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Enterprise Project Management

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I was asked a few weeks ago to write a short article for CEO Today Magazine.  It was published this past week in their Online edition.  The article is about a topic I speak on often: How to do more with the same resources you have and focuses on identifying and quantifying the time resources spend that are not productive for the company nor favored by the employee.  An example might be how often people…

“We’d like to move to more transactional project management,” was the most often repeated phrase I heard this year in project management circles. For some, this is a cry from Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) to reject the ancient project planning relics of the past and move into more modern thinking.  “Let’s go Agile,” is the first call.  “Let’s use one of the new project tools like JIRA or Trello,” are also signs…

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…

Several years ago I worked directly the Microsoft Project Team as part of their Enterprise Project Management Partner Advisory Council.  One topic that came up more than once during the 5 years I spent with the group was the impact of Excel on Project Management.  At the time Microsoft estimated that over 30 million copies of Microsoft Project were in use somewhere around the world.  Their own internal estimates were that over double that used…

Resource management is a subject that I lecture on often and, perhaps more interestingly, is a popular topic.  You might think that after all these years of the promotion of project management practices and tools that resource management would be an old and tired subject but apparently not so much. What is it that has solving resource management challenges be so difficult?  The first and most obvious answer is that we don’t all mean the…

“Can your system help us? We have two distinct groups.” This is a remarkably common request here at HMS. In our case we’re talking about how to take care of timesheet collection for multiple groups using our TimeControl timesheet system but the request is common to many project management environments.  This comes up whenever we have multiple groups trying to use the same project control environment. From one perspective, there are many benefits to grouping…

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…

I’m very much looking forward to speaking at the Eastern Iowa chapter of the PMI in Cedar Rapids during their Professional Development Day event on Friday, October 20th.  We’ll be talking about how to increase resource capacity; one of my favorite topics. For those who are attending the event, please make sure to say hello.  For those interested in the PMI Eastern Iowa event, visit PMIEasternIowa.org/events/event-listing/meetings/2017-professional-development-day.

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…

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.…