Information and knowledge about project management

Information about project management for everyone who wants to quickly find out about a topic - whether different project management methods, knowledge from practice or tips from experienced project managers. Here you will find an overview of our practical PM blog posts.
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The IAPM practice tips

Kanban and Scrum - what distinguishes the agile methods?

Agile project management has long since spread from IT to all other industries. It is not a trend of some pioneers, but a real alternative to traditional project management. Hardly any project manager can do without knowledge of the new methods. Among the first concepts developed in agile project management are Kanban and Scrum. Both have established themselves and are widely used. But in short, what are the differences between the concepts? There are also similarities. Both Scrum and Kanban work with blackboards or whiteboards and digital or real sticky notes. Nevertheless there are of course significant differences.

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Understanding how contract management delineates project management

According to the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (UK), contract management “encompasses everything from establishing the business case and confirmation of need through to relationship management and reviewing performance. It can be divided into two phases: upstream and downstream of the contract being awarded.”
Thus, it can further be described as the overseeing of a project contract from their initial pre-award phase through to completion. We can deduce that without a contract (verbal or written) the existence, implementation and deciding a clear parameter with which stakeholders affiliated with a project can define the rules governing any initiative.

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Avoid delays with milestone trend analysis

Milestone trend analysis is one of the PM tools that are still widely used today. It is a method that helps to stop and avoid delays in the project. Since nobody can afford delays, many project managers are constantly looking for ways and means to keep to the schedule. So why not include milestone trend analysis in your own project management?

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Structuring Agile Projects with User Stories

Behind every project is someone who hopes for something from the project or wants to achieve something. He assigns someone else to put this desire into practice. The first thing to do is to find out as precisely as possible what is actually wanted. Only the one who wants can help him. 

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Thoughts of a project manager about “Focusing on Benefits Realisation in an Agile Delivery Model”

In the project economy, projects are directly linked to benefits which are derived from the services, products or activities performed for solving any business problem.
The benefits form the very basis why a project is undertaken. For example, automating repetitive manual activities in a business process is not the ultimate objective in terms of benefits. Instead, increased efficiency, productivity gains, cost savings, higher accuracy along with economies of scale are the business drivers for automating a manual process and, hence, the criteria for project success. 

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What is the ALPEN method?

When you think of ALPEN (German Word for „Alps“), do you first think of mountains and skiing? Understandable. However, the acronym also refers to a method for daily planning, which is becoming increasingly popular among project managers as the "ALPEN method". The ALPEN method is aimed at managers and executives who wonder every evening why they are so exhausted and why their to-do lists simply don't get smaller despite hard work. Constant stress and ever faster processing of to-do lists do not lead to the desired goal. 

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What is a resourcing process and how should it flow?

For the imaginary company behind the case there are 500 people providing professional services. Our example organisation has multiple departments which contain several different teams. However, most of the roles and responsibilities presented are applicable to other types of businesses as well. 

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Stakeholder management and the importance for projects

Stakeholder management is still one of the most important methods in project management today. The origin of the method is unclear, but it is clear that stakeholder management is an important component of the training courses for all certifications for project managers, including those of the IAPM training partners.

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5 tips for really good project management

Knowledge is something you can never have enough of, whether you’re an experienced project manager or a newcomer. Here are some practical tips from a genuine project management expert. Today’s expert is Dr. Russel Archibald, a world-renowned author of much-acclaimed project management text books and an honorary member of the IAPM.

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Lean Management: In Search of Optimization

Knowledge and the application of lean management are required in many projects - and this form of management is a subject that is highly discussed in the professional world. But what does lean management actually mean? The term and the idea behind it had its origin in the automobile industry in Japan - and already in the 1950s. There, the principle of continuous improvement and the reduction of divisional thinking were called for. 

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5 Ways To Complete Your Project Faster

“We need to move the delivery date of your project forward,” my project sponsor said to me. “By about two months.”
Two months! We were only just managing to stick to the original schedule. How was I going to cut another 8 weeks out of the plan and still deliver everything on time? I needed to look at ways to complete the project faster. Here are 5 techniques I came up with that all result in cutting time out of the schedule, one way or another.

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5 crisis management tips to get your project back on track.

Knowledge is something you can never have enough of, whether you’re an experienced project manager or a newcomer. That’s why we’ve put together some tips from a genuine project management expert, Hans Stromeyer. During the 1990s, Hans Stromeyer managed award winning aerospace projects and is today President and CEO of the consultancy and training services company, Stromeyer & Partners, which also provides training to project managers for IAPM certification. 

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10 pieces of useful advice on how to close out a project successfully!

Project management experience is a professional competence that employers appreciate because they need people who can take the initiative, are well-organised and who are objective-oriented team players.
 Projects are a central aspect of many jobs these days, so we’ve put together ten pieces of useful advice that will help project managers to do their jobs efficiently and successfully.

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How To Prepare A Project Proposal

There’s been an empty lot round the corner from my home for some time now. It’s got hoarding up but frankly it’s an eyesore. The delay to putting up the new houses, I found out last week, is that the proposals from the builders have been rejected. Now it seems like we’ll be waiting for the local authorities to review a new proposal and maybe that one will get the green light.

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Finding the right tools for the type and scope of the project

Project managers have a wide array of tools to choose from. Some people would say they have too many, because newcomers to project management find it very difficult to decide which tools, forms, software etc. they should use in their projects.
 Here’s what often happens: “Tom, we’d like to put you in charge of the XY project. With your energy and experience, you’ll have no problem running the project alongside your regular work activities!“

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The Magic Triangle

During his or her training every project manager learns something about the Magic Triangle. This name is slightly misleading because there is actually no magic involved at all in the Magic Triangle. In fact, the complete opposite applies because the concept involves pure logic. The Magic Triangle describes the interdependencies between the three most important factors within a project.

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The Gantt chart and the Hoover Dam project

Every project manager has his own set of project management tools that have proven effective to him over the years. This personal tool-kit is an extremely valuable asset that the project manager should always keep up to date. Tool-kit updates are always worthwhile because new trends in project management are emerging all the time and any project manager’s good reputation depends on how well-informed he is about these new trends.

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Cost-benefit analyses for better decisions

Decisions are an everyday aspect of project management and project managers are often expected to make them both quickly and professionally. That’s not an easy ask because to make informed decisions you need enough time to consider all the facts. In a project environment, however, this time isn’t always available, so the project manager will resort to using one of several possible decision support tools. He may opt for the cost-benefit analysis, a tool that helps project managers to make fast and informed decisions.

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Tips for PM Beginners: Defining the project scope (in and out)

In each project, irrespective of its scope, it is important to avoid misunderstandings wherever possible. Many arise because some project participants have false expectations about the project in question. In order to ensure that everyone is working on the same assumptions and more or less have the same preconceptions about the setting of goals and the implementation of the project, it is worthwhile defining from the outset what is part of the project and what is not. The project scope must be clearly defined. This step is often referred to in project management jargon as the in-out definition or in and out of scope.

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How to Write Professional Meeting Minutes

Taking meeting minutes is part of the day-to-day work of the project manager. Whether you approach this task with enthusiasm or do not enjoy this particular activity, every project manager knows that minutes play a very important role in project management and meetings without a written record are ultimately pointless. Many managers are not huge fans of writing minutes, therefore this task should be completed as quickly and as effectively as possible.
The following guidelines will show you how to compose well-written and concise minutes. 

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5 essential writing skills for project managers

Successful project managers should have an array of abilities, and writing skills aren’t the most obvious. In the list of the top 20 project manager skills by Indeed, writing comes at the 11th position and is concerned only with compiling technical documentation.
However, the writing needs of a project manager are much more diverse, and there are other writing skills that you will need to run a project successfully.
So, let’s take a look at the whole set of essential writing skills that project managers should have to do a proper job.

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What is velocity?

Velocity is used in different contexts in the context of Scrum. Most often, velocity is used in the sense of a unit of measurement that can be used to indicate how quickly a team delivers results. That is basically a very good definition. Of course, this is followed by the question of what is actually being measured and how.

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The critical path - What is it and why is the method helpful?

There is always talk of the critical path. Everyone knows that there are tasks and processes in planning that have to be carried out exactly on time, as well as tasks that can tolerate a delay without jeopardising the success of the project. The critical path method is therefore interesting, because it deals precisely with the scheduling and prioritisation of project activities. The use of this method is therefore always useful and not only when your projects often take longer than initially planned.

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Project management techniques that will help you master your studies

There are numerous opportunities to master projects that cross your path during your studies. Do you have to write a paper, work on a business case with your fellow students or programme an app? Here are five techniques that every project manager needs to know and that all students should know as well in order to successfully complete small and large academic projects.

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The IAPM certification

The certification can be taken via a reputable online examination procedure. The costs are based on the gross domestic product of your country of origin.

From the IAPM Blog

Become a Network Official

Do you want to get involved in project management in your environment and contribute to the further development of project management? Then become active as an IAPM Network Official or as a Network Official of the IAPM Network University. 

For better readability, we usually only use the generic masculine form in our texts. Nevertheless, the expressions refer to members of all genders.