Sunday, December 18, 2011

Top 10 Project Management Trends for 2012

Over the last couple of weeks I have seen many Top X for 2012 lists. The following is my favorite for Project Management Trends...


Collaboration Gains Importance as Project Complexity Grows

As the project environment grows in complexity, project management will require team, stakeholder and executive collaboration in 2012 like never before. On-the-job application of training, custom-made project approaches, innovative project tools and smarter resource management will be essential for driving the greatest business impact. Not only project management, but also the definition of “project success” has changed to encompass more than the triple constraint. Collaboration is a common theme throughout many of the 2012 Top 10 Trends for project management, which were determined by a global panel of ESI International senior executives and subject matter experts.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Building A 'Transformational' PMO

By Meridith Levinson

A report from Forrester Research describes the characteristics of next-generation project management offices with real-world advice from leading PMO directors on how to get there.

As companies begin to re-invest in capital projects post recession, project management offices (PMOs) need to gear up to facilitate these new plans. But that doesn't mean they need to adopt more methodology, documentation and process. In fact, many PMOs would be better served by taking a leaner approach to project management, according to a recent report from Forrester Research.

Today's most successful PMOs—the ones with the sustained executive support that help companies complete projects faster—focus on removing obstacles and delivering project management best practices to the entire company, writes Margo Visitacion, a Forrester vice president and principal analyst serving application development and delivery professionals.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Managing Global and Virtual Project Teams

My company is working to expand its market position around the globe. Through the creation of new, carefully selected office locations and actively pursuing targeted acquisitions, my company is expanding its footprint in the United States and abroad. As a result of its expansion, some project managers at my company are struggling to make the transition from a “traditional” project environment where project teams meet face-to-face in conference and war room, to a global and virtual environment. This paper will introduce project managers to the skills and techniques that will assist them in effectively managing and leading global and virtual project teams.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Managing Project Baseline Changes

The company I work for is made up of many functional groups located around the world. The information technology group is responsible for providing a reliable and robust computer environment through which the company can run its global operations. The information technology group recently initiated a project to upgrade its software distribution system to a more current version. The current system is outdated and no longer supported by the manufacturer. The upgrade would allow them to regain technical support as well as leverage information within a recently deployed Active Directory, allowing for increased automation during software deployments.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

This document has been moved. See the original post.

Monday, August 15, 2011

How Organizational Change Impacts Projects

Heraclitus wrote, “There is nothing permanent except change.” This is especially true in business today where change is a continuous process and is needed to remain competitive. However, even though change is common practice in most organizations, for many, change is by no means a smooth process. Change can interrupt the flow of business and cause pain for stakeholders of the business. The problem is amplified for project managers and project teams who are not only the leaders of change within the organization, but are also impacted by change. Organizations that are able to recognize the impact of organization change on projects and implement strategies to reduce the impact will streamline the process and ease the pain of change for all involved.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Stakeholder Management in Construction Projects

Many believe effective stakeholder management is one of the most important aspects of successful project management. In an article written by Jergeas, Williamson, Skulmoski, & Thomas (2000), they surveyed three companies who manage construction projects in the oil and gas industry.

In the article the authors discuss the confusion around identifying stakeholders and compare some industry definitions of stakeholders. They provide a high-level outline of the process they underwent to deliver the survey and compile the results. Ultimately they were able to consolidate the responses from the three companies and compile a succinct list of some of the problems that project managers create by ineffective stakeholder management. In addition, they provide some tactics for effective stakeholder management. Although the company sampling is too small to compile a complete list, the information received from the sampling provides an excellent start to identifying the issues and associated with managing stakeholders.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Principles of Stakeholder Management

In the article entitled “Principles of Stakeholder Management”, the authors summarize a document intended to provide general business managers with guidelines to help them interact with business stakeholders. In the article, stakeholders are referred to as “constituencies that are affected (favorably or adversely) by the operation of the corporation” (Clarkson, Donaldson, Preston, & Brooks). In business, for a corporation to continue to grow and flourish, it must learn to balance its own interests with the interests of its stakeholders; in doing so they will meet the needs of the society (Clarkson et al.). Although the article was intended for general business management, project managers can adopt the same principles. By applying these principles, project managers will build a solid foundation for managing stakeholder relationships within their projects.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

5 Tips for Improving Project Communications

Project managers have several responsibilities, one of which is the need to communicate effectively. As project managers meet with teams, communication skills become increasingly important. The following tips will help project managers communicate more effectively when meeting with project team members.

1. Clearly Define Meeting Objectives

The first step for improving a project manager's communication with teams is to define clear meeting objectives. Are you trying to solve a problem, make a decision, brainstorm a new idea, or provide a project update? The objective for the meeting should determine the setting and tone for the meeting (Nine ways to make your meeting more effective, 2003).

Friday, April 15, 2011

7 Habits of Brilliant Project Managers

By Duncan Brodie

Project management is a tough role. You often find yourself being pulled between keeping users, subordinates, team members and senior people happy. Given these demands, what do the best project managers do that makes them stand out from the crowd?

1. Focus on Solutions

Problem solving and breaking through constraints is an essential part of managing projects. Those that excel as project managers have a mindset where they focus on finding solutions to problems. They keep asking themselves how they can overcome whatever barriers arise.

2. Participative and Decisive

All the best project managers understand the need to communicate and consult. They also know that lots of talking and procrastination achieves nothing. Finding the right balance between consulting, deciding and acting is what separates the best from the rest.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Project Manager is like an Intel Processor

By Jim De Piante

The Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition processor is one heck of a piece of technology. It has six physical cores. Its base clock speed is 3.33 GHz. It supports three channels of DDR3-1066 memory and has 12 threads for your application to work with. It also has 12MB of L3 cache shared across all six cores.

I'm not sure I understand all of that but here's something I understand perfectly: To become the proud owner of one of these will set me back US$999. I also understand perfectly that if I were to drop US$999 for one, I will have wasted my money.

That processor, out of the box, is utterly useless.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kung Fu Project Management

By Kerry Wills.

Growing up in New York during the 1980s, I enjoyed watching what was called “The Sunday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater” on television. This meant four hours straight of Kung Fu movies, dueling techniques, avenging deaths, dubbed voice-overs, and wonderful noises for punches and kicks. There was also the additional two hours after the movies ended when my brother and I would re-enact the movies on each other (and destroy our house in the process). This article ponders these similarities of these movies to project management to see if it can help Project Managers attain their “black belt” in managing projects.

For those people reading this article who are not familiar with this genre of movies, I will give a brief overview. Each movie was about two hours long and they all had very distinct characteristics:

Each had a similar story in that a martial arts student has some wrong done to them (e.g. the killing of a master/brother/father, ransacking of the town/temple by thugs, etc.), then they go away to the mountains to train in some particular technique and would come back and avenge the wrong done to them.

The techniques that each student practiced made them super-human by having the ability to fly, smash walls with their fists, take arrows without being hurt, climb trees without using their hands, etc. (Do you begin to see the similarities with Project Managers yet?).

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Free Entry--Project Management Telesummit

I have one free entry to give away for the upcoming Project Management Telesummit in March, 2011.

To enter the drawing, just post a comment below and tell me why you love project management. Start out with the words "I love project management because" and fill in the rest!

Please, only one comment per person, and no SPAM!

I will draw a random winner by the end of February and post the winner's name here:

The Winner Is: Irwin José Franco (Joe)
(Drawn on February 26th, 2011)

Here's some info on the Telesummit...