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I had great pleasure of being interviewed a few days ago by Dave Gordon for a piece in the Business to Business News Network. The piece was recently published under the title Inside the Mind of… Chris Vandersluis. Dave has done a number of interviews like this over the past few months and I was delighted to be included. The interview is designed to help entrepreneurs know how companies like my own HMS Software have…

If projects were always predicable we wouldn’t need project managers. We’d just authorize the project based on what estimators had determined and then on the expected finish date, we’d pick up the completed project with the actual costs exactly meeting the projected costs. Sadly, that’s not the case. The work of project managers is so important because life is so unpredictable. In the face of almost everything challenging in our world, we have come to…

Several years ago I worked directly the Microsoft Project Team as part of their Enterprise Project Management Partner Advisory Council.  One topic that came up more than once during the 5 years I spent with the group was the impact of Excel on Project Management.  At the time Microsoft estimated that over 30 million copies of Microsoft Project were in use somewhere around the world.  Their own internal estimates were that over double that used…

Resource management is a subject that I lecture on often and, perhaps more interestingly, is a popular topic.  You might think that after all these years of the promotion of project management practices and tools that resource management would be an old and tired subject but apparently not so much. What is it that has solving resource management challenges be so difficult?  The first and most obvious answer is that we don’t all mean the…

“Can your system help us? We have two distinct groups.” This is a remarkably common request here at HMS. In our case we’re talking about how to take care of timesheet collection for multiple groups using our TimeControl timesheet system but the request is common to many project management environments.  This comes up whenever we have multiple groups trying to use the same project control environment. From one perspective, there are many benefits to grouping…

I get this question on a regular basis, “Why can’t I just start with Resource Capacity Planning? That’s all I want from our EPM anyway.” In many lectures when I talk about what is Enterprise Project Management, I show a collection of possible definitions. Perhaps EPM is just system compliance, where everyone uses the same system.  Perhaps it’s document management, perhaps it’s timesheeting.  All of these answers are potentially accurate for any one organization but…

When we think of Project Managers we tend to think of communications as one of their key skills. I’ve spoken numerous times about the importance of communications in project management. These days we tend to think of how connected we are. In the last 20 years, communications has evolved at an ever-increasing pace.  We think nothing now of being connected 24×7 no matter where we are in the world.  We are linked to the Internet…

My company, HMS Software, just released a brand new version of our keystone product, TimeControl. That’s great news of course and you can read all about it at HMS at: www.timecontrol.com/features/latest but what went into this development and release has our company thinking about development quite differently and so this post is more about how software development philosophies are evolving.  It’s certainly a watershed moment for us. TimeControl has been a browser-based product since 1999…

We have an unnatural confidence in dashboards. When we see dashboard indicators we make all kinds of assumptions about them that may or not be true.  But we depend on them all the same.  This isn’t restricted to just project management dashboards though I have more experience with those than any others but dashboard indicators of all kinds. Think about this. When you are driving and you see a green light, don’t you go through…

I’m struck by the degree in recent times that our world is filled with uncertainty. Oh there has always been uncertainty.  I know that.  Control is an illusion but lately so many things that people have counted on have become uncertain. Geo-Politics In the geo-political sphere in the last few months we’ve seen big changes in the way the US Administration works. No matter which side of the American political divide you’re on, I doubt…