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 —

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 —

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 —

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 —

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 —

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

Again another mixed bag of news from the PM profession and industry.  If you have some news and think the PM Advisor Community may be interested please contact the editorial team by filling in the form here.

NewsDigest

5 Lessons to Ensure Project Management Success

VAR Guy

Brian Troy, a Product Marketing Manager recognises the challenges presented to the uninitiated project manager and recommends these 5 useful pieces of advice:

  1. Catch risks up front,
  2. Sponsor every project,
  3. Guard against scope creep,
  4. You are only as good as your work plan, and
  5. Definition is the key to success.

As is often the case in this situation we would also add communication – which is the key to success.

 

Project Bubble

Project Bubble

Project Bubble

Project Bubble is new to us at PM Advisor, but it seems the product has been around for a number of years and has some credible use cases. Business2Community offer this useful review.

While it’s not hugely different to the plethora of collaboration tools 2 features caught our eye – reports, and assigning tasks to more than one owner – we like the former but feel uneasy about the latter.

Wall Planner

4 Simple Steps to Fire Up Your Portfolio Management Office

ABC

David Davies looks at dealing with one of the biggest challenges in business – bridging the gap between visionaries and those immersed in detail – and how portfolio management can help.  He offers this advice:

  • Focus on getting the right information to the right person, for the right decision, at the right time
  • Embrace the product mindset – both ideation and road-mapping
  • Capacity plan for hybrid work environments
  • Project Portfolio Management and agile integration

Productive

How to Make Project Managers More Productive

ESI

This blog post looks, with the backdrop of needing to do more with less, at increasing PM utilisation.

 

Shortage of Project Managers Sends Businesses Scrambling

CIO

CIO explore the view that as the global economy picks up there will be too many projects and not enough project managers. Perhaps they should look at the ideas from ESI for improving productivity (see above).

Fierce CIO also lead with this story under the title Your Next Staffing Crisis: Project Managers.

Winning

Seven Top Tips for Being a Better PM

PMHut

PMHut rarely disappoint, but this is a great post from Michelle Symonds, who suggests a step back to reflect on how well you are managing your projects and suggests 7 tips for making some small but worthwhile changes:

  1. Be the ‘why’ in the room,
  2. Maintain a can-do attitude,
  3. Be as picky & pedantic as you like,
  4. Spell it out,
  5. Maintain respect in all directions,
  6. Don’t make assumptions, and
  7. Give credit where it’s due

Wise words!

PMI

PMI Expands Focus on Requirements Management

BusinessWire

According to PMI’s 2014 Pulse of the Profession® study, poor requirements management is a major cause of project failure, second only to changing organization priorities. In order to help project professionals and organizations overcome this challenge, PMI is expanding its requirements management offerings, with a Center of Excellence and supporting resources.

APM Logo

PMI Challenges APM Application for Royal Charter

APM

PMI has challenged APM’s application to the UK Privy Council by way of a Judicial Review which will be heard in July at the High Court in London.  We’re not clear on what good PMI hopes to achieve for the PM Profession, other than protecting their commercial interests.  What do you think?

Deltek

Deltek Acquires Sohnar and its Traffic LIVE Solution

BroadwayWorld

Deltek’s Press Release advises that “This acquisition broadens and deepens Deltek’s portfolio of professional services automation solutions by delivering cutting-edge, front-office capabilities that marketing agencies and other project-based companies need to effectively manage their businesses and deliver on-time, profitable projects and engagements for their customers.”

This is an interesting development highlighting how marketing agencies and services organisations are increasingly seeing the importance of professional project management.  What else do you think competes specifically in this space?

Project Management News Digest

News Digest

APM Launches Refreshed Qualifications

APM

The Introductory Certificate (The APM Project Fundamentals Qualification) and APMP (The APM Project Management Qualification) have been refreshed and aligned with the new APM Body of Knowledge 6th edition.  It seems 2014 will see a complete refresh of the suite of APM qualifications along with the momentous launch of two brand-new qualifications at IPMA Level A and Level B.

37signals rebrands as Basecamp

TheNextWeb

As well as rebranding on their 10th anniversary, Basecamp have put all their resources into the project management tool, becoming the focus of the company.  Kaylene Hong provides some details.

In this blogpost HBR’s Ron Ashkenas observes that the strategy offers a useful reminder that Less Is More.

Sciforma 6.0: Entering the Mobile World

Sciforma

Sciforma 6.0 has given the mobile world access to their projects via tablets and smartphones. Users can now access project hours expended and view remaining tasks and expected effort, or view key portfolio indicators while on the go.

7 Trends in Project Management for 2014

Projectmanager.com.au

Krishna Kumar sees the following 7 trends in 2014:

  1. Agile will spread geographically
  2. PM will integrate with business functions
  3. Virtual learning will become integral to a PM’s armoury
  4. PMs will become more could dependent
  5. Competition will heat up
  6. Open source PM tools will rule
  7. Project Managers will focus on delivery rather than trend

6 Tips for a Successful System Integration Project

TheNextWeb

David Akka gives six useful tips for SI projects:

  1. Recruit champions and keep them on board
  2. Have a series of small successes
  3. Make sure all security challenges are addressed
  4. Use the relevant integration tools
  5. Monitoring and performance management is critical
  6. Justify the costs

The Only Times You Should Extend a Deadline

easyprojects

Quite rightly the easy projects blog challenges automatic acceptance of project delay, and suggests only doing so in exceptional circumstances:

  • The scope drastically changes
  • The project is THAT bad
  • The project could be that good
  • If the benefits outweigh the costs

Project Management: 3 Myths Debunked and 7 Skills Needed for the Future

Ventureburn.com

Anita Potgieter explores the following:

3 Myths Debunked:

  1. only large companies can afford Project Management software,
  2. technology is not important, and
  3. methodologies should stay put.

7 Skills for the Future:

  1. Emotional intelligence
  2. Collaborative communication
  3. Flexibility
  4. Business understanding
  5. Analytical skills
  6. Ethical behaviour

5 Pitfalls in Setting Up a PMO

PMHut

Simon Tang offers the following 5 pitfalls in setting up a PMO:

  1. Not establishing clear goals and objectives for the PMO,
  2. Not clearly understanding the existing processes
  3. Did not involve PMs while crafting formal processes
  4. Not having proper metrics to measurable performance
  5. Failure to sell it to the management

Updatey Coming out of Beta

UpdateyWe originally posted about the Updatey beta back in early November 2013, observing that the British RawJam team lead by Benjamin Dell were going after 37Signals’ Basecamp space.

Since then there have been some significant strides forward, as you would expect as a Beta grows up. In late November we observed that Updatey was taking a slightly different angle to the typical project collaboration tool. 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.

Since then they’ve added solid integrations, not just with Basecamp, but also with Teambox and Pivotal Tracker. There is also a new automated weekly Highlight Report feature. As well as individual project managers loving the simplicity, we can see those with responsibility for programs or portfolios of projects to be quite excited.  The tool is now focused on visualisation of progress, and giving stakeholders the information they need without needing to get sucked into the detail.

We understand that Updatey is coming out of Beta tomorrow (Friday 17th January), so if you want to get the 40% beta community discount for the first year don’t dilly-dally.  In the mean time you can get more information from the Updatey Blog.

We’ll be adding Updatey to our New Tools section soon.

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

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
TechRepublic

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
Business2Community

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
projectmanagement.com

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
TechRepublic

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
PMI

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
TechRepublic

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?
PMHut

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

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
Ganttify

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
InspirationFeed

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 w45 2013

News DigestNew Project Collaboration Tool, Updatey in Beta

Updatey

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.

Updatey

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

Telerik

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

And Another Project Collaboration Tool – WorkZone

TechRepublic

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

Project Managers – Use the Language of Your Audience

Business2Community

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

InfoQ

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

ProjectAccelerator

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

Calendar

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

TechRepublic

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.

PM and PPM Tools – what do you recommend

PM Tool Logo CloudsWe’ve been busy updating our PM Tools pages over the last couple of weeks.

As our thoughts now turn to  what to look at next, we would love to hear about what you use to manage your projects and portfolios successfully.  Similarly if you’d like us to do the research for you either on a specific tool or in a particular category let the PM Advisor know!

What do you use for your own personal productivity while managing your projects?

What tool(s) do you use to collaborate with your project team?iStock_000010243588Small Basics

Do you recommend a fantastic enterprise level PPM for keeping a handle of your portfolio?

Have you found that perfect niche-type specialist tool to help with managing risks, or resources, for creating mind maps, or something else?

We’d love to hear from you the PM Advisor community.  We welcome your thoughts whether by email, by commenting on this post, or by voting here.