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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.…

Over the years I have received a number of questions from project managers expressing the challenge of sharing bad news with their management.  “No matter what the potential benefits might be,” one said, “I’ll be fired if I share news that bad.” No matter what your work environment, it seems that some people are better at sharing bad news than others and for project managers, being able to share both good tidings and bad is part of 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…

Many years ago in the project management software industry there was a hotly contested debate that could have no definite outcome.  What was better, pundits asked, taking the “best of breed” or “all-in-one”.  The timing coincided with the recent release of all new “enterprise” project management systems that purported to do everything you might want all in one system.  This movement wished to displace the trend of the time which was to choose multiple project…

I mostly write about enterprise timesheet or enterprise project management systems and the most common phase of deployment that I talk about with such systems would be either the selection or configuration phase; talking about the strategic perspective.  This article is much more about operational practices and isn’t specific just to enterprise timesheet or a particulare project management software product or service.   It is, instead about enterprise systems in general though the subject matter…

“Can you help us install the EPM system and get it up and running in a few days?” is one of the most common requests EPM deployment firms get.  And regardless of the size of the organization, the short answer, is unfortunately, “No.”  The challenge isn’t technology; it’s a series of policy, process, procedure and practice questions that have the potential to create far-reaching organizational change. Let’s take a look at what an EPM deployment…

I’ve been a proponent of Enterprise Project Management since I first entered the project management industry in the early 1980s. You’d think, then, that I would always vote on the side of centralized project management, but that isn’t always the case. Let’s discuss for a moment just what we mean by Enterprise Project Management. EPM can mean a lot of different things to different people. I’ve already discussed in other articles in this column how…

 Every year I spend days in project management software exhibition halls, so you’ll forgive me I hope for harping on what has become a bit of a cliché in our industry.  You know the one I’m talking about – Enterprise Project Management Software.  It must be the hangover from the ERP implementation craze from years ago because it seems that every software system available to mankind today is “Enterprise”-something.  Vendors seem to all be either…

It’s what everyone wants but almost no one gets: Enterprise-wide resource capacity planning.  Just what makes getting this accomplished so difficult? I’m sure I hear it at least once a week (during a trade show, twice an hour), what organizations are asking of their project management system boils down to enterprise-wide resource capacity planning.  Now I know that everyone has a little of the “grass is greener on the other side” syndrome where you think…