Project Management Training Module 2 PM Skills

The purpose of these Training Modules is to guide you through the Be a Better Sheepdog site in a logical sequence to help you to become a better Project Manager whether you are new to the role or wish to improve on your performance. This is Module 2 of 8 of and provides information on the 15 Project Manager skills to develop; see other modules at the bottom of the page.

Skill 1 - Business Case development and Benefit Realisation

Every Project should be executed because of a Business Case to justify and articulate the Benefits. So as a Project Manager you should understand such concepts because others may try and ignore them! Please step through these following posts:

Skill 2 - Planning

Planning is a really important skill to develop and use during the DEFINE and DO processes and is closely aligned to other skills such as Estimating. Please step through these following posts
  1. An introduction - Planning is the key Project Management discipline
  2. The Product Based Planning technique is a great way to start your Planning
  3. A key part of Product based Planning is the use of Product Descriptions but I believe you can pick and choose when to use this technique - see here
  4. You will need to produce a Project Schedule as part of your planning, here is a simple exercise to help get across the concepts and my workings for the answer to the exercise
  5. You need to appreciate that the quality of plans typically degrades over time into the future and that the concept of Plan Stages as a management tool is useful to build into your planning. I call this concept Planner's Droop
  6. A Resource Plan is an aspect of planning although due to the human aspects of this (see later), I think it is better described as Establishing your Project Team
  7. Work Packages is a useful concept which you can utilise in your planning (and elsewhere in Project execution) - see here
  8. The use of Gated meetings is very useful to build into your plans. I describe the concept of formal gates here and a very specific and most important gate, the Go / No Go meeting here
  9. Although Planning is important, there is a balance to strike between Planning and Action - the proverb I remember is "Planning without action is Futile - action without planning is Fatal"
  10. Earned Value is a more advanced planning concept to assist in monitoring and control (later skill). You can skip this but if interested here is a simplified approach of Earned Value that I proposed for Project Based Planners

Skill 3 - Estimating

Skill 4 - Dependency Management

When Planning in the DEFINE Process you need to identify any Dependencies on activities OUTSIDE of your control i.e. EXTERNAL to the boundary of the Project. Then you need to keep managing these dependencies during the DO Process.

Skill 5 - Financial Management

Financial Management is a key skill as you will need to develop a Project Budget in the DEFINE process and manage it throughout the execution of the Project as part of the DO process. Please step through these two posts:

Skill 6 - Stakeholder Management

If you don't manage your Stakeholders from the DEFINE process through to the DO process you are unlikely to have a successful Project. Please step through this post Forget Stakeholder Management at your peril

Skill 7 - Risk Management including Assumption Management

Risk analysis is key during the DEFINE process when developing Plans but you will need to manage Risks throughout the DO process too. Please step through these posts:
  1. Attack the Risks before the Risks attack you!
  2. Every Assumption is a Risk so Manage them!
  3. A risk common to most Projects is the sudden unavailability of a resource within the Project Team. This post takes you through the analysis and management process using the stark analogy of "Fall under a Bus"

Skill 8 - Quality Management

Quality Management is another skill to utilise during DEFINE and DO processes. Please step through these posts:

Skill 9 - Configuration Management

Without good Configuration Management you are likely to have issues during the DO process. So please ensure you establish good management during the DEFINE process including establishing a Project File. Please step through these posts:
Good communication is vital within Projects. Please step through these posts:
Monitoring & Control is a skill utilised in the DO Process. Please step through these posts:
Issue Management is most likely to occur in the DO process. It needs careful management, as the post puts it - A Problem Shared is a Problem Halved

Skill 14 - Change Management

Change Management almost always occurs in the DO process but if not managed correctly will lead to failure of the Project and there are many examples of such Projects in history. Please step through the these posts:

Skill 15 - Behaviours to exhibit as a Project Manager

Last but certainly not least in the list of Project Manager skills is the behaviours to exhibit. Please step through the these posts:
  1. Behavioural Traits of a good Project Manager
  2. Is Project Manager Authority - Earned or Given?
  3. Always telegraph your Punches as a Project Manager
  4. How should the Project Manager spend his/her time?
  5. As a Military General, where should you spend your time?
  6. Help your Sponsor through the Project minefield

Be a Better Sheepdog Training Modules

  1. Module 1 - OVERVIEW - an overview of the training and basic concepts 
  2. Module 2 - PM SKILLS - what skills and behavioural characteristics you need to develop to be a successful Project Manager? (this module)
  3. Module 3 - DEFINE Process - describes this important process to ensure that we have identified the Owner of the Project, agreed the objective, developed the plans etc
  4. Module 4 - DO Process - executing the Project ensuring that the Project Manager is monitoring, controlling, communicating, escalating when required etc
  5. Module 5 - CLOSE Process - things to complete before the Project ends and the temporary project organisation is disbanded
  6. Module 6 - OTHER information not already covered
  7. Module 7 - IT PROJECT specific information, skip if you aren't running such projects
  8. Module 8 - RECAP & TEST - A recap and an opportunity to test yourself and join the "Be a Better Sheepdog" Hall of Fame
  9. Project Management Manual in Proverb Cartoons - if you prefer your training visual, this is for you


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