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Next week I’ll have the pleasure of visiting the Minneapolis/St-Paul area to speak at the Minnesota chapter of the PMI as they host their Professional Development Days event.  I’ve been asked to speak on two subjects and I’m only too happy to do so.  On Wednesday, September 14th I’ll be talking about Creating Business Prioritization for Projects and Portfolios where we’ll discuss how creating priorities for our projects is more about understanding our business imperatives than it is…

At my firm, HMS Software, we were delighted to launch the latest new version of TimeControl this week.  TimeControl 7 was released on Monday and there’s no one happier about that than I am.  I’m excited about the new release but it sparks a conversation in my firm and with people in my industry about how often should clients go between software versions.  There’s several aspects to the conversation. What is a “new version”? The…

In project management, that last 1% before you can say. “We’re really complete now… Honest!” can be a long leap from 99%. I’ve talked about the Ivory Snow project syndrome before where the project becomes almost instantly 99.4 percent complete and then stays there the rest of its life. That’s a condition that often happens in the heady heyday of the early phase of a project. There’s another more sinister scenario when you’re near the…

Years ago, when most of us in the project management software industry were discussing critical path theory and how resource levelling should work, a new paradigm emerged called Critical Chain.  It was developed by Eliyahu Goldratt.  The issues that caused Critical Chain theory to evolve were sound.  The problem with Resource Levelling is that it assumed a perfect world with perfect distribution of resources and a world where when one task was complete, the next…

It’s the dreaded 999 code that can turn a project upside down.  The miscellaneous charge code into which all bad hours go can be the source of a great deal of upset and difficulty a project.  In the timesheet business that we live in at HMS, we’ve see clients who have an unhealthy attachment to the 999 charge code.  When you just don’t know where those hours should go or you just don’t want to…

It’s an old joke that is typically attributed to the people of the State of Maine in the US.  A visitor stops to ask an old timer for directions and says “I need to go to this place.” The old-timer resident thinks for a moment and then says, “Oh sure.  That place.  I know that place.  You can’t get there from here.” The joke almost always gets a laugh but I was reminded of it…

It wasn’t that long ago that the world was a much bigger place. In the olden days (about 10 years ago) we didn’t have to think too much about the real-time impact of global project teams.  The world just isn’t that big anymore. Collaboration challenges Modern communications technology means that every team member probably has a mobile phone and the Internet is available virtually everywhere (well, almost) and the collaboration tools for video conferencing and…

Since I started in the project management software industry in the early 1980s there has always been an interest in managing skill scheduling.  It’s easy to see why.  When you need to build something whether it is a house, a pipeline, an aircraft, a new drug or a piece of software, you are going to require resources who have specific skills.  Skill scheduling has been designed and even delivered in different project management tools…

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’m delighted to announce that I’ll be speaking this September at the prestigious Project Management Institute’s Global Congress North America.  The conference is in San Diego California this year from September 25th to 27th.  My topic is inspired by someone I think every project manager should read about: Buckminster Fuller.  It is entitled “Just call me Trim Tab”.  I’ll be sharing more about this upcoming paper in the weeks to come. For more information on…