The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management (Fast Forward MBA Series) | Eric Verzuh

Summary of: The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management (Fast Forward MBA Series)
By: Eric Verzuh

Introduction

Embark on a journey to explore the world of project management through the lens of ‘The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management’ by Eric Verzuh. This book summary provides insights into the vital aspects of project success – clear goals, meticulous planning, effective communication, controlled scope, and management support. Uncover the importance of aligning projects with corporate strategies and learn to navigate the intricate world of stakeholder management. Dive into the development of critical project documents to gather approvals and understand the various iterative processes in project management. Learn how to develop a well-structured work breakdown and discover the significance of balancing projects’ cost, schedule, and quality.

The Art of Successful Project Management

Project management is a set of skills and a framework used by managers to deliver business value. It focuses on clear goals, a well-defined plan, effective communication, and technical skill alignment. Projects have a distinct beginning and end and produce a specific product. Each project is unique and managed differently, but every successful project delivers value to the parent organization. The bulk of the project is dedicated to execution, and it ends with closure, which archives data for future development. Successful project management requires discipline and adherence to the framework to achieve objectives.

Effective Project Management

Projects begin as ideas and require stakeholder approval before being assigned a project manager. The project proposal outlines the goal, solution, strategic importance, costs, business requirements, risks, and schedule. Stakeholders include customers, corporate management, project team, and resource managers. The project charter and statement of work are critical project documents that establish the project’s legitimacy, goals, success criteria, and authority structure. Effective project management involves involving the project manager before approval and consistently seeking stakeholder approval throughout the project.

Effective Project Management Strategies

To successfully execute a project, it is important to develop a risk management plan and a comprehensive work breakdown structure (WBS). The risk management plan involves identifying potential risks that might impact the project and developing a response plan to reduce damage or probability. WBS allows all project work to be divided into smaller and feasible tasks for easy management and tracking progress. By developing a schedule for all tasks, including resource and time allocation, the project manager can identify critical tasks that need more attention and prioritize accordingly. Scrum development methodology is useful for incremental deliveries and managing uncertainty, making it an effective tool for software projects and other projects with incremental deliveries. Effective project management requires blending the art and science of project management to build a committed team and make progress against the plan.

Effective Communication Strategies

A successful project requires a communication plan that outlines information flow among stakeholders. The project manager should create a strategy for providing timely, essential information to the right individuals and determine who needs what information, how to distribute it, and who should provide it. The plan must include updates, meetings, and task assignments. Good communication is necessary for a successful outcome, and it helps keep track of progress. Effective communication also involves understanding stakeholders’ roles and how best to communicate with them, such as sponsoring bodies who need regular updates to champion the project. Rules for project management support effective communication, establishing authority structures, and delineating reporting lines for the project manager during project execution. Good communication among team members is integral to building a successful team and achieving project goals. Team members should receive information about the project, communicate individually, commit to goals, and focus on building trust to establish collaborative problem-solving. Finally, hiring outside resources can benefit the project and boost productivity, as long as the effort required to hire them does not outweigh the benefits gained.

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