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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…

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…

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 Canada, operating a private motorboat requires having a Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card.  Now, after you get over chuckling about which bureaucrat made up the term, the basic principle is quite sound.  If you are running a boat with a motor, you need to get this competency card.  I’m proud to say I’m the holder of such a card to use my Chaparral motorboat during the summer. Getting my operator’s card required passing an exam…

My staff have heard me use the expression all too often. “Tail wags dog! Film at 11.” As though it were a breaking news headline on CNN. I use the expression though to talk about organizations that approach our company with an interest in deploying our enterprise timesheet system or an enterprise project management system but have somehow gotten the cart ahead of the horse (Yes, I know. It’s another expression). The conversation usually starts…

“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 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…