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

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 w46 2013

News Digest

Project Management and the Practice of Law
National Law Review
Peter Demuth, Chair of Mintz Levin’s Corporate & Securities Practice, talks about benefits of project management in the practice of law.

Simplilearn Partners With Udemy to Offer PMP Course

Simplilearn the provider of online training and professional certification courses, announced this week a partnership with Udemy to offer its Project Management Professional (PMP) training courses to all Udemy users. Over a million Udemy users can now enjoy Simplilearn’s flagship PMP course with the same high-level service as is offered by Simplilearn.

PM AnswersPM Answers Club: Affordable Coaching & Mentoring for Project Managers

PM Advisor, together with ProjExc PM Consultants have launched an affordable high quality coaching an mentoring service for project professionals, as part of their PM Answers offering.  The unique service provides a secure, first class learning environment, whilst saving time and money.

PMI and Boston Consulting Group Publish Strategic Initiative Management – The PMO Imperative Paper

PMIPMI’s thought leadership series examines how PMOs can become more strategic, shifting their emphasis from process to value delivery while developing their capabilities accordingly.  The series definitively shows that PMOs support the business by helping prioritise issues, identifying potential problems as they emerge, identifying and managing interdependencies, and communicating the right information at the right time, including reporting progress against targets.

Study on Project Intelligence and the Project Management OfficePMO

Oracle Primavera and The Performance Institute this week released their new study The Rise of Project Intelligence: When Project Management is Just Not Enough to help federal clients surmount the changing priorities and regulations born of a challenging political and economic environment.

Risk, Uncertainty, Project Management and New Shoes
If one thing is certain in life, it is uncertainty. We could all do with some help managing risk and options in our lives and understanding how they keep messing up our projects.
The statistics on project management failure are dismal. Either a project fails or it fails to deliver the value promised. In some instances companies fail as a consequence. One of the biggest factors in project failure is ignoring uncertainty and sticking to a rigid plan that has been rendered redundant by change.
Authors Chris Matts and Olav Maassen have a better idea. What if uncertainty is acknowledged as part of reality? Instead of committing to an option or allocating the best resources early on, surely it’s better to build uncertainty into the process.  In this podcast interview they discuss their graphic novel, Commitment – A Novel About Managing Project Risk which outlines a different approach, one they call “Real Options”.

Project Management News Digest w36 2013

NewsDigestIn the growing world of project management there is always something new.

Here are a few snippets of project management related news that caught our eye over the last few weeks.

This digest includes news on training, tools, project failure, creative, risks, PMI, and the Gantt Chart history.

Grab a coffee and take a look.

Web Project Management Training can Benefit Everyone on a Web Team
Comindware Update: enhanced workflow and PM capabilities for MS Outlook
It’s not just the UK: ⅔ of NZ projects fail too (KPMG Survey)
Teamwork Introduces Daily Project Report
The Importance of Project Management in Creative Projects
Organizational Performance at Risk as Project Managers Are Being Shortchanged By Lack of Professional Development
LiquidPlanner adds GoogleDrive and Dropbox Integration
Guide to PMI Body of Knowledge hits Canadian Bestseller List
That’s right it’s in the Top20 at number 16.
Asana Introduce Several Features
including deleted tasks view, Harvest time tracking, and new activity feed stories.
and finally…
Quote of the Week:
Scrum is about Product Management not Project Management
 
PM Perspective:
The Gantt Chart is 96 years old.  A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart developed as a production control tool in 1917 by Henry L. Gantt, an American engineer and social scientist.  It would be interesting to know how many project managers make use of their gantt charts (or even have one) regularly in this world of cloud collaboration.
If you have some project management news that we missed or you have something new which you’d like us to share on PM Advisor, why not add a comment or drop us a line.

Project Management: Impact your bottom line

Bottom LineA great piece in the PMI sponsored Telegraph article today makes some interesting points. Some highlights here together with PM Advisor thoughts, but read the article in full when you get 15 minutes.

“Pulse of the ProfessionTM, a new study recently published by the (PMI), found that UK organisations risk on average £169 million for every £1 billion spent – higher than the £135 million for every £1 billion risked by companies that make up the global average.”  Put in context that’s 17% put at risk, vs 13.5% globally.

“High-performing organisations that implement proven success measures mitigate risk by improving their project and programme outcomes. An average of 90% of their projects are meeting original goals and business intent, compared to an average of 34 percent for low-performing organisations.” This demonstrates that the Standish report findings amongst others that 2/3 of projects continue to fail to meet their objectives, and yet by implementing the basic elements for success, that figure can be reduced to 10% or less.

“Only 59pc of organisations in the UK understand the value of project management, on a par with the global average.”  Sadly there is also a huge step from understanding the value and doing something about it.

The full PMI Report can be found on their website.