Is There a Project Management Methodology for One-Person Projects?

By | June 13th, 2013|Project Management Methodology, Project Management Software|Comments Off on Is There a Project Management Methodology for One-Person Projects?

If you are an employee of a small organization or of a research institution, or just a freelancer, you are likely dealing with one-person projects. You are the team, you are the project manager, so you are responsible for all project documentation, communication, and, of course, project work.

Before you start looking for the right project management software and methodology, make sure you were assigned a project and not just a task or a set of interrelated tasks to accomplish a goal. A project has a definite beginning and end, and its aim is to create a unique product or service. It also has definite resources and usually its timeframe is defined by the organization. If indeed you were assigned a project, it is useful to approach it from a project management perspective in order to complete the work in an efficient manner, taking advantage of the knowledge, tools, and techniques of project management.

All projects have scope, deliverables, resources, and budget. For one-person projects, you are in charge of planning, executing, and monitoring your work, and you are accountable for the project’s outcome. Almost any project management methodology can be applied to one-person projects, with some exceptions. For example, applying Scrum is arguably not possible because there is no Scrum Master or Product Owner. But if you have volatile project requirements, an agile management approach is likely to fit your project, so you can use Scrum or other agile process as a basis to create your own version of the methodology and tailor it for your specific project. (more…)

Project Management Software for Traditional vs. Agile Environments

By | May 7th, 2013|Project Management Methodology, Project Management Software|Comments Off on Project Management Software for Traditional vs. Agile Environments

Agile vs. Traditional project managementHow much does an agile project management software differ from a traditional project management software? On short: pretty much. But on the other side both types of products have many things in common.

Many say that agile is not a project management methodology but rather a product development methodology. But in many cases the companies prefer to treat the development as a project and hence the notion of agile project management. Now the agile and traditional approaches are totally different so the first thought would be that the software used to manage each type of projects to be different. The idea is that agile PM is not a method per se, but rather an umbrella term for different processes. In turn, agile processes are very different among them.

In Scrum there are small teams, usually collocated, no project manager, and very often there is no need for a software for the managing the project. The team is self organizing, team members are doing daily meetings, and the project is split in iterations that take maximum one month. At the end of each iteration it is decided the next one and so on… No one wants to loose time by updating a plan that keeps changing or to monitor the daily progress of the team with a project scheduling tool.

In other agile processes the iterations take longer but the main idea is that the project plan, the requirements and the product specifications are subject to change. So a traditional project management software does not solve these needs. Indeed it is necessary to have a monitoring process for the project and the team, a system for client communication etc. but due to the dynamic nature of the processes there is no needs to have fancy or complicated features. An agile product should be light in functionality, easy to use, easy to access and highly portable. (more…)

Traditional and Agile Project Management in a Nutshell

By | March 20th, 2013|Project Management Methodology|2 Comments

Project Management in a NutshellThere is no standard project management approach that works for all projects. The choice of the right approach for managing a project depends on various factors, ranging from the complexity and type of project to the experience in conducting projects of the organization, the customer’s willingness to be involved in the project, and the norm in the industry.

Traditional vs. Agile Projects

Essentially, there are two approaches: traditional and agile. Typically, traditional project management works for most construction projects, for example, where the whole project can be completed in one sequence, and the success is defined by completion of the deliverables in time and below budget. Agile project management is better suited to volatile and innovative projects, such as software development, where there are many risks, where the scope of the project is likely to change, and where an iterative methodology is needed so that risks are mitigated and opportunities fully exploited.

Traditional Project Management

Traditional project management is an established methodology for running projects in a sequential cycle: initiation, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. For each of these five project steps, there are tools and techniques, such as the ones defined by the PMBOK®, the standard methodology for traditional project management. Traditional project management approaches include other methodologies, for example PRINCE2, adopted by the UK government organizations, but also by private organizations, such as Vodafone or Siemens.

Be Agile to Adapt to Changes

More and more projects have requirements that are subject to change as the project progresses, sometimes to keep up with the market conditions. In these cases, a traditional project management approach, in a single sequence of five processes, is not possible in order to take full advantage of the opportunities that may arise. Any projects associated with a high level of uncertainty (such as research and development, software development), or in highly volatile industries (such as IT or oil and gas industry), can benefit from an agile approach. (more…)

Project Management Solutions To Better Control Your Business

By | October 4th, 2011|Business Management, Project Management Software|Comments Off on Project Management Solutions To Better Control Your Business

Any business needs some management solutions to get organized and stay on the floating line. Unfortunately, many organizations are forced to rely on paper trails and email-chains. These outdated methods were replaced by newer project management solutions.

There are different types of such solutions for a wide range of working domains and for many kinds of needs. The access to accurate, real-time data regarding projects and resources is crucial to making strategic business decisions. Companies must keep up with the changes that impact the day-to-day running of their business. Managers are expected to deliver more than ever – but with fewer resources, within a shorter period of time and to produce maximum returns for the business.

Many times all this work gets externalized to other specialized entities. This covers either the use of project management tools or even more the delegation of entire work to management and consulting companies. In all cases appropriate methodologies and processes are necessary to be applied.

Project management solutions

In order to make the best decisions to support your organization’s long-term goals you have to decide and choose the right management solution:

  • Resource management – if you have a resource oriented activity this is the solution on which you should insist on. In most cases it is strongly connected with work management software
  • Project portfolio – this type of solution is the most used in any domain. Any company has multiple projects that needs to be managed. It also covers almost entirely resource management software
  • Issue tracking – best suited for software development companies
  • Task management – many small and medium organizations resort to this kind of solution; task management software is used mainly because of the ease of use, simplicity and light collaboration features

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