Facilitated Workshops

Workshops are the primary technique for quickly defining cross-functional requirements and reconciling stakeholder differences.

  • Joint Application Developer (JAD) is used in Software Industry – used to bring users and development team together to improve software development process
  • Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is used in Manufacturing Industry – helps determine critical characteristics for new product development. QFD starts by collecting customer needs – called Voice of the Customer (VOC)

Kill Point

A phase-end represents a natural point to reassess the effort underway and to change or terminate the project if necessary.

These points are referred to as

  • phase exits,
  • milestones,
  • phase gates,
  • decision gates,
  • stage gates,
  • kill points.


Source: Internet

Seven Run Rule

It is a situation in which there are at least 7 consecutive data points on one side of the mean, implying that the process could have some type of problem.

Source: Internet

Scope Creep

A process of adding additional scope without addressing impacts on time, cost, resources etc. or may not be having customer approval also.

Tornado Diagrams/Plots/Charts and Sensitivity Analysis

You must have now got an idea why this diagram was named. This is basically a bar chart. This type of chart is mainly used for Sensitivity Analysis.

Sensivity Analysis
It is the comparison of relative importance of variables. This Analysis helps to determine which risks have the most potential impact on the project.

Risk tolerance & Residual Risk

  • Risk tolerance - It is a stakeholder's willingness to accept variying degrees of risk
  • Residual Risk - It is a risk which remains even after the risk responses are implemented

Fast Tracking

A schedule compression technique. It is done by overlapping or running two phases in parallel.

FMEA - Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

"It is a procedure in product development and operations management for analysis of potential failure modes within a system for classification by the severity and likelihood of the failures."


What is Co-location?

An organizational placement where team members are physically located close to each other. This improves communication, working relationships and productivity of team members.

Bottom-up estimation

The work is decomposed in to more detailed components and then do the estimation.

Backward Pass and Forward Pass

Both are for the calculation for uncompleted portions of schedule activities.
  • Backword Pass - It uses late start dates and late finish dates.
  • Forward Pass - It uses early start dates and early finish dates

How to manage conflicts?

"Conflict should be addressed early and usually in private, using a direct, collaborative approach." If the conflict is not controllable via these, can continue with formal procedures (eg: disciplinary actions)

-PMBOK 4th Ed.

Decision Making by Project Managers

There are four types of decision making usually PMs use:
  1. Command
  2. Consultation
  3. Consensus
  4. Coin Flip
The four major factors that affect the type of decision style selection are:
  1. Time constraint
  2. Trust
  3. Quality
  4. Acceptance
Six basic steps of decision making are:
  1. Define problem
  2. Generate solution (brainstroming etc.)
  3. Ideas to Action (select best solution)
  4. Plan solution action (buy-in)
  5. Plan solution evaluation (post implementation evaluation)
  6. Outcome evaluation (how well the problem was solved)

Which are the Interpersonal Skills?

Here is the list, but not limited to:

  • Leadership
  • Team Building
  • Motivation
  • Communication
  • Influence
  • Decision Making & Problem Solving
  • Political & Cultural awareness
  • Negotiating

Sample fishbone diagram


Refer to this post also.

Sample Organization Structure

Each company will have different organizational structures. Below one is a sample which I have drawn with an Information Technology company in mind. This is not a full map, but represents only major teams.


Note that hierarchy, roles & responsibilities, power etc. differs from company-to-company.

Influence diagrams

These are graphical representations of situations showing causal influences, time ordering of events, and other relationships among variables and outcomes.

Prosci’s change management methodology

It involves three steps:

  1. Preparing for the change – what change, why etc.
  2. Managing the change – trainings, communication plan, resistance management etc.
  3. Reinforcing change – Sustain the change

Good reading here.


  • Awareness – about the need for change
  • Desire – to change
  • Knowledge – about how change
  • Ability – to change
  • Reinforcement – to maintain the change

ADKAR is the Prosci’s model for individual change. I will write about Prosci in next post. Organization will not change of its own. When the employees change, it will reflect as organization’s change.

PEST Analysis

  • P – Political
  • E – Economic
  • S – Social (cultural)
  • T – Technological

PEST Analysis is a framework of above points (or micro-environmental factors) used for the understanding of  micro-environmental factors which might lead you to do major strategic changes.

You will come across many similar abbreviations for the almost same thing - STEP, PESTEL, PESTLE, PESTE, PESTLIED, SLEPT, STEEPLE, STEEPLED, LE PEST C or LEPEST

More readings here:

Have a look at SWOT Analysis also.

Different Powers

  • Referent Power – Power based on some high level of identification, respect, admiration etc. Politicians, celebrities etc. comes under this category
  • Coercive Power – Power based on fear, or suppression of freedom. Eg: Few team members believe their manager might influence their appraisal
  • Positional/Legitimate Power – This power comes through hierarchy in the organization. It is the formal power.
  • Expert Power – Power acquired through skills or expertize
  • Reward Power – Power of an individual to give rewards, promotions, pay hike etc.
  • Informational Power – Power acquired through referencing to right information. Potential use of information will give this power

PM Tip – propose solutions along with questions

When you analyze something (can be requirement, solution etc.), you might get confused and will have questions to the author (manager, customer, sponsor etc.). You can ask straight questions, but before that ask those questions to yourself and propose some feasible solutions. This will let him think in your perspective and most probably he will suggest to use or modify one of your proposal.

Remember, you are supposed to find solutions… not problems.