Project Management

Project Management is usually defined as the process which you may use to oversee and control in strategic manner all activities that you engage in to achieve goals you have set. The benefits of such an approach to project management always help improve the relationship between your business and your clients. It basically involves guiding a project from the current point to the point it is expected to be for its goals to be achieved. This will ensure that the goals will be attained in the best way possible including aspects like cost-saving, efficiency and of course with ingenuity.

There are many benefits attributed to project management. They include: Improved service delivery. This is because project management provides guidelines that can be easily adhered to all the way to the end of the project.

Once you know how to go about what you want to do you will be able to avoid any problems that are bound to come your way. With project management, you will be able to increase your customers’ satisfaction. Whenever you have a project completed in the scheduled time and within or under the budget, your client is bound to walk away very happy. Such a client is definitely going to come back for the same if not more services from you. This client will most likely refer to you other people in need of the same service he got from you. This way the relationship between your client and your business is sustained.

Project management helps bring about positive results within the business hence helping you command the respect of your team. Your team is also inspired to work even harder to deliver the best services. This in turn leads to growth and development within your dynamic team.

Due to the positive results attributed to project management both within and outside your business, you stand to compete better in your field of specialization. Project planning will give you an edge over your competitors thanks to the results that are seen due to project management.

With project management, your business is open to expansion opportunities. This comes as a result of your businesses’ high standing due to the great performance brought about by project planning. With the profits that come in you are able to expand your business hence success. When you employ project management in your daily endeavours, you are enabled to become flexible. This means that your business has the ability to run a number of projects simultaneously thanks to project planning for coming up with this idea. The more projects you run the more money you make. Planning makes this possible.

Risk assessment is possible when engaging in project management. When you engage in project management, you are in a better position of knowing what kinds of risks to expect and how better to manoeuvre around them. In this way, risks are reduced significantly. The lesser the risks the more the chances that your business will flourish leading to more and more profits and business expansion.

Professional Development for Project Managers

Professional development is important for Project Managers whether they are starting out or have years of experience in the field. Sometimes the best development opportunities are found overseas. The Project Management Institute provides information on professional development opportunities at home and abroad.

Project Management

Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value. The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast with business as usual (or operations), which are repetitive, permanent, or semi-permanent functional activities to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and management strategies.

The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while honoring the preconceived constraints.  Typical constraints are scope, time, and budget. The secondary—and more ambitious—challenge is to optimize the allocation of necessary inputs and integrate them to meet pre-defined objectives.

Critical chain project management
Main article: Critical chain project management
Critical chain project management (CCPM) is a method of planning and managing project execution designed to deal with uncertainties inherent in managing projects, while taking into consideration limited availability of resources (physical, human skills, as well as management & support capacity) needed to execute projects.

CCPM is an application of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) to projects. The goal is to increase the flow of projects in an organization (throughput). Applying the first three of the five focusing steps of TOC, the system constraint for all projects is identified as are the resources. To exploit the constraint, tasks on the critical chain are given priority over all other activities. Finally, projects are planned and managed to ensure that the resources are ready when the critical chain tasks must start, subordinating all other resources to the critical chain.

The project plan should typically undergo resource leveling, and the longest sequence of resource-constrained tasks should be identified as the critical chain. In some cases, such as managing contracted sub-projects, it is advisable to use a simplified approach without resource leveling.

In multi-project environments, resource leveling should be performed across projects. However, it is often enough to identify (or simply select) a single “drum”. The drum can be a resource that acts as a constraint across projects, which are staggered based on the availability of that single resource.

One can also use a “virtual drum” by selecting a task or group of tasks (typically integration points) and limiting the number of projects in execution at that stage.


Professional Development for Project Managers

Professional development is important for Project Managers whether they are starting out or have years of experience in the field. Sometimes the best development opportunities are found overseas. The Project Management Institute provides information on professional development opportunities at home and abroad.

Top 10 Open Source Web-Based Project Management Software

This is an user contributed article.

Project management software is not just for managing software based project. It can be used for variety of other tasks too. The web-based software must provide tools for planning, organizing and managing resources to achieve project goals and objectives. A web-based project management software can be accessed through an intranet or WAN / LAN using a web browser. You don’t have to install any other software on the system. The software can be easy of use with access control features (multi-user). I use project management software for all of our projects (for e.g. building a new cluster farm) for issue / bug-tracking, calender, gantt charts, email notification and much more.

Obviously I’m not the only user, the following open source software is used by some of the biggest research organizations and companies world wild. For example, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory uses track software or open source project such as lighttpd / phpbb use redmine software to keep track of their projects.

You use the following top 10 software for personal or business use. Keep track of all your projects in one place and finish them successfully on time.

#1: Codendi

Codendi is an open-source collaborative development platform offered by Xerox. From only one interface, it gathers, all the needed tools for software development teams: management and versioning of code, bugs, requirements, documents, reporting, tests etc. It is mainly used for managing software project processes.

  • Download Codendi

#2: Redmine

Redmine is a flexible project management web application. Written using Ruby on Rails framework, it is cross-platform and cross-database. It includes calendar and gantt charts to aid visual representation of projects and their deadlines.

  • Download redmine

#3: ProjectPier

ProjectPier is a Free, Open-Source, self-hosted PHP application for managing tasks, projects and teams through an intuitive web interface. ProjectPier will help your organization communicate, collaborate and get things done Its function is similar to commercial groupware/project management products, but allows the freedom and scalability of self-hosting.

  • Download ProjectPier

#4: Trac

Trac is an open source, web-based project management and bug-tracking tool. Trac allows hyperlinking information between a computer bug database, revision control and wiki content. It also serves as a web interface to a version control system like Subversion, Git, Mercurial, Bazaar and Darcs.

  • Download Trac

#5: Project HQ

Project HQ is a collaborative open source project management tool, similar to Basecamp and activeCollab. Project HQ is built on open source technologies like Python, Pylons and SQLAlchemy and is fully database independent. Project HQ uses a structured workflow to assist you in managing your projects.

  • Download Project HQ

#6: Collabtive

Collabtive is a web-based project management software that is being published as Open Source software. The project was started in November 2007. It strives to provide an Open Source alternative to proprietary tools like Basecamp or ActiveCollab.

  • Download Collabtive

#7: eGroupWare

eGroupWare is a free open source groupware software intended for businesses from small to enterprises. Its primary functions allow users to manage contacts, appointments, projects and to-do lists.

It is used either via its native web-interface, making access platform-independent, or by using different supported groupware clients, such as Kontact, Novell Evolution, or Microsoft Outlook. It can also be used by mobile phone or PDA via SyncML.

  • Download eGroupWare

#8: KForge

KForge is an open-source (GPL) system for managing software and knowledge projects. It re-uses existing best-of-breed tools such as a versioned storage (subversion), a tracker (trac), and wiki (trac or moinmoin), integrating them with the system’s own facilities (projects, users, permissions etc). KForge also provides a complete web interface for project administration as well a fully-developed plugin system so that new services and features can be easily added.

  • Download KForge

#9: OpenGoo

It is a complete online solution focused on improving productivity, collaboration, communication and management of your teams. OpenGoo main features include document management, contact management, e-mail, project management, and time management. Text documents and presentations can be created and edited online. Files can be uploaded, organized and shared, independent of file formats.

  • Download OpenGoo

#10: ClockingIT

ClockingIT is a free Project Management solution, which helps your team stay focused and on top of things.

  • Download ClockingIT


Project management software

Project management software is a term covering many types of software, including estimation and planning, scheduling, cost control and budget management, resource allocation, collaboration software, communication, quality management and documentation or administration systems,  which are used to deal with the complexity of large projects.

Tasks or activities of project management software Scheduling

One of the most common purposes is to schedule a series of events or tasks and the complexity of the schedule can vary considerably depending on how the tool is used. Some common challenges include:

Events which depend on one another in different ways or dependencies.

Scheduling people to work on, and resources required by, the various tasks, commonly termed resource scheduling.
Dealing with uncertainties in the estimates of the duration of each task.

Providing information
Project planning software can be expected to provide information to various people or stakeholders, and can be used to measure and justify the level of effort required to complete the project(s). Typical requirements might include:
Overview information on how long tasks will take to complete.
Early warning of any risks to the project.
Information on workload, for planning holidays.
Historical information on how projects have progressed, and in particular, how actual and planned performance are related.
Optimum utilization of available resource.
Cost Maintenance.

Approaches to project management software
Project management software can be implemented as a program that runs on the desktop of each user. This typically gives the most responsive and graphically-intense style of interface. Desktop applications typically store their data in a file, although some have the ability to collaborate with other users (see below), or to store their data in a central database. Even a file-based project plan can be shared between users if it’s on a networked drive and only one user accesses it at a time.

Desktop applications can be written to run in a heterogeneous environment of multiple operating systems, although it’s unusual.


Project Management Institute

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is a not-for-profit professional organization for the project management profession with the purpose of advancing project management.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers a range of services to the Project Management profession such as the development of,  standards, research, education, publication, networking-opportunities in local chapters, hosting conferences and training seminars, and maintaining multiple credentials in project management.
These credentials are:
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
Project Management Professional (PMP)
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)
PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)
Program Management Professional (PgMP)

In addition to career development credentials, PMI offers one certification:
Organizational Project Management Maturity Model Certified Consultant (OPM3-CC)
PMI has recruited volunteers to create industry standards, such as “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge”, which has been recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).[5]

Launched in 1984, PMI’s first certification was the PMP. Around 370,000 people now hold the PMP certification. In 2007, it earned the ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 accreditation from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Credential holders do not have to be members of PMI.

To initially obtain a PMI credential, individuals must pass an examination consisting of multiple choice questions. To maintain most PMI credentials, holders must earn Professional Development Units (PDUs) which can be earned in a variety of ways such as taking classes, attending PMI global congresses, contributing to professional research or writing and publishing papers on the subject. Most credentials must be renewed every three years.