10 Essential Project Management Skills

1. Leadership

We have to start with the big daddy of them all – leadership. It’s a bit of a slippery skill in that some believe you’re born with leadership skills and that they can’t be taught. But we think everyone has the potential to learn how to apply proven leadership skills and techniques. After all, what’s the alternative? As a project manager you’re responsible not only for seeing the project through to a successful completion, but you’re leading a team to achieve that goal. This requires you to motivate and mediate when necessary. Remember that project leadership comes in different styles, one of which will suit your personality. It’s more than managing tasks; it’s managing people.

2. Communication

Communications really go hand-in-glove with leadership. You can’t be an effective leader if you’re not able to articulate what it is you need your team to do. But you’re not only going to be communicating with your team, you’ll need to have clear communications with everyone associated with the project, from vendors and contractors to stakeholders and customers. Whether that’s through reporting tools or fostering collaboration with chat, file sharing, and other means to tag discussions at the task level, you’re going to need both systems in place to facilitate communications. These tools also help connect people one-to-one and in group settings, such as meetings and presentations.

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(RADIO INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT) IMPORTANCE OF CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS TO YOUR CAREER

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Radio Presenter: Good morning. Today we are going to be discussing Importance of Certification in Career Development.

With us are Mary Adebusoye, she’s the General Manager of Ciel Consulting. Also with us is Obalim Esedebe - Senior Consultant of Ciel Consulting. Ciel Consulting is a Globally recognised training and certifications firm, with portfolios covering training, certifications, and consulting in Project Management, Business Analysis, Safety Courses, HR courses and IT Courses like ITIL, CEH and CISSP..

(Turns to the Ciel Team and asks)

So Mr. Obalim, I hear a lot about professional training and certifications. The trend and enthusiasm about these training have been on the increase in the last 5 years. Why the mad rush? What exactly is the value of these training and certifications? Why should I invest my time, effort and perhaps effort to get these certifications?

Obalim: Firstly, you would agree with me that having an ordinary university degree is never enough in today’s competitive world. In your career, you’ll be in stiff competition with people with advanced degrees, certifications and even foreign degrees of all sorts. The question is “what “extra” do you have to give you the advantage in your career?

When you consider the opportunities the world offers the certified professional, you’ll understand why a lot of people go for these certification programs. Firstly, there’s the income advantage. Certified professionals earn 20 - 25% on average more than their peers in the same industry. Then there’s more employment and promotion opportunities, not to talk about job security. You get to execute your work more effectively and efficiently, and become more noticeable to management. Then there’s international/global recognition for your certification, anywhere in the world. This would come in handy if you decide to relocate or migrate to any country of the world.

Radio Presenter: You raised a very important point. Speaking about global recognition and migration - I know a number of people who traveled to the US or Canada and had difficulty getting good jobs. Would you say not having a certification caused this prolonged period of difficulty?

Mary: Honestly, you cannot totally remove that factor. It’s unfortunate that our university degrees in Nigeria are not globally recognized. According to the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, there’s no local Nigerian university in the list of the top 600 universities in the world. This means that holding our degrees translate into more difficulty securing good jobs overseas. So basically, it would be to your advantage to have a certificate, academic or professional, that is globally recognized. Anywhere in the world, if you hold a PMP, or a CBAP, or a PHRI, professionals in that field instantly recognize you. The international labour market instantly recognizes you. These professional bodies have networking communities that can form the foundation for your networking activities. What’s there to lose? And we’ve not even started talking about the “Hot Cake” factor.

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Radio Presenter: The “Hot Cake” factor? What’s that?

Obalim: There are numbers of awesome certification programs that pay wonderfully well in Canada and other Western countries. Business Analysts for instance earn between 80, 281 to 136, 400 Canadian dollars a year. Certified HR Managers earn as high as 130 000 Canadian dollars. They earn this much because these certifications - like business analysis, project management, human resources management and a number of these IT courses are very much in demand, owing to the nature of the business environment there. In fact, in the last 3 years, when we looked at data from our training programs, about 73% of training and certification participants were doing it, because they had plans or arrangements to relocate overseas. So a certification becomes a plus factor, and added attractiveness factor on their profiles.

Radio Presenter: Oh I see. So tell me; if I want to take a certification program, why should I come for Ciel Consulting. What is it I’d get from you that I can’t get from the numerous consulting outfits scattered around Lagos?

Mary: Firstly, our training and certification package is full and considers the end-to-end needs of our clients/participants. Yes, we provide training, but that’s just a small part of the package. And then you receive first-rate examination preparation materials (totaling about N60000 in value), you get to learn introductory Primavera, Project and Visio on the last day, depending on the program you applied for, you get a study program to maximize your study for the exam, and then exam preparation tests or boot-camp where we introduce you to as much past questions from the PMP/BA so that you are familiar with exam scenarios, and we also help with examination registration, career advice and CV rewrite.

Radio Presenter: Wait a minute. All of this is in one package?

Obalim: Yes. And there’s the added promise that if you come in for our classes and you’re not satisfied with what you get, we will give you a 100% refund of your money. That’s guaranteed!!!

Radio Presenter: Wonderful...so how much does this package go for?

Obalim: It goes for only N69, 999 - the classes, the materials, including and examination preparation book, the career consulting, CV rewrite, examination registration, study program, Primavera, MS Project. For the Project Management package, it’s N69, 999. There’s also a package for Business Analysis, HRM, HSE, Facility Management and so forth. All of these can be accessed on our website, www. Cielgr.com, or you could call our helplines: 08091592389, or 08072678355.

Watch out for This Weeks Edition, Thursday 28th March. Thanks for listening in.

9 Important Documents created by every Business Analyst (Part 2)

Documentation is one of the integral job functions of a business analyst and he, throughout the course of a project, prepares many documents. These documents are created to fulfill the varied project needs and cater to audiences belonging to different spheres of a project.

The type and specifications a business analyst is expected to create in an organization depends upon many parameters like organization’s processes and policies, need and expectations of the business, and the stakeholder requirements. Detailed below are the common documents a business analyst is expected to create and they are extensively used throughout the course of a project. Each of these documents has a specific template and it’s a part of the overall project documentation. The documents are:

  • Project vision Document

  • Requirement Management Plan

  • User stories

  • Use cases

  • Business Requirement Document

  • Requirement traceability matrix (RTM)

  • Functional requirement specification (FRS)/ Functional Specification Document (FSD)

  • System requirement specification (SRS)/ System Requirement Document (SRD)

  • Test case

Let’s discuss the second part of these documents in details, as we discussed 4 of these important documents last week.

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9 Important Documents created by every Business Analyst (Part 1)

Documentation is one of the integral job functions of a business analyst and he, throughout the course of a project, prepares many documents. These documents are created to fulfill the varied project needs and cater to audiences belonging to different spheres of a project.

The type and specifications a business analyst is expected to create in an organization depends upon many parameters like organization’s processes and policies, need and expectations of the business, and the stakeholder requirements. Detailed below are the common documents a business analyst is expected to create and they are extensively used throughout the course of a project. Each of these documents has a specific template and it’s a part of the overall project documentation. The documents are:

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How to Identify and Source Business Needs for Analysis

Business analysis work begins with the discovery of a business need. Business needs are problems or opportunities of strategic importance to the organisation.

A good example of a business need that can trigger a comprehensive BA work would be: customers from certain parts of the world experiencing slow performance on a website that they have paid to have access to premium content.

If the complaints reach a certain level, they can become business needs that may trigger an assessment for possible changes.

According to the BABOK, business needs can come from a variety of internal and/or external sources including the following below.

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8 Essential Business Analysis Questions for a Successful Elicitation Session

“Guiding” elicitation means to think of the right questions to ask to obtain the desired outcomes from elicitation.

To achieve this clarity and focus, the business analyst needs to keep 8 important questions in mind while conducting his elicitation sessions. Think of these as the “eight essential business analysis questions.”

They are:

1.       What are my elicitation activity goals and agenda?

2.      What is the scope of the change?

3.      What type of output will each activity produce?

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How Do I Gain Experience as a Business Analysis (BA) Experience?

How Do I Gain Experience as a Business Analysis (BA) Experience?

This article is written to clarify questions I receive concerning how experience can be accumulated or built up for examination and work purposes.

In my years of experience, I’ve noticed that the best way to build experience as a business analyst would be to work as a Business Analyst. There is no other way. You learn best by doing the task you intend to build experience in.

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What are the Differentiating Benefits of Getting Professionally Certified?

What are the Differentiating Benefits of Getting Professionally Certified?

There are very noticeable differences between a certified and non-certified individuals that provide them marked advantages over their peers in the course of their careers. These major differences are highlighted by processes by which organizations decide what candidates to pick or reject during competitive selection procedures – e.g. recruitment, promotions, selection for overseas trips, or decision to fire during recessionary downtrends.

Some of these major differences are:

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A RACI MATRIX: What Does that Even Mean?

A RACI MATRIX: What Does that Even Mean?

A RACI matrix, also known as Responsibility Assignment Matrix is a very powerful tool used to ensure that roles and processes in a company are well aligned. As you go through the various process steps (or activity), it enables you assign responsibilities to all the roles involved. It provides understanding about how to relate with personnel with respect to the various processes in the flow.

A discussion about roles and responsibility can help facilitate stakeholder understanding of various roles and responsibilities, as well as how the Project Manager should relate with them in the light of these definitions.

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Difference between Babok V2.0 and Babok V3.0

Babok V3.0 was released in April 2015. On the release of Babok V3.0 Plenty of questions had crossed my mind, including:

  • Will the IIBA require people with existing CBAP or CCBA certifications to recertify?

  • How much has actually changed?

  • Which is easier to understand?

  • Which is more practicable and encompassing?

  • How will this affect Business Analysis career in the future?

 I’ll give you a glimpse into some of the changes here and I hope that it will help answer some questions for you.

My candid opinion on your Business analysis Exam and highly anticipated BABOK V3

The latest information from the BBC 2014 reports that the BABOK v3 will not be available until April 2015. The target date for the release was originally late 2014 and the exam change was estimated to occur by June-2015.

However, now that the BABOK version 3 is not coming out until April, you’ll have more time to study under the BABOK version 2, since the new version 3 exam is not likely to come out until about 6 months after the BABOK V3 is released. Now we can expect the exam change around October or November 2015.

IIBA Business Analysis CBAP/CCBA FAQ

All you need to know about IIBA Business analysis, the CBAP and CCBA exams

. What are the CBAP and CCBA Certifications?

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®), has created the Certified Business Analysis Professional® (CBAP) and Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA), credentials awarded to candidates who have successfully demonstrated their expertise in this field.

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