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 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.