What is missing in the PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition Collect Requirements process?

PMBOK® Guide Fourth EditionI applaud the new Collect Requirements process in the Project Scope Management knowledge area of the PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition. Although eight tools and techniques were listed, I did not see practical tips to discern the advantages and disadvantages of each tool or technique. Such guidelines would have been useful for project managers when deciding which tool or technique to use. I am hoping to see it on the next edition.

Interviews—ideal if you have few stakeholders who are all located in one place; the disadvantage is it takes too much time to do

Focus groups, facilitated workshops, group creativity techniques and group decision making techniques—project managers should watch out for groupthink

Questionnaires and surveys—potential problems with low response rates

Existing stuff—valuable source of requirements; not even mentioned in the PMBOK Guide

What do you think? Please click on the comment link to share your thoughts.

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Are you a dinosaur project manager?

Certified Dinosaur Project Manager (CDPM)There are 25 statements below. Give yourself the following points for each statement:

0 – Do not agree
1 – Agree or somewhat agree
2 – Do not understand or unsure

Be very honest and rate each statement truthfully. Do not skip a statement. As a project manager, you:

  1. Write a project charter using a word processor
  2. Manually transform scope into requirements
  3. Manage project risks using a spreadsheet
  4. Primarily use dashboards to share weekly status
  5. Use sticky notes (Post-it®) to create a WBS
  6. Share project documentation on network drives
  7. Your team cannot access issue logs anywhere
  8. Perform brainstorming sessions using a whiteboard
  9. Use e-mail then phone to quickly get answers
  10. Do not use three-point estimating all the time
  11. Have not used a wiki for knowledge management
  12. Do not have a LinkedIn or Twitter account
  13. Have not used Skype on a conference call
  14. Have not recorded a conference call
  15. Believe in triple-constraints (scope, time and cost)
  16. Have not heard of the PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition
  17. Think that PRINCE2 is a new music album
  18. Know that CBAP® (“c-bop”) is the latest PRINCE2® dance move
  19. Do not know the latest versions of PMI standards
  20. Have not heard of CAPM®
  21. Have not heard of PMP®
  22. Have not heard of PgMP®
  23. Have not heard of PMI-RMP℠
  24. Have not heard of PMI-SP®
  25. Cannot be away from the office for more than one week

If you scored 20+, you are a Certified Dinosaur Project Manager (CDPM)! If you scored 15-19 points, it will not be long before you earn the CDPM designation. If you scored 10-14 points, you need to upgrade your skills. If you scored lower than 10 points, good for you!

  1. Write a project charter using a word processor—use Mindjet’s MindManager and export the mind map into Microsoft Word
  2. Manually transform scope into requirements—use Mindjet’s MindManager, Compuware’s Optimal Trace or IBM Telelogic DOORS and then export the contents into Microsoft Word
  3. Manage project risks using a spreadsheet—use Palisade @Risk or some other software
  4. Primarily use dashboards to share weekly status— In Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, there is a feature called “My Site” and the discussion board can be used as a Wall (similar to Facebook). A special thank you to my Filipino friend, former colleague and SharePoint expert Dux. You can use MBWA too (Management by Wandering Around).
  5. Use sticky notes (Post-it®) to create a WBS—use WBS Chart Pro from Critical Tools. Mindjet’s MindManager will work also but I prefer the bidirectional feature of WBS Chart Pro.
  6. Share project documentation on network drives—we use SharePoint but you can use Google Docs too
  7. Your team cannot access issue logs anywhere—we use NetResults Tracker, a web-based collaboration tool
  8. Perform brainstorming sessions using a whiteboard—use Mindjet’s MindManager
  9. Use e-mail then phone to quickly get answers—we use Microsoft Office Communicator but you can also use Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, etc.
  10. Do not use three-point estimating all the time—this is a built-in feature of Microsoft Office Project. Use it to make your estimates more accurate.
  11. Have not used a wiki for knowledge management—Why not?
  12. Do not have a LinkedIn or Twitter account—Why not?
  13. Have not used Skype on a conference call—Why not?
  14. Have not recorded a conference call—I use OnConference (records slides and voice). Other alternatives include WebEx and GoToMeeting with Camtasia.
  15. Believe in triple-constraints (scope, time and cost)—that is like, so, yesterday! Read the new PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition.
  16. Have not heard of the PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition—Where have you been in the past year or so?
  17. Think that PRINCE2 is a new music album—no it is not!
  18. Know that CBAP® (“c-bop”) is the latest PRINCE2® dance move—no it is not! Now, I know why your project requirements are so screwed up.
  19. Do not know the latest versions of PMI standards—Go to pmi.org and update your knowledge!
  20. Have not heard of CAPM®—Go to pmi.org and update your knowledge!
  21. Have not heard of PMP®—Go to pmi.org and update your knowledge!
  22. Have not heard of PgMP®—Go to pmi.org and update your knowledge!
  23. Have not heard of PMI-RMP℠—Go to pmi.org and update your knowledge!
  24. Have not heard of PMI-SP®—Go to pmi.org and update your knowledge!
  25. Cannot be away from the office for more than one week—You mean you do not have remote access?

Please click here to share your results.

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