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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…

One of the most interesting project management reports that evolved after my start in the industry is the “burn-down” report.  I mention it because at HMS, we are about to launch TimeControl 7 and we are in the final hours prior to launch where we are at the end of a long reiterative burn down process. If you’ve never been in the IT industry then you may not have seen such a project management report with…

I tend to look at someone’s decisions or the actions they’ve taken and wonder “What was the world they were looking at that would have had those actions and those decision seem like the exact right thing to do?” Now I know that not everyone thinks like me and thank goodness that’s true but for me in a business or project management context, asking that question of myself can become quite important.  You’ll see the results…

This year political correctness seems to be everywhere.  In the US it’s a presidential election cycle so perhaps some level of political correctness goes with the territory.  But political correctness isn’t just a political phenomenon.  In the private sector, in public sector organizations, in volunteer or charitable work the insidiousness of being “PC” can wreak havoc.  Project Managers are faced with this every day and are under pressure either to make sure their project reports…

I’ve been wrapping up our renewals of two of our key technical alliances at HMS Software this week and it has me take pause to think about the different aspects of how these partnership works.  I’ve been most recently working on our Microsoft and Oracle relationships.  We’ve had a technical partnership with Microsoft since 1995 so we’re at 21 years on that relationship.  With Oracle we’ve done 19 years as we started our formal relationship…