To create a project management plan, first put together a high overview of the basics of your project, including the project’s scope, schedule and budget. Next, build on those basics to write an executive summary. Then, add a project timeline, risk assessment, stakeholder chart, communication plan and resource management plan to your executive summary. Lastly, gather and incorporate stakeholders’ insights to perfect and create buy-in for your plan.
Your project’s baselines should first focus on the project’s scope, then the project’s schedule and, finally, its budget. The result should be a high overview that will inform the rest of your planning process. To complete this step, answer the following questions:
An executive summary should include a definition of your project, your project’s value proposition, including the problem your project addresses and its solution, milestones and their deliverables, scope limits―and the consequences for changing these limits―goals and financial breakdown. Use the answers to the questions posed in step one to put together your executive summary.
As the face of your project before stakeholders, your executive summary should be visually appealing and succinct. Columns and visuals should break it up to make it easy to read quickly. One great tool for creating an attractive and succinct summary is a Canva executive summary template. You can customize a template to match your brand and add your content, then either download your executive summary or share it in link form.
To begin, sign up for Canva for free, then use the search box titled “What will you design?” for “executive summary” and press “enter.” Click the appropriate template for your purposes and brand, then use the tools on the left-hand side of the enlarged template to customize its colors, text and images. Add pages by clicking the plus sign at the top right-hand corner of the template and proceed to add text and customizations to complete your summary.
The best way to plot your project’s timeline is with a Gantt chart. A Gantt chart is a visual representation of what activities you plan to begin and complete and when. These activities are usually small chunks or milestones of your completed project. They also formulate the scope of your project, helping to reduce scope creep later on. Gantt charts are often the easiest to use to plot your timeline.
It is important to note expected dependencies on your Gantt chart. A dependency happens when one activity on a timeline must be completed before team members can go on to the next one. For example, a prototype needs to be completed before a focus group analysis of the prototype can take place. Thus, these two activities are dependent. Also note independent activities that can be completed even as other activities are underway, thereby saving time.
Pro tip: An easy way to note dependencies and independent activities is via color-coding. Arrows drawn on your Gantt chart can also help to pinpoint dependencies.
While Canva does offer Gantt charts to plot your project’s timeline, there are also platforms that specialize in producing Gantt chart software. Not only can this software help you put together your Gantt chart, but it can then help you stay on track with its timeline and avoid scope creep once your project begins via task descriptions and automations. If paying for such a service isn’t in your project’s budget, you can also create a Gantt chart in Excel or Google Sheets.
With your project activities recorded on your timeline, define who will be responsible for each activity. Your plan serves as a guiding star to all stakeholders involved in your project, so it’s best to record responsible parties in an intuitive chart. Create a project team chart to show who will be involved in completing the project and for which activities each is responsible. For collaboration ease, also note who each person is accountable to and their contact information.
Canva offers organizational or team chart templates you can use to customize for the needs of your project. Search “organizational chart” using the search bar in your Canva account. Click the chart that best suits your project and brand needs. Then, use the design menu to upload pictures of your team members, customize colors and replace template text to offer the data your stakeholders need for easy collaboration during the life of your project.
Your risk assessment should begin with a list of obstacles that could impact your team’s ability to complete the project on time negatively at all and with the desired quality. It should then create a plan for each risk by addressing what might trigger the risk, steps that lend to risk prevention and how to mitigate a risk should it happen. Finally, it should assign stakeholders to manage risk triggers, prevention and mitigation. Some teams use a SWOT analysis to help identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in this stage.
To dive into each risk, answer the following questions:
As you assigned responsible parties for each project activity, you likely selected people who had expertise in the areas in which their assigned activities fall. For example, if you assigned the graphic design of a marketing project to a team member, that person is likely a graphic designer. Their expertise is invaluable in assessing graphic design risks and their prevention and mitigation steps. Lean on your team for this expertise, and then implement their suggestions.
Two key subplans you should include in your project management plan are a resource and communications management plan. Your resource sub plan should list what resources are needed to complete your project and their availability. Your communications plan should include how your team will communicate one-on-one and team-wide.
A resource subplan can be completed in project management software. You can create columns for estimated expenses and other needed resources broken down by milestones, such as raw products and talent. Other customizable resource reports are available within the software and automatically kept up to date. Wrike, for example, offers customizable reports where you can track resource availability and export reports to include in your plan.
While it may seem inconsequential compared to your risk assessment and resource plan, poor communication is the primary reason most projects experience scope gaps and project failure, according to a PMI study. Poor communication can, therefore, derail all your other planning efforts.
As such, your communications management plan should be detailed and address what, when and how information will be shared during your project. Details should focus on what needs to be communicated and at what intervals during the project execution, stakeholders’ communication preferences, a communication schedule for virtual meetings or phone calls that occur at planned intervals, who will review tasks, to whom task completions should be reported and what platforms or tools should be used for communication purposes.
Pro tip: For best results, look at the communication tools available in your project management software. Alternatively, consider what communication-tool integrations it offers. For example, most project management software offer integrations with Slack. Using available tools within your software will allow ease of collaboration and the communication visibility your team needs to stay on the same page and on track.
The team you have chosen to own the activities on your project timeline are uniquely capable of doing so. As such, they are likely to have recommendations you might not think about to make your project more successful. Moreover, if their insights are incorporated into the plan, they are more likely to enthusiastically follow it. So, get your team together and go over the details of your plan. Learn from them and incorporate their insights.
In addition, present your plan to the end-user or client for whom you are executing the project. Make sure they agree to the project scope and its deliverables. Make their preferred changes now so you don’t have to make them later. Discuss what will happen if they change their minds later―extra fees, for example―so that scope creep does not impact your project’s successful execution, on-time completion or quality final deliverable negatively.
It appears that both HarperCollins union members company and management are gearing up for the possibility of a prolonged walkout. The union has postponed a strike that was planned for today until Thursday, November 10. In October, HC union members overwhelmingly authorized a second strike following a one-day walkout in July. In supporting a new strike, the union said the second strike would be “open-ended,” suggesting that the walkout would be more than a one-day action.
In a companywide memo from HC to employees, the company acknowledged that while it has agreed to a number of proposals made by the United Auto Workers Union, which is representing about 250 HC workers, it has not been able to reach an agreement on a new deal. HC said that “while our goal remains to reach agreement on a fair contract with the United Auto Workers Union that is beneficial to both parties,” it “has implemented plans to ensure that operations continue uninterrupted during a potential strike.”
Negotiations between the union and management began in December 2021 and unionized employees have been working without a contract since April 2022. Six union members were among those laid off last month when HC cut an unspecified number of jobs in a move to cut costs. Prior to the job cuts, the union filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board in response to its failed bargaining with HC.
A recreation management plan that has been in the works for six months to address the surge in visitors to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area needs some public input, and officials are asking people to participate in the next phase of planning.
The development of a comprehensive recreation management plan was launched this past February to address challenges posed by increased visitation to the area, located 10 miles west of Aspen on Maroon Creek Road.
Pitkin County, the city of Aspen, the White River National Forest, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, Aspen Skiing Co., and the Aspen Chamber Resort Association are partnering on the development of the plan.
Life insurance helps you provide for loved ones after your death. With life insurance policies, yourget a cash payment when you're gone, one they can then use toward .
Most insurance companiesbefore they approve you for life insurance coverage. You may be uncomfortable with this, or want to avoid it. Enter .
Many kinds of people may find no-exam life insurance appealing. No-exam policies can be smart if you have a pre-existing health condition, terminal illness, are a smoker or have a risky job (like fire fighting or construction).
Or, you may need life insurance as collateral for a loan or a sudden change in marital status like divorce.may bump up against age limits for some traditional kinds of policies and find no-medical exam life insurance worthwhile.
If you think you would benefit from a no-exam life insurance policy then reach out to an insurance pro now. They can help you get started with a free price quote so you know exactly what to expect.
No medical exam life insurance comes in bothpolicy forms. Though there's no medical exam, each insurance type may ask for some health information on the application. Premiums are often more expensive than traditional life insurance policies that require medical exams. They can also provide significantly lower coverage. Guaranteed life policies, for instance, are often $25,000 in coverage or less.
The first step in getting no-medical exam insurance is deciding what kind is right for you. Here are four main types
If you think you would benefit from having a no-exam life insurance policy then reach out to a professional now or use the table below to start searching for providers.
Seek advice from an insurance agent, your financial adviser, or another expert before you apply in order to be certain that no-exam life insurance is the best option for you.
Once you've decided on a no-exam life insurance provider, you'll need to fill out an application. Depending on the policy type, you can expect:
Be honest with your answers. A life insurance company can deny coverage or payout if you aren't being truthful on your application, like if you lie about smoking.
Follow the instructions to submit your application. Once you've submitted, it can take just hours for accelerated underwriting approval to weeks depending on the type of no-exam policy you're seeking.
Get started now and see what you can qualify for!
Obtaining life insurance can help you pass money on to your family or otherafter your death. But not all life insurance policies are the same. Not only can there be differences in factors like monthly premiums and , but there can also be varying requirements to qualify for a life insurance policy.
One route that some people take is, meaning you don't have to visit a doctor to be eligible. If you don't want to make an extra trip to the doctor's office or you're concerned the exam results could lead to even higher costs, then this may be a reasonable option.
Here's a look at some of the top life insurance providers available.
Before you make any final decisions, let's take a closer look at what no-exam life insurance policies are — and why you might consider going this route.
No-exam life insurance can include several different types of life insurance that do not require medical exams to initiate coverage. Here are two examples:
To get a no-exam life insurance policy, you can search online for simplified or guaranteed issue policies, which are relatively common. You can also dig into the offerings of different insurance companies, as even if an insurance provider uses different terminology, they might still allow for coverage without an exam.
To learn more about different types of life insurance policies and options, speak to an expert. Haven Life, a New York City-based life insurance agency, can walk you through the process. You just need to answer a few basic questions to get a free quote.
Don't assume that just because something isn't specifically called a "no-exam life insurance policy" you need an exam. Regardless of what the provider calls the policy, check the fine print to see if you need a medical exam or not.
Some providers also offer options like being able to convert a term life insurance policy into a whole life insurance policy without needing a medical exam. That's not to say that you're always better off converting vs. taking out a new policy, but it could be worth considering.
No-exam life insurance policies typically cost much more than ones with medical exams. That's because the insurer needs to account for the extra risk that can come from not knowing enough about your medical situation.
For example, with one major life insurance provider, a simplified issue life insurance policy for a 20-year/$500,000 term for a 40-year-old, non-smoker woman in good health in California costs nearly $50 per month. In contrast, the same type of policy for regular term life insurance with a medical exam only has an estimated cost of $30 in monthly payments.
You can also compare prices and plans by scouring life insurance providers online and getting free quotes.
There can be a cost to the convenience of no-exam life insurance policies. But it's also possible that the economics work out in your favor. It's possible that something would be discovered during a medical exam that increases your risk to the insurer, thereby raising your rates or perhaps even making you ineligible altogether. No-exam life insurance policies can alsothose who don't qualify for typical life insurance due to factors such as age or medical history.
However, if you're in relatively good health, meet a prospective insurer's age requirements and are comfortable seeing a doctor, then this type of insurance may not be for you — as you maywith the medical exam.
Overall, a no-exam life insurance policy can offer a path for some higher-risk individuals to obtain life insurance or it could be a good way to quickly obtain coverage. However, you might be able to find lower rates if you go through with a medical exam, so it could be worth exploring your options to see what best fits your budget and goals.
Covers multiple project management methodologies and frameworks
DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Nov. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- High-demand project management skills sought by employers are emphasized in the latest CompTIA Project+ certification exam released today by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce.
CompTIA Project+ covers essential project management concepts beyond the scope of just one methodology or framework.
The new CompTIA Project+ exam validates a broad set of skills required to effectively manage a project from start to finish. These skills include understanding technology's fit in projects; the hands-on agile and waterfall methodologies that are the preferred approach to managing a project; and the ability to identify and manage risk.
"Awareness and management of risk have been elevated as an organizational priority as industries become more regulated," said Thomas Reilly, chief product officer, CompTIA. "This heightened attention has filtered down to the individual project level, making it incumbent on project managers to understand risk factors and mitigate them."
Similarly, today's project managers must be able to work effectively with different management methodologies, such as Agile and Waterfall, depending on which is better suited for a particular project. One-third of the content on the new CompTIA Project+ exam focuses on project management concepts and methodologies.
"CompTIA Project+ is more versatile than other certifications because it covers essential project management concepts beyond the scope of just one methodology or framework," Reilly said. "It is ideal for IT professionals who need to manage smaller, less complex projects as part of their other job duties but still need foundational project management skills."
CompTIA developed the new exam with input from project management and technology subject matter experts representing a range of industries, including accounting, education, government, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, professional services and technology.
Project coordinators, QA leads, SCRUM masters, business analysts and IT professionals can benefit by becoming CompTIA Project+ certified. Earning this credential validates their ability to manage a project lifecycle; coordinate small-to-medium-size projects; establish communication plans; maintain project documentation; and manage resources and stakeholders.
CompTIA has also released a comprehensive suite of learning products for the new exam, including:
CompTIA CertMaster Learn, a self-paced eLearning environment that uses videos, assessments and performance-based questions to prepare for the exam.
CompTIA CertMaster Labs, which help learners gain hands-on experience configuring a wide range of technologies in a self-paced, pre-configured browser-based environment. For CompTIA Project+, 14 labs are available covering a variety of concepts and applications, such as MS Project and Visio.
CompTIA CertMaster Practice, an adaptive knowledge assessment tool that determines what a learner has already mastered and what they need to learn to Boost confidence and increase retention before an exam.
Books and other Official CompTIA Content to help the learner understand and master the material for their certification exam.
CompTIA Live Online Training for CompTIA Project+ will be available in early 2023.
For complete information on CompTIA Project+, including exam objectives, learning resources and testing options, visit https://www.comptia.org/certifications/project.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the estimated 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world's economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for unlocking the potential of the tech industry and its workforce. https://www.comptia.org/
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One of the benefits of being a financial advisor is the potential to own your business and run it how you see fit. Then, when you’re ready to move on, you can leverage the opportunity to pass the business on to a successor and enjoy the rewards of your hard-earned equity. Though selling your business may sound simple in theory, what that looks like in practice is as unique as the people involved and can be completely different from one sale to another.
Timing of the sale, who the buyer is, terms of the agreement and your involvement post-sale are all crucial decisions to make early in the process. For those planning ahead—or just not sure where to start—taking a deeper look at your priorities and desired outcomes can reveal key guidelines and guardrails.
Timing is key and can be influenced by several personal factors, primarily your vision for life after selling the business. Do you see yourself staying on and supporting the business after or during the sale period? Or are you planning to retire? If retirement is your plan, do you need to wait to be eligible for certain benefits? Either way, mentally and financially preparing for the next step can be a highly influential determining factor.
The timeline you decide on will have an impact on the type of buyer you are looking for. If your plan is, for example, to retire in the next few years, you will likely be looking to complete an outright sale. The buyer in that case is often another advisor who has the capital, capacity and motivation to buy quickly. These deals can be completed in a year or two, though they should be weighed against their risks. More clients have the potential to exit in an accelerated transition since there is less time to acclimate them to the buyer’s products or investment style. Likewise, your own staff will have less time to adjust.
If you’re looking at more of a three- to five-year timeline, a merger with another practice may fit your needs. This allows for more time to seek out a practice with certain alignments to your own, whether that’s the same niche, a complementary fee style, similar culture or a service gap. Though this model requires more time, the commonalities and longer runway typically reduce the risk of client and staff turnover. Generally, mergers occur between similar-sized practices; however, it can work with a larger or smaller practice. Clearly delineating roles, responsibilities and having checkpoints is crucial in these arrangements.
If time and energy spent on training are not pressing factors, a third option is to hire and train a junior financial advisor to eventually become your successor and buy the practice. The timeframe in this scenario can vary widely depending on the experience level of the junior advisor, but I’ve consulted with some businesses where the successor has worked at their firm for over 25 years before the full transition of ownership. This strategy is the most-used option in our people-based industry.
The upside of a junior advisor is that it doesn’t feel like a sale to clients and staff, but rather an organic transition. There is plenty of time to communicate the change and slowly shift remaining clients to the new advisor, who they likely already know and with whom they have some level of relationship. This option allows more flexibility, though bringing newer advisors into the industry and developing them through the transition of the practice is potentially more work at the outset. There is some risk that throughout this process the junior advisor leaves for various reasons, and your time and effort invested will not be realized in a succession. That’s why it’s crucial to find the right person and have checkpoints along the way to ensure you are still on the same page.
In any of these cases, you may be able to negotiate staying on to assist in the transition, allowing you to gain the financial benefits of the sale while easing into retirement. While staying after the sale may reduce risk and make clients more comfortable, you will need to keep your continuing education and FINRA regulations up to date longer, which has some associated costs. It’s also important to think about client perception and potential confusion if the arrangement isn’t made clear to them.
Ultimately, no matter the style or timeline of the sale, you should be able to picture a life a year or several years later that aligns with what’s most important to you. Whether that’s financial security in retirement, satisfied clients and staff, a new venture, consulting at your former practice or all of the above. By starting with your goals and priorities in mind, it becomes easier to design a succession plan that will make them a reality.
Robert Goff is vice president, succession and acquisition consulting at Raymond James.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is looking for more information about how firms handled retail communications “concerning cypto asset products and services” in the wake of last week’s FTX collapse.
The regulatory organization announced a targeted exam in a notice posted on its website Monday, marking July 1 through the end of September this year as the period in question. FINRA revealed it would ask about 20 probed firms to “provide all retail communications” concerning crypto assets, or services used to trade or hold those assets. The exam begins today.
FINRA spokesman Ray Pellecchia said with the growth in the crypto market, the harm that could be caused by “misrepresentation or exaggerated claims” by firms in their retail communications had increased, and customers may not understand that securities law may not necessarily protect them.
“This risk is not hypothetical,” Pellecchia said. “The limited number of crypto-asset-related communications filed with FINRA by broker/dealer firms fail to comply with applicable standards at a significantly higher rate than communications for other products.”
FINRA defines retail communication as “any written (including electronic) communication that is distributed or made available to more than 25 retail investors within any 30 calendar-day period.” In addition to written communications, it applies to video, social media, mobile apps and websites.
The announcement comes the week after the crypto space hit a crisis point with the collapse of FTX, its second-largest exchange. Many expect civil and criminal charges against the exchange and its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, and are wondering whether the mess will accelerate regulation in the crypto arena.
In its notice detailing the exam, FINRA asked firms to provide additional information for each individual communication, including the date it was first made to the public, whether it was filed with FINRA’s Advertising Regulation Department, whether a principal at the firm approved the communication and identifying the crypto assets and/or services mentioned in the communication.
Additionally, FINRA wanted firms to provide written supervisory procedures concerning the “review, approval, record-keeping and dissemination” of the communications, as well as any relevant compliance policies or materials. It also asked for details on agreements with affiliates about creating or disseminating the communications, including what information those affiliates would have on which customers should get them.
In a webinar detailing the FTX saga, Ric Edelman, founder of the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals, called it a “black eye on crypto,” while Matt Hougan, the chief investment officer at Bitwise Asset Management, tried to find a silver lining. He said FTX’s downfall may inadvertently help shepherd crypto into the mainstream via more scrutiny.
“This is going to catalyze regulators to come into the space—aggressively and rapidly,” he said. “To some degree, this shows that they already should’ve.”
Cabinet has approved a Shs867b budget to enable the implementation of a 10-year national disaster management response plan.
In yesterday’s statement, the Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Ms Esther Anyakun, indicated that Shs185b would be spent between 2022 and 2025, Shs569b spent between 2025 and 2029 and Shs113m for 2029 to 2032.
The plan seeks to address major components of disaster risk management, including disaster risk reduction, preparedness, and response.
Uganda has in the past witnessed disaster occurrence such as droughts, landslides, floods and refugee influx.
Government’s response to disasters has, however, been deemed inefficient.
In July last year, Mr Museveni issued a directive for the development of a comprehensive National Disaster Risk Management plan, under the theme: “A disaster resilient Uganda capable to anticipate, prepare for and coping with disaster risks.”
The plan also envisages the enactment of a Disaster Preparedness and Management Bill for such budgetary allocations.
Ms Anyakun in her statement said the disasters cause gross impact on livelihoods, infrastructure, environment, frequent economic loss and human mortality.
The Annual State of Disaster Report, 2020 showed that financial loss estimated at Shs563b negatively impacted on GDP by 3.5 percent. The losses were an increase from the previous year by 14 percent, Ms Anyakun reported.
The minister further indicated that the country is limited in its response and remains vulnerable to hydro-meteorological hazards.
Mr Hillary Onek, the Minister For Relief Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, attributed the ineffective response to bureaucracy in the Office of the Prime Minister.
“Because of that bureaucracy, the money never arrives on time for us to intervene...you also find the money is diverted and that is not a disaster. Disaster management needs to be a separate ministry,” Mr Onek said.
The Opposition chief whip, Mr John Baptist Nambeshe, called for the decentralisation of the response bases to ensure all regions are well-equipped to respond on time.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is expected to finalize a Wolf Management Plan before the end of the year. The Natural Resources Commission sent it to DNR Director Dan Eichinger for his signature.
The management plan includes maintaining habitat for wolves, methods of keeping wolves from killing livestock and laying groundwork to establish a wolf hunting season. The plan was last updated in 2015. The DNR says the updated plan includes accurate scientific literature and new information on wolves in Michigan.
The wolf population in Michigan was nearly eliminated by the mid-1970s. Today, there is a population of about 700 in the Upper Peninsula.
The gray wolf is currently on the Endangered Species List, but that’s changed a couple of times as courts rule differently on the listing.
There’s been plenty of criticism of the management plan from farmers in the Upper Peninsula, in addition to hunters, tribal members who have treaty rights and people who want to protect wolves.
“It’ll be very difficult to make everyone happy because there are those who want a very large-scale hunt peninsula-wide in the Upper Peninsula. And there are those who don’t want any hunt at all,” said Tom Baird, chair of the Natural Resources Commission
Hunters want the DNR to prepare regulations for a hunting season and limits to be ready to hold a hunt as soon as the wolf is delisted. But Baird doesn’t think that’s possible.
“We simply will not know what the situation is, and we can’t anticipate what it will be at the exact time the wolves come off the endangered species list, if they ever do.”
The Department of Natural Resources has been criticized for how it’s handled wolf management. Bridge Michigan, an online magazine, revealed some officials and lawmakers opposed to wolf protections exaggerated or made up stories about threats from wolves.
Wolves have killed livestock over the years. A accurate survey found many Michigan citizens recognize that problem wolves might have to be killed. A majority believes a controlled hunt for proper management reasons is acceptable.
Groups that advocate protecting the wolves as much as possible believe the DNR first should do more to help farmers find non-lethal ways to protect their livestock.