Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

PM News Digest from PM AdvisorIn this latest roundup of news from the world of project, program and portfolio management we highlight news and articles which have caught our eye recently.

There is a lot of emphasis in this round-up on the role of project sponsors, governance, factors for P3 success and agile as well as other interesting news.

 

Researchers Argue that Social Networks Can Improve Project Management

The Rolla Daily News

Contrary to the notion that social networks are time-wasters, they could improve project management and the spread of specialized knowledge according to the paper “Improving Knowledge Sharing in Healthcare Through Social Network Analysis”.

pmiEU Regulations Increase Importance of Project Management

PMI

PMI observe that “The EU has approved regulations that increase the importance of applied project management skills and methods as criteria for selecting beneficiaries of EU cohesion and structural funds.”

logo-sciforma-colorSciforma CEO Talks of Planning Your Business Around Sequence of Client Needs

Business2Community/GetApp

An interesting read. We love the quote “Whatever product or service you are offering needs to evolve around not only the set of needs your prospects have, but also the order in which they need those needs fulfilled.”

Architects’ Project Management Role Not Fully Understood

Sourceable

Andrew Heaton reports findings that that many people did not fully understand the value architects can bring.

How To Succeed at Project Governance

CIO

Phil Weinzimer asks the question “Why can’t IT organizations figure out how to avoid the high project-failure rate experienced by so many companies?”.

Executive Sponsor Engagement Drives Project & Program Success

BusinessWire

No surprises here from PMI, but positive reinforcement as to the importance of project sponsors. Mark Langley makes a valuable quote “Effective project sponsors use their influence within an organization to actively overcome challenges by communicating the project’s alignment to strategy, removing roadblocks, and driving organizational change.”

How to Be a Great Project Sponsor

HR BLR

Russell Harley shares some great tips for being a great sponsor:

  • Be there,
  • Don’t Delegate,
  • Trust your SMEs, and
  • The PM is NOT a sponsor.

How to Smash It as a Project Sponsor

CIO

Colin Ellis provides a few tips for project sponsors:

  • Governance isn’t something you can delegate,
  • Only fools rush in,
  • If you are the only person interested, you should stop it,
  • You need to manage the PM, and
  • Big projects are a thing of the past – break them up.

10 Ways to Improve Program Management

Federal News Radio

Shelfful Kapadia of Federal News Radio spoke with executives from the Project Management Institute, Accenture Federal Services and Deloitte to come up with the following Top10 Tips:

  1. Align projects with organizational strategy,
  2. Manage broadly and dive deeply,
  3. Prioritise to avoid scattered behaviour,
  4. Find human capital using the talent triangle,
  5. Engage with suppliers to ensure their solutions meet missions,
  6. Employ ‘best value’ acquisitions whenever possible,
  7. Communicate challenges directly and honestly,
  8. Learn and leverage from the private sector,
  9. Follow the example of a respected program manager, and
  10. Go back to basics.

Don’t Forget About Behaviours and Attitudes

APM Blog

Paul Naybour from Project Accelerator reminds us that when we talk about a project manager’s toolbox we should be thinking of methods, software, soft skills and other competencies such as behaviours and attitudes.

VisualisationThe Power of Visualisation: VIDEO

Pinnacle Blog

This super video from Mark Woeppel of Pinnacle Strategies explains why and how visualising your project or workflow helps your team see quickly where things are and what they need to do, solving the most basic problem of working together – agreement on the problem.

Agile Project Management in and Agile World

CA Blog

Robert Stroud explains that in this era where business is powered by software, to deliver on accelerating business demands, a rapidly growing number of organizations are embracing Agile development.

APM LogoHow to Manage Agile

APM Blog

Brian Wernham describes 7 easily understandable agile governance behaviours:

  1. “Show Me”,
  2. Be incremental,
  3. Expect early business benefits,
  4. Go for smooth flow of work,
  5. Never slip a deadline,
  6. Reduce work in progress, and
  7. Talk to people.

5 Mistakes Project Managers Can Make

bdaily

We’ve all watched The Apprentice and seen some fairly common mistakes (do the new intake never watch previous episodes?). Katie Hawksworth suggests 5 common mistakes:

  1. The “I’m Project Manager so do as I say” attitude,
  2. Playing the waiting game,
  3. Skipping out peripheral team members,
  4. Poor delegation, and
  5. Scattered or incomplete project information.

6 Fundamentals of Project Management Success

Federal Times

20 years after Cobb’s Paradox was written, Mark Forman reflects on the difference between successful and unsuccessful projects, suggesting 6 fundamentals:

  1. Address the risks,
  2. Simplify,
  3. Analyse the alternatives,
  4. Focus on benefits realisation,
  5. Employ the right incentive structure, and
  6. Own the governance.

10 Steps to Keep Projects on Track

Tech Cocktail

Santosh Satya suggests ten simple yet highly effective ways to ensure high quality project work gets done on schedule and within budget constraints:

  1. Define the project on paper,
  2. Create a work plan,
  3. Define relevant procedures,
  4. Monitor the budget,
  5. Keep an eye on the schedule,
  6. Stay alert for early warning signs,
  7. Keep upper management (or sponsors) informed,
  8. Safeguard against scope creep,
  9. Manage risks, and
  10. Resolve problems quickly.

Forests or Trees – The Constant Tension of Product & Project Management

LinkedIn Pulse

Cliff Gilley highlights the very real differences between project and product managers: time/scope/resources vs strategy/roadmap/requirements.

We hope that you have found this news roundup of interest, or maybe even of use.  As always we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Project Management Tools News Digest from PM Advisor

In this latest roundup of news from the world of project management tools, we highlight news and articles which have caught our eye recently.

New Industry Standard for Mac Mind Mapping & Gantt Charts

Realwire

MatchWare’s highly-anticipated MindView 5 Business Mac boasts a powerful new feature set that helps project managers and other users maximize productivity, accuracy and quality, while reducing time, cost and risk.

Basecamp

Alternatives to Basecamp

Business2Community/GetApp

GetApp (which clearly wants to signpost readers to new Applications, provide an interesting assessment of some of the options available when Basecamp isn’t up to the job. We do wonder though do they really understand the basis of Basecamp – collaboration?

Wrike

Wrike Wants to Bring Project Management and Collaboration to the Masses

Forbes

This is an interesting interview by Bruce Rogers. Wrike have a super goal: “In the future, whenever anyone needs to get something done in the workplace, the first thing that comes to his or her mind is Wrike.”

Clarizen

Top 5 PM Software Tools on the Market

TechRadar

Stu Roberts bravely selects his top5 from the hundreds of tools available:

  1. Basecamp,
  2. Clarizen,
  3. Mavenlink,
  4. Comindware, and
  5. Wrike.

iScope

iScope Pro Releases New Version of Project Task Management Tool

PrMac

This iPad app make project planning easy. It uses cards which sit on 3 horizontal rails (which represent a level of detail in the work breakdown). Additionally it presents a “dashboard”, albeit with a minimal amount of details at any one time.

harmon.ie

harmon.ie Delivers a Single-screen Experience for Microsoft-based Collaboration Tools for Project Management

harmon.ie

Enterprise mobile collaboration leader harmon.ie now makes managing projects easier by bringing together Office 365, SharePoint, OneDrive, Lync and Yammer into a single screen on desktops or mobile devices.

Pitfalls of PM Software Implementation

MarketWired

The PROJECTinsight blog offers this useful guide to the common pitfalls in implementing PM Tools.

  • Lack of leadership or sponsorship,
  • No communication plan (or a weak one),
  • No incentives to change,
  • Trying to ‘go it alone’, and
  • Implementing software without considering your business process.

CentralDesktop

Central Desktop Acquired by PGi

Central Desktop
PGi recently announced the acquisition of Central Desktop, Inc., a leading cloud-based team collaboration and project management platform for businesses.

Asana

Project Management Apps – Which is Best for Your Team?

Forbes
Laura Shin was overwhelmed by the choice of PM Tools. She looked at lots including Apptivo, AtTask, Droptask, Huddle, Podio, Smartsheet, Wrike and Zoho, but ended up with a short-list of three:

  1. Asana,
  2. Basecamp, and
  3. Trello.

Smartsheet

Smartsheet, the PM Tool Cloaked as a Spreadseet, Adds Visualisation

PCWorld
Juan Carlos Perez reports that Smartsheet, whose namesake online project management app uses a spreadsheet interface, has developed a visualization tool to let its customers graph and map workgroups in their organizations for better planning and supervision.

Kitovu

Kitovu – New Task & Time Management Tool

Kitovu
Kitovu is a client-centric task-management and time tracking system targeted at any client-focused work, such as consulting, freelancing, architecture, IT, engineering.

Podio

7 Free Online Collaboration & PM Tools

Computerworld

Rich Hein looks at 7 free tools:

  1. GanttProject
  2. Podio
  3. Asana,
  4. Google Apps,
  5. Yammer,
  6. Trello, and
  7. HipChat.

RationalPlan 4.10 – Project Management Software Now Available as SaaS

RationalPlan
There are a number of changes in this latest release including:

  • Added web-based project management module,
  • RationalPlan products are available on App Store on Mac OS X,
  • Added filters in Timesheet view,
  • Added more reports,
  • Improved integration with MS© Project 2013 files,
  • Added Notes column for tasks and projects,
  • Added possibility to display a special color for 100% complete tasks,
  • Better rendering for exported Excel spreadsheets, and
  • Added support for special characters in Windows installer.

Trello

Why Are Trello Making an App for Doing Everything?

FastCompany
Trello can be used for everything from wedding planning to sales management. Sarah Kessler asks will an app made for everyone end up pleasing no-one?

Money

PPM Software Market worth $4bn by 2019?

Markets and Markets
Food for thought – explains the slew of start-ups and M&A activity in the space!

If you are excited about a some PM Tool news and you’d like us to cover it here on PM Advisor, drop us a line or comment below.

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

In this latest roundup of news from the world of project, program and portfolio management we highlight news and articles which have caught our eye recently.

Customer

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Who is the real project customer?

Brad Egeland offers a wise reminder that products are produced for the benefit of the end user.  Program and project managers rightly devote a lot of time worrying about benefits realisation, but those benefits will only be realised if the deliverable (or product) is used!

Why value for money is not just about the cost

Anna Patricia Valerio follows on the theme of benefits but from a very different perspective, one which it’s certainly important for us consultants to keep “front of mind”.

The CPO bringing the strength of the project manager into the boardroom

This super article reflects on how PMOs are often seen as an extension of the IT function, and looks at the value of the Chief Project Officer, and the very strong message the appointment rightly sends out to the organisation.  We have seen this used effectively where the top table recognise the fundamental value of P3 (projects, programs and portfolio) and it’s professional governance and that the necessary competence is not yet valued organisationally.
Twitter

Top 20 twitter influencers for project management

Lovely list, but we’re mystified as to why our @JWinLickey isn’t there even if we‘re not (sarcasm alert).
Linked In

5 project management groups to join on LinkedIn 

and sticking with Social Media for Project Management, this is a great list from the Wrike Blog – take a look.
 

PM COMPETENCE

We have 5 PM competence related 5’s this time:

Five

5 critical skills for successful project management

  1. Communication
  2. Organisation
  3. Planning
  4. Leadership, and
  5. Flexibility

5 career pathways for project management degree holders 

  1. Operations Management
  2. Construction
  3. Industrial/Product Development
  4. Information Technology, and
  5. Environmental

5 project management skills that will help you grow your business 

  1. Resource Allocation
  2. Time Management
  3. Budgeting
  4. Team Management, and
  5. Problem Solving

5 Common Project risks and what to do about them 

  1. Poor Leadership
  2. Staff Problems
  3. No Continuity
  4. Lack of Resources, and
  5. Change to Business Strategy

5 Critical project processes

  1. Risk Management
  2. Change Management
  3. Issue Management
  4. Resource Management, and
  5. Communications Management
and now you can take 5 reflecting on common sense.

Bring some common sense into your project management

Some great advice from Serhat Pala for keeping things simple, getting the fundamentals right and making informed decisions:
  • Put an astute project manager in charge,
  • Integrate parts into the whole, and
  • Leverage project management tools.

Authority vs. responsibility: or, how to get things done without actually doing them

Monique Verrier offer three tips:
  1. Involve the team in decision making where possible,
  2. Maintain strong positive 2-way relationships with the team, and
  3. Talk with other PMs who share your resources.

PM TOOLS

Project management essentials: Gantt chart (infographic)

B2C have shared this lovely info graphic from Wrike.
GANTT Infographic

Innotas announces new version of its cloud portfolio management solution

Innotas have announced a new version of their cloud portfolio management system, delivering improved efficiency for PMs and PMOs.

12 most striking benefits of using a project management software for business projects

This is a nice list which could help you put your business case across powerfully:
  1. Better planning, organisation and scheduling,
  2. Improved communication and collaboration,
  3. Perfect task distribution and timely completion of tasks,
  4. Centralised pooling of information, resources and files,
  5. Precise time tracking,
  6. Work on projects on the move,
  7. Collaboration over designs,
  8. Protection and security of data,
  9. Save time, costs and resources,
  10. Involvement and satisfaction of stakeholders,
  11. Accurate progress tracking, and
  12. Personalisation.

How to measure the ROI of project management software

This is a common challenge, as many feel uncomfortable justify their needs.  Jesse Jacobsen gives some useful advice.

PM METHODOLOGIES

Applying agile the right way at the right time

In “A call for Quality” Zack Naylor looks at why you should help your organisation make informed design decisions and create great software or service products that people love.

Project management methodologies: the framework for success

Udemy take you through a useful high level framework which can be a useful reminder to those of us deep in a project.

PMO/3PM

Creating a project management office-improving project outcomes 

Litcom provide some great first steps for creating a PMO:
  1. Understand the type of PMO that is needed,
  2. Determine the PMO’s roles and responsibilities, and
  3. Obtain senior management backing and support.

BUSINESS CONTINUITY

Top 5 biggest myths about business continuity

  1. Just put it in the cloud,
  2. The risk is actually pretty low,
  3. I don’t need to be involved,
  4. MY IT guys have it all in hand, and
  5. I have a copy of my data – that’s enough
Really – we’ve heard all of these too!

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

In this latest roundup of news from the world of project, program and portfolio management we highlight news and articles which have caught our eye recently.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

PM Sectors PMAdvisor

Project Management – Not Just for Builders and Engineers

John Williams takes a look at how project management has proliferated most industries, sectors and specialisms.

Five benefits of project management

In his article, Ivan Widjaya describes the 5 benefits of project management as:
  1. Flexibility,
  2. Get everyone involved right from the start,
  3. Get the big picture of your ongoing projects,
  4. Enforce communication, and
  5. Better resource management and allocation.

The true value of project management 

Krishna Kumar argues that it is a misconception is that project management is relevant only to the IT and finance industries.  We couldn’t agree more, and would even go far as to ask is there an industry for which project management doesn’t have any relevance?

Product management 101 

Shawn Zvinis shares his learning about designing and building products at early stage technology startups.

Projects: creating products, services, and results

Harry Hall looks at the close links between project management and new product development.

PM COMPETENCE

Five easy steps to finishing big projects 

Natasha Vorompiova promises that the following five steps will make the project management process unintimidating and even fun!
  1. Define the project,
  2. Brainstorm,
  3. Organise your ideas,
  4. Schedule your actions, and
  5. Identify the next step.
 Project Failure

10 classic project management mistakes

Dennis McCafferty suggests 10 classic mistakes:
  1. The proposal doesn’t contain value points,
  2. Key influencer support is lacking,
  3. Scope creep veers out of control,
  4. Users aren’t proactively involved,
  5. Too many team members,
  6. The team lineup is wrong,
  7. Team members aren’t adequately trained,
  8. Team members get overwhelmed by the project’s size,
  9. The project is defined as a side responsibility of members, and
  10. Processes, tools, templates are inconsistent.

6 Steps for making a project announcement

Elizabeth Harrin describes the 6-step process in Ann Pilkington’s book, Communicating Projects:
  1. Understand the message,
  2. Identify the audience,
  3. Plan the messages,
  4. Check the legalities,
  5. Pick the channel, and
  6. Agree the timings

The importance of choosing a project management mentor wisely

Ben Ferris points out that there might be no shortage of potential mentors near you but will need to be smart enough to choose the right one.

7 Things to Consider When Appointing a Project Manager

John Williams suggests the following 7 critical considerations when appointing a project manager:
  • Competence,
  • Budget,
  • Availability,
  • Responsibility vs accountability,
  • Where and how to find your PM,
  • Subject matter expert? and
  • What you should expect

PM TOOLS

clarizen-logo
 

How project management apps help you to always know everything

In this article from GetApp, these popular apps are referenced:
  • Mavenlink
  • Wrike,
  • Clarizen,
  • Jira,
  • Comindware, and
  • AtTask.

Why integrations of the key to your project management solution

Jess Jacobsen argues that companies that understand what to integrate in different departments can more effectively utilise their PM software, specifically CRM and accounting software.

Top 5 tools for project management

Everyone has an opinion on this one, but Jacco Blankenspoor argues for:
  1. Basecamp,
  2. Asana,
  3. Podio,
  4. Sandglaz, and
  5. Trello

PM METHODOLOGIES

Agile versus traditional project manager responsibilities

This article by Keith Mathis is great because it highlights the need for awesome communication from project managers, but the title is a little misleading.  Keith describes on one hand the responsibilities and competencies of traditional project managers, but on the other hand describes the necessary values for an agile PM.  Perhaps he’s cleverly keeping us wanting more?
We actually don’t see a difference between traditional and agile PMs – PMs are PMs in our book, but they will use different skill sets for different project types. This leaves us wondering though whether you think there are differences in responsibilities between traditional and agile PMs, and if so what they are – please share your thoughts in the comments below.

The lean, agile way to build your first product

Andrew Blackman provides some excellent pointers for your start-up software product:
  • Use agile product development,
  • Produce a minimum viable product,
  • Embrace the lean start-up principles, and
  • Keep the clarity through each interaction.

PMO/PPM

What is project portfolio management? 

This is a super introduction to PPM by Kirstin Miller, but the thing that caught our eye was this statement referring to the research from 2012:
“According to Aberdeen Research Group, organizations with a robust management plan for their portfolio of projects reap up to 28.1% more profit than their competitors who continue to affect a haphazard approach.”

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

In this latest roundup of news from the world of project, program and portfolio management we look at news and articles which have caught our eye recently.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
ProjExc Blog Header

Doing more with less through project management

ProjExc PM Consultants look at a number of timely reflections around project management, specifically looking at:
  • Doing more with less
  • Reflecting with a fresh pair of eyes
  • Who owns your PMO, and
  • Disaster strikes – your plan for business continuity

How project management just might solve your digital marketing woes

Halie Davila takes an interesting look at project management from the world of digital marketing.  Halie observes that whilst PM tools add value to getting stuff done, they don’t do the work.  That’s where humans come in to there own solving process, planning and production issues.  She makes three main human points in the article:
  • Software doesn’t manage creativity and quality – it manages production,
  • Process doesn’t eliminate the need for an organisational lead, and
  • Technology has thrown a wrench in everything!
Money

What should project management cost?

allaboutXpert have researched the cost/value of project management, and found that in their context it is around 9.1%.  Our own experience is that it varies by industry, and whether the project includes significant capital/equipment costs, in a range of 8% and 17%.  We’d love to hear back from PM Advisor readers on this one, so please comment with your industry and PM overhead cost estimate as a percentage of the whole project.
Out of interest, we fully agree with the comment by iRestMyCase on ITWeb “Last time I checked, a huge portion of projects failed – for various reasons. The cost of a project manager is normally small in comparison with a failed project. Problem is – you get project managers and ‘project managers’, so choose carefully.”  Lovely.

Building innovation into project management

Graham Oakes shares an interesting view that innovation projects are special and more about risks.  Graham makes some great points (see below) but we wonder does his article miss the point that all projects are projects and need all of the essential PM disciplines (including risk management) covered off but in a flexible and appropriate way.  By aligning a product process with suitable stage gates with the project management process in an organisation can handle the unknown in a structured way and without sacrificing the project management fundamentals unnecessarily.  At PM Advisor we call this agile with a lower case a!
Anyway, Graham suggests a style of project management that does things like:
  • Set fuzzy goals,
  • Accept that things will change,
  • Create slack,
  • Encourage failure, and
  • Devolve control.

10 reasons there is always a need for project management 

Michelle Symonds offers 10 great reasons for needing project management:
  • Learning,
  • Preparation,
  • Exploration,
  • Communication,
  • Process,
  • Critical Path,
  • Justification,
  • Leading the team,
  • Delivery, and
  • Managing changes.
Learning
PM COMPETENCE

7 indispensable PM tips

Roger A. Grimes sees that good project managers are worth their weight in gold, and earn their keep by following these best practices:
  • Even small projects should have a project manager,
  • Start every meeting with goals,
  • Document, document, document,
  • Nothing beats a room full of technicians,
  • Micromanage as needed,
  • Build in cushion time,
  • Make sure your lead technical person is the best available, and
  • Good management makes it happen.

10 ways to you know you’d make a good project manager, whatever that is

Michael el Castillo shares a super Taskworld infographic with the 10 characteristics of a good project manager:
  1. Inspire,
  2. Anticipate needs,
  3. Anticipate problems,
  4. Delegate firmly,
  5. Focus on solutions,
  6. Don’t complain,
  7. Goes in with a plan,
  8. Minimise meetings,
  9. Be driven, and
  10. Foster good relations.

Roundup: top five project management posts 

Smartsheet share some interesting practical PM related posts:
  1. To build a Gantt chart in Excel,
  2. How to use a milestone in project management,
  3. How to create a work back schedule,
  4. Unofficial guide to being a project manager, and
  5. How to use cell linking to create a master Gantt chart in Smartsheet.

Focus less on the management and more on the resources 

Kiron D. Bondale shares an interesting view of the parallels between over parenting and over management in the world of resource management.  What do you think?
Productive

How to audit project risk management

Harry Hall looks at the steps before and following an audit of project risk management:
  • Define your audit goals,
  • Define the scope of the audit,
  • Define the audit assessment plan,
  • Determine who will conduct the audit,
  • Select projects from the project portfolio,
  • Request project documents,
  • Formally audit,
  • Complete the audit report,
  • Communicate audit results, and after the audit
  • Plan for addressing any identified issues.

Manage risk like a Formula One driver

We have a few petrol heads at PM Advisor, and so this article caught our attention even more than the apparent project failures at the Ferrari team.  Conrado Morlan draws some interesting parallels between the world of F1 and the world of project management, not least the need to manage risks.

How complexity is clogging your project environments

Corrine Forrest feels that projects often suffer from bloated, convoluted solutions that impede delivery.  She recommends:
  • Taking a simple approach, thinning out unnecessary complexity, and
  • Favouring the fundamentals – remove environmental complexity first, then process complexity and finally focus on performance issues.

The impact of project communication management on project success

In this post, Ivana Zuber takes a thorough look at the necessary elements of a project communication plan, and considers the importance of stakeholder analysis and confidentiality.
PM TOOLS
 

Project management platform Wrike hopes to challenge Asana with new workflow tools

Frederic Lardinois describes the major update at Wrike which recently brought functionality to compete more effectively with Asana.
Wrike-logo

10 benefits of cloud based project management software

Emily Bonnie from Wrike, considers what they believe to be the top 10 benefits of using cloud based PM software:
  1. A connected team,
  2. Reliable access,
  3. Minimal upfront costs,
  4. Low maintenance technology,
  5. Flexibility,
  6. Security,
  7. Speed,
  8. Cost efficiency,
  9. Integrated tools, and
  10. Try before you buy.

6 Mobile collaboration apps for smooth projects

GetApp have contributed to business2community, suggesting 6 mobile collaboration apps for smooth projects:
  1. Wrike,
  2. ProWorflow,
  3. LeanKit,
  4. JIRA,
  5. AtTask, and
  6. Sellsy Teamwork.

4 classic adages to help you choose enterprise project management software

Charles Settles offers these 4 wise old gems which can be applied to PM Tool selection:
  1. Measure twice, cut once,
  2. Know thyself, know thy enemy,
  3. Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood, and
  4. No battleplan survives first contact with the enemy.
PM METHODOLOGIES

Tips for successful project management using agile development

Tushar Patel shares his thoughts, concluding that “It is possible to strike a happy medium between agile’s flexible development approach and a traditional reliance on planning, metrics and program management required by the rest of the business.”

Agile myth number two: agile is about project management

Java code geeks share agile myth #2, and you can find all 5 gems from Calen Legaspi on his blog:
  • Agile Myth #1: Agile is a methodology,
  • Agile Myth #2: Agile is about project management,
  • Agile Myth #3: Agile is short milestones,
  • Agile Myth #4: Agile cannot work with fixed budgets, and
  • Agile Myth #5: Agile is unpredictable.
Spot on.  Of course we’d love to add myth number 6 – agile can work for any product…
PMI
PMO/3PM

A PMO evolves from tracking projects to strategic business unit

Deniz A. Johnson follows the timeline of maturity for a financial-sector PMO.

PMI Challenge to APM Application for Royal Charter: dismissed

APM LogoWe reported in a News Digest post back in April 2014, that PMI had challenged APM’s application to the UK Privy Council by way of a Judicial Review, as per this statement from APM.

At the time we were not clear on what good PMI hoped to achieve for the PM profession, other than protecting their own commercial interests.

UPDATE: Judge dismisses the PMI claim on all grounds:

APM Chief Executive Andrew Bragg has issued a statement concluding:

“Having reserved judgment at the substantive hearing of the Judicial Review claim which ended on 9 July 2014 at the High Court in London, the Judge, Mr Justice Mitting, handed down his judgment on 17 July 2014.

The Judge dismissed the claim on all grounds”.

We hope that the much needed development and recognition of the PM profession can now move forward very soon.

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

In this latest roundup of news from the world of project, program and portfolio management we look at amongst other things:

  • How to get the right project management tool for your business,
  • Mind mapping,
  • The changing landscape for PM lifecycle phases,
  • Tips for becoming a better and more productive PM,
  • Project management recruitment,
  • and more.

As always, as well as summarising and pointing you to the relevant articles, we add the views of our super experienced project management consultants. We also welcome your comments and suggestions for what we should include in the next News Digest – feel free to use the comments box at the bottom of this post.

PM Tools

PM Tools

5 Ways to Get the Right Project Management Tool for your Business

BizCommunity
Daniel Marcus takes the readers of his post through the basic steps in implementing a PM Tool for an SMB. He sees these as:

  1. Consider why you need a PM tool,
  2. Wade through the clutter,
  3. Take advantage of the cloud,
  4. Get started, and
  5. Reap the rewards.

Remember, there’s lots of information, mini-reviews and links to many of the more popular tools here on PM Advisor to help with step 2.

Mindmap

Mindmapping for Project Management

MindGenius Blog
Jamie MacDonald from MindGenius offers a useful introduction to the possibilities of using mind mapping tools for:

  • Project planning,
  • Project scheduling,
  • Project monitoring & control, and
  • Project reporting.

In our experience mind mapping is a fantastically powerful tool for individual PMs to manage their projects, teams and stakeholders. However, we haven’t (yet) encountered a successful cross-enterprise implementation of mind mapping for project management. Our suspicion is that this is because of the better RoIs available from more structured & integrated all-in-one 3P management tools available.

ProjExc PM Office Services

PMO

Changing Landscape: PM Lifecycle Phases

Business2Community
Dr. Harold Kerzner provides a fascinating argument with supporting evidence that the world of project management is rapidly shifting from operational to strategic.

He concludes that the role of the project manager will be changing significantly, and sees that:

  • the investment life-cycle will replace the traditional project management life-cycle,
  • project managers will be expected to have much greater understanding of business and strategy,
  • project managers may end up reporting directly to the corporate board room on some critical projects,
  • project managers will be involved at the beginning of the project, perhaps even during the idea generation stage, in order to understand the rationalization, assumptions, constraints and risks associated with the potential project.

Dr. Kerzner shares his view that most companies should understand why project management has evolved into a strategic competency rather than just another career path position.
Of course some forward leaning organisations have already made some significant progress in some or all of these areas, but we have to agree that the trend for greater maturity will continue.

PM Competence

PM Competence

10 Steps to Becoming a Better PM

WizIQ Blog
WizIQ Blog offer 10 tips for greater success in projects:

  1. be inquisitive,
  2. be a ‘can do’ person,
  3. think in detail,
  4. keep events in perspective,
  5. assume prudently,
  6. make allies at work,
  7. communicate constructively,
  8. focus on people’s strengths,
  9. acknowledge & appreciate, and
  10. be a leader.

Project Management Tips that Rock

Business Management Daily
Evie Nagy from Fast Company shares some advice for project managers taken from the world of rock bands:

  • do a trial run,
  • take care of yourself,
  • designate a handler, and
  • accept the right tasks.

PM Recruitment

Recruitment is Project Management

RivieraAdvisors
Chris Stringfellow provides a refreshing recognition that along with many other business needs, recruitment (or talent acquisition) is project management.  Clearly, by consistently applying some simple but reliable project management techniques recruitment (project) success rates can be hugely improved.

Cultural Personality & Rapport – The Key to Recruiting Project Managers

How to Manage a Camel
The ever-present Lindsay Scott rightly observes that there is a conundrum when it comes to recruiting project managers and it is this – how can anyone be sure that the project manager they are about to hire can perform the role in a new organisation?
Having helped recruit hundreds of project managers for numerous organisations, we agree with Lindsay that the process of matching competences to the vacancy helps identify a possible fit (and helps follow HR rules for good reason) it doesn’t necessarily find the right individual. To do that you need also to consider:

  • Cultural fit,
  • Personality fit, and
  • Rapport with the manager (we call this the chemistry).

Lindsay concludes, “If the organisation can start to really define these ‘softer’ areas of their ideal project managers, there will be a greatly increased chance that the new hire will fit right in and continue to deliver their best”.

6 Simple Tweaks for PMs to Become More Productive

Business2Community
Marciel Rivera suggests the following tweaks to help PMs under pressure to be increasingly productive:

  1. be clear when defining your goals,
  2. run more productive meetings,
  3. take advantage of technology,
  4. stop multitasking,
  5. take frequent breaks,
  6. don’t be tempted to do it all.

 

Other PM News

Construction

Capita Buys Projen

Building
Iain Withers reports that Capita has acquired 100-strong project management and engineering solutions business Projen for an undisclosed sum.
Cheshire-based Projen provides design, engineering and management services in the pharmaceutical, oil and gas, manufacturing and bio energy markets.
It will join Capita’s 4,000-strong property and infrastructure business and sit within its design and management division.

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

PM COMPETENCE

 

Project Management Academy® Announces New Scholarships for Aspiring Project Managers

Digital Journal

PMA® have announced 22 new scholarships intended to promote project management education across the United States. The scholarships, distributed through the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation™ (PMIEF), were created to provide students, teachers, professionals, and non-profit organizations the opportunity to develop their project management prowess through continuing education.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see something similar for the UK – perhaps the APM could help organise something with some of our great training organisations?
Apple Inc.

4 Things Software Engineers Can Teach You About Project Management

Business Insider

This article considers some of the less well known reasons why the legendary Steve Jobs’ projects succeeded:

  • Create structure
  • Don’t just listen – understand
  • Don’t underestimate inspiration
  • Communicate

 

Managing the Dreaded Project Conflicts

OnTrack

Brad Egeland describes his 5 preferred methods for resolving conflict:

  • Compromise
  • Confrontation
  • Forcing
  • Smoothing
  • Withdrawal

Interview Questions

Bring Some Common Sense into Your Project Management

Tech Cocktail

Serhat Pala encourages the use of common sense to start SMBs on the journey to project management maturity with the following key elements:

  • Put an astute project manager in charge,
  • Integrate parts into the whole, and
  • Leverage project management tools.

 

Change in the Legal Climate: Budgeting and project management

Inside Counsel

This article takes a look at why budgeting and project management are more important than ever for the legal industry. The top 3 demands from Chief Legal Officers accruing to a 2013 surrey by Altman Weil are:

  • more efficient project management,
  • improved budget forecasting, and
  • greater cost reduction.

 

MBTI

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Project Management

The Fast Track

Tim Walker takes a fascinating look at how to use MBTI to help get past those frustrating communication roadblocks in projects. He looks at:

  • What is the Myers-Briggs?
  • How Is the Myers-Briggs Used in Business?, and
  • How the MBTI Can Help Your Team

 

10 Classic Project Management Mistakes

CIO Insight

Dennis McCafferty considers 10 classic mistakes in IT projects:

  1. The proposal doesn’t contain value points
  2. Key influencer support is lacking,
  3. Scope creep veers out of control,
  4. Users are not proactively involved,
  5. Too many team members,
  6. With the team line-up is wrong,
  7. Team members are not adequately trained,
  8. Team members get overwhelmed by the project’s size,
  9. The project is defined as a side responsibility of members, and
  10. Processes, tools, templates are inconsistent.

 

Beyond Your Wildest Risks: What Every Board Member Needs To Know

PCubed

Jeremy Harrison observes that the risks you need to concern yourself with no longer follow a linear path; they no longer allow for days and weeks of response time. They come fast and furious, seemingly out of nowhere, and they can wallop your company faster than you can tweet a first response.

 

Keeping Your Project Sponsor Satisfied

Wellingtone

Tony Adams recognises that one of the best tools in the Project Manager’s kit is a positive, flag-waving Sponsor. In fact, nothing shapes your success in quite the same way as having an engaged, switched-on Project Champion sitting in the Big Chair – leading the charge, clearing roadblocks, keeping momentum and giving your project that all-important credibility. In this article he looks at how to keep your principal stakeholder on board.
BCI

The Business Continuity Institute Becomes Part of a Global Resilience Network

Continuity Central

The Business Continuity Institute has signed up to become a part of the Future Cities and Community Resilience (FCCR) Network, an interdisciplinary collaboration of like-minded academics and professionals that provides a forum for the advancement of knowledge in the core areas of future city resilience, urban supply chain management, smart city technologies and community engagement through experimental and creative methods.

 

PM TOOLS

Whiteboard

Another New Product in the Project Collaboration Space – Whiteboard

Whiteboard

Whiteboard is a start-up who have just unveiled their innovative web and mobile-based app aimed at boosting productivity by bridging the gap between tasks at home and work. With its ultra-clean user interface and intuitive paradigms for organizing workflow, Whiteboard empowers users to focus on accomplishing the tasks that matter most in their day. The tool’s user interface provides convenient ways to access relevant information such as quick views for to-dos, files, discussions, or people.

 

ProjectManager.com Raises $3.5 Million in Funding

Digital Journal

ProjectManager.com, the leader in online project management software for professionals, today announced it has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding to support the company’s momentum in the project management software market and expansion into the United States.
Deltek

Deltek Axium Introduces Project Trek™ to Deliver a Collaboration and Document Management Solution

Digital Journal

Axium, the developer recently acquired by Deltek, have announced the re-introduction of Project Trek™, a collaboration and document sharing solution formerly known as ArchiTrek™.
Nugg

Nugg is a Team Performance Tool Positioned Above Project and Task Management

Gigaom Research

Nugg is a start-up which looks to be finding itself a niche position integrating with data from Business Process, Communication and Task tools in order to share questions, decision and results. Ashar Baig does a good job of describing their approach in the Gigaom Research article. You can get more information from the horses mouth at Nugg.

They say that Nugg allows you to:

  • Focus attention on the conversations and teams that matter the most,
  • Decide on the actions you need to take to achieve your goals,
  • Track your decisions and conversations, and
  • Align on the goals that define your team’s success.

PM METHODS

PRINCE2

AXELOS to recognize PMI and IPMA qualifications in applications for PRINCE2® Practitioner Qualification

PM World Journal

Axelos, the joint venture company responsible for PRINCE2 and other Project and Programme Management (PPM) products, has announced that it is now recognizing other qualifications as a route to Practitioner level rather than the previous, mandatory requirement for the PRINCE2 Foundation qualification. Project managers worldwide – for the first time – will be given greater access to the PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification based on their prior learning and achievements with specific project management professional bodies.

Frances Scarff explains the reasoning for this significant change in direction on the Axelos website.

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

Here is a curated list of some of the latest news from the world of Project, Portfolio and Programme Management, brought to you by PM Advisor.

PM TOOLS

Deltek

Deltek Acquires Axium

FortMillTimes
Axium, a leading provider of integrated accounting and project management solutions to more than 2,200 architecture & engineering (A&E) firms, has been acquired by Deltek, the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-based businesses. The acquisition of Axium strengthens Deltek’s market leadership and extends Deltek’s reach into the largest segment of the A&E industry within North America, namely firms with fewer than 250 employees.
Tom's Planner

Tom’s Planner Adds Filtering & Search

tom’splanner

The popular Tom’s Planner has added the ability to use filters in their online Gantt charts, but beware from August it will only be available for paid accounts.

40 Useful Project Management Tools

Smashing Apps

Smashing  Apps bring an eclectic mix of free and premium PM Tools.

 

PM METHODS

Do We Really Learn from ‘Lessons Learnt’?

How to Manage a Camel

Lindsay Scott recently co-hosted a joint  knowledge cafe session between the APMs PMOSIG and Knowledge SIG, and shares her observations.

Project Failure

Why are so many projects set up to fail?

Project Manager

Patrick Weaver takes in interesting look at how a lack of ‘project management common sense’ can lead to failure.  He concludes “the root cause of most project and program failures is the failure of governing bodies to both hold themselves accountable and to make their management responsible for commissioning avoidable failures.”

 

PM COMPETENCE

The Impact Of Project Communication Management On Project Success

SAP Blog

Ivana Zuber shares her thoughts on an important aspect of every successful project – Project Communication Management, looking at the communication plan, stakeholder analysis, confidentiality, and the role of the project manager.

11 Ideas for Starting a Legal PM Initiative in Your Firm

Slaw

Natasha Chetty shares her learning from attending LPM Showcase and Workshop.  Interesting observations for legal firms, many of which are transferrable to most sectors.

Interview Questions

10 Killer Interview Questions for Hiring Project Managers

A Girl’s Guide to Project Management

Elizabeth Harrin shares her 10 favourite PM interview questions, explains why she likes them and shares some un-model answers:

  1. What don’t you want to work on?
  2. If you had to rate project management as a career, from 1-10 how would you rate it?
  3. What’s the most important thing for a project manager to do?
  4. What do you spend most time doing each day?
  5. How do you work with sponsors? How do you manage up?
  6. When was the last time you didn’t delegate and what happened?
  7. What was the most difficult ethical decision you’ve had to make on a project?
  8. What criteria are you using to find your next job?
  9. How have you improved project management processes at your current firm?
  10. What creative problem-solving techniques to use?

10 Things That All Great Project Managers Do

CIO Insight

Dennis McCafferty observes that the 10 things that all great PMs do are:

  1. They seek clarity from start to finish,
  2. They don’t ask for permission to assert authority,
  3. They edit information as it’s presented,
  4. They re-evaluate on-the-fly,
  5. They craft conversations for their audience,
  6. They stick to regular communications schedules,
  7. They put the right people in the right positions,
  8. They maintain composure, and
  9. They respect work-life balance.

Money

Three surefire ways to screw up your project

FastCompany

Eric Morgan, CEO at AtTask, recognises that while every project will have bumps along the road, but sees 3 surefire ways to make things worse:

  • Pretending that work isn’t chaos,
  • Adding yet another point solution or tool, or
  • Forgetting that ad-hoc projects will come in.

10 Project Management Dos

PM Hut

Susanne Madsen suggests 10 practices to focus on in order to hone your skills, deliver triumphant projects, and have a great experience doing your job:

  1. Focus on customer needs,
  2. Challenge the status quo,
  3. Meet people face-to-face,
  4. Complete an accurate project plan,
  5. Assess project progress on a weekly basis,
  6. Review project risks in collaboration with your team,
  7. Be proactive and resist fighting fires,
  8. Learn to delegate,
  9. Keep your promises, and
  10. Support and challenge in equal measure.

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

News Digest

Here are some more news articles which have caught the PM Advisor team over the last week or two.  If we’re missing something in these popular posts which you would find useful leave a comment or get in touch – we’re always looking for ways to make PM Advisor more helpful for you the project manager.
 
PM Competence

Quarterly Recruitment Trends Report

Wellingtone have released their quarterly report, providing a snapshot of current recruitment trends in the UK PM market.

16 Project Management Terms You Should Know

Aimed at PMs in SMBs, the highlighted terms are: Purpose, Goals, Capabilities, Resources, Decisions, Debate, Exploration, Transparency, Accountability, Target Date, Priorities, Red Flags and Critical Path.  What do you think might be missing?
PM Tools
projectplace-logo

Agile Gantt from ProjectPlace

This new “tool” combines the functionality of Gantt charts and Kanban boards.  It is available to all ProjectPlace users, and as an add-on to ToDo.

Clarizen raised $35m

The project management/collaboration tools space continues to see significant investments.

Clarizen Poisitioned in the Visionaries Quadrant

Clarizen have announced that they have been positioned by Gartner into their report which presents a global view of Gartner’s opinion of software vendors that should be considered by organizations seeking to use IT project and portfolio management solutions.

How to make a simple Switch to a PM Application

GetApp offer 4 great tips for choosing the right tool:
  1. Project Management is still project management,
  2. Cloud based project management offers new possibilities,
  3. Avoid the common mistakes, and
  4. Compare several apps before buying.
Beware though the assertion that they have a complete list of current PM Apps – we have a few more on our database!  Take a look at the PM Tools Section here on PM Advisor.

What is the Best Free Online PM Software

Dmitry Davydov lists:
  • Bitrix24
  • Freedcamp
  • Asana,
  • Trello, and
  • GanttProject.
Productive
PM Methods

A Temporal Approach to Project Issue Management

Guy Wilmington develops project issue management and interestingly applies some time management techniques.
PMO

How to Create High-Performing Project Management Teams

This article looks at what high-performing (IT) project teams have in common and why some teams consistently deliver innovative products successfully.

Conflict Resolution

Lynda Bourne considers that Most points of difference can be resolved through negotiation, discussion or input from a third party. But other times, circumstances quickly descend into acrimony…

Lean, Mean PMO Machine

Mario Trentim looks at how to keep the PMO focused, effective and providing value.
This subject is also explored in

Does the PMO Create Value or Overhead?

 
 
Other News

Major Projects Authority report shows PM Improvements

The UK government has published the Major Projects Authority (MPA’s) second annual report into the performance of 199 major projects with a forecast lifetime cost of £488 billion.

You Can’t Delegate Change Management

We’re not big fans of “can’t” in any context, but this interesting article exemplifies how you really shouldn’t try to abdicate responsibility for change as it just won’t work.

Project Management for Agencies – Putting your People First

Laura Miller brings some ‘top tips’ for using people management to get project success:
  • Get interested in psychology,
  • Be self-aware,
  • You are not the expert – your teams are,
  • Manage conflict with consensus building,
  • Develop listening skills,
  • The answers are often in the grey bits,
  • Be clear with your expectations,
  • Say ‘thanks’, and
  • Leave it in the office.

20 PM Guru’s to Follow on Twitter

Don’t forget if you’re looking for something in particular the “search this website” bar on the top right hand side of every page will help save you time and effort, and if you want to say something to us, send us a tweet @ProjExc