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.

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

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

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 w3 2014

PMI

PMI Acquires 2 Prominent PM Websites
Project Management Institute (PMI), a leading not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession this week announced the acquisition of ProjectManagement.com (formerly gantthead.com) and ProjectsAtWork.com; two of the largest online resources for project managers and professionals.
“The combination of PMI, ProjectManagement.com, and ProjectsAtWork.com bring greater opportunities to the 51 million people around the globe who are engaged in the management of projects. Together, we will deliver access to more resources, better tools, larger networks and broader perspectives,” said Mark A. Langley, President and CEO of PMI.
Updatey
 
Updatey Comes Out of Beta
The most interesting new online project management tool that we’ve seen in the last year or so, Updatey, has just come out of Beta, bringing with it the ability to visualise progress simply and beautifully.  Whilst still valuable for project managers, their portfolio managers, sponsors and other stakeholders will love it more, as well as it’s interesting integrations.  The Basecamp integration will be particularly useful for 37Signal’s big user base.  See our separate post for more.
 
Top 5 Open Source PM Tools in 2014
Opensource.com list their Top5 open source PM Tools for 2014 deliberately selected because of their rich feature set:
  1. ProjectLibre,
  2. LibrePlan,
  3. OpenProject,
  4. ]project-open[, and
  5. Redmine.
AgileFant also gets a mention
 
Project FailureSurviving Disasters in Project Management
Read Kyle Dowlings interesting interview with Dr Harold Kerzner on project failure.
 
6 Things all New Project Managers Should Do
Paul Naybour lists 6 things that all new PMs should do:
  1. Learn to communicate at all levels,
  2. Learn to speak in public,
  3. Implement Earned Value Management Systems,
  4. Implement the right resources,
  5. Apply the critical skills needed to get the job done, and
  6. Hold regular team meetings.

Really Paul, really?  While these are important for many project managers, we’re not convinced that ALL new PMs should start with these 6 things.  What 6 things would you our PM Advisor readers advise a new PM to do?

5 Myths that can Ruin Project Management

Mary Prescott makes some super observations and dispels some of the myths that waste time and resources:
  1. The customer knows what they want,
  2. You need to win every battle,
  3. Detail is key,
  4. You must sacrifice quality to meet deadlines, and
  5. You cannot stop a project once it starts.
 What project management myths frustrate you and how do you suggest dispelling them?
 
10 Apps That Make Managing Projects Remotely A Breeze
Inc.’s Young Entrepreneur Council members share their favourite app or piece of software for keeping tabs on work, wherever it happens.  Their recommendations are:
  1. Asana,
  2. Sqwiggle,
  3. Ontraport,
  4. Acunote,
  5. ProofHQ,
  6. Basecamp,
  7. 10,000ft,
  8. Insightly,
  9. Hall, and
  10. Teambox.
Top 11 Project Management Apps for Apple iOS
Shameen from techclickr looks at iOS applications designed to better organise, manage and plan projects and resources.  They have picked out the following:
  1. Project PlannerHD,
  2. xPlan,
  3. SG Project Go,
  4. Pivotol Tracker,
  5. Project Planning Pro,
  6. Liquid Planner,
  7. Teambox,
  8. Nozbe,
  9. iScope,
  10. Merlin, and
  11. Fantastical2.
Some interesting inclusions here, but most surprising was the absence of one of the most popular and respected tools, OmniPlan.  Which iOS project tools do you use and why?

Project Management News Digest wk50 2013

News Digest5 Insightful Project Management Lessons from Sci-Fi

TheFastTrack

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

ProjExc

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

MediaPost

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

CIO.com

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

InternetDJ

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

TheFastTrack

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

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

PMI

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 w38 2013

NewsDigestAs we have now moved out of the holiday season there’s more going on in the world of Project Management.  Here are some of the things that have caught our eye over the last couple of weeks.

Cancelling Doomed Projects Early Saves Money
David Walton argues that most large organisations are victims of compulsive, blinkered spending on failing projects on a grand scale.
Consultant News

Talygen Adds Project Collaboration Functionality

Talygen the Business Intelligence specialist has added project collaboration tools to it’s suite with easy access via web, tablets and smartphones.
Talygen

5 Signs You Need Better Business Processes
Edward O’Brien suggests these 5 signs:
1. Non-repeatable processes or process duplication across your business/project.
2. Information and knowledge ‘silos’ across your business or project.
3. Poor internal controls, especially over manual processes.
4. Unable to identify the impact of change, including the costs and benefits of process improvements.
5. Lack of accurate, usable and timely information
Project Manager

MSc in Business Project Management to rival MBAs?

The specially designed MSc in Business Project Management gives students the skills to manage and transform business operations. “Projects are not about ‘business as usual’ – they’re about business change,”
The Guardian

5 Efficient Android Apps that Make Project Management a Less Daunting Task

This article extolls the virtues of Evernote, Dropbox, PrinterShare, LiquidPlanner, and TeamworkPM
SellCell

Companies Risk Project Over-runs as Training Budgets Are Cut
argues Bill Goodwin and ESI International

Computer Weekly

Cranfield to Present at Project Challenge Expo in London
The 2 seminars will be:
Success through developing The Energised Projects Organisation, and
Managing Different Forms of Complexity – what you and your teams can do today.
Project Challenge

Telerik updates TeamPulse to Ease Multiple Projects
Telerik

What’s Missing in Project Management Training?
Kevin Eikenberry argues that we train project managers, but fail to adequately equip members of the project team.
Business Management Daily

The Six Deadly Sins of Project Management Leadership
1. You think like an employee not a CEO,
2. You think you are the smartest person in the room,
3. Project success is all about delivering to time, cost, and scope,
4. Your team is there to get the job done – no matter what,
5. You leave yourself in the parking lot, and
6. You fail to promote – and keep the right people informed about – your project.
IT Business Edge / ESI International

Project Management News Digest w36 2013

NewsDigestIn the growing world of project management there is always something new.

Here are a few snippets of project management related news that caught our eye over the last few weeks.

This digest includes news on training, tools, project failure, creative, risks, PMI, and the Gantt Chart history.

Grab a coffee and take a look.

Web Project Management Training can Benefit Everyone on a Web Team
Comindware Update: enhanced workflow and PM capabilities for MS Outlook
It’s not just the UK: ⅔ of NZ projects fail too (KPMG Survey)
Teamwork Introduces Daily Project Report
The Importance of Project Management in Creative Projects
Organizational Performance at Risk as Project Managers Are Being Shortchanged By Lack of Professional Development
LiquidPlanner adds GoogleDrive and Dropbox Integration
Guide to PMI Body of Knowledge hits Canadian Bestseller List
That’s right it’s in the Top20 at number 16.
Asana Introduce Several Features
including deleted tasks view, Harvest time tracking, and new activity feed stories.
and finally…
Quote of the Week:
Scrum is about Product Management not Project Management
 
PM Perspective:
The Gantt Chart is 96 years old.  A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart developed as a production control tool in 1917 by Henry L. Gantt, an American engineer and social scientist.  It would be interesting to know how many project managers make use of their gantt charts (or even have one) regularly in this world of cloud collaboration.
If you have some project management news that we missed or you have something new which you’d like us to share on PM Advisor, why not add a comment or drop us a line.

Project Management: Impact your bottom line

Bottom LineA great piece in the PMI sponsored Telegraph article today makes some interesting points. Some highlights here together with PM Advisor thoughts, but read the article in full when you get 15 minutes.

“Pulse of the ProfessionTM, a new study recently published by the (PMI), found that UK organisations risk on average £169 million for every £1 billion spent – higher than the £135 million for every £1 billion risked by companies that make up the global average.”  Put in context that’s 17% put at risk, vs 13.5% globally.

“High-performing organisations that implement proven success measures mitigate risk by improving their project and programme outcomes. An average of 90% of their projects are meeting original goals and business intent, compared to an average of 34 percent for low-performing organisations.” This demonstrates that the Standish report findings amongst others that 2/3 of projects continue to fail to meet their objectives, and yet by implementing the basic elements for success, that figure can be reduced to 10% or less.

“Only 59pc of organisations in the UK understand the value of project management, on a par with the global average.”  Sadly there is also a huge step from understanding the value and doing something about it.

The full PMI Report can be found on their website.