The Three P’s of Project Management

Project Managers are People Managers. Many of us have heard this over the years, but is that it? Are we nothing more than people managers? I will agree that we are responsible for managing people and that this is a portion of the PM (Project Manager) role. I ask that we take a moment to look at a couple of facts. Many PM’s get certification from the PMI (Project Management Institute) which is ISO (International Organization for Standardization) recognized certification. Additionally, one could also receive a Masters Degree in Project Management. With that in mind, are PM’s really nothing more than people managers? Is there really a perception that PM’s do nothing more than manage people? Is people management the most important function of a PM?In this article I want to present the three P’s of project management. The three P’s are to take into account the elements and structure of project management. As most of us know, there are five project management process groups and nine knowledge areas (please refer to the PMBOK guide for clarification). I can assure you that there is more than people management when it comes to the process groups and knowledge areas. On the other hand, without people and without people management projects can not be accomplished. So people management is important but without the other two P’s will a project be successful? Let me present the three P’s of Project Management and follow them with a review.1) People Management
2) Process Management and
3) Performance ManagementPeople Management is essential in regards to project management. It takes the leadership of the project manager to guide a team towards working together in symmetry to accomplish the objectives of a project. I feel that cooperation and collaboration are a couple of key ingredients when it comes to people management. Without cooperation and/or collaboration by the team or an individual on the team, a project can end up in jeopardy.How do you build a team that fosters collaboration and cooperation? I have found that the best decisions are made by a team not an individual. Early on in a project I bring the team together to discuss the objectives of the project. Then to engage the subject matter experts and the IT resources in a discussion that elicits the best decisions. I ask questions and encourage the team to do the same. Next we look at making a decision. I follow this up by looking for options or alternatives by asking if there is a better way. The information presented here leads to new and better decisions. New decisions are based on new information, get the team to to collaborate and cooperate and the best decisions will be made. The best information will be presented and individuals will be contributors.It is common for any team to go through forming, norming, storming and conforming in order to grow. The PM expects this and is prepared to manage it accordingly so the team performs. It is persuasive assertiveness that, when used effectively, leads the team in overcoming differences and strives for project success.To this point we have only discussed people management, and frankly, teams can be organized for all sorts of reasons and the team leader can use the information above to leverage the team. Is people management another term for project management?Process Management is equally important to People Management. Without either of these, the ability to provide a successful project outcome is severely diminished. To improve the outcome of a project the PM utilizes sound and repeatable processes that lead to a successful project implementation. PM’s use their knowledge, skills and effectiveness to incorporate the project management process groups and knowledge areas. If the project management process groups and knowledge areas are not effectively managed along with the team there will be project chaos. If your project is in chaos or total chaos, what areas of project management are not being effectively involved in your project? Do you need to look far?I feel that without the utilization of a project management process that projects will wander and drift like a message in a bottle, no charted course and an unknown destination. I have felt the pains of projects without process. They struggled with technology implementations, cost over-runs and the project scope in constant flux. The end result, failure.I found that a similar team managed the next version of an application with a project management process in place, the results were outstanding. There was a solid scope document that provided the necessary information for user acceptance testing. There were five change requests made that went through the change control procedure, four were approved. The plan target date was not only achieved, but the work was completed ahead of schedule. Being ahead of schedule meant cost savings thus the project was completed under budget. All of this was achieved and there were no product defects.Could this have been accomplished with people skills alone? Would you be able to create project symmetry without a project management process? I feel you already know the answers to these questions.Finally there is Performance Management. For the most part, this category falls under process management for all intensive purposes. I like to breakout performance management and look at it from a different perspective. The purpose of performance management is to answer the question … How is you project coming along? When that is asked it should be able to be address the triple constraints. Is the project on schedule? Is it within budget? Will it meet the project scope? By measuring the triple constraints, a PM can track the actual progress of a project and make adjustments based on this information. Performance management holds the team accountable and keeps the senior team informed.Let’s take a moment to look back at earlier questions. Are project managers nothing more than people managers? Is people management the most important function of a PM? My response to this is that project managers must balance both people and process management. One without the other will not provide the optimum outcome.Special Note: I want to convey that I am not overlooking Quality. Quality falls under the knowledge areas which is referred to in the earlier process writings. I hope to go into greater detail on this topic in a future article. In addition, I am not overlooking problem management. I feel that problem management falls under people management since problems are found by people and decisions are made by people.With everything that has been presented here, it is important to keep in mind that Project Managers bring so much more to the success of a project than their ability to manage people. The three P’s of project management, (people, process and performance management) take into account much of the criteria needed for successful project management. As project managers, we are trained, skilled and experienced in this field. If projects are going well we know we are doing the right things. If projects are not going well, reflect on this and take action to correct its course. How well are your projects being managed?

Alternative Financing Vs. Venture Capital: Which Option Is Best for Boosting Working Capital?

There are several potential financing options available to cash-strapped businesses that need a healthy dose of working capital. A bank loan or line of credit is often the first option that owners think of – and for businesses that qualify, this may be the best option.

In today’s uncertain business, economic and regulatory environment, qualifying for a bank loan can be difficult – especially for start-up companies and those that have experienced any type of financial difficulty. Sometimes, owners of businesses that don’t qualify for a bank loan decide that seeking venture capital or bringing on equity investors are other viable options.

But are they really? While there are some potential benefits to bringing venture capital and so-called “angel” investors into your business, there are drawbacks as well. Unfortunately, owners sometimes don’t think about these drawbacks until the ink has dried on a contract with a venture capitalist or angel investor – and it’s too late to back out of the deal.

Different Types of Financing

One problem with bringing in equity investors to help provide a working capital boost is that working capital and equity are really two different types of financing.

Working capital – or the money that is used to pay business expenses incurred during the time lag until cash from sales (or accounts receivable) is collected – is short-term in nature, so it should be financed via a short-term financing tool. Equity, however, should generally be used to finance rapid growth, business expansion, acquisitions or the purchase of long-term assets, which are defined as assets that are repaid over more than one 12-month business cycle.

But the biggest drawback to bringing equity investors into your business is a potential loss of control. When you sell equity (or shares) in your business to venture capitalists or angels, you are giving up a percentage of ownership in your business, and you may be doing so at an inopportune time. With this dilution of ownership most often comes a loss of control over some or all of the most important business decisions that must be made.

Sometimes, owners are enticed to sell equity by the fact that there is little (if any) out-of-pocket expense. Unlike debt financing, you don’t usually pay interest with equity financing. The equity investor gains its return via the ownership stake gained in your business. But the long-term “cost” of selling equity is always much higher than the short-term cost of debt, in terms of both actual cash cost as well as soft costs like the loss of control and stewardship of your company and the potential future value of the ownership shares that are sold.

Alternative Financing Solutions

But what if your business needs working capital and you don’t qualify for a bank loan or line of credit? Alternative financing solutions are often appropriate for injecting working capital into businesses in this situation. Three of the most common types of alternative financing used by such businesses are:

1. Full-Service Factoring – Businesses sell outstanding accounts receivable on an ongoing basis to a commercial finance (or factoring) company at a discount. The factoring company then manages the receivable until it is paid. Factoring is a well-established and accepted method of temporary alternative finance that is especially well-suited for rapidly growing companies and those with customer concentrations.

2. Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing – A/R financing is an ideal solution for companies that are not yet bankable but have a stable financial condition and a more diverse customer base. Here, the business provides details on all accounts receivable and pledges those assets as collateral. The proceeds of those receivables are sent to a lockbox while the finance company calculates a borrowing base to determine the amount the company can borrow. When the borrower needs money, it makes an advance request and the finance company advances money using a percentage of the accounts receivable.

3. Asset-Based Lending (ABL) – This is a credit facility secured by all of a company’s assets, which may include A/R, equipment and inventory. Unlike with factoring, the business continues to manage and collect its own receivables and submits collateral reports on an ongoing basis to the finance company, which will review and periodically audit the reports.

In addition to providing working capital and enabling owners to maintain business control, alternative financing may provide other benefits as well:

It’s easy to determine the exact cost of financing and obtain an increase.
Professional collateral management can be included depending on the facility type and the lender.
Real-time, online interactive reporting is often available.
It may provide the business with access to more capital.
It’s flexible – financing ebbs and flows with the business’ needs.
It’s important to note that there are some circumstances in which equity is a viable and attractive financing solution. This is especially true in cases of business expansion and acquisition and new product launches – these are capital needs that are not generally well suited to debt financing. However, equity is not usually the appropriate financing solution to solve a working capital problem or help plug a cash-flow gap.

A Precious Commodity

Remember that business equity is a precious commodity that should only be considered under the right circumstances and at the right time. When equity financing is sought, ideally this should be done at a time when the company has good growth prospects and a significant cash need for this growth. Ideally, majority ownership (and thus, absolute control) should remain with the company founder(s).

Alternative financing solutions like factoring, A/R financing and ABL can provide the working capital boost many cash-strapped businesses that don’t qualify for bank financing need – without diluting ownership and possibly giving up business control at an inopportune time for the owner. If and when these companies become bankable later, it’s often an easy transition to a traditional bank line of credit. Your banker may be able to refer you to a commercial finance company that can offer the right type of alternative financing solution for your particular situation.

Taking the time to understand all the different financing options available to your business, and the pros and cons of each, is the best way to make sure you choose the best option for your business. The use of alternative financing can help your company grow without diluting your ownership. After all, it’s your business – shouldn’t you keep as much of it as possible?

Nutrition Schools

Find Nutrition Schools in the United States and Canada. Nutrition schools offer training and education in the principles of proper nutrition. Typically, nutrition schools will furnish students with the most up to date holistic and conventional science in relation to dietary intake and nutrition.While attending one of many nutrition schools, individuals will learn how to adequately address biochemical makeup of each client and how to create individualized health regimens applying proper diet, supplement and specific lifestyle suggestions.Nutrition schools may provide nutritionist certification programs, as well as Bachelor degree programs in becoming a professional dietician and nutritionist. By enrolling in nutrition schools, individuals can become professional members of the medical service community. Learning how to serve nutritional, lifestyle and total wellness needs of individuals and entire families, nutrition schools help future practitioners to improve overall health through assessment and analytical skills. Students enrolled in nutrition schools will also gain necessary skills to develop appropriate nutritional plans facilitating methods in counseling, monitoring and client support.Nutrition schools commonly include courses that consist of anatomy and physiology, functional nutrition; among many other related subjects. It is important to understand, too, that many states require licensure and/or certification; so it would be wise for prospective candidates to carefully review state requirements and course curriculums in nutrition schools to meet those requirements.Successful graduates of nutrition schools can anticipate a positive job market, as professional nutritionists may attain gainful employment in local, state and national governmental organizations; in addition to a large number of medical health care facilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional nutritionists and dieticians, who have gained adequate training through any one of several nutrition schools, can expect lucrative earnings to over $50k annually on top end.To learn more about Nutrition schools, please feel free to peruse our Vocational Schools directory today at HolisticJunction.comFind your dream job! Let education within fast-growing industries like massage therapy, cosmetology, acupuncture, oriental medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore career school programs [http://school.holisticjunction.com/clickcount.php?id=6634739&goto=http://www.holisticjunction.com/search.cfm] near you.Nutrition Schools┬ę Copyright 2007The CollegeBound NetworkAll Rights ReservedNOTICE: Article(s) may be republished free of charge to relevant websites, as long as Copyright and Author Resource Box are included; and ALL Hyperlinks REMAIN intact and active.

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