‘Milestones’ are a much used ingredient in a lot of projects – for good reasons. Milestones are important points on the project’s timeline. One could also call them checkpoints.

Generally speaking a milestone can be an event or a point in time, where

  • something is finished
  • something is started
  • a decision has to be made, as in how to proceed.

Most of the time, milestones occur at the end of a project phase. But there can be additional milestones in between.
Milestones never define a stretch of time, but always a point on the timeline.

Look at the following example: Continue reading →

Okay, so we all know that there can be problems in life and in a project! Things go wrong and solutions need to be found.

For your project, it is quite important that you are aware of the risks associated with what you’re doing.

Risk management is another key area within project management and below are seven steps that allow you to keep on top of your risks and manage them successfully. Continue reading →

Stakeholder – that just sounds like project management lingo! One of those things that actually distracts from the real work?

Totally not!

Whether you are working on an internal project or you are coming into a situation to manage a project, you always have to identify who your main stakeholders are.

If you don’t bother identifying them and their perspective/agenda, it is quite likely that you will:

  • totally miss your targets/goals
  • not spot possible issues and stumbling blocks ahead
  • not get key people on board
  • not be able to identify solutions and opportunities
  • possibly run into deep problems including the failure of the whole project

Why is that so, you ask? …and, since we are talking about it, who are these people? Continue reading →

The Magic Triangle – last time we looked, excel spreadsheets and project plans didn’t feature in Harry Potter!

… erecting a new factory hall within a few days? Development of a new technology component that has low production cost and a big profit margin?

…That sounds like some magic is needed! Here is a little ‘project magic’ to help you:

Let’s have a look at our three magic points:

  • cost
  • time
  • effort, often also referred to as quality

Okay, cost time and effort – if you internalise these three dimensions and bear them in mind you will gain a lot. Indeed, virtually all decisions in a project go back to one of these three angles:

Cost: what budget is there for your project? What does it cost to implement the ideas?

Time: how much time do you have to complete the project? How long do the tasks realistically take?

Effort: what is supposed to be achieved/produced? What’s the required quality?

And right slap-bang in the middle – don’t forget – customer satisfaction! If we keep our customers right in the middle of it all we can’t go wrong.

The project manager is left with the honourable yet tricky job to balance these targets in order to lead the project to success. Naturally, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Let’s have a look at some examples: Continue reading →