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Ronald Smith

About: Ronald Smith

Ronald Smith has over four decades of experience as Senior PM/Program Manager. He retired from IBM having written four books and over four dozen articles (for example, PMI’s PM Network magazine and MPUG) on project management, and the systems development life cycle (SDLC). He’s been a member of PMI since 1998 and evaluates articles submitted to PMI’s Knowledge Shelf Library for potential publication.

 From 2011 - 2017, Ronald had been an Adjunct Professor for a Master of Science in Technology and taught PM courses at the University of Houston’s College of Technology. Teaching from his own book, Project Management Tools and Techniques – A Practical Guide, Ronald offers a perspective on project management that reflects his many years of experience. Lastly in the Houston area, he has started up two Toastmasters clubs and does voluntary work at various food banks. 

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All Articles and Webinars by Ronald Smith

Starting a PMO

Written on March 31, 2020, by

Learning to Walk Before You Start Running PMI describes the Project Management Office (PMO) as a strategic driver for organizational excellence. The PMO seeks to enhance the practices of execution management, organizational governance, and strategic change leadership. Because of differences in organizational structures, power and politics, and culture, it would be extremely rare to ever…

Lift Positive Risk-Taking

Written on March 17, 2020, by

Most people hear “project risk” and they think of an adverse event or threat that may occur. Regardless, the term carries a negative connotation, but this common belief means you may be missing out on positive risks or opportunities that potentially have a beneficial effect on your project’s deliverables and goals. When you are presented…

The 20-Percent Startup Solution

Written on February 4, 2020, by

How to stop playing games with your project schedule Most baselined project plans are inaccurate because they have unrealistic start dates, finish dates, work hours, costs, and/or durations. The following are examples of this age old problem and how the 20% startup solution can be applied to build more accuracy and creditability into your project…

Red Flags, Blue Lessons

Written on January 14, 2020, by

Watch for these warning signs, so you don’t end up twisting in the wind! As a project manager (PM) for an international consulting firm, I was once assigned to a very large account that taught online classes through the internet. The company was called the High Intensity Teaching Corporation or HIT. This is the pseudonym…

Why Impartial Testing is a Non-Negotiable

Written on November 19, 2019, by

Reducing the Risk of Project Shortcomings Project teams usually do their own (early) Partial Testing, which consists of unit and function testing. Unfortunately when the early phase is completed, the same project team may be tempted to go on and test their own projects’ component, system, and regression. This testing phase; however, should really be…

A Short History of Project Management

Written on October 29, 2019, by

  Have you ever wondered about the history of project management, or how it evolved into its’ present day usage? This article will cover most of the major project management happenings throughout history. The stages of time will cover the BC time period, the 1900’s where the root of modern project management was driven by…

The Shape of Performance Reporting

Written on September 10, 2019, by

An Outline that Can Be Used for Tracking Progress It could be said that communication is the oil that keeps a project running smoothly. Project managers (PMs) can spend up to 90 percent of their time on internal and external communications. Communication management includes project status tracking and reporting processes. A schedule for such should…

Don’t Turn your Critical Path into a Slippery Path

Written on August 19, 2019, by

In my last article, I covered four misconceptions about critical path. Now, I’ll be going through some of the mechanics of finding the critical path in a project, so that you have a better understanding how it evolves. Keep in mind that Microsoft Project’s software performs similar calculations. Manipulation of the network sequence diagram involves…

Four Misconceptions about the Critical Path

Written on August 12, 2019, by

Most non-technical people don’t know what the critical path is; whereas, those that work on IT projects know what it means at a high level, but have few insights into the actual mechanics of it—and how quickly it can change the outcome of their projects! The truth is that there are many misconceptions about the…

Split It Out (Part 2)

Written on July 29, 2019, by

More Ways to Separate your Project into Manageable Chunks In Part 1 of my article “Split It Out,” we looked at ways to separate projects task into smaller parts or pieces that are more controllable. Let’s look together at a few more areas that can be split out for project success!     Partnering it…

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