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Ronald Smith

@ronbriansmithyahoo-com

active 2 weeks, 4 days ago

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. 

Picking a Project Management Methodology

The Essence of an Approach Organizations that perform IT projects may select a project management methodology that follows the same system of practices, policies, procedures, techniques, and rules as ...

How to Improve Your SWAG

When I turned eighteen, I ran away from a disconnected home and joined the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Periodically, I heard the term “SWAG” from officers and didn’t understand what they were ta...

Timesavers 2.0

My first article on the topic of “Timesavers” was published about two months ago. I covered many of Project’s data manipulation tools and best practices for setting up easy access to different command...

Exploring the Virtues of Inactivating Tasks

The Benefits of Documenting Nice-to-work Tasks Microsoft Project (MSP) comes in two editions, Professional and Standard. The Professional version costs almost twice as much as the Standard, but it com...

MS Project: An Ever-Evolving Solution

From DOS to Windows 10 I started using Microsoft Project (MSP) in its earliest DOS beginnings around 1986, and it reminded me of Microsoft’s Excel. In other words, I initially felt Project was a subse...

Timesavers

Saving Time with Tips, Keyboard Shortcuts, and Macros. Project has many data manipulation tools and ways to set up easy access to different commands. Implementing these shortcuts will allow you to wor...

Managing Multiple Projects

There have been times throughout my career that I was given a “project,” but soon realized that it was really a group of related projects or a portfolio. In MS Project, a master project (or consolidat...

Merging Project By-Products

Imagine putting a fifty-piece puzzle together that depicts an overview of a typical project. Each puzzle piece is like an artifact or one of the tangible by-products developed during the timeline of a...

Starting a PMO

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 man...

Lift Positive Risk-Taking

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...

The 20-Percent Startup Solution

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 follo...

Red Flags, Blue Lessons

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 ...

Why Impartial Testing is a Non-Negotiable

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 ...

A Short History of Project Management

  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...

The Shape of Performance Reporting

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 ...

Don’t Turn your Critical Path into a Slippery Path

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 understandi...

Four Misconceptions about the Critical Path

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 ho...

Split It Out (Part 2)

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. L...

Split It Out (Part 1)

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 proj...

No Pain, No Gain?

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 ex...

Integrated Change Control

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 ...

Outsourcing Done Wrong

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 ...

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

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 projec...

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

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 r...

Reshaping Project Managers for the Future: Part 2

Upcoming Movements in Project Management and How You Can Prepare   We started to discuss in Part 1 of this article what project management opportunities are ahead and how PMs can be getting ready...

Reshaping Project Managers for the Future: Part 1

Upcoming Movements in Project Management and How You Can Prepare Have you found yourself wondering what project management opportunities are ahead and how you could be getting ready? We know most whit...

Project Portfolio Selection Using NPV (Part 2)

Turning the whole system into something greater than the sum of its parts   In the first part of my article, we covered how the selection of projects is crucial to Project Portfolio Management (P...

Project Portfolio Selection Using NPV (Part 1)

Turning the whole system into something greater than the sum of its parts   A crucial part of Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is the selection of projects. This is an ongoing dynamic process. ...

An Agile Attitude: Part 2

In Part 1, we looked at the history of Agile and the Waterfall vs. Agile model. Now, I’d like to pick up where we left off and consider how MSP is adapting to more and more organizations implementing ...

An Agile Attitude: Part 1

Implementing Agile can be challenging but rewarding Implementing Agile can be very challenging for many organizations (especially in Waterfall development cultures), but at the same time, it can be re...