Six Stages of the Project Management Process

July 27, 2009

As defined in my project management fundamentals course, the six stages of the project management process (aka the project management lifecycle) are:

  1. DEFINE
  2. PLAN
  3. EXECUTE –> MONITOR –> ADJUST     (loop)
  4. COMPLETE
  5. EVALUATE
  6. CELEBRATE

It seems that most project stages / lifecycles are very close to this definition.

One bit of wisdom from the instructor:  Plans are worthless – planning is essential.


SMART Goal Setting

July 27, 2009

Another list from my project management fundamentals course, day one, outlines the SMART approach to setting clear goals:

S – SPECIFIC

M – MEASURABLE

A – AGREED-UPON

R – REALISTIC

T – TIME-FRAMED

Looks like this meme is pretty common in the project management world.   I doubt I can add much to it that you couldn’t google yourself.    I did like the instructor’s definition of realistic:  gently challenging.

I did also run across an article which questioned whether the SMART goal theory was the best, compared to Locke’s goal setting theory, and another article extending the concept of SMART goal setting.

These lists are really starting to remind me of the infamous Alec Baldwin “Always Be Closing” speech from Glengarry Glen Ross (it’s 7 minutes and filled with F-bombs, but well worth it)…




Ten Commandments for Successful Project Management

July 27, 2009

Another list from my first day at my project management fundamentals course:  The Ten Commandments for Successful Project Management.  These are basic tenets to control and manage a project.

  1. Set a goal.
  2. Determine the project objectives.
  3. Establish checkpoints, activities, relationships, and time estimates.
  4. Draw a picture of the project schedule.
  5. Direct people individually and as a project team.
  6. Reinforce the commitment and excitement of the project team.
  7. Keep everyone connected with the project informed.
  8. Build agreements that vitalize team members.
  9. Empower yourself and others on the project team.
  10. Encourage risk taking and creativity.

TechRepublic has a handy printable poster and worksheet of this list, if you happen to be a member.

It looks like this list may originally come from a book called Checkered Flag Projects by W. Alan Randolph and Barry Z. Posner, which is preview-able partially at Google Books.  The book goes into a chapter worth of detail for each point.

A ComputerWorld article has an alternative view of the Ten Commandments for Successful Project Management.  My favorite:  II: Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Fat Team.


Six Unique Characteristics of Project Management

July 27, 2009

Today was the first day of my project management fundamentals course.  It included these six unique characteristics which set project management apart from your normal day-to-day activities.  I’m not sure who the original author of this particular list was, but I also found it as required reading for another project management course and a paper about information technology project management.

  1. Something must be done which has not been done before.
  2. The undertaking ends with a specific accomplishment.
  3. The required activity has a beginning, an end, and a schedule for completion.
  4. Resources are limited.
  5. Other people are involved on an ad hoc basis.
  6. Phases and activities are sequenced.

More details on each point are listed at the above linked sites.

“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know what I was walling in or walling out.”
–Robert Frost