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 News Digest from PM Advisor

Project Management Office (PMO)
 
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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

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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

News Digest

Here is our latest summary of what is new and what is in the news for the world of Project Management.   In this digest we’ve attempted to group around subjects of interest to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.  Feel free to share whether this is helpful, or not.

— Project Portfolio Management —

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George Lawton of Search SOA has shared 2 excellent articles on Project Portfolio Management, and much of the advice is non-specific to the world of Service Oriented Architecture:

Project Portfolio Management Best Practices in the SOA Landscape

Search SOA

Why Portfolio Assessment Beats Project Focus for Development Projects

Search SOA

— The Project Management Industry —

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Project Management Generates Real Business Value

GlobalLegalPost

It seems Europe’s Legal Eagles have recognised that “Project management is one of the most important capabilities in an organisation for generating real business value, according to new research”.  The research by Mannaz points to the all important need for KPIs, objectives and roles & responsibilities.

Why PMI Should No Longer be an Authority on Project Management

PM Hut

An anonymous contributor to PM Hut challenges whether PMI should be (or indeed whether it ever was) an independent authority on Project Management.  This certainly stimulates the thought process as to what is behind the PMI current legal challenge to APM gaining the Royal Charter.

— Project Management Knowledge —

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How Timelines Help Project Managers Track Progress

Edge of Chaos Blog

This article looks at the value of timelines in the world of a agile, SCRUM, Kanban, SAFe, lean, XP or some mix of them.

A Project Manager’s Guide to Smiling

ProjectManager

Heading off to work with a smile on your face will create a chain of positivity for you and your project according to this intriguing post by Michelle LaBosse and Kristen Medina.  They argue convincingly that a smile and some humour can:

  • Reduce stress,
  • Encourage creativity,
  • Create authenticity,
  • Build mutual trust, and
  • Increase productivity.

Worth a try?

Keys to Building a Project Management Team

Hartford Business

Jim Pawlak reviews A Team of Leaders and the suggested 5 stages to team development.

7 Personal Qualities a Good PM Just Can’t Do Without

PM Hut

Michelle Symonds looks at the essential qualities identified in an ESI research paper:

  • The ability to inspire a shared vision,
  • Excellent communication,
  • Integrity,
  • Enthusiasm,
  • Empathy,
  • Competence, and
  • The ability to delegate.

Our favourite is communication as it encompasses the others.  What do you think is most important to succeed as a PM?

4 Options for Building your Project Plan

PM Tips

Elizabeth from PM Tips looks at the pros and cons of 4 different options for building a project plan:

  1. Spreadsheets,
  2. MindMaps,
  3. Documents, and
  4. PM Software.

10 Basics of Project Management

PMHut

Olga Sa shares 10 basic tips for project managers:

  1. Always keep the constraints of your project at the top of your mind,
  2. Always know the details of deliverables, milestones, budget and dependencies,
  3. Be nice but firm,
  4. Always document the project requirements,
  5. Organise the file repository,
  6. Communicate often and the right way,
  7. Trust, but double check,
  8. Update your financial forecasts weekly,
  9. Feedback frequency controls stability, and
  10. Share your experience with other project managers.

— Project Management Careers —

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7 Ways to Advance Your Project Management Career

CIO

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff summarises advice from dozens of experts, executives and recruiters into 7 excellent tips for advancing your project management career:

  1. Get certified,
  2. Remember that experience matters,
  3. Speak the language of business, not just project management,
  4. Don’t be a PM zealot,
  5. Don’t shy away from ‘hard’ projects (or give up when the going gets tough),
  6. Be clear about your career goals, and
  7. Play nicely with others.

— Project Management Tools —

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As always there are numerous developments in Project Management Tools.  Here are some that have caught our eye at PM Advisor recently.

Comindware Project Extends Professional Project Management to iPad Platform

Comindware

Comindware Project Edition is one of the first professional PPM Tools to extend its full project planning, execution and collaboration capabilities to mobile platforms.

Updatey v2 Coming Soon

Updatey

The guys over at Updatey have kept their feet on the gas since launching Updatey earlier this year.  They’ve recently announced the forthcoming release of version 2 which is expected to bring 3 new sections:

  • Project Management View,
  • Global Dashboard, and
  • Clien Report.

Podio Re-Design – Citrix Dumbing Down?

SmallBizTrends

Shawn Hessinger looks at whether the newly announced changes to Citrix Podio makes project management simpler for non-Project Managers.  Of course that in turn begs the question – should non-Project Managers be managing projects, let alone setting up project collaboration tools.  We’d love to understand your views.  Please share your thought below.

Tom’s Planner Gets a New Look & Feel

Tom’s Planner

Hot on the heels of their ability to import Basecamp projects, Trello Boards and Google Calendars, which came from their purchase of Gantiffy, the team over at Tom’s Planner have freshened up the look and feel of their increasingly popular tool.

Project Management News Digest from PM Advisor

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.
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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

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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

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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

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

APM Launches Refreshed Qualifications

APM

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

37signals rebrands as Basecamp

TheNextWeb

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

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

Sciforma 6.0: Entering the Mobile World

Sciforma

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

7 Trends in Project Management for 2014

Projectmanager.com.au

Krishna Kumar sees the following 7 trends in 2014:

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

6 Tips for a Successful System Integration Project

TheNextWeb

David Akka gives six useful tips for SI projects:

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

The Only Times You Should Extend a Deadline

easyprojects

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

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

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

Ventureburn.com

Anita Potgieter explores the following:

3 Myths Debunked:

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

7 Skills for the Future:

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

5 Pitfalls in Setting Up a PMO

PMHut

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

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

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 wk49 2013

NewsDigest

10 Business Benefits of Project Management for SMEs
Paul Naybour explains his view that project management can benefit more than just the traditional big corporates, citing:
  1. Efficient service
  2. Enhanced customer satisfaction
  3. Effective service
  4. Improved team development
  5. Increased standing
  6. Service expansion
  7. Improved flexibility
  8. Improved quality
  9. Enhanced risk management
  10. More client capacity
Take the Gamble out of Project Manager Recruitment
John Williams, founder and lead consultant at ProjExc proposes 8 considerations which together take the gamble out of PM recruitment:
  1. Investment
  2. Don’t compromise
  3. Specification
  4. The role
  5. The person
  6. Pure project management
  7. Induction
  8. Assessment
Project Management to Boom in 2014
With key game-changing trends including collaboration, mobility, unified communications, the cloud and the Internet of everything, companies are compelled to work smarter, and experts see 2014 being the year for effective PM systems.
How Agile and the PMO Can Enrich Each Other’s Existence
Rebecca Leitch explains why she believes Agile and the PMO should be able to look forward to successfully enriching each other’s existence and maximizing their respective value to the enterprise more and more in future.
New PM Coaching and Mentoring Service Launches
PM Answers Club from PM Advisor has launched a unique and extremely cost effective approach to providing much needed coaching and mentoring service for Project Managers whatever their experience.
5 Must Have PM Skills for Every Business Leader
If only all project managers had all 5:
  1. Project planning
  2. Time management
  3. Prioritisation
  4. Soft skills
  5. Ongoing learning
The Marketer’s Alter-Ego: The Project Manager
Raymond Coppinger explains his view as to why marketing and project management go hand-in-hand:
  • The Beauty of the Business Case
  • The Sanctity of Stakeholders
  • The Relevance of Related Projects

Project Management News Digest wk48 2013

Updatey

New Tool Updatey: Beta Progressing
Updatey

We’ve mentioned Updatey, the new kid on the PM Tool block before, and having tried out the Beta we’re becoming increasingly interested in the potential. Despite the Project Collaboration Tool space being full with Basecamp me-too’s, Updatey is taking a slightly different angle. The Updatey team have realised that where many collaboration tools lack strength is in serving the broader project stakeholder team need for a high level view of the project status, whilst also supporting the core team in getting the job done with the basic functionality you’d expect. We’ll keep an eye on improvements during the beta and look forward to seeing the full launch when the guys at Updatey are ready.

Managing Innovation Portfolios – Strategic Portfolio Management
Innovation Excellence Blog

Ralph Ohr and Kevin McFarthing consider firms facing increasingly dynamic and unpredictable environments, and how they are required to develop convenient innovation strategies, constantly adapt them to changing conditions and properly implement strategically-aligned initiatives throughout their organisations. They suggest that Innovation Portfolio Management (IPM) can act as the pivotal tool to translate strategic objectives and priorities into project-based innovation activities. Their approach involves splitting the traditional portfolio management into 2 distinct blocks – strategic and operational, and in this first part they look at the strategic block.

3 Proven Ways to Make Innovation Repeatable
Business to Community

This is a good article proposing 3 ways to make innovation repeatable:

  • Use gamification as a tactic for generating ideas,
  • Involve the ‘C’ level executives from the company, and
  • Trust the experts.

We like the approach, but don’t necessarily support the proposal in the very last paragraph as in our experience project success is heavily dependent upon professional project management.

Google: 9 Principles of Innovation
Fast Company

Kath Chin Leong talked with Google’s Chief Social Evangelist (aha). The principles are summarised here, but take a look at the full article.

  1. Innovation comes from anywhere,
  2. Focus on the user,
  3. Aim to be 10 times better,
  4. Bet on technical insights,
  5. Ship and iterate,
  6. Give employees 20% time,
  7. Default to open processes,
  8. Fail well, and
  9. Have a mission that matters.

Using Limitations to Stimulate Creativity
Ted Talks

The artist Phil Hansen describes how he learnt to “embrace the shake”. This is particularly useful for innovation and project management.

Teambox ‘Redbooth’ is coming in January
Teambox

The new version will be bringing with it enhanced usability, easier for bigger teams to use, and overall better performance. What’s more if you’re impatient and want to try Redbooth out in 2013 then you can sign up for a beta.

PodioA Consultant’s Guide to Implementing Podio for CRM and Client Project Management
Podio Blog

Richard Wingfield describes his experiences as head of a small technology consultancy in the US.

Classic Project Management and Agile Sometimes Need Each Other
Adrian Withy’s Technical Blog

Adrian provides a common sense assessment of how waterfall and agile are complimentary, and concludes that “just as project managers need to learn how to ignore day-to-day tasks of agile teams, agile teams need to learn how to engage project managers and plan”.

5 Human Hurdles in Project Management and Tactics to Overcome Them
Project Accelerator

Krishna Kumar considers these 5 human hurdles in project management:

  1. Ego clashes,
  2. Procrastination and accountability,
  3. Taking advantage of poorly defined roles and responsibilities,
  4. Lack of communication, and
  5. Lack of motivation.

4 Hidden Costs of Poor Project Planning
PM Insight

Hidden CostThe 4 hidden costs covered in this article are:

  1. Reputation
  2. Team Stress
  3. BaU Complacency, and
  4. Additional Resources

Embrace The Shake
Ted

In this fascinating Ted Talk, artist Phil Hansen describes from his own personal experience with a tremor, how embracing limitations can stimulate creativity. We are excited about how this could be applied to project management.

Quote of the Week
From Apple’s Sir Jony Ive
“It’s very easy to be different, but very difficult to be better.”