Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Key Points in Quality Control

Quality Control is used to measure specific project results against standards. Steps include:
  1. Measure specific project results again quality standards.
  2. Implement approved changes to the quality baseline.
  3. Identify quality improvement.
  4. Repair defects.
  5. Recommend changes, corrective and preventive actions and defect repair to Integrated Change Control.

Key Points in Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance is used to determine if the project is complying with organisational and project policies and processes. Steps include:
  1. Perform continuous improvements.
  2. Determine if project activities comply with organisational and project policies, processes and procedures - quality audit.
  3. Correct deficiencies.
  4. Identify improvements that the company needs to make.
  5. Recommend changes and corrective actions to integrated change control.

Key Points in Quality Planning

Key point in Quality Planning is to determine a plan for quality. This includes:

  1. Find existing quality standard for product and project management.
  2. Create additional project specific standards.
  3. Determine what work you will do to meet the standards.
  4. Determine how you will measureto make sure you meet the standards.
  5. Balance the needs of quality with scope, cost, time, risk and satisfaction.
  6. Create a quality management plan and add it to the project management plan.

A new Topic on Project Quality Management

I am going to start a new topics on Project Quality Management. For Project Quality Management, the following are the critical areas:

Perform Quality Planning
  • Identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project and determining how to satisfy them.

Perform Quality Assurance

  • Applying the planned, systematic quality activities to ensure that the project employs all processes needed to meet requirements.

Perform Quality Control

  • Monitoring specific project results to determine whether they comply with relevant quality standards and identifying ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory performance.

Friday, February 22, 2008

What is Earn Value Management (EVM)

Earn Value Management (EVM) is:
  • a methodology that measures project progress by comparing actual schedule and cost performance against planned performance as laid out in the schedule and cost baseline.

Variables in EVM:

  • EMV involves calculating three independent variables to assess and monitor project cost and schedule performance progress. Those variables are:
    - Planned Value (PV)
    - Earned Value (EV)
    - Actual Cost (AC)
  • These 3 variables are used to provide measures of whether or not work is being accomplished as planned and to forecast project cost at completion.

Cost Control and Performance Review in PMP

Cost control is the process of monitoring cost performance and controlling changes to the cost baseline.

Performance reviews are meetings held to review schedule activity, work package or cost account status and progress.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What is Contingency Allowances in Cost Budget?

For Contingency Allowances,
  • When considering adding a contingency allowance to your budget:
    - Avoid contingency.
    - Based on the WBS input, make sure that the work package do not already have a contingency amount tacked onto the base estimate.

  • Inform the project team.
    - Let them know that the project will be managed against a point estimate without contingency.

  • As project manager, you must release contingency funds only through closely controlled and well documented process, which is typically included in the cost management plan.

  • Contingency is not to be used as a slush fund without controls.

What is Cost Baseline?

A cost baseline
  • is a time-phased budget that will monitor and measure cost performance throughout project life cycle.
  • includes a budget contingency to accommodate the risk of incurring unidentifiable but normally occurring costs witin the defined scope.
  • varies from project to project, depending on each project's unique budget and schedule.

Introducing Cost Budgeting in PMP

Cost budgeting:
  • is the process of allocating the overall cost estimates to individual activities or work packages across the project life cycle.
  • is to establish a cost baseline for measuring the project's cost performance

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Draft of New PMBOK - PMBOK 4th edition is now available

I was browsing through PMHub.net and found that the lastest draft version of PMBOK 4th edition is now available. I have extracted the news from PMHub.net below:

Hope this news prod you to grab your PMBOK and make sure you pass your CAPM/PMP exam this year before it is too late. You are all invited to browse the draft of the nex PMBOK, now available direct from PMI at this link:

Draft PMBOK 4th Edition

Friday, February 15, 2008

Latest PMI PMP Certification Fact File

For the statistics through 31Dec2007, I have extracted the following statistics for PMP Certification below:

Total Members - 253,692
% Increase Dec07/06 - 12.5%

New Members Dec07 - 5,866

Component Memberships
Chapters - 181,092
SIGs - 59,742
Colleges - 4,091

CAPM Candidates
Approved for Exam - 5,227
Total Active CAPMs - 3,799

New PMPs (Dec07) - 4,767
New PMPs (YTD) - 53,281
Total Active PMPs - 267,367

Dec07 Visitors - 758,245
YTD Total - 9,310,876

PMBOK Guide - Third Edition copies placed in circulation Dec07 - 14,948
Total copies of PMBOK Guide in circulation - 952,225

Total copies of 1996, 2000 and Third Editions of PMBOK Guide in circulation - 2,387,877

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bottom-Up Cost Estimation in PMP

Bottom-Up Cost Estimation is:
  • an estimating the cost for each work package in the WBS.
  • the most accurate method but it is also the most challenging, costly and time consuming.

Parametric Cost Estimation in PMP

Parametric Cost Estimation is:
  • a mathematical models to develop cost estimation.
  • developed for specific project parameters or characteristics.
  • an estimation that can be simple or complex depending on the item being estimated. Most parametric models involve some kind of multiplier.
  • considered to provide a rough order of magnitude or approximate level of accuracy.

Analogous Cost Estimation in PMP

Analogous Cost Estimation is:
  • a method in which top managers use their experience, historical information from similar projects and expert judgement to determine a total project cost or time estimation.
  • often called "top-down" estimation since estimations are generated for top levels of the WBS and then apportioned downward through the levels of WBS.

Analogous Cost is used when:

  • you hae a limited amount of detailed information about the project.
  • you have a similar project to use for comparison.
  • the work package owners preparing the estimations have the requisite expertise.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Direct and Indirect Costs

What is the difference between Direct and Indirect Costs?

  • Direct Cost
    Costs that are directly attribute to work on the project.
    eg. training cost, travel cost, wages, cost of material used in the project, etc

  • Indirect Cost
    Overhead items or costs incurred for the benefit of more than one project.
    eg. taxes, fringe benefits, etc

Variable and Fixed Costs

What are the difference between Variable and Fixed Cost?
  • Variable Cost
    It is the cost that changes with the amount of production or the amount of work.
    eg. Wages, cost of material, etc

  • Fixed Cost
    It is the costs that do not change as production changes.
    eg. one-time setup cost, rental cost, etc

What is Cost Estimation in PMP

What is Cost Estimation?
  • It is the process of projecting the cost of resources that are necessary for the completion of your project.
  • It involes identifyng and considering cost alternatives.

Recommended Books on PMP

Suggested Study Materials

  • PMP-Preparation Recommended Books
  • PMP Exam Prep, Fifth Edition: Rita's Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam
  • A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Third Edition (PMBOK Guides)
  • The PMP Exam: How to Pass On Your First Try (Test Prep series)