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Ronald Smith

About: Ronald Smith

Ronald Smith has 45 years’ experience as Senior PM/Program Manager. He is retired from IBM having written four books and published about three dozen articles on project Management and the systems development life cycle (SDLC). His third article (External Impact) for PMI's PM Network magazine was published in April 2019 and is about independent testing. He’s been a member of PMI since 1998 and evaluates articles submitted to PMI's Knowledge Shelf Library for potential acceptance. Since 2011, Ronald has been an Adjunct Professor for a Master of Science in Technology program and taught project management 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. He is scheduled to begin teaching in 2019 at his alma mater, Houston Baptist University (HBU).

All Articles and Webinars by Ronald Smith

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…

Split It Out (Part 1)

Written on July 23, 2019, by

How to Separate your Project into Manageable Chunks Splitting your project into smaller parts or pieces that are more controllable helps you to move closer to your ultimate goal of achieving your project deliverables and high user satisfaction. Planning your project thoroughly means thinking of different ways to break your project down into smaller, more…

No Pain, No Gain?

Written on July 8, 2019, by

Turning Project Financial Analyses into a Painless Exercise Introduction “No Pain, No Gain” is a popular exercise slogan that promises greater rewards for the price of hard work to achieve physical excellence. In the field of information technology (IT), most people think that performing financial analyses on new projects is hard work, but it doesn’t…

Integrated Change Control

Written on June 18, 2019, by

Outlining the Purpose of Project Change Requests and Change Control Boards Very few projects run exactly to plan. This happens for a number of reasons (one example is scope creep). The bottom line is that you should expect changes to happen! Integrated change control (ICC) is the process of reviewing all change requests, approving changes,…

Outsourcing Done Wrong

Written on May 14, 2019, by

Some of the Worst Practices that Guarantee your Time and Money Won’t Be Well Spent An outsourcing project, especially in Information Technology (IT), can be a long and winding road studded with sweet spots and painful pitfalls. There are numerous opportunities to veer off course. At any point, companies can make irreparable errors, including forgetting…

Power, Politics, and Providing for a Project: Part 2

Written on April 16, 2019, by

Trust Building between Stakeholders and the Project Team Is a Powerful Asset In Part One of my article on power, politics, and providing for a project, we looked at two areas of importance: the project’s charter and the communications plan. I’d like to continue the conversation by outlining specific suggestions for building trust between stakeholders…

Power, Politics, and Providing for a Project: Part 1

Written on April 9, 2019, by

Trust Building between Stakeholders and the Project Team Is a Powerful Asset The following statement made by Dr. Gary L. Richardson, University of Houston, is one of the most commanding I ever heard related to project management and one that all project managers (PMs) should be aware of: “Projects are natural breeding grounds for conflict…

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