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Project Management

Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing and managing resources for the successful completion of certain project objectives and goals. Its main challenge is to reach all engineering project objectives and goals while honouring project constraints.

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Project Management

How do you answer 'How did you go about planning for a recent event or project you handled' in a job interview?

The answer that I would give would follow general project management guidelines. First, identify what the objective is and time line for completion, then determine what you will need to solve the problem, information, facts, tools, resources. Gather the various elements, analyze and prioritize, link appropriate data, determine a direction, how and where to get missing information or additional resources, complete the task making adjustments along the way.

In every aspect planning must be given a special consideration in order for a project to be successful or such be excused from any difficulties. In handling an event/project I must know the time, quantity, quality, production, expenses & manpower. You must also come into conclussion by using the 5W & 1H (What,When,Who,Where,Why & How) this theory will help you contruct and come up with ideas that will fit the said event or project.

by being true, did you use the internet and look up data. did you use the library for book references. did you ask a coworker, friend, etc. for some data in preparing yourself. i am constanly researching the webs on camping because i just bought a new camper. i talk to dealers that sale campers, go to camping department in retail stores and observe the different items they have. go to book stores and buy something that catches my attenion. if you have already reserched or done something then, you used prior experience obtained. still you had to start from scratch. so just go with that.

The key to this one is the ablity to show how you can organize. you want to show that you broke down the large task of planning this huge thing and were able to tackle it in small bits , but in a very timely and efficent way. try to show that you actually enjoyed the enormous responsiblty of this project/event that was trusted with you. make sure to talk yourself up a bit. this is YOUR TIME TO SELL YOURSELF> smile and relax, seem that you enjoy recalling how much fun you actually had planning this / . what ever it may be, even if its just a simple surprise bday party for grandma, if you dont have any work related things to show them, say to be honest, i have not had the opportuity in my past to plan any work related events, but on a similuar level, i was tasked with planning grandma rose's 100's birthday bash for her closest 100 friends. ANd do the same thing of breaking down from the top, (not in a long drawn out way) but that you stepped back from the "Thing" and chose to break it down into groups of things that needed to be handled and gave each group a time line and followed it, also make sure that you are able to show that you are not affraid to delligate, one can not handle everything on ones own for an added touch you can say how you made sure after the thing was a success that you noted each individual who helped you with a positive evaluation or sent thank you notes, somethig to show you are thoughtful and not out to take all the credit.

I am a process oriented person so things would start on basic drafting; I will list the tasks in details where the start, target and completion date is appended.

I determine the target date depending on what needs to be in the priority list. If help is needed or if I am handling a group then I will assign the tasks in accordance to the person's ability to meet with deliverables.

That would depend on what type of project you are talking about.

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Project Management

What are the three project team structures?

A Project Team usually has the following people (as a bare minimum)

  • One Project Manager
  • One or more Project Leads/Technical Architects
  • Many Team Members

Depending on the organization where the project is being executed, the teams actual structure and the roles and responsibilities may vary.

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Why is delegation an important management concept?

No one person can do it all. It is important to share the work around and to make sure that subordinates can do the work and the business can functions when the management are not there, on holiday or leave the organisation. It is important to consider succession planning and to look at growing some of your next managers from within (otherwise your best staff will not see any promotion opportunities). It is a good way to provide on the job training and to see what people are capable of outside their day job. It is good sometimes to have new ideas and not just rely on the same old faces. Some jobs are best suited to certain people and that is the way organisations should run. People can feel appreciated when they are given other roles.

One important point to keep in mind is that delegation is no excuse for abdication. Making someone responsible for an aspect of the management of the business is a fantastic way to build the skills base of the company and enhance the loyalty of employees. The downside is that sometimes, managers see delegation as just get on with it now that you have the responsibility but a good manager will still keep up to date on progress rather than just abdicating responsibility. Get the balance right and a business can fly.

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Project Management

Why is slack important to the project manager?

Slack is important when managing a project because it's is very rare that things don't change while working on a project. Budgets change, schedules change, available resources change and so do task priorities.

Without slack time it'll be very challenging to be able to manage the project in a flexible way without causing tasks to be stuck or not have time to handle urgent things that were introduced (that weren't planned ahead of time).

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Project Management

Why is hard to control Discretionary Cost?

Organisations have to keep working so as to improve the living standards of people in the society and also to be competitive in the market. Therefore, most of the discretionary costs are bound to be incurred. For e.g. Research & Development, and organisation needs to spend this cost so as to find new methods of working, improve the technology etc. Another example could be training.

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What do you do after a feasibility study?

A feasibility study essentially determines the strengths and weaknesses of a business proposal. The output is normally a series of options or recommendations, ranging from do nothing, right through to technical development and project implementation, delivery and support. Importantly the feasibility study should also include the evaluation criteria, list of assumptions, study findings and context in which the study was run. As often happens, something considered not viable today, can often become viable with changing circumstances in the future. Always useful to keep those feasibility studies, because they can often be dusted down, updated and given a new lease of life in future. Feasibility studies can be considered a companies intellectual crown jewels, and should be treated as such.

Usually, after a feasibility study, the company may decide to initiate/execute projects

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Letters Notes and Memos

What are the 4 A's of taking meeting notes?

Attendance,Agenda,Agreements,Actions

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Project Management

What does disruptive coloration mean?

When a population of of organisms have a special coloration or pattern that help them blend together so that it makes it harder for a predator to pick out any one individual.

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Project Management

How corporate downsizing effect project management?

It can influence it in two ways:

  1. There will be fewer resources available to work on a project. It could be that critical resources (people holding a specific expertise) will not be available anymore and so the team will need to be reorganized.
  2. Many time people decide to lose the Project Manager hoping that the tasks will move forward without someone managing the process, maybe shifting responsibilities to other team members (product manager, team leaders etc).
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Difference between quality management and project management?

Quality Management is a subset of Project Management. Quality Management consists of quality planning, assurance, and control.

Managing projects requires applying knowledge, skills, and tools and techniques to project activities in order to meet the project objectives. You do this by performing some processes at various stages of the project, as discussed in the previous chapter. That means processes are part of the knowledge required to manage projects. Each aspect of a project is managed by using the corresponding knowledge area. For example, each project has a scope that needs to be managed, and the knowledge required to manage scope is in the knowledge area called project scope management. To perform the project work within the project scope, you need human resources, which need to be managed; the knowledge used to manage human resources is called human resource management.

Each process belongs to one of the nine knowledge areas:

1. Scope Management

2. Time Management

3. Cost Management

4. Human Resource Management

5. Procurement Management

6. Risk Management

7. Quality Management

8. Integration Management &

9. Communication Management

Project quality is defined as the degree to which a project satisfies its objectives and requirements. For example, a high-quality project is a project that is completed on time and with all the work in the project scope completed within the planned budget.

Project quality management includes the following:

1. Plan quality - Determine the quality requirements and standards that are relevant to the project at hand and how to apply them.

2. Perform quality assurance - Ensure the planned quality requirements and standards are applied.

3. Perform quality control - Monitor the quality activities and record the results of these activities in order to assess performance and make necessary recommendations for corrective actions and changes.

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What is EVM and how will you use it in managing projects?

EVM is Earned Value Management.

Different steps in the project are assigned percentages of the complete work. E.g.: Designing a feature gives you 10%, starting to code another 10%, finishing coding another 30%, etc.

By tracking EVM you can have a fairly accurate feeling as to the process of the project.

A common technique to assess cost variance is called the earned value technique (EVT), also called earned value management (EVM). It is a commonly used method of performance measurement that has various forms. Most often, it integrates scope, schedule, and cost performance by comparing the baselines to the actual progress made. For example, you calculate the cumulative value of the budgeted cost of work performed in terms of the originally allocated budgeted amount and compare it to the following:

1. Budgeted cost of work scheduled; i.e., planned

2. Actual cost of work performed

Don't worry if these terms sound confusing right now; we will go through an example very soon. However, as you will see; the greatest difficulty in understanding EVT (or EVM) stems from the coupling of cost and schedule. You must realize that the project cost and the project schedule are inherently related to each other. Schedule relates to performing certain work over a certain time period, whereas cost refers to the money spent to perform the work on a project over that period of time. The relationship between cost and schedule can be realized by understanding that it costs money to perform a schedule activity. The "time is money" principle can be considered here to understand the situation better. For example, a project activity can be looked upon in terms of an amount of work that will be needed to complete it or in terms of its monetary value, which will include the cost of the work that needs to be performed to complete the activity.

The EVT involves calculating some variables where you will see the interplay of schedule and cost.

Let's look at an example to understand the concepts better:

Assume you are a project manager for the construction of a 16-mile road. Further assume that the work is uniformly distributed over 12 weeks. The total approved budget for this project is Rs. 600,000. At the end of first four weeks of work, Rs. 125,000 has been spent, and four miles of road have been completed.

We will use this example to perform the cost performance analysis and the schedule performance analysis in terms of cost.

Cost Performance

Cost performance refers to how efficiently you are spending money on the project work, measured against the expectations set in the project management plan, i.e., the cost baselines. The total cost approved in the baseline is called the budget at completion (BAC).

Budget at completion (BAC) - This is the total budget authorized for performing the project work, also called the planned budget. In other words, it is the cost originally estimated in the project management plan. You use this variable in defining almost all the following variables. In our example, the value of BAC is Rs. 600,000.

Earned value (EV) or budgeted cost of work performed (BCWP) - This is the value of the actual performed work expressed in terms of the approved budget for a project or a project activity for a given time period. In this variable, you see the relationship of schedule (work) and cost in action. BAC represents the total value of the project. But when you perform some work on the project, you have earned some of that value, and the earned value is proportional to the fraction of the total work performed, as shown by the formula here:

EV=BAC * (work completed/total work required)

So, in our example, EV can be calculated as:

EV=Rs. 600,000 * (4 miles/16 miles) = Rs. 150,000

This is the earned value of the work, which may or may not be equal to the actual money that you spent to perform this work.

Actual cost (AC) or actual cost of work performed (ACWP) - This is the total cost actually incurred until a specific point on the timeline in performing the work for a project. In our running example, Rs. 125,000 has already been used up to this point. So the actual cost at this point in time is Rs. 125,000. This cost is to be compared to the earned value to calculate the cost variance and cost performance.

Cost variance (CV) - This is a measure of cost performance in terms of deviation of reality from the plan, and it is obtained by subtracting the actual cost (AC) from the earned value (EV), as shown in the formula here:

CV = EV - AC

So, in our example, CV can be calculated as shown here:

CV = Rs. 150,000 - Rs. 125,000 = Rs. 25,000

The expected value of CV is zero because we expect the earned value to be equal to the actual cost. The positive result indicates better cost performance than expected, whereas a negative result indicates worse cost performance than expected. Deviation is one way of comparison, and ratio is another.

Cost performance index (CPI) - Earned value represents the portion of work completed, and actual cost represents the money spent. So, the CPI indicates whether you are getting a fair value for your money. This is a measure of cost efficiency of a project calculated by dividing earned value (EV) by actual cost (AC), as shown in the formula here:

CPI = EV / AC

So, the CPI for our example can be calculated as:

CPI = Rs. 150,000 / Rs. 125,000 = 1.2

This means you are getting Rs. 1.20 worth of performance for every dollar spent. A value of CPI greater than one indicates good performance, whereas a value less than one usually indicates bad performance. The expected value of CPI is one.

So both the CV and the CPI indicate that you are getting more value for each dollar spent.

But, before you start celebrating, read the example again. Four out of 12 weeks have already passed, and only four out of 16 miles of road have been built. That means that only one-fourth of the work has been accomplished in one-third of the total scheduled time. This means we are lagging behind in our schedule. Although cost performance is good, schedule performance might end up hurting us towards the end.

Schedule Performance in Terms of Cost

Schedule performance refers to how efficiently you are executing your project schedule as measured against the expectations set in the project management plan. It can be measured by comparing the earned value to the planned value, just like cost performance is measured by comparing the earned value to the actual cost. Planned value refers to the value that we planned to create in the time spent so far.

Planned value (PV) or budgeted cost for the work scheduled (BCWS) - This is the authorized cost for the scheduled work on the project or a project activity up to a given point on the timescale. The planned value is also called the budgeted cost for the work scheduled (BCWS). PV is basically how much you were authorized to spend in the fraction of schedule time spent so far, as shown in the formula here:

PV = BAC * (time passed/total schedule time)

Therefore, the planned value for the project in our example at the end of the first four weeks is calculated as shown here:

PV = Rs. 600,000 * (4 weeks/12 weeks) = Rs. 200,000

So, PV represents the planned schedule in terms of cost. You can calculate the schedule performance by comparing the planned schedule to the performed schedule in terms of cost.

Trivia:

The total planned value (PV) of the project is the same as the budget at completion (BAC).

Schedule variance (SV) - This is the deviation of the performed schedule from the planned schedule in terms of cost. No confusion is allowed here because you already know that the schedule can be translated to cost. SV is calculated as the difference between EV and PV, as shown in the formula here:

SV = EV - PV

So, the SV in our example can be calculated as:

SV = Rs. 150,000 - Rs. 200,000 = -Rs. 50,000

The negative value means we are behind schedule. Deviation represented by schedule variance is one way of comparison, and ratio represented by schedule performance index is another.

Schedule performance index (SPI) - Earned value represents the portion of work completed in terms of cost, and planned value represents how much work was planned by this point in time in terms of cost. So, the SPI indicates how the performed work compared to the planned work. This is a measure of the schedule efficiency of a project calculated by dividing earned value (EV) by planned value (PV), as shown in the formula here:

SPI = EV / PV

So, the SPI for our example can be calculated as shown here:

SPI = Rs. 150,000 / Rs. 200,000 = 0.75

This indicates that the project is progressing at 75% of the planned pace. Not at all good.

You should note that all these performance variables except the BAC are calculated at a given point in time.

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What does Audit Committee Terms of Reference mean?

It's the only way to define, focus and limit the terms of any audit committee Will it simply monitor? Will it try to detect fraud? Will it just balance the books? or any combination of functions

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Why is management theory important?

Management theory is important because it is the study of how to make all the people in your organization more productive. If you are self-employed and have others working for you, or you outsource certain jobs you are unable to do, then you know how hard it is to find qualified competent professionals to provide you a service or work for you. You want to maximize labor productivity and learning how to manage people is key.

The key to business management is to maximize productivity. However, while management theory does aim towards getting a group of entities to achieve a certain goal, it does not necessarily achieve in making people more productive towards this cause. Times are shifting rapidly and the loss of key gurus, like Peter Drucker, in recent times, bears certain implications. The key contribution in having management theory lies in what has been achieved by the differing schools of thought within our history. This may serve as a guide, but one must also bear in mind that management is not just a science, but also an art.

There are many benefits to knowing management theory. First of all management theory doesn't just teach someone how inspire employees to be more productive, it also shows managers how to be good bosses. It is key for them to know how to deal with issues that may exist in the workplace. Managers have to efficiently deal with these issues and simultaneously maintain a stable or improving level of productivity. With management, you have to balance a multitude of tasks daily and being familiar with management theory can help greatly.

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Project Management

Which is a better certification PMP or six sigma?

Both have their own importance and usage.

PMP is for people who are project managers while Six Sigma is for people who are quality oriented

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What is the importance of strategic management towards the success of a business?

Strategic management used to play a different role in more predictable times after the Second Word War. Strategic plans of the past usually range 3 to 5 years. Some companies could even have plans for 10 good years. That's not possible today given rapid evolution of our society.

What still matters in strategic management lies in the value of planning ahead. There's an old saying that if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. By acting on this, strategic management actually gives the organisation direction, a sense of identity and unity towards what the business goal. Therein lies the continued importance of strategic management towards business success.

Every business has a vision and a mission. Strategic managemet takes into consideration both of these. Strategic management helps in achieving the organizational goals in an effective and efficient manner.

Improved strategic management processes may also facilitate the development of the more complex management structural that are needed as firms grow. It also helps firms to articulate,communicate and monitor the implementation of strategy using a system interlinked with the longterm vision of the corporations.

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Project Management

What is project cloverleaf?

A conspiracy theory with no evidence to support it at all.

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What are the implications of Perception to management?

Managerial implication - Organizational Behavior

Perception in business situation:

1) Perception and motivation: perception of the workplace plays a major role in motivation. Suppose an employee is experiencing some unexpected money trouble. Because of her disposition (she is worried) and the salience of money (it is unusually important to her at the moments), she will be especially sensitive to issues of compensation. Through projection, she may assume that everyone in the organization also cares mainly about money. A large pay raise given to another employee will seem frustrating and will intensity her efforts to get a pay raise of her own, focusing even more attention on her own pay, the pay of others, and how they compare to one another.

2) Perception and hiring: hiring new employees can be affected by perception in many ways. Contrast or novelty in the job applicant can affect his or her chances of getting the job. The person doing the hiring may stereotype applicants on the basis of race or sex, or may allow the halo effect to color an overall perception of an applicant.

An interviewer's disposition during an interview or attitudes towards certain of the applicants' attributes can also affect the interviewer's perceptions of an applicant.

For example, a manager, who believes that people should dress professionally for a job interview, is likely to be unimpressed by an applicant who shows up wearing sunglasses and a flowered sports coat.

3) Performance appraisal: the appraisal of a subordinate's performance is highly affected by the accuracy of a manager's perceptions. The major areas of concern in this context are:

Managers may have tendencies to positively evaluate some employees. Because they are better liked, or are on favored tasks, or are particularly noticeable; and

Performance evaluation will be affected adversely because of halo effects,

4) Employee effort: an individual's future in an organization id usually not dependent on performance alone. In many organizations, he level of an employee's effort is given high importance. Just as teachers frequently consider how hard you try in a course as well as how you perform on examinations, so often do managers. An assessment of an individual's effort is a subjective judgment susceptible to perceptual distortions and bias. If it is true, as some claim, that "more workers are fired for poor attitudes and lock of discipline than for lack of ability" , then appraisal of an employee's effort may be a primary influence on his or her future in the organization.

5) Employee loyalty: another important judgment that managers make about employees is whether or not they are loyal to the organization. Despite the general decline in employee loyalty, few organizations appreciate it when employees, especially those in the managerial ranks, openly disparage the firm, furthermore, in some organizations, if the word gets around that an employee is liking at other employment opportunities outside the firm, that employee may be labeled as disloyal and so may be cut off from all future advancement opportunities. The issue is not whether organizations are right in demanding loyalty, the issue is that many so, and that assessment of an employee's loyalty or commitment id highly judgment.

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Project Management

Vendor is not a key project stakeholder?

A Vendor is a Key Project Stakeholder. Let us say I am constructing an apartment and have chosen a Vendor to supply the toilet sinks for my building, if my vendor messes up the delivery, my apartment will not be completed on time.

Sure, I can identify another vendor and buy the stuff I want, but a lot of time will be lost in the meantime. Hence, even vendors are key project stakeholders

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Whaqt is level 1 project schedule?

Executive Summary, also called a Project Master Schedule (PMS).

This is a major milestone type of schedule; usually only one page, it highlights major project

activities, milestones, and key deliverables for the whole project. It is used to summarise the

project schedule in reports and other documents when a more detailed schedule is not required.

Frequently developed by the 'client' as part of its initial feasibility studies for the project and then

maintained by the contractor; may be used to assist in the decision making process (go/no-go,

prioritization and determining the criticality of projects). Can be used to integrate multiple contractors /

multiple project schedules into an overall program schedule. Audiences for this schedule Level include,

but are not limited to client, senior executives and general managers. If included with a bid and/or the

Contract, demonstrates conformance to contractual and other milestones.

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What is the full form of GA?

Genetic Algorithm

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The Difference Between

What is the difference between CPM and PERT?

The Major Differences and Similarities between PERT and CPM

PERT(Program Evaluation and Review Technique) | CPM (Critical Path Method)

_____________________________________ | ______________________________________

1)PERT is a probabilistic tool used with three 1)CPM is a deterministic tool, with only single

Estimating the duration for completion of estimate of duration.

activities.

_______________________________________________________________________________

2)This tool is basically a tool for planning 2)CPM also allows and explicit estimate of

and control of time. costs in addition to time, therefore CPM can

control both time and cost.

_______________________________________________________________________________

3)PERT is more suitable for R&D related 3)CPM is best suited for routine and those

projects where the project is performed for projects where time and cost estimates can

the first time and the estimate of duration be accurately calculated.

are uncertain.

_______________________________________________________________________________

4)The probability factor i major in PERT 4)The deterministic factor is more so values or

so outcomes may not be exact. outcomes are generally accurate and

realistic.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Extensions of both PERT and CPM allow the user to manage other resources in addition to time and money, to trade off resources, to analyze different types of schedules, and to balance the use of resources.tensions of both PERT and CPM allow the user to manage other resources in addition to time and money, to trade off resources, to analyze different types of schedules, and to balance the use of resources.

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Why do projects always seem to take longer than expected?

Many people use their most optimistic estimate of time to decide how long something should take, instead of the conservative or midrange estimate. Most also don't include extra time for things like slow days, errors, late tasks, and the like.

Other examples can include:

  • A task may take more than once to get right;
  • People under estimate issues like change management and putting corrective actions in place;
  • People can concentrate on the critical path tasks, and then forget to look at the problem holistically, then something of the critical path then comes onto the critical path;
  • teams forget the single point of failures - people going off ill, on holidays, moving roles, leaving the company, training days and don't have any fallback options in place;
  • When people are doing multiple tasks/matrix roles, it can take them some time to get back in the grove to be fully productive;
  • People forget to plan things or take things into account, which then requires more time to put it right;
  • You can't plan for everything, and sometimes unexpecting things either within your control or outside your control do happen, and you must adjust;
  • Taking new people onto the project is always difficult in terms of training them up and the team building that is necessary to bring them into the team;
  • People are people, and they will always do unexpected things.
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Sales and Customer Service
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Project Management

How do you work out commission structures?

Make sure you paying it from profits and not from capital. Also, know your break even point in the business and depending on your business and what you do, ie if there is a basic salary a staff member receives then it would make sense to only start paying a commission once break even has been reached. If not, just focus on paying from profits.

The short answer is "however you want". Commissions are payed either on gross profit, net profit, or gross sales. A percentage is derived based on what the employer feels will be enough to hire and retain qualified salespeople.

Whatever structure you decide on, it is important that it be clearly communicated from month to month for each sales rep. A handful of free tools are available online to do this. The one I most recently found (see Related Links below to view website) happens happens to be paid ($20) month.

In summary, whatever plan you choose, make sure it is well thought out and meets all your criteria. Seeking advice on a site like this is also a great start!

I remember when I was doing research on dating websites, I noticed that all of them like match or dream marriage have very interesting commission structure that is based on the amount of sales. I guess advertiser who attracted the most clients receives the highest commissions.

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Management and Supervision
Project Management

What is passive management by exception?

Management-by-exception (passive) - Is a form of leadership in which the leader intervenes only if standards are not met and only take action after rules have been broken or mistakes are "brought to their attention."

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