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 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.

Daptiv

Project management company Daptiv sells to Changepoint

GeekWire

Blair Hanley Frank reports that Daptiv Solutions, a Seattle-based project portfolio management company, has been acquired by Changepoint, a Toronto company that builds professional services automation software.

Fine-tuning your project management style: 4 tips on how to successfully blend Agile, Waterfall methodologies

FierceCIO

Eric Morgan argues that organisations with successful development cycles appear to employ a mix of agile and waterfall. He offers 4 tips for harmonisation without sacrificing visibility or productivity:

  1. Transition slowly
  2. Provide professional training
  3. Allow teams to communicate across methodologies
  4. Speak a language everyone understands

Agility in project management requires a fully functioning eye

CapGemini Blog

Henk-Jan van der Klis looks at how to breakdown the 46 IPMA PM competence elements into 3 groups – behavioural, technical and contextual and focus on leadership.

Five Project Management Blunders (and How to Avoid Them)

SiteProNews

Sean Crafts shares 5 common mistakes and suggests what to do to avoid them in your projects:

  1. No clearly defined scope of work
  2. Project delays
  3. Team member roles not clearly defined
  4. Lack of communication
  5. Project managers are unprepared to face challenges

Updatey

Updatey v2 Goes Live

Updatey Blog

With Updatey version 2, you’ll see improved performance, design changes, and most excitingly, the Workspace and a new Dashboard.

The Purpose Of Guiding Principles in Project Management

Herding Cats

Glen Alleman explains that these 5 guiding principles define the key criteria for making decisions about the application of a project’s Practices and Processes:

  1. Goal
  2. Plans
  3. Resources
  4. Risk
  5. Measures

Why Every Employee Needs to be a Project Manager

IDG Connect

Eric Morgan from AtTask argues that in the aftermath of the global recession all employees are now required to act and think as PMs. This means embedding PM skills at every level and preparing the workforce for decentralised project management.

Managing Agile Teams with Project Managers

InfoQ

Ben Linders offers his views and those of 3 bloggers on this often controversial subject.

PMI

Reenergizing Project Managers

PMI

PMI observe that organisations go to great lengths and considerable cost to find the right project practitioners. However many can slide into mediocrity if interest in the work wanes. A disengaged project manager can lower team morale, blow budgets, delay schedules and eat up a supervisor’s time and attention. By noticing and addressing the problem early, organisations can refresh a practitioner’s engagement levels — and keep performance on track. Their suggestions:

  • Recognise red flags,
  • Confront the issue head on,
  • Assess skills,
  • Assign a mentor, and
  • Follow-up.

Trello

Project and Task-Management Tool Trello Hits 5 Million Users

Mashable

Trello, the web-based visual task-management system, announced recently that it now has more than 5 million users.

Project Risk Management – 10 Golden Rules

International Business Times

International Business Times suggests 10 golden rules for ensuring that risks are adequately managed in projects:

  1. Make risk management part of your project
  2. Identify risks early in your project
  3. Communicate about risks
  4. Consider both threats and opportunities
  5. Clarify ownership issues
  6. Prioritise risks
  7. Analyse risks
  8. Plan and implement risk responses
  9. Register project risks
  10. Track Risks and Associated Tasks

APM Logo

Wellingtone and APM partner on career service for profession

APM

Dayner Proudfoot announces that Wellingtone and APM have formed a unique alliance to provide a career development service to the project management profession.

5 Project Portfolio Management Apps That Give You ‘The Big Picture’

Business2Community

GetApp suggest 5 portfolio management applications:

  1. AtTask
  2. Mavenlink
  3. EPM Live
  4. Clarizen
  5. Wrike

5 Best Project Management Tools for Small Businesses

Yahoo

Kathleen Olson recommends the 5 best PM tools for small businesses:

  1. Asana
  2. Casual
  3. Basecamp
  4. Apollo HQ
  5. Flow

Movidiam: New Networking & Project Management Platform for Filmmakers

Cinema5D

Ethan Vincent reports that there is a new online platform called Movidiam which aims to be a creative network that allows brands, agencies and filmmakers to connect, collaborate and work together on films and projects.

Projectmates V13.0 Raises the Bar for Construction Project Management Software

Digital Journal

Systemates, Inc. recently announced the upgrade of Projectmates version 13.0, its best and most innovative version of Projectmates construction project management software to date. Enterprise ad hoc reports and dashboards were added to give clients unprecedented control over project data.

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 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.

The dangers of Agile evangelism

We always look forward to the views expressed in the “Critical Path” spot in the APM’s project magazine, and John Rowley of TPM sounding off about the Agile evangelists is no exception.
Agile AllianceHe raises a concern that we share, and that is that some individuals like to grab hold of the latest ’toy’ believing that it will single-handedly fix all problems.  The ‘toy’ in question is Agile.  John rightly makes the point that Agile is a super tool for the project manager’s toolbox, but it is not the right tool for all projects.  We observe that a big danger for Agile (Let’s hope the Agile Alliance and their colleagues are thinking about this) is that it is the latest bandwagon which is being jumped on by the training companies who largely ruined the credibility of PRINCE2.  Clearly attempting to discredit one approach to project management in favour of another without considering the context is at best immature and at worst dangerous for both the project and the profession.
Here are the key points which John makes.
I just walked out of an Agile presentation. Not for the first time. This is getting tedious. Don’t get me wrong, I am enthusiastic about Aagile as a potential technique for project managers to use. Sometimes only an Agile approach will do, so I am certainly not against it. But why do people always feel they have to justify Agile by misrepresenting traditional (waterfall) approaches? The logic seems to be: “Some projects go badly therefore all projects using established approaches must go badly – therefore traditional project management must be ‘broken’.
The way these events go the presenters seem to be evangelising for a completely new approach across the profession (reinventing all aspects of project management to fit with their new belief system). 
It would be refreshing if they accepted the strengths of traditional methods, and the limitations of their own approach, and presented themselves as members of the project management profession, rather than as people who appear to want to overthrow it.  In fact many projects using traditional project management methods go remarkably well and in many areas performance is improving.  Indeed many projects might not fare so well if Agile were used.
So surely the message must be: “Project management is good but we need to continue to get better at it.  One way to get better is to understand when Agile (or other) approach may be appropriate, and know how to use it.”  We might then start to look like one profession, and not a collection of competing methods with each new ‘brand’ seeking to undermine the rest.
Project
If you like this Critical path and you are an APM member, make your way over to the APM website and take a look at some of the online archives, or indeed make sure you dip into your monthly Project magazine.  If not, why not join?

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

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

News Digest

Here is our latest summary of what is new and what is in the news for the world of Project Management.   In this digest we’ve attempted to group around subjects of interest to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.  Feel free to share whether this is helpful, or not.

— Project Portfolio Management —

Embed from Getty Images

George Lawton of Search SOA has shared 2 excellent articles on Project Portfolio Management, and much of the advice is non-specific to the world of Service Oriented Architecture:

Project Portfolio Management Best Practices in the SOA Landscape

Search SOA

Why Portfolio Assessment Beats Project Focus for Development Projects

Search SOA

— The Project Management Industry —

Embed from Getty Images

Project Management Generates Real Business Value

GlobalLegalPost

It seems Europe’s Legal Eagles have recognised that “Project management is one of the most important capabilities in an organisation for generating real business value, according to new research”.  The research by Mannaz points to the all important need for KPIs, objectives and roles & responsibilities.

Why PMI Should No Longer be an Authority on Project Management

PM Hut

An anonymous contributor to PM Hut challenges whether PMI should be (or indeed whether it ever was) an independent authority on Project Management.  This certainly stimulates the thought process as to what is behind the PMI current legal challenge to APM gaining the Royal Charter.

— Project Management Knowledge —

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How Timelines Help Project Managers Track Progress

Edge of Chaos Blog

This article looks at the value of timelines in the world of a agile, SCRUM, Kanban, SAFe, lean, XP or some mix of them.

A Project Manager’s Guide to Smiling

ProjectManager

Heading off to work with a smile on your face will create a chain of positivity for you and your project according to this intriguing post by Michelle LaBosse and Kristen Medina.  They argue convincingly that a smile and some humour can:

  • Reduce stress,
  • Encourage creativity,
  • Create authenticity,
  • Build mutual trust, and
  • Increase productivity.

Worth a try?

Keys to Building a Project Management Team

Hartford Business

Jim Pawlak reviews A Team of Leaders and the suggested 5 stages to team development.

7 Personal Qualities a Good PM Just Can’t Do Without

PM Hut

Michelle Symonds looks at the essential qualities identified in an ESI research paper:

  • The ability to inspire a shared vision,
  • Excellent communication,
  • Integrity,
  • Enthusiasm,
  • Empathy,
  • Competence, and
  • The ability to delegate.

Our favourite is communication as it encompasses the others.  What do you think is most important to succeed as a PM?

4 Options for Building your Project Plan

PM Tips

Elizabeth from PM Tips looks at the pros and cons of 4 different options for building a project plan:

  1. Spreadsheets,
  2. MindMaps,
  3. Documents, and
  4. PM Software.

10 Basics of Project Management

PMHut

Olga Sa shares 10 basic tips for project managers:

  1. Always keep the constraints of your project at the top of your mind,
  2. Always know the details of deliverables, milestones, budget and dependencies,
  3. Be nice but firm,
  4. Always document the project requirements,
  5. Organise the file repository,
  6. Communicate often and the right way,
  7. Trust, but double check,
  8. Update your financial forecasts weekly,
  9. Feedback frequency controls stability, and
  10. Share your experience with other project managers.

— Project Management Careers —

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7 Ways to Advance Your Project Management Career

CIO

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff summarises advice from dozens of experts, executives and recruiters into 7 excellent tips for advancing your project management career:

  1. Get certified,
  2. Remember that experience matters,
  3. Speak the language of business, not just project management,
  4. Don’t be a PM zealot,
  5. Don’t shy away from ‘hard’ projects (or give up when the going gets tough),
  6. Be clear about your career goals, and
  7. Play nicely with others.

— Project Management Tools —

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As always there are numerous developments in Project Management Tools.  Here are some that have caught our eye at PM Advisor recently.

Comindware Project Extends Professional Project Management to iPad Platform

Comindware

Comindware Project Edition is one of the first professional PPM Tools to extend its full project planning, execution and collaboration capabilities to mobile platforms.

Updatey v2 Coming Soon

Updatey

The guys over at Updatey have kept their feet on the gas since launching Updatey earlier this year.  They’ve recently announced the forthcoming release of version 2 which is expected to bring 3 new sections:

  • Project Management View,
  • Global Dashboard, and
  • Clien Report.

Podio Re-Design – Citrix Dumbing Down?

SmallBizTrends

Shawn Hessinger looks at whether the newly announced changes to Citrix Podio makes project management simpler for non-Project Managers.  Of course that in turn begs the question – should non-Project Managers be managing projects, let alone setting up project collaboration tools.  We’d love to understand your views.  Please share your thought below.

Tom’s Planner Gets a New Look & Feel

Tom’s Planner

Hot on the heels of their ability to import Basecamp projects, Trello Boards and Google Calendars, which came from their purchase of Gantiffy, the team over at Tom’s Planner have freshened up the look and feel of their increasingly popular tool.

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

ProjectPlace Launch ToDo, Freemium Stepping Stone

projectplace-logo
The long established collaboration tool has made a new stripped down Kanban based shared task system called ToDo.  The tool starts with  free basic module and offers to grow with you.  The system has web access as well as an iOS app.
You can read a fuller review over at Gigaoam.com here.

Communication: The Essential Ingredient for Good Project Management

Bruce McGraw offers super advice for 3 key aspects of project communication:
  1. Transparency,
  2. Team member communications & meetings, and
  3. Stakeholder/sponsor communication.
This is worthy of a read project managers.  Sticking with communications you may also be interested in the next story.
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How to Make Communication Central to Project Management

Jeff Miller of Interstates Control Systems Inc. hits the nail on the head with this introspective on necessary PM behaviours in an automation retrofit project, and offers good advice for all project managers.  Agile proponents will love the quote “.. you have to have a game plan for handling new information that comes to light after months of work based on incomplete information.
On the subject of Agile, we recently came across this following gem from Sam Price.

Agile not Fragile

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In the post, Sam concludes “In short, agile provides flexibility, not frailty. Any lack of documentation and planning are the faults of the manager, not agile. Given the propensity for change and the increased stakeholder engagement, project management fundamentals are vital to success.”.
Of course we agree with Sam but we do find some who struggle to understand where an agile approach can work, and importantly where it will not.

How Project Managers Keep Calm and Stay Efficient

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In this super article by  Rebecca Leitch, she looks at levels of stress (good stress vs bad stress or distress) and how it can be positively leveraged by project managers to maximise productivity.

5 Big Project Management Problems and How to Solve Them

Chad Brooks looks at the five key reasons  two US researchers uncovered for why projects flop:
  1. Employees don’t accurately report when projects are failing,
  2. People misreport for many reasons – and those reasons matter,
  3. Audit teams help to proliferate misreporting,
  4. Putting a senior executive in charge of a project may increase misreporting, and
  5. Executives often ignore bad news,

KPIs – Good and Bad

Dr Lynda Bourne offers some solid advice for PMOs when setting KPIs to ensure good project communication.

Project Panorama – A WordPress PlugIn for Project Management

Panorama
The claim: “Project Panorama is a simple, easy to use WordPress project management plugin designed to keep clients and team members informed of project progress”.  The Lite version is free, and Professional is $49.99 (initially reduced to $34.99).

5 Reasons To Use Mind Mapping Software

Mindmap
Mindmapping is increasingly popular with project managers.  Elizabeth at PM Tips offers a useful set of arguments for convincing that mean line manager to loosen their grip on the IT budget:
  • It saves time,
  • I can create your WBS,
  • It’s visual,
  • It keeps everything centralised, and
  • It’s easy to search.

Project Management News Digest

As always we offer our popular roundup of the latest news and interesting articles from the world of project management.

NewsDigest

PMI Publishes Definitive Guide to Navigating Complexity

Fort Mill Times

“Navigating Complexity: A Practice Guide” helps practitioners and organizations understand and address complexity in projects. The guide, which is aimed at program and project managers of all levels is split into six sections:

  • Organisational considerations,
  • Encountering complexity,
  • PMI foundational standards and useful practices,
  • Navigating complexity: the assessment questionnaire,
  • Complexity scenarios & possible actions, and
  • Developing the action plan.

Top10 Countries for PM Remuneration

B2C

In this article called ‘The Key Project Management Jobs That Remain Hard to Fill’ the author reflects on ESI’s identification that recruiting competent project managers is a key challenge for 2014, and sees big opportunities for those willing to travel. There is also and interesting link to the PMI Project Management Salary Survey with the Top10 countries for remuneration being:

  1. AustraliaMoney
  2. Switzerland
  3. USA
  4. Netherlands
  5. Germany
  6. Canada
  7. New Zealand
  8. Belgium
  9. Sweden and
  10. UK

10 Signs You Have a Great PM

Huffington Post

Benjie Nycum shares his thoughts on how you know if you have a great PM:

  1. A strong PM has an intimate understanding of the tasks,
  2. Effective PM’s know what drives the people working on the project,
  3. Greatly PMs respect standard industry contracts,
  4. Truly talented PMs represent the success of the project – not just the client,
  5. A PM confronts problems openly,
  6. A PM never undertakes or changes the task work themselves,
  7. A strong PM embraces existing work processes and nurtures innovation,
  8. A worthy PM avoids promising the impossible,
  9. A strong PM takes responsibility, and
  10. A PM should make outward demonstrations of respect and desire for everyone’s success.

7 Simple and Elegant Project Management Tools You Must Try

Business Computing World

ToolboxIn this simple tool round-up, digital marketer, Dipti Parmar, selects:

  • BinFire,
  • Clarizen,
  • Daptive,
  • Flow,
  • LiquidPlanner,
  • Wrike, and
  • WorkZone.

6 Time Management Tips for Project Managers

Process Excellence Network

Duncan Haughey offers 6 common sense tips to help project managers be more productive:

  1. Create the plan,
  2. Remember the 80/20 rule,
  3. Meetings should not just be status updates,
  4. Stop micro managing,
  5. Don’t do the work, and
  6. Create a to-do list.

11 PM Tips for Setting and Managing Expectations

CIO

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff offers this interesting insight. The 11 tips are:

  1. Get involved early (during the planning process),
  2. Involve all stakeholders,
  3. Have a clear scope with sign-off and set priorities,
  4. Be realistic,
  5. Make sure everyone understands their role and responsibilities,
  6. Make sure team members communicate with each other,
  7. Try to identify potential pain points,
  8. Set up calendar reminders for milestones,
  9. Have an escalation strategy,
  10. Hold regular status meetings (& ensure everyone attends),
  11. Don’t be afraid to communicate bad news and adjust expectations.

IMOGO announces iPad Mobile Office

iPad Mobile Office

According to their press release “iPad Mobile Office is a cost-effective, powerful mobile office platform designed for project management and team-based collaboration” and it “will help improve productivity and be the most comprehensive and secure mobile workspace on the market.” The development transforms iPads into dynamic, secure mobile collaboration tool with the regular components. iPad Mobile Office uses a SaaS platform; a simple user-friendly interface, and includes useful features such as Apps for “To-Do” lists, Milestones and Discussions; a threaded Discussion view; automated email notifications for major project dates and deliverables; Task Calendar; and, Task and Project Management panels. This is an interesting departure given the number of competitive tools already operating via web tools available to iPads and mac/PC via browsers.

Agile is Not the End-Game of Project Management Methodologies

quantmleap.com

This interesting Thesis Review of the paper by Dr Jon Whitty deals with the application of evolutionary principles to the domain of project management. The following caught our eye:
” ‘agile’ approaches are by no means ‘new’, but rather are result of a selection process
[…]
the current state is an accumulation of memes and memeplexes, chosen to suit environmental circumstances.”

So what’s next for PM Methodologies in a Post Agile era?

If you have any project management news you’d like us to share with the growing PM Advisor Community, drop a line to us so that we can consider it for the next update.

Project Management News Digest

News Digest

Will Project Managers Survive the Agile Enterprise?

ITWeb

Jaco Viljoen makes some interesting observations, but seems to miss the point that there are different project types.  A professional project manager will be able to pull the methodology best suited to a specific project or group of project from their toolkit, making best use of the capabilities and resources available.  The organisations that will thrive in the future will have projects lead by flexible and highly competent professionals.

Comindware New Generation – now 3 PM Tools that work together

Comindware

  • Comindware Project – collaborative project management and planning
  • Comindwork Team Network – enterprise social network
  • Comindware Tracker – business process and workflow management

What is the Best PM App for a Digital Agency?

Connected

In this interesting post from Connected they explore Waterfall, Agile and the tools they use – Basecamp, Podio, Trello and Pivotal Tracker

Project Management Tips

npENGAGE

In 2 posts, Jett Winders provides 2 valuable project management tips.

In the first he offers 7 Tips for Effective Team Management covering:

  1. Active leadership
  2. Organisation
  3. Authority and approval
  4. Vendor partners
  5. Escalation
  6. Early and often, and
  7. Quality assurance

In the second he offers 5 Tips for Keeping Time on Your Side, covering:

  1. Initial review
  2. Honest expectations
  3. Meet your deadline
  4. Tracking
  5. Scope check

Getting Your Project Off The Starting Blocks

CobaltPM

In his post on the Cobalt PM Blog, Ben Ferris talks about project start-up activities:

  • Get the project definition nailed down
  • Write a project plan
  • Get the communication strategy right
  • Keep your focus
  • Enjoy the job

At PM Advisor we’d agree, but put more emphasis on the plan and the breadth of content to be included in the plan, as explained in our 3 Myths post.

Pantera adds Risk Management to Construction PM Tool

Constructech

US firm Pantera Global Technology have added ProQual risk functionality to their ProjectInsight tool.

Interesting to see that Will Kelly  in his TechRepublic article feels that while ProjectInsight brings a lot to the functionality table, the UI is somewhat outdated.

5 Project Management Dos and Don’ts

AtomicInteractive

Seth Shaman offers 5 gems:

  1. DO share progress with your team
  2. DON’T ask for updates nonstop
  3. DO involve others in decisions
  4. DON’T pass off all the grunt work
  5. DO clearly define project objectives

The Cure After Diagnosing a Bad Project Manager

Business2Community

Tim Walker explores how to diagnose a bad PM, possible roots of the problem and whether a bad PM can be “cured”.  “The morale of the story: don’t sacrifice an entire project because of a project manager who can’t do the work.”

How to Be a Better Project Manager

Business News Daily

Chad Brooks explains his 5 Tips for bing a better leader:

  1. Be a leader
  2. Stop multitasking
  3. Run effective meetings
  4. Be an agent for change
  5. Breathe

Four Project Management lessons You Can Learn from Software Engineers

Forbes

Gideon Kimbrell reflects on some of the cornerstones Steve Jobs brought to Apple and offers 4 lessons:

  1. Create structure
  2. Don’t just listen – understand
  3. Don’t underestimate inspiration
  4. Communicate