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Person 1 post : (casey)

According to the article, Five Essential Project Management Skills, these are the areas that every project manager needs to focus on to be successful. Gathering business requirements and defining scope should be the first step in beginning every project. This entails, defining scope, to prevent “scope creep”, testing deliverables, and measuring success. This insures that everyone involved with the project is clear about what the project encompasses, reduces the amount of changes, assures product quality, and provides the stakeholders with clear expectations of what the project will be producing. Building and managing the project plan, is the next skill. Managing and updating the project plan is imperative to keeping the project phases on schedule, managing the resources, and maintaining a timeline for when tasks will be accomplished. Having a contingency build into both the schedule and budget is important to allow for unexpected issues that may arise. The next skill is managing stakeholder communication. This is important to keep everyone involved with the project on the same page. Also, because if changes are warranted, it is much easier to address those changes early on in the project before too much time and money has been spent. Further, documentation of the communication is essential to prevent any misunderstandings of what has been discussed and agreed to. Managing timelines, risks and issues is the next important skill. Keeping the project timeline is important, but not at the expense of quality. If you have rescheduled task to run parallel, and the buffer is used up, it is important to discuss this with the stakeholders to see how they want to proceed. They may choose to reduce the scope or except the delay of the deliverables. Managing risks involves three choices. One can mitigate, or attempt to reduce the chances of that risk occurring. The second choice is to transfer that risk to a vender. The third option is to accept the fact that the risk may occur and create a buffer in the budget to cover it. Keeping stakeholders informed of any issues is important. This will facilitate their ability to assist in resolving them quickly, and preventing any significant delay to the project. Finally, managing change is the last of the five essential skills. Changes must be documented, which should include there impact on the projects budget and timeline. A change management board can be useful in determining if the change is necessary, and insure the stakeholders are in agreement on how it will affect the costs, timeline and risks to the project. Keeping a handle on change will prevent scope creep and increase your ability to complete the project on time and within budget. Mastering these five essential skills will take time and practice, but the effort will pay off in your completion of successful projects.

Lebedeva, Anna, IGP, PMP. 2015. Five essential project management skills for RM and IG professionals. Information Management.

Person 2 post: (Wesley)

Anna Lebedeva, IGP, PMP describes five essential project management skills that can directly benefit information governance (IG) professionals (Lebedeva, 2015).

1. Gathering Business Requirements and Defining Scope

This activity is the first of the five skills and is rather important. Without properly gathering the business requirements and defining the scope of the project, the parties involved with the project will not know what is expected of them in terms of project deliverables and stakeholders will not know what to expect in terms of a finished product (Lebedeva, 2015). There would also not be a way to confirm that the end result is successful.

2. Building and Managing a Project Plan

The project plan is one of the most important documents created during the project as it includes what will be done, how long each task will take, and the resources required to complete each task. This plan will be continuously updated throughout the project. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders is key in determining the timeline and resources needed for each task of the project. Lebedeva notes that adding additional time into the timeline as a means of contingency is a good practice to allow for any unknowns (Lebedeva, 2015).

3. Managing Stakeholders and Communications

Lebedeva stresses the importance of not only communicating with stakeholders during the project, but identifying communication format preferences, method of communication, frequency, content level and detail, escalation, and a feedback process (Lebedeva, 2015). Projects take time, so following-up on tasks is equally important, especially if a task was assigned or discussed early on in the project. Lebedeva urges that escalations be done in a professional manner outside of a large audience (Lebedeva, 2015). This will allow the manager to address any issues as appropriate. Lastly, honesty will not only build trust with the stakeholders but will ensure that everyone involved understands the true status of the project and any areas where additional resources may be needed.

4. Managing Timelines, Risks, Issues

Lebedeva recommends that IG professionals should stay alert and be proactive with tasks (Lebedeva, 2015). If it is determined that a task is running behind schedule, consider performing some tasks at the same time interval, adjusting the scope of the task, or adding more resources if available (Lebedeva, 2015). As a last resort, the timeline can be extended, but remember you have (hopefully) added additional time as a contingency.

During the construction of the project plan, it is important to identify risks and a risk response plan. Throughout the project, the project manager should keep an eye on the risks and determine if the risk should be mitigated, if a risk ownership transfer should occur, or if there should be acceptance of the risk (Lebedeva, 2015). As mentioned before, honesty with communicating issues should be a priority.

5. Managing Change

Change is inevitable and, as such, should be managed accordingly. Officially documenting change requests and ensuring that resources only work on approved requests is vital to avoid the undesirable “scope creep” (Lebedeva, 2015).

Reference

Lebedeva, A. (2015). Five Essential Project Management Skills for RM and IG Professionals. Information Management Journal, 49(5), 28.

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