Jennifer Bridges, PMP


3 Steps To Move Forward With Your Project

by Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt)

Today we are going to share three simple steps you can take during project planning to alleviate analysis paralysis and move towards job completion. In essence, during planning we are trying to come up with a course of action to get us from Project Planning in 3 StepsPoint A—defining scope and objectives, to Point B—the end objective of the assignment. The assumption is that the initiating has already started and you are working with an authorized project charter that authorizes you as the PM to even begin working on the planning. A lot of times we get ahead of ourselves and begin planning before authorization. So just to be clear, there should be a charter in place with an approved high-level budget and scope, timeline and resources before you are tasked with planning. Once you are, the following three steps will help you move forward:

  1. Create Project Plan (Mobilize Templates). The project plan boils down all the different areas of work, how it is to be done and who is going to do it. We lay out processes so that the team, stakeholders and change control board know how to deliver the project. Organizations, executives and shareholders of projects are looking for things to be done quickly in a synchronized way, so when we talk about mobilizing it means to get your templates in place hopefully prior to the planning but for sure in planning, to be able to begin working on your project plan. You don’t want to start developing templates from scratch.
  2. Breakdown Deliverables (Socialize Input). The project charter contains some type of scope or objective, so now we break that scope down into deliverables that have to be produced. By socializing between all of our team members we collaborate more effectively to get the input of others on our team. We use that information to determine the dependencies, critical path, issues, risk and resources required for this project. We also create a timeline that shows how long it will take to get the project done. Learn More »

How To Plan Your Day When Managing a Project [video blog]

by Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt)

Hello and welcome to our whiteboard session today on how to plan your day when managing a project. So now you have your beautiful project plan done, your schedule and everything, and you’re wondering, “How in the world am I going to get all my work done?” So we have three best practices for you to consider.

Best practice #1: Learn More »

Defining Portfolio Management

by Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt)

We get so many questions on the forum, different blogs and from other sources asking, “What’s the difference between project management, program management, and portfolio Don't forget the Big Picturemanagement?” People are daunted by the idea that it is complex, but we think it’s simple once you look at the definition and concepts of portfolio management. In A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, 4rth Edition (PMBOK ) by the Project Management Institute (PMI), a portfolio is a collection of projects or programs or other work that are grouped together to facilitate effective management of that work to meet strategic business objectives. A key that I want to point out here is that a collection of projects is for a strategic business objective. How many times has your team become so concerned about task, activities and deliverables that they forget or lose sight of why they are doing what they’re doing? The big picture is lost on all the details. So it is really to meet a strategic business objective.

I often reference two groups of people that I have learned a lot from, my artist friends and my financial portfolio managers. All artists, whether artistic in drawing, music or other areas, talk about how different compositions within their portfolio express their heart, emotions, mission or whatever it is their collection supports. In financial management, a diversity of investments completes a group representative of the client’s goals and interests thus showing the characteristics typical to their investments. Likewise for a business, groups have strategic business objectives, and many projects and/or programs have to be implemented to meet those objectives.  Learn More »

4 Things Needed For Effective Project Management

by Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt)

“What is project management?” seems like a crazy question to ask but judging by discussions on the forum and even with clients, it’s fair to say there are many opinions weighing in on 4 Things Needed For Effective Project Managementthe topic and causing some confusion. It can sometimes be defined by our environment whether corporate or otherwise, and those voices are coming in from all around the world. I like to start things out right with a clear definition, and even though my normal go-to reference is Google, today it’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), 4rth Edition by the Project Management Institute (PMI). According to the PMBOK guide, project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to the project activities to meet task requirements.

In other words, activities produce the project’s scope/deliverables, and we are inputting our knowledge as the PM—our skills, different tools and techniques—in some kind of application process against the project activities. There a lot of different things going on to produce needed requirements, but because these terms are used interchangeably in reference lists, i.e., ‘top skills,’ ‘top tools that are needed,’ and we want to be clear on what they are in this context. We believe project management requires a combination of all four—knowledge, skills, tools and techniques. Learn More »

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