Project Management Tools News Digest from PM Advisor

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

New Industry Standard for Mac Mind Mapping & Gantt Charts

Realwire

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

Basecamp

Alternatives to Basecamp

Business2Community/GetApp

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

Wrike

Wrike Wants to Bring Project Management and Collaboration to the Masses

Forbes

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

Clarizen

Top 5 PM Software Tools on the Market

TechRadar

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

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

iScope

iScope Pro Releases New Version of Project Task Management Tool

PrMac

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

harmon.ie

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

harmon.ie

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

Pitfalls of PM Software Implementation

MarketWired

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

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

CentralDesktop

Central Desktop Acquired by PGi

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

Asana

Project Management Apps – Which is Best for Your Team?

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

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

Smartsheet

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

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

Kitovu

Kitovu – New Task & Time Management Tool

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

Podio

7 Free Online Collaboration & PM Tools

Computerworld

Rich Hein looks at 7 free tools:

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

RationalPlan 4.10 – Project Management Software Now Available as SaaS

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

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

Trello

Why Are Trello Making an App for Doing Everything?

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

Money

PPM Software Market worth $4bn by 2019?

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

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

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

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

Customer

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Who is the real project customer?

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

Why value for money is not just about the cost

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

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

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

Top 20 twitter influencers for project management

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

5 project management groups to join on LinkedIn 

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

PM COMPETENCE

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

Five

5 critical skills for successful project management

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

5 career pathways for project management degree holders 

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

5 project management skills that will help you grow your business 

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

5 Common Project risks and what to do about them 

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

5 Critical project processes

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

Bring some common sense into your project management

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

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

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

PM TOOLS

Project management essentials: Gantt chart (infographic)

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

Innotas announces new version of its cloud portfolio management solution

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

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

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

How to measure the ROI of project management software

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

PM METHODOLOGIES

Applying agile the right way at the right time

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

Project management methodologies: the framework for success

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

PMO/3PM

Creating a project management office-improving project outcomes 

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

BUSINESS CONTINUITY

Top 5 biggest myths about business continuity

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

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

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

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

PM Sectors PMAdvisor

Project Management – Not Just for Builders and Engineers

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

Five benefits of project management

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

The true value of project management 

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

Product management 101 

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

Projects: creating products, services, and results

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

PM COMPETENCE

Five easy steps to finishing big projects 

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

10 classic project management mistakes

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

6 Steps for making a project announcement

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

The importance of choosing a project management mentor wisely

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

7 Things to Consider When Appointing a Project Manager

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

PM TOOLS

clarizen-logo
 

How project management apps help you to always know everything

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

Why integrations of the key to your project management solution

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

Top 5 tools for project management

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

PM METHODOLOGIES

Agile versus traditional project manager responsibilities

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

The lean, agile way to build your first product

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

PMO/PPM

What is project portfolio management? 

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

Project Management – Not Just for Builders and Engineers

A beginners introduction to project management, whatever your industry or sector.

There was a time when project management was a technique, used almost uniquely for the engineering world.  However in recent years more and more organisations have recognised the value of project management in their operation regardless of their industry/sector/specialism, and increasingly they are adopting a Project Management Way of Working, or as we call it PMWoW.
PM Sectors PMAdvisor
There are realistically 3 main types of project, described below.  To many organisations all three have their place, and to others maybe just one or two.

Type One – New Product Development Projects

Traditionally project management techniques were applied to the first type of project – new products.  Those “products” might have been as diverse as bridges, buildings, new computer systems or cars.

Type Two – Customer / Service Delivery Projects

This was followed by the general realisation that the techniques and discipline could be expanded to the second type of project which we describe as “customer projects”.  Again, initially rooted in the engineering world, this sees the scope expanded beyond development to manufacturing, test, site deployment, acceptance, and broader service provision.

Type Three – Organisational Change

As the project management techniques and systems matured, they became increasingly used in the controlled delivery of organisational and strategic change.

Industry Shifts

The general project types are largely unchanged in the 21st century, but we have seen 3 major industry shifts in the last few decades:

1) Methodologies & Frameworks

As project management usage grew, so did the available methods.  From the original “waterfall” methods we have seen the steady addition of options including:
as well as a whole host of niche and bespoke methods.  Some of these methods are generally applicable, whereas others are only suitable in certain applications.
Some care should be taken when considering the latest “new” way of managing projects.  As with the world of diets, various fads come and go as people look for that easy fix.  However it is worth remembering that the core project management techniques are flexible, and if applied consistently can produce excellent success rates.

2) Technology

There has been a huge proliferation of project management tools with varying degrees of complexity and suitability for certain project environments.  I am aware of well over 250 software tools which can be broadly categorised as:
  • Productivity Tools which typically focus on individual or group task management,
  • Project Collaboration Tools which typically add messaging, file sharing, project calendars and maybe some bells and whistles,
  • All-in-one Tools (often referred to as P3), which add layers of complexity typically including planning, resourcing, RAID management and even portfolio/program dimensions, and finally
  • Specialist Tools which deal with specific needs such as risk management, mind-mapping, and so on.

3) Broader Industry Adoption

In the last few years, project management has become increasingly adopted across most industries and sectors.  Typically, this has initially filtered from new product development and strategic / change projects into service delivery with noticeable recent adoption in the worlds of service, marketing, human resources, digital marketing and legal to name but a few.

Where Do Budding Project Managers Go For Advice?

There are lots of resources around, but as in many walks of life you need to know where to look.  Some great starting points include:
At ProjExc we recognised that finding good, honest, independent advice, especially those entering project management, can be quite challenging.  We noticed though that everyone seems to be selling their training courses, their qualifications, their books, their tools.  We have structured our advice and services into 2 distinct but closely linked independent offerings, both of which are applicable regardless of your industry or sector:
PM Advisor – advice and resources for individual project managers, and
ProjExc – guidance, advice and support for organisations wanting to set-up or improve their project management capability.
About the Author:
John Williams is a project management professional with 25 years experience across most industries and most types of project, portfolio and programs.  He is founder of ProjExc and PM Advisor, an active author, presenter, and consultant on the subject of project management, as well as an occasional interim project manager.  John is a proud member of the APM and also serves in their volunteer community.  If you would like John to present his talk “Why Projects Fail and What YOU Can Do About It” to your team or group either in person or as an online seminar get in touch.

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

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

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

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

PM Tools

PM Tools

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

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

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

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

Mindmap

Mindmapping for Project Management

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

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

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

ProjExc PM Office Services

PMO

Changing Landscape: PM Lifecycle Phases

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

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

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

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

PM Competence

PM Competence

10 Steps to Becoming a Better PM

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

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

Project Management Tips that Rock

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

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

PM Recruitment

Recruitment is Project Management

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

Cultural Personality & Rapport – The Key to Recruiting Project Managers

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

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

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

6 Simple Tweaks for PMs to Become More Productive

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

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

 

Other PM News

Construction

Capita Buys Projen

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

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

PM COMPETENCE

 

Project Management Academy® Announces New Scholarships for Aspiring Project Managers

Digital Journal

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

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

4 Things Software Engineers Can Teach You About Project Management

Business Insider

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

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

 

Managing the Dreaded Project Conflicts

OnTrack

Brad Egeland describes his 5 preferred methods for resolving conflict:

  • Compromise
  • Confrontation
  • Forcing
  • Smoothing
  • Withdrawal

Interview Questions

Bring Some Common Sense into Your Project Management

Tech Cocktail

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

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

 

Change in the Legal Climate: Budgeting and project management

Inside Counsel

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

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

 

MBTI

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Project Management

The Fast Track

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

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

 

10 Classic Project Management Mistakes

CIO Insight

Dennis McCafferty considers 10 classic mistakes in IT projects:

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

 

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

PCubed

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

 

Keeping Your Project Sponsor Satisfied

Wellingtone

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

The Business Continuity Institute Becomes Part of a Global Resilience Network

Continuity Central

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

 

PM TOOLS

Whiteboard

Another New Product in the Project Collaboration Space – Whiteboard

Whiteboard

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

 

ProjectManager.com Raises $3.5 Million in Funding

Digital Journal

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

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

Digital Journal

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

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

Gigaom Research

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

They say that Nugg allows you to:

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

PM METHODS

PRINCE2

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

PM World Journal

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

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

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

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

PM TOOLS

Deltek

Deltek Acquires Axium

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

Tom’s Planner Adds Filtering & Search

tom’splanner

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

40 Useful Project Management Tools

Smashing Apps

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

 

PM METHODS

Do We Really Learn from ‘Lessons Learnt’?

How to Manage a Camel

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

Project Failure

Why are so many projects set up to fail?

Project Manager

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

 

PM COMPETENCE

The Impact Of Project Communication Management On Project Success

SAP Blog

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

11 Ideas for Starting a Legal PM Initiative in Your Firm

Slaw

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

Interview Questions

10 Killer Interview Questions for Hiring Project Managers

A Girl’s Guide to Project Management

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

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

10 Things That All Great Project Managers Do

CIO Insight

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

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

Money

Three surefire ways to screw up your project

FastCompany

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

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

10 Project Management Dos

PM Hut

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

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

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

News Digest

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

Quarterly Recruitment Trends Report

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

16 Project Management Terms You Should Know

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

Agile Gantt from ProjectPlace

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

Clarizen raised $35m

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

Clarizen Poisitioned in the Visionaries Quadrant

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

How to make a simple Switch to a PM Application

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

What is the Best Free Online PM Software

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

A Temporal Approach to Project Issue Management

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

How to Create High-Performing Project Management Teams

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

Conflict Resolution

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

Lean, Mean PMO Machine

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

Does the PMO Create Value or Overhead?

 
 
Other News

Major Projects Authority report shows PM Improvements

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

You Can’t Delegate Change Management

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

Project Management for Agencies – Putting your People First

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

20 PM Guru’s to Follow on Twitter

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

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 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?