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Types of Project Management Reporting & Tips

Project reporting in project management
Although project reports are not the most glamorous part your job, they can help ensure that projects go according to plan. Stakeholders simply love it when that happens! dY~
LetaEUR(tm),s will show you how to make common types of project reports work for your business.
Types of project management reports
Reporting on project status is more than just communicating the latest updates to your team members and stakeholders. Project reports can be used to manage risk, monitor budgets, and create more precise project plans.
Here are some project reports that you might find helpful:
Report on team availability
Status report
Report on project health
Risk assessment
Time tracking report
Baseline reports
The easiest way to create a project plan
In just 10 minutes, you can create a beautiful project plan. You can switch between gantt and calendar views with a single click.
Get all the reports you need with TeamGantt.
TeamGantt makes it easy for your team to plan and work out of TeamGantt. This allows you to see and share the bigger picture more easily. Your first project is free!
Try TeamGantt NowTry TeamGantt NowTeam availability reports example
You need to know how many resources you have to complete your project plan. You can use a team availability report to see how much work each member of your team has to do in order make smart resourcing decisions for your project.
Status report example
A weekly status report can be a great way to keep your stakeholders and team informed, and to manage expectations as the project progresses. These quick highlights should be included in your status report.
Complete thataEUR(tm).
ThataEUR(tm), work thataEUR(tm).
Budget spent and overall project completion
Items to take
Project risks and issues
HereaEUR(tm), an example from TeamGanttaEUR ™,’s free status report template
Project health report example
A project health report gives a snapshot of the project’s status. ItaEUR ™, which can be shared on screen with your team and stakeholders, lets everyone know at a glance whataEUR ™, is on schedule, whataEUR ™, is behind, and when it’s due.
Risk assessment example
You can use a risk assessment to help you identify and classify project risks based upon their severity and likelihood of occurring. This allows you to prioritize issues and stop them from destroying your project’s success.
Time tracking report example
A time tracking report allows you to see how your team is spending time on project tasks, and how it compares with your project estimate. This report helps you to spot potential budget overages and provides valuable insight that can be used to improve future project estimates.
Baseline report example
A baseline report compares your original timeline to your actual project timeline. This allows you to learn from the past and plan for future projects. ItaEUR(tm), which is also useful for showing how delays or changes affect the overall project timeline, is also useful.
HereaEUR(tm), an example of a baseline report, shows the planned timeline in grey and the actual timeline.
Project management reporting best practices
Do you want to get the most out of your project reports? These project reporting tips will help you make the most of your reports.
Set a cadence. A reporting schedule establishes regular touchpoints so everyone knows when to expectaEUR”and perhaps even provideaEUR”important project updates. Be sure to keep communication open between scheduled reports.
Mind your data. A report is only as good and accurate as the information it contains. Before sharing your reports with clients or stakeholders, ensure that the project details are correct and up-to-date.
Write for your audience. Executive stakeholders and clients don’t need to be absorbed in the details of project details. ItaEUR(tm), keep it simple with bullet points and avoid technical jargon to make it a friendly read for everyone.
Add visuals. A p

Project Management Process

The Project Management Process outlines what you need in order to manage a project. The diagram shows the process. It is made up of five interrelated groups: Initiating and Planning, Executing and Monitoring and Controlling, Closing and Closing.
It is important to remember that Project Management Processes are universal and industry-independent. To manage a project, you don’t need to have industry-specific knowledge. But, being proficient in certain areas will increase your efficiency and decrease the hassle. You will be able to choose from a wide range of career options if you are proficient in Project Management. Additional information on the project’s exact start and end.
In one of my previous posts, I used a metaphor to describe project management. If you haven’t seen it, please take a look.
Our tools are the processes. There are tools that allow us to identify the product we want to create (initiating). Some tools help us plan how we will produce the product (planning). A combination of tools and techniques is necessary to actually craft the product (executing). Tools are available to measure the product and ensure that it is being done correctly (monitoring, controlling). There are also tools that can pack the product and deliver it to the customer, as well as ensure that he is satisfied (closing).
Complex projects often consist of multiple phases (or subprojects) that may be consecutive. Each phase creates a piece that is required to deliver the entire product (result or service) of the project. In this case, you will apply the project management process to each phase. A project can be managed by one project manager cycle, which covers the entire project lifecycle from beginning to end.
A performing organization is one that has the resources, expertise, and capabilities to do the work.
How does it work? A customer or a sponsor of the project contacts a performing organization. A performing organization assigns a project manager to the project and some resources to help with its assessment.
The customer is contacted by the project manager to discuss their business case, requirements, budget constraints, high-level risk factors, and deliverables. The project manager uses this information to determine if the project can be achieved within the constraints. If the project is feasible, the project manager creates a Project Charter. This document includes all the information mentioned above. If not, the project manager must negotiate changes to the scope, deadlines, or budget.
The Project Charter is signed by the sponsor. This gives official approval for the project’s existence. The Project Manager is authorized to use allotted resources.
During initiation, the project manager also creates a list all Stakeholders and logs them in to the Stakeholder Register. It will be used throughout the project to gather requirements and expectations.
After the project has been approved, the project manager must create a detailed and realistic Project Management Plan. He will need to work with the project management team to cover all knowledge areas. They will need to determine how to plan, execute, and control scope, cost, schedule, quality and risks.
These processes are organized in a specific order. The plan must cover all aspects of the project.
The customer should approve the final plan. The plan should be approved by the customer.
Executing group process
Here, the project team works towards delivering deliverables. The project manager organizes the work and ensures that it is as close to the plan as possible. He must ensure that the procedures and processes are followed by the team.
The team should produce performance data (e.g. Daily reports should be generated by the team to help control the project.
The Project Manager works closely to all stakeholders.

PM Basics

Do you see what I see when talking about Project Management Plan? Fear and misunderstanding are what I see. They see Project Management Plan as a pile full of formally written text. Every page has the signature of a senior manager. Let’s break down the most important document for any project. [iStock/jazz42] What is a Project Management Plan? It is a plan that outlines how you will manage, monitor, and control the project. Is it necessary to complete a project in a controlled manner? Most of the time, not. Projects are unique. So, it depends.Project Management Plan
What should you include in the Project Management Plan
It might not be obvious what you can include in the plan. So I created a slide deck. It is a little wordy. It is the best way to learn about major topics in Project Management Plan. Please take a moment to review it.

Dmitriy Nizabetskiy’s Practical Guide to Using a Project Management Plan They are not part of the Project Management Plan.
Usually, the plan contains: Three Baselines
Scope Baseline
Plan Baseline
Cost Baseline
Subsidiary plans (knowledge area planning):
Scope Management Plan
Schedule Management Plan
Cost Management Plan
Risk Management Plan
Quality Management Plan
Procurement Management Plan
Plan for Human Resources Management
Stakeholder Management Plan
Communication Management Plan
Plus, there are some additional plans:
Requirement Management Plans
Configuration Management Plan
Change Management Plan
It could also include:
Information about the project life cycle
Description of the project management methodology
Specific projects
How detailed should it be?
There is no limit to the word count that you can aim for. It should be sufficient to complete a project. How can you tell if it is enough?
I read a lot of articles and books on the subject. They all suggest the exact same thing. It is important to describe all processes that are required to make a project run smoothly. This is a bad way to go. It’s scary and overwhelming.
I recommend you work incrementally. It’s not possible to have a complete project management plan right now. You don’t have a comprehensive project management plan today, so your project won’t die tomorrow if it isn’t complete.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get started.
Write down a detailed description of the project team’s work. Include your responsibilities. It could look something like this: “We receive requirements via Skype or email from a customer. Then, I add them to the Confluence and create an “Task Tracker task” to analyze the requirement. When it is time for the analysis of the requirement, I expect that the QA Lead, Dev Leader, and Business Analytic meet up to discuss it. They should prepare clarifications or questions and draft WBS And so forth. They should prepare questions or clarifications and draft out WBS…” It will consist of 90% copying and pasting common Scrum practices. However, I can guarantee that you will do some things differently.
Describe the process for executing actual work. It should contain: What task (or activity) should a team member do next. It should be clear and concise.
What is a workflow? It is necessary to show the life cycle of a task, from its creation through execution at different stages. It should also be clear as to how to verify that a task has been completed.
How to use a task-tracking system. It is actually a guide for the tools you use. It should be closely linked to the task’s life cycle.
How to track and report on progress in a task.
How to escalate problems during the execution of a task.
Avoid using formal language. First, make sure you have a clear description for everyone. It will be refined later.

Which Project Management Methodology is Better?

You must make a decision somewhere in project planning. The best project management method is essential. It may prove difficult to make changes later. You only have one chance. [iStock/AlexLMX] The biggest problem with all methods is that they are commercialized to some degree. Even if they were created by non-profit organisations. You will only hear about the benefits and advantages of project management methodologies. It could have been a lengthy and complex comparison. I don’t think we should compare methodologies. It’s like comparing a saw and a hammer. These tools are different tools for different purposes. Let’s discuss the positive and negative aspects of each.
Before you do that, I want to be exact with terminology.
Frameworks, Life Cycles and Methodologies
You will find a lot of information when you search for “Project Management Methodologies”. Framework, approach, methodology and life cycle are all terms that can be confused. Let’s first clarify this.
A Project Life Cycle is a sequence of phases through which a project moves from the beginning to the end. To ensure that we have control over the project, we usually divide it into phases. To put it another way, to make a project easier to manage. The industry and the nature of a project also have an impact on the life cycle.
A Project Management Framework is a collection of concepts that can be used to achieve a project’s goal. Each framework is built on a set principles that provide some benefits to the client, the project team, or both. These principles have their limitations.
All frameworks share the same concepts of planning, execution, and delivering results. Frameworks, on the other hand, identify a specific set of values. A framework can be used to describe a person’s ability to adapt to change or to predict the cost and time it will take to deliver a result.
Specifics of a framework can be dictated by the project life cycle. Is it a life cycle that is more important than a framework? It all depends on the nature and purpose of a project or organization.
Project Management Methodology is simply a set of processes, roles, artifacts, and strict processes. A methodology is designed to implement a project within a specific framework. One framework might have several methods.
Many methodologies have a defined life cycle. This is because both a project management method and a company can change it.
How do you choose the right project management method?
Understanding the differences between methodologies and their prerequisites is essential. It is important to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each.
It is important to examine how your organization operates. Is it equipped with the right environment, skills, and technical tools to implement a particular methodology? Identify the most popular methodologies. Make a list.
It is important to consider the nature of the project, industry details, regulations, and constraints. You might also consider the type and length of the contract you are working with.
It is important to assess your ability to adequately define the requirements for a project’s end result. It includes the ability to achieve project objectives and meet stakeholders’ expectations. They could change throughout the project’s lifetime. You need to determine the best way to manage these changes.
Define the best method that meets the needs identified in points 1-4.
Underlaying Values
The traditional or predictive approach focuses on identifying the project scope, costs, and duration early. Changes are avoided and closely managed. The central principle of the project team is to plan before you act.
The predictive approach is a method of developing a project in a systematic manner. From project inception through planning, then execution and closure. This is preferable when the product being delivered is clearly understood. This method is preferred when the product is fully delivered.
The principles of adaptive, change driven or agile approach are based on the principles des

Types of Project Management Constraints and How to Manage Them

The world has changed. Why is this happening? Smartsheet transforms your work.

I’m not a stranger to managing project resources. I am half of a serial entrepreneur team with interests in digital marketing and ecommerce.
My experience is that getting a small business started is similar to managing any other project. However, there are more constraints for small business startups. Due to a lack of formalized project management procedures and systems, entrepreneurs often over-allocate their resources to too many tasks. This causes them to run into resource constraints more often.
This article will discuss what project management resource limitations are. I will give you many examples of project constraints to make it easy to visualize. I’ll then discuss some of the techniques you can use to manage resource constraints, including how to allocate resources with competing demands and maximize resource utilization. I’ll then link you to the resources that will help you improve your resource management strategies.
This article explains.
Importance Project Constraints
What are Resource Constraints?
Predicting Constraints is Important
Strategies to Manage Constraints
Tools to Manage Constraints
Understanding project constraints is crucial
Imagine that you are the COVID-19 program head at your company. Your daily goal is to administer 96 doses. Your company is 960 strong so you expect everyone to have the first dose within 10 working days.
You estimate that the project will be completed in 33 days if there is a 21-day interval between doses.
Great! You have your bosses’ approval on your project management plan.
Here is an example of a project schedule for a vaccine project.
Five days into your vaccination schedule, your target vaccination rate is way below you. This has you wondering: What went wrong?
There are many things. Although you gave 15 minutes for each person to arrive and get vaccinated, it took 20 minutes. You didn’t account for tardiness. There were three nurses on hand, but you needed at most one more to manage incidents. Your venue was too small!
It is clear that you have failed to plan and identify your project constraints. These constraints are the reason why you are behind.
The Theory of Constraints
Constraints are the weakest link in a system, according to Eliyahu Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints. This framework explains how you can strengthen or leverage constraints to increase output or production.
The Theory of Constraints, which was developed from the manufacturing industry, explains how constraints can slow down production and ultimately reduce your ability to make money.
As an example, in a box making plant, the maximum number of boxes a machine can make per hour is a constraint. Your plant’s production can only produce 50 boxes per minute if it can only make 3,000 boxes an hour or 24,000 per shift.
A schedule for box production that illustrates how the number produced per minute is a constraint.
The Theory of Constraints is a framework that allows project managers to look at constraints as limiting factors that can be systematically managed or dealt with to make sure they don’t become a roadblock to project success.
Projects can succeed even if there are project management constraints. However, a project constraint can limit your options and make it difficult to complete your projects.
Project management constraints can be properly managed to ensure a successful project outcome.
A good project manager will always consider project management constraints when creating his project management plan. ).
What are Pr?

5 Best Project Management Softwares That You Can Customize

What are the top qualities you should look for in a project management system? You can scale up and be prepared for the unexpected with customizability.
Imagine this: You are a project manager who is leading the charge to change project management (PM), tools for your small business. You are advocating for something that will improve the efficiency of your team. It’s the day of the switch and everything doesn’t seem to work. Your team is confused and frustrated. This sounds like your worst nightmare.
A team I worked with experienced something similar. The tool was easy to customize and project managers could quickly make adjustments to make everyone feel more at ease. This tool ultimately helped improve workflows and tasks management.
While it’s normal for teams and individuals to experience some friction when switching to a new system, this example shows why you need a project management tool that can be customized. A customizable PM software gives you more options for adapting to your existing processes. You can also grow and change your processes with a customizable project management tool.
Capterra is your best choice when it comes to selecting the best project management tool for you business. We reviewed thousands of reviews to find out how users felt about the customizability of project management tools, and then gave each tool a sentiment score.
We’ll be sharing the top five products so you can add them to your shortlist. If none of these suit your needs, you can look at our project management directory for more tools.
What is a sentiment score?
This score shows how users feel regarding individual software products. On a scale from 0 (negative) to 10, we rate sentiment. The sentiment score of a tool is a measure of how users feel about it.
Capterra uses sentiment scores (negative, neutral, and positive) to determine how users feel about certain tools. These scores are particularly useful if you want information about specific aspects of a tool such as customizability.
Click here to learn more about our methodology.
ProductCustomizability Sentiment Score (out of 10)Wrike6.61Meistertask6.37Workfront6.33Smartsheet6.28monday.com6.23

4.2/5.0165858 reviews
Wrike is a cloud-based, project management system that’s ideal for small businesses and enterprise teams with more than 20 employees.
The platform supports remote teams and includes frequently requested Capterra features like the ability to create Gantt chart. It also offers calendars, real-time updates, and a workload view to help resource management.
Wrike is a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to manage task dependency. Wrike’s customization allows you to create custom workflows and dashboards for reporting. You can also change your background theme on the platform.
Wrike has many ways to customize the platform, including as a ticketing system, bug tracking tool, or for video production planning.

What do Wrike users think?

4.7/5.0946 Reviews
Meistertask, a cloud-based task and project management tool for all sizes of businesses, is available. Time management, task and tracking, reporting, and reporting are key features of Meistertask project management. Users can share due dates, project details, create checklists and upload files.
Meistertask boasts its customizable product, beginning with the user interface. You can change the background image by either selecting one of the options in Meistertask or uploading a custom image. You can also modify the colors and icons in your project task list.
Users can automate their workflows by creating custom tags. Meistertask offers different views depending on the type and scope of your project.

You think Meistertask is the right tool?

5 Best Project Management Softwares for Nonprofits

These top-rated tools for nonprofit project management will help you organize your campaigns and keep your donors and volunteers up to date.
Jump to:
Your nonprofit has many tasks to manage, including keeping sponsors informed and coordinating volunteers. It’s much easier to keep up with all the details if you have the right tools. Project management software could be the best investment for your nonprofit.
Nonprofits use project management software for ongoing campaigns, communication with donors and volunteers, and coordination of responsibilities with their teams. A project management tool can help you manage your tasks better from start to finish, which will ultimately lead to more projects being completed on-time and within budget.
Are you new to project management software? You are new to project management software?

4.6/5.023 reviews
ClickUp is a project management tool that helps your team plan, organize and collaborate. ClickUp’s platform features recurring checklists as well as an agile board view to support process, time and task management.
ClickUp allows your nonprofit to keep track of corporate sponsorships and donations. This data can be used to create custom reports for donors. Their customizable forms feature can be used to create volunteer applications and to explain various volunteer opportunities.
You can also assign tasks to your team and use calendar view for a schedule. ClickUp’s time-tracking feature allows you to keep track of what volunteers have done and how long it took to complete the job. ClickUp also offers a discount to nonprofits who use their tool.
ClickUp (Source): A summary of task management
Here’s what Capterra reviewers have to say about ClickUp.

Here are the pros and cons for ClickUp as rated by Capterra reviewers.
Nonprofit users…
Nonprofit users…
ClickUp’s reviews page provides more detailed opinions and pros.

Evernote Business
4.6/5.030 Reviews
Evernote Business is a project management platform and collaboration platform that increases visibility for teams on projects, workflows and deadlines.
Evernote allows your team to create, share, store, and manage important documents in one place. The team can access and edit documents from any device. This is a great feature to keep volunteers informed, no matter where they may be.
Evernote has a variety of templates to help you organize your team, from project trackers and chore charts to business plans. Evernote’s “spaces” feature acts as a virtual conference, and even has a bulletin board. You can create spaces to allow volunteers to know where to find updates and assignments.
Evernote offers a discount for nonprofits who use their tool, just like ClickUp. Visit this page to find out more.
Evernote offers a team “space” that allows users to share information and view updates about projects (Source).
Here’s what Capterra reviewers have to say about Evernote Business.
Here are the pros and cons for Evernote Business as rated by Capterra reviewers.
Nonprofit users…
Nonprofit users…
To read more reviews about Evernote, including pros and cons, visit Evernote’s Reviews page.

4.5/5.032 reviews
Jira is a work management and issue tracking tool that enables teams to collaborate on projects and provide a wide range of features. Jira has project management and reporting capabilities. The tool is also highly configurable so you can customize it to suit your needs.

Recover the Strengths and Benefits of Traditional Project Management

Agile is great for startups and tech, but many projects require the traditional project management approach. Here’s why.
Don’t think that traditional project management is inferior or uncool because agile is the new thing. Agile is a good option, especially for software development projects. Project managers must be familiar with the traditional approach to managing projects.
Traditional project management methods can be more effective for complex, regulatory-heavy and/or sensitive projects such as replacing the financial system of a publicly traded company. This will require detailed documentation.
This article will give you an overview of traditional project management, its benefits, and the five phases of a project’s lifecycle. I’ll also discuss how to determine if an agile approach is better for your project.
This article is intended for project managers who may need a tune-up, but I’ll also explain the what and how to help “accidental” project managers.
Jump to:
Let’s start with the basics.
What is a traditional method of project management?
Traditional project management follows five phases of project design and execution. It is also known as the waterfall approach. This traditional approach is very well-suited for:
Projects such as building buildings, planes, and any other physical deliverables are best managed using a traditional approach. Imagine the chaos that could ensue if the customer wanted to approve and see the work every two weeks.
Traditional project management has many benefits
In project management, the term “traditional” does not mean rigid or outdated. It refers to a well-planned and planned project before you start work, clearly defined requirements, and a clear understanding of the final deliverable.
Here are some benefits to using a traditional approach.
We’ve now covered the benefits and definitions of traditional project management. Let’s break down the linear process I’ve already mentioned a few times.
The five phases of a project’s life cycle
A traditional approach to project management has five steps that generally follow each other. Step four, monitoring and controlling, is the exception. It starts in phase three.

Let’s go over each phase in more detail.
1. Initiation
This is where the initial planning and the idea for the project’s final deliverable begin. This phase is where the requester shares their needs and wants with other stakeholders, and, ideally, you, the PM. This phase is where you will create the project charter. It will outline the business problem, the proposed solution or the business case and also define the project team.
You should be able schedule the kickoff meeting by the end of the initiation.
2. Planning
This is the most important phase and it is essential to plan and design the project properly. This phase will include the communication plan, risk management plan and requirements. It also includes the work breakdown structure (WBS), work cadence, and project schedule.
You should be able provide a Gantt chart to the project team and senior managers by the end of planning.
Pro tip: Make sure to mark time in your project plan for documentation creation, review, and maintenance. Not only must your project be ready for audits, but documentation can also help you identify process improvements that could be made for the next project. Don’t forget the importance of good documentation, even years later. Execution
The team now knows what they are expected to do and can get started. As mentioned earlier, if the requirements don’t get clearly defined in the plann, it can be difficult for the team to begin work.

Top Project Management Software for Manufacturing Industries

You can’t lose any balls when you manage a manufacturing company. The right software for managing manufacturing projects can be your safety net.
You are a project manager in the manufacturing industry and you know how a miscalculation or miscommunication can cause havoc to your business. Project management software can help you and your team stay organized, from collaboration to budgets and timelines to budgets.
What is project management software?
Project Management software automates task assignment and resource allocation. It also tracks milestones for all phases of a project. This software can take one of three approaches.
We compiled a list of the top-rated Project Management products on Capterra, based on reviews from people working in the Manufacturing industry. (Read our complete methodology below).

Jump to:

4.7/5.024 reviews
Overall user rating for the Manufacturing industry: 4.75 (24)
Freedcamp (Source). Projects reports screen
Notable features: Kanban board, Gantt chart view, Wiki documentation
Freedcamp was founded in 2009 and is a California-based provider of project management software. It allows you to choose between Kanban board or Gantt chart view options. There are a variety of pricing options and packages available. You can choose from a free plan that includes core task management features, but limited file size, or you can upgrade to an Enterprise plan for $16.99/month with private cloud and white labeling.
Freedcamp’s interface is intuitive and offers many useful features, according to reviewers from the manufacturing sector.
To read more detailed opinions and to see the pros and cons of Freedcamp, visit our Freedcamp Reviews page.

4.7/5.042 reviews
Overall user rating for the Manufacturing industry: 4.7 (43)
Kanban board view in MeisterTask Source
Notable features include Kanban board, searchable task archives, and recurring tasks
MeisterTask, a Vienna-based task manager app, was launched by Meister in 2015. Meister is a software development company best known for MindMeister, a mind mapping software. MeisterTask provides a free version that allows you to manage basic tasks and up to three concurrent projects. The Pro version costs $8.25 per month and adds unlimited projects, automations and integrations.
MeisterTask is easy to use for manufacturing users. It can be used to manage tasks and team communication.
To read more detailed opinions and to see the pros and cons of MeisterTask, visit our MeisterTask Reviews page.

Microsoft Project
4.6/5.038 reviews
Overall user rating for the Manufacturing industry: 4.66 (38)
The Kanban board view in Microsoft Project. Source
Notable features include dynamic scheduling, resource labeling, and automated workflows
Microsoft Project is the most widely used project management software in the world. Its roots date back to 1984, and there are a large number of Office 365 users. Microsoft Project has seen many iterations over the years and includes almost every project management feature a team could need, including automation, advanced reporting, and even advanced reporting. Microsoft offers an on-premise version for $620. The web version of Microsoft Project costs $10 per month.
Microsoft Project is ideal for manufacturing users who need to manage large projects. They also find the reporting feature useful.
To read more detailed opinions and to see the pros and cons of Microsoft Project, visit our Microsoft Project Reviews page.

4.8/5.027 reviews
Overall user rating for the Manufacturing industry: 4.81 (27)
Samepage (Source: Kanban-style board)
Notable features include: Content management, mind mapping and Kanban boards
Samepage launched in Silicon Valley in 2017 and aims to bring teams together through its feature-rich project management tool. The platform focuses on collaboration and communication, including built-in video conferencing and mind mapping. Samepage offers a free version to small teams that only need basic task management.

Appreciative inquiry in project management

This overlooked method of conflict resolution fosters engagement and innovation.
You may have been there as a project manager. A meeting is called to resolve an issue or project in your company, but it quickly degenerates into finger-pointing, excuses and delays. These effects can spill over into the workplace and simmer for a while before someone is fired or quits. Although the problem may be temporarily resolved, it can recur with new employees.
What if all of this could be avoided?
Today’s work environment is more dependent on hybrid/remote teams than ever before. This can lead to lingering anger and misunderstandings in work settings that can cause a lot of damage.
It can be difficult to decide who is supportive of an idea or who is resistant. Virtual meetings can make it more difficult to get team members to speak up, since there is no substitute for looking around and seeing a thoughtful nod or furrowed eyebrow.
As new methods of project management continue to emerge, let’s take a look at a style that, while typically not used in project management settings, has a long and impressive history of success–appreciative inquiry.
What is appreciation inquiry?
In the 1980s, a graduate student at Weatherhead School of Management (Case Western Reserve University), developed appreciation inquiry. David Cooperider[1], who was working on an organizational behavior study with the Cleveland Clinic, discovered that there was a lot of positive energy under the surface. This model of appreciation allows you to access the best parts of an organization and use it as a tool for innovation, change, and productivity. Appreciative inquiry was first used in an array of organizational settings to find the “positive core” and build upon it for success.
Appreciative inquiry can be used to form project teams, limit storming[2], increase productivity, avoid conflict, and transcend conflict.
Appreciative inquiry is a key component of project management
The remote/hybrid environment is the best for engaging with teams in creative ways.
Meetings are an unpredictable way to accomplish anything. This is especially true when a project team faces unforeseen schedule complications, key team members’ unavailability, client complaints, or other challenges.
These issues can be further complicated by the inherent alienation of working remotely or from afar.
First, realize that problem solving is a mechanistic solution to a “broken”. It seeks to restore the system to its original state. It doesn’t always create a new way to do things and can actually hinder the development of innovative solutions. Instead, it focuses on business as usual.
While solving problems requires accurate data to be successful, the subjective opinions of team members and leaders can affect the outcome. There is plenty of opportunity for blame-pointing and finger-pointing, as well as all the toxic effects, at the “problem identification” stage.
A breakdown of a typical problem solving process in project management (Source). Today’s uncertain and complex environments require higher-order creativity. This is one that goes beyond problem-solving and focuses on engagement and innovation.
Are you ready to try something new? Here’s a quick sketch of how appreciation inquiry fits with the needs of a project team:
Diagram of appreciative inquiry applied in project management (Source).
The four Ds model encourages us to start by identifying what is working well and not by identifying what is broken.
In project management practic

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