Project Management News Digest w2 2014

2014Well here we are, and it’s 2014 already. We would like to wish all of the PM Advisor clients, readers and contributors a healthy, wealthy and successful 2014, all delivered on time and within budget of course.

Here are some of the news stories that have caught our eyes over the holiday season and since returning to the office.

There will be another Digest posted later this week so don’t forget to bookmark PM Advisor and stay up to date with the latest comings and goings in the world of project management without having to waste valuable time surfing around.

ESI Top 10 Trends in Project Management for 2014

ESI have published their eagerly awaited Top 10 Trends for 2014, which this year are:

  1. Agile expands in Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong.
  2. Portfolio management continues to take center stage with PMI’s new credential.
  3. Whether they like it or not, project managers are learning to learn through virtual learning.
  4. EPC companies admit they didn’t invent project management and seek professional help.
  5. Think implementing one PPM tool was hard? Companies now need two!
  6. Servant leadership makes a comeback, and not just in Agile.
  7. Benchmarking takes on greater urgency as competition heats up.
  8. Organisations, dissatisfied with their project management performance, will radically change their approaches to get back on track.
  9. Even with high unemployment globally, key project management jobs will remain hard to fill.
  10. Project and programme managers will be asked to spend more time “leading” rather than “managing” their teams.

Project Management Trends to Watch in 2014

Andy Maker considers things from an IT Consultant’s perspective, and sees the 5 top trends for Project Management in 2014 as:

  1. PM roles continue to develop in the business function,
  2. More project schedules will move to the cloud,
  3. Online collaboration tool adoption will increase,
  4. There will be more reliance on resource management, and
  5. Distributed teams will continue to grow.

Employment Trend: Project Management Remains Strong Career Option
Financial Post

Reflecting on the 2013 PMI Salaries Survey this article observes that the survey corroborates the findings of PMI’s 2013 Project Management Talent Gap Report, which indicates a significant upward trend in compensation for project professionals, fueled by projected growth. Is this your experience?

The Role of Governance in Project Management

Kjell Rodenstedt provides an excerpt from the book Governance, Project Portfolio Management and PMO – the art of creating value for organisations (currently only available in Swedish).

5 IT MegaTrends that are Changing the PM Profession
IT World

Eric Bloom lists his view of these “megatrends” and their impact on project management:

  1. Cloud computing,
  2. Bring your own device (ByoD),
  3. Server consolidation and virtualisation,
  4. Social media, and
  5. Big data.

Top 5 PM Podcast Sites

Take a look at the the “top 5” PM Podcasts:

  1. PM Podcast,
  2. People & Projects,
  3. The Sensible PM,
  4. Ricardo Vargas, and
  5. Guerilla PM.

Eight Resolutions for Better Project Team Collaboration

Will Kelly explains why for better team collaboration you should:

  1. Decentralize the management and administration of the collaboration platform,
  2. Centralise team task management in the cloud,
  3. Establish and follow an enterprise collaboration plan,
  4. Move one email-based workflow to the collaboration platform,
  5. Move one group communication from email to the collaboration platform,
  6. Make collaboration more social,
  7. Integrate your platform with Microsoft Office, and
  8. Change collaboration platforms.

The Must-Haves of Establishing a PMO

Mário Trentim looks at mission, vision, stakeholders, functions, metrics, continuous improvement, and focus.

Project Management News Digest wk51 2013

2014Project management trends to watch in 2014

We’re nearing the holidays, and already Project Management Professionals are thinking about what this means to them.

In the first of the wave of the new year in project management blogs, Andrew Makar predicts 5 Trends for 2014:

  1. Project management roles continue to develop in the business function,
  2. More project schedules will move to the cloud,
  3. Online collaboration tool adoption will increase,
  4. There will be more of a reliance on resource management, and
  5. Distributed teams will continue to grow.

Manage as a Project or Manage as a Program?

Kiron Bondale offers an interesting perspective on how a “normal” organisation can get the balance right between unnecessary discipline and “stealth” projects which have much higher likelihood for failure.

At PMAdvisor, we do find the differentiation between deliverables and benefits universally helpful.

ScrumMaster Tool for Windows 8

NextWave have two Windows 8 apps:
  1. For the PC or tablet NextWave ScrumMaster™ is designed for scrum masters managing Agile projects (free trial, $30 AUD).  It handles all project cycles and provides enhanced burndown and sprint history graphs and reports.
  2. There is also a free companion app, either for Windows 8 or Windows Phone.  Agile Story Sizing Cards™, is a standalone or Wi-Fi connected poker planning card deck. When the scrum master and team members are connected, ScrumMaster automatically collects and tallies team votes during sprint planning sessions.

Turn your Basecamp project, Google Calendar or Trello board into a Gantt Chart

Tom’s Planner has launched a new service called Ganttify.  With just two simple clicks it allows you to turn your Google Calendars, Basecamp projects and/or Trello boards into Gantt Charts. The service will be free of charge for the next six months. No strings attached.

Soon they will work on adding a similar functionality to Tom’s Planner so you can import Google, Basecamp and Trello Calendars directly into your Tom’s Planner account. This update will be available to both Free and Paid Accounts.

Wrike Enterprise: Harnessing the Power of Big Data and Real-Time Collaboration

Wrike Blog

Andrew Filev, CEO of Wrike, explains that today thousands of diverse organizations, including dozens of Fortune 1000 companies, use Wrike to successfully manage their projects and tasks. The beauty of Wrike is that it scales up and down smoothly. In addition to dynamic start-ups that are using the software on the go, there are large enterprises managing thousands of projects in the system.

Large and often distributed teams struggle on a daily basis with challenges, such as the need to coordinate the efforts of multiple teams, for all-around visibility and for granular control over corporate data security.  For this reason Wrike has introduced a plan that delivers the solutions to all these needs – Wrike Enterprise.

Top 5 Project Management Tools

Igor Ovsyannykov bravely suggests the Top 5 PM Tools:

  1. Asana,
  2. Zoho Projects,
  3. Wrike,
  4. Trello, and
  5. Basecamp.

Get a PMO and Your Customers will Love You
KeyedIn Blog

Ian Needs observes that there are 3 customer satisfaction benefits from having a well-run PMO:

  1. Get more repeat business by delivering what you promise, when you promised it at the price you promised it.
  2. Consistent delivery builds a cycle of collaborative harmony, and
  3. Third parties know where they are and so are more likely to deliver.

Ultimately happy customers mean more recurring profits!

Project Management News Digest wk50 2013

News Digest5 Insightful Project Management Lessons from Sci-Fi


Carol Pinchefsky suggests that there’s project management advice aplenty if you know where to look, and sees lessons in the following movies/shows:

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation “Remember Me.”
  • Robocop
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: “Doublemeat Palace”
  • Batman Begins, and
  • Ghostbusters

How to Ensure your Strategic Initiative Succeeds


John Williams explains why strategic initiatives are projects and how to make sure they succeed.

Study Highlights the Benefits of Project Management Training

Project Accelerator

A study by training company Parallel found by surveying previous PM training delegates that:

  • 89% agreed that the training benefitted their company
  • 64% agreed that PM training helped improve their current work projects, and
  • 71% of those attending APM training agreed that it helped develop their management skills

Project Management In A Post-Mad Men World


Paul Pentzer observes 5 qualities that Advertising Agency PMs should possess:

  1. Relentless focus on solving problems
  2. Ability to simplify complex situations
  3. Good facilitators
  4. Excellent in basic PM skills
  5. Ability to model a ‘servant relationship’

Why Are So Many IT Projects Failing

Sharon Florentine reports on a trend that as more companies adopt Agile, their project managers are expected to take on more responsibilities, namely development lead.

6 Project Management Modes

Shift Happens

Mike Clayton explores the 6 main modes that a PM needs to shift through as the project proceeds:

  1. Leading Mode
  2. Supporter Mode
  3. Fix-it Mode
  4. Exploration Mode
  5. Crisis Mode
  6. Process Mode

13 Steps to Becoming a Better Product Manager


Michael Bordash considers 13 attributes of product managers, not least that Product Management is not Project Management.  Really.

A Practical Approach To Project Portfolio Management

Information Week

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Frank J. DeLuca looks at how to set up a good, fast, and inexpensive program that will make the best use of pricey IT resources, without costly specialised software.

5 Steps to Project Management Nirvana


Alison Green suggests that if your projects aren’t doing what they should, to try following these five steps.

  1. Get clear on the desired outcome before work begins.
  2. Establish clear roles
  3. Conduct “pre-mortems.”
  4. Build in check-ins along the way, and
  5. Debrief when the work is over.

Arras People Project Management Census 2014

How To Manage a Camel

It’s that time of year again when Arras People ask for your help to take a snapshot of our domain. It’s the ninth Project Management Census and this year they’ve really focused on the project management career.

Eylean Project Management Software Provider Launches Personal Version


Eylean, provider of agile project management software for Scrum and Kanban, has introduced a personal edition of its agile task board, which will be available to customers free of charge for personal use.

5 Ways to Build Strong Project Teams


Dave Wakeman, PMP shares his thoughts on how to build project teams:

  1. Be an active communicator
  2. Trust your team
  3. Understand your team members’ individual motivations
  4. Don’t embarrass your team
  5. Be flexible

Project Management News Digest wk49 2013


10 Business Benefits of Project Management for SMEs
Paul Naybour explains his view that project management can benefit more than just the traditional big corporates, citing:
  1. Efficient service
  2. Enhanced customer satisfaction
  3. Effective service
  4. Improved team development
  5. Increased standing
  6. Service expansion
  7. Improved flexibility
  8. Improved quality
  9. Enhanced risk management
  10. More client capacity
Take the Gamble out of Project Manager Recruitment
John Williams, founder and lead consultant at ProjExc proposes 8 considerations which together take the gamble out of PM recruitment:
  1. Investment
  2. Don’t compromise
  3. Specification
  4. The role
  5. The person
  6. Pure project management
  7. Induction
  8. Assessment
Project Management to Boom in 2014
With key game-changing trends including collaboration, mobility, unified communications, the cloud and the Internet of everything, companies are compelled to work smarter, and experts see 2014 being the year for effective PM systems.
How Agile and the PMO Can Enrich Each Other’s Existence
Rebecca Leitch explains why she believes Agile and the PMO should be able to look forward to successfully enriching each other’s existence and maximizing their respective value to the enterprise more and more in future.
New PM Coaching and Mentoring Service Launches
PM Answers Club from PM Advisor has launched a unique and extremely cost effective approach to providing much needed coaching and mentoring service for Project Managers whatever their experience.
5 Must Have PM Skills for Every Business Leader
If only all project managers had all 5:
  1. Project planning
  2. Time management
  3. Prioritisation
  4. Soft skills
  5. Ongoing learning
The Marketer’s Alter-Ego: The Project Manager
Raymond Coppinger explains his view as to why marketing and project management go hand-in-hand:
  • The Beauty of the Business Case
  • The Sanctity of Stakeholders
  • The Relevance of Related Projects

Project Management News Digest wk48 2013


New Tool Updatey: Beta Progressing

We’ve mentioned Updatey, the new kid on the PM Tool block before, and having tried out the Beta we’re becoming increasingly interested in the potential. Despite the Project Collaboration Tool space being full with Basecamp me-too’s, Updatey is taking a slightly different angle. The Updatey team have realised that where many collaboration tools lack strength is in serving the broader project stakeholder team need for a high level view of the project status, whilst also supporting the core team in getting the job done with the basic functionality you’d expect. We’ll keep an eye on improvements during the beta and look forward to seeing the full launch when the guys at Updatey are ready.

Managing Innovation Portfolios – Strategic Portfolio Management
Innovation Excellence Blog

Ralph Ohr and Kevin McFarthing consider firms facing increasingly dynamic and unpredictable environments, and how they are required to develop convenient innovation strategies, constantly adapt them to changing conditions and properly implement strategically-aligned initiatives throughout their organisations. They suggest that Innovation Portfolio Management (IPM) can act as the pivotal tool to translate strategic objectives and priorities into project-based innovation activities. Their approach involves splitting the traditional portfolio management into 2 distinct blocks – strategic and operational, and in this first part they look at the strategic block.

3 Proven Ways to Make Innovation Repeatable
Business to Community

This is a good article proposing 3 ways to make innovation repeatable:

  • Use gamification as a tactic for generating ideas,
  • Involve the ‘C’ level executives from the company, and
  • Trust the experts.

We like the approach, but don’t necessarily support the proposal in the very last paragraph as in our experience project success is heavily dependent upon professional project management.

Google: 9 Principles of Innovation
Fast Company

Kath Chin Leong talked with Google’s Chief Social Evangelist (aha). The principles are summarised here, but take a look at the full article.

  1. Innovation comes from anywhere,
  2. Focus on the user,
  3. Aim to be 10 times better,
  4. Bet on technical insights,
  5. Ship and iterate,
  6. Give employees 20% time,
  7. Default to open processes,
  8. Fail well, and
  9. Have a mission that matters.

Using Limitations to Stimulate Creativity
Ted Talks

The artist Phil Hansen describes how he learnt to “embrace the shake”. This is particularly useful for innovation and project management.

Teambox ‘Redbooth’ is coming in January

The new version will be bringing with it enhanced usability, easier for bigger teams to use, and overall better performance. What’s more if you’re impatient and want to try Redbooth out in 2013 then you can sign up for a beta.

PodioA Consultant’s Guide to Implementing Podio for CRM and Client Project Management
Podio Blog

Richard Wingfield describes his experiences as head of a small technology consultancy in the US.

Classic Project Management and Agile Sometimes Need Each Other
Adrian Withy’s Technical Blog

Adrian provides a common sense assessment of how waterfall and agile are complimentary, and concludes that “just as project managers need to learn how to ignore day-to-day tasks of agile teams, agile teams need to learn how to engage project managers and plan”.

5 Human Hurdles in Project Management and Tactics to Overcome Them
Project Accelerator

Krishna Kumar considers these 5 human hurdles in project management:

  1. Ego clashes,
  2. Procrastination and accountability,
  3. Taking advantage of poorly defined roles and responsibilities,
  4. Lack of communication, and
  5. Lack of motivation.

4 Hidden Costs of Poor Project Planning
PM Insight

Hidden CostThe 4 hidden costs covered in this article are:

  1. Reputation
  2. Team Stress
  3. BaU Complacency, and
  4. Additional Resources

Embrace The Shake

In this fascinating Ted Talk, artist Phil Hansen describes from his own personal experience with a tremor, how embracing limitations can stimulate creativity. We are excited about how this could be applied to project management.

Quote of the Week
From Apple’s Sir Jony Ive
“It’s very easy to be different, but very difficult to be better.”

Project Management News Digest w45 2013

News DigestNew Project Collaboration Tool, Updatey in Beta


The British RawJam team are going after 37Signals’ Basecamp space, with it’s new tool, Updatey, and judging by the Beta it looks good.

Updatey presentation is really simple, but it still packs a punch.  It’s focus is allowing the project team to visualise & track the progress of your projects, keeping new and existing team members updated both on the project timeline with milestones and the activity line.

Once you have put in your start date and some milestones your project is up and running.  You can then invite team members to join in, by posting and watching status updates and documents to the activity line.


New PM Tool called Updatey

We’re using the Beta at present, with good first impressions, and will post a fuller review as the product develops.

Telerik Extend their Agile Project Management Reach


Version 3.0 of TeamPulse now supports access to multiple data sources via a RESTful API

And Another Project Collaboration Tool – WorkZone


Will Kelly looks at another collaboration tool, which appears to be another “me too”.

Project Managers – Use the Language of Your Audience


Norman Marks provides a salultory tale of the importance of communicating with your audience in their language.

The Integration of Agile and the Project Management Office


Peter Schmidt from ESI provides an insightful insight into the worlds of Agile and Waterfall working together in harmony for organisational benefit.

From To Do Lists to Managing Projects – The Path From Personal to Professional Management


An interesting observational from Lucian Ioan sees the journey of organisation:


Get Organised

  • Know what to do and when
  • Prepare for battle
  • To mix or not to mix
  • GoPro
  • Less tools, more thinking

This is all good stuff, and if you also break the procrastination habit you’ll be suitably organised.

5 Quick Tips for Making Critical Thinking a Habit

PM Champion

  1. Have an open perspective
  2. Keep focused and avoid getting distracted
  3. Ask questions and provoke debate
  4. Learn to multi-task
  5. Control your stress

How to Make the Most of a Project Manager

Tech City News

Wise words concluding that “if you don’t employ a PM, it’s likely your project will still get delivered but at the cost of a lower profit margin, a less satisfied client and a more frazzled team. And who wants that?”.

How to Make Project Management a Learned Skill and Behaviour


Will Kelly interviewed Dean Carlson, CEO of Viewpath, and Avinoam Nowogrodski, CEO of Clarizen, exploring he importance of project management becoming a learned skill and behavior for the entire project team.