Project Manager

What Does a PRINCE2 Project Manager Need to Know

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(Remember the “I am the greatest” speech?)

What does a project manager need to know to be effective, you would certainly learn something on PRINCE2 Training belfast?

To begin, you must differentiate the difference between a project and a process (with so much overlap in the world of project management).

In a typical project, a single person (a Project Sponsor) provides a set of resources (or “processes”) and a set of instructions for how that resource collection will be performed.

A process, while similar, is distinctly different from a project.

Take this example: people filling out paperwork just to claim back a disability. Sounds like a project, does it not?

But it is a process! Getting from point A to point B involves collecting data from one person to the next.

Then, discussing it a little with another, then making a commitment to execute the improvements.

Of course, these examples are simplifications, but project managers certainly need to understand the distinction between processes and projects.

So how to make sure your processes don’t turn into projects?

A key element in success with any project is to provide clear direction. While many project managers are great at directing the project, their instructions are often unclear. And they are much less likely to give specific instructions for a process if the process needs some clarification.

One way to avoid these problems is to involve your resources (process owners) in the process of discussing the results of the project.

For example, if you have a process to determine which new software system will be implemented, the project owner should be part of the discussion to clarify their role. This allows for anyone to clearly identify what results they have committed to and what they hope to deliver. It also helps to grow the “ITIES” among the process owners.

If you are looking at a web-based project that has a specific goal (“make 10% more people leave our company”), your sponsor should be notified if results deviate from their own goal response.

Another way to monitor cost reduction is to create a baseline that identifies the resources, such as expense items, that were used during the project but may be unavailable when the project is complete. Establishing a baseline is another way to present ALL the tangible results of the project to those whose time was well spent and that have a vested interest (e.g. a financial stake) in your success.  They can help you create an “action plan” to move forward.

Regardless of whether the objectives are designed for an existing project or a separate project, if you are tracking resources, you need to adequately communicate what those resources are. Project managers should provide detailed project status even if they have reached their resource provision party.  This is no different than the financial accountant who needs to be told how exactly the project performed to make a preliminary assessment for a loan.  The manager must share whatever his scorecard in order to not diminish their part of the puzzle.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) is a great way to keep your project on track.  It’s easy to do and it will help you gauge what seems to be working and what is not.  There are a variety of types of SWOT analysis.  One of the more commonly used is the Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) analysis.  This particular benchmarking tool generally suffers from a number of issues, but if these issues are diligently addressed, it can be of excellent benefit to the project team.

To prepare for a SWOT analysis, include a number of individuals in the process.  One technique to overcome this problem is to divide the development group into two shifts so that each group can cover two topics.  It will be helpful to define what each of those four groups will be doing during the whole process, however you will not want to give too much detail.  Treat the SWOT analysis as a feel-good meeting.

SWOT analysis is a fantastic way to help a team bring together everyone else to maximize the value of every single missing resource.

Reflect Level 1 Stakeholder Analysis

This piece of the analysis is the most comprehensive way of determining who has a stake in your project and where the objective company partners have their interests at in relation to the sponsors of your project.

Start with a list of all stakeholders whose roles are variable to the project.  To be a worthwhile activity it will encompass the large group of stakeholders whose activities probably could be predicted early in the project. This would include all of those individuals you expect to be participating in the evaluation of the project processes.  Example: “Stakeholders in the scope of the project include…” This analysis includes all stakeholders whose behavior will be predicted in any process.

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