Is there any such thing as a project that is too complex? Projects definitely vary in complexity, and obviously a more difficult project environment will result in a more complex project. But when the project complexity is resulting from risks or issues within your project, it could be time to take a step back and try to simplify the project to get it back on track.

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CoLAB Project Management looks at the importance of effective stakeholder communication and how project managers can advance communications using best practices and technology.

All projects have stakeholders, even the very smallest initiatives. Stakeholder communication is a core competency of project management. Studies have shown that successful communication in a project is one of the most crucial factors for success. When properly executed, it connects every member of a project team to common strategies, goals and actions, and allows project managers to head off potential problems.

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Return on investment (ROI) is difficult to measure when it comes to project value. Ultimately, ROI is the driving force behind any project, but how do you measure its actual monetary value?

“Depending on the industry, there are multiple interpretations of ROI. For the purposes of this article, ROI is an indicator used to measure the financial gain/loss (or “value”) of a project in relation to it’s cost. Typically, it is used in determining whether a project will yield a positive payback and have value for the business.”

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Business Process Management (BPM) forms a part of an organisation’s infrastructure management, focussed on improving workflow and making it more adaptable to change. The core goal of BPM is to ultimately reduce human error and improve efficiency of organisational processes, making it an effective methodology to use in times of crisis as well.

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Jennifer Bridges of www.projectmanager.com has presented an interesting whiteboard session on how to fuel change in your projects.

The video How to Fuel Change on Your Project, Three Critical Elements to Generate Sparks and Hit the Nerve looks at inspiration for projects from the project management perspective, using Lady Gaga as an example (yes really!).

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When can a Project Manager celebrate project completion? Most people will agree that it is when you have completed scope, time, cost and quality within the expectations of project stakeholders. But do we as project managers consider what is happening after project completion and after the product or service has been delivered to the business owner?

This raises a concern. Do we place too much weight on project outcomes and do these outcomes on their own deliver specific benefits? Studies have shown that over 70% of business improvement projects fail to deliver their expected benefits. For this reason we need to ensure that value is created and sustained and that benefits are realised even after a project has been completed.

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The Project Management Hut outlines eight practical points for quality management in projects. They look specifically at software projects, but we think that many of these apply nicely to almost any project.

“For many project managers, quality seems to be an esoteric concept.”

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CoLAB has put together an easy-to-understand, visual guide to the 6 basic stages of project management. Know a beginner project manager or someone who would like to know more about the project management process? Feel free to share it.

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“To what degree does the mindset of a project manager affect the achievement of project value? Some project managers question the constraints of a project and, despite these constraints, achieve extraordinary results because they implement projects with a different mindset.”

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Jennifer Bridges, Director of ProjectManager.com, has a series of interesting videos for beginner project managers in which she explains some core project management principles.

In Project Risk, Explained looks at defining project risk more clearly, differentiating it from an issue, as well as some examples of the effects of project risk and how to identify risks in a project.

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We usually like to do our own reviews of project management books, but sometimes we find a good review from someone else that is worth sharing.

Project-management.com has a list of their top 10 best project management books, which gives a number of different options to the project manager depending on their style and preference.

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Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling is a project management bible written by Dr. Harold Kerzner, one of the most respected experts on Project Management. Now in its 10th edition (2015) it offers an extremely comprehensive knowledge of project management.

There have been many mixed reviews and opinions about this book. Some people have felt it is too long, too intimidating and does not contain enough case studies. At a whopping 1200 pages, it is indeed long, but its length ensures that is offers an exhaustive, encyclopaedic type of coverage.

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Amye Scavarda wrote a quick, tongue-in-cheek rundown about her experience of the hard parts of project management on www.phase2technology.com. It’s an interesting perspective for new or aspiring project managers.

“When I look at what the real truth is to a talk about project management mistakes, I go to the source.

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John was frustrated. This was the third time he had been called into a meeting by a client and told that he was not doing a good job. He knew that he was a good employee and could not understand what the problem was.

The problem was actually one of his own making: he did not understand the culture of the organisation.

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A great article about how to build a successful, LASTING team from Glenn Llopis on Forbes.

“All great leaders know exactly what buttons to push and when to push them. They are experts at activating the talent that surrounds them. They are equally as effective at matching unique areas of subject matter expertise and / or competencies to solve problems and seek new solutions.

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Business are constantly changing, evolving and growing. However, too often we focus on the details of our processes, trying to change individual aspects to improve efficiency. Each aspect of operations is looked at close-up, and we forget that the change needs to be broader than the activity: efficient management should focus on the sum of all of these activities and how they come together into complete business processes.

Business process management (BPM) takes a systematic approach to these changes, optimising an organisation’s workflow and flexibility.

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ESI International, one of the world leaders in project management training, offered its thoughts on the top 10 trends in project management for 2015.

“The 2015 trends reveal that project managers (PMs) will be impacted by many changes this year including more hybrid environments, an increasing demand for talent management, and a growing need to more closely align project outcomes with organisational strategy.”

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Both context and scope form an intergral part of a project’s success, working together to form a complete, well-formed project. While most projects seem to have a clearly defined scope, you also need to understand the context in which that project will operate in order to properly define the scope. Failure to understand the context could result in serious consequences for the project.

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20 great tips for project management success from Businessknowhow.com covers a good list of ideas and things to remember during the project management lifecycle. The list is an excerpt from Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Project Management: Get It Done Right! by Sid Kemp.

“What will it take to make your project successful? Get the top 20 steps to success and learn the 5 things to avoid…”

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Businesses need to constantly adapt to find new ways to add value. As the key change agents in a business, Project Management Offices are vital to companies achieving their business objectives. In my experience as PMO manager, I have realised how critical it is for PMOs to utilise a Project Management Framework in order to ensure that the change is strategic rather than chaotic and effectively serve the needs of the business.

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