Think You’re Cut Out for PM in 2016? Take This Quiz!
By Joel Roberts
Are you sure you are ready for the challenges 2016 will bring to project management? PM is not immune to the technological revolution that is shaking other departments for a few decades now. There are definitive changes to follow as 2016 progresses and many of them can be the difference between projects’ life and death. Take this short 5 question survey and see if your company will be able to cope with these changes.
Are employees bringing their own devices to work lately?
- Yes, all employees use mix of integrated devices to work on company projects
- Some employees work on their personal laptops/tablets/phones
- No, they are using company provided computers
Have your project plans migrated to the cloud/company owned server yet?
- We are using cloud services for storing MS Project plans
- We are using own server
- We currently do not have a shared file storing solution in place
How are project management teams organized in your company? Read the Complete Article
3 Signs Your Productivity Problems Are Linked to Poor Collaboration
By Richard Lepsinger
Anyone who has worked on a project that involved leaders from multiple departments or functions knows how quickly progress can come to a halt.
When various staff across different departments and locations are focusing on inconsistent requests and tasks from various leaders, the process can become messy, counterproductive and cumbersome. This lack of collaboration can hinder the execution of your product or service and ultimately impact your profit.
How can you tell if your company has a collaboration problem? Here are three key symptoms.
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- Misaligned Goals
The marketing director and sales director often find themselves at odds regarding what metrics they use to measure success. If the marketing director is tasked with boosting brand awareness and engagement, he’s going to put a greater emphasis on the things that show results for him, such as producing and sharing a popular video.
The Power of Collaboration or How to Get Traction in 3 Easy Steps
By Gail Severini
Have you ever found yourself struggling with a big idea, an analysis or a report?
As in: parts of it are clear in your mind but there are gaps and gray areas?
Sometimes I can get traction (make progress) by doing a “brain dump”, i.e. just get the ideas on paper or a white board then re-arrange them by editing. Sometimes I need a “jump start”.
Sometimes, when there are a lot of ideas which are not particularly well defined or prioritized that is more challenging (especially when I am under pressure to produce quickly).
My first “go to” approach, if I am working alone, is to find a thought partner, i.e. someone who thinks similarly (not the “same” but can flex between leading and following) and is always prepared to debate, extend and build together. Read the Complete Article
2015 Trends in Business Analysis and Project Management
By Andrea Brockmeier
Each year we like to reflect on what’s happened in the business analysis, project management, and Agile professions and make our predictions for the upcoming year. To summarize the trends we saw in 2014:
- Continued excitement about Agile projects with more informal communications and documentation and use of modeling tools to get from high-level user stories to detail needed to estimate and build them
- Focus on Design
- Cloud computing
- Greater interest in business analysis by project managers.
Below are the seven new trends we see in the Project Management and Business Analysis fields for 2015.
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- Making Agile work for organizations.
As the Agile bandwagon continues to grow, some organizations, previously reluctant to jump aboard, are running to catch up. Sometimes, though, Agile is implemented without much thought to unintended consequences of not having enough organizational commitment when adopting Agile. Although such things as not having dedicated teams, a dedicated business product owner, or extending time boxes to fit more work into an iteration sometimes works, there are often related issues, such as:
- Team burnout
- Less work being implemented
- Unmet customer expectations
We predict that organizations will find a way to make Agile work for them by becoming more purposeful in how they choose to adopt it.
In Product Development, Project Management Builds on Process
By George Ellis
I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at project management tools and some of them are very cool. Tons of collaboration. Great mobile connectivity. Attractive, intuitive user interfaces. But very few of them tie to process. And that’s unfortunate because project management should be built on a foundation of process. Why? Lots of reasons.
Process tells you what your organization does under normal situations—we call it “standard work”. For example, when do you decide if you’re going to go for a patent? At what points do the developers connect with the manufacturing team? What steps do you take so quality levels with be acceptable when the product goes to the factory? If you don’t have process, you reinvent the wheel every time you plan a project. And so does every project manager in your company. Of course, process isn’t meant to be enough to do all your planning—not by a long shot. Read the Complete Article
No Ticket, No Party: 7 Benefits of Using Project Management Tools
By Cristina Santamarina
As project managers, we love issue and project tracking software like Basecamp, Redmine, JIRA and the long list of similar applications that let us put our noses in your work. We see them, too many times, as the panacea for miscommunication or project scope creep.
This would be so great, if only other parts involved in the project (developers, designers, testers, product owners, business managers and the long list of roles that usually get the real shit done) had the same feelings towards these tools. The truth is, they don’t.
Working with these systems is, for many of them, ‘not my job’. Small tasks are usually managed out of our systems, developers forget to put their tasks ‘in progress’, product owners omit part of their requirements and communicate them by email, and managers just drop by people’s desk to change deadlines, merciless! Read the Complete Article
Communication Not Collaboration
By Demian Entrekin
When we talk about “collaboration”, we are also talking about communication. In our view, “collaboration” is a part of the broader topic of communication. Collaboration is essential to how we work, but effective communication remains the overarching goal. We want to be able to separate the signal from the noise.
At our company, we are very focused on digital communication and on ways to make it better. But in order to solve any important communication problems, we have to make sure we have defined those problems. We have to ask ourselves the most fundamental questions.
Here are some of the big questions about communication:
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- Author and externalize ideas: How do we get ideas out of our heads so we can understand them and develop them?
Co-creation and collaboration: How do we work together to take ideas, projects, assignments and build on them?
Synchronous, asynchronous and continuous: How many avenues are available for us to communicate?
Why Integrated Document Management Is Critical for Your Company
By Danny Boulanger
All too often, we see electronic and paper document management as an end in itself. In fact, as a manager you should see document management as a support service for your organization’s specific needs, such as:
- Compliance and governance
- Contract management
- Project management
- Group insurance case management with imagery
- Vendor agreement management
- And much more
Here’s the big question: how many of your documents are truly related to your organization’s activities, requiring structure and management?
There’s no one right answer to that question, but it should be clear that we’re talking about at least half of your documents.
Here is a rough classification – unscientific, but realistic – of documents:
- 10% will be archived for legal and historical reasons
- 50% are recognized as important for the organization’s activities (records)
- 40% are collaborative
The first 10% absolutely needs a filing plan, including a retention schedule, business rules and an archival vault. Read the Complete Article
Social Media and Project Management
By Michelle Symonds
In their infancy, social media networks were predominantly used by the public to communicate their personal news to each other. However, social media is now a vital part of running a business. Most businesses now use at least one social network platform. They use these to promote their business, market their products or services and to keep clients and customers updated with their latest news and information. They are also used in-house for the purpose of collaboration and communication.
As such, using social media is part of the role of a project manager. It is also a relatively recently added topic on project management courses as the need for project management training in this area is now recognized. If social communications are part of your role, then you may be wondering what the future holds in this arena.
As social media is constantly changing, it is difficult to make too many predictions about the future. Read the Complete Article
The Benefits of Project Online
By Ksenia Woodgate
What is Project Online?
Effectively it is the same product as Project Server 2013 on premises except you don’t need to install Project online as it is a hosted environment and available via subscription in Office 365. However, if you do have a locally installed version of Microsoft Project this will integrate with the online version.
The service options :
- Project Online – for team members, project participants, business decision makers.
Project Pro for Office 365 – for project managers and resource managers.
Project Online with Project Pro – for project managers, resource managers, PMO, business decision makers.
Quick to setup
If you need to get a project management tool set up and running quickly, Project Online is perfect for you. You don’t need to procure licenses and wait for an install to complete, you can just sign up online and get started the same day. Read the Complete Article