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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…

My company, HMS Software, just released a brand new version of our keystone product, TimeControl. That’s great news of course and you can read all about it at HMS at: www.timecontrol.com/features/latest but what went into this development and release has our company thinking about development quite differently and so this post is more about how software development philosophies are evolving.  It’s certainly a watershed moment for us. TimeControl has been a browser-based product since 1999…

We have an unnatural confidence in dashboards. When we see dashboard indicators we make all kinds of assumptions about them that may or not be true.  But we depend on them all the same.  This isn’t restricted to just project management dashboards though I have more experience with those than any others but dashboard indicators of all kinds. Think about this. When you are driving and you see a green light, don’t you go through…

I’m struck by the degree in recent times that our world is filled with uncertainty. Oh there has always been uncertainty.  I know that.  Control is an illusion but lately so many things that people have counted on have become uncertain. Geo-Politics In the geo-political sphere in the last few months we’ve seen big changes in the way the US Administration works. No matter which side of the American political divide you’re on, I doubt…

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 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…

All in one thinking is built into our industry Many years ago I wrote several articles about the differences in choosing an all in one Finance system vs best of breed functionality.  My focus was mostly about project management, but the concept can carry across many systems. The notion of all-in-one corporate systems became popular in the 90s.  Large integrated systems like SAP or Oracle Financials were able to point to multi-function systems which included…

There I am at the PMI 2016 Global Congress in San Diego listening to keynote speaker Sue Gardner.  Ms. Gardner’s resume is enough to make you pause and take notice.  She has worked with numerous Silicon Valley companies including Wikimedia who run the famous Wikipedia.  She has been on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women list and that alone is saying quite a bit.  So, I was interested to hear her views on the future…

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…