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One of the most interesting project management reports that evolved after my start in the industry is the “burn-down” report.  I mention it because at HMS, we are about to launch TimeControl 7 and we are in the final hours prior to launch where we are at the end of a long reiterative burn down process. If you’ve never been in the IT industry then you may not have seen such a project management report with…

I tend to look at someone’s decisions or the actions they’ve taken and wonder “What was the world they were looking at that would have had those actions and those decision seem like the exact right thing to do?” Now I know that not everyone thinks like me and thank goodness that’s true but for me in a business or project management context, asking that question of myself can become quite important.  You’ll see the results…

This year political correctness seems to be everywhere.  In the US it’s a presidential election cycle so perhaps some level of political correctness goes with the territory.  But political correctness isn’t just a political phenomenon.  In the private sector, in public sector organizations, in volunteer or charitable work the insidiousness of being “PC” can wreak havoc.  Project Managers are faced with this every day and are under pressure either to make sure their project reports…

I’ve been wrapping up our renewals of two of our key technical alliances at HMS Software this week and it has me take pause to think about the different aspects of how these partnership works.  I’ve been most recently working on our Microsoft and Oracle relationships.  We’ve had a technical partnership with Microsoft since 1995 so we’re at 21 years on that relationship.  With Oracle we’ve done 19 years as we started our formal relationship…

“Hey man, that’s old school,” said the person at the next table over from me at Starbucks. I looked up to see who he was talking to.  To my surprise, he was looking right at me.  The young man looked like he was studying for college.  There were text books and an iPad in front of him. “Old school, man,” the young man, repeated pointing at my hand. I was holding a fountain pen and…

No, I’m not talking about the new vine on your deck trellis.  I’m talking about scope creep. It’s every project manager’s nightmare.  The project starts off at a manageable modest size and in the blink of an eye, it’s a beheamouth of unmanageable porportions. In one of HMS Software’s first ever mandates back when we were just getting started, we had a client who asked us to configure their project management system with multiple baselines.  This…

I’m in the software publishing business.  I should be all about selling you the tools.  It’s not about the result you want, it should be about the result I want… but that’s never been the way I’ve gone about business.  So this article is about the result, not the tool. I came across an interesting expression recently.  A software salesperson was talking about delivering the entire solution to his client.  “We don’t sell drills.…

I’m often asked to help organizations define their charge code structure, either for their project management system or their timesheet system.  While it’s true that every organization is different and different needs result in different types of charges, there are some common practices we’ve found over the years that are universal. Ask less, not more No one likes bureaucracy, so the more complex a charge code structure you make, the less likely it will be…

On a regular basis around HMS we get specifications from clients of what they’d like to have our TimeControl timesheet do for them.  It’s a necessary part of the evaluation process for a client to find the right type of timesheet for their particular business challenge. The problem is that the language that the specifications are put in are rarely those of business.  Most often the specifications are made in terms of features as in “the…

In my office recently one of our most experienced employees came to me with a strange question. “How do you know if something is a project management system?” they asked. I opened my mouth to answer then paused… for a long time.  The answer is not obvious. In the early 1980s the first critical path scheduling packages became available for personal computers.  In fact, I find it interesting that history shows that critical-path scheduling software…