Project Management

General Management and Interpersonal Skills for Project Management

General management encompasses planning, organizing, staffing, executing, and controlling the operations of an ongoing enterprise. It includes supporting disciplines such as:


Financial management and accounting

Purchasing and procurement

Sales and marketing

Contracts and commercial law

Manufacturing and distribution

Logistics and supply chain

Strategic planning, tactical planning, and operational planning

Organizational structures, organizational behavior personnel   administration, compensation, benefits, and career paths

Health and safety practices

Information technology.


General management provides the foundation for building project management skills and is often essential for the project manager. On any given project, skill in any number of general management areas may be required. General management literature documents these skills, and their application is fundamentally the same on a project.


The management of interpersonal relationships includes:


Effective communication. The exchange of information

Influencing the organization. The ability to “get things done”

Leadership. Developing a vision and strategy, and motivating people to

achieve that vision and strategy

Motivation. Energizing people to achieve high levels of performance and to overcome barriers to change

Negotiation and conflict management. Conferring with others to come to terms with them or to reach an agreement

Problem solving. The combination of problem definition, alternatives

identification and analysis, and decision-making.


September 21, 2008 Posted by | Project Management | , | Leave a comment

More on Ike

In the newspaper today, many areas around here are not going to get electricity until October! Stores are barely stocked and some areas have houses that are ruined. We were so blessed. The people across the street won’t have electricity until Thursday.

It takes a disaster like this to make you realize how blessed you are. I am sure lots of you have seen the pictures of devastation. Some folks have lined up since 3am to receive food stamps only to find out in the mid-afternoon that they are not eligible.

Join me in saying a prayer for those less fortunate than others. Less than half of the folks have electricity and water has to be boiled for food.

I grew up in New Orleans and I never in 12 years in Houston have seen it so bad. Schools are closed for 2 weeks. I am volunteering to help others less fortunate than my family and urge you all to do the same or send money to help with the relief effort.

September 21, 2008 Posted by | Hurricanes | , , | Leave a comment

Uses of Earned Value Management to Save the Project

 As a Project Manager, I use the Earned Value Management (EVM) technique. It answers questions such “am I on schedule”, “have I met my budget goals” and “what will my project cost as predicted when the planning phase was done”. It uses many equations to figure this out. I make a habit of not only having engineers register the tie time they spent each day but also how much time they anticipate spending to complete the task.


It is the nature of software estimating that you know more about the task as you go along doing the task. Let’s say your original estimate was 40 hours. If 20 hours goes by you are not necessarily 50% done with the task. If you have the hours spent each day as well as the remaining work to be done, you may be over or under the original estimate. It is the Project Manager’s job to keep tight track on the work being done. If you find out a task is slipping early on in the project, you have plenty of time to recover. If you don’t find out until a week before the project is due, you have little control over saving the project.


In summary, EVM strategically augments good project management to facilitate the planning and control of cost and schedule performance. The key practices of EVM include:


·          Establish a performance measurement baseline (PMB)

·          Decompose work scope to a manageable level (work items) in WBS.     

·          Assign unambiguous management responsibility

·          Develop a time-phased budget for each work task

·          Select EV measurement techniques for all tasks

·          Maintain integrity of PMB throughout the project

·          Measure and analyze performance against the baseline

·          Record resourced during the project to be used in future planning

·          Objectively measure the physical work progress

·          Credit EV according to EV techniques

·          Analyze and forecast cost/schedule performance

·          Report performance problems and/or take action.

I have a requirement of never surprising my manager and ask my reports to never surprise me. This leads to a well managed project and a happy team!

September 21, 2008 Posted by | earned value | , , , | Leave a comment