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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…

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…