Saturday, 23 September 2017

Congratulations Mohammad on your PMP

Wanted  to take this opportunity to congratulate Mohammad on passing PMP. Incredible achievement and a great milestone for life. 52 attempts and 52 passed at EDUCATION EDGE.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Artur Gasparyan, PMP - congratulations

Congratulations Artur, 

What an achievement. Artur Gasparyan, PMP , THE NEW MEMBER OF EDUCATION EDGE PMP CLUB 2017. 

Artur is our 51st pass out in 2017, 51 attempts 51 passes.

Let's keep up the good work and continue moving forward. 

Congratulation Kavita Mehta, PMP

Hello Folks: : wanted to congratulate Kavita on achieving the great feat. Kavita Mehta, PMP  is a  great signature. PMP does require hard work and consistent preparation and attaining this designation confirms it. Congratulations once again . 

This is also a milestone for EDUCATION EDGE AS WE CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS. You are the one who marks 50th PMP THIS YEAR. 

Monday, 18 September 2017

Success in infectious - AUG CBAP course

Success is infectious- PICTURE of our AUG CBAP (BUSINESS ANALYSIS) Course. Education Edge doing it right and creating expertise. The reason we have in such a short time grown to become a force to be reckon with speaks about the trust and relationship we have formed. With over 100 consultants, we continue to deliver value to our clients.  

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

49 passes this year and still counting

Congratulations Ameena on passing PMP Exam that too with Above Target Score. Very well done and well deserved. Education Edge Team is proud of your achievement. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Another success story

I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate Pretti on attaining PMP. A great achievement!! Attaining PMP designation comes with hard work, dedicated effort and most importantly remaining productive. Pretti has demonstrated great intent in the past  3 months to use her time, intellect, skills and knowledge to maximize positive outcome. Congratulations Pretti, PMP.  Welcome to Education Edge PMP Club. 

Education Edge maintaining an almost 100% pass record in the past 4 years.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Education Edge - Stakeholder Knowledge Area

Knowledge Area #10 – Stakeholder

Critical Highlights:

• stakeholders are groups/individuals who may affect / be affected by the project
• identify stakeholders is a continually process throughout the project lifecycle
• identify stakeholders, communicate and engage them, manage expectations and focus on satisfaction
• stakeholder satisfaction is a key project objective
• the Project Manager is responsible for the engaging and managing the various stakeholders in a project

Processes (4)

1. Identify Stakeholders

2. Plan Stakeholder Management

3. Manage Stakeholder Expectations

4. Control Stakeholder Expectations


1. Identify Stakeholders

• identify stakeholders and document their importance/influence (=active involvement) /impact/interest/involvement
• 3 ‘I’s: importance, interest, influence
• stakeholders from operation process needed to be included
• determine the stakeholders’ hot buttons (what response in specific situations) and develop support strategies
• procurement documents are used for determining external stakeholders such as the seller
• stakeholders have the greatest influence in the initial stage of the project
• stakeholder analysis matrix is part of the stakeholder management strategy (output of identify stakeholders)
• Salience Model: describing stakeholders based on the power (influence), urgency and legitimacy
• document only influential stakeholders if there is a large number of stakeholders
• document the impact using a power/influence grid, power/interest grid, influence/impact grid, salience model

2. Plan Stakeholder Management

• management strategies to engage stakeholders throughout project lifecycle
• Stakeholder Management Plan contains: current/desired engagement levels, scope and impact to stakeholders, interrelationships, communication requirements and forms, how to update the plan
• The distribution of this plan requires precautions as the engagement level of stakeholders is a very sensitive information
• Engagement Level:
Resistant: resistant to change
Supportive: supportive of change
Leading: actively engaged for project success
• Stakeholder Engagement Assessment Matrix: (C-current level, D-desired level)

3. Manage Stakeholder Engagement

• aim: increase support and minimize resistance from stakeholders by addressing issues
• the communication requirements of individual stakeholder are recorded in the Project Communication Plan
• PM may call upon sponsor for assistance
• communicate and work with stakeholders to meet their needs/expectations and address issues
• build trust and resolve conflicts, negotiation skills, communication skills
• need to communicate bad news/issues in a timely manner
• feedback from stakeholders is stored in OPA
• the Issue Log (Action Item Log): to identify issues/define impacts, owner (most important element) and priority/with due date


4. Control Stakeholder Engagement

• monitor overall stakeholder relationships and adjusting strategies


Education Edge - Procurement Knowledge Area

Knowledge Area #9 – Procurement

Critical Highlights:

• Procurement Statement of Work (SOW) is a legal document subject to legal reviews, legal advise should be sought throughout the whole procurement process
• sellers are external to the project team
• need to go through all 4 processes for each and every procurement
• contract elements: offer (seller offer buyer), acceptance (buyer criteria), capacity (physical/financial capabilities), consideration (seller receive), legal purpose (must be legal under law)
• best if contract is signed after PM is assigned
• PM needs to understand terms and conditions, identify risks, include procurement time in schedule and involve in negotiations
• Centralized contracting vs decentralized contracting
• sole source, single source (preferred), oligopoly (very few sellers)
• procurement categories: major complexity (high risk), minor complexity (low risk, expensive), routine purchase (Commercial Off the Shelf Products COTS), goods and services (to perform part of our product)
• a contract is not required to be written, it can be verbal or handshake, for internal projects, formal contract is best
• procurement applies to actors (as a service)
• immaterial breach is minor breach
• point of total assumption (PTA) = Target Cost + (Ceiling Price – Target Price) / % Share of Cost Overrun

Processes (4)

1. Plan Procurement Management

2. Conduct Procurement

3. Control Procurements


1. Plan Procurement Management

• determine whether to obtain products/services outside of organization
• identify possible sellers and pre-meeting with them
• identify explicitly what is needed
• make-or-buy analysis is a compulsory process, needs to take risks into considerations
• carefully written terms and conditions can transfer/share risks
• teaming agreements or joint ventures
• procurement documents: request for proposal (RFP), invitation for bid (IFB), request for quote (RFQ), request for information (RFI), tender notice, invitation for negotiation, seller initial response
• the procurement management plan specifies how a project will acquire goods/services from outside, includes: contract type, risk management, constraints and assumptions, insurance requirements, form and format, pre-qualified sellers, metrics used, etc.
• Procurement Statement of Work (SOW) – performance (describe what can be accomplished), functional (convey the end purpose or result), design (convey precisely what are to be done), can be developed by the seller or buyer – detail enough to allow the potential sellers to decide whether they want/are qualified (at a minimum) to pursue the work
• Contract Types:
Firm Fixed Price (FFP) – the price is fixed, specifications are well known, risk on the seller
Fixed Price Incentive Fee (FPIF) – incentives for faster/better than contracted
Fixed Price with Economic Adjustment / Economic Price Adjustment (FPEA / FP-EPA) – inflation aretaken into account
Purchase Order (PO) – for off-the-shelf goods/services with published rates
Cost Reimbursable (CR) / Cost Plus – buying the expertise (not the products), outcome is not clear, risk on the buyer, little incentive to control costs on buyer, need invoice audits
Cost Plus Fixed Fee (CPFF)
Cost Plus Incentive Fee (CPIF) – incentive for performance, sharing of unused money if under/over contracted amount
Cost Plus Award Fee (CPAF) – award to be given based on agreed criteria, solely decided by the customer on the degree of satisfaction
Cost Plus Percentage of Costs (CPPC) – illegal for contracts with US Government
Cost Contract – no profit, for NGO
Best Efforts – obligates the seller to utilize best attempts, high uncertainty in meeting the goal
Time and Materials (T&M) – (hybrid type) when scope is not known, need constant monitoring to control schedule and cost, simple, for short duration, good for proof-of-concept type projects
• Point of Total Assumption – (in fixed-price (incentive fee) contracts) in budget overrun, the point at which the seller assumes all additional costs for delivering the product/service
• PTA = (Ceiling Price – Total Price) / Buyer’s Share Ratio + Target Cost
• target cost = total cost = estimated cost, total price = total cost + total profit
• Request for Proposal (RFP) – cost reimbursable contract, functional/performance SOW
• Invitation for Bid (IFB) / Request for Bid (RFB) – fixed-price contract, design SOW
• Request for Quote – time and material, any type of SOW
• Cancellation for Convenience – buyer can cancel and pay up to the point
• Cancellation for Cause – default by either party, may result in legal actions
• Escrow – survivability of seller in doubt, put the product in escrow (esp. if seller not give up intellectual properties)
• Force Majeure – standard disclaimer refers to ‘Acts of God’
• Indemnification / Liability – responsible party
• LOI Letter of Intent – not legally binding
• Privity – the contractor may use sub-contractor, no direct contractual relationship with buyer
• Retainage – amount to be withheld to ensure delivery
• Risk of Loss – how the risk is shoulder by the parties
• Time is of the Essence – delay in delivery will cause cardinal breach of contract
• Work Made for Hire – all work owned by the buyer
• Sole Source vs Single Source (preferred vendor – for long-term relationship)
• Evaluation Criteria: risk, understanding of need, life-cycle cost, technical capability, management approach, technical approach


2. Conduct Procurements

• identify the sellers and award the contracts
• PM may not be the lead negotiator on procurement, but may be present to assist
• may need senior management approval before awarding the contracts
• bidder’s conference is a Q&A session with bidders, all bidders receive the same information (bidder are careful not to expose their technical approach during the session => may not have many questions)
• NOT to have secret meetings or communications with individual vendors
• may set up qualified sellers lists
• review seller proposals: weighting systems, independent estimates, screening systems (screen out non-qualified vendors), seller ratings systems (for past performance), expert judgement
• Contract Negotiations and Tactics
Fait Accompli – not negotiable terms
Deadline – deadline for deliverables
Good Guy/ Bad Guy – one friendly, one aggressive
Missing Man – decision maker is missing
Limited Authority – not given authority
Fair and Reasonable – what is fair?
Unreasonable – making unreasonable demands
Delay – especially in critical moments
Attack – force compliance
• Agreement is legally binding and should include (PM should NOT attempt to write the agreement):
statement of work, schedule baseline, performance reporting, period of performance, roles and responsibilities, warranty, payment terms, fees and retainers, incentives, liability, penalties, etc.


3. Control Procurements

• performed by both seller and buyer
• manage procurement relationships, monitor contract performance, make change and corrections
• the procurement administrator may be external to the project team
• may identify early signs and capture details for pre-mature termination of contract
• the claims administration process deals with changes/disputes, disputes is best to be settled through negotiation > ADR
• may need Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by 3rd parties in case disputes cannot be settled
• For Fixed Price contracts, look out for Bait and Switch (replace with cheaper materials), look out for excessive change requests
• For Cost Reimbursable contracts, audit all invoices, look out for additional charges, tie payment to milestones, make sure people with the required skill sets are doing the job
• For Time and Materials contracts, ensure hours are not padded, follow the milestone dates
• Contract Change Control System: for handling change requests (define who has the authority to approve changes (usually not the PM, but may be assigned the authority))
• Work performance data includes: the cost incurred and the invoice needs to be paid
• OPA may include the seller’s performance


4. Close Procurements

• all work are completed, deliverables accepted, claims settled OR terminated by either party
• at completion / termination of contract
• prior to administrative closure of Close Project or Phase
• unresolved claims may be left for litigation after closure
• settlement of claims/invoices, audit, archive, lessons learned
• the contract is complete when all the specifications are satisfied, no matter the customer is satisfied with the product or not
• Procurement Audit is the structured review of the procurement process from Plan Procurement Management through Control Procurements, is used to capture lessons learned from the procurement exercise
• once a procurement is cancelled, the next process will be the close procurements

Education Edge - Risk Knowledge Area

Knowledge Area #7 – Risk

Critical Highlights:

• Risk identification, management and response strategy impacts every area of the project management life cycle
• everyone is responsible for identifying risks
• Risk has one or more causes and has one or more impacts
• Risk = uncertainty; risk management: increase the probability of project success by minimizing/eliminating negative risks (threats) and increasing positive events (opportunities)
• Risk attitudes (EEF): risk appetite (willingness to take risks for rewards), tolerance for risk (risk tolerant or risk averse), risk threshold (level beyond which the org refuses to tolerate risks and may change its response)
• pure (insurable) risk vs business risk (can be +ve or -ve)
• Known risks that cannot be dealt with proactively (active acceptance) should be assigned a contingency reserve or if the known risks cannot be analyzed, just wait for its happening and implement workaround (passive acceptance)

Processes (6):

1. Plan Risk Management

2. Identify Risks

3. Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis

4. Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis

5. Plan Risk Responses

6. Control Risks

1. Plan Risk Management

• define and provide resources and time to perform risk management, including: methodology, roles and responsibilities, budget, timing (when and how often), risk categories (e.g. RBS), definitions, stakeholder tolerances (a EEF), reporting and tracking
• performed at project initiation and early in the Planning process
• failure to address risks early on can ultimately be more costly
• analytical techniques include stakeholder risk profile analysis, strategic risk scoring sheets
• a risk breakdown structure (RBS) (included in the PM Plan) – risks grouped by categories and occurring areas
• key risk categories: scope creep, inherent schedule flaws, employee turnover, specification breakdown (conflicts in deliverable specifications), poor productivity

2. Identify Risks

• determine all risks affecting the project
• information-gathering techniques: brainstorming, delphitechnique [a panel of independent experts, maintain anonymity, use questionnaire, encourage open critique], root cause analysis [performed after an event to gain understanding to prevent similar events from occurring], expert interviewing, SWOT analysis
• root cause analysis: safety-based (prevent accidents), production-based, process-based (include business process), failure-based, systems-based (all above)
• root cause analysis tools: FMEA, Pareto Analysis, Bayesian Inference (conditional probability), Ishikawa Diagrams, Kepner-Tregoe
• Monte Carlo analysis can identify points of schedule risks
• Influence Diagram – graphical representations of situations showing causal influences, time ordering of events, and other relationships among variables and outcomes.
• Risk Register (typically not including the risk reserve)
• The Risk Register may include a risk statement
• any risk with a probability of >70% is an issue (to be dealt with proactively and recorded in the issue log)

3. Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis

• prioritizing risks for further analysis/action and identify high priority risks
• need to identify bias and correct it (e.g. risk attitude of the stakeholders)
• qualitative risk assessment matrix (format described in the Risk Management Plan)
• update to risk register and other related documents
• risk register update are output of Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis, Perform Quantitative Analysis, Plan Risk Responses and Monitor & Control Risks
• the scope baseline is used to understand whether the project is a recurrent type or a state-of-the-art type (more risks)
• risks requiring near-term responses are more urgent to address

4. Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis

• the cost, schedule and risk management plan contains guidelines on establishing and managing risks
• involves mathematical modeling for forecasts and trend analysis
• data gathering and representation techniques: interviewing, probability distributions [normal distribution (bell shaped curve)],
• sensitivity analysis (using the tornado diagram as presentation) for determining the risks that have the most impact on the project
• Failure Modes Effects Analysis (FMEA)
• FMEA for manufactured product or where risk may be undetectable, Risk Priority Number (RPN) = severity (1-10) x occurrence ([0.07%] 1-10 [20%]) X detectability (1-10 [undetectable]), also a non-proprietary approach for risk management
• Expected Value / Expected Monetary Value (EMV), probability x impact (cost/effort lost), opportunities (+vevalues), threats (-ve values)
• Monte Carlo Analysis – by running simulations many times over in order to calculate those same probabilities heuristically just like actually playing and recording your results in a real casino situation, ‘S’ curve (cumulative distribution) will result, may use PERT/triangular distribution to model data, may use thousands of data points (a random variable), for budget/schedule analysis
• Decision Tree Analysis – another form of EMV, branching: decision squares (decision branch – options), circles (uncertainty branch – possible outcomes)

5. Plan Risk Responses

• plan response to enhance opportunities and reduce threats
• each risk is owned by a responsible person
• the watch list is the list of low priority risks items in the risk register
• a fallback plan will be used if 1) risk response not effective, 2) accepted risk occurs
• risk strategies: 1) prevent risk, 2) response to risk, 3) reduce risk, 4) promote opportunities, 5) fallback if risk response fails
• negative risk strategies: eliminate/avoid (not to use, extend the schedule), transfer (outsource, warranty, insurance), mitigate (reduce the risk by more testing/precautionary actions/redundancy), accept (passive – do nothing or active – contingency)
• positive risk strategies: exploit (ensure opportunity by using internal resources e.g. reduce cost/use of top talents/new tech), share (contractor with specialized skills, joint venture), enhance (increase likelihood / impact e.g. fast-tracking, add resources etc.), accept
• passive risk acceptance to be dealt with when the risk occurs
• Contingency Plan (contingent response strategies) (plan A) are developed for specific risk (when you have accepted a risk) with certain triggers vs Fallback Plan (plan B)
• Residual Risks – risks remains after the risk response strategy was implemented, may be identified in the planning process (may subject to contingency/fallback planning) They don’t need any further analysis because you have already planned the most complete response strategy you know in dealing with the risk that came before them.
• Secondary Risks –  risk arises when the risk response strategy was implemented
• Contingency Reserve: known unknowns (determined risk), part of cost baseline
• Management Reserve: unknown unknowns (discovery risk), part of project budget
• The Risk Register is now completed with: risks and descriptions, triggers, response strategy, persons responsible, results from qualitative and quantitative analysis, residual and secondary risks, contingency and fallback, risk budget/time

6. Control Risks

• when the above risk planning processes have been performed with due diligence, the project is said to have a low risk profile
• to check if assumptions are still valid, procedures are being followed and any deviance
• to identify new risks and evaluate effectiveness of risk response plan
• any need to adjust contingency and management reserves
• to re-assess the individual risk response strategies to see if they are effective
• risk audits deal with effectiveness of risk response and the risk management process
• risk audits are usually performed by experts outside project team for the whole risk management process
• reserve analysis and fund for contingencies apply only to the specific risks on the project for which they were set aside
• workaround: when no contingency plan exists, executed on-the-fly to address unplanned events – still need to pass through normal change control if change requests are needed
• determine the workaround is performed in control risks