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 look at news and articles which have caught our eye recently.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
ProjExc Blog Header

Doing more with less through project management

ProjExc PM Consultants look at a number of timely reflections around project management, specifically looking at:
  • Doing more with less
  • Reflecting with a fresh pair of eyes
  • Who owns your PMO, and
  • Disaster strikes – your plan for business continuity

How project management just might solve your digital marketing woes

Halie Davila takes an interesting look at project management from the world of digital marketing.  Halie observes that whilst PM tools add value to getting stuff done, they don’t do the work.  That’s where humans come in to there own solving process, planning and production issues.  She makes three main human points in the article:
  • Software doesn’t manage creativity and quality – it manages production,
  • Process doesn’t eliminate the need for an organisational lead, and
  • Technology has thrown a wrench in everything!
Money

What should project management cost?

allaboutXpert have researched the cost/value of project management, and found that in their context it is around 9.1%.  Our own experience is that it varies by industry, and whether the project includes significant capital/equipment costs, in a range of 8% and 17%.  We’d love to hear back from PM Advisor readers on this one, so please comment with your industry and PM overhead cost estimate as a percentage of the whole project.
Out of interest, we fully agree with the comment by iRestMyCase on ITWeb “Last time I checked, a huge portion of projects failed – for various reasons. The cost of a project manager is normally small in comparison with a failed project. Problem is – you get project managers and ‘project managers’, so choose carefully.”  Lovely.

Building innovation into project management

Graham Oakes shares an interesting view that innovation projects are special and more about risks.  Graham makes some great points (see below) but we wonder does his article miss the point that all projects are projects and need all of the essential PM disciplines (including risk management) covered off but in a flexible and appropriate way.  By aligning a product process with suitable stage gates with the project management process in an organisation can handle the unknown in a structured way and without sacrificing the project management fundamentals unnecessarily.  At PM Advisor we call this agile with a lower case a!
Anyway, Graham suggests a style of project management that does things like:
  • Set fuzzy goals,
  • Accept that things will change,
  • Create slack,
  • Encourage failure, and
  • Devolve control.

10 reasons there is always a need for project management 

Michelle Symonds offers 10 great reasons for needing project management:
  • Learning,
  • Preparation,
  • Exploration,
  • Communication,
  • Process,
  • Critical Path,
  • Justification,
  • Leading the team,
  • Delivery, and
  • Managing changes.
Learning
PM COMPETENCE

7 indispensable PM tips

Roger A. Grimes sees that good project managers are worth their weight in gold, and earn their keep by following these best practices:
  • Even small projects should have a project manager,
  • Start every meeting with goals,
  • Document, document, document,
  • Nothing beats a room full of technicians,
  • Micromanage as needed,
  • Build in cushion time,
  • Make sure your lead technical person is the best available, and
  • Good management makes it happen.

10 ways to you know you’d make a good project manager, whatever that is

Michael el Castillo shares a super Taskworld infographic with the 10 characteristics of a good project manager:
  1. Inspire,
  2. Anticipate needs,
  3. Anticipate problems,
  4. Delegate firmly,
  5. Focus on solutions,
  6. Don’t complain,
  7. Goes in with a plan,
  8. Minimise meetings,
  9. Be driven, and
  10. Foster good relations.

Roundup: top five project management posts 

Smartsheet share some interesting practical PM related posts:
  1. To build a Gantt chart in Excel,
  2. How to use a milestone in project management,
  3. How to create a work back schedule,
  4. Unofficial guide to being a project manager, and
  5. How to use cell linking to create a master Gantt chart in Smartsheet.

Focus less on the management and more on the resources 

Kiron D. Bondale shares an interesting view of the parallels between over parenting and over management in the world of resource management.  What do you think?
Productive

How to audit project risk management

Harry Hall looks at the steps before and following an audit of project risk management:
  • Define your audit goals,
  • Define the scope of the audit,
  • Define the audit assessment plan,
  • Determine who will conduct the audit,
  • Select projects from the project portfolio,
  • Request project documents,
  • Formally audit,
  • Complete the audit report,
  • Communicate audit results, and after the audit
  • Plan for addressing any identified issues.

Manage risk like a Formula One driver

We have a few petrol heads at PM Advisor, and so this article caught our attention even more than the apparent project failures at the Ferrari team.  Conrado Morlan draws some interesting parallels between the world of F1 and the world of project management, not least the need to manage risks.

How complexity is clogging your project environments

Corrine Forrest feels that projects often suffer from bloated, convoluted solutions that impede delivery.  She recommends:
  • Taking a simple approach, thinning out unnecessary complexity, and
  • Favouring the fundamentals – remove environmental complexity first, then process complexity and finally focus on performance issues.

The impact of project communication management on project success

In this post, Ivana Zuber takes a thorough look at the necessary elements of a project communication plan, and considers the importance of stakeholder analysis and confidentiality.
PM TOOLS
 

Project management platform Wrike hopes to challenge Asana with new workflow tools

Frederic Lardinois describes the major update at Wrike which recently brought functionality to compete more effectively with Asana.
Wrike-logo

10 benefits of cloud based project management software

Emily Bonnie from Wrike, considers what they believe to be the top 10 benefits of using cloud based PM software:
  1. A connected team,
  2. Reliable access,
  3. Minimal upfront costs,
  4. Low maintenance technology,
  5. Flexibility,
  6. Security,
  7. Speed,
  8. Cost efficiency,
  9. Integrated tools, and
  10. Try before you buy.

6 Mobile collaboration apps for smooth projects

GetApp have contributed to business2community, suggesting 6 mobile collaboration apps for smooth projects:
  1. Wrike,
  2. ProWorflow,
  3. LeanKit,
  4. JIRA,
  5. AtTask, and
  6. Sellsy Teamwork.

4 classic adages to help you choose enterprise project management software

Charles Settles offers these 4 wise old gems which can be applied to PM Tool selection:
  1. Measure twice, cut once,
  2. Know thyself, know thy enemy,
  3. Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood, and
  4. No battleplan survives first contact with the enemy.
PM METHODOLOGIES

Tips for successful project management using agile development

Tushar Patel shares his thoughts, concluding that “It is possible to strike a happy medium between agile’s flexible development approach and a traditional reliance on planning, metrics and program management required by the rest of the business.”

Agile myth number two: agile is about project management

Java code geeks share agile myth #2, and you can find all 5 gems from Calen Legaspi on his blog:
  • Agile Myth #1: Agile is a methodology,
  • Agile Myth #2: Agile is about project management,
  • Agile Myth #3: Agile is short milestones,
  • Agile Myth #4: Agile cannot work with fixed budgets, and
  • Agile Myth #5: Agile is unpredictable.
Spot on.  Of course we’d love to add myth number 6 – agile can work for any product…
PMI
PMO/3PM

A PMO evolves from tracking projects to strategic business unit

Deniz A. Johnson follows the timeline of maturity for a financial-sector PMO.

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.

How ProjExc can help with your PMO

There are a number of ways that ProjExc can help with your PMO:

PMO Assessment. This is an honest review of your existing project management practices and a full assessment of your PMOffice requirements.  The independent report from the assessment will provide a high-level but comprehensive plan which can be used to implement your PM Office yourself, with our help, or even with the help of others.  Your only commitment is to getting the report and making your own decisions.

PMO Set-up.  Building on the output from the PMO Assessment, you can engage a full management service to fully set-up a PMO function in your organisation. From structure and resourcing, through to implementation of processes and procedures, templates and selection and implementation of the best tools for your business integrated where necessary to your existing MIS platform.

PMO Management Services. Choose pay-as-you-go or from a package of services including project support & helpdesk, guiding, monitoring and managing.

At all times when dealing with ProjExc you remain in control.  We don’t lose sight of the fact that it is your business and you need to run it your way, albeit with support and advice from the right experts, at the right time.

ProjExc PM Office Services

Supporting your projects

There are often many stakeholders in projects with differing needs and demands.  For the PMO, there are two direct stakeholders, your project managersand your executive (including their representative, theproject sponsor).  In supporting your projects we provide support for both parties as descibed below.

ProjExc Supporting your Project Managers

PM Support & Helpdesk

  • Helpdesk by telephone and e-mail, with troubleshooting and support
  • Document review and quality monitoring
  • Document management system maintenance, e.g. status reports, project plans, budgets, registers, …
  • Communications written and circulated
  • Project plan maintenance
  • Collation of reports and performance data
  • General project office administration support e.g. meeting bookings etc

PM Guidance

  • Review/improvement of processes and procedures
  • Provide/implement project management toolkit
  • Implementation of performance monitoring
  • Reviewing/troubleshooting projects failing or at risk of not achieving full potential
  • Training and coaching and facilitating project management forums/skills development
  • Set up of continual improvement processes/ procedures

ProjExc Supporting your Project Sponsors

Monitoring

  • Change Control
  • Exception management
  • Project performance review
  • Project reports review and authorisations
  • Support
  • Risks or RAID (Risks, Assumptions, Risks and Dependencies) review
  • Project plan monitoring
  • Approvals and sign off  handling e.g. work packages

Managing

  • Management of the business case
  • Reviewing and defining structures and roles
  • Define project approach
  • Senior Management representative e.g. board meetings
  • Project team meetings chair
  • Authorisation of stages, parameters and exceptions
  • Escalated approvals and sign off handling

Take Control of Your Projects

Take the necessary steps now to take control over your projects.

It’s bad enough that some projects over-run or over-spend, but it’s even worse if you don’t know why, or didn’t see it coming before it was too late.

ProjExc PM Office Services

ProjExc have the necessary

  • knowledge,
  • skills, and
  • experience

to bring consistency, reporting and control to the projects in your organisation.

Whether you need help and advice in creating your own in-house project management office (PMO), you want to bridge the gap until your own PMO is up and running, or you want to outsource your PMO with a blend of our on-site and remote expertise ProjExc have what it takes.

The ProjExc Team understand your frustrations, but more importantly they know how to quickly implement the right processes and tools for your organisation to professionally & consistently handle your project initiation, planning, execution, control & reporting and closure/reviews.

They will ensure full visibility, common understanding within your organisation with one truth for project:

  • budgets,
  • timescales,
  • change control,
  • risk management,
  • issue handling,
  • task management, and
  • resource management.

This consistent view will enable you to make the right decisions before it’s too late.

You know that there are several methodologies and processes for project, portfolio and program management out there, literally hundreds of tools and thousands of templates.  The ProjExc Team have the independence, and expertise necessary to guide you through this minefield, and select what is right for your organisation now and in the future.

Feel free to browse around PM Advisor for free tips and news from the world of PMO.  You’ve probably got your projects under control, but if you can’t afford to leave it to chance any longer and want to know more contact ProjExc either by completing the form below or by calling them on 0121 222 5744.

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

Project Management Office (PMO)
 
Embed from Getty Images

Benchmark Study Shows Project Management Offices (PMOs) Continue to Expand Their Influence and Become Strategic Resources for Firms

According to PM Solutions’ bi-annual benchmark study “The State of the PMO 2014,” three quarters of high-performing PMOs participate in their organization’s strategic planning, and help to improve the alignment of their organizations’ projects with their strategies and objectives by a whopping 53%.

 

5 Myths which are holding projects back – debunked

InsuranceNewsNet
The 5 myths debunked in this article on insurance news net are:
  1. Process trumps people,
  2. Execution is everything,
  3. Once the risk register’s done, it’s full speed ahead,
  4. You should never kill a project, and
  5. After budgets are set, new project ideas must wait.

MOD deepens its commitment to project professionalism

In this article at APM, Amy Reid looks at portfolio, programme and project management professionalism at the UK MoD.

7 ways to measure project management success

Tribe HR

Stephanie Reyes sees more to project success measurement than time and budget achievement:
  1. Budget,
  2. Timing,
  3. Scope,
  4. Quality,
  5. Customer satisfaction,
  6. Project team satisfaction, and
  7. Personal and professional development.

10 top project management challenges

According to Imran Zaman on the Daywatcher Blog these are the top 10 project management challenges – what’s missing in your opinion?
  1. Going grey (and other consequences of extreme stress),
  2. Keeping goals in sight and well defined,
  3. Getting caught-up in the details,
  4. Setting and meeting deadlines,
  5. Too many cooks in the kitchen,
  6. Poor communication,
  7. Changes along the way,
  8. Inadequate skills,
  9. No more money, and
  10. Setting your own expectations.

5 ways to think and act like an effective project manager

Chicago Now
Ryan Sievers believes that you don’t have to be a project manager to think like one, and benefit from their approach to project work.  Take a look at his 5 suggestions, which are:
  1. See the big picture, and sweat the details,
  2. Challenge assumptions, all of them,
  3. Understand the real timeline you are working with,
  4. Have supporting information in place and at your command, and finally
  5. Set and manage expectations.

Ahh, if only all project managers followed this advice!

Think Risks Like a Pilot

Flying Into Project Management
This is a fascinating opener as to how pilots need to handle risk in a changing environment, and encourages us to reflect on how more experienced PMs seems more adept at handling risk.  Food for thought.
 

Project Management in Business

Embed from Getty Images

The Project Manager Contribution to Marketing

Jerry Bauers looks at how the project manager is an essential part of the marketing team.

Strategy’s No Good Unless You End Up Somewhere New

Vijay Govindarajan on the HBR blog looks at the links between strategy, innovation and execution.  All too often we’ve seen great strategies wasted because they’re left in a folder until the next time the CEO thinks to update them.

Project Management for Engineers

Michael Bennett and Danny Ho have published a new book highlighting how project management is a core competency for all engineering disciplines.  The release details for the book can be found here.

Sustainability Starts with Project Management

Arras People
Antony Della Porta of Green Project Management questions whether an organisation can ensure that its strategy on sustainability becomes reality, and looks at PRiSM as the solution.

Project Management Tools

LiquidPlanner Raises $8 million

Smartsheet (see below) recently announced another $35m in funding and now LiquidPlanner is hot on their heels with another $8m according to Xconomy.  It will be fascinating to see how the PM Tool space will play out in the next year or so.  We’re expecting to see quite a lot of M&A activity.

Roundup of Tools for Creating Gantt Charts

This great post lists 15 tools that can be used as an alternative to Microsoft’s Project tool for creating Gantt Charts.  The tools reviewed are:
  1. DhtmlGantt,
  2. Two Project Gantt,
  3. Gantti,
  4. Ace Project,
  5. Team Gantt,
  6. Ganttify,
  7. Vertex 42 (template for Excel),
  8. WikiHow,
  9. Toms Planner,
  10. Open Office,
  11. Gantt Project,
  12. Gantt Chart,
  13. Teamweek,
  14. Smart Draw, and
  15. SmartSheet.

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

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

NewsDigest

5 Lessons to Ensure Project Management Success

VAR Guy

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

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

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

 

Project Bubble

Project Bubble

Project Bubble

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

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

Wall Planner

4 Simple Steps to Fire Up Your Portfolio Management Office

ABC

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

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

Productive

How to Make Project Managers More Productive

ESI

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

 

Shortage of Project Managers Sends Businesses Scrambling

CIO

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

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

Winning

Seven Top Tips for Being a Better PM

PMHut

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

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

Wise words!

PMI

PMI Expands Focus on Requirements Management

BusinessWire

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

APM Logo

PMI Challenges APM Application for Royal Charter

APM

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

Deltek

Deltek Acquires Sohnar and its Traffic LIVE Solution

BroadwayWorld

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

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

Project Management News Digest w2 2014

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

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

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

ESI Top 10 Trends in Project Management for 2014
ESI

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

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

Project Management Trends to Watch in 2014
TechRepublic

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

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

Employment Trend: Project Management Remains Strong Career Option
Financial Post

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

The Role of Governance in Project Management
Business2Community

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

5 IT MegaTrends that are Changing the PM Profession
IT World

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

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

Top 5 PM Podcast Sites
projectmanagement.com

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

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

Eight Resolutions for Better Project Team Collaboration
TechRepublic

Will Kelly explains why for better team collaboration you should:

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

The Must-Haves of Establishing a PMO
PMI

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

Project Management News Digest wk51 2013

2014Project management trends to watch in 2014
TechRepublic

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

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

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

Manage as a Project or Manage as a Program?
PMHut

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

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

ScrumMaster Tool for Windows 8
NextWave

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

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

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

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

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

Wrike Blog

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

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

Top 5 Project Management Tools
InspirationFeed

Igor Ovsyannykov bravely suggests the Top 5 PM Tools:

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

Get a PMO and Your Customers will Love You
KeyedIn Blog

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

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

Ultimately happy customers mean more recurring profits!