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Project Management

What is Change Management in Project Management?
First off, change within the context of project management is anything that transforms or impacts projects, tasks, processes, structures, or even job functions. Therefore change management refers to the tools and processes you use to manage change within a project and its project team. More often than not, change management refers to overseeing your team to successfully incorporate change into their work to achieve the overall project objectives.
What is Cost Benefit Analysis in Project Management?
It is a tool used when evaluating the costs vs. benefits in an important business proposal. A formal CBA lists all of the project expenses and tangible benefits then calculates the return on investment (ROI), internal rate of return (IRR), net present value (NPV), and payback period. Then, the difference between the costs and the benefits from taking action are calculated. A general rule of thumb is the costs should be less than 50% of the benefits and the payback period shouldn't exceed past a year. Some people also refer to cost benefit analysis as benefit cost analysis (BCA).
What is Cost Control in Project Management?
It is the task of overseeing and managing project expenses as well as preparing for potential financial risks. This job is typically the project manager's responsibility. Cost control involves not only managing the budget, but also planning, and preparing for potential risks. Risks can set projects back and sometimes even require unexpected expenses. Preparation for these setbacks can save your team time and potentially, money.
What is Cost Management in Project Management?
Cost management is the process of estimating, allocating, and controlling the costs in a project. It allows a business to predict coming expenses in order to reduce the chances of it going over budget. Projected costs are calculated during the planning phase of a project and must be approved before work begins. As the project plan is executed, expenses are documented and tracked so things stay within the cost management plan. Once the project is completed, predicted costs vs. actual costs are compared, providing benchmarks for future cost management plans and project budgets.
What is Earned Value in Project Management?
Earned value refers to a value assigned to work, which can be stated in hours and/or dollars. Earned value management (EVM), on the other hand, is a tool used to measure and predict project performance by comparing planned versus actual earned value. Because EVM can be used to track cost and schedule, it is quite useful for forecasting future projects. Earned value management provides stakeholders with additional insight into a project's status since it compares actual time and money spent versus the planned hours and budget. Historically, earned value and EVM were first developed and used in the 1960s by the US Department of Defense to track its various programs including NASA.
What is a Gantt Chart in Project Management?
A Gantt Chart is a table that illustrates the course of a project and all the elements involved. This visual was first developed by Karol Adamiecki in 1896, then Henry Gantt devised his own version which illustrates a project schedule in the 1910s. Gantt Charts are a useful tool when you want to see the entire landscape of either one or multiple projects. It helps you view which tasks are dependent on one another and which milestones are coming up.
How to use a Gantt Chart in Project Management?
A Gantt chart is a common and popular project management tool that provides a visual of what activities need to be done when. Gantt charts are excellent for tracking project schedules because they help you see interdependencies between tasks—essentially when one tasks relies on another task to be completed. In addition, they can be used to show progress, resources, constraints, and other relevant scheduling information.
What is a Project Schedule?
The project schedule indicates what needs to be done, which resources must be utilized, and when the project is due. In short, it's a timetable that outlines start and end dates and milestones that must be met for the project to be completed on time. The project schedule is often used in conjunction with a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) as a way to evenly distribute work among team members. The project schedule should be updated on a regular basis in order to gain a better understanding of the project's current status.
What is Resource Allocation?
What is resource allocation in project management? Resource allocation is the process of assigning and scheduling available resources in the most effective and economical manner. Projects will always need resources and resources are scarce. The task therefore lies with the project manager to determine the proper timing of those resources within the project schedule.
What is Risk Management?
What is risk management in project management? It is the process used by project managers to minimize any potential problems that may negatively impact a project's timetable. Risk is any unexpected event that might affect the people, processes, technology, and resources involved in a project. Unlike issues, which are certain to happen, risks are events that could occur, and you may not be able to tell when. Because of this uncertainty, project risk requires serious preparation in order to manage them efficiently.
Who Uses Agile Project Management?

Agile was initially designed for software development project management. It enabled teams to quickly model potential solutions, incorporate feedback, and adjust scope as needed throughout the project lifecycle. This not only sped up delivery times, but it also supported changing requirements as new developments arose.

Today, Agile is useful for much more than just software teams. The tenets of Agile are more useful for projects that result in a concrete deliverable (rather than a service.) But Agile is a flexible methodology that can ultimately be used on nearly any large scale project in any industry, market, and company.

Any of the following project teams can benefit from using Agile:

  • Project teams that handle fast-changing deliverables such as technology products.
  • Any team with a project that evolves over time or does not have clear scope and requirements at the beginning.
  • Project teams that need to work closely with customers and other external parties over the course of the project.
  • Teams that emphasize process and product improvement and need a method for continual improvements’ advancement.
  • Teams with a lot of interdependent tasks, who need to work closely together and frequently communicate to ensure success.
  • Project teams that need to create a prototype before building the final project outcome.
  • Teams that must have rapid feedback from each product iteration, before creating the next draft.
What is an Agile Team?

An Agile team is the project team assigned to an Agile project. It’s the group of employees, contractors, or freelancers who are responsible for executing the project. Agile teams are typically co-located and often wholly dedicated to the project during its timeline. In other words, they’re on one project full-time and not spread across multiple projects simultaneously.

An Agile team needs everyone required to produce the end product or service. Therefore, the team is typically cross-functional, and team roles will vary depending on the needs of the project and the type of Agile framework that is chosen.

For instance, when using a Scrum framework, an Agile team should have a Scrum Master and a Product Owner, as well as any other required Team Members. The Scrum Master (often the Project Manager) is responsible for overseeing the project, facilitating collaboration, and organizing the daily meetings. The Product Owner is responsible for ensuring the end product meets the requirements of the customer. Subject matter experts and other stakeholders may provide input into the project as needed, but they’re not typically considered part of the Agile team.

What is Scrum in Agile?

Scrum is a framework that prescribes rules, roles, events, and artifacts that are used to implement Agile projects. It is an iterative approach, consisting of sprints that typically only last 1–4 weeks. This approach enables your team to ensure they are delivering a product on a regular, frequent basis.

Scrum was designed using a software model that follows a set of roles, responsibilities, and meetings. It can be used for any complex project. However, it works best when your project results in a concrete product, rather than a service.

Scrum in Agile requires particular roles and responsibilities, including the following:

Product Owner: The product owner on a project is responsible for representing the customer’s best interest. This person has the ultimate authority to say what is included in the final product.

Scrum Master: This person is a facilitator, responsible for arranging the daily meetings, improving team interactions, and helping to maximize productivity. The project manager often takes on the role of Scrum Master, but it can also be delegated to anyone on the team who is a Scrum expert and a strong facilitator.

Backlog: The backlog is a list of tasks and requirements that must be included in the final product. It’s the responsibility of the Product Owner to create the backlog.

Sprint: A sprint is a set time frame for completing each set of tasks from the Backlog. Every sprint should be the same length. 2 weeks in length is typical, but the sprint can be anywhere between 1–4 weeks depending on the needs of the team and project.

Daily Meetings: A Scrum project team is expected to meet every day to discuss progress. These meetings are typically referred to as a Daily Scrum or Daily Stand-Up.

Retrospective: Each sprint should end with a review meeting, called a retrospective. This meeting is where the team reviews their progress so far and discusses how they can improve the execution of the next sprint.

What is a Sprint in Agile?

Using Agile project management methodologies, projects are broken down into sprints or iterations. These are short, repeatable phases, typically one to four weeks in length. Each sprint should result in a draft, prototype or workable version of the final project deliverable.

The purpose of sprints is to break down a project into bite-sized chunks. This enables the team to plan a single sprint at a time and adapt future sprints based on the outcome of the sprints already completed.

While the planning occurs at the beginning of each sprint, the number of sprints should be determined at the beginning of the project. A sprint in Agile needs to be timeboxed, and each sprint must be the same length.

What is a Scrum Board?

Scrum is one of the frameworks of Agile project management. A Scrum Board is a tool used to help organize a Scrum project and add visibility to project progress.

Initially, a Scrum Board was often a physical board, such as a whiteboard with sticky notes or cue cards attached. Today, there are more sophisticated, digital versions of Scrum Boards available online and as part of many project management software solutions.

The board is broken down into columns with each one representing a different phase of progress, such as “Not Started,” “In Progress,” “In Review,” and “Complete.” Then each card or post-it note represents a task within the project. As work on the task progresses, the card is moved from one column to the next on the board. This enables you to have an at-a-glance update of project progress and understand where tasks are at all times.

How to become an Agile Project Manager?

The Agile style of project management is fundamentally different than the traditional approaches to project management (such as the waterfall methodology). In fact, many Agile frameworks, such as Scrum, don’t even have a clear role for a project manager within the project team. Instead, there is a “Scrum Master.”

The key difference for a project manager is that Agile focuses on a collaborative approach to projects, emphasizing teamwork, and making the role of the project manager less defined. This means the role of a traditional project manager needs to evolve in an Agile environment into more of a guide, facilitator, mentor, change expert, coach, and/or trainer.

How to implement Agile?

If you’ve decided that the Agile methodology is the right approach for your project, customer, and company, here are five steps on how to implement Agile successfully.

Step 1: Get stakeholder buy-in

Step 2: Start with one project

Step 3: Focus on empowering and motivating your team

Step 4: Choose a framework and stick with it

Step 5: Revise and adjust

What is a Milestone in Project Management?
A milestone is a specific point in time within a project lifecycle used to measure the progress of a project toward its ultimate goal. In project management, milestones are used as signal posts for: a project's start or end date, a need for external review or input, a need for budget checks, submission of a major deliverable, and much more. Milestones have a fixed date but no duration. So what is a milestone in project management? Simply put, it's a reference point that marks a major event or a branching decision point within a project.