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December 2008

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Article: Batteries not included When people used to buy large-scale project management systems, buying the training was just part of the cost of doing business.  The cost of training compared to the cost of the software was a fraction.  You might spend only 10% of your software investment on training of your personnel on the proper use of the project managemnet system.  As project system have become cheaper the percentage people expect to pay on…

Written originally over 10 years ago, this article is still particularly current today. Most project management tools written originally in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s were based on the Critical Path Methodology paradigm. They were fundamentally scheduling tools. Yet, the practice of project management has becmoe so much more. See my thoughts on whether we should move on from Critical Path as our driving force in the project management systems industry in this article.

It’s been some time since I wrote this article which has been published in a number of places since. Amazingly, the list is still appropriate. This is a letter to Santa on what I’d like to see from the Project Management Industry for Christmas.

We’re updating the Resources area and you’ll be happy to see we have Project Management Presentations now available.  You’ll see a separate post for each new presentation just as you would with a new article. The Presentations Page is part of the Resources area.

Usually the engineering-oriented mind of project management people would never even consider the role of salesperson as part of being a project manager but the truth is, we’re selling all the time. Project Managers must sell their projects, their planning ideas, the impact of any changes and, even themselves. We’ll look at the various salesperson roles and their potential ‘clients’ in this article.

Systems: Microsoft Project Microsoft has released a “December 2007 Cumulative Update notice”.  The notice includes update information on Microsoft Office Project 2007, Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 and other elements of the techology “stack” on which Project and Project Server depend.  You can find the details at the bottom of the Microsoft Project Update Page here on EPM Guidance. Read more…

Resources: Books It’s taken awhile but the EPM Guidance Book Recommendation page is now online.  You’ll find here books from my own collection on Enterprise Project Management, tools like Microsoft Project and methodology such as Earned Value.  It’s worth coming back to from time to time as I’ll be adding additional categories of books in the future. Go to the EPM Guidance Book recommendation page

Project management comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes but nowhere is scheduling more tightly managed than in a high-pressure shutdown/maintenance project. In these 5-10 day projects, an entire industrial facility must be stopped, have maintenance done and then restarted and ever hour that passes is huge amounts of money lost in production. It’s a particular kind of scheduling from which anyone in project management can learn a lot.

As project managers we strive for the large, complicated mega project. It’s the kind of project careers are built around. But, is this the best kind of project for your organization? Can you do a better job of managing when the projects are bite sized enough? In this article we’ll look at how you can break down projects into manageable pieces and manage each as a separate part of the whole.