RefineM Blog

Five Advantages of Customized Project Management Training

Customized Project Management Training Available Through RefineM
August 22, 2017

Project management is an important part of any business, and at RefineM, we make your business our business. Our top priority is preparing your employees to exceed expectations and find success in each project they complete. Customized project management training offers your employees the tools they need to be proficient and capable at any new task you delegate. For a better idea of how our training program benefits your business, check out these five major advantages.

Continue reading

How PMP Exam Prep Gives You a Huge Advantage

August 18, 2017

If you’re preparing for a Project Management Professional exam, there’s no bigger advantage than the PMP Exam Prep courses from RefineM. Our PMP Exam Prep boot camps and study materials ensure you have the best chance of passing the exam when the time comes.

Continue reading

Am I In Need of Project Management Services?

Meeting participants looking over plans
August 15, 2017

Often, an organization won’t realize it needs project management services until it’s too late. You can avoid this mistake by watching out for telltale signs that you may need RefineM to help manage your project. Don’t miss out on opportunities by waiting. If any of the following issues sound familiar, you could greatly benefit from project

Continue reading

Steps of Agile Transformation Services

Agile Transformation Steps
August 10, 2017

Agile Transformation is a comprehensive process. Some organizations are content to attempt to learn some Agile information from books and implement it that way. To get the full benefits of Agile, you need a professional Agile Transformation service to get you where you need to be. But what do Agile Transformation services entail? What are the steps needed to get an organization fully on board? Let’s discuss the steps we take at RefineM to get your organization fully integrated with Agile.

Continue reading

What are Scrum, XP, and Kanban? RefineM Explains

RefineM Methods
August 8, 2017

If you’ve read material and information on Agile on the RefineM website, you may have seen us talk about Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP), and Kanban methodologies. These are all under the Agile umbrella, but what are they, really? Let’s delve deeper into the basics of these methodologies. Remember to trust RefineM with your Agile Transformation services.

Continue reading

Eleven Tips for Passing the Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam

Photo of students studying for the PMP exam.
August 3, 2017

Earning the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification demonstrates experience in project management and the ability to add value to organizations through use of project management skills. One barrier to earning the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is the difficulty of the exam. In this updated post, we share tips and tricks for passing the PMP certification exam. If you are preparing to take the PMP exam, please note that the exam is going to change early next year following the release of the A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) Sixth Edition in September. If you are not ready before the end of the year, you may want to wait and study using the new Sixth Edition.

Continue reading

Agile Training and What To Look For

Agile Training requires a unique skillset. Learn more about what to expect.
August 3, 2017

If you are looking at different options for Agile training, it is important to carefully consider where you get your certification. You need to know that the course you sign up for is worth it, and that you will learn not just enough to qualify, but enough to practically apply Agile methodology to the way you work.

Continue reading

Agile Transformation vs. Agile Adoption

Agile transformation benefits teams and organizations.
August 1, 2017

What is the difference between Agile adoption and Agile transformation? As leaders in project management consultancy, RefineM can offer some insight into what separates the two, and why we offer Agile transformation. To get access to Agile training and much more, take a look at what we can offer as a PMI registered education provider.

Continue reading

Project Recovery: Causes of Failure

Determining the causes of project failure can help you start recovery planning. Let RefineM guide you today.
July 28, 2017

In a previous entry in the RefineM blog, we discussed the potential consequences of project failure, and why project recovery is so important. While it may be easier to think of the negative outcomes that result from project failure, identifying the actual causes of failure can be more challenging. The term is broad, and there are many factors that can come into play depending on the project.

Continue reading

PMP Exam Prep Tips

Dedicated study can help you pass your exam. RefineM is here to provide you with some study tips.
July 27, 2017

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam is a test offered by the Project Management Institute. Recognized worldwide, this exam certifies individuals as educated project managers. The exam itself covers all the most important information pertaining to project management, and it should be taken seriously. Thousands of people take the PMP Exam every year, and many of them do not pass it on the first time. Following a few key PMP Exam prep tips can drastically improve your chances of passing the exam on the first attempt. Find a few PMP Exam prep tips from RefineM below.

Continue reading

How to Tell When Project Recovery Is Needed

Management Team Works on Project Recovery
July 21, 2017

A failing project does not need to become a failed project. RefineM offers project recovery for businesses who want to change their failing project into a profitable and timely one. Our team has decades of collective project management experience, and we have consulted teams for more than five years.

Continue reading

Project Recovery: What Is At Risk?

Project Recovery is needed when budget and schedule are at risk. RefineM's project recovery services help you get back on track with your critical projects.
July 18, 2017

At RefineM, our mission is to help your organization optimize your process by taking care of your project management needs and giving your team the tools needed to attain your goals project after project. One of the vital elements of effective project management is a solid failsafe option: project recovery.

Continue reading

Will Agile Training Benefit My Business?

June 22, 2017

Business people in Agile Training

The Business Benefits of Agile Training

When your business is not performing as well as you would like, you may seek out different project management training services to bring your company into better efficiency. The Agile training services from RefineM can be a great benefit for your business.
Continue reading

How Project Management Training Will Advance Your Business

June 8, 2017

Using project management to advance your business

Advancing Your Business with Project Management Training

As a business owner, you want every process within your company to be at peak efficiency. However, this is not always the case. If your company’s projects are continually behind schedule and over budget, it’s time to consider project management training from RefineM. Continue reading

Agile Practices for Waterfall Teams Part 1: Maintaining a Backlog

Person writing in a notebook next to a laptop computer
March 24, 2017

On a waterfall project, the bulk of the value is delivered at the end of the project. On an agile project, value is delivered incrementally through iterative cycles with the highest-value items prioritized, increasing customer satisfaction. Backlogs serve as the mechanism for clarifying priority on projects carried out by agile teams, allowing them to put the customer’s highest priorities first. How can waterfall teams achieve a similar effect?

Continue reading

Agile Practices for Waterfall Teams

February 21, 2017

Many organizations with traditional, or waterfall, teams struggle to transform to Agile. The struggle could happen for many reasons:

Continue reading

Top 5 Books for Beginning Project Managers

Person reading a book with a cup of coffee
November 29, 2016

Project managers just starting out may wonder how they can continue to build their knowledge and skillsets. Based on our project management reading, we have identified five books to help beginning project managers, as well as those with some degree of experience, establish continuous learning and dedicate themselves to further success.

Continue reading

Understanding and Overcoming IT Project Risks [Infographic]

October 12, 2016

Many high-profile IT projects face their own risks and challenges from conception to the final stages. Perhaps the addition of technology into the mix makes these projects particularly challenging, but if project managers and teams are not careful, all of their hard work could result in a failed project and disappointment from all involved. When considering management of IT projects, two questions must be considered: How and why do IT projects fail, and what can you do to prevent this failure? In this blog post and infographic, we explore the top four types of IT project-related risk factors to look out for and provide strategies to put in place that will help your teams overcome threats to your IT projects.Continue reading

Five Ways to Foster Project Management Innovation

September 16, 2016

Project teams have a lot to deal with on projects. They will have to navigate multiple problems, such as risks becoming issues, costs exceeding budget, and schedules slipping, on any given project. The top notch project managers and teams are skilled and experienced at coming up with innovative solutions to these problems. How can any project manager or team acquire this skill? In this post, we describe five ways to improve creativity on project teams to foster project management innovation. These steps range from building the foundation through organizational structure and culture to trying out agile practices.

Continue reading

4 Project Management Software Tools to Consider for Your Teams

Team members at a meeting with their computers
July 18, 2016

Project management processes can be implemented with only simple tools that project managers and team members are likely to have, such as templates for Microsoft Office programs or Google Docs. For some project managers and teams who have grown out of Microsoft Office, a software tool may be useful. Many tools are available on the market for teams or companies of various sizes, and some are also cloud-based for ease of access by everyone on the team.

Continue reading

5 Things Needed to Be Agile Ready

Hands at a laptop keyboard with notepad nearby
July 11, 2016

Is your organization thinking about implementing Agile? Agile can provide numerous benefits to any organization, but the implementation process is not always smooth. This post is for change leaders or executives who are thinking about implementing Agile in their organization, but are not sure if the organization is ready yet. Before investing in training or resources, make sure these five things are in place; otherwise, it may not be worth investing resources in training teams yet.

Continue reading

5 W’s of the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam [Infographic]

5 W's of the PMP Exam Featured Image
July 7, 2016

Ever wondered what exactly the Project Management Professional (PMP)® is and why everyone is talking about it? In this blog post, we cover the 5 W’s of the PMP exam: who, what, when, where, and why.

Continue reading

5 Habits of Highly Effective Project Managers

Photo of project managers discussing at a table.
June 20, 2016

Project managers need to develop strong habits to be highly effective. Based on Stephen Covey’s landmark book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, we recommend five habits for project managers to develop in order to become, and remain, highly effective. Two of these intersect with Covey’s seven habits, while we suggest three additional habits based on the others.

Continue reading

5 Key Initiatives to Make Your PMO Shine

Business people at a meeting.
June 10, 2016

One of the key measures of a project management office (PMO) should be whether project delivery capability improves as a result of its existence. The PMO contributes to successful project delivery by providing standards for project management, empowering the organization’s project managers, and increasing the visibility of project management. To accomplish these key goals and remain relevant, PMOs need to be dynamic and proactive rather than static and reactive.

Continue reading

Turning Project Management Into a Competitive Advantage

Image of to cars of the same model, one worn-out, and the other in pristine condition.
June 3, 2016

According to the Project Management Institute’s (PMI)® 2016 Pulse of the Profession report, organizations lose $122 million on average for every $1 billion spent on projects. Compared to our previous analysis in the 2014 Pulse of the Profession report, the amount of losses occurred has increased by $13 million, with $109 million lost on average per every $1 billion spent on projects.

Although the waste could be worse, organizations should examine ways to further reduce that waste. PMI’s (2014) recommendations for minimizing these losses include greater coupling of projects with organizational strategy and a greater organizational agility that includes more emphasis on customers and processes. In this blog post, we will provide commentary on both the 2014 and 2016 Pulse of the Profession reports and offer additional solutions from the perspective of our project management experience.

Continue reading

Agile Vs. Waterfall

Graphic of Agile vs. Waterfall
May 26, 2016

How do Agile methods differ from waterfall methods? In this blog post, we will answer that question and we will present the key differences between Agile and waterfall. As the traditional method used to deliver projects, waterfall tends to be the more common and generic way of managing projects. Agile is typically used with software projects, but can also apply to other projects. Depending on the type of project, Agile may or may not be a good fit for non-software projects. With other types of projects, you might even be able to integrate Agile and waterfall methodologies together to create a dynamic way of approaching a specific project.

Continue reading

Changing Careers: Business Analyst to Project Manager

Photo of a man in a suit preparing for a career move.
May 16, 2016

The business analyst (BA) and the project manager (PM) each fill critical roles on projects. Business analysts lead requirements gathering, solutions generation, and communication with business users, while project managers lead the project from initiation and planning to executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. Many times, there is overlap between the business analyst and project manager roles, and the roles and responsibilities of each title may vary between companies. With these factors in play, how can a business analyst transition effectively to a project manager role?

Continue reading

Q&A with NK: Beginnings in Agile

Photo of NK Shrivastava, CEO of RefineM.
May 13, 2016

This is the second post in a Q&A series with RefineM’s CEO and founder, NK Shrivastava. In this post, we’ve asked NK to share his experiences with Agile, and why he believes Agile is an important aspect of project management. If you’re interested in reading the first interview in this series, take a look at Q&A with NK: Beginnings in Project Management. We hope that you will be able to learn more about NK and how his career has helped shape him into an excellent Agile Coach and the CEO of his own company.

Continue reading

How You Can Do More With Less

Image of two project team members discussing project management processes.
May 3, 2016

According to a 2014 survey conducted by RefineM’s CEO, NK Shrivastava, almost 75% of surveyed project managers say their job has grown more difficult. This survey was conducted almost two years ago, and what we hear in our day-to-day operation is that these issues are still applicable for the year 2016. If this is the case, what is a project manager to do? Here at RefineM, we’ve come up with an immediately applicable strategy for you to do more with less and deliver successful projects.

Continue reading

I Failed my Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam. Now What?

Frustrated person at a desk
April 17, 2016

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam is a notoriously difficult test on which even experienced project managers commonly struggle. The exact first-time pass rate is not known, but a range of estimates from different sources place it between 20 and 70 percent. Bottom line, if you were not able to pass the PMP exam on your first attempt, you are not alone. You are probably frustrated and are not sure what to do next. Follow these tips to overcome your frustration and pass the exam for which you have studied so hard.

Continue reading

5 Warning Signs That Your Stakeholders Aren’t Engaged With Your Project

Two colleagues reviewing a document.
April 11, 2016

Engaged stakeholders are powerful allies on your project, offering support and insights to help you and your team succeed. Simply listing stakeholders in a stakeholder register is not enough to drive stakeholder engagement. Stakeholders who are not engaged cannot fully support your project and may become barriers to success.

Continue reading

Roadmap to Implement Agile [Infographic]

Header for Roadmap to Implement Agile infographic.
April 4, 2016

Are you ready to have a team that is actively involved, quick to make decisions and quick to embrace change? If so, you’re ready to implement Agile. With Agile, you’ll speed up delivery, have higher customer satisfaction, greater project success, and will be better equipped to reduce risk. Follow us on the road to implement Agile.

Continue reading

10 Factors to Consider When Selecting a Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam Prep Course

Image of PMP exam preparation materials.
March 24, 2016

Are you ready to take your Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification exam? Are you sure? The PMP exam is a difficult test, and even highly skilled and experienced project managers can struggle with it. A prep course or boot camp can give you the edge you need, but finding the best course for you can be a project in itself. How can you ensure you’re selecting the best company, course, and instructor to get the best value for your money? In this post, we present ten factors you should consider before selecting a vendor for your PMP Exam prep training.

Continue reading

Agile Contracts

Photo of an agilist filling out an agile contract.
March 13, 2016

An agile project is likely to look drastically different as compared to a waterfall project. As a result, the contract for an agile project needs to be constructed with mutual understanding of these differences between customers and organizations practicing agile. Acknowledging the unique project environment in the agile contract will allow both sides to better support their agile projects. In this post, we describe key features agile contracts need to have and describe a few examples of contracts.

Continue reading

5 Common Project Management Issues: How to Recognize and Overcome

Photo of project management team meeting.
March 7, 2016

In our consulting and project management experience, we have found that projects derail due to five common issues. If you recognize warning signs of these problems on your project, it’s time to take steps to fix the problems. Once action steps have been taken, preventive measures can be employed to keep the problems from returning.

Continue reading

Being a Boss Vs. Being a Leader

Image of a leader in a school of fish
March 1, 2016

What is the difference between being a boss and being a leader? Bosses become self-absorbed, thinking only about what they must do to see results. On the other hand, leaders look outward to uplift the team to greater levels of success! Why is it important to be a leader instead of a boss? As the common saying goes, “People don’t leave companies – people leave managers.” As a leader, people will have the desire to follow your lead. As a boss, people will react to you. They might even push against you. As you can see, there is a big difference in being a boss verses being a leader.

Continue reading

Q&A with NK: Beginnings in Project Management

Photo of NK Shrivastava, CEO and founder of RefineM
February 23, 2016

This post is the first in a Q&A series with RefineM’s CEO and founder, NK Shrivastava. With over 25 years of experience in project management, NK has a lot of wisdom and experience to share. Throughout this series, we will ask NK about his experiences in project management and agile to discover and share what he has learned. In this post, we’ve asked NK to share his experiences from the beginning of his career in project management to now. We hope that you will be able to learn more about NK and how his career has helped shape him into a project management consultant and the CEO of his own company. We hope you will enjoy our first Q&A interview with NK, “Beginnings in Project Management.”

Continue reading

Integrating Agile and Waterfall

Photo of man jumping into a waterfall.
February 15, 2016

Many organizations start implementing agile on a small scale, with one team or department, and expand from there. When organizations starting agile have traditionally used traditional or waterfall approaches before, they face the challenge of integrating agile and waterfall and determining what projects work best for each approach. In this post, we will talk about the challenges of integrating agile and waterfall and explain a model for how the two can integrate, even on large and complex projects.

Continue reading

A Tiered Approach to Implement the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) [Infographic]

Image preview for infographic, "Implementing the PMBOK Guide." Which tier is right for you?
February 9, 2016

You’re probably familiar with how complex the processes are in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), or else you wouldn’t be reading this post. With years of experience, we’ve learned that not every project needs the full PMBOK® Guide.

Continue reading

Eight Powerful Project Management Processes [Infographic]

Infographic Preview for 8 Powerful Project Management Processes
January 26, 2016

Project managers are frequently asked to do more with less; in less time and with fewer resources. We’ve explored this issue and have come up with a solution. Through a series of eight blog posts, we present to you the “Eight Powerful Project Management Processes.” By following these eight essential processes, you will be able to get more done with less time and fewer resources. In this blog post, we present an infographic for an overview of all the eight powerful project management processes.

Continue reading

Top 5 Initiatives for Your Project Teams in 2016

Photo of man looking outwards.
January 12, 2016

A new year brings new opportunities – and new challenges. Project management is an ever-progressing field. We want to make sure that your teams are prepared for any possible challenges that 2016 might bring. There are particular industry trends this year that could affect the performance of your teams. Being aware of these trends can help your teams stay on top and better accomplish the tasks ahead of you in 2016.

Continue reading

8 Tips for Tighter Project Schedule Management

Image of a large clock in a city.
December 14, 2015

Managing the schedule is a critical function of project managers. Most stakeholders want to know when they can expect value to be delivered from a project. If project managers do not have tight control of the schedule management process, they cannot relay this valuable information and are at greater risk of schedule slippage, delays, and project failure.

Continue reading

5 Warning Signs Your PMO Could Do More

Image of a man standing at a desk.
December 7, 2015

Project management offices (PMOs) can provide numerous benefits to any organization. They support project managers and provide consistency to their practices through templates and guidance, helping establish stronger governance. PMOs also provide greater visibility to project management across the organization, help align projects to strategic goals, and allocate project management resources to achieve efficient value delivery. If a PMO’s leadership cannot realize these benefits and demonstrate the PMO’s value, the PMO will struggle and may be disbanded.

Continue reading

Focusing the Daily Scrum

Image of a Rugby Team
November 15, 2015

Imagine your agile team is lost in the woods and looking for the way out. It’s important to know that one team member caught fish for everyone, while another pitched tents, and two others explored the surroundings. However, if the team still doesn’t know the way out of the woods, then they are still lost. If this situation sounds like your daily Scrum, you may benefit from some methods to help focus this critical ceremony.

Continue reading

5 Signs That Your Staffing Is Stretched To the Limits

Photo of someone throwing papers in the air.
November 6, 2015

Your people are the core of your business. If they are stretched to their limits, your organization may face multiple issues, including lower morale, project delays, cost overruns, and high turnover. Recognizing the following five signs of staff overload can help you ease the burden on your staff. Easing their burden not only empowers them to deliver projects successfully but also to use their creativity to develop better solutions that meet or exceed stakeholders’ expectations.

Continue reading

What Do I Need to Know About PDU Changes?

What Do I Need to Know About PDU Changes?
October 19, 2015

Starting in December 2015, the Project Management Institute (PMI)® is changing its Continuing Certification Requirements program, or CCR. Anyone who wants to renew a certification will have to change the way they collect and record PDUs, or Professional Development Units. This post summarizes the changes so you can prepare to align your professional development to the new standards. If you have questions about what PDUs are, you can refer to our blog post, All About PDUs: What You Need to Know About Professional Development Units.

Continue reading

Seven Tips for Passing the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Exam

Photo of CAPM Exam Study Materials
September 14, 2015

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification is for project managers who want to show their credibility or start taking on more project management roles. Anyone who has a secondary degree and at least 1,500 hours of project team experience, or at least 23 hours of project management education, is eligible.

These requirements are less strenuous than the Project Management Professional (PMP)® which requires both experience and education hours. The CAPM certification exam also has fewer questions than the PMP exam, takes less time, and draws solely from A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). In contrast, the PMP exam covers both the PMBOK® Guide and situational questions where project managers must draw from their experience to determine the best answer.

While the CAPM exam is not as involved as the PMP exam, it is not an easy exam. Candidates need to develop a strong study plan and study routine. In addition, they need to develop strategies to manage their confidence on the day of their exam. In our experience, candidates who cannot devote regular time to study or manage their time and confidence during the exam are more likely to fail. These tips help you prepare for and take the exam with confidence.

Continue reading

Top 5 Common Communication Challenges with Virtual Teams

Photo of a person at their desk with a few keyboards and monitors.
September 8, 2015

As the workplace becomes more global, managing virtual teams is more of a norm than an exception. Virtual teams present unique communication challenges. We have put together the top five common communication challenges with virtual teams and included tips to help you overcome them.

Continue reading

Returning to the Basics of Project Management

Project Management Success Venn Diagram with Talent Management, Culture, and Effective Processes
August 17, 2015

We have seen many times that successful project delivery comes less from having all the bells and whistles and more from effectively executing key processes. In previous posts, we have presented a series of eight project management processes that greatly increase the chance of project success on small- to medium-sized projects when executed properly. We have also presented ways to achieve similar results for smaller or larger projects, with a lesser or greater degree of complexity, number of full-time team members, and duration. These results are possible through using a tiered approach to project management rigor.

Continue reading

What is an ideal sprint length?

What is an ideal sprint length? Image
July 20, 2015

Agile teams often face a challenge in determining how long their iterations, or sprints, should be. If sprints are too short, teams can get bogged down with prep work and overhead. In contrast, maturing teams may struggle to deliver working software in the demanding timeframe. However, longer sprints may also lead to wasted time for questionable added value.

Continue reading

Essential Agile Processes Part 8: Risk Adjusted Backlog

Image of two agilists discussing the project risks
June 15, 2015

This is the final post in our Essential Agile Processes series. Thanks for following our posts on Agile. If you would like to view the other posts in this series, you can follow this link to the series blog tag.

Continue reading

Essential Agile Processes Part 7: Release Burnup Chart

Release Burnup with Forecast
May 18, 2015

In the seventh post in our Essential Agile Processes series, we now move to a discussion of the release burnup chart. This link will allow you to view all of the previous entries in this series.

Continue reading

Essential Agile Processes Part 6: Sprint Burndown Chart

Digital image of a Sprint Burndown Chart for a team.
April 20, 2015

This is the sixth post in our Essential Agile Processes series. We have previously covered the sprint capacity planning sheet, product roadmap, product backlog, user stories, and the iteration / sprint backlog. We now move to the sprint burndown chart.

Continue reading

Essential Agile Processes Part 5: Sprint Capacity Planning Sheet

Photo of woman planning sprint capacity
March 15, 2015

This is the fifth post in our Essential Agile Processes series. We have previously covered the product roadmap,product backlog,user stories,and the iteration / sprint backlog. We now move to iteration / sprint capacity planning.

Continue reading

Essential Agile Processes Part 4: Sprint Backlog

Photo of a physical Sprint Backlog with tasks.
February 12, 2015

This is the fourth part in a series looking at essential Agile processes and artifacts. We have previously looked at the product roadmap, product backlog, and user stories. Now, we look at the iteration / sprint backlog.

Continue reading

Essential Agile Processes Part 3: User Stories

User Stories
January 19, 2015

This is the third part in a series looking at essential Agile processes and artifacts. We have previously looked at the product roadmap and product backlog. Now, we look at user stories.

Continue reading

Essential Agile Processes Part 2: Product Backlog

January 5, 2015

This is the second part in a series looking at essential Agile processes and artifacts. Last time, we looked at the product roadmap; now, we look at the product backlog.

Continue reading

Essential Agile Processes Part 1: Product Roadmap

Image of a roadmap
November 17, 2014

One of the starting points of an Agile project is to develop the product roadmap. The product roadmap documents the long-term vision of the product: it explains how the product is expected to launch and evolve. While the Agile process, and the Scrum process in particular, revolves around short-term periods of working product delivery in the form of iterations, or sprints, the product roadmap provides the long-term outlook that helps drive each of the sprints.

Continue reading

Eight Powerful Project Management Processes Part 8: Performance Reporting

Man conducting performance reporting.
October 16, 2014

With this look at performance reporting, we end our ongoing series on “Eight Powerful Project Management Processes” series. These processes are also included in our toolkit, Essential Gear for Project Managers. We hope you have enjoyed this look at eight critical processes to project success.

Continue reading

Eight Powerful Project Management Processes Part 7: Risk Register

Image of project manager performing risk analysis.
September 15, 2014

In the next to last part of our series on “Eight Powerful Project Management Processes” series, we take a look at a very critical process, the risk register. These processes are also included in our toolkit, Essential Gear for Project Managers.

Continue reading

Eight Powerful Project Management Processes Part 6: Communication Plan

Photo of woman communicating on a project.
August 14, 2014

In Part Six of our “Eight Powerful Project Management Processes” series, we examine the communication plan. These processes are also included in our toolkit, Essential Gear for Project Managers.

Continue reading

Eight Powerful Project Management Processes Part 5: Project Schedule

Image of a project manager following working on scheduling
June 20, 2014

This is Part Five in our series on the “Eight Powerful Project Management Processes,” a look at the project management processes that we have found to be most crucial to project success.

Continue reading

Eight Powerful Project Management Processes Part 4: Resource Allocation

Photo of resources being allocated in a project.
May 21, 2014

This is Part Four of our series on the “Eight Powerful Project Management Processes,” a look at the project management processes that we have found to be most crucial to project success. These processes are also available in our toolkit, Essential Gear for Project Managers. Last time, we looked at the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Now, we examine resource allocation.

Continue reading

Eight Powerful Project Management Processes Part 3: Work Breakdown Structure

April 14, 2014

This is Part Three of our series on the “Eight Powerful Project Management Processes,” a look at the project management processes that we have found in our experiences to be most crucial to project success. Previously, we have examined the project charter and stakeholder analysis; in this post, we take a closer look at the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). If you are interested in any of these eight processes, we recommend you also look into our upcoming product, Essential Gear for Project Managers Level 1.

Continue reading

Eight Powerful Project Management Processes Part 2: Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder Influence/Interest Grid
April 11, 2014

Stakeholder Analysis is Part Two of our series on the “Eight Powerful Project Management Processes,” a look at crucial project management processes that are included in our toolkit, Essential Gear for Project Managers.

Continue reading

Eight Powerful Project Management Processes Part 1: Project Charter

Photo of a man filling out a project charter.
March 17, 2014

This post introduces our series on the “Eight Powerful Project Management Processes,” a look at the project management processes that we have found to be most crucial to project success. These processes are also available in our toolkit, Essential Gear for Project Managers.

Continue reading

What is a Realistic Timeline for Passing the PMP Exam? [Infographic]

Infographic of the realistic timeline for passing the PMP Exam.
February 17, 2014

Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam Prep Timeline

One common question for project management practitioners looking to achieve their Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is, “How much time do I need to get ready?” Many candidates do not pass on their first try because they do not allow themselves enough time to study and develop a plan, so you should set a realistic timeline and follow it closely. Having a realistic timeline will allow you to do what you need to do to prepare, including fully reading and understanding A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). Since the exam changes every few years, this timeline can also tell you whether to earn your certification with the old test or wait for the new one.

Continue reading

Tips and Tricks for Passing the Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® Exam

Photo of a student studying for the PMI-RMP exam.
January 15, 2014

The Project Management Institute Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® certification is geared toward project risk managers. Attaining this certification shows that you can describe and apply the principles and tools of risk management. You will need to study Chapter 11 of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), and other sources to prepare for the exam.

Continue reading

All About PDUs: What You Need to Know About Professional Development Units

Image of a project manager earning PDUs
December 2, 2013

In the project management community, a common abbreviation is PDU. Go to any Project Management Institute (PMI)® chapter meeting and you’ll hear a lot about PDUs. Research Agile or project management training opportunities on the Web or in your area and you’ll find out even more about PDUs. What are they, who needs them, and how can you get them? This post will answer those questions and more.

Continue reading

Tips and Tricks for Passing the PMI-ACP Exam

Photo of a student studying for the PMI-ACP Exam.
October 31, 2013

The Agile-Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) as a way for Agile practitioners to show their knowledge of Agile methodology to current or prospective employers. Earning the ACP certification requires demonstrating solid knowledge of Agile. RefineM’s Agile training can help you earn this certification.

Continue reading

Is Agile a Good Fit for Process Improvement Projects?

Photo of a project manager assessing if agile is a good fit.
September 13, 2013

Even though Agile originated from software development, it can be used for non-software projects too. Most Agile supporters will say that Agile can be used to deliver any type of project, but is that actually the case? Like other methodologies, Agile is a good fit in some cases and not in others.

Continue reading

Understanding and Overcoming IT Project Risks

Photo of a man working on IT project risks.
September 13, 2013

IT projects carry with them many risks. Because technology constantly evolves, companies must keep up in order to remain competitive, so the risks are often necessary to face. When initiating, planning, executing, and monitoring IT projects, two questions must be considered: first, how and why do IT projects fail? Second, what can your company do to prevent this failure?

Continue reading

Lessons from the Entertainment Industry: Updating Project Management for the Modern World

Image of people at a music concert
September 9, 2013

The entertainment industry is one of the most fast-paced, ever-changing fields in existence today. From digital to live, the entertainment industry relies on a variety of platforms, methodologies, and strategies to generate relevant and profitable products. Project management plays an integral role in this kind of production, yet the nature of the entertainment industry leads to heavier focus on people and consumer-based quality ratings.

Continue reading

Is Agile a Silver Bullet?

Image of a silver bullet.
May 22, 2013

Anywhere you turn, Agile is everywhere. Everyone is talking about Agile. Nobody really knows who ignited the Agile fire, but it’s growing brighter day by day. It is well known that Agile can help project delivery in multiple ways, but do you think it is the silver bullet that we’ve been looking for quite some time?

Continue reading

What Can Sports Teach Us About Project Management?

Image of sports players
August 8, 2012

Sports can teach us a lot about project management. In fact, sports can simplify learning and make it interesting. Here are some aspects of project management that one can learn from sports.

Continue reading

Which Scheduling Tool is Best for You?

Project team and scheduling
July 25, 2012

Every project manager needs a good scheduling tool, regardless of the size of his or her organization or the number of projects they are managing. The question is which scheduling tool is best for you? Until about early 2000, Microsoft Project was almost the default choice. But now there are several choices.

Continue reading

Virtually Agile: Doing Agile Projects with Virtual Teams

Photo of two agile team members.
July 17, 2012

Agile methodologies emphasize frequent interactions among the team, product owner and stakeholders. The co-location of project teams greatly facilitates these kinds of interactions. But what do you do when teams are not co-located? What do you do when the product owner, team members, and stakeholders are spread across the globe? Should you fall back to Waterfall and not use Agile even if the project is a perfect fit for Agile? Or wait until you can buy Star Trek’s human transporter?

Continue reading

Implementing an Agile PMO in a Very Agile Way

Photo of an Agile PMO
July 10, 2012

Have you implemented an Agile PMO? Or have you been a part of a team that implemented an Agile PMO? I’m not sure how you did it, but as an experienced Agile coach, I can share with you a very agile way to implement an Agile PMO. The same process can be applied to transition a conventional PMO to an Agile PMO.

Continue reading

Which Is the Best Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Tool?

Image of two project managers working on an EPM tool.
July 3, 2012

Is it Clarity, HP PPM, Planview, Oracle, or something else? How can you find your ideal EPM tool? Everyone is looking for a silver bullet. We wish we had a silver bullet, but the fact is that we don’t. Selecting the right tool to help manage projects in an enterprise can be a daunting task.

Continue reading

What’s Your Way to Perform Project Risk Management?

Photo of two team members working on project risk management.
June 24, 2012

Do you practice project risk management in your projects? How do you do it? Let me share how I, CEO and Founder of RefineM, NK Shrivastava perform risk management on my projects.

Continue reading

How to Engage a Remote Team

Photo of a Remote Project Team
June 17, 2012

Do you work with remote teams? If yes, then you will most likely agree that keeping a remote team fully engaged with the project is not a trivial thing. It needs special skills and experience to make the remote team effective. What are the best practices that you follow to keep the remote team engaged?

Continue reading

PMI, PMP, CAPM, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, and PMBOK are all registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.