RationalPlan Project Management Software Version 4.7 Is Publicly Available

By | January 27th, 2014|News, RationalPlan|Comments Off on RationalPlan Project Management Software Version 4.7 Is Publicly Available

Stand By Soft is pleased to announce the release of RationalPlan version 4.7. Current version comes with many changes both on the core side and on the clients side: faster execution, improved reporting,  better integration with the underlying operating system, improved critical path management and much more.

RationalPlan is a project management software that started as a desktop application designed to run on all major operating systems Windows, Linux and Mac OS X but it evolved to an embedded management system well suited for companies that need a distributed solution with concurrent access from multiple users.

Important changes for this version:

  • Possibility to use RationalPlan in full screen mode on Mac OS X
  • Added possibility to save page printing settings
  • Added #ProjectCode and #ClientAddress placeholders
  • Possibility to insert a note with current date and time to project’s Notes
  • Display the work load statistics also for assignments in Timesheet view
  • Display assignment units near task bars on Gantt chart
  • Added Reschedule Date and Responsible columns in Portfolio view
  • Added the possibility to show all columns or to reset to defaults for tables
  • Added more settings per application
  • Possibility to manage (store, load, delete) application settings
  • Export baselines in .xls format
  • Added filters for Resources view
  • Added individual slack per task and not only per project
  • When computing the critical path also consider the MSO, MFO, SNLT and FNLT constraints, deadline dates and the percentage completion
  • Reduced application loading and execution speed: start-up, scrolling, etc.
  • Broken compatibility between RationalPlan Server and older RationalPlan Multi versions

The application execution speed was improved and starting with this version it runs smoother. Start-up time was significantly reduced and working with large data makes scrolling and dragging feel more natural.

Starting with Mac OS X Lion Apple added the possibility for applications to run in full screen mode. Although a little bit late RationalPlan products can now also be run in full screen. Users will have now more space hence it will be easier to manage data or to analyze the reports. (more…)

How to Effectively Transfer Project Knowledge

By | January 21st, 2014|Project Management Training, Team Management|Comments Off on How to Effectively Transfer Project Knowledge

Project knowledgeUnavoidably, some knowledge is lost, but your project team members can skip “reinventing the wheel” if you employ knowledge management. Although this comes at an extra cost, your team does not need to retain all knowledge because most of it becomes outdated or just impractical sooner or later. You want to retain the essential knowledge that can help you run smoothly your current and future projects. Since the team’s composition during a project’s lifetime may vary, knowledge transfer is imperative.

Project Information and Data vs. Knowledge

Unlike project data and information, which are part of project documentation, project knowledge includes all the team’s proved and effective methods of executing the project. Project knowledge is the team’s know-how. While project knowledge is specific to the project, you can extrapolate and apply it to other projects in your organization. In time, project knowledge becomes your organization’s competitive advantage.

In many cases, you can duplicate raw data and information (interpreted data). Recreating knowledge, however, requires much more time for the team members to refine available information through a combination of their intelligence, intuition, and experience, but also through innovation, practice, trial and error, and more. This is why project knowledge requires management: acquisition, retention, and transfer of knowledge within a project team.

Knowledge Acquisition

Knowledge acquisition requires time and experience. For effective knowledge acquisition, the team needs a suitable environment where there is no blame culture and where management promotes informal communication, innovation, and trial and error.

Knowledge Retention

Knowledge retention is more complicated than just creating a well-organized document repository available to all team members. This is because knowledge is more than just explicit know-how that you can easily index as a document. There is also tacit knowledge, or knowing how to do something, usually a prerogative of a few experts in your team. Knowledge, especially tacit knowledge, is transferred through people, not spreadsheets or slideshows. (more…)

Which Set of Skills Is Crucial for a Project Manager: Soft Skills or Hard Skills?

By | January 8th, 2014|Project Management Certification, Project Management Training, Team Management|Comments Off on Which Set of Skills Is Crucial for a Project Manager: Soft Skills or Hard Skills?

It is almost a consensus that good project managers need both soft skills and hard skills. Without soft skills, project managers cannot lead their teams; without hard skills, they cannot lead the projects. Soft skills, also called emotional intelligence, include skills such as communication, problem solving, negotiation, leadership, and influencing. Hard skills in project management refer to the ability of applying the right tools and techniques to run and successfully complete a project.

The right combination of soft skills and hard skills is a matter of training and experience, but also being the right person for the job. In general, experts say that no personality is better suited to project management than another is. People with more extrovert personalities are naturally drawn to management positions, but this does not mean they make better project managers than introvert people with the right skills.

Excellent Soft Skills or Excellent Hard Skills?

Since finding a project manager with the right blend of soft skills and hard skills is not always possible, organizations sometimes need to choose between a project manager with excellent hard skills and one with excellent soft skills. Evaluating which of the two is better suited to lead a project is not straightforward. But finding the solution to this dilemma involves looking at two aspects. One is training. The other one is knowing what type of manager the project needs.

Acquiring Skills

If hard skills can be taught through intensive training or coaching in a few months or a year, soft skills cannot be that easily taught. A person develops soft skills throughout experience, not intensive courses. There are ways to improve emotional intelligence, but since these skills are intangible, the assessment of the level of emotional intelligence is not as easy as taking a standardized test. (more…)