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Think You’re Cut Out for PM in 2016? Take This Quiz!

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.

Survey

Are employees bringing their own devices to work lately?

  1. Yes, all employees use mix of integrated devices to work on company projects
  2. Some employees work on their personal laptops/tablets/phones
  3. No, they are using company provided computers

Have your project plans migrated to the cloud/company owned server yet?

  1. We are using cloud services for storing MS Project plans
  2. We are using own server
  3. 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

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.

  • 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.

Read the Complete Article

The Power of Collaboration or How to Get Traction in 3 Easy Steps

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

In Product Development, Project Management Builds on Process

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

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

Social Media and Project Management

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.

Networks

As social media is constantly changing, it is difficult to make too many predictions about the future. Read the Complete Article

Simplify Collaboration Within Your Project Management Software

Simplify Collaboration Within Your Project Management Software
By Keith Cawley

One of the biggest challenges enterprise companies face in project management is encouraging and facilitating internal collaboration.

Many project management software solutions have extensive features built in to help ease some of these issues, regardless of whether your team is located locally or across the globe.

It’s worth noting that these features are more common in cloud-based PM solutions than in locally-installed ones. However, unless your business has specific security regulations that prevent project-details from leaving your company (or being accessed remotely), cloud-based solutions generally offer greater flexibility and feature-sets.

Here are several ways your PM solution can help your internal collaboration efforts.

Document Sharing

One of the biggest benefits of using a cloud-based project management solution is the ability to easily upload and share documents and files associated with a particular project. This greatly reduces – or potentially even eliminates – the need for team members to email documents from one person to another. Read the Complete Article

12 Most Striking Benefits of Using a Project Management Software for Business Projects

12 Most Striking Benefits of Using a Project Management Software for Business Projects
By Sharon Thomson

The success and failure of a business in its projects, depends a lot on how it handles them. If it sticks to the traditional approach of holding meetings, sending emails, discussing graphs and charts, etc… then their chances of success decrease as these traditional methods consume a lot of time and resources, and add up to the costs and are less flexible. So quality planning and organization over projects cannot be achieved through them.

Their limitation is that they are unable to properly and timely track any inconsistencies in a project which affects the quality of its deliverables, causing delays or project failure. Once a project gets affected, the damage cannot be undone.

So it is better to adopt such tools which allow timely identification of issues and risks in projects and facilitate their prompt and firm rectification. Read the Complete Article

How to Measure the ROI of Project Management Software

How to Measure the ROI of Project Management Software
By Jesse Jacobsen

Keeping projects under budget is no easy feat. In fact, around 85 percent of projects go over budget. The idea of unnecessarily investing funds in project management software that results in no significant – or worst, negative – return on investment (ROI) is just too risky for many managers. Before purchasing any sort of PM solution, it’s important for you to be confidence that your investment will have a significant return.

Unfortunately, determining the ROI of implementing PM software isn’t as simple as plugging numbers into an equation. The tools and benefits that PM systems provide are often difficult to quantify on an individual basis.

Some project management vendors include ROI calculators on their website that help determine your return based on information about your company and typical projects.

While these can be a good reference, there are many inherent flaws with relying too heavily on their calculations. Read the Complete Article

The Truth About Project Management Packages

The Truth About Project Management Packages
By Tim Bryce

Do they truly support project management or are they glorified punch clocks?

I was recently researching project management software for a client. Such software is certainly not new and can be traced back to their origins in the 1960′s with mainframe based packages. Some of the earliest applications of computers in the 1950′s were for such purposes, particularly estimating and scheduling. Nonetheless, I was looking for a PC based package that could also be implemented on smart phones, and geared to reporting an employee’s time. Frankly, I was disappointed with what I found.

I looked at dozens of packages, some free, others for a price; some were PC based, others were “cloud” based, and some were implemented over the Internet. The graphical input was easy on the eyes, but virtually none could implement what I was looking for, regardless of how well they were evaluated by software researchers. Read the Complete Article

Recommended PM App

Recommended PM App

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