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Becoming a Better Project Manager

an

Project Management eBook

contents] [
Becoming a Better Project Manager
This content was adapted from Internet.com's Project Manager Planet Web site. Contributors: Morris Panner, Michelle LaBrosse, Amy Zuckerman, Cynthia West, Will Kelly, and Jed Simms.

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Five Steps to Becoming a Strategic Project Manager
Morris Panner

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OvercomingProject Jams
Michelle LaBrosse

Using ISO 9000 as a Project Management Tool
Amy Zuckerman

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9 12

Building Reusable Project Templates
Cynthia West

Reading GANTT Charts for Fun and Profit
Will Kelly

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Becoming a Better Project Manager, an Internet.com Project Management eBook. © 2008, Jupitermedia Corp.

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[

Becoming a Better Project Manager

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FiveSteps to Becoming a Strategic Project Manager
By Morris Panner

T

he fate of the project manager is not all that different from that of IT — if we rewind the clock 10 or so years. It wasn't that long ago that upper management thought of IT as something akin to an auto repair shop: These people have talent, the logic went, and they get the job done, but we wouldn't consult with them foranything but repairs. Fast-forward to the present: Today, it's hard to find a top organization that doesn't have a CIO in the boardroom. IT is not just a business tool, but a business driver and CIOs are every bit as valuable as other C-level executives.

service professionals they lead. Bringing a project in on time and under budget is a mechanic's way of thinking. Investing in lead generation,employee satisfaction, customer loyalty, up-sell opportunities, branding, and other broader organizational goals is how a strategic project manager should examine each and every project (and how project managers will deliver bottom-line value to the organization, of course).

Five Steps for Change
The first step is to change how you think about projects. Project managers must stop thinking ofprojects in a transactional sense, and begin thinking like upperlevel managers. They have to extend their core leadership skills and start building data communication skills. We all know great PMs create great teams. Their stock in trade is leadership. They bring people together to achieve great things.
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This trend has had a trickle-down effect. The middle managers in IT have more of avoice. They have the proper channels to communicate through, so the daily insights coming from people in the trenches regarding security, Web traffic, new applications for collaboration, and new trends like Web 2.0 make their way up the chain of command and influence the organizational at a global level. The same can be true for project managers and the

These are critical skills, but to joinupper-level management, these are table stakes. Organizational management involves something more. It requires that managers abstract the data needed to

IT is not just a business tool, but a business driver and CIOs are every bit as valuable as other C-level executives.

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Becoming a Better Project Manager, an Internet.com Project Management eBook. © 2008, Jupitermedia Corp.

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[Becoming a Better Project Manager

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drive executive decision making from the more basic tactical considerations. This is what IT did to break down the boardroom door. The first CIOs bridged the business-technology divide and convinced upper management to invest in them. Tactical victories were translated into the language of strategic corporate governance. The first CIOs showed how IT tiedinto profit and loss. They showed how each technology project impacted the organization's bottom line. If you want to make an impact in the boardroom and influence the direction of your company, you'll need to follow a similar path. The second step, then, is to invest the time in understanding organizational financials. This is more complex than simply subtracting payment received from time plus...
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