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To the edge - what's it all about?

There are many different ways to manage something and the methodologies of PRINCE2®, Agile, SCRUM and ITIL® help. In this post our expert John A G Smith explains how a system or 2 can keep our world spinning on the correct axis!

It’s all about systems. Whether you’re looking at something as small as an individual business task or as large as a whole company, they’re all systems. We’re surrounded by the things. We live on a planet within the solar system. Our shower is supplied by a hot water system. I’m writing this on a computer system. Indeed we are each our own individual system: the human body.

Image - Panel 6 Solar Systemm, Ralph Buckley

So what, I hear you say, is a system? And what qualifies each mentioned above as one of them?

It is generally accepted that a system has five components: Inputs, outputs, processes, stores and a boundary.

userJohn A G Smith

date5 Aug 2016

How to Project Manage a Wedding

Some people say otherwise, but a wedding *is* a project. It has a set purpose and the project has an end date. It has a project team, project manager and most certainly has a budget. Certain milestones must be achieved at certain times in order for the goal to be reached. Later goals depend on achieving earlier ones.

So, you could be a PM professional with a wedding to plan; or you might have found us because you are a bride-to-be looking for structure to tackle this massive task. You could take our 1-day Project Management course, or even our PRINCE2 qualifications to really know how to manage your wedding! Following on from our popular Project Manage Your Life, here’s our simple guide to project managing a wedding:

Benefits Criteria

The first thing to do is identify the benefits criteria that will define project success. These can be such things as:

  • Everyone being where they should be at the right times
  • Happy guests
  • No family conflict (yes, it’s a factor)
  • (For the bride), feeling beautiful
  • Having a stress-less wedding planning experience
  • Choosing wedding suppliers you can trust to deliver

userAndy Trainer

date6 Aug 2012

Learn Facilitation Skills not B A Ping Pong!

Facilitation is a skill crucial in guiding a meeting to make a decision or think of a solution without providing it. Our writer John A G Smith uses his experience to explain why learning Facilitation Skills is so much better than 'B.A. Ping Pong'?!

The Rules of B. A. Ping Pong

It’s a game that every Business Analyst has played. Many do not even have a name for it and, of those that do, it’s usually unrepeatable in polite company. I call it ‘B. A. Ping Pong’ … although maybe that should be ‘wiff waff’?

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

The rules are very simple and any Business Analyst can play. Here’s how it works:

userJohn A G Smith

date12 Jul 2016

The Art of Planning a Project

Basic planning is essential to the development and growth of any business, but knowing how to plan well is a skill in and of itself. A masterpiece can't be made without careful consideration of the tools available, the methods to be employed and the end-target.

No one knows this fact more than a project manager upon whose plans rest entire company endeavours, as we explained in our analysis of the PRINCE2 Planning Theme.

There's a time and a place for spontaneity (ironically) but when it comes to the successful completion of a project, planning is fundamental, which is why it is such a pivotal part of our PRINCE2 Project Management Courses.

So just why is planning so important, especially when project management is concerned? How do you go about it, and within a project, who is responsible for planning what?

Why So Important?

Let's make it clear - when I'm referring to a plan here, I'm not specifically (or necessarily) referring to a formal document associated with any of the major project management methodologies. Instead, I am referring to the general 'concept' of planning but with specific reference to project management.

As such, we'll take a look at the more formal aspects of planning an actual project but also look at the more general planning that can be applied to both projects and other aspects of life.

Firstly with regards to projects, let's take a look at why planning is so important for:

Team Members

Psychologically speaking, forward planning makes a huge impact on a worker because it clearly sets out the criteria they must meet in order to be deemed successful. Having that clear set of criteria in mind gives them something to aim toward.

This in turn breeds greater focus and drive and enhances productivity because they are able to see themselves develop step-by-step, identify 'wins' and failures and pinpoint their value within a project.

userAndy Trainer

date5 Mar 2013

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