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Praveen Malik

@pmalikpmbypm-com

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Praveen Malik, PMP, has two-plus decades of experience as a project management instructor and consultant. He regularly conducts project management workshops in India and abroad and shares his project management thinking in his blog, PM by PM.

Microsoft Project: Do You Ever Find It’s Doing Its Own Thing?

Nowadays, most software is easy to use, and MS Project is one of the most user friendly out there. Unlike many other scheduling tools, you don’t need a user manual to begin utilizing the main features...

How Much Time Is Required for PMP Exam Preparation?

A short answer to the question stated in this article’s title is that it can take between eight to twelve weeks to prepare for the PMP Exam. Before elaborating, I’d like to address a completely differ...

PMP Exam Changes in 2021: Are You Ready?

It is said that “change is the only constant.” The PMP exam is no exception. In fact, it changes roughly once every two years, and we are seeing a change coming up in about six months. PMI will start ...

Effectively Using Excel for Analyzing MS Project Data

MS Project (MSP) is an excellent tool for preparing and tracking project schedules. Excel is also a great tool for analyzing any type of data. So, which one should you use for schedule analysis? You p...

Six Data Points Needed to Create a Great Project Communication Plan

Even before children learn to walk, they start to communicate. Human beings have the inherent gift of communication. It is the most basic part of our daily lives. But, what is there to plan in communi...

Importing Data from Excel to MS Project

MS Excel is a generic tool that can be used in many situations. In terms of project management, it is an average tool for preparing project schedules, at best. It is generally believed that MS Project...

Top Five MS Project Scheduling Mistakes

I’ve been covering a variety of MS Project (MSP) tips and guidelines in my last few articles. This time, I thought I’d write about the most common errors found in MSP schedules. When I started using M...

A Beginners Guide to Baselining a Project

Throughout my career as a project manager, I have been through many project audits, but the first one is etched in my memory. During that first audit as a PM, I was asked to show the Microsoft Project...

The Best Ten Microsoft Project Tips for Beginners

There is an old adage which says, “Well begun is half done.” It means that once you start something well, the rest will become easier, and it’s especially true when learning Microsoft Project (MSP). I...

How to Correctly Setup Actual Dates in MS Project

How do you expect MS Project (MSP) to behave when you enter an Actual Start date for a task? You would likely expect it to store the date in the ‘Actual Start’ field and stop there, but MSP does somet...

Milestone Reporting Using Gantt Charts in MS Project

Gantt charts are very popular with project managers and senior managers. They are primarily used to create and communicate project schedules but they can also be used for preparing status reports and ...

Four Ways to Customize the Gantt Chart in MS Project

Gantt chart is the default view in MS Project. Since the inception of MS Project (MSP), Microsoft engineers have used Gantt chart as the default, although I have often wondered why they didn’t choose ...

PMO Best Practices: 7 Steps for Better Schedule Management

A few years ago, I was hired as a Project Management Office (PMO) consultant for a software products company. My assignment was to setup their PMO, implement best practices, and oversee projects for t...

A Beginner’s Guide to Resource Leveling in MS Project

How would you feel about someone else doing a job for you and not charging you a penny? I am sure we’ve all had moments when this would sound pretty good, but what if this person botched up the job or...

Resource Leveling: How Can You Use it in Project Management?

A person inexperienced in project management may think that resource leveling is a method of making use of resources having the same height. Most experienced project managers know that it is a resourc...

A New Look at MS Project Task Types: Fixed Duration and Effort Driven

What would you think if you were steering your car right, but it turned left, as if it had a mind of its own? You would probably curse the machine and say it is not meant for you. You might also think...

How to Use Forward and Backward Pass for Activity Assignments

I’m sure you know that a good schedule is critical for the project success. However, did you know that network diagrams are extremely important for creating a good project schedule? In my experience, ...

Do NOT Resolve Project Risks for Good Career Growth

Having been a project manager for all of my working life and now a teacher of project management skills for more than a decade, I always tell my students to follow sound project management principles ...

Why Time Constraint is the Most Important Project Management Constraint

Frederick P. Brooks Jr., in his famous book, The Mythical Man-Month, wrote, “Adding human resources to a late software project makes it later.” His statement is popularly known as Brooks&#...

Can Project Duration Estimation be done without Assumptions?

One of the most frequently asked questions when someone is about to start a new task is likely, “how much time will it take?” Time is limited. Our lives are limited, and unfortunately, we just cannot ...

Why Most Project Managers Fail to Differentiate Between Risks and Issues

Jason’s face was totally blank and his eyes were still. He looked completely disinterested in the proceedings. Jason (name changed) is a senior project manager with a small IT services company based i...

Why You Should Add Microsoft Project Visual Reports to Your PM Toolkit

Do you understand how to use Visual Reports in Microsoft Project? In my experience, seldom do project managers use any kind of Project reports — let alone the visual ones — even when they ...

6 Practical Scenarios Where Excel Import is Useful

I’m a software engineer by education. In 1997 I was working for a software development company, managing small software projects with the help of a small team. In the same year, I was introduced...

8 Places where Microsoft Excel Scores for Project Management

Which tool would you use for project scheduling — Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel? I’m guessing your answer (like mine) would be Project. It has many inherent advantages over Excel. (...

Rethink Your Project Risk Management Strategy

If I were to ask you what your project management risk strategy was, would you respond something like this? “Duh! We will deal with the problem when it comes.” In my experience, that is th...