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Advantages of Having PMP Certification

Project Management Professionals Certification is the highest standard of project management certification in the world. So, if you are a project manager it makes sense for you to get PMP certified. In the last 20 years, over 600,000 project managers across the world have become PMP certified. Project Management Professional certification is the most respected project management certification in the world.
The question that comes to mind is: Why should I go for the PMP certification? The answer to the question is looking at the benefits which comes with the PMP certification:

  • You become more attractive to employers– A PMP certified project manager is more attractive to prospective employers as you demonstrate an ongoing commitment to learning and understanding.
  • Higher Salary – PMP certified professionals command higher salary as you are considered more knowledgeable and since worth more value to the organisation. On an average PMP certified project managers draw at least 20% higher salary than other non PMP certified managers.
  • Increase Revenue for organisation– PMP certification will result in increased revenue for your organisation. Clients would actually have more confidence in your abilities and would be ready to pay more for the products or services offered.
  • Competitive Advantage – PMP certification puts you at a competitive advantage over others. PMP certification mentioned in your CV will allow you to shine and command attention.
  • Improves your communication skills– PMP certification means that you speak the same language as any other PMP certified project manager in the world. This gives you a upper hand when it comes to communication skill in the project management field.
  • Global Networking Opportunities – PMP certification opens up Global Networking opportunities with fellow Project manager professionals.
  • Helps you in becoming Leader– PMP certification makes you a better leader. You can use your credentials to educate your peers. PMP certification will help you act as a mentor or coach which will in turn help you gain leadership experience.

iACT Global is a reputed online Training and Certification organisation. iACT Global will help you excel in the project management field. They offer certification in PMP. This certification will help you move ahead in your career. PMP certification will put you in demand as an established project management professional. There could not be a better time to get PMP certified and there could not be a better place than iACT Global to do so.

Benefits of CAPM Certification

Benefits of CAPM CertificationBefore I answer the question on how useful is CAPM certification we need to understand what does CAPM certification mean. CAPM (Certified Associate in project Management) is an entry-level certification by PMI (Project Management Institute) for professionals who are serious about Project Management. The certification implies understanding of fundamental knowledge, terminology and processes of effective project management. The certification is beneficial for prospective practitioners who are interested in getting a globally recognized certification. The certification shows to the prospective employers on your keenness to master Project Management.

How useful is CAPM Certification

  1. CAPM certification would provide you with all the skill set to enable you to manage any project.
  2. It will provide you with the knowledge to prepare and execute projects effectively.
  3. Skillset that will help you with planning, execution, monitoring, controlling and completing a project successfully.
  4. CAPM certification would help you take your career to the next level by giving you an edge over your competitors in the field of project management.
  5. Provide you with the ability to manage and handle larger projects and stand out to potential employers.
  6. CAPM is especially beneficial for individual who do not possess a lot of experience in project management. It gives you the knowledge to start off your journey in the field of project management.

CAPM certification offers recognition to practitioners who are keen on starting off their career in project management or individuals who already have some experience in project management but would like to get better at mastering their ability for handling complex and larger projects.

CAPM is useful for aspiring project managers as student who are presently enrolled in college or university and want to have project management certification before they graduate so that they can start applying for jobs can get CAPM certification to apply for entry level project management work just after graduation.

CAPM certification is solely based on the PMI framework as explained in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and is a relatively easier test compared to PMP (Project Management Professional) and doesn’t require thousand hours of project management experience as required by PMP. So if you are serious about a career in project management and do not want to spend thousand hours in acquiring project management experience than I believe CAPM Certification is your calling. So what are you waiting for?? Go ahead with CAPM certification.

How to clear the ITIL Foundation exam

IACT GlobalIn case you are thinking of availing the ITIL foundation certificate and that too for the first time, you must go through this blog. We will discuss some tips in this blog which will help you in nailing ITIL foundation exam and attaining the most sought after ITIL foundation certificate.

Practice a lot

  • Practice is the most important weapon that will help you clear the ITIL Foundation exam. You need to attempt all the sample questions without looking at the answers. This will help you evaluate yourself and get the knowledge about where you stand. Try to time your practice session; this will help you in time management during the actual exam. As the time duration of the ITIL Foundation exam is sixty minutes, you need to practice accordingly. Don’t fail due to bad time management. At IACT Global, we give you lots of practice and make you an expert of all sample questions. IACT Global equips you with adequate knowledge and proper time management skills to nail the ITIL foundation exam.
  • Be familiar with ITIL terminology

    ITIL course is loaded with lots of terms and abbreviations. If you are attempting the ITIL Foundation exam for the first time, you will find these a bit difficult. But by enrolling at IACT Global, you can always be assured to learn these terms and the relationships between them quite easily.

  • Read each question carefully

While giving the actual ITIL Foundation exam, be sure to read all the questions carefully and understand them while taking your own time. You may have to read them twice or thrice to really understand. If a question is in negative, be sure not to miss out the “not”, otherwise you will answer it in a completely wrong way in a hurry. There are also some tricky questions which contain words like “always” or “never”. Try to answer them correctly. Also, don’t be overconfident about short questions as they require your time and understanding as well.

  • Use the knowledge gained form ITIL training

    Last but not the least, don’t stress out. Use whatever knowledge you have gained from ITIL training. Don’t attempt the questions based on your earlier work experience and knowledge. While giving the ITIL Foundation exam, remember that it is an assessment of your understanding of ITIL principles, functions, concepts and processes.
    But you need not worry of all these things because we at IACT Global make you well trained in all aspects of ITIL Foundation exam and equip you with all the weapons necessary to acquire the ITIL foundation certificate.

Asia, Africa and much of developing world – the unique challenges that they pose for project management

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A large number of big projects are coming up in developing and least developed countries. These big projects are usually infrastructure projects. Developing countries of Asia and least developed ones of Africa face a lot on infrastructural bottlenecks.  As these countries post higher economic growth, they need more infrastructure – such as roads, bridges and power plants – to support this growth.

Many private companies are working on these large infrastructure projects. Some of these projects are solely with them while others are in partnership with respective governments (public-private partnership model).

Managing a large infrastructural project in a developing country has many unique challenges.  There is often the problem of delay in decision making because of too much bureaucracy. The red-tape in developing countries is much more than in developed ones. Private companies that are used to working in developed ones often find it difficult to navigate through this sea of red-tape when they take projects in developing countries.

Another problem is that of political and bureaucratic corruption. Corruption in many developing nations of Asia and Africa is very high. This corruption adds on to the final cost of the project and often ends up spoiling the initial cost estimates of project managers.

There is also shortage of skilled human resources. So many companies doing large-scale projects in developing countries also have to invest in training and education of the human resources that they employ.

Delay in acquisition of land for large scale projects has been a big problem in India in recent years. Political protest by vested interests and litigations by non-government organizations (NGOs) against these projects have cost private companies doing the projects much.

In spite of these unique challenges of project management in developing and least developed countries, it is wise for many large companies to take up infrastructure projects in these countries. These countries are the markets of present and future. Much of economic growth that the world is seeing today is happening here in these nations. So any company that skips these countries because of the challenges and obstacles that they present, will lose out in the near future. Successful project management requires understanding of the unique challenges that these countries present and how to deal with these challenges in a constructive manner.

Do we really plan well?

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Planning makes or breaks your project. If you still manage to make it without a good plan, you have certainly created a stress in the system through long working hours and that doesn’t make you a good project manager. You will certainly not be promised the same level of commitment next time by your team! Most of us create plans in 2 hours – Really? That’s not a plan, that’s a ‘zombie certificate’ for people who are involved in execution.

Imagine the stress during execution if a good plan doesn’t exist. We as project managers quite often miss out contingencies, scope change impact, cost and schedule estimation thru resource availability etc. How many times do we check the holiday list of project stakeholders and project teams while planning? How many of us create a proactive risk mitigation plan? Or apply learning’s from previous projects? We always work with tight timelines and forget that we as project managers have the onus of good planning and setting up (or at least facilitating) better client management processes. 70% of our time goes into issue resolution. Only if we planned better we wouldn’t be spending more than 10% of our time in fire fighting. There are various tools that can be used for planning; I favour MS Project as it’s a great monitoring tool once the plan is firmed up. There are more simpler tools as well that can be of great help.

I am not here to promote PMP but there’s a reason it mandates prior project management experience. PMP doesn’t teach everything new, we know a lot of it. However it certainly fills the gaps (huge gaps I would say) making us better project managers and asset for our organization. Remember, being PMP certified isn’t just enough. It’s the learning’s that you apply at work that enhances your profile and makes you grow as a leader. And good leaders PLAN well!!! :)

Mega Projects: Mega Challenges Indeed!

 

Project-management-image-finalMegaprojects mean very large projects like building of airports, Metro train network etc. It is often very difficult to assess whether a megaproject is successful or not if one goes by the yardstick of only completion within time and budget. This is because most of the megaprojects are completed well beyond their schedules and well above the budgeted costs. Megaprojects have a large number of stakeholders. New stakeholders are added as the project proceeds. The expectations of stakeholders may change during the course of the project. This results in not only changes in the scope of the project but also changes in contracts with suppliers. This in turn affects the entire cost structure of the project.

 

Megaprojects are also more vulnerable to changes in the external environment. Change in the government, change in the state of the economy etc affect the progress of a megaproject. Political intervention is often a big issue in megaprojects. A number of Megaprojects in India have gotten delayed because of political opposition to land acquisition for these projects. To sum it up in nutshell, there are too many conflicts of interest in megaprojects.
Leaders and managers of megaprojects, therefore, should declare a flexible timeframe with regard to the opening and completion a megaproject. The media monitors megaprojects and if there is delay in opening or completion, a negative perception about the project is created.

 

While budgeting for megaprojects, considerable amount of budgetary slack should be built in. This ensures that the project is able to meet unforeseen, contingency expenditures. The probability of facing allegations of cost overruns is reduced when considerable budgetary slack is factored in. It is also wise to keep the core group of stakeholders, who influence the course of the project, to as limited as possible. This reduces conflicts of interest. A hierarchal organizational structure is needed in such projects so that decision making can be quick and timely.

 

It is also advisable that managers of megaproject maintain interaction with the media. If the media has any query about the project it should be adequately addressed by the project manager. This ensures that misreporting about the project doesn’t take place. Managers and leaders of megaprojects need to have a very holistic, 360 degree view. And they need a broadness of mind and approach that can only be matched by the scale of the project that they are managing.

4 Most Popular Methods of Project Management

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In order to increase their success rate in project management, many organizations are using a very systematic approach to project management. The emergence of the Information Technology (IT) industry has led to some new developments in project management. The IT industry is highly project-oriented.

 

 

Good project managers are always in great demand in this industry.
IT companies train their project managers in some common, systematic approaches to project management like PMBOK, PRINCE 2, Critical Chain, Agile et al.

 

The PMBOK is the acronym for Project Management Body of Knowledge. It is issued by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and contains the project management practices recommended by PMI. The PMBOK contains a process-based approach to project management. This approach is widely used across different industries and sectors. It usually divides a project into five stages: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring & control and closing.

 

The PRINCE2 approach is acronym for Projects in Controlled Environment. This approach is about much involvement of the senior management in the management of the project. Things are not left only to the project manager and the participation of senior management is called for. Like PMBOK, it too is a process-oriented approach. It is widely used in projects that are large and complicated in nature.

 

The critical chain project management approach (CCPM) focuses heavily on the resources required for the project. The underlying belief of this approach is that if the resources required for the project are available, adequately and timely, the project can be completed successfully. The approach focuses on identifying resource constraints and removing them.

 

Agile approach to project management is very popular in technology industries like IT. The focus is on iteration (repetition until the thing is done right) and incremental developments and improvements. This approach requires capable team members who are experts in their respective areas. These team members interact and collaborate to work on a software development project or other such project. The Agile approach also relies on continuous interaction and collaboration with customers and suppliers. The iteration leads to creation of delivery cycles. The project is delivered in stages in a number of delivery cycles.

 

The approaches mentioned above are some of the common approaches to project management that are being widely used these days. A good project manager should be aware of the developments that are taking place in the area of project management. He or she should be aware of the popular approaches to project management. Project management is a dynamic field that keeps evolving incrementally.

Learning from Project Failures

software-pm Project management is not an easy thing. This is clearly reflected in the high rate of failure in project management.According to various studies on the subject, 60% of the projects fail in achieving all the goals that they had set for them at the beginning.

 

Project managers hesitate in accepting this but almost every project manager has experienced project failures of some kind.Project failures can be in various forms. It can be in the form of failure to deliver the scope of the project or it can be in the form of the project being delivered way beyond the schedule or it can be in the form of the project suffering from cost overruns. A project is said to be completely successful when it is delivered on time, within budget, and as per the scope.

 

A few simple actions on the part of project managers can increase the success rate of project management. The project manager should set out a detailed, elaborate schedule of the various aspects of the project. Software tools like Microsoft Project can be very helpful in preparing the project schedule and tracking it. The project schedule should be continuously tracked during the course of the project. The critical activities of the project should be identified. A critical activity is an activity that if delayed will delay the entire project. A project manager needs to pay special attention to the schedule of critical activities.

 

Another thing that project managers need to remember is that the cost, schedule and scope of the project are tied to each other. So if any of these aspects is changed midway the other two will also be affected. Many times project managers get ambitious and try to enhance the scope of the project midway during the course of the project without factoring in the accompanying increase in cost and schedule. Cost, schedule and scope of the project should be in harmony in order for the project to be successful.

 

Last, but not the least, collaboration between team members is one of the critical factors of success in project management. Project managers should encourage collaboration between team members. If any individual member, because of his or her skills and abilities, thinks that he or she can come out a hero from the project by acting alone then the project manager should discourage such an individual. Every team member should realize that projects cannot be accomplished successfully without collaboration between team members.Simple things that come with an eye for detail can greatly enhance the effectiveness of project managers. God, after all, lies in details.

 

Project Management: Some ways to address the challenges & problems

Project-management-image-final An effective project manager is one who is able to deal with the problems and challenges that arise during the course of a project. Effective project managers are also able to prevent many problems from occurring in the first place. They clearly set the responsibility and accountability of each team member.This gives a clear idea to team members about what is expected from them.

 

A clear idea about expectations improves the performance of team members.

 

Many project managers, especially those working in the field of Information Technology, use the RACI(Responsibility, Accountability, Consulted and Informed) tool for delegating responsibility and accountability among team members.

  • The R in RACI is responsibility of an individual team member with regard to the work to be performed in the project.
  • A is for accountability of a team member with regard to outcomes of the project;
  • C is for aspects of the project regarding which an individual team member should be consulted;
  • I is for aspects of the project about which an individual team member needs to be informed about.

 

An effective project manager ensures that the key team members are available for the project throughout the course of the project. Such a project manager keeps a close watch on the resource availability of the project during the course of its implementation. Many times the scope of the project is changed midway due to changes in demand of the client. By scope it is meant the key deliverables of a project. The project manager should ascertain whether it is possible to deliver the changes in scope within the schedule and budget. If it is possible to do so the project manager should ensure that the changed scope is accomplished.

 

However, if it is not possible to deliver the changed scope then he or she should immediately inform this to the client and other stakeholders of the project.By being transparent in communication with the stakeholders of the project, an effective project manager can resolve a large number of problems and obstacles that come up during the course of a project. Continuous communication with team members keeps the morale of team members up. It also ensures that friction and conflicts between team members are minimized and if any such conflict arises the project manager is aware about it from an early stage.

 

Developments in Information and Communications Technology have made continuous collaboration, with team members located in different countries and team zones, possible. Project managers should use these technological developments to handle problem situations more effectively. Much of project management is after all, about dealing with challenges and obstacles.

 

Tips for International Projects!

images (5) In this age of globalization, international projects have become extremely common. Almost all Indian software and Information Technology (IT) companies have international projects. These projects have people or teams from different nations working together on the same project.A project manager needs to be careful about certain things while managing international projects.

 

The project manager should be cognizant of Time Zone differences. Different countries are located in different time zones. Online meetings and video-conferencing between team members located in different countries should be held at such a time when it is working time in all the countries in which the project team members are located. Websites like TimeAndDate.com can be used by a project manager to manage time zone differences while scheduling online meetings, video-conferencing or telephone calls.

 

Technologies like video-conferencing and e-mail have made it much easier to manage international projects. The cost of these projects has come down because the need for international travel has been cut down by tools like real-time video-conferencing, Skype and other instant messaging sites. Mind mapping software enables companies to even conduct brainstorming sessions online.Success in international projects is heavily dependent on continuous communication and collaboration between team members present in different countries.

 

A number of meetings are held regularly in a virtual environment created by internet and other telecommunications tools like video-conferencing. It is important that the project manager clearly sets the agenda of each meeting. These meetings should begin punctually. International communication through virtual, online tools is not face-to-face. Therefore it is necessary to keep such communication precise and lucid.When the project team has members from different nationalities and cultures then language problems may arise because of the different mother tongues of the team members. It is the responsibility of the project manager to take care of these problems.

 

The project manager should ensure that miscommunication doesn’t take place because of these language differences. If services of a language interpreter are required then the project manager should not hesitate in taking it.The national holidays in the different countries should be factored in while scheduling the work of an international project. For instance a team member present in US will not be able to work on 4th of July because it is a national holiday there on account of the country’s Independence Day.International projects offer great opportunities of learning for the project managers and team members. They just need to be managed more carefully.