Top 10 Most Popular Project Management Articles of 2014

By | December 30th, 2014|Project Management Software, Time Management|0 Comments

When it comes to project management related topics year 2014 was no more special than any other year. Readers from all over the world visited our blog searching for answers and advices to their questions and problems. Here is a list with the top 10 most read articles starting with the one with the most visits:

  1. Creating Budget Or Cost Baselines For Projects
  2. CAPM® Exam – How to Pass It and Is it Worth It?
  3. Advantages and Benefits of Project Management Software
  4. Work Breakdown Structure Made Easy
  5. Traditional and Agile Project Management in a Nutshell
  6. Time Management In Project Management
  7. Managing Projects Using Project Baselines
  8. Which Set of Skills Is Crucial for a Project Manager: Soft Skills or Hard Skills?
  9. Is There a Project Management Methodology for One-Person Projects?
  10. How Important is Domain Knowledge for the Project Manager?

It can easily be seen that there is no particular topic that visitors are especially looking for. However it seems many of them are interested to know more regarding the work with baselines. Otherwise several blog posts are related to improving the skills required to better plan and manage projects – on short users want to become better as project managers.

Of course readers feedback is welcomed for the new 2015 year.

Project Team Productivity – Problems and Solutions

By | May 23rd, 2013|Resource Management, Risk Management, Team Management, Time Management|Comments Off on Project Team Productivity – Problems and Solutions

Team productivity isTeam Productivity a source of risk in any project. Low team productivity can trigger other issues, including schedule delays, unsatisfactory quality of the deliverables, low team morale, which, in turn, can all lead to the project’s failure. The project management approach, the project manager’s skills, the changes in project scope are some of the risk factors for a team’s productivity. But often the issues and conflicts that arise from the team itself are the causes of low productivity. The productivity can suffer when the teams are distributed rather than collocated, and when there are cultural differences among team members, since both situations can generate conflict and miscommunication.

Collocated vs. Distributed Project Teams

Since creating a cohesive team depends on how the team members communicate and bond with each other, there can be significant differences in productivity between collocated and distributed teams. In collocated teams, communication is facilitated because all team members are physically in the same environment. However, with the modern communication technologies, including videoconferencing, e-mail, and VoIP, distributed teams can also communicate effectively. As a technical report from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, demonstrates, one of the problems in distributed teams is that members do not bond as easily as the members of collocated teams do, so it can be difficult for collaborators to trust each other. As a result, the teams do not work effectively together, which is likely to decrease productivity and even generate conflicts. There is obviously no quick fix for this problem.

Risks to Productivity in Agile Projects

Having a cohesive team that works well together is crucial especially in agile projects, where the teams are self-organizing and even cross-functional at times. On the one hand, having distributed teams is becoming necessary for many organizations in order to keep their costs low, find the best talent, and keep up with the their competitors. On the other hand, having distributed teams in agile projects adds a new layer of complexity to the project, not only because the teams are self-organizing, but also because daily meetings can be difficult with local time differences. The productivity can suffer. The role of the project manager, if any, is crucial. This person needs to be a leader and be able to motivate the team to work effectively, solve issues when they arise, and prevent conflicts. In large agile projects, organizing the distributed team in smaller teams, and having a project manager to facilitate communication between teams can be a partial solution. (more…)

How To Convince People To Start Using Project Management Software

By | February 6th, 2013|Business Management, Project Management Software, Time Management|Comments Off on How To Convince People To Start Using Project Management Software

scheduleEducated management can start from childhood or at older ages. Earlier is the best. And management can apply to many things: money, work, time etc. Certain kids might have been forced by circumstances to start managing their allowance. This can be a big advantage for them as grown-ups when it comes to finance management.

But what about project management? Many users tend to think that everything can be done using spreadsheets because this is what they used since ever. OK you can do a lot of things with them but not all. When it comes to planning and scheduling projects there are some special requirements that must be addressed with more specific tools. But how to determine people to start adopting such tools?

Work must be done fast and easy

For many people, productivity software does not increase their productivity but rather reduces work effectiveness. Instead of spending the time in solving the problems users spend it with using the software. This is an important point to keep in mind and to make sure the right software is selected. The users need the work to be done fast and easy.

Give an example to users by starting using it

One solution to get the team adopt project management tools is for the manager to start using it. He can delegate tasks and include the coworkers in conversations about those activities. This way they will receive email notifications with assignments sent automatically from the PM system. Over time, maybe some of them will also begin to feel more comfortable in working directly on the assigned tasks instead of replying to incoming emails.

Identify benefits in using project management tools

Another idea is for the manager to identify and point benefits for them of using the tool. More exactly the users must find some benefits for their own and not just for the organization. It has to be a “win-win” situation: both for the person and for the business. “How will this tool make your work easier, your outcome better, your day to day tasks more smooth, save time, be on time, but not in these generic terms but very down to earth and specific to their goals, tasks, responsibilities and duties.” says Carlos Miranda Levy, a Social Entrepreneur. (more…)

Project Management, Resource Leveling And Pregnancy

By | January 31st, 2013|PM Jokes, Resource Management, Time Management|Comments Off on Project Management, Resource Leveling And Pregnancy

The other days I read a funny project management joke: It takes one woman nine months to have a baby. It cannot be done in one month by nine women.

Managing projects is not an easy job. It takes some experience and knowledge if you want to do it well. There are many things to be taken into consideration during the entire process of managing a project but the important thing is to get the job done well, on time and within budget.

A critical factor is the time constraint. Sometimes you are forced to do a work faster and here enter into the stage the so called resource leveling mechanisms. Anyone understands that more people do a work faster than fewer… The same principle is used to finish a task sooner. Hire more personnel and problem solved!

But wait…what if that task just can not be done faster? Well… you can not build the roof for a house until the walls are not finished. And you can not raise the walls until foundation is not ready. But foundation must dry first to be solid and this can not be done faster no matter how many resources you are planning to use.

What all these mean? Simple: make sure you are doing a good, realistic project plan before signing a contract and starting the work. Some tasks just can not be done faster…

Time Management In Project Management

By | February 15th, 2012|Project Management Software, Time Management|Comments Off on Time Management In Project Management

Time management is the act of planning, controlling and finally executing specific activities, especially to increase efficiency or productivity. It applies to a wide usage area starting from personal time organization and up to business related time management. For the best results and the biggest efficiency dedicated time management software should be used.

A time management system is a combination of processes, tools, techniques, and methods. There are many books and case studies focusing on these notions.

Personal Time Management

The notion of time management was initially used in business related area but in time the term started to also be used for personal activities. People started to be interested on it when they felt the need to be more organized and more productive. It all happens when you start working all day long and at the end you wonder why you haven’t accomplished much.

Time management methodologies consist of a series of habits and good practices which help you to get more organized. The most used and well known time management methodologies are GTD and ZTD. Getting Things Done (GTD) was created by David Allen and it is based on the following principles:

  • do not use your memory to collect your ideas, tasks and arrangements
  • do not delay decisions on what to do next
  • if you can complete a certain task in less than 2 minutes, do it now

(more…)