Category Archives: Project Management

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Scope Creep and $$$ – Methodology Matters!

In our industry, bridging the IT gap that exists between a client and your team can be the make it or break it point in your success or failure. More often than not, your clients don’t know much about what we do for a living. And if they think they do, then they probably know just enough to make them dangerous.

We created HyperPMA to bridge that gap. But it is not enough. We have found that an educated client is the best client. And because of this, we take our time to ensure the client understands what “Agile” and “Waterfall” means. Not only do we have to be agile in our planning and prototyping phases, but we also have to be agile in the methodologies we employ to power a project over the existing phase’s finish line. Sometimes this can be a moving target. Herein lies the quandary.

Most of the clients we run into in the freelance world are looking for a fixed price. And in that case we are looking for a fixed scope. However until the client has visuals to accompany that scope, we have found their wants are a moving target. In order to accommodate this, we make use of a hybrid development method which takes agility and applies it to planning and prototyping. When the client is comfortable with the prototype, then we apply waterfall development strategies to make it happen.

In the beginning we tell the client that we ESTIMATE the cost of the project will be x. However that is a fluid number based upon what is added to or taken away from the project. This gives you the ability to be flexible as you plan and wireframe their project. It gives your client the ability to be free with their thoughts and ideas as well.

Once we complete all of the wireframed layouts for each view of their project, we link them all together so they can experience a simulation of their project. And that’s where the hidden “gotchas” are fleshed out. We have found that working in this agile manner and classifying wireframes as paid planning instead of production, has eliminated more than 90% of the scope creep we have experienced in hard scoped fixed price projects. This methodology saves innumerable hours lost in a typical fixed priced format.

When the prototype is approved, THEN we write and lock in that final scope of work based upon their final approval of the wireframed prototype. All that remains to put the project into afterburner mode is a final cost and contract addendum. Once this is approved, and the home page graphic design is good to go, we can fly through the project.

This methodology addresses the real world scenario of dealing with technically illiterate clients who are DEFINITELY going to have changes to scope. It also addresses the necessity to upcharge when necessary without a lot of resistance from the client. They don’t feel blindsided. And most important of all… they pay their milestones with a smile instead of dread.

Kickstarting Your Career in Project Managment

A group of candidates waiting to be interviewed
A new profession growing in popularity, project management is one that is becoming a go to for many younger job candidates. According to a project management study done by the Project Management Institute, there will be roughly 15.7 million new jobs created from 2010 to 2020, opening up an entirely new and competitive field for emerging young professionals. While it can be a very difficult field to get into and be successful in, there is still a great opportunity to kickstart your career in the profession. If you are looking to emerge in the project management field, here are some helpful tips to get you going.
APRhpma732No matter what job you are applying for, every employer is going to want you to have the adequate amount of experience to handle the job requirements. Unfortunately, to get the necessary experience for jobs, you have to get the job, which makes this seem like a vicious cycle you can be trapped in. Taking advantage of certain opportunities you come across however can always equate to valuable experience in your career to help you land that dream job. One of the best things you can do if you are trying to get your project management career off the ground is opting to work for experience rather than only going for jobs that are paying money.
No matter what position you have in either an internship or an entry level job, work as hard as you can and glean as much information as you can get from those around you. Learning as much as you can will only serve you well in the long run in your career and can even help you get a foot in the door at landing the position you are really looking for. Another important element of advancing in your project management career is getting your proper credentials and certifications taken care of in order to qualify for jobs. The Project Management Professional certification is a difficult one to get, but it is one that is important to get if you want to land a position in this field.
Any professional position in the workforce is a difficult and coveted on to get into, but project management is one that is widely growing in the world today with so many new opportunities popping up around the world. If you are looking to get into this field, follow some of these helpful tips and you will be well on your way.