Category Archives: Project Management

Project vs. Program Management: Making the Transition

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: September 18, 2017

While program management and project management are two different roles, there may come a time when a project starts to transition into a program. When this happens, it’s important to have an action plan in place to prepare for the next steps. To better understand how to prepare, we’re exploring project vs. program management:

The Project
Projects differ from programs in that they typically have a shorter duration and a smaller team of people working on them. Projects are clearly defined and work toward producing a tangible outcome. During the project, a team focuses on planning, creating, and producing deliverables. They follow a tighter schedule and have fewer stakeholders which make the project risk easier to supervise. Project managers deal more often with resource and task management, whereas program managers work more strategically with the deliverables from individual projects.

The Program
Most of the effort in a project is focused on a single goal. On the other hand, programs usually have larger teams working toward business delivery and strategic management for a longer period of time. Programs integrate multiple related projects into one unit, usually managed with the goal of achieving an overarching objective. This goal is usually some type of benefit for the organization. Programs are more business focused than projects and have a greater number of stakeholders, which makes the impacts of any failures much greater.

Making the Transition
If you’re acting as a project manager, but your projects are now turning toward a program, you must be prepared to make some changes to the way you’ve been leading the team. In one of their papers, the Project Management Institute recommends following 10 steps:

  1. Think business instead of delivery
  2. Think dependencies instead of schedule
  3. Think escalation instead of reporting
  4. Think strategy instead of scope
  5. Think conflict instead of crisis
  6. Think governance instead of teams
  7. Think transition instead of transfer
  8. Think challenge instead of salary
  9. Think relaxation instead of stress
  10. Think program triple constraints (benefit, customer, and cost)

When your project is making the transition from project to program, it’s critical to identify who the leaders will be. Program managers envision the long term goals of the entire program and set the completion dates of individual projects. Project managers focus on organizing and delegating the resources, budget, and assign specific tasks to the team members. After the leadership is organized, make the necessary changes to the new program’s timeline and clarify how the projects will fit into the program’s bigger picture.

After you’ve determined the leadership and followed the steps listed above, you’re ready to bring the program to life. If you’re looking for more project management advice, read our articles on adaptability in project management and how to manage vendor relationships.

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter and LinkedIn!

See the original post on LinkedIn

Related Posts:

Project Management Conferences to Attend in 2017

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: January 9, 2017

Have you set your 2017 career goals? Whether you’re looking to network or perfect your skills, a great way to do so is to attend conferences. Bring out your calendars, because we’ve started putting together a list of project management conferences to attend in 2017, see what you think!

Seminars World
Houston, TX | February 27 – March 2
Earn up to 28 PDUs and 2.8 Continuing Education Units and hear from global thought leaders while networking with other project managers in a small group setting.

Project Summit & Business Analyst World
Dallas, TX | February 6-8
Atlanta, GA |March 14-16
Orlando, FL | April 3-5
Washington, DC | June 19-21
We are looking forward to be bringing like minded professionals together to learn, exchange knowledge and share experiences.  This year we have added new initiatives and content to our symposium and workshop programs including change management and leadership.

Global SCRUM Gathering
San Diego, CA | April 10-12
This year’s gathering will focus on “passion” and the opportunities that can transpire when people collaborate and share ideas. The tracks focus on how to amplify the benefits of Scrum across all industries with a focal point of Growth through Shared Knowledge.

APM Project Management Conference
April 27 | London
The APM Project Management Conference 2017 will leave no assumption unchallenged, providing an insight into the future of our profession; the people, the practices and the projects and how they will transform the world we live in and the way we work.

Agile and Beyond 2017
Ann Arbor, MI | May 4-5
We are currently working hard to get all the awesome pieces into place. Our Call for Proposals is now open, so please consider submitting a session today!

Change Management
New Orleans, LA | May 21-24
At Change Management 2017 you will be given the tools to take your change management needs to the next level. This 3-day conference focuses on providing solutions and best practices in a collaborative environment. Whether you are a seasoned professional or new to the ever changing challenges in organizational management, this conference will provide you with new insights to boldly lead, innovate and achieve successful results.

International Research Network on Organizing by Projects (IRNOP) 2017
Boston, MA | June 11-14
Boston, one of America’s oldest cities. Nicknamed “hub” for many reasons. Academic hub for education & research, tourism hub, sports powerhouse and more.

PMI Global Conference
Chicago, IL | October 26-30
Join the largest gathering of project, program and portfolio managers from around the globe to share, learn and shape the future of the profession.

Don’t forget to check back for updates and let us know on Twitter what conferences you’ll be attending this year!

 

Related Posts:

How to Prepare for Your First Time Leading a Project

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: November 2, 2016

business-15498_1920

https://pixabay.com/en/business-businessman-colleague-15498/

Congratulations, you have been assigned to lead your very first project! You may be in a strange position where you’re still new in the industry, yet you’ve proven yourself enough to be promoted. You are shifting from the one who completes tasks successfully to the one assigning those very tasks.

So, as a first-time Project Manager where do you begin?

1. Get Organized
Before you can begin to take charge of a team, you must first make sure you are as organized as possible on your own. You are now the ringmaster and it’s up to you to design the project plan and determine the perfect balance between what the client needs versus what they want. Each task should have a clear description, you should consider the type of person needed to do the task, and it’s up to you now to determine the due date. Staying organized will help you navigate the initial chaos.

Look into various programs that could help you maintain steady communication and organization with your team. There are countless options available, like Basecamp, Trello, or Freedcamp.

2. Cultivate a Strong Relationship with the Client
It’s so important to establish a positive relationship with the client from the beginning. Let them know that you are the head of the team and are the one responsible for taking charge. Clients need to see that you are a confident leader who they can trust and turn to when they have questions or concerns. Since it’s your first time leading a project you may be nervous to take charge, but just remember that a client will respect your ability to establish authority from the onset. They will be comforted knowing that their vision is in good hands.

3. Outline the Specific Goals
Always make sure you understand the client’s requirements thoroughly. When creating your timeline you’ll need to know what resources the project is going to need, and it’s much easier to do so when you have a crystal clear picture of what the client expects. Then sit down with your team to start brainstorming a plan.

4. Communicate Effectively
There’s nothing more detrimental to success than poor communication within a team. If you can’t communicate effectively with each other, how can you even begin to prepare conversations with stakeholders? One popular technique is the RACI model, which stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. This model makes it easy to get everyone on your team on the same page and it can be used as a way to delegate tasks for efficiently.

http://itsmtransition.com/2014/07/basic-raci-chart/

http://itsmtransition.com/2014/07/basic-raci-chart/

5. Think Ahead

No project is perfect–certainly not your first–but you can still be well-prepared. Take a moment to brainstorm ways to prepare for setbacks. One way to do this is to build in timeline and budget buffers to avoid being completely devastated by an obstacle. If your client keeps adding in unplanned features, sit down with them and discuss the motivations behind the sudden addition. You may find they don’t exactly know, and then you can convince them that it would not be worth the time and effort to implement. Keep organized records of all client communications to avoid running the risk of losing or forgetting key pieces of information.

Feeling ready to take on your first project? Further prepare for the role: stay efficient and minimize energy spent on projects!

Some of the advice shared here was inspired from Dennis Yu and Skill Path – they have some great tips so check out their articles as well!

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Considering Cybersecurity in Project Design

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: October 17, 2015

Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/freepress/7419840396

Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/freepress/7419840396

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and we wanted to discuss this topic on the blog today to make this national issue something you and your business should be monitoring…right down to security issues in your project designs.

Cyberattacks seem to be on the rise in recent years and businesses are trying to ramp up their defense efforts. The annual cost of cybercrime globally is over $100 billion and by 2017 it’s expected to be $120 billion. As project manager, it’s becoming more necessary than ever to ensure the safety of your plans. If you don’t already, now is the time to begin incorporating data security into your project planning process along with setting aside time to have discussions with your team.

What needs protected?

It’s easy to view your systems with a mindset geared toward user-friendliness, but what about user-unfriendliness? Do you look at your data through the lens of someone with malicious intent? What parts of your project would be most affected if you were to experience a data breach? Identifying these risks can help you determine where to focus your security efforts.

Does your team have someone who can devote all of his/her time to strengthening the protection of your data? It can be expensive to hire an expert, but depending on the importance of your project or the sensitivity of the data, it may be necessary to account for this role in the budget.

Since not sure? As yourself this: Is the risk of losing your data greater than the cost of hiring experts? If so, sit down with your client or your organization to determine what is the best course of action for keeping your information safeguarded.

Do your research no matter how large or small your organization!

Hackers are the new con-artists who view this crime as a profession and oftentimes, something to brag about. Follow stories of other security breaches as a way to learn from other organizations’ mistakes. Although larger corporations, and even the government, have made headlines because of cyberattacks this doesn’t mean that you are safer as a small to medium sized business.

Don’t view security as an add-on step toward the end of the project. It should be integrated throughout the entire process and given the proper amount of time and attention. Constantly test your projects and review what is and isn’t working.

Want to read more on cybersecurity? The Project Management Institute and PM Times both have articles with helpful information on this topic.

Plus, you owe it to yourself during National Cyber-Security Month to think about other areas of your daily life that might be at risk: sdfghsfdghfsghsfghsf
How to protect your smartphone data
How to shop online safely

Related Posts: