease continual enhancements in the desktop environment
  • Ensure anti-virus updates and patches are promptly applied
  • Collaborating with technical design teams to set standards for security, software, and hardware

Let's now see some of the most common skills of service delivery manager.

  • Potential to train and lead junior team members
  • Top-notch customer-facing skills
  • Proficiency in leadership and people management
  • Strong resource planning and problem-solving skills
  • Experience in dealing with third-party-offered services
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and more.

Service Delivery Manager Salary Trend

Service delivery managers provide accelerated growth, job security, and professional reputation, all of which make managerial jobs a lucrative career.

Here is few countries reviews of the service delivery manager:

India

  • The expected salary of service delivery manager is INR 425K - 3Mn yearly. The average salary of these professionals is INR 1,489,770 annually.
  • Top Recruiters: TCS, IBM India, HCL Technologies Ltd., and Cognizant Tech Solutions Corp

US

  • The expected salary of the service delivery manager is $45K - $141K yearly. The average salary of these professionals is $86,737 annually.
  • Top Recruiters: Cognizant Tech Solutions Corp, Capgemini, Xerox Corp., IBM Corp, and NTT Data Corp.

Canada

  • The expected salary of a service delivery manager is CAD 49K - CAD 131K yearly. The average salary of these professionals is CAD 85,229 annually.
  • Top Recruiters: Accenture, CGI Group Inc., Ricoh Canada, Novitex Enterprise Solutions, Compugen Inc., and IBM Canada Ltd.

Singapore

  • The expected salary of a service delivery professional is SGD 48K - SGD 168K yearly. The average salary of these professionals is SGD 90,094 annually.
  • Top Recruiters: Jobline Resources Pte Ltd., JPMorgan Chase, ITCAN Pte Ltd., DBS Bank, and Capgemini.

 


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How to Monitor and Control Project Work: PMP Processes

How to Monitor and Control Project Work: PMP Processes

 

Table of Content

Monitor and Control Project Work

Project Management Processes

Control Scope

Schedule Progress Control

Costs Control

Quality Control

Risk Management

Why Is It Important to Monitor And Control Projects?

Monitoring and Control Method

Conclusion

 

Monitor and Control Project Work

Monitoring and controlling project work is an essential and integral part of the PMP Process. PMP Preparing a project plan, preparing a project schedule, monitoring and controlling project work, and monitoring and controlling the quality of work are the processes included in PMP Processes.

The process of monitoring and controlling project work involves following the procedures for monitoring and controlling project work systematically.

Monitoring and controlling the progress of significant activities is done by following the system for monitoring and controlling gain.

There are several ways to monitor and control project work:

  • For example, using time-tracking software or a task management system helps you manage your time effectively.
  • By creating schedules based on time-based estimates.
  • By creating reports based on data collected from various sources.
  • By performing post-activity reviews.

Project Management Processes

To monitor and control project work, it is necessary to have a good understanding of the Project Management Processes. The following are some of the key PMP processes:

Project Initiation: This process is where you start working on projects. It includes preparation and definition of scope, resources, team, etc., so the project can begin.

Project Planning: In this process, you plan for all activities performed during a project. This includes estimating the time required for each activity and determining how much time will be needed from different resources such as cost, labor, and equipment.

Project Execution: In this process, you carry out all tasks assigned to you by your supervisor or your manager in accordance with the plan you created in the previous phases of planning and initiation.

Project Closing: In this phase, all tasks assigned to people working on a project should be completed successfully according to your schedule. Also, all costs should have been collected by individuals involved in these tasks.

Control Scope

The primary purpose of the control scope process is to ensure that each project has a specific and well-defined scope. The method also helps to ensure that the project is on track and stays on track.

The control scope process involves defining, monitoring, and controlling. The first step is to determine what it means for the project to be on track. This can be done by considering how much work has been done so far, how much work is left, what resources are required, and when they need to be delivered.

Schedule Progress Control

The Schedule Progress Control process helps you stay on top of your deadlines by ensuring that all tasks are completed on time. This ensures that there are no delays in meeting milestones or deadlines for deliverables, which could cause problems for stakeholders who depend on those deliverables for their workflows or decisions.

When used correctly, this process allows you to spot potential problems early on so that they can be resolved before they become major issues that could derail the entire project.

Costs Control

The Cost Control Process is a part of the Monitoring and Controlling process group. It determines whether the project is within budget and whether it will be completed on time. This process ensures that the project's costs are monitored, controlled, and reported throughout the life cycle.

Cost control involves:

  • Monitoring actual cost performance against baseline estimates.
  • Take corrective action when needed.
  • Assessing variances between actual costs and baseline estimates (at least monthly).
  • Based on current performance trends, develop an estimate of total project costs at completion (TPC).

Quality Control

The quality control process is a systematic way of monitoring and controlling the project work. Quality control is a set of activities that help ensure that the product or service delivered to the customer meets the requirements specified in the project plan.

Quality control activities include:

  • Planning for quality control.
  • Performing quality audits.
  • Identifying nonconformities and their root causes.
  • Resolving nonconformities and recommending actions to prevent a recurrence.

Risk Management

Risk management is a process that helps project managers to identify, assess and manage risks. In addition, it helps to ensure that the project is completed within time and budget constraints.

The risk management process consists of the following steps:

Identification of Risks: In this step, you need to identify all possible threats that might impact the project, such as financial risks, technical risks, human resource risks, etc.

Assessment of Risks: After identifying the risks, you need to evaluate them based on their probability and impact on project success. You may also need to assess how serious each risk may be or how likely it is to occur.

Response Planning: Based on the risk assessment results, you can decide which risks are high priority and require immediate action or response planning (which includes preventive measures). It would help if you also considered taking preventive measures for high-priority risks by implementing risk responses that could prevent their occurrence from happening in the future.

Monitoring: You should monitor your response plans regularly until they are no longer required or until they have been successfully implemented with no failures reported at any point in time during the monitoring period.

Why Is It Important to Monitor and Control Projects?

The purpose of monitoring and controlling projects is to ensure that the project meets the specified objectives and targets. It also helps you ensure the project is on track, within budget, and under control.

Therefore, monitoring and controlling projects are essential for ensuring the smooth completion of a project. You can monitor your projects with different tools available in the market for this purpose. For this purpose, you can use Excel spreadsheets, Gantt charts, PERT charts, etc.

Monitoring and Control Method

The monitoring and controlling process is the main activity of quality control. It is performed by the project manager or a person who reports to them.

This process aims to provide information about the current status of work, problems, and risks so that the project manager can take appropriate actions to correct the situation.

The project manager must use various techniques to monitor and control project activities. Some examples include:

  • Inspecting deliverables and completed work products (including reviewing documentation).
  • Interview team members as needed.
  • Reviewing progress reports prepared by team members.
  • Meeting with team members as needed to discuss their progress on their assigned tasks or subtasks (as well as other aspects of the project).

Conclusion

The PMP Processes help one accurately monitor and control project work. These processes should be applied at the right time in the project to ensure that all tasks are being performed according to plan, that delays are quickly discovered and controlled, and that the project is ultimately completed on time and within budget


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What are the Common Project Risks and How to Tackle Them?

What are the Common Project Risks and How to Tackle Them?

Irrespective of your venture, chances are the daily tackling of projects to reach professional and personal career objectives.

However, with projects comes risks. While the risks are a given, you don't want to fall into the trap if you can avoid them. Providentially, a few common risks are easy to determine and handle, saving one's time, resources, and money.

Before discussing the typical project risks and how to handle them, let's first see common loopholes in project management and why they're perilous.

Common Project Management Problems and How They are Perilous

Businesses and experts these days understand that to get ahead, it's significant to take risks, but how you handle them is crucial. For several project professionals, this means business planning, strategizing, and development all depend massively on a careful balancing of resources you've and planning risk assessments around them. Working this way ensures that your enterprise safeguards itself as it develops.

Amid risk management, project experts look for ways to determine events that may adversely affect the entire project performance.

Risks are both external and internal; hence, risk assessment and management typically include several features such as:

  • Operational assessment
  • Program risk assessment
  • Cost uncertainty
  • Investment risk assessment
  • Alternative analysis

9 Most Common Project Risks the Business Encounter

Here is the list of organizations' most common project risks, thus helping you an added advantage in risk management and planning. By understanding and learning what these risks are, you're in a better role to avoid them and balance your business for longevity, success, and growth.

Performance Risks

These types of risks aren't anyone's fault, thus, making it incredibly tiring. Finally, performance risks are the risk that the project won't generate the outcomes and benefits outlined in the properties. Even if you maintain a budget and stick to the schedule, this risk means you've lost money and time on a project that ultimately didn't deliver.

Legal Risks

This risk can be unpredictable and might arise from regulatory and legal duties. These include contract risks, an action brought against an organization or business, and internal legal issues.

Cost Risk

This is probably the most common project risk resulting from inaccurate planning, scope creep, and cost estimation. When this occurs, project professionals end up spending more money than they've on a project, which may harm the enterprise or cause the project to go unfinished if resources and funds can't be restored.

Market Risk

This includes interest rates, credit risks, competition, liquidity, commodity markets, and foreign exchanges. Market risk is more unpredictable and challenging to plan for; however, there're ways in which project professionals can safeguard their business.

Schedule Risk

The outcome of poor planning and schedule risk is that risk where project activities consume more extended time to complete than estimated. These risks are closely related to cost risk as any slips in it often increase expenses, reduce project benefits, and discard timelines, which lose any competitive edge you've begun.

Strategic Risk

This is another type of performance risk. Problems result from fallacies when strategizing, like selecting project management software that doesn't operate well for your project.

Operational Risk

This risk results from poor execution and process issues, including procurement, production, and distribution. Operational risks are part of performance risk as the expected result doesn't occur at all or in the way project professionals had planned.

Governance Risk

This risk is linked to the board and management performance concerning ethics, community stewardship, community, and organization reputation. Governance risk is easier to mitigate as it relies massively on the executive's behavior.

On a serious note, this risk is real and needs to be taken care of immediately.

External Hazard Risks

External hazard risks are the most unpredictable type and come from external sources such as society, nature, government, and other individuals. These risks include earthquakes, terrorism, storms, vandalism, floods, sabotage, and labor strikes.

How to Tackle Project Risks

Here, we'll see different methods to safeguard your business and drastically reduce the risk of falling into common project risks.

Early Risk Identification with Risk Register

Determining project risks before the start of a project is the best method to handle and mitigate common loopholes. One way to do it is with a risk register. A risk register is a significant part of risk management - created at the beginning of a project and serves as a tool that aids project professionals in tracking problems and tackling them at the earliest.

Using a risk register in risk and project management records details of determining risks and their analysis and plans to tackle them. A risk register determines various risks and their severity, thus, offering actions and methods to avoid the same.

Use Project Management Software

The software lets us streamline project activities and plan work to the last detail. Project management software is one of the top methods to mitigate risks as it allows project professionals to view issues and risks in advance and plan accordingly. Moreover, your bases are efficiently covered when leveraged with a risk register.

Prioritizing Risks

Once determined, you can prioritize the most common risks in a way that best suits your enterprise. You can decide which risks are more pressing and handle those first. Some risks can wait, while others, like legal and cost risks, are more serious.


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How to Develop a Project Charter

How to Develop a Project Charter

What Is a Project Charter?

A Project Charter is a document that outlines a project's goals, objectives, and activities. It is used to determine whether or not a project is feasible and, if so, how much it will cost. If your organization plans to implement a new project, one of the first things you need to do is develop a Project Charter.

Project Charters are generally created for large projects with multiple departments or divisions. This can include an entire department moving into a new office space or positioning itself in an entirely different industry segment.

For example, if your organization has been in business for 20 years and has grown from 5 employees to over 100 employees, creating a new Project Charter may be needed.

Purpose of Project Charter

Project charters are the foundation of all projects and are essential to a successful project. A well-written project charter will ensure that all parties involved in the project understand the scope of work, time frame, deliverables, and responsibilities. It should also highlight any risks that might impact the project's success.

Project charters can vary in length depending on what is required for each project.

However, they must include all essential information to ensure you have a clear understanding of what needs to be achieved by your team during their time on the project.

The Project Charter is used to convince stakeholders about the advantages of working with your company and what you have planned for their business. It also explains how you will meet their expectations as well as yours.

The charter includes the following sections:

A project Charter is a document that outlines a project's scope, deliverables, and schedule. In addition, it includes all the relevant information needed to plan and manage the project, including:

Project Purpose

This document's purpose is to define why we are undertaking this project. This can be anything from improving customer satisfaction to enhancing productivity. However, it should always be focused on the customer and their needs.

Project Objectives

This section defines what you want to achieve using your project. These objectives should not just be about meeting your expectations but also those of the sponsor, stakeholders, and other stakeholders. It should also include measurable results showing if you have achieved your objectives.

Project Scope

This section defines what is included in the scope of your project. It can consist of all aspects of the work you need to do, including marketing, technical, administrative, etc.

In addition, it should include all deliverables, such as reports, presentations, etc., that will form part of your project output, along with timelines for completion and budget estimates for each phase of work (both short-term and long-term budgets).

Project Schedule

This section defines how long your project will take to complete, along with dates for completion against each phase of work.

Analyze the Situation

This involves gathering information about the project and its objectives.

The next step is to determine what resources are needed for the project. These include time, money, people, equipment, and information.

The third step is to determine if there are any constraints on completing this project. These constraints may be legal or physical limitations that must be considered before proceeding with a project.

For example, suppose you want to build a house on your property and want it to be suitable for habitation. In that case, you must consider whether it can be made under the existing zoning laws in your area before starting construction on the house itself.

Create Assumptions and Constraints

Assumptions and constraints are the lifeblood of a good project charter. They are the things you have to be able to answer when people ask you questions about your project.

If you don't have any assumptions, how can you know how much money is needed? How long will it take? What technologies does it require? It would help if you had assumptions to answer these questions.

Assumptions are also crucial for setting expectations with other stakeholders.

If you don't set expectations, your team will be disappointed when they find out they didn't get what they expected.

Assumptions help keep everyone on the same page, so they can focus on their work and not waste time arguing about who has done more job or why some things weren't included in the plan.

Describe Milestones

Milestones are important because they allow you to track progress, manage time and budget and ensure you meet your deadlines. The purpose of a milestone is to clearly define a specific point in time by when the project must be complete.

Milestones are an excellent way to keep people on track. Still, they can also lead to resistance if poorly thought out or communicated.

Milestones should be defined at the beginning of the project and should reflect what will be completed by each milestone. It's best to avoid using vague terms like "weeks" or "months" when referring to milestones because these terms can be misleading. Instead, use specific dates such as "by June," "by August," etc., so everyone knows when the milestone must be completed.

Identify Major Risks

The key to developing a good project charter is to identify significant risks in advance so you can plan for them ahead of time. By doing this, you will be able to minimize any potential problems during your project.

For example, suppose you know that there is a chance that your client may not pay for services rendered. In that case, it's essential to include this risk in your project charter so that everyone involved knows what's at stake if this happens.

Project Budget

The project budget is the total cost of all the work to be done by your company. It includes all the expenses for each project stage, such as salaries, materials, equipment, and other costs.

In addition, the project budget may include additional charges such as travel expenses, administration fees, software licenses, and overhead expenses.

The total cost of a project is usually expressed in thousands or millions of dollars. However, the actual amount may vary depending on how much work you want to do on different parts of your project and how quickly you want to complete it.

Stakeholder requirements

The stakeholders involved in a project are those affected by it. They might be customers, partners, or other stakeholders.

The stakeholder requirements in the Project Charter are to identify the people affected by the project or their roles in it.

The purpose of a project charter is to delineate what each stakeholder expects from your project.

In other words, it allows you to identify who should be involved in each phase of the project and their responsibilities. You can use this information to manage your efforts better and ensure everyone understands what they need to do.

Conclusion

It's essential to develop a project charter because the process forces you to identify and structure everything that needs to be done to create the features that are being requested.

Whether you're working alone or on a team, having all these different pieces in one place ensures that no development aspect is overlooked. It also provides information for anyone else who might need it—including managers, senior leaders, and clients.

 Ultimately, whether you're developing a product from scratch or implementing new features, the process for creating a project charter doesn't change. Instead, there will be several steps involved, each one being important.

The result is a document that is detailed enough to serve its purpose—which is ensuring that all requirements have been met.


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What is Project Cycle Management? Everything You Need to Know

What is Project Cycle Management? Everything You Need to Know

Project Cycle Management (PCM) is a technique based on years of development, focused on planning and organizing projects via basic principles and defined stages. This method encloses project inception to its planning and execution.

What are the benefits of the PCM method?

  • Strategic risks
  • Better efficiency leading to cost and time savings
  • Effective rate of timely project execution and delivery
  • Precise and quantifiable objectives
  • Better likelihood of meeting expectations
  • Efficient resource management

In this blog, we will discuss about PCM and why it adds value to the projects.

Working of Project Cycle Management

PCM enforces a project's lifecycle by focusing on an efficient system with proven outcomes. It's organized in phases aligned for precision, objective targets and expectations, and universal practice.

Each stage works similar to a book's chapters, to begin and complete before moving on to the next step. This ensures better quality results and fulfillment of agreed project expectations.

When a level is complete, the new one begins. As a project professional leads a team through each stage, they can shift their initial point ahead until the total project completion.

PCM leverages fundamental project management principles - prioritizing project structure, a defined stage, accurate targets, transparency, identifying risks, and other elements.

A significant positive result from leveraging this technique is budget-oriented and organized with quality outcomes on time.

Why Project Cycle Management?

Various experts have experienced the mind-blogging feeling that comes with a massive project. It sometimes seems paradoxical, especially if similar projects have faced significant challenges. Several factors can twist things when dealing with a team, a stringent deadline, several partners, and myriad financial risks.

PCM is a proven technique that helps eradicate that risk and build a more effective practice. In addition, this method allows experts to manage projects throughout the complete project lifecycle confidently.

There are three significant reasons why we leverage the PCM technique, and they're:

1. Transparency

When managing a project, it can be daunting to communicate along the path. The PCM leverages accurate techniques to define each stage and where teams are along the procedure.

This provides leaders to communicate with partners, stakeholders, and interested parties related to the project. A practical and transparent communicated project makes everyone delightful, and aids promote expectations and objectives.

2. Simplicity

The PCM technique simplifies the project. Simplicity is essential in a challenging situation with several elements working simultaneously. When leaders can streamline the procedure, this develops better outcomes that lead to optimum success. PCM leverages stages that break up the process.

3. Enhanced Productivity

Effective productivity means everything when it comes to saving time and expenses and enhancing quality. Teams can perform the project successfully when the PCM stages simplify the process.

Once a project upgrades from overwhelming to possible, employee morale and proficiency enhance. In addition, a more productive project develops a healthy and prosperous workspace.

Project Cycle Management Phases

The center of PCM is its five stages, where each phase ensures successful levels that add up to one complete project performance. This technique is an effective and accurate way to meet expectations on time and foresee challenges. The five phases of PCM are:

1. Initiation

Every project begins with a simple idea. The initiation stage promotes that idea and creates a big image, scope, and project goal. Next, project professionals will review the critical project controls required and domains for enhancement before starting a project and assess what it will take for project completion.

2. Planning and Design

Similar to any good project, planning is a vital step. It's where outcomes, preparedness for hurdles, and other crucial factors occur. A good plan makes a drastic difference, and PCM focuses on developing a robust blueprint to reduce risks.

3. Execution

The most prolonged phase of a project's lifecycle is execution, where all the hard work gets done. This is the literal plan execution, where a team works on a project to deliver quality products. The previous stage clearly defines each level of the way.

4. Monitoring and Controlling

Sometimes there are worst and best-case situations, and a good plan ensures professionals can expect both. The monitoring and controlling stage is the trial-and-error process that tracks progress to ensure issues are promptly solved and the deadlines are still aligned to fulfill their target.

This stage is about balance, as too much control can consume time, and insufficient control can exceed risks.

5. Closure

If a project isn't closed professionally, it can continue to drain resources and create unexpected issues. In this phase, a project professional will lead the formal steps with their client to end and deliver the final project. The closure is thus a significant step to gaining feedback and assessing the outcome.

Conclusion

PCM has proven to be an effective and developing technique to generate successful outcomes for projects worldwide and in several sectors. When project manager decides to learn about the process in-depth, they provide themselves with a successful result and a better leadership role.

 


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Top 40 PMP Exam Questions and Answers for 2022

Top 40 PMP Exam Questions and Answers for 2022

Project Management Professional (PMP) accreditation is the world's leading project management credential. It captivates many enterprise and project professionals who wish to take their careers to the next level.

Given that you have stopped at this PMP exam questions and answers 2022 blog, we are guessing you are already familiar with the significance of the PMP credential. Hence, without much fuss, let's get started.

Top 40 PMP Exam Questions and Answers

Q1. A schedule compression technique used to shorten the schedule duration for the least incremental cost by adding resources is called:

  1. Fast tracking
  2. Crashing
  3. Precedence diagramming method (PDM)
  4. Program evaluation and review technique (PFRT)

Q2. Performing integration is a foundational skill for all project managers; the following describe the three different levels of performing integration EXCEPT:

  1. Complexity level
  2. Cognitive level
  3. Process level
  4. Context level

Q3. Web interfaces to scheduling and project management software, as well as electronic communications management, are examples of:

  1. Internal management systems (IMS)
  2. Project records databases
  3. Project management information systems (PMIS)
  4. Internal communications systems (ICS)

Q4. The process of validating resource availability and assembling the team required to accomplish project tasks is known as resource acquisition. Except for the above, the enterprise environmental factors that might impact this process typically include all of the following:

  1. Personnel administration policies, such as those affecting outsourcing
  2. Levels of competence, past experience, and cost rate
  3. Political philosophy
  4. The organization's structure

Q5. A primary function of a project management office (PMO) is to support project managers in a variety of ways, which will include all of the following EXCEPT:

  1. Managing shared resources across all projects administered by the PMO
  2. Identifying and developing project management methodology, best practices, and standards
  3. Coaching, mentoring, training, and oversight
  4. Intervening in project execution directly and without involving the project manager

Q6. You are managing a $10Mn project. For "re-baselining" the project, which of the following is an acceptable cause?

  1. The client has approved an addition to the scope of the project with a $150,000 budget increase and a two-week extension of the scheduled completion
  2. The contractor’s company has instituted a quality assurance program in which it has pledged to spend $1 million during the next year
  3. The productivity in the design department is lower than estimated, which has resulted in 1,000 additional hours over what was budgeted and a forecasted two-week delay of the scheduled completion
  4. The engineering department of the performing organization has converted to a new $250,000 CAD system

Q7. What is Configuration management focused on?

  1. Identifying, documenting, and controlling changes to the project and the product baselines, while change control is focused on the specifications of both the deliverables and the processes
  2. The identification and correction of problems arising in functional areas of project implementation
  3. The specification of both the deliverables and the processes, while change control is focused on identifying, documenting, and approving or rejecting changes to the project documents, deliverables, or baselines
  4. Testing new systems

Q8. The following are some of the inputs to the Plan Communications Management process:

  1. Stakeholder management approach, RAM, work breakdown structure, and administrative processes
  2. Project management plan, project documentation, enterprise environmental variables, and organizational process assets
  3. Organizational structure, stakeholder analysis, and communication obstacles in project management
  4. Stakeholder requirements, project scope statement, budget, and timeline

Q9. What is the output of the Define Scope process?

  1. Work breakdown structure (WBS)
  2. Resource breakdown structure (RBS)
  3. Project scope statement
  4. Scope and schedule delays control plan

Q10. The precedence diagramming method (PDM) is defined as:

  1. A time-phased graphical depiction of the arrow diagramming technique (ADM) that displays project activity durations and dependencies.
  2. More accurate than the critical route approach for scheduling when the durations of project activities are unknown.
  3. A technique for scheduling project activities that employ a probabilistic approach.
  4. A methodology in which activities are represented by nodes and visually connected by one or more logical connections to illustrate the sequence in which the activities are to be done.

Q11. Parametric estimating entails:

  1. Creating a cost estimate for project work by using a statistical link between relevant historical data and other variables
  2. Defining project life cycle cost and duration parameters
  3. Estimating the cost of the present project based on the actual cost of a prior similar project
  4. Creating independent cost estimates for each work package and combining them to determine the final project cost

Q12. Which of the following statements is true about the work breakdown structure (WBS)?

  1. The WBS is the bill of materials (BOM) needed to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables
  2. The WBS is the same as the organizational breakdown structure OBS
  3. The WBS is a simple list of project activities in chart form
  4. The WBS is a hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables

Q13. Project tailoring is an important consideration for most of the projects. Which of the following is the least likely project consideration?

  1. Project manager’s skills and competency
  2. Each project is unique
  3. Addressing competing constraints
  4. Level of project governance varies

Q14. Which is NOT true about tools and techniques of Perform Integrated Change Control?

  1. They include project plan updates
  2. They include change control meetings
  3. They include expert judgment
  4. A change control board (CCB) is responsible for meeting and reviewing the change requests and approving, rejecting, or other disposition of those changes

Q15. The "fast tracking" approach of schedule compression entails the following steps:

  1. The application of industrial engineering approaches to increase productivity, allowing the project to be completed sooner than anticipated
  2. Performing operations or stages that are typically done in sequence in parallel for at least a portion of their duration, which may result in rework and higher risk
  3. Implementing a "necessary overtime plan" in order to complete the project on time or sooner if possible
  4. Assigning "dedicated teams" to key path tasks in order to meet project deadlines

Q16. Project Quality Management encompasses the methods for implementing the organization's quality policy into project and product quality criteria in order to:

  1. Maintain control over products, services, and outcomes
  2. Meet the project team's performance standards
  3. Meet the goals of stakeholders
  4. Enhance process capabilities

Q17. What does Portfolio management refer to?

  1. The centralized management of one or more portfolios to achieve strategic objectives
  2. Applying resource leveling heuristics across all the organization’s strategic objectives
  3. Managing the levels of the levels of financial authority to facilitate
  4. Project decision making

Q18. The Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) is:

  1. Used to create the project budget and network diagrams
  2. Created at the activity level and utilized to tightly connect project roles and responsibilities to project network activities
  3. Used to show the relationships between work packages or activities and project team members. It guarantees that each work is assigned to only one person in order to minimize misunderstanding of responsibilities
  4. Used in individual performance assessments of project team members to establish accountabilities and duties

Q19. During the middle of a technical project, a key team member is requested to shift to another project. This is a risky approach, according to the team, and they are concerned. Which action will help to resolve the issue?

  1. Discuss the conflict with the project sponsor and formulate a response
  2. Use coaching tools and techniques to motivate the project team
  3. Acknowledge the team’s concern and analyze the impact to the project
  4. Replace the key team member with a new resource who has the same skills

Q20. A component of the quality management plan, which explains how the organization's quality policies will be executed.

  1. Project scope
  2. Project management plan
  3. Governance management plan
  4. Program management plan

Q21. As an example of a mandatory dependence, consider the following:

  1. A dependence developed based on knowledge of best practices in a certain application area
  2. A dependence formed because of an unusual element of the project that requires a certain sequencing
  3. To erect the superstructure only after the foundation has been completed for a construction project
  4. On a software development project, begin design only when all project requirements have been completed and approved

Q22. Project managers spend most of their time communicating with team members and other stakeholders. In general, to effectively communicate, the project manager must perform all of the following tasks EXCEPT:

  1. Calculating the potential number of communication channels accurately
  2. Developing finely tuned skills using multiple methods of communication
  3. Incorporating feedback channels
  4. Seeking to understand project stakeholders' communication needs

Q23. Understanding, assessing, specifying, and managing needs are critical for achieving:

  1. The scope statements
  2. Upper management
  3. Functional requirements
  4. Customer expectations

Q24. All of the following are components of culture EXCEPT:

  1. Values
  2. Norms
  3. Intelligence
  4. Beliefs

Q25. Except -------------- for the following resource categories, activity cost estimate includes all of the following resource categories:

  1. Labor
  2. Materials
  3. Equipment
  4. Time constraints

Q26. While managing a software upgrade project for your company you realize that your sponsor has high authority in decisions but low interest. What stakeholder management strategy should you employ to ensure the sponsor’s continued support?

  1. Keep the sponsor informed
  2. Keep the sponsor satisfied
  3. Manage the sponsor closely
  4. Monitor the sponsor's actions

Q27. A project manager is quantifying risk for her project. Several of her experts are offsite but wish to be included. How can this be done?

  1. Do a Monte Carlo analysis using the Internet as a tools
  2. Apply the critical path method
  3. Determine options for recommended corrective action
  4. Apply the Delphi Technique

Q28. You are part of a project team that’s designing a new type of vehicle. You are on the brink of getting started with working on a set of tasks (work package) for the braking system of the vehicle. You would like to assess the acceptance criteria before beginning the work. Where should you look in order to find this information?

  1. The WBS dictionary
  2. Project management plan
  3. Activity attributes
  4. Requirements documentation

Q29. A company sets up a change control board (CCB) dedicated to the purpose of reviewing and evaluating the changes submitted for all projects. Which of the following best describes an individual or group that can request a change on a project in a situation where the project sponsor is a member of the CCB?

  1. Any stakeholder
  2. Project sponsor
  3. Project team
  4. Project manager

Q30. Being assigned as a project manager, you noticed during project execution that conflicts arise in the team on both technical and interpersonal levels. What is an appropriate way of handling conflicts?

  1. Conflicts distract the team and disrupt the work rhythm. You should always smooth them when they surface.
  2. A conflict should be handled in a meeting so that the entire team can participate in finding a solution.
  3. Conflicts should be addressed early and usually in private, using a direct, collaborative approach.
  4. You should use your coercive power to quickly resolve conflicts and then focus on goal achievement.

Q31. To reduce the defect rate of a manufacturing process, a project is carried out. The project team is carrying out QA activities to analyze and improve the process. Which of the following would be the most beneficial for this project?

  1. Introducing the use of a Kanban board into the manufacturing process
  2. Consulting with a certified Six Sigma Black Belt expert
  3. Utilizing rolling wave planning for the project
  4. Adopting a just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing process

Q32. While monitoring the baseline cost of a project, it is noted that the project expenses are higher than expected at this point. What is the most likely cause of this?

  1. Overestimated material costs
  2. Lack of stakeholder support
  3. Excess inventory
  4. An incomplete milestone lists

Q33. Using an agile framework, you are to lead a product development project. You want to bring together stakeholders and SMEs to discuss risk, success criteria and other topics. What is the best way for you to accomplish this objective?

  1. Facilitate an iteration retrospective
  2. Conduct interviews with the identified individuals
  3. Schedule a focus group
  4. Invite the relevant participants to the daily scrum meetings

Q34. Alpha and Beta are two projects considered by a company. $50 million net profit is expected of Alpha and $45 million from Beta. Both are lucrative and rewarding projects, but the company can only invest in one of the projects. If Alpha is chosen, calculate the opportunity cost?

  1. $5 million
  2. $45 million
  3. $50 million
  4. $95 million

Q35. The organization’s leadership wants to include more agile methodologies in their projects. Before starting to take any agile approaches in a project, what is the first thing to be done?

  1. Evaluate the organizational culture and transformation readiness
  2. Conduct a survey of employees to find those willing to participate in agile projects
  3. Conduct agile training for those in the team assembled for the pilot project
  4. Put current projects on hold to readjust them to the new agile cadence

Q36. A road project was planned to be completed in 8 months. Calculate the SV when the earned value information at the end of six months is given as: BAC = $8000, AC = $12000, % complete = 100%.

  1. $8,000
  2. $6,000
  3. $2,000
  4. $4,000

Q37. How will a Pareto Chart help in a project with a lot of identified action items?

  1. Prioritization
  2. Identify root causes
  3. Understand the trend of deviations
  4. Complete all activities on time

Q38. What is the Japanese method of modern quality management called, which relies on continuous small improvements involving everyone from the top management to the lowest level worker in the organization?

  1. Kanban
  2. Kaizen
  3. Deming Cycle
  4. PDCA

Q39. Being the project manager on a STP project, you decide to respond to an identified risk by contracting out work. Which of the following will lead to the minimum risk of the buyer?

  1. Time & Material (T&M)
  2. Cost Plus Fixed Fee (CPFF)
  3. Cost Plus Percentage of Cost (CPPC)
  4. Firm Fixed Price (FFP)

Q40. If SPI = 0.75 and CPI = 0.8, then which of the following reports is correct?

  1. SV = $3750
  2. CV = $4000
  3. TCPI = 0.8
  4. The project likely needs more money than planned to complete

Conclusion

Project management is the most prestigious profession, adding to the recent boom in project management roles and responsibilities in the job market. However, in a working space where more than 1Mn PMP certified professionals have proven their worth, one must be proactive in their approach.

Enroll in iCert Global's PMP certification training course to begin a successful journey in the project management field.

 


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Top 6 Reasons Project Management is a Top Career Choice

Top 6 Reasons Project Management is a Top Career Choice

Irrespective of the industry, project managers are always in high demand to plan and provision the work. However, that is just the top-level project management view, which can be a challenging and rewarding career, but why project management career?

If you have pondered whether becoming a project manager is appropriate, this blog will illuminate the top 3 reasons why project management might be the best career move.

The Role of Project Managers

The fundamental project management principles include planning, organizing, monitoring, controlling, leading, and managing resources and activities to attain particular business objectives.

This personnel identifies strategies to start the project, evaluates and understands the project criteria, analyzes and gathers the needed workforce on board, and monitors the work progress.

Some of the other roles and responsibilities of project managers include:

  • Set the work budget
  • Decides how the task will be finished
  • Manage the team and organization culture
  • Leads meetings to track the progress of the project
  • Decides which talent needed for the project
  • Fix the schedule and deadline for the projects and subprojects
  • Reports on the project progress to stakeholders

Shuffling multiple projects, activities, and schedules can be daunting, but with proper training and experience, professionals can learn how to handle this.

Methods Leveraged in Project Management

It's crucial to note that any business or workflow in the modern world will pace towards success only if it adopts the innovative forms of approaches that fit into the digital world.

In addition, project management has no predefined steps that can be followed hazily. Therefore, the goals of a project can be satisfied only when one or more effective project management approaches are applied.

Here are some well-adopted methods to perform the project management functions efficiently:

  • Agile
  • Scrum
  • Lean
  • Six Sigma
  • Waterfall
  • Kanban
  • Extreme Programming (XP)
  • Adaptive Project Framework (APF)
  • PERT

Sectors Demanding Project Management

There are no limitations in the frequency of project management to a specific sector. However, there are distinct and various areas that demand the input of project managers, which are:

  • Manufacturing
  • Software and IT
  • Marketing
  • Insurance and financing
  • Constructions
  • Architecture and infrastructure
  • Engineering

Top 6 Reasons Project Management is a Top Career Path

With the growing business procedures and the idea of expansion, there is a strong demand for professionals who have a greater understanding of the sector and streamline the method to attain definite project objectives.

This is where the role of project managers comes to light, making management a great career path. A professionally accredited person in this domain has a high chance of tempting offers that aren't only profitable for business goals but also to help satisfy personal gains.

Here are the top 6 reasons why choose a project management career:

  1. Handsome Remuneration

The pay scale is the first thing we come across when applying for a job. Besides the salary payment, we check a few before enrolment, such as stability, incentives, and bonuses.

The positions in project management pave off very well. But, sooner or later, you'll notice a drastic progression in your designation and salary terms. According to Glassdoor.com 2022 survey, the average salary of an entry-level project manager is $88,907/year.

Your salary package shall increase with the years of expertise you gain as a project professional. Therefore, ensure that you grab the best opportunities if you have significant skills and ideal project management accreditation.

  1. Communication Skills

Other than your technical skills, there is a vast space and opportunity to work on having excellent communication skills. The fundamental role of a project professional is to interact with several people in the business hierarchy. Therefore, there is no getting away from constant working mode on your communication to complete the task.

Discussions have to be modified according to the teams you interact with. For instance, communication will be different when speaking to a group from HR and interacting with a team from the IT department.

As a project professional, you can swiftly recognize the best course of action, formal or informal communication, keeping in mind the end goal.

  1. Rising Demand

The demand for project professionals has been sky-rocketing ever since there was a drastic growth in the industrial and digital phase. Within the company, there's always a constant requirement for people with essential skills and proficiency, and this can be best fulfilled via project management.

Based on a survey from various reliable sources, it is estimated that by 2027, the project management jobs in different industries are expected to grow by 33%, which is approximately 22Mn new job roles.

Project management is a vast area to flourish, and you can explore to grow in different ways. You don't have to work in a specific organization, whether large or small-scale businesses; clients are available. The type of sector that you can access is also surplus. You have the fair means to get exposure to different work situations.

  1. Enhance Work Culture

Its team members will follow and collaborate on a project manager's goals and vision. If you're a project professional, you can easily influence your team. Juniors working under a professional will learn suitable managerial lessons. Undoubtedly, an enhanced work culture increases the demand and standard of a company.

  1. Greater Career Choices

Project management provides you with vast opportunities if your vision is to have constant and steady growth in your career. PMPs are the most sought-after career due to the emerging demands. You can prepare, manage your projects, and expand your skills by choosing a project management career.

Most excellent job security in any dynamic field is a part of this role. In addition, it allows for global travel to take the lead in multiple projects.

Moreover, some sectors do provide opportunities to project professionals given below:

  • Telecommunications
  • Engineering
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Insurance
  • Architecture
  • Software development
  1. Skill Development

You will develop several skills and learn new techs as you move ahead in the profession. Project professionals develop soft and hard skills to succeed in a project. Each project will need novel ideas and visions.

You can enhance creativity and talent as this workspace domain will never limit your invention. Your current skills will be developed, helping you handle the clients and projects efficiently.

In addition, a project manager must bring their team together from initial to final, find out the team member's strengths and weaknesses, make them challenge themself, and motivate them.

You're responsible for analyzing business requirements and making accurate decisions as a leader. Strong analytical and leadership skills can assist you in being efficient and enhance team productivity.

Conclusion

Constant learning is vital for your career development in the evolving job market. You have to learn more and develop unique skills and expertise for a better job landing. In addition, this will aid in making a shift from your existing firm to another industry or a specific type of project management.

Simply put, project managers with professional accreditation have the highest probability of receiving handsome remuneration and more opportunities for development than non-certified people. The two most common project management certifications are PRINCE2 and PMP.

iCert Global provides multiple project management training courses that can help project enthusiasts receive the certification education and real-world expertise beneficial for any project management career.

 


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6 Successful Project Estimation Techniques in 2022

6 Successful Project Estimation Techniques in 2022

Project estimation is one of the most crucial elements in any business. You have to have it down to a science if you want your project to continue – and complete in time.

The planning and management of your projects depend on an accurate estimation. Missing out on all critical aspects of your project can result in huge losses and cause delays, negatively impacting the results and viability of your final product.

Time is money, and a lot of times, we forget that when we're planning a project. If you've ever come across a problem where you have no idea how long a task will take to complete, then this article is for you. We have collected 6 successful project estimation techniques that anyone can use!

Project Estimation Techniques in 2022

Many projects have been planned and executed successfully. However, some unsuccessful ones can be avoided using the proper estimation techniques.

Project estimation is an essential part of any project. It helps determine the project's value and cost, which is then used to determine how much funding should be allocated for it.

The most important thing about project estimation is that it should be done correctly. Otherwise, it will lead to low-quality results and delays in project implementation. The estimation techniques are:

Analogous Estimating

Analogous project estimation technique is a type of modeling and forecasting that involves the comparison of one or more projects to other similar projects. This technique can be used for projects with similar characteristics but not identical.

The analogical approach involves determining the completion percentage for each project phase on which you will base your estimate. For example, suppose you are estimating the time required to complete three steps of a project. In that case, you will calculate the percentage of completion for each phase based on its independent variables.

The Analogous Project Estimation Technique allows you to determine how much time you will need for each phase as a percentage of the total time required for your entire project.

However, it does not tell you how much time it will take an individual step to complete in full and therefore cannot be used alone as an accurate basis for estimating overall project completion times.

Parametric Estimate

This technique uses a parametric model to estimate the project cost. The parametric model is based on the product design and material requirements. The given parameters are those that are required for the entire project.

For example, the roof area (A), the number of rooms (N), and so on. The parametric estimation technique is a powerful and reliable tool that helps estimate the cost of any project with accuracy without requiring extra effort from you as an estimator.

Parametric estimation also reduces your workload because it can be used for multiple projects in a single day or week. In addition, it requires less time to do your job because you don't have to estimate each component separately but only for one product or feature.

Also, make mistakes while counting. You will have difficulty getting rid of them because it's part of your job as an estimator, and it has become a habit for you now.

Three-point Estimating

The three-point project estimation technique effectively estimates the amount of work required for a project. The process involves three steps:

The first step is to identify the resources and skills required to complete the project. This step involves identifying all the help and skills needed to complete a particular task or project.

The second step is to determine how much time it will take to complete each task or job on the project. This can be done by estimating how long it takes you to complete a specific task on your own and comparing this with how long it takes to achieve the same task when working with others under your supervision or leadership.

The third step is to calculate how much time you need to budget for everyone involved in completing each task or job on your project team (including yourself) as well as all other members of staff working on other projects (including yourself).

Top-Down Estimate

The top-down project estimation technique is a method to estimate the size of a project. It is a top-down approach to assessing the size of a project rather than calculating it from the bottom up.

The estimation starts with high-level goals, and then it breaks those goals down into smaller tasks and objectives. This technique is used for large projects as well as small ones.

The top-down approach to estimating the size of a project can be used by any person when they have to define a project on paper.

For example, suppose you want to write an article for your company's newsletter and have no idea how much time it would take. In that case, you can use this technique to estimate the work.

You can use this technique in any form of designing an organization's product or service.

For example, if you want to design a new website for your company, then you can use this technique to calculate how long it will take before you get started with your work.

Bottom-Up Estimate

This method is also known as the "divide and conquer" approach. Here we divide the work into small chunks and then calculate the total amount required for completing those tiny chunks of work. This method helps us to get more accurate results than other methods, such as the Top-Down or Expert Judgment Approach.

What-If Analysis

The what-if analysis project estimation technique is a simple but effective tool for estimating the cost of a project. This technique defines the scope and evaluates the time required to complete each activity.

The next step is calculating the total time required to complete the project using a formula based on the average duration per activity multiplied by the number of activities in each phase.

Finally, you need to add some buffer time to account for any possible delays or issues arising during execution.

This calculation will give you an approximate cost range for your project that can serve as a starting point when deciding how much time and money you should invest in it.

Conclusion

One thing to keep in mind is that there's no one-size-fits-all way to do the estimation. The type of product will influence the estimations and, more importantly, how teams prioritize work within the product.

Using a simple scorecard and pinpointing requirements, developers can ensure they've considered all aspects of a project so that the final estimates are thorough and accurate.


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The Significance of Work Packages in Project Scope Management

The Significance of Work Packages in Project Scope Management

If you're preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential test, you may know there's a lot to understand. Regarding project scope management, the work package concept is crucial to learn. Work packages are significant when preparing the WBS structure for any project.

What is Work Package?

A work package is a compact unit of a WBS structure. When preparing a WBS leveraging the decomposition method, deliverables usually are broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks of work.

This method of deconstruction continues until the deliverables are small to be considered work packages. Each of these should be compact to help the project professional calibrate the cost and duration. Work packages can be scheduled, cost estimated, monitored, and controlled.

What’s in a Work Package?

Every project management dataset has a set of smaller pieces linked with it called work packages.

  • Budget - a must to account for how much was allotted to the work package.
  • Deadlines - provides the project professional a reference point to estimate the work progress.
  • Risks - identifying risks and formulating a risk management plan is a crucial step to avert the issues before they start. You also need to monitor progress to stop any potential issues prior to getting worse.
  • Task Priority - by structuring your work according to the WBS, you set priorities for each task, informing teams of their activities.

Work Package Specifications

When a person completes a work package, they generally share a standard set of traits. For instance, these might include the type of work performed and whether that sort of work is done on programming, marketing, or other skills.

Undeniably, it would help to find what activities you will perform in this package, when they'll take place, and how much time they'll consume. Resources may also be relevant to achieving these tasks; some may be material or technological-based.

Every project must have a dedicated team leader and stakeholders that are deeply committed to that specific project. It's one's responsibility to get their contact information and keep them updated with the work progress.

Importance of Work Packages

By breaking down a project into work packages, the creation of WBS becomes seamless, and project professionals will have excellent control over tasks. 

Other benefits of why work packages are of utmost significance include:

  • Work packages allow concurrent work on various project elements parallel by several teams. Each team follows the assignments defined for the package and completes them within a specified timeline.
  • Once the teams are done with their packages, the whole project unites together with smooth collaboration. Completing these packages is overseen by a professional such as a supervisor, designated team member, manager, or team lead. 
  • Even though costs are calibrated at an activity level, these cost estimates are clustered to the work package level, where they're estimated, managed, and controlled.
  • For each package, we can find the direct labor costs, the direct material costs, equipment, contractual services, other non-personal material, and indirect costs.

Essential Tips for Work Packages

Some of the essential project management tips to assist with work packages are:

  1. Don't ignore bringing your team into the process to make a WBS. Your team is the work frontier and your best resource when ensuring the project has enough time and budget to evaluate potential risks.
  2. Two added advantages of a work package are that it offers a precise time and expense estimate while making it seamless to view which project portions are a more significant percentage of the whole.
  3. It's recommended to assign a single person to tackle each job and report to the project professional, thus, ensuring accountability and efficient management of workloads. 
  4. Every WBS package should be something only that package will generate and shouldn't repeat the package elsewhere. 
  5. Limit your project, so it's accomplishable within a limited time, i.e., not more than two weeks at the most. You want to perform the campaign simultaneously with your reporting schedule.

Estimating Work Package Performance

a. With Earned Value Management

The Earned Value (EV) management measurement can estimate the work package performance. It merges project scope, schedule measures, and cost to help the project management team assess and evaluate project progress and performance. In addition, it calls for the prep of a collaborated baseline against which can calculate the work package performance for the project duration.

  1. EV measurement develops and monitors three crucial dimensions for each package.
  2. Planned Value - an authorized budget dedicated to the achievement of work for the package.
  3. Earned Value - a value of work performed expressed in terms of the approved budget allotted to the package.
  4. Actual Cost - total cost incurred and recorded in achieving work performed for a package.

b. With Other Metrics

  1. Cost Variance (CV) - a measure of schedule project performance. It's the difference between earned value and actual costs, i.e., CV = EV – AC
  2. Cost Performance Index (CPI) - a measure of work completed value compared to the project's actual cost, i.e., CPI = EV / AC
  3. Schedule Variance (SV) - a measure of schedule project performance. It's defined as the difference between earned value and planned value, i.e., SV = EV – PV
  4. Schedule Performance Index (SPI) - a measure of achieved progress relative to a project's planned progress, i.e., SPI - EV / PV

 

Work packages give teammates a perfect understanding of their responsibilities with organization charts and other aids. In addition, several formats exist to document teammate roles, most of which fall under three categories: hierarchical, text-based, and matrix-based.

For example, the responsibility assignment matrix (RAM0 is leveraged to display the relation between work packages and project team members. On massive projects, a higher-level RAM defines what a project unit or group is responsible for within each package. Moreover, a lower-level RAM is leveraged within the group to assign roles, authority, and responsibility for specific tasks.


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Understanding the Difference between ROM Estimate Vs Definitive Estimate

Understanding the Difference between ROM Estimate Vs Definitive Estimate

 

Table of Content

What is a ROM Estimate?

Components of a ROM Estimate

Advantages of ROM Estimates

What is a Definitive Estimate?

Components of a Definitive Estimate

Advantages of Definitive Estimates

Difference between ROM Estimate and Definitive Estimates

 

What is a ROM Estimate?

ROM Estimate is a project estimate that summarizes the work required to complete a project. It gives an idea of the major activities and tasks involved in the project, along with the effort and resources needed for them.

The ROM Estimate is used to calculate the size of work packages (WP) and duration. It also determines whether other elements must be considered in the estimation process, such as cost drivers and resource requirements.

Components of a ROM Estimate

The Following are the component of the ROM Estimate

  • Relevant work is defined and quantified.
  • A schedule is created based on the tasks, resources, and other relevant factors required to complete the project.
  • The process of creating and updating this schedule is known as Project Management.
  • The project manager or the team leads define their scope of work and then assign tasks to various group members.
  • The scope of work can be divided into many other sub-tasks. Each sub-task has a set of resources that are required to complete it. These resources include human resources and the funds needed to pay them.

Advantages of ROM Estimates

In project management, the ROM estimate determines the time and money needed to complete a project. This is done by calculating the total cost for all activities (from start to finish) in one specific calendar year. Advantages of ROM are:

  • Comparing projects with different scopes, sizes, and complexity is more manageable.
  • Comparing projects with similar scope, size, and complexity is easier.
  • It's more accurate than using detailed cost breakdowns.
  • It's more flexible than using detailed cost breakdowns.
  • It can negotiate price or scope changes with customers or vendors.

What is a Definitive Estimate?

A definitive estimate is an estimate that the project manager has confidence in because it has undergone a process of review, revision, and consensus. A final assessment is based on analyzing all relevant factors and includes the best information available at the estimation time.

A definitive estimate provides a more accurate view of what can be achieved than an estimate derived from preliminary data. This is because it takes into account all known facts, as well as assumptions about future events. These assumptions are based on current performance trends and experience with similar projects.

Suppose a project's budget is not updated in line with actual costs incurred. In that case, it will be challenging to manage effectively over time.

For example, if a company expects to spend $1 million on a project which costs $1 million to complete but then discovers that it costs $2 million to build, then this discrepancy between budgeted and actual costs will affect future business decisions by management.

Components of a Definitive Estimate

The components of a definitive estimate include:

  • Cost baseline -Defines all costs associated with the project, including personnel costs and subcontractor fees. This component also includes any expenses related to the acquisition of the work.
  • Activity list- Provides details about each activity required during the life cycle of your project.
  • Resource requirements -Provides details about each resource needed to execute your project plan.

Advantages of Definitive Estimates

The advantages of definitive estimates are:

  • Definitive estimates are more accurate than ROM estimates. This is because they include all the inputs and assumptions used to determine the original ROM estimate.
  • Definitive estimates are easier to verify because they include all of the information used to make the previous estimates so that you can double-check them more easily.
  • Definitive estimates are more detailed and comprehensive than ROM estimates. For example, they describe what the project will cost, how long it will take, how much it will cost, how much it will take to complete, etc., making it easier to manage and plan for.

Difference between ROM Estimate and Definitive Estimates

The main difference between a ROM estimate and a definitive estimate is that with a ROM estimate, you have to make sure that the project's scope is defined correctly. In contrast, with a final estimate, you must ensure that enough information has been gathered to go ahead with your project without any significant problems.

The ROM estimate will have more variables than a definitive estimate. For example, in a ROM estimate, you will include how much time it takes to develop the product, how much time it takes to test the product, and how long it takes to launch the product.

Suppose you include all these variables in your ROM estimate. In that case, you can quickly get an accurate idea of how long your project will take to complete according to your schedule.

Conclusion

The estimate for a project is a culmination of the various data and information gathered about the project. When sourcing quotes and compiling data or information, it is easy to make mistakes.

Understanding the difference between ROM estimates and definitive estimates will therefore be crucial in minimizing the possibility of making errors in predictive analysis.


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Artificial Intelligence Engineer: Education, Roles, and Skills 2022

Artificial Intelligence Engineer: Education, Roles, and Skills 2022

Artificial Intelligence (AI) engineers are the most sought-after career. This is because AI has an endless ability to boost and simplify tasks generally performed by humans, such as speech recognition, business process management, disease detection, and image processing.

In AI, machines learn from previous actions and data, which are negative or positive. With the new data, the device can rectify itself, so the issues don't resurface and create relevant adjustments to tackle new inputs. Moreover, the machine also performs human-like activities.

If you are technically prone and have a software programming background, you may want to consider a productive AI career and know how to become an AI engineer.

How to be an AI Expert?

To become a proficient in AI, you'll require the following steps:

  1. Obtain a secondary school diploma
  2. Complete a Bachelor's degree and to enhance competitiveness for AI engineering careers, go for a Master's degree
  3. Participate in AI courses or diploma programs and earn accreditations
  4. Search for employment after obtain a sufficient amount of expertise.

Roles of AI Engineers

An AI engineer creates AI models leveraging Machine Learning (ML) algorithms and Deep Learning (DL) neural networks to derive meaningful insights, which helps in making crucial decisions that impact the whole organization. These professionals also build weak or strong AIs based on what objectives they want to accomplish.

AI engineers strongly understand programming, data science, and software engineering. They leverage various tools and practices to process data and maintain AI systems.

Responsibilities of AI Engineers

As an AI engineer, you need to accomplish specific tasks: develop, test, and deploy AI models via programming algorithms (Linear Regression, Random Forest, etc.)

Let's see some of the significant responsibilities of AI engineers.

  • Develop data ingestion and transformation system
  • Be a good game-changer, as coordinating with employees is a must.
  • Convert the ML models into Application Program Interfaces (APIs), so other software can leverage them.
  • Conduct statistical analysis and enhance the outcomes so the companies can make better decisions
  • Create AI models from scratch and assist various organizational components like stakeholders and product managers to understand what results they receive from the model
  • Set up and manage AI product and development system
  • Automate the system that the data science team leverages

Skills Required for AI Engineers

Professionals who are keen on becoming an AI engineer must know the following prerequisite skills.

Technical Skills

  1. Spark and Big Data technologies (Apache Spark, MongoDB, Hadoop, Cassandra)
  2. Programming skills (Python, Java, C++, and R)
  3. ML and DL algorithms (KNN, SVM, Linear Regression, recurrent neural network, convolutional neural network, generative adversarial network) and Frameworks (PyTorch, TensorFlow, Caffe, and Theano)
  4. Linear algebra, probability, and statistics

Soft Skills

The difference between successful engineers and those with a hard time is rooted in their soft skills. Though being an AI professional is primarily a technical job, the potential to seamlessly communicate with others, deal with issues, organize an individual's time efficiently, and work in partnership with others are the crucial factors that determine whether or not a project is successfully executed and delivered.

  1. Problem-solving
  2. Teamwork
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Communication skills
  5. Domain expertise
  6. Business Intelligence (BI)
  7. Time management

AI Engineer Salary

According to Glassdoor, an AI engineer's average salary per year is $114,121 in the US and INR765,353 in India. But, of course, the salary may differ in several companies, and with the expertise and knowledge you bring to the table.

AI Engineer Job Roles

Since various sectors across the globe leverage AI to some point, including education and healthcare, there has been significant growth in the career choices within the AI field.

Some of these job roles are:

  • Data scientists
  • AI developer
  • ML Engineer
  • BI developer
  • AI architect

 


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Understanding Types of Organization: PMP Study

Understanding Types of Organization: PMP Study

To become a PMP, you need to learn about organization types defined by the Project Management Institute. The PMI defines an organizational structure as a framework for determining the hierarchy of people, function, and workflow—along with the reporting system in an organization.

Every organization must have an established organization type in order to work efficiently and achieve its business goals.

Project managers should be aware of different types of organizations and how they operate so they can identify stakeholders and other team members. Here is the list of different type of organizations:

Projectized Organization

Such an organization is based on projects. Therefore, the company's entire work is divided into more minor project-sized activities, which are completed in a specific time frame.

For instance, you might work on a project expected to last for two years, but you will complete different tasks every day or week. If you are working in such an environment, it means that you are constantly working on other projects at the same time.

Projectized organizations can be found in various sectors of the economy: government agencies and private companies. Most large organizations rely on projected structures for their daily operations.

The main advantage of this type of organization is that it allows companies to rapidly adjust their resources according to changing customer and stakeholder demands.

For example, suppose there is a sudden increase in demand for one product or service offered by your company. In that case, you can quickly increase the number of employees working on this project without having to make any significant structural changes.

Functional Organization

The most common type of organization is the functional organization. This type of organization is designed to perform tasks in a specific area with a transparent chain of command, and it's usually used when several departments work together toward a common goal.

Functional organizations are also known as departmental organizations because they're broken down into individual departments or divisions that each have their own goals and responsibilities.

The different departments within this type of organization typically have separate budgets and may even report to other executives.

The most significant benefit of using a functional organization is efficiency.

If each department has its own goals, it will be able to focus on those goals without worrying about other areas or departments within the company. This allows each department to work independently and devote time and energy to achieving their purposes.

There are also some downsides associated with using this type of organizational structure.

 For example, one downside is that it can create silos within the company where information isn't shared between departments or divisions. This can cause problems when employees from different departments need access to data from other departments but aren't able to access it because they're not in contact with each other very often (or at all).

Composite Organization

The composite organization has two or more functional organizations combined into one. This type of organization is called a composite because it combines different functions. The advantages of this type of organization are:

  • It can be very effective when there is a need for multiple types of skills and resources in the exact location or region.

For example, suppose an enterprise wants to combine the resources of its production and distribution operations. In that case, it can create a composite organization. This will help them reduce the cost of operating multiple facilities and increase the process's efficiency.

  • It allows enterprises to take advantage of economies of scale by combining different functions into one unit.
  • It helps enterprises access resources that they might not have been able to use effectively due to their specific needs or requirements.

Matrix Organization

A matrix organization combines elements of both functional and projectized structures.

A matrix organization has multiple divisions or departments but also has cross-functional teams that report to their functional manager and a project manager for each project team they are assigned.

The benefit of this type of structure is that it provides stability and flexibility within an organization because each employee can be assigned to multiple projects simultaneously, depending on their skill set and availability.

The disadvantage is that when an employee switches from one project team to another, he may have difficulty keeping up with the latest information because he was not present during critical meetings or decisions were made without input.

Conclusion

Before embarking on a new project, it's always helpful for a project manager to know what type of organization you are working in. This understanding will better prepare you for the challenges ahead and help make your job as easy as possible.

The good news is that most organizations listed on the PMBOK® Guide cover each of the different types and provide some ideas about the differences between them.


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Project Quality Management: Cost of Quality

Project Quality Management: Cost of Quality

Cost of quality is a significant concept in the project quality management knowledge area. However, it's also misinterpreted by several PMP credential exam-takers. A strong understanding of this concept can help increase a participant's score as there're very few questions on the exam based on it.

Let's take a quick and profound journey into the cost of quality concept.

If a product meets/exceeds its design features and is null-defect, it's said to have a top-notch conformance quality. So, for example, if a steel watch has zero defects, it can have a high conformance quality as a zero-defect diamond-studded watch. The steel one may not be attractive or expensive as the diamond, but you can expect it to be free of defects.

The prevention, identification, and handling of defects incur costs of quality. The term indicates total costs incurred to prevent product defects or costs that result from product defects.

Quality costs don't just relate to manufacturing but all the tasks from research and development (R&D) to customer services. So, the whole product life-cycle is included while deriving quality costs.

The quality cost is reviewed as a part of project management to make crucial decisions on how much to invest in quality.

When it comes to the definition of quality cost, there are two categories:

Cost of Conformance

These costs are incurred to maintain defective products from falling into customers' hands. The cost of conformance is made of:

1. Appraisal Costs

These are also known as inspection costs incurred to determine defective products before they're shipped to consumers. However, performing appraisal tasks doesn't prevent defects from happening. Most managers realize that keeping a team of inspectors isn't an effective way to control quality.

A better method is to ask employees to be responsible for their quality control, followed by creating designs for how to manufacture a zero-defect product. This method enables quality to be built into the product, rather than depending on inspections to determine defects.

2. Prevention Costs

These costs include all those expenses incurred for tasks mainly designed to prevent the low-quality product from occurring. It's much less expensive to prevent an issue than to identify and rectify the problem after its occurrence.

Prevention costs are incurred for activities that minimize the defects number. Companies employ several practices to prevent them, including statistical process control, quality engineering, and training.

Cost of Non-conformance

These costs are incurred due to defects generated despite efforts by a company to prevent them. Hence, these costs are also called costs of poor quality. These failure expenses are incurred when a product fails to conform to its design properties.

The non-conformance costs consist of 2 categories:

1. Internal Failure Costs

These costs result from defects found before they are shipped to consumers. They are determined within the project scope. Internal failure costs include rejected products, downtime, and reworking detective systems caused by quality issues.

It also includes costs if an organization has to reject and throw units of their project work, called scrap. If the company's appraisal activities are productive, it has a good chance of identifying defects internally; thus increasing the internal failure cost level.

2. External Failure Costs

These costs are an outcome of delivering a defective product to the consumer. The external failure costs include many sales arising from a poor-quality reputation, repairs and replacements, product recalls, warranty, and liabilities arising from legal action against a firm. Such expenses can even reduce a business's profit.

These costs also give rise to intangible expenses. For example, a company may lose its future venture with its existing consumer for delivering a poor-quality product. These expenses aren't there on the balance sheet; instead, they significantly impact the income statement.

The best method a company can follow amid these scenarios is to ensure the defective products never reach the consumer.

By minimizing internal loss, one can ensure they don't slip through to become external failures. Even if they have an external failure, one should act quickly and resolve the customer problem. This is the benchmark of good customer service.

 

Hence, the cost of quality includes costs of conformance and non-conformance. This method helps us estimate the amount we spend to assure quality. It also involves looking at the conformance and non-conformance costs of the project and creating a suitable balance.


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Critical Chain Project Management

Critical Chain Project Management

What is Critical Chain Project Management?

Critical Chain Project Management is a project management methodology that focuses on managing the critical path of a project. This is done by reducing the time spent on non-critical tasks and ensuring that resources are allocated to jobs so they will not delay the project's completion date.

There are two main concepts associated with Critical Chain Project Management:

Critical Path Method: This refers to a schedule management tool used to determine which tasks must be completed first for the project to be completed on time. This is done by analyzing dependencies between functions and deciding which ones are necessary for completion first.

Project Buffer: A project buffer refers to any amount of time added onto the critical path which does not contribute directly towards completing a task but would help prevent delays caused by other factors such as resource availability or weather conditions.

Using Critical Chain to Improve Project Performance

The critical chain is defined as the longest path through the network of activities in the project schedule. Any delay in moving along this path increases the overall project duration. In other words, Critical Chain is also the most extended sequence of dependent activities without a float (i.e., without slack).

The float associated with each activity determines its position in the critical path (or critical chain). Activities with zero float are always on the essential way; activities with positive float are never on the critical path, and activities with negative float may or may not be on it depending upon whether there are other higher priority zero-float activities ahead of them in the schedule.

For Critical Chain Project Management to work effectively, you need first to identify your key activities and then determine if they require more resources or not.

Application of critical chain in project management

It aims to improve the performance of projects by managing their schedules according to the critical path method and ensuring that all activities are completed in the most efficient manner possible.

The critical difference between CCPM and other project management approaches is that it does not rely on resource leveling but instead determines the critical path for each activity and ensures that resources are applied to those activities first. This helps prevent resource bottlenecks, which can lead to project delays.

Resource Management in CCPM

Resource management in critical chain project management is assigning resources to tasks and projects.

The resource management process involves four steps:

  • First, select the right resources for your project or task. Then, the right help can do the job, have the required skills and experience, and are available when needed. This step is crucial for successful critical chain project management.
  • Allocating resources to tasks. Once you've selected the right resources, you must assign them to tasks using a fair method that doesn't favor one study over another. For example, you might want to use an algorithm like shortest job first (SJF) or longest job first (LJF). Both methods are discussed below.
  • You are monitoring resource utilization against capacity constraints. This step helps ensure that your resources aren't over-allocated and that your projects stay on track for completion dates. Suppose your projects fall behind schedule or use more than their allocated capacity. In that case, you should take corrective action immediately so as not to affect other projects in production.
  • Managing unplanned work by ensuring it doesn't impact scheduled work or delay delivery dates.

Advantages of Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)

  • It offers a more realistic way of scheduling projects.
  • It helps you use project controls to make better decisions, so you have a clear idea of each project's scope, cost, and schedule.
  • It'll help you predict, plan and manage your projects better.
  • It helps prevent you from having too much or too little slack in a project.
  • It lets you more easily plan your schedule to get work done on time.
  • It helps project managers to stay on task.

Conclusion

Critical Chain Project Management, or CCPM, is a type of project management methodology that analyzes tasks and breaks them into smaller, less complex chunks called critical path method projects or CPM.

Critical Chain Project Management then tries to reduce or eliminate the lag time of task completion as much as possible to get work done faster. Additionally, it prioritizes the parts of a project that are most important to the outcome of a goal.


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10 Best Time Management Apps for 2022

10 Best Time Management Apps for 2022

Time management is the potential to leverage the time you've on your hands effectively for executing any activity; this is significant for any business. Technology has undoubtedly enabled us to connect, enhance, perform, and optimize our resources beyond imagination. One of the most outstanding examples of it is time management apps.

What is Time Management App?

These apps are a system that allows both individuals and businesses to monitor time through a detailed view. Leveraging a time management app is one of the most suitable methods to achieve what most of us try for - productivity.

From to-do lists and calendar reminders to meetings, it's easier to get overwhelmed with the number of required tasks. However, due to time management applications, one can track and monitor all the activities and the time needed to finish them.

Leveraging such software helps us to achieve our targets promptly and save time in the long run.

Pros of Time Management Softwares

Time tracking is highly significant. However, it's pretty unnatural as we don't possess the potential to remember everything we perform with natural accuracy.

This is why individuals and companies are letting go of the fallacies-prone spreadsheets and notepads for sophisticated time-tracking software. Now, before investing in the app, you must consider the advantages of such apps:

  • Enhance productivity
  • Accurate billing
  • Evaluate client value
  • Project management
  • Communicate progress

10 Best Time Management Softwares

Time tracking software makes it simple and convenient to manage time and activities, thus improving productivity objectives for you or your peers. These apps are crucial as time management is a vital skill to learn.

TSheets

This app by QuickBooks is an all-inclusive mobile timesheets software that tracks time on any device for teams of all sizes. Leveraging the TSheets, workforces can log in and out seamlessly and promptly from a mobile app, time clock kiosk, or a computer.

Benefits of TSheets:

  • Interactive, real-time reports
  • GPS location tracking available to keep tabs on where your workforces are working
  • Connects to the favorite accounting software
  • Exhibits overtime alerts to inform about weekly overtime limits
  • Develops employee schedules by jobs or shifts

Calendar

With solid analytics resources, this app lets us view how much time one spends in meetings to structure the time for prioritizing crucial activities.

Benefits of Calendar:

  • Have a broad user base ranging from massive teams to freelancers Connects all the calendars in one place
  • Detailed analytics to understand how one spend their time

TimeCamp

It's a unique project system that develops transparent and challenging management. The software offers features like invoicing, reporting, and budgeting to help teams perform better and deliver outcomes on time and within budget.

Benefits of TimeCamp:

  • Evaluates the time spent on project with a wider report range
  • Allows you to choose between two timesheet templates, i.e., daily and weekly

Timely

This app is an automatic time management software that tracks project durations and helps one organize their workweek effectively. All you need is to offer the workweek in advance to evaluate the time you need to set aside each day for activity completion.

Timely is available for Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and as a browser app.

Benefits of Timely:

  • Makes time entries for the recorded work
  • Record each thing you perform while leveraging its Memory Tracker
  • Holds an individual accountable for the quantity of time they set apart from work
  • Creates reports for easy communication
  • Provides a realistic image of how much time projects take for completion

TimeTree

This app is one of the best time management software, with the potential to efficiently share memos and calendars between users. It's suitable for busy families targeting to maintain their schedules in one place.

More than just a calendar, this software comes with an added functionality of memos, replacing the conventional to-do list so that there's a committed place for managing one's busy life.

Benefits of TimeTree:

  • Perfect for split households or merged families
  • Free app
  • Works on different devices

Harvest

This expensive time tracking software leverages the power to answer significant questions like where's my time going? Harvest has vital time-tracking aspects and is installed with an intelligent interface that is seamless and swift.

Benefits of Harvest:

  • Ensures that teams have sufficient time to finish all the planned projects
  • Tracks billable time and enables us to create invoices promptly to send to clients
  • Easily updates time data on the weekly timesheet

Toggl Track

Toggl Track can be leveraged by freelancers, corporate teams, and small enterprises due to its personalized features. For example, this app has the potential to track time spent on activities and run reports to view where people spend most of their time to aid them in being efficient.

Benefits of Toggl Track:

  • The support team responds within hours
  • Free account for 5 users
  • Tracks time directly in tools being leveraged with its merge with different softwares

Trello

It lets us see what all teammates are doing at a peek, so you never miss a chance amid a crucial project. If you're looking to manage activities and projects efficiently, use Trello. This collaboration tool allows you to see and dedicate activities and projects across teams.

Benefits of Trello:

  • Collaborates with other tools like Google Drive and Dropbox
  • Has free version that is packed with aspects
  • Personalized

TMetric

This app gives reports and time tracking aspects that can be automated with browser extensions. So, for example, you can create invoices and send them to clients. There's also a choice for the workforce to monitor, which is relevant when you work with a remote team.

Benefits of TMetric:

  • Has an excellent UI that comes with the Chrome extension
  • Software available in web and desktop modes
  • Has in-built extension with Jira Software
  • Includes an API that can be collaborated with the business management software

Wunderlist

It's an effective and straightforward app to manage online to-do lists. This enables us to tick off all professional and personal activities. We can keep track and complete the respective tasks, share our objectives and dedicate tasks to our teams.

Benefits of Wunderlist:

  • Integrates with team members and colleagues
  • Shares your lists and work done to integrate on a project
  • Sets reminders and due dates
  • Includes everything from the Web to Wunderlist
  • Adds notes to ensure all your ideas are recorded

 


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How To Become a Product Manager?

How To Become a Product Manager?

Product management is the most in-demand job portfolio in the current business market. Yet, they're the few highest-paid professionals in a company because of the extent of their contribution and responsibilities.

Behind every good product provided by an organization that alters the consumer's lives drastically lies the prescient of a product manager. The project manager's responsibilities include analyzing customer requests, monitoring product design catering to that request, and overseeing its development, delivery, and feedback.

What is Product Management?

It is a structural technique in a company that covers every service/product aspect, from its plan to development and marketing. It forms the center of any successful business.

Without any proficiently operating central product, it's almost impossible for organizations to expand their brands and leverage them to sell other services/products.

Project Manager Vs Product Manager

What the firm provides is its product. The workflows it must engage in to make the product accessible to people and earn profit turn to project. Product managers are the prime figures in the release and plan of a product, getting employees within the firm on board with its aim.

After this phase, the project manager's role is to take the responsibility of turning that creative business into a reality.

In contrast, the product manager monitors the internal changes within the product aim. Project professionals convert the concept explained and envisaged by the product managers into actionable steps and timeline-based activities, leading to what the product professional defines as product success.

Project managers are also responsible for the departmental and logistics merging in the project performance.

Prerequisites of Becoming a Product Manager

A degree within the domain in which you're striving to become a product manager and an MBA should make you professionally equipped to apply for product management positions.

Round off this with online programs focused on aspiring product managers that give you a sneak peek into the routine system and technique that product managers deal with daily. It'll put you ahead of more than 70% of your counterparts.

Product Manager Responsibilities

A product manager strategizes a product's vision, launch, profit, and loss potential. Based on the company they work for, their work scope can differ from brainstorming goals for various features, management of engineers working on the execution of that product, to providing exclusive value depending on customer requisites.

The particular responsibilities of the product manager depend on the organization they work for and the product they're executing.

Their roles include:

  • Cross-communication between different stakeholders
  • Enabling clarity on the product goal
  • Creating structures and techniques for a healthy feedback strategy, and
  • Setting accurate markers for a particular product's success at what development phase.

Tools For Product Managers to Learn

A committed online program on product management will take you on a trip through different beneficial tools once you set foot into the domain. User tracking tools like Pendo and Roadmapping software like ProductPlan, customer survey tools like Typeform, and Industry Analyst accounts are significant for every product manager. In addition, fundamental expertise in SQL for data-driven analysis comes in handy.

Product Manager: Job Prospects and Salary

They have excellent career prospects and can work in various organizations and roles. For example, based on your educational background and subject expertise, you can apply for the product manager positions in healthcare, Fintech, food technology, or Edutech.

Even if there's no public vacancy, creative product professionals can be recruited depending on their ability to add value to a company. Product managers can earn up to an average of $125,782 annually.

Product Manager: Pros and Cons

The most significant benefit of being a product manager is the freedom and ideation they can practice with the product. They're the game changer behind the minor and prominent features of the product life-cycle and lead the way towards user benefits.

However, considering the negative side, these professionals often face the rage of all stakeholders in case of product failure and end up being victims of many imperfections in the company's structure and red tap behavior.

Tips to Become a Product Manager

  • Consider applying to Jr Product Manager, Associate Product Manager, or Product Owner (PO) positions to gain experience that'll help you land in product manager job.
  • Don't misjudge the significance of networking.
  • Research intensely about the firms in which you're looking for a product management role. Don't be afraid to drop in cold emails highlighting the product strategy you think will add value to their organization.
  • Ensure you seek the product manager role because it genuinely captivates you and not because of the job title.

 


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Fast-tracking vs crashing

Fast-tracking vs crashing

Let work pile up when we're busy with multiple projects of varying sizes is easy. It's even easier to forget about obligations and commitments in our personal lives. However, planning for various contingencies and scheduling our time can help us avoid these issues.

Fast-tracking and crashing are techniques of schedule compression through which we can avoid the issues. Before moving forward to fast-tracking and Crashing, let's briefly know about schedule comparison.

Schedule Compression Definition

Schedule compression reduces a project's duration by speeding up the project team and resources. This can be done by increasing the number of working hours or by decreasing the number of holidays and other non-working days.

Schedule compression is an integral part of project management because it allows you to shorten the duration of your projects. Therefore, schedule compression is the answer if you want to deliver your products or services faster. However, there are some downsides to using this technique.

The main benefit of schedule compression is that it allows you to deliver projects faster than they would have been born without reduction.

What is Fast-Tracking?

Fast-tracking is a project management technique used when a project is needed to accelerate the completion of a project. Fast-tracking can be used when problems with the originally scheduled completion date or when it becomes clear that the original date is not achievable.

Fast-tracking can be applied to one project or several phases at once. However, it involves adding resources and reducing the scope to complete the project on time.

It can also be applied at any project's life cycle stage. Still, it is most commonly used during the early stages of development when costs are lower. Risks may be more significant if action is not taken quickly.

What is crashing?

Crashing is a technique used to fast-track a project if you've run out of time with regular fast-tracking. You add more people to the project, but since they're working less per hour than the other team members, their salary will be cheaper than additional people.

Their time will be more affordable than regular employees'. However, Crashing can be expensive because you're paying all these extra people, so you have to find activities that save the most time while costing the least money.

You categorize your actions by the lowest cost per unit time, called crash cost. Then you look at which activities will bring the most value while costing the least money.

The results of a crash analysis are usually presented in a crash graph, where activities with the flattest slope are considered first—these lead to an equal amount of time savings but have a minor increase in cost.

Comparison between Fast Tracking and Crashing

Fast-tracking is a technique used in software development whereby a project is accelerated by adding resources to the project team. The main benefit of fast-tracking is that it reduces the time taken to complete a project and allows for earlier release dates.

On the other hand, Crashing is mainly used in software development, which involves adding more people to a task to complete it quickly. Therefore, Crashing can effectively get things done quickly, but there are also disadvantages associated with this project control method. These include:

  • Less experienced team members may be unable to keep up with the pace required by crashing. This may result in poor quality work or, even worse, poor quality code, which can cause problems later on down the line!
  • There will not be enough time for testing, meaning that any bugs discovered during testing may have already been missed by the developers who have written them!

Fast-tracking also means more resources will be required to complete the project in time. Therefore, it can be implemented only if there are enough resources available within the organization.

Compared to Crashing, Fast Tracking is less labor intensive as it does not require much overtime work from your team members. In contrast, Crashing involves a lot of overtime work from your team members, which may lead to burnout and high-stress levels among them.

The main difference between fast-tracking and Crashing is that Crashing focuses on shortening cycle times while fast-tracking directions create high-quality products as quickly as possible with limited resources.

When to use fast tracking and crashing in a project

Fast-tracking is useful when working on a project with a deadline, and there is no time to do it all by the book. For example, suppose you need to create a website for your business but don't have the time to design it from scratch. In that case, you can use an existing template and customize it yourself instead of paying someone else to do it for you.

There are a few situations where you can use Crashing:

When you want to get rid of some code that is no longer needed. For example, if you have a method used only in one place but isn't called, it still needs to be there. If you don't want to delete the code but don't want it in your program, you can use a crash to remove it.

Suppose you have a method that crashes and wants to test how your program handles this situation. For example, you could ensure that any exception information is logged correctly or displayed in an error dialog box.

Conclusion

Now you know about the two techniques of schedule comparison and their difference. Also, when to use these two techniques, we're sure you'll soon begin to see results in no time.


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Disclaimer

  • "PMI®", "PMBOK®", "PMP®", "CAPM®" and "PMI-ACP®" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
  • "CSM", "CST" are Registered Trade Marks of The Scrum Alliance, USA.
  • COBIT® is a trademark of ISACA® registered in the United States and other countries.
  • CBAP® and IIBA® are registered trademarks of International Institute of Business Analysis™.

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