Monday, December 31, 2012

What's The Best Site for Discussion Forums?

We just launched the vote for our next book study on the Project Management Book Club. In about a week we will have our next book selected and we will launch a study of the book online. For our past studies we have used a discussion group on LinkedIn. However, some have complained that the groups in LinkedIn are difficult to use or do not work well for an online book study.

So I am looking for suggestions. What sites have you used that work well for discussions groups? What do you see as the pros and cons of each site? What do you link or dislike about the sites you have used?

Please leave a comment below with your thoughts.

I appreciate you taking a few moments to provide your suggestions.

Have a great 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Project Management Blogs You Should Follow in 2013

During 2012 I had the great pleasure of getting to know some of the best project management professionals in the industry. Many of them have blogs or participate in social media. A few of them are well worth your time to follow and read. So here's my list of the project management blogs you should follow in 2013.

In alphabetical order...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

6 Ways to Help You Collaborate on Your Projects

CIOs and business managers will fail in their efforts to improve business performance outcomes through business process management (BPM) if they cannot overcome major barriers to cross-functional communication and collaboration, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner said that business leaders can avoid this failure by embracing extreme collaboration (XC), a new operating model and an extreme style of collaboration.

XC is enabled by combing four nexus forces into a pattern that can dramatically innovate the way people behave, communicate, work together and maintain relationships — often across wide organizational and geographic boundaries — to collectively deliver breakthrough process performance.

"Collaboration is a critical activity in many operational business processes, both structured and unstructured. An XC environment is essentially a virtual war room or crisis center, where people can come together to collaboratively work on a shared purpose," said Janelle Hill, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "This environment is available 24/7, thus enabling people to work when, where and how they need to in order to meet shared goals and outcomes. What makes it extreme is people's willingness to cross geographic, organizational, political, management boundaries, to pool their collective skills and resources to solve problems and move toward the attainment of a shared, ambitious goal."

Gartner has identified six best practices for moving to a culture of XC:

Monday, December 17, 2012

10 Guidelines for Estimating Project Effort

By Susanne Madsen.

Susanne Madsen
Many projects start off on the wrong foot because the effort involved in delivering them has been underestimated. It is human nature to want to deliver something well and quickly, but underestimating the complexities of a project serves no one. As project managers it is our job to make sure that the team understands what the users want and how much it will cost to produce what they want. This is one of the cornerstones of being able to successfully deliver a project.

One of the prerequisites for producing a reasonable estimate is to have spent sufficient time analyzing and understanding the requirements and the proposed solution. Carry out too little analysis and the estimated solution remains unclear and risky. Carry out too much analysis and the team will have spent too much time in discussions at the expense of actually starting and delivering the work. You need to carry out enough analysis that the team has uncovered all the risky areas of the problem domain and that a robust solution is emerging. At that stage the team should be able to quantify what is known about the solution and what is unknown.

To become better at estimating project effort, take into consideration the following guidelines:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

7 Mistakes Project Managers Make

By Sean McPheat.

There are many mistakes that managers can make if they are not careful, which can be really damaging for the business and for their team – such as failing to give feedback, being overly critical and micromanaging – but project managers in particular can also be in danger of committing the following mistakes within their role.

1. Mistaking The Map For The Land

If a project plan calls for something to happen in a certain way, and that is not how it is happening, revise the plan to reflect reality. Do not try to force reality to conform to the plan. It often won’t fit exactly the way you had planned it, and you need to move with the progress of a project, not stand in the way of progress because it isn't going in the direction you had planned.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Leader's Edge: Developing an Extraordinary Mindset

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Kevin Ciccotti about his upcoming leadership webinar, "The Leader's Edge: Developing an Extraordinary Mindset." I have followed Kevin for a while and love his innovative approach to building relationships for project success. I encourage you to block off some time to attend this webinar. Based on my past experiences with Kevin, it will be well worth your time! If you can't attend in person, leave me a comment and I will send you a link to the recorded version.

Here's the interview.


Thomas: Kevin, tell me what you've been up to since the last time we talked.

Kevin Ciccotti
Kevin: Well, I've definitely been busy, Thomas! I've been refining my one-day workshop, "The Human Factor in Project Management" and I've been fortunate enough to have several companies bring me in to lead the training for their project teams. I'm busy with more coaching clients, and working with some large organizations that have global operations. I've also been speaking at more chapter dinners and events, leading webinars for various PMI Communities of Practice, and I even had the privilege of speaking at the recent PMI Global Congress in Vancouver.

Thomas: Sounds like you've really been working a variety of channels in reaching out to Project Managers. What is the latest project you're working on?