Thursday, July 28, 2005

PMP Online application


It’s one of the most complicated application forms which I have filled so far.:)

As today is the applications closing date, I had to take ½ day leave to fill the application form. (When I went to the institute yesterday, I felt that people have taken this application process too seriously. Almost all the people were confused with the eligibility of their Project management Experience. ) My friend Pali (IT Manager Sampath Bank) came to my office in the morning so both of us went through the application form.

If you need to apply for PMP exam you need to prove that you have 4500 hours of PM experience within last 5 years. So I selected 2 projects, One, the duration was 2 years and the other, the duration was 3 years. Then I calculated the number of hours based on following processes

Initiating Process

Planning Process

Executing Process

Controlling Process

And Closing Process

How I did the calculation is as follows:

If I have a Project X which Started on 01/01/2001 and ended on 30/12/2004,

Number of month experience of Pming = 4 x 12 = 48

Number of days = 48 x20 (Average 20 working days per month ) = 960

So the PM experience gained from Project X is 960 x 8 (assume that we work 8 hours per working day) = 7680

So with Project X I have already covered the required number of PM hours for the PMP exam

I distributed my total hours of PM experience in 5 areas as follows:

Initiation 10%

Planning 30%

Executing 25%

Controlling 30%

Closing 5%

But this might vary based on nature of your project.

The exam fee is $405.00 Its bad that members cannot get the discounted rate at the first time itself. Why do we have to send email and inform them to give us the discounted rate, when the system already knows that you are a PMI member?? I don’t understand that.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Funny :) - Project Management Proverbs


Project Management Proverbs compiled and some written by Mike Harding Roberts

  • It takes one woman nine months to have a baby. It cannot be done in one month by impregnating nine women
  • The same work under the same conditions will be estimated differently by ten different estimators or by one estimator at ten different times.
  • Any project can be estimated accurately (once it's completed).
  • The most valuable and least used WORD in a project manager's vocabulary is "NO".
  • The most valuable and least used PHRASE in a project manager's vocabulary is "I don't know".
  • Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn't have to do it.
  • You can con a sucker into committing to an impossible deadline, but you cannot con him into meeting it.
  • At the heart of every large project is a small project trying to get out.
  • If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
  • The more desperate the situation the more optimistic the situatee.
  • If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.
  • Too few people on a project can't solve the problems - too many create more problems than they solve.
  • A problem shared is a buck passed.
  • A change freeze is like the abominable snowman: it is a myth and would anyway melt when heat is applied.
  • A user will tell you anything you ask about, but nothing more.
  • A user is somebody who tells you what they want the day you give them what they asked for.
  • Of several possible interpretations of a communication, the least convenient is the correct one.
  • What you don't know hurts you.
  • The conditions attached to a promise are forgotten, only the promise is remembered.
  • There's never enough time to do it right first time but there's always enough time to go back and do it again.
  • I know that you believe that you understand what you think I said but I am not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant.
  • Estimators do it in groups - bottom up and top down.
  • Good estimators aren't modest: if it's huge they say so.
  • The sooner you begin coding the later you finish.
  • A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
  • What is not on paper has not been said.
  • If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.
  • If you fail to plan you are planning to fail.
  • If you don't attack the risks, the risks will attack you.
  • A little risk management saves a lot of fan cleaning.
  • The sooner you get behind schedule, the more time you have to make it up.
  • A badly planned project will take three times longer than expected - a well planned project only twice as long as expected.
  • If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs, you haven't understood the plan.
  • When all's said and done a lot more is said than done.
  • If at first you don't succeed, remove all evidence you ever tried.
  • Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after.
  • Feather and down are padding - changes and contingencies will be real events.
  • There are no good project managers - only lucky ones.
  • The more you plan the luckier you get.

Friday, July 15, 2005

PM Skills???


Recently I noticed that most of the local IT companies (SMEs) do not understand the importance of the role of a Project Manager., Or they understand it but still they like to forget about it and save few dollars by appointing a programmer as a “Project Leader” who will be expected to do development work as well as coordination work of the project.

Some of the senior managers do not accept project management as a full time task. Its just that “Why don’t you share your time with some coding work.. or some testing too” As a result, the companies pay back with cost overruns and project failures. Still they do not understand or accept the cause, and they will continue by doing the same mistake over and over again.

Recently I worked with some IT guys in the industry for a government project. (They were appointed from some well-known Software Development Company) When I was introduced to them first, I asked, who is the project Manager for this project?.. Every body looked at each other and one guy said., ok I’m the project leader. In our company we do not have such positions called “Project Managers”. I really don’t understand what the heck is that “Project leader” role is. Are they project Managers?.., Program managers ?…(Managers who manage multiple projects in PMO concepts) , coordinators..? or just bad programmers who are not “Techies”??? Or are they real project managers but the companies wont like to label them as “Managers” due to various financial or structural reasons. ??

I do not believe the title “Project Leader” is given in terms of building true leadership” infact no use of having only leadership skills if they do not have management skills. (Effective project manager should have leadership skills as well as Management skills)

Not only the employers, most of the IT professionals seems have no idea about the role and the demand for project management skills. They hardly work hard to study methodologies or to improve their skills. When we run an advertisement to recruit project managers., its just a nightmare to short list them., we have to reject at least 95% of them at the 1st round of the interview. I thought this is a problem in Local IT industry only., But recently I had some discussions with Niels Malotaux, an EVO evangelist from Netherlands and I was telling him about the lack of project management skills in Sri Lankan IT industry. But what he said was”

"Not only in Sri Lanka. It's the same everywhere. So if you can do something significant about it, it can make you stand out. “

Most of the IT companies spend quite a lot of their training budgets for their programmers’ /designers’ skills improvements. But very few do something about their project management skill development.

Unless the companies and IT professionals really understand the importance of the role of the “Project Manager” and adapt to good project management methodologies, they cant whine about their project failures.


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