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Suggested Skills for Project Managers

Suggested Skills for Project Managers

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Published by Glenda Hernandez

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Published by: Glenda Hernandez on Jun 26, 2012
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Suggested Skills for Project Managers
References: Lecture Note
•Project managers need a wide variety of skills.
 
•They should:
 
Be comfortable with change.
Understand the organizations they work in and with.
Lead teams to accomplish project goals.
•Project managers need both ―hard‖ and ―soft‖ skills.
 
Hard skills include product knowledge and knowing how to use variousproject management tools and techniques.
Soft skills include being able to work with various types of people.
•Communication skil
ls: Listens, persuades.
•Organizational skills: Plans, sets goals, analyzes.
 
•Team
-building skills: Shows empathy, motivates, promotes esprit de corps.
•Leadership skills: Sets examples, provides vision (big picture), delegates,
positive, energetic.
•Copin
g skills: Flexible, creative, patient, persistent.
•Technology skills: Experience, project knowledge.
 
What Is Project Portfolio Management (PPM)? 
Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is a management process designed tohelp an organization acquire and view information about all of its projects,then sort and prioritize each project according to certain criteria, such asstrategic value, impact on resources, cost, and so on. The
objectives of PPM 
are similar to the objectives of managing a financial portfolio: 1) To
 
become conscious of all the individual listings in the portfolio 2) To develop a
 
 ―big picture‖ view and a deeper understanding of the the collection as a
whole. 3) To allow sensible sorting, adding, and removing of items from thecollection based on their costs, benefits, and alignment with long-term
strategies or goals. 4) To allow the portfolio owner to get the ―best bang forthe buck‖ from resources invested.
 
 
Typically, PPM
begins with the organization developing an inventory (comprehensive list) of all its projects
and enough descriptiveinformation about each to allow them to be analyzed and compared. Suchdescriptive info can include project name, estimated duration, estimated
cost, business objective, how the project supports the organization’s overall
strategies, and so on. These are sometimes compiled in an electronicdatabase using resource management software so they may be analyzedand compared more easily. (Check out an online demo ofResourceManagement software at www.netsuite.comto see how such software might
 
work in the real world.)After the project inventory is created, the
PPM process requiresdepartment heads or other unit leaders to examine each project and  prioritize it 
according to established criteria.
**
The overall list of projectsis then considered in order to develop a well-balanced list of supportedprojects. Some projects will be given high priority and extensive support,some will be given moderate priority, and still others will be placed on hold
 
or dropped entirely from the list.Finally,
the project portfolio is reevaluated by the portfoliomanagement team on a regular basis
(monthly, quarterly, etc.) todetermine which projects are meeting their goals, which may need moresupport, or which may need to be down-sized or dropped entirely. Since thecircumstances of each project and the business environment can change
 
rapidly, PPM is most effective when the portfolio is frequently revisited and
 
actively managed by the team.In order for the above PPM activities to take place,
the organization must first decide who will participate as active managers of the PPM 
 
 process
. Typically, the PPM management team is made up of department
 
heads from sub-organizations which generate requests for projects, provideproject resources (especially team members), provide project funding, use
 
finished project deliverables, set strategic directions, and so on. After thePPM management team is established,
they must agree on a set of criteria for valuing projects in order to prioritize them.
Decisions basedon these criteria will likely be more acceptable to everyone in theorganization if the criteria have been developed with the input or review of as many stakeholders as possible from within the various sub-organizations.So typically broad, organization-wide discussions of the criteria are heldbefore they are finalized.
Why Should Project Managers Care about PPM? 
Project managers who find themselves continually frustrated by lack of resources or by other organizations stealing their resources should beespecially interested in PPM. These frustrations are symptoms of an
 
unbalanced (or unacknowledged) project portfolio. In short, the frequent
 
complaint of ―not enough resources,‖ is simply another way of saying that
there are too many projects! And if there are too many projects, then
someone should be sorting them out, prioritizing them, and ―killing‖ theprojects that aren’t high priority.
 Every project manager wants to have enough resources available tocomplete high-quality project deliverables, on-time and within budget. Andevery project manager wants to work on projects that are perceived to bevaluable and, therefore, enjoy plenty of support throughout theorganization. PPM can help project managers achieve both of these visions.
What Should Project Managers Do about PPM if None Exists in Their Organizations? 
The average project manager is not in a position to implement PPM alone.Meaningful PPM cannot exist without the support and and active involvementof managers at the highest levels of the organization. But these seniormanagers are not likely to initiate PPM unless they are aware there is a

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