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AFRICABIZ VOL 1 - ISSUE: 62
JUNE 15 - JULY 14, 2004
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Editor: Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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- IT TOOLS TO BRIDGE THE DEVELOPING GAP - PROJECT MANAGEMENT (PM) - DESKTOP OR WEBSITE CLIENTS

To manage a team to successful achievements, a team-leader, in any line of business, needs to distribute tasks to team's members, follow up implementation, coordinate, reassign tasks if necessary and finally control completion of tasks in accordance with project's deadline - all that within the fraework of allocated budget.

In addition to leadership's qualities of having a global vision of the project to implement, knowing how to delegate tasks to staff members, to motivate and to sanction when necessary and to communicate well with customers, a team leader will succeed in implementing projects only if information flows smoothly from his desk to team's members and if he gets feedback from them timely and in appropriate reports.

Example of a Gantt ChartHenry Laurence Gantt (1861-1919), an American engineer was the first to establish the mathematical theory of a chart (known as Gantt chart) that depicts progress in relation to time, often used in planning and tracking a project. (Sample at the left side.)

The more complex a project environment (number of people involved, number of decision's levels, number of interrelated projects, number of manufacturers. Etc.,) the hardest to have a precise and accurate Gantt chart.

That was before personal computer revolution a century ago - that is before the 1980's! Now things are relatively easier and any one who cares for the success of his project, in any line of business, should have the right project management software package. Click here for a Free Gantt Chart Software

There are plenty of PM software available out there in the World Wild Web. Established brand names like Microsoft Project, Intellisys Inc., InterPlan Systems Inc. This page list several of these packages and this one provides sounds vendors and analysts' reports

If you would like to have a degree in Project Management, Villanova University provides excellent online courses that cover the following learning: 1- Project Management. 2- Project Management IS / IT. 3- Six Sigma. 4- Contact Management. 5- Strategic Organizational Learning. 6- Human Resource Professional. 7- Financing / Account for nonprofessional Financial Manager. Villanova University's Information Request Sheet is Here

- FREE DESKTOP OR WEBSITE PM CLIENTS ARE AVAILABLE

African policy makers should embrace project management to master the complex problems involved in implementing successful developing schemes in African countries. Every decision maker in sub-Saharan African countries governments should have access to PM software packages either as desktop utility or as website end client. This is not a luxury. It is a must have to be able to perform well developing projects.

There are excellent website end PM clients that are free to use. Let us mention AceProject from WebSystems Inc., which Hosted Basis package is free to use for unlimited time. Another free package is ProjectEngine. Project Engine drives the workflow of an entire project. It is a reliable, scalable and secure solution for projects ranging from a single user to several from large organization or corporation. The system manages tasks and assignments, schedules events, encourages work breakdown and delegation and improves the accuracy of time estimation.

Africa's policy and decision makers have all these PM free tools at their disposal to bridge the developing gap; making sure that projects are professionally implemented, scarce funds efficiently allocated and rare human resource well organized to reaching the target.

MORE ON PROJECT'S MANAGEMENT
1- Project Management:
A Systems Approach to Planning,
Scheduling and Controlling
By Harold Kezner
2- Effective Project Management
Traditional, Adaptive, Extreme - Third Edition
By Robert K. Wysocki and Rudd McGary
3- The Complete Project Management Office Handbook
By Gerard M. Hill
4- A Guide to the Project Management
Body of Knowledge
- 2000 Edition
By Project Management Institute
5- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management
By Sunny Baker, et al
6- Project Management: The Managerial Process with CD-ROM for Student
By Clifford F. Gray, Erik W. Larson
7- Achieving Project Management Success
Using Virtual Teams
By Parviz F. Rad
8- Strategic Planning for Project Management Using a Project Management Maturity Model / By Harold Kerzner

About Six Sigma: Six Sigma is a measure of quality that strives for near perfection. The Six Sigma process uses data and rigorous statistical analysis to identify "defects" in a process or product, reduce variability, and achieve as close to zero defects as possible. Using a universal measurement scale, Six Sigma defines and estimates the opportunities for error and calculates defects in the same way every time, thus offering a means for measuring improvement. Six Sigma takes its name from the Greek letter "sigma," which is used in statistics to indicate standard deviation.

For more on X Sigma Project Management Click here for: Design for Six Sigma: A Roadmap for Product Development

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