In the coming weeks, we will be reviewing the 8 interpersonal skills that the PMBOK Guide calls out specifically, which a project manager needs to possess. We begin with leadership.
Leadership is one of the important skills that a good project manager must possess. The reason for this is that in many cases, the project manager doesn’t have any authority over the team members for a project. This means he or she must manage the project through leadership.
Although it can be more difficult to manage through leadership rather than authority, it is usually more effective because it is built on trust and respect.
A leader is especially important at the beginning of a project to define the vision of the project and communicate this vision to the team. This helps all of the team members to get on board with the goals of the project. Good leadership skills will also keep the members inspired and motivated to do their best work.
Unfortunately, leadership is difficult to teach from books (or tips like this one). You can learn the basics from the written word, but then you need to show that you “have it” by applying it on the job. For the PMP exam it is important that you recognize situations that require leadership and that you are able to select the appropriate action.
A project manager wants to display and communicate the results of PERT and Critical Path analysis in a simple chart that can be readily understood by those who are not involved in the detail of the project. Which of the following charts should she use?
A) Milestone chart
B) Flow chart
C) Gantt chart
D) Control chart
A successful project manager must have many different types of skills. Those that come to mind immediately are the technical skills that we need to put together a project plan, schedule, budget and all of the necessary documentation. It is also important for us to have the conceptual skills needed to “see” the project as it is being developed.
However, those skills won’t ensure a successful project unless the project manager is able to complement his / her technical skills with many different types of interpersonal skills.
These essential skills include the following:
Political and cultural awareness
Being able to call upon and apply these skills at the right moment in your project can help ensure success. We will review each of these skills in our upcoming weekly exam tips.
You are the project manager of a project that is in its early phase. You need to estimate the duration of implementing the project. Based on your experience with similar past projects, you estimate a 6-month implementation time. What is this type of estimation technique called?
A) Three Point estimating
There are two separate components within Cost of Quality (COQ). We looked at the Cost of Conformance in our last tip and this time we’ll focus on the Cost of Nonconformance. The Cost of Conformance is focused on avoiding potential failures and the Cost of Nonconformance is the cost incurred as a result of any failures because the quality expectations were not met.
This “failure” is really easy to understand: You built a product, service or result through your product and it failed to meet quality expectations. Now you have to fix it, which is going to cost you.
There are both internal and external costs related to failure. Internal costs are those identified within the scope of the project. This includes things like the time and money it will take to rework part of the project. It also includes any cost involved if you have to throw away parts of your project work, which is officially called “scrap”.
External failure costs are those identified after the product or service has been delivered to the customer. This includes things like warranty fulfillment, liability costs and the potential of a loss of business.
There are two separate components within Cost of Quality (COQ) and you must have a complete understanding of both of them for your PMP Exam. One is the Cost of Nonconformance, which is the money (and time) that will be spent due to the failure of a deliverable from your project. The other is the Cost of Conformance. This is the figure that is determined to be necessary to avoid those failures in the first place.
There are two categories within the Cost of Conformance. The prevention costs are those associated with building a quality product or service so that any errors are within the range that is considered acceptable. These usually include the elements of training and equipment. Also included in this category is the time and effort required to fully document processes and to do things the right way.
The other category within the Cost of Conformance is the appraisal costs. These are the costs associated with determining the level of quality to ensure it meets the required standards. Appraisal costs include things like inspections and various types of testing that are then evaluated to ensure the quality expectations are being met.
In our next tip, we’ll take a closer look at the Cost of Nonconformance
Watch this video about The Project Management PrepCast - the first videocast for aspiring PMPs.
In this video we will give you an overview of the program by discussing the five Ws : What is the The Project Management PrepCast? Why should you listen to it? Who is the host of the program? When can I start? How do you subscribe to the program? (OK... technically, that's not a W... .
The cost of quality (COQ) as it relates to project management is frequently misunderstood. It is a monetary figure but it does not solely relate to how much it will cost to provide a quality product or service through the project as most people initially believe.
Instead, COQ is also about the costs that will be involved to bring a product or service that is considered sub-standard up to the standards as they are described. This concept isn’t limited to only the duration of the specific project either. It also takes into consideration costs that occur after the project has ended, such as product returns, recall campaigns and warranty claims. So the complete product life-cycle (not just the project life-cycle) is included when figuring out COQ. The overall cost of quality is reviewed as part of the project to make decisions on how much will be invested in quality.
There are two main categories within the COQ definition. They are the cost of conformance, which is the money spent to avoid problems, and the cost of nonconformance, which is the money spent because of the problems that occurred. We’ll look at those in our next tips.