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Absolute Beginner's Guide to Project Management, 2nd Edition

by: Horine

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Retail Price: $29.95

Publisher: QUE,08.05.09

Category: Level:

ISBN: 078973821X
ISBN13: 9780789738219

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Features and Benefits


    top


Fun, easy-to-read, and practical: the perfect tutorial and reference for every first-time project manager!
# Teaches crucial concepts and techniques new project managers can utilize with any project, in any environment, using any tool
# The closest thing to having one's own personal project management mentor and coach!
# Includes an all-new section on accelerating the learning curve: techniques, tools, scenarios, and hot topics for becoming an effective project manager even faster



Table of Contents

top


Introduction


    1

About This Book


    1

Who Should Read This Book?


    3

How This Book Is Organized


  3

Conventions Used in This Book


    4

PART I


  PROJECT MANAGEMENT JUMPSTART


    5

Chapter 1


Project Management Overview


    7

What Is Project Management...Exactly?


    8

What Is the Value of Project Management?


    12

Why Are Projects Challenging?


    13

Growing Demand for Effective Project Managers?


    15

Trends in Project Management


    16

Chapter 2


The Project Manager


    21

One Title, Many Roles


    22

Key Skills of Project Managers


    23

Qualities of Successful Project Managers


    25

15 Common Mistakes of Project Managers


    27

Chapter 3


Essential Elements for Any Successful Project


    29

What Exactly Is a "Successful" Project?


    30

Learning from Troubled Projects


    31

Learning from Successful Projects


    34

Essential Project Manager Toolkit


    36

PART II


PROJECT PLANNING


    41

Chapter 4


Defining a Project


    43

Setting the Stage for Success


    44

How Does Defining a Project Relate to Project Planning?


    44

Project Definition Document


    45

Project Definition Checklist


    49

Chapter 5


Planning a Project


    55

Key Project Planning Principles


    56

Important Questions Project Planning Should Answer


    58

Building a Project Plan


  59

Summary of Supplemental Project Plan Components


    66

Project Plan Checklist


    69

Chapter 6


Developing the Work Breakdown Structure


    71

What Is a WBS Exactly?


    72

Why Is the WBS Important?


    78

The Process of Building a WBS


    79

Chapter 7


Estimating the Work


    85

Next Step in the Schedule Development Process


    86

Managing the Risk, Managing the Estimates


    88

Reasons for Estimating Woes


    88

Powerful Estimating Techniques and Methods


    90

Best Practices


    92

Chapter 8


Developing the Project Schedule


    97

The Impact of the Project Schedule


    98

The Goal of the Schedule Development Process


    100

Key Inputs for Building a Schedule


    101

Creating a Schedule


    102

Chapter 9


Determining the Project Budget


    113

The Impact of the Project Budget


    114

Principles of an Effective Budget


    115

Creating a Project Budget


    116

Common Budget Challenges


    120

PART III

PROJECT CONTROL


    123

Chapter 10

Controlling a Project


    125

What Is Project Control?


    126

Management Fundamentals for Project Control


    129

Powerful Techniques for Project Control


    130

Performance Reporting


    133

Variance Responses


    135

Leveraging Earned Value Management Concepts


    136

Common Project Control Challenges


    139

Lessons from Project Recoveries


    141

Chapter 11

Managing Project Changes


    145

What Exactly Is a Project Change and What's the

Big Deal Anyway?


    146

Fundamentals for Managing Project Change


    149

What Causes Unplanned Scope Changes?


    150

Essential Elements of a Project Change Control System


    151

Powerful Techniques for Minimizing Project Changes


    154

Common Project Change Control Challenges


    156

Chapter 12

Managing Project Deliverables


    159

"Managing Project Deliverables" Means What Exactly?


    160

Why Do This? It's Too Much Work


    161

Identify, Protect, and Track: The Principles of Managing

Work Products


    162

Best Practices


    163

Configuration Management Plan


    167

Common Challenges and Pitfalls


    169

Chapter 13

Managing Project Issues


    171

The Goals, Objectives, and Principles of Project Issue Management


    172

Key Features of Issue Management System


    173

Options for Issue Log


    175

Best Practices


    176

Some Special Situations


    178

Chapter 14

Managing Project Risks


    181

Key Risk Management Principles


    182

The Essential Process for Managing Project Risks


    183

The Common Sources of Project Risk


    187

Typical Problems


    190

Powerful Risk Control Strategies


    192

Are You Sure It's a Risk?


    193

Chapter 15

Managing Project Quality


    197

What Is "Project Quality"?


    198

Unique Aspects of Managing Project Quality


    199

Principles of Managing Project Quality


    199

Powerful Tools and Techniques for Project Quality


    201

Powerful Quality Strategies


    203

Typical Quality-Related Challenges


    205

PART IV


PROJECT EXECUTION


    209

Chapter 16

Leading a Project


    211

More Than Managing


    212

Where Is Leadership Needed on a Project?


    214

Twelve Keys to Better Project Leadership


    215

Power of Servant Leadership Approach


    218

Chapter 17

Managing Project Communications


    223

What Are Project Communications?


    224

The Importance of Project Communications


    225

Why Communicating Can Be Tough


    226

Seven Powerful Principles


    227

Best Practices of Effective Project Communicators


    230

Chapter 18

Managing Expectations


    239

Value of Reviewing Stakeholder Expectation Management


    240

Critical Aspects of Expectations


    240

Seven Master Principles of Expectation Management


    245

Essential Elements of Managing Expectations


    246

Chapter 19

Keys to Better Project Team Performance


    255

High-Performing Teams


    256

Ten Key Principles


    256

Proven Techniques


    259

Special Situations


    263

Chapter 20

Managing Differences


    267

Five Key Principles


    268

Proven Techniques for Leading Cross-Functional Projects


    271

Proven Techniques for Leading Cross-Cultural Projects


    273

Proven Techniques for Leading Virtual Projects


    274

Chapter 21

Managing Vendors


    279

First, Let's Clarify a Few Terms


    280

Ten Proven Principles of Vendor Management


    280

Twelve Tips for Buyers


    283

Seven Tips for Sellers


    285

Twelve Key Project Management Skills for Better

Vendor Management


    286

Stuff You Need to Know About Contracts


    286

Chapter 22

Ending a Project


    293

Three Key Principles


    294

Project End Checklist-13 Important Steps


    294

Common Project Closing Challenges


    296

Methods for Ending a Contract or a Project


    297

PART V


  ACCELERATING THE LEARNING CURVE...EVEN MORE


    301

Chapter 23

Making Better Use of Microsoft Project


    303

Understand This ...and It All Becomes Easier


    304

Need-to-Know Features


    306

New Project Best Practices


    313

Keys to Making Resource Leveling Work


    316

Powerful Reporting Secrets


    318

More Insights to a Better Project Schedule


    323

Chapter 24

When Reality Happens


    327

What If I'm in a Project Management "Lite" Culture?


    328

What If I Can't Develop a Detailed Schedule?


    330

What If I Must Manage to a Hard Milestone Date?


    331

What If I Have Difficult Resources?


    333

What Can I Do About Turnover?


    334

Tips for Managing a Selection Process


    335

Tips for Managing a Testing Process


    340

Chapter 25

Intriguing Project Management Concepts and Topics


    345

Agile Approaches


    346

Project Management Offices


    348

Portfolio Project Management


    351

Governance Processes


    353

Critical Chain Project Management


    353

Web-Based Project Management Software


    356

Mind Mapping Tools


    357

Value of Certifications


    358

Project Management Training


    359

Index


    363



Preface

top


Introduction

As organizations continue to move toward "project-based" management to get more done with fewer resources, and as the demand for effective project managers continues to grow, more and more individuals find themselves with the opportunity to manage projects for the first time.

In an ideal world, every new project manager candidate would complete certified project management training programs and serve as an apprentice before starting his or her first project manager opportunity, but...this is the real world. In many cases, a quicker, more accessible, and more economical alternative is needed to guide these candidates in managing projects successfully the first time.

The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Project Management, Second Edition, is intended to provide this alternative with a helpful, fun, and informative style.
About This Book

Let's review the objectives and approach of this book.
Objectives

The objectives of this book include the following:


  * To be an easy-to-use tutorial and reference resource for any person managing their first project(s).


  * To teach the key concepts and fundamentals behind project management techniques. If these are understood, they can be applied effectively independent of toolset, environment, or industry.


  * To reduce the "on-the-job" learning curve by sharing the traits of successful projects and "lessons learned" from less-than-successful projects.


  * To balance the breadth of topics covered with adequate depth in specific areas to best prepare a new project manager.


  * To review the skills and qualities of effective project managers.


  * To emphasize the importance of project "leadership" versus just project "management."

Approach

Consistent with the Absolute Beginner's Guide series, this book uses a teaching style to review the essential techniques and skills needed to successfully manage a project. By teaching style, we intend the following:


  * A mentoring, coaching style.


  * A fun, easy-to-read, practical style.


  * Assumes that the reader does not have previous hands-on experience with project management.


  * Teaches the material as if an instructor were physically present.


  * Task-oriented, logically ordered, self-contained lessons (chapters) that can be read and comprehended in a short period of time (15-30 minutes).


  * Emphasis on understanding the principle behind the technique or practice.


  * Teaches the material independent of specific tools and methodologies.


  * Teaches the material with the assumption that the reader does not have access to organizational templates or methodologies.


  * Provides a summary map of the main ideas covered at the end of each chapter. Research has shown that this type of "mind-map" approach can drive better memory recollection when compared to traditional linear summary approaches.


  Out-of-Scope - The scope of this book is clearly outlined in the table of contents, but as we will cover later, it is always good to review what is out of scope to ensure understanding of the scope boundaries. Because the field of project management is extremely broad, and we needed to draw the line somewhere, this book focuses on the proper management of a single project. As a result, the following advanced project management subjects are not covered in this book:


          * Program management


          * Enterprise portfolio management


          * Enterprise resource management


          * Advanced project risk management topics


          * Advanced project quality management topics


          * Advanced project procurement management topics

Who Should Read This Book?

The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Project Management, Second Edition, is recommended for any person who fits into one or more of the following categories:


  * Individuals unsatisfied with other introductory project management books


  * Individuals new to project management, such as


              o Technologists


              o Knowledge workers


              o Students


              o Functional managers


  * Professionals taking a first project management assignment, such as


              o Team leaders


              o Project coordinators


              o Project administrators


              o Project support


              o Functional managers


  * Experienced project managers needing a refresher course


  * Experienced project managers with limited formal project management education

How This Book Is Organized

This book has been divided into five parts:


  * Part I, "Project Management Jumpstart," sets up the general framework for our project management discussion and accelerates your project management learning curve, including an insightful review of successful projects and project managers.


  * Part II, "Project Planning," reviews the processes that establish the foundation for your project.


  * Part III, "Project Control," reviews the processes that allow you to effectively monitor, track, correct, and protect your project's performance.


  * Part IV, "Project Execution," reviews the key leadership and people-focused skills that you need to meet today's business demands.


  * Part V, "Accelerating the Learning Curve...Even More," provides experienced insights and tips on making better use of MS Project, managing specific real-life project situations, and on many hot project management topics to further accelerate the knowledge base and skill level of the new project manager.

Conventions Used in This Book


  * At the beginning of each chapter, you'll find a quick overview of the major topics that will be expounded upon as you read through the material that follows.


  * The end of each chapter provides a list of key points along with a visual summary map.


  * You will also find several special sidebars used throughout this book:


  Note - These boxes highlight specific learning points or provide supporting information to the current topic.


  Tip - These boxes highlight specific techniques or recommendations that could be helpful to most project managers.


  Caution - These boxes highlight specific warnings that a project manager should be aware of.

Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.



About the Authors

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Gregory M Horine (Indianapolis, IN) is a PMP/CCP-certified business technology and IT project management professional who has achieved nineteen years of successful results across multiple industries through the use of servant leadership principles. His primary areas of expertise and strength include project management and leadership; complex application development; enterprise solution development; business process analysis and improvement; data analysis and transformation; package implementation and integration; vendor and procurement management; regulatory and process compliance; and the effective use of project management tools. He is co-author of PMP Exam Cram 2.