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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…

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…

I’m very much looking forward to speaking at the Eastern Iowa chapter of the PMI in Cedar Rapids during their Professional Development Day event on Friday, October 20th.  We’ll be talking about how to increase resource capacity; one of my favorite topics. For those who are attending the event, please make sure to say hello.  For those interested in the PMI Eastern Iowa event, visit PMIEasternIowa.org/events/event-listing/meetings/2017-professional-development-day.

Project Managers almost always find themselves in the middle of conflicting interests. On the one hand, marketing wants a project finished immediately.  On the other hand engineering is going to need much, much more time than they’d ever imagined in order to get the project right.  On the other hand, management wants to do the project with less money.  On the other hand, sales needs new projects started for which there are no resources. In…

In today’s Agile-oriented software world, it’s all too tempting to skip the important steps of defining the work completely. There is no doubt that there is a meeting of minds between the client and the developers to end up with a product that fulfills the client’s desires and is of high quality and rapid arrival but once we get into the actual management of the project, there are differences in perspectives that are not obvious.…

In my brief flirtation with Psychology in my first year of university, I learned more than I’d ever want to know about rats in a maze.  My distaste for the exercise would come back to haunt me last year when my stepson needed a dwarf hamster for his science project.  Wendy is now a part of the family.  You can see Wendy and our home-made maze on the right. You’ve no doubt seen the images…

The whole concept of Agile was designed to prevent project bloat. Back in the 1990’s when software development and deployment projects became mega projects a little too easily, the notion of Agile became much more popular. We’ve all heard about Agile.  The idea that we’ll develop incrementally in sprints and after each sprint we should have deployable code, each time with a bit more functionality. It’s a great idea. We use Agile project management within…