≡ Menu

The Practical PM Journal contains a wealth of information gained by project managers during the various phases of real projects. A community of project managers reveal the successes, failures and mitigation steps experienced in the practice of professional project management.

Topics cover all aspects of project management including:
- The five process groups: Initiation, Planning, Executing, Controlling and Monitoring and Closing
- The nine knowledge areas: Integration, Scope, Schedule, Costing, Quality, HR, Communications, Risk and Procurement
- Other related topics such as Operational improvement and program management

Active community members have the right to have at least one article per year published in the journal. The knowledge conveyed is of real value to other project managers as it offers the opportunity to avoid project trouble, gain efficiency, control schedules and more.

Project management professionals earn 1 PDU credit per hour of approved activity. Reading the Practical PM Journal articles, writing an article and discussing project management issues are all examples of valid PDU earning activities.

Comments are welcome on the posts found at Practical PM Journal. They must pertain to the project management topic. Spam comments will not be accepted. You are welcome to reference web sites that are related to the topic. You may also include an author link. Your information will not be shared with any third parties.

The Practical PM Journal contains a wealth of information gained by project managers during the various phases of real projects. A community of project managers reveal the successes, failures and mitigation steps experienced in the practice of professional project management. Topics cover all aspects of project management including: - The five process groups: Initiation, Planning,…

When we are talking about project management techniques and concepts, you can find a lot of references and expertise to guide you through and add to your knowledge as a project manager increasing your ability to manage complex projects.

But what you will not find that easy when you are planning to establish project management department and leading the change in your organization, how to start and what you should consider in your plan.

At this stage you will need to focus in the project management itself along with other issues like calibers, process, organization structure and mind set of your colleagues in other departments. [click to continue…]

When we are talking about project management techniques and concepts, you can find a lot of references and expertise to guide you through and add to your knowledge as a project manager increasing your ability to manage complex projects. But what you will not find that easy when you are planning to establish project management…

Being a database manager for a State Agency and having to manage different databases, web servers, application servers etc including the team resources is no easy task. We have about 10 to 15 critical applications that are operated 24/7 and cannot sustain a down time. Managing System Administrators and making sure the servers are patched cloned and operated at its potential is another daunting task.

When we started growing in terms of on-boarding new applications, databases etc to the existing pool it was a little overwhelming to manage them all. That time, I brought in the Agile methodology to my team so we work with smaller projects or applications and also making team members the stake holders in the project. The team members were responsible for the applications they will step up to own and understand the functionalities etc. [click to continue…]

Being a database manager for a State Agency and having to manage different databases, web servers, application servers etc including the team resources is no easy task. We have about 10 to 15 critical applications that are operated 24/7 and cannot sustain a down time. Managing System Administrators and making sure the servers are patched…

The surveying of buildings has been commonplace for a few hundred years now, however, it has not been known as a profession until the later 20th century, and it is now one of the broadest areas of surveying in practice, with domestic projects to major retail development. A building surveyor’s job is designed to offer advice on different aspects of design, construction, maintenance, repair, restoration and refurbishment of a particular building. They provide a quality report stating clearly any defects with the property, the different ways of improving it, and any structural facts or recommended solutions. What’s more, they can advise how likely it is that you’ll be able to get planning permission, how much any work will roughly cost to conduct, and how suitable the building is for the particular use you have in mind.

What do they do?

Building surveying work varies dramatically day-to-day, it can involve drawing up detailed plans, advising on whether a grant might be available and even consulting with architectural professionals to help prepare a detailed plan of work. Then once the work is underway, the building surveyors project manage, are responsible for budgets and oversee work on site – they see the project right through from start to finish, offering advice and guidance along the way.

Among their lengthy list of responsibilities, they are also in charge of putting forward any type of planning applications, advice on property law, building regulations and other legal matters such as health and safety – all of these things which the ordinary person would know very little about. In the unfortunate case of building and contract disputes, building surveyors can act as expert witnesses or represent their clients.

Is there much need for Surveyors?

Over the previous decade, the demand for building surveyors has risen with the increasing refurbishment of urban areas, older properties and rural sites – how many new buildings have been erected in your local area in the last decade? While no one would pretend the construction industry was not affected by the recession, and the level of opportunities reflects the economy as a whole, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has suggested there is still plenty of demand, especially for building control surveyors.

Clients are broad-ranging, and might include potential buyers, sellers, mortgage lenders and property owners. If you are interested in the make-up of buildings and like the idea of a varied job where expert advice is vital, this could be the ideal job for you. Do bear in mind that you should have good problem-solving skills, strong communication and presentation skills, as well as being able to understand your client’s business needs. Overall you really need to enjoy working with people in a predominately male environment, with only a quarter of the establishment being women.

Qualifications

Although there is no minimum set of entry requirements in order to train as a building surveyor, in practice most people who enter the profession are educated to at least A-level standard or equal. If you want to get a head start in your career path then the most common path to do this is to undertake a degree accredited by the RICS or the Chartered Institute of Building. These are available at a variety of further education facilities, but especially in previously called ‘Polytechnics’ which have more recently been reformatted as Universities, for instance places such as Anglia Ruskin, the university located in the heart of Cambridge.

If you feel you are too old to go back to university or you want to continue with your job at the same time as complete your degree, then why don’t you study via a distance learning course, part-time course or even a sandwich course? There are plenty of options for you to explore, don’t lose all hope because there are relevant post graduate and conversion courses available if you have a different degree. Once completed you’ll be ready and raring to go! Most will then start at a basic level of trainee position within a surveying firm.

Pre-entry involvement is highly recommended, as in all career paths, this experience allows graduates to experience the practical application of ideas in the ‘real world’, and can lead directly into employed positions. Likewise any work shadowing or on placements with major employers can be hugely productive and valuable to your career, but be prepared that the work you are offered will probably be an internship or apprenticeship, which is either minimum wage or unpaid.

Most surveyors choose to work towards a chartership with one of the professional bodies, predominantly RICS, as they set the qualification criteria. ‘Chartered surveyor’ is an internationally recognised qualification which opens up opportunities abroad, not to mention leading to increased responsibility and the all-important sought after high salaries!

Key skills:

In order to be successful in becoming a building surveyor, you need to have certain skills that will help your career progression, just some of these key abilities are:

  • Willingness to work outside in all conditions – very important as the British weather is very unpredictable
  • Interested in knowledge of the buildings environment
  • Excellent IT skills, including knowledge of industry-specific software
  • Analytically minded, with strong problem-solving skills
  • Interpersonal and communication skills, both written and oral – this is extremely important as you with deal with all forms of communication on a daily basis
  • Excellent people, project and time management skills
  • A full clean driving licence
Featured images:
  • License: Creative Commons image source
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://all-free-download.com/free-photos/boston_public_library_boston_massachusetts_217864.html
  • Image credit smartphotostock.com

Karen is a prolific writer, and as owner, landlord and tenant of various residential and commercial properties for housing her 2 growing businesses in, has become familiar with the profession of building surveying. She has used the services of Barker Storey Matthews for all her commercial property advice in the Cambridge area.

Karen James on Google+

The surveying of buildings has been commonplace for a few hundred years now, however, it has not been known as a profession until the later 20th century, and it is now one of the broadest areas of surveying in practice, with domestic projects to major retail development. A building surveyor’s job is designed to offer…

The Modern Web
The Modern Web is a book that web design executives will like because it gives specific details on how you can improve on the web design skills they already have in order to please clients better. It is also not a huge book and it contains everything they need to know in a way that is simple to understand. The good thing about this book is that it does not rehash the basic design principles of JavaScript, HTML and CSS and the author mentions the latest techniques of web design using these concepts. For the web design executive who wants to stay ahead of the game, the author mentions what the future of web design will look like in light of advances such as mobile web development. If designers need step-by-step examples of how to utilize the latest techniques, this book has visual examples for reference. The chapters in this book that may be of interest to web design executives include web apps, multimedia, modern JavaScript, structure and semantics and web platform.
Website Optimization
Every successful web design executive must know the art of optimization and in the book Website Optimization, the web design executive can learn innovative methods of optimization so that he will have greater success with his web design projects. The book is written by Andrew King, a leading figure in website optimization, and he has some fascinating nuggets of wisdom that can help web design executives and their employees. In this book King mentions the importance of search engine optimization and common mistakes executives make in this area. King also endorses pay-per-click methods for websites and he dedicates another section of this book to creating and maintaining user-friendly navigation for clients.
Executive Guide to Information Security
Web design executives need to be concerned about threats to their information security and this means that they will need to understand the latest and best ways to maintain safety of websites against viruses, hacking or other problems that could destroy this security. The book Executive Guide to Information Security gives web design executives insight into how to do this. The author Mark Egan starts the book with a history of information security and he also discusses the need to hire more personnel who are skilled and experienced in this sector of web design.
Return on Design
Web design executives who are interested in looking at their firms as an investment should purchase the book Return on Design because author Ani Phyo discusses how they can get returns on their investments as executives. Phyo mentions that web design executives need to define their business goals and it is important that they have an understanding of what their clients’ needs are in order to create better websites for them. Phyo then talks about specific techniques for better web design such as the use of sitemaps and testing clients’ websites.
The Ecommerce Book
Web design executives whose clients are mostly online business owners will benefit from the book The E-commerce Book. Author Steffano Korper teaches you diverse methods of developing successful e-commerce web design strategies and he also discusses the importance of diversifying customer payment choices and marketing as fundamental to e-commerce web design.

Conclusion

The role of web design in industries such as business, entertainment, politics and education has increased greatly and it is up to web design executives to create high quality projects that will produce the best results for the clients they serve. With these five books, the executives will have the necessary information to improve their work and obtain new clients.

Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at Fahrenheit Marketing, an Austin based web design firm. Zane would like to read “The Modern Web” book.

The Modern Web The Modern Web is a book that web design executives will like because it gives specific details on how you can improve on the web design skills they already have in order to please clients better. It is also not a huge book and it contains everything they need to know in…

Nowadays, staff outsourcing has become an integral part of various industries and organizations, allowing employees from around the globe to collaborate on different projects. Besides the intangible costs of lost information and low morale associated with employee turnover, organizations also incur huge costs of replacement hiring, separation processing, training, lost business and lost productivity, which can be avoided by planning ahead in order to protect your human resource interests. Anything can be easily outsourced now from accounting and payroll to computer programming and sales. Staff outsourcing has proven to be a very useful tool mainly because if offers more efficient and less expensive services than the salaried employees.

The business works faster as employee productivity increases

Outsourcing your staff is an easy way of ensuring that people are retained for specific tasks and positions. Moreover, training is not required and such employees are always ready to start working. If the organization needs employees with specific sets of skills, those are the skills to be sought through the outsourcing procedure. Therefore, the skills, plans and performance of each employee will always be aligned with the general goals and objectives of your business since your entire team will be aware of what is expected of them. This enables the business to work faster. The disparity between a profit and a loss can be determined by a swift start up.

Reduce the operating cost

Your total cost of labor from recruitment, workers compensation, office space, benefits and low productivity can be decreased trough staff outsourcing. This goes a long way in making the organization more efficient since such costs can be quite high especially for large organizations. Since most outsourcing agreements are paid through an invoice instead of being put through a payroll, the payroll and data processing expenses are also minimized due to the reduction in staff.

Growing your business by increasing profits

Staff outsourcing has become a very important competitive tool, especially in the current economy due to the cost effective and devoted staff. Outsourcing staff can have a huge impact on the productivity of your company because the staff you outsource will always strive to meet your performance plans. Therefore, your business will always be operating at high levels of output.

Reduce turnover

Employee turnover has proven to be one of the biggest hits of the profitability and productivity of most organizations. Moreover, keeping good and reliable employees happy has to be planned and it can be quite expensive because it entails many costly processes such as recruiting the best and most reliable people, designing good compensation plans, training and development, and regular performance reviews. Besides reducing turnover, outsourcing your staff can help you make strategic plans and allocate the scarce resources efficiently by ensuring that you have good information regarding your staff in order to make good decisions.

Focus on business

Each organization has various departments and projects which must run efficiently in order to the business to achieve its overall goals. Staff outsourcing reduces your required commitment to employees. Therefore, it enables to relax and focus on vital business processes and projects knowing that other responsibilities and liabilities and handled competently and professionally.

The global economy and instant communication have enabled various companies to outsource staff from anywhere in the world. Staff outsourcing has become finely tuned resulting in a system that has enabled organizations to pass ideas and projects around the globe at the speed of light on a daily basis.

Featured images:

John Chen is a travel writer currently located in Bangkok, Thailand. He writes not only about traveling in Thailand, but also about business and staff outsourcing in Thailand.

Nowadays, staff outsourcing has become an integral part of various industries and organizations, allowing employees from around the globe to collaborate on different projects. Besides the intangible costs of lost information and low morale associated with employee turnover, organizations also incur huge costs of replacement hiring, separation processing, training, lost business and lost productivity, which…

When it comes to office supplies, many of us are not familiar with some of the terminology that refers to what can be found in corners, on desks, in drawers, in filing cabinets and waste paper baskets. Some of these include combs, wires, guillotines (eek!), shredders, laminators, binding machines, and etc.

Most of us are however familiar with more common terms such as staplers, paper punches, folders and labelers. Just because you’re not familiar with a term however, it isn’t going to explain your actions to your boss when you fail to get prices for a new guillotine for the office. You may in fact find yourself on a guillotine if you don’t follow through with your bosses’ request. Is there a standard that most offices follow when it comes to stationery needs? Well, here’s a fast list of office supplies that you can find in every office on this globe:

Shredders

Shredders today do more than just slice sheets of paper into little tiny pieces or strips. Increased technology has put more demands on today’s shredders. You now must be able to shred not only paper documents but CDs, DVDs and credit cards. Sure you could try to shred one of those in your old shredder but it would probably be the last thing it ever shredded – or attempted to.

Sticky Stuff

Yes, many of your documents are going to be held together with staples, paper clips, binders, loops, rings and more. But don’t sell the old-fashioned sticky stuff short just yet. Always have at the ready in your desk drawer, a little bit of glue or tape just in case. There’s something to be said for old-school methods every now and then.

Envelopes

Like it or not, we still depend on snail mail to send many of our documents. Of course envelopes doesn’t necessarily mean the plain white business size container which we address, self return address and stamp. This can also mean envelopes for inner office mailings. You know the kind – manila colored and lots of lines on the front with that little string tie in the back. Not everything goes through email. Not yet anyways.

Folders and Data Files

Organization is key in office settings. You might get away with complete and utter disarray in your home office but when it comes to a professional office setting where any number of people work in unison you cannot accomplish much of anything without proper organization. This is where items such as data files, folders, filing cabinets, ring binders and such all come into use. It’s not uncommon to find locking file cabinets and safes for the more sensitive documented information.

Stapler and Staples

‘Have you seen my red stapler?’ If you are a staunch moviegoer you know exactly where that quote, which ended up being a hilarious reminder of office settings all over the world, comes from. And whereas the glue and tape mentioned earlier is an absolute must have when it comes to office supplies, it’s hard to replace a simple stapler – red or otherwise.

Sticky Notes

Sticky notes, sometimes referred to as Post-it notes or post-its, come in many colors and sizes. Most offices and even homes cannot function properly without this godsend. Even schools are making use of these little wonders which gives you yet another reason to buy in bulk.

Pens/Pencils/Markers

Take your pick, but any one of these is going to be an essential supply at home, in the office, at school, in a purse, in a backpack – you get the picture. Pens are a very serious commodity in some places. If you are handing out promo samples, and it happens to be a pen (possibly accompanied by a scratch pad of paper) you have become the new hero. FYI, clicky pens are the favorites!

Paper Calendars

Well, whether your paper calendar is the type that serves as a desk blotter or simply one that you can flip through that sits on the top of your desk, paper calendars will never be replaced by cell phones, laptops, tablets or anything else. There’s nothing like a calendar in front of your face with big red letters written on it ‘9 am Meeting Today’. Chances are you should probably note your secretary’s birthday on there as well if you want all your documents to go out on time next week.

Notepads/Legal Pads

Whether you received this pad of paper as a promotional item from the same guy you got the clicky pen from, or if you had to sneak into the office supply closet to snatch one off the shelf, no office worker can exist without their trusty pad. The electronic pads and tablets are nice but being able to scribble on a pad of paper (probably while you’re supposed to be listening to the boss) is something no office worker can go without. And of course you want that pad at the ready when you come up with the next brilliant idea that is going to knock the industry on its ear.

All sorts of paper

Finally, the right paper for the right job is an absolute essential. The previously mentioned scratchpad, the stationary with your company’s logo on it, printer paper, the list goes on. No matter how electronically you run your business there is no doubt that without paper, your business would flounder. Do however do yourself and the earth a favor by getting as much of your paper work condensed as it is possible.

Featured images:
  • License: Creative Commons image source
  • License: Creative Commons image source
  • License: Creative Commons image source
  • License: Creative Commons image source
  • License: Creative Commons image source
  • License: Creative Commons image source
  • License: Creative Commons image source
  • License: Creative Commons image source
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/en/stapler-office-86797/
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/en/background-business-clips-color-2091/

The author of this post is Jed Gable, a part of the team at Office Binding Co, office suppliers. He likes to spend his weekends with his family at home.

When it comes to office supplies, many of us are not familiar with some of the terminology that refers to what can be found in corners, on desks, in drawers, in filing cabinets and waste paper baskets. Some of these include combs, wires, guillotines (eek!), shredders, laminators, binding machines, and etc. Most of us are…

Searching...