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Project Management Academy

Project Management News and Articles

Effective project managers understand the need for continuous growth and learning. Browse through all our articles about project management, the PMP certification, Agile and Scrum methodologies, and corporate growth.

Project Management Doesn't Stop at Project Closure

As business owners, operators and/or managers responsible for implementing initiatives, we sometimes overlook the value of learning something from our past projects. It is very understandable to ask for a post-mortem on a failed project. However, ask almost any manager, who sponsored or worked on a project, to do a post-mortem on a successful project and you will probably get a strange look from them. Continue reading

The Role of the C-Suite in Project Management

If you're a senior manager and struggling to get a handle on projects and project management, then you are not alone. Most senior managers are not project managers so there is a natural disconnect between operational management and project management. However, the two are not total opposites. Continue reading

What to Expect From Prometric

From scheduling to actual test day, this article can prepare you for your Project Management Professional (PMP) electronic exam experience with the exclusive provider, Prometric® Testing Centers. Paper exams are allowed only for company sponsored groups of at least 10 examinees or for individuals living more than 300 kilometers (186.5 miles) from a Prometric center. For all others, the electronic version of the PMP exam is required through a Prometric center. Continue reading

Do You Qualify for the PMP® Certification?

Many people wonder if they qualify for the PMP certification. To answer this question, always focus on whether you were working to create something new, be it a product, service, process, system, etc. If the answer is yes, it will almost certainly qualify. Disregard your job title completely - your role is what matters. In addition, you will need to examine the type of work you have done, the number of hours, and the overall duration of your work experience. Continue reading

How Training as a Group for PMP® Certification Can Benefit Your Company

Be the hero in your company by suggesting a group PMP exam prep boot camp that saves money! In-house group training for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is becoming more and more popular with Project Management Academy customers, and for good reason. As outlined in another article, "Five Reasons Employers Want PMP Certification", many requests for proposals are specifically including the PMP certification by key personnel as a requirement. As such, many companies find themselves scrambling to get their employees certified quickly. Continue reading

Five Reasons Employers Want PMP® Certification

Do a quick search on almost any online job board, and you'll see that the majority of available project manager positions list "PMP certification" as either required or strongly preferred. In many companies, PMP certification is required for promotions or is connected to performance evaluations. Whether you are a project manager seeking a new job, or a hiring manager with available project management positions, you know how much weight the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification carries in the workplace. Continue reading

Why Firm PMP® Exam Prep Course Dates are a Must

Here is a very common scenario which may match your own experience...

You are pursuing your PMP certification and have decided upon a PMP exam prep course (often called "PMP exam prep boot camp"). Your prep course takes 4 business days within a single week. Being a good project manager, you prepare for 4 days away from work. Continue reading

EVM3 Overview

Each year, I work with hundreds of business people to prepare for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam. One of the most challenging topics in the course is Earned Value Management (EVM). Asking for a show of hands in response to the question, "who here actually figures out the Earned Value Management on their projects?" the response is, overwhelmingly, week after week, less than 10%. In an audience of 20 people, that is only one or two people at best. Continue reading

Managing Scope Creep: An Ounce of Prevention

Project managers often speak of "managing" scope creep, which begs the question: "Shouldn't we be trying to eliminate it instead?"

To answer that question, we should first consider whether scope creep is actually avoidable in the first place. And if it is, do we really want to "avoid" it altogether? After all, many innovative products and solutions were developed because of - not in spite of - scope creep. Continue reading

Transform Chaos into Results: How To Juggle Multiple Projects

Are you having trouble juggling multiple projects? Does it seem like nothing is getting done? Does your task list grow longer and longer each passing day? These feelings are quite common and can often lead to burn-out. However, it doesn't have to be that way. In this article, I'll explain some simple and effective ways to manage multiple projects, conflicting priorities and a seemingly impossible workload. Continue reading

Project Selection Methods: A Primer for the Project Manager

The success of an enterprise often hinges on the projects it selects, so this is an area of project management - and indeed business management - that should not be overlooked. While there is no "one size fits all" approach for selecting a project, and organizations will differ widely in how they approach this task, the following may help the project manager be as useful as possible in the process. Continue reading

Brainstorming: Lessons from the Film Industry

In the film and television industry, the process of brainstorming is often described using the more visceral and more visually descriptive term "spitballing." The term spitballing comes from the idea that participants can throw ideas around and "see what sticks." Although the terminology feels quite informal, spitballing is a hugely important part of developing a creative project and is typically utilized consistently from project inception through project close Continue reading

Five Tips to Improve your Communication Style

Whether in email, phone conversations or face-to-face meetings, communicating effectively does not come easily for many people. A lapse in communication in the workplace can lead to something as trivial as a rift between colleagues to missed deadlines or rework. Examples abound for each of these cases but the common theme is the same - communication failures result in lost productivity. By making a few simple changes, you can avoid these common pitfalls and improve your communication style. Continue reading

Risk Management

Projects are, by their nature, unique. In fact, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) says that a project is "a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result."1 So in that uniqueness is uncertainty and with that uncertainty, risk. If you think about it, pretty much everything on a project is risky including availability of resources, estimates for both cost and time, procurement lead times and requirements. Continue reading

Free PMP® Certification Training: How to Get Your Employer to Pay

Many people wonder if they qualify for the PMP certification. To answer this question, always focus on whether you were working to create something new, be it a product, service, process, system, etc. If the answer is yes, it will almost certainly qualify. Disregard your job title completely - your role is what matters. In addition, you will need to examine the type of work you have done, the number of hours, and the overall duration of your work experience. Continue reading

Keeping your PMI® Certification Fresh: A Tutorial on PDUs

Project management is a complex, ever-evolving forum of methodologies, principles, and best practices. So, it's little wonder why Project Management Institute (PMI®) asserts that continuing education is an essential part of a project manager's professional development. Consequently, PMI requires certain post-exam educational standards be met in order to maintain certification status. These requirements, known as Professional Development Units (PDUs), may seem ill-defined at first, but in this article we'll attempt to answer questions about the quantity, frequency, and availability of PDUs necessary to maintain your certification. Continue reading

What You Need to Know About the PMP® Certification

In recent years, project management has emerged as one of the world's prevailing new professions. The Anderson Economic Group projected in a recent survey that an average of 1.2 million new project management positions will need to be filled each year until 2016, with healthcare, infrastructure development, and green technologies cited as some of the industry's fastest-growing niches. This rapid growth, coupled with competitive industry salaries, has incentivized many employees and students to consider a career in project management. Continue reading

Why Get the PMP® Certification?

Many project managers have been performing their jobs for several years; some with formal training, and some without. In either case, via peers, bosses or through the grapevine, they quickly learn that there are certifications available to them that would be beneficial to attain. Foremost among them is the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. It was created by the Project Management Institute (PMI), a non-profit organization whose goal is to advance the profession of project management. To that end, they hold monthly chapter meetings around the world, promote networking and provide standards. Continue reading

Choosing the Right PMI® Certification for You

As many aspiring project managers already know, the field of project management is littered with certifications, master's programs, and technical training programs with varying degrees of relevance and significance. Project Management Institute (PMI), the world's largest association for the project management profession, seeks to consolidate these programs and provide a uniform standard of terminology and technical expertise through globally recognized certification. Continue reading

An Introduction to Agile Project Management

For many years, there has been a traditional method of project management based on the idea that the customer can know and define his or her requirements fully up front. While this is occasionally the case, very often customers either don't know precisely what they want or, more often, "will know it when they see it." As pictured to the left, the waterfall model defines a cascading series of phases from requirements through maintenance. (Although the names of the phases may be different, the idea is the same). Continue reading

5 Tips for Effective Team Management

Project management is not only one of the fastest-growing fields in today's economy, but also one of the most professionally diverse. Viewing the discipline from this perspective lends insight to the wide range of personalities you can and probably will encounter throughout your career. Learning to lead and manage a wide array of personalities will promote some of the most essential project management skills. Continue reading

The Five Traditional Process Groups Explained

In project management generally - and A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) specifically - best practices dictate a very specific series of process groups that should be performed. These are referred to as Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing. Continue reading

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