Project Management News Digest

Again we offer another popular roundup of the latest news and interesting articles from the world of project management.

News Digest

4 Key Skills of a Project Manager

ProjectManager
Rajiv Mathur has an interesting view on the 4 key skills of a PM:

  1. Discipline
  2. Planning
  3. Risk Analysis
  4. Control – quality, risk, schedule

We see a few core competences missing, but were particularly surprised to see communication missing.

Stepsie: Project Management in Digestible Chunks

TheNextWeb

Stepsie

Stepsie wants to help you manage projects by breaking them down into digestible chunks, writes Paul Sawers.

Stepsie is a new basic collaboration tool which breaks a project down into steps, each of which then have their own discussions, files and tasks. A big bonus for many businesses is the ability to add appropriate privacy to certain steps.

Embed from Getty Images

A Time of Change for Project Management

ESI

Peter Taylor interviews J. LeRoy Ward, and discussed the pressures to do project management better, including:

  • Progression,
  • Drive to adopt lean/agile methods,
  • Value of self-organising teams,
  • Pervasion of collaboration tools, and
  • Rising importance of project management.

He concludes that “times are changing, and will bring about a new generation of project capability and competence”.

Project Management Benchmark Report 2014

Arras People have launched their ninth Project Management Benchmark Report, with the usual valuable insight. At a high level it reminds us that as a profession we have more to do to provide project managers of the future a career path, that project professionals are getting older and see increases in remuneration in the coming year. Download the report for more information.

The Matrix, Project Management Edition

Young Upstarts

Russell Harley provides a useful insight into some of the pitfalls of using matrix managed resources in projects.

10 Best Free Project Management Tools

SaveDelete

On a tight budget, but need a PM Tool – take a look through this post with some suggestions:

  1. OpenProj
  2. GanttProject
  3. DotProject
  4. TaskJuggler
  5. PHProjekt
  6. ConsultComm
  7. ProjectPier
  8. OpenGoo
  9. Collabtive
  10. Redmine
Embed from Getty Images

Why Project Management Software Is A Lot Like Joining A Health Club

WorkZone

Rick Mosenkis provides a thought provoking insight in choosing and using PM Software.

How To Tackle The Project Management Assault Course

BusinessBecause
Jenny Beswick provides an interesting view that project management is like an assault course. She suggests that to reach the finish line in record time you will need to

  • Know the route,
  • Surmount the communication hurdle,
  • Beat the clock, and
  • Expect the unexpected.
  • Overall quite sound advice – can you stay the course?
Embed from Getty Images

Frame Your Next Project for Success

Medium

Gary Coover posted a very interesting article, with a 6 question cheat sheet based on “ODARPT”:

  • Objectives
  • Deliverables
  • Audience/Stakeholders
  • Resources
  • Prior Work
  • Timeline

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

Project Management News Digest

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

NewsDigest

PMI Publishes Definitive Guide to Navigating Complexity

Fort Mill Times

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

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

Top10 Countries for PM Remuneration

B2C

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

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

10 Signs You Have a Great PM

Huffington Post

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

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

7 Simple and Elegant Project Management Tools You Must Try

Business Computing World

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

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

6 Time Management Tips for Project Managers

Process Excellence Network

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

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

11 PM Tips for Setting and Managing Expectations

CIO

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

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

IMOGO announces iPad Mobile Office

iPad Mobile Office

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

Agile is Not the End-Game of Project Management Methodologies

quantmleap.com

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

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

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

Project Management News Digest

News Digest

Will Project Managers Survive the Agile Enterprise?

ITWeb

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

Comindware New Generation – now 3 PM Tools that work together

Comindware

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

What is the Best PM App for a Digital Agency?

Connected

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

Project Management Tips

npENGAGE

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

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

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

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

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

Getting Your Project Off The Starting Blocks

CobaltPM

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

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

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

Pantera adds Risk Management to Construction PM Tool

Constructech

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

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

5 Project Management Dos and Don’ts

AtomicInteractive

Seth Shaman offers 5 gems:

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

The Cure After Diagnosing a Bad Project Manager

Business2Community

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

How to Be a Better Project Manager

Business News Daily

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

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

Four Project Management lessons You Can Learn from Software Engineers

Forbes

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

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

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 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 w44 2013

NewsDigestBad Project Managers: 6 Archetypes

Information Week

Phil Simon takes a consultant’s perspective to describe the 6 types of Bad Project Manager he has come across:

  • The Yes-Man,
  • The Micromanager,
  • The Procrastinator,
  • The Know-it-all,
  • The Pollyanna, and
  • The Pessimist.

 

Deltek Vision 7.1 Update

Deltek

Deltek’s integrated project-based software for professional services firms has been updated with some new functionality, including document attachments, Adobe InDesign integration, improved security, improved billing & approvals, graphical dashboards and expanded mobile functionality.

 

New PM Tool: Cloud Startup Swyvel Brings Project Management To The Cloud

Swyvel

We’re not sure this is the best name for a PM Tool, but putting that aside the system appears to pack a functionality punch.

 

10 Project Management Rules Every Business Owner Should Know

Connectwise

  1. project management is a specialisation
  2. without scope you’re doomed
  3. establish milestones
  4. define how you will document the project
  5. build an extra week into every phase
  6. plan for the worst
  7. set recurring review meetings
  8. know your bench
  9. provide customers with a post-implementation checklist
  10. send a post-implementation survey

 

The business analyst: The project manager’s best ally

TechRepublic

Ken Hardin shares a tale from his days as a TechRepublic manager that illustrates why PMs need a direct channel to the business analyst.

 

How to build a good project KPI framework

ProjectManager.com.au

Clear thoughts with 7 main considerations for project KPIs:

  1. Meaningful
  2. Measurable
  3. Benefits related
  4. Mix of lag and lead
  5. Aligned with program and/or portfoilio
  6. Regular reporting
  7. Measure into operations

 

More Reading: Project Management Blogs

We are often asked which PM Blogs we follow at PM Advisor.  Here are a few of our favourites:

APM Blog: http://www.apm.org.uk/blog

Guerrilla Project Management: http://www.guerrillaprojectmanagement.com

Herding Cats: http://herdingcats.typepad.com

How to Manage a Camel: http://www.arraspeople.co.uk/camel-blog/

Project Accelerator: http://www.projectaccelerator.co.uk

Project Excellence: http://blog.projexc.com

Project Management: http://project-management.com

PM Crunch: http://pmcrunch.com

PM Hut: http://www.pmhut.com

The Sensible PM: http://www.sensiblepm.com

The Tao of Project Management: http://thetaoofpm.blogspot.co.uk

 

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 Tools – consolidation time?

Deltek acquires Acumen - first of many?

More acquisitions in the PM Tools market to come?

Of interest today is the news that Deltek acquires Acumen, as Wall Street Journal amongst others reports.  This is clearly an opportunity for Deltek to strengthen it’s planning and schedule space and so a highly sensible acquisition.  The move brings Deltek into a full All-in-one PM Tool for enterprise.

However our thoughts now shift to the over proliferation of “me-too” basic project collaboration tools.  We start to wonder if the now is the time for many of the players to build customer base and market presence through some sensible M&A activity in the space.  Who has the hunger and backing to start the much needed consolidation, and would it make financial sense?

PM Advisor: PM Tool Database Review Summer 2013

PM Tools Review

We have recently completed our annual full review of our PM Tools database.

This year for the first time the number of tools has fallen slightly, with 38 going out of service (or business), but equally 26 new tools having been identified.  There are now around 230 assessed tools on the database.

We use the database for a number of purposes.  Of course we share some of the highlights and identify the tools for our PM Advisor PM Portal readers to use (choose PM Tools from the top menu bar and select which category you are interested in).  However the fuller database is used for our ProjExc Consultants to help and guide their clients in selecting the right tools for their organisation or PMO.

The 4 broad-brush categories used are Productivity Tools, Collaboration Tools, All-in-one Tools and Specialist Tools.  Some are pure project management , whereas others provide invaluable functionality to project managers.  Click on the link that interests you and dive in to some of our really useful PM Advisor mini profiles.

If you have time to post a comment or email us, we’d love to know what PM Tools you use and why?