PMITip - PMI's Inputs and Outputs

If trying to pass the PMP Exam, or also if just generally following the PMI Methodology, you will know that main framework has 5 Process Groups and 10 Knowledge Areas.  This is a foundational platform from which all project and business management can follow (no matter what industry, all departments and all sizes of projects ($1,000 to $100 million).

The beautiful thing about these Process Groups is that they explain how to "flow" through a project or business event (Initiate, Plan, Execute, Close and continual Monitoring and Controlling throughout) similar to phases or stages.  And then while flowing through the project, you have Knowledge Areas that are similar to having sub-plans within the project, which include: Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, HR, Communications, Risks, Integration, Procurement, Stakeholders.

However, to take things one more step into the details, each Knowledge area in turn is broken down into Inputs, Tools and Techniques, and Outputs.  Often the Inputs and Outputs do not get a lot of recognition, the focus is usually the tools and techniques.  It can be noted that they also have much overlap with tools that have been around for decades and come from the TQM movement - from guys like Demming, Juran, Crosby, Taguchi, etc.
The three parts can be defined as;
  • Inputs - items that will be acted on
  • Tools and techniques - mechanisms applied to the inputs to create the outputs
  • Outputs - items that are a result of the process
If you are writing the PMP exam, you should know the inputs/output in addition to the tools and techniques. For detailed lists/matrix/presentations, check out the links below:

Presentation - Amit Gupta
Presentations - University of Luton

Matrix - Proplan

visual of the iPhone app

NOTE:  there are also apps on the iPhone or Android that help you memorize the inputs and outputs, just conduct a search for PMI and you will be find several tools to support your studies.
Good Luck :)

PMTip - Humour as a strategy

When we face those tough audiences, they put up barriers so your message will not get through.  Each of us develops our own techniques to get through or around those barriers. A great technique is always humour, simple, globally accepted across all roles, ages, industries, we need to utilize it more often.

A couple quotes from an article from Forbes:
Kerr says dozens of surveys suggest that humor can be at least one of the keys to success.
- found that 91% of executives believe a sense of humor is important for career advancement;
- while 84% feel that people with a good sense of humor do a better job.
- found that the two most desirable traits in leaders were a strong work ethic and a good sense of humor.
At an organizational level, some organizations are tapping into what I’d call ‘the humor advantage,’” Kerr says. You don’t have to be a stand-up comedian, she adds, “but well-placed humor that is clever and apropos to a business situation always enhances an employee’s career.”

For full article, goto:  Forbes - humour at work

REMEMBER, humour can also backfire, so ensure it is " Tasteful and Well-Placed Humour that aligns with your Culture"

Attached below are a few good images that you can save and reuse for that: kick off a meeting, sensitive meeting, creative thinking session, change in plans announcement, etc.

At the link below, you can see more cartoons from Harvard Business Review and even their competition if you'd like to join....

PMTip - Change vs Rules (Oprah vs Arnold)

Couple leadership videos from contrasting individuals.  One about Change (be open & adaptable), the other about Rules (have discipline and follow). 

As always, the true path to success is know oneself and acquire as many tools and opinions as you can, then  you decide what works!!!

Oprah Winfrey
When do we know to accept the change in direction and then act on it.  How much stress do we put on the change in plans. We need to see the change event occur, not see it as failure, then understand that it is a way to point us in a new direction, then act on it with full spirit (take the energy and move forward - don't let the grapplers hold you down - they want to live in the past).
  • There are no mistakes
  • We all have a supreme destiny, a true path and direction that we are on
  • When we feel it, listen and know and understand it, we will get on the right track and that is when things really happen in life.
  • When we don’t listen, we can get on a wrong path, but then eventually we get back on the right path
  • Failure is simply the way to get us back onto the path.
  • Life is bigger then one experience, the losses are when we are off the track and help to wake us up
  • One message when you are at the end to give to your younger self, is to relax, it all will work out
  • When you stray off course, that is normal, the key is to figure out how to get through the challenge and what is the next right move to get back on course.  Then you can see life is cumulative going off course and finding your way back (is just how you drive in this thing called life).   
  • One challenge is just a moment in time, the failures and challenges we have help us know we need to steer back to our path and our true direction of life.


Arnold Schwarzenegger

What is the secret to success, is available to all of us but needs discipline and focus, so rules need to be made and adhered to through the easy and the tough times, follow rules consistently and in detail and success will follow:

  • Trust yourself, believe in yourself
  • Break the rules (not the law) and think outside the box
  • Don’t be afraid to fail, are you willing to fail, don’t be paralyzed by fear
  • Don’t listen to the naysayers, cant do it, never done before
  • Work your but off, when you feel pain – that is when it really counts
  • Give back, find the time to help others for true satisfaction

Tools - Safety Methods & Priorities

To ensure a safe working environment, often we think what we wear is very important and should be prioritized.  Incorrect - that is your LAST line of defense against injury/accident.  

The order (in sequence) of priority for safety lines of defence includes:
1 - safety hazard awareness
2 - safety hazard elimination
3 - mechanical controls
4 - safe work processes
5 - PPE
Supporting details for safety methods include:
  • Awareness and elimination – ensure there is a systematic approach to identify the hazards that exist for the job at hand.  Hazards (risks) will change depending on the variables at the time (e.g. time of day, weather, team members, urgency, mind set, etc).  Take every step possible to eliminate the hazard or if not possible to lessen the probability, impact and/or cause.  Conduct safety shares as part of a regular practice in meetings and work events.
  • Cleanliness and Organized work space – a sign of how work is done is evident in how clean and organized your work area is.
  • Condition of your tools – tool condition and functionality needs to be monitored and managed (replace/repair/etc) e.g. a dull knife hurts more people then a sharp knife.
  • Mechanical Controls – where or whenever possible, ensure the equipment utilized has all protective devices or constraints properly working and installed.  Investigate if the device can be designed or set-up to eliminate or lessen accident or injury.  If additional safety barriers/constraints/etc can be installed ensure an analysis is conducted to weigh the options.  Note:  ensure that the device is not outside manufactured specifications.
  • Safety processes – develop a systematic approach to ensure the work is completed in a safe and reliable manner.  Develop policies, programs, procedures, tools, templates, techniques, etc.  Base the processes on Occupational Health and Safety legislation, global standards, best practices, past experiences, associations, industry communities, etc.  Incorporate quality management system attributes into the safety system.
  • Personnel protective equipment (PPE) – this equipment is standardized for the specific type of job that will be completed.  Examples of the basic equipment needed includes:
    • hard hat;
    • safety glasses with side shields;
    • ear plugs;
    • respirators;
    • protective coveralls/jackets/gloves;
    • harnesses;
    • protective boots.
  • Safety equipment – safety nets, shields, support bracing, fire protection, warning devices, etc.
  • Reviews – formalized inspections or checks of equipment, material, vehicles, tools, PPE, etc.
  • Safety communications – consistent types of communication that all stakeholders are aware of and is commonly displayed (signs, reference cards, etc).  Examples include:
    • site signs and billboards;
    • office memo boards;
    • tool box meetings;
    • internal websites;
    • high risk areas;
    • safety meetings;
    • memos.
  • Training and education – as required, specific training for complex work or equipment or hazardous material should be planned for and delivered.  This is closely aligned with the level of experience and expertise of the resources.  Training can be formal (in class, away from site, conferences, on-site spot tests) or informal (coaching, shadowing, mentoring, lunch and learns, document reviews).
    • Safety inspections – inspections can take several forms, including: ones that are planned and all parties are aware of;
    • on the spot surprise inspections;
    • internal inspections;
    • 3rd party inspections.
  • Accident investigations – it is critical that every accident be clearly identified, assessed, analyzed, documented and reviewed by parties involved and other SMEs.  Generally insurance companies require some level of investigation.  The information gathered should be detailed enough to ensure lessons are learned from it and it does not happen again.
  • Medical facilities – plans should exist to deal with all potential accidents.  Generally it depends on the severity of the accident.  Trained personnel should be on site to assess the severity and this will determine the speed and location of the facility to be utilized.  At the site there should be clearly identified medical tools (e.g. first aid equipment, stretchers, eyewash equipment, etc) and a medical station (protected from the environment) and a vehicle (or set of vehicles and detailed processes) to take the injured person to an off-site medical facility if required.
  • Drug testing – to ensure employees are not influenced by drugs and more prone to accidents, many organizations conduct random or standardized drug testing.  This helps to enforce strict standards of drug usage.