60 Second PM is my new series of 1-2 minute weekly PM videos that hopefully will help us all to manage our projects better. This is the first in the series...Try these tips to better manage your projects, teams and customers.
I've been a project manager for a long time. I started out using ABT's Project Workbench. It apparently is still around - it still exists as a free tool called Open Workbench. I never professionally used the Windows version of it, only an old DOS version, but I did end up teaching class of about 20 CAD designers on the Windows version without ever having put it to use on a project. I eventually moved on to a DOS version of Microsoft Project and then on to the windows version of that which I have used off and on for many years.
As everyone is aware, the landscape of available project management and PM-related tools has changed greatly over the years. It is truly mind-boggling how many options are out there now for project managers across all industries. Many have been developed by organizations to focus on some key capabilities that they felt were either missing or not well covered by their existing counterparts. It is nearly impossible to cover all available options or to have one go-to list when you're looking for a solution to a project management tool need. That's what drove me to start this series of articles that will hopefully shed some new light on the vast array of PM tools that can solve the many needs and challenges that project managers and their teams face.
My series starts with several tools and organizations that I have come into personal contact with – often the organization's CEO. I know these people are extremely passionate about their products and are confident in their ability to help you manage your projects better tomorrow than you do today. In this presentation, I'd like to share 12 such products that are definitely worth checking out for your 2016 project management needs.
Wrike is an agile work management platform with a broad range of tools for managing and collaborating on projects. As a single source of truth for project data, Wrike houses tasks, milestones, deadlines, files, conversations, and statuses for projects within an organization. This information is in turn accessible via browsers, mobile devices, and fed into dashboards and reports that can be customized for any number of use cases. At the core of Wrike is the software’s selective visibility, which allows users and administrators to segment sharing of information by teams and roles. This allows users to create organizations that are very open or private as deemed appropriate. Once this structure is in place, users can build projects and monitor progress at a high level with customizable status reports, or in a great degree of granular detail using tools like Gantt Charts and tables.
Differentiating Wrike from traditional project management systems is its human-centered approach to collaboration. Simply, Wrike is a workspace for teams. In it, workers may create and assign tasks to themselves or others, and within those tasks, have organized conversations that are contextual to the work they are about. By placing an emphasis on user experience, Wrike aims to reduce time to value for its customers. In building a tool that is simple to use for complex projects, Wrike creates additional visibility for executives and business owners, while simultaneously giving workers a valuable tool for managing their work, collaborating with teams, and sharing their progress.
Viewpath is an online application which manages project activities and resource allocation in one complete picture. Its scheduling engine delivers fast performance, enterprise-class scalability, and built-in integration with popular apps such as Salesforce or Google Drive. With secure access for free Guests and free Observers, Viewpath allows project teams to collaborate with anyone, in any organization.
The unique flexibility of Viewpath lets teams easily plan and track project activities in either Waterfall or Agile views, while still providing unified status reporting and dashboards. The app also has layered functionality to simplify collaboration and workflow at all levels of the organization -- whether it's an individual contributor completing one assigned task, or a seasoned team leader doing interactive scheduling across a portfolio of projects.
dapulse, is one of the most versatile tools you’ll find, It’s like a swiss army knife for managers around the world. Many people think that dapulse is a project management tool, others think it’s a CRM. There are probably several hundred different usages for it. Some companies use it for just about everything (planning, bug tracking, ad campaign management, production tracking, customer projects, etc’).
dapulse focuses on process. Things are never that simple, so conveying more information on a project or a task in a structured way - that can repeat with the next task - improves all aspects of management and communication. Most project management tools force you to fit your needs into their structure which may not always work. The dapulse platform is intuitive, visual and flexible, allowing you to shape the system to your needs.
Priority Matrix is one of the rare project management tools that actually helps you become more effective. Its streamlined interface makes it an ideal replacement of heavyweight tools like Microsoft Project, reduces emails and meetings with the built in chat and collaboration, while still helping managers get better real-time visibility to work more effectively.
What sets Priority Matrix apart is that the product serves as a true project management solution that is simple to use. Together with productivity training as well as integrations into Outlook and Gmail, Priority Matrix is a great project management solution that lets you collaborate natively from Mac, Windows, web and mobile. Priority Matrix provides Productivity Insights reports that measure the heartbeat across your organization, team, and projects. Being able to switch views between Gantts, calendar, and priority levels enhances flexibility and allows each member of your team to work the way they want.
ProWorkflow is a fast and straightforward project management, workflow and time tracking software for small to medium sized businesses. The app has been designed from the ground up with the user's most important asset in mind: Their staff!
ProWorkflow enables you to keep accurate time-keeping records, as well as organize, plan, and delegate jobs and tasks. Scheduling is simple with the Timeline and Availability Tool giving detailed information. Historical data in ProWorkflow allows you to measure and analyze your company performance so that you can streamline to improve profit margins.
Project Insight is a cloud-based project and portfolio management software that is powerful for project managers, easy for everyone.
Customers like Western Digital, Cisco and Lexmark use Project Insight to collaborate and manage their projects with their global team members. The software allows project teams to gain visibility into project timelines, resources, issues, budgets and more.
Project teams benefit by centralizing all of their projects and:
Are you losing sleep trying to maximize the ROI on your many projects? Upland Software provides cloud solutions covering Project & Portfolio Management and Professional Services Automation that help organizations gain the highest returns from their projects. Through their platform you are able to successfully manage your organization’s projects and resources, project workforce, and IT costs all within one product family.
Upland provides award winning products that align project selection with strategic business objectives, simplifies the management of project portfolios with constrained resources, improves service delivery, resource & project management, and demonstrates the value IT provides through complete visibility and service benchmarking.
To learn how Upland Software can help you get the most out of your projects, click here.
Projectplace is an all in one tool takes you beyond a traditional project management software. It is a smart project collaboration solution that brings teams together to improve collaboration and get things done. Whether your team is down the hall or on the other side of the globe, Projectplace provides everything teams need to set direction, communicate, execute tasks, track progress, and ultimately achieve goals, no matter where they work.
Projectplace empowers teams to create plans, organize work, and track personal tasks, all in one place. You can start using it immediately, without any complicated installations or costs of implementation.
Comindware Process is an innovative solution that combines management of projects, processes and cases that might reshape project management in 2016. Comindware Process allows for effective process management as it is supported with project data such as task duration, resource workload and project cost. The ability to initiate projects within processes and vice versa provides for a new level of flexibility and significantly saves time while maximizing productivity. Everything from Approvals, and Reviews to Acceptance capabilities are also enabled within projects. Comindware Process puts a sharper focus on people and processes needed to successfully execute projects.
Comindware Process is a good fit for medium and large businesses. For small businesses, it might be useful to check one-purpose solutions for project management and workflow management by the same vendor - Comindware, Inc.
Project Portfolio Office
Project Portfolio Office (PPO) helps organizations achieve greater project success by implementing and adopting a simple to use, cost effective, configurable yet enterprise scalable project portfolio management application. This application allows users to plan, manage, collaborate, execute and report on their projects, programs and portfolios.
With numerous offices and a global network of certified partners, PPO is available anywhere and anytime. PPO users range from small consultancies to global Fortune 500 organizations, and the organization will help ensure that PPO aligns with the way they work regardless of their chosen methodology. Users can make use of one of their pre-configured solutions and with their free online trial, learning videos and great 24/7 support, users can self-implement within 30 days or request our the PPO team to assist every step of the way. PPO is a cloud based application that is secure and immediately available with a robust API for configuring and integrating with other tools. It is available with tiered base pricing and no long term contract required.
Clients and execs love project reviews but most project management applications produce visuals that are far too complicated. Office Timeline is a PowerPoint add-in that quickly transforms project data into easy-to-understand timelines for your important meetings.
The tool adds a timeline tab to the PowerPoint ribbon and creates native PowerPoint slides which can be easily customized or shared. It has a powerful layout engine and simple controls that make beautiful timelines in a fraction of the time you would spend without it. It also integrates with existing applications like Microsoft Project or Excel so building impressive timelines from your existing data and updating them only takes a few seconds.
Celoxis: An All-in-one Platform for Project Management and Work Collaboration. Enterprise projects today demand diverse work assignments distributed across geographical boundaries. A Creative agency, for example, would manage everything from bid approvals to project requests, all prior to managing the projects themselves. An IT solutions and business process outsourcing services provider, on the other hand, would require to manage and track bugs, issues, risks, change requests, tickets, incidents and other business processes to supplement their project engagements. Over time, one can often end up with several “dedicated” tools, each trying to address that one particular business challenge. Celoxis, on the other hand, is an integrated web-based platform that empowers companies to plan and manage projects, processes and resources more efficiently.
Celoxis brings a comprehensive solution to people, projects, processes and analytics. It has a full set of features and capabilities suitable for most medium and large business. Portfolio executives can perform regular assessment of portfolio metrics in terms of budgets, risks, resource capacities and revenues. Project managers can use the Interactive Gantt to build project schedules involving distributed teams and dependencies. Teams can collaborate on diverse activities such as tasks, bugs, or change requests all within the same tool. Organizational clients also get free portal access so that they can stay updated on their projects in real-time. Enterprises have the option to choose SaaS or on-premise deployment to suit their modus operandi. Global brands like Rolex, Bombardier, HBO, LG, Deloitte, Del Monte, University of Washington, Toronto General Hospital, Juniper Research and Singapore Post are successfully using Celoxis to weed out their project management problems.
Summary / call for input
As I stated, this is just the tip of the iceberg. All projects are different. There are some basic, common, underlying project needs for most engagements. But there are also some organizations and project teams and customers that have different needs and areas to focus on, and that is why a presentation of tools like this can be helpful and insightful for the PM masses.
In the coming months I hope to bring you many more options to check out for yourselves. If you have a project software that you think is great, please let me know and I'll do my best to include it in a future presentation.
For my next installment in the “5 Reasons Why...” series, I'd like to introduce you to the Sciforma enterprise project and portfolio management (EPPM) software solution. Sciforma is a flexible and easy to use software solution that manages projects to their greatest advantage. It features powerful resource management, risk management, and change management functionalities. This tool truly fits the needs of all the key project management decision makers in the organization: PMO leadership, project managers, IT directors and CIOs, and senior management.
Let's look at 5 reasons why you should check out Sciforma for your own PPM organizational needs:
Over the top configurable. Sciforma's solution is the most configurable tool in the market: no coding is needed to configure the system and customers have access to the configuration Designer tool. It is fully HTML5 and completely configurable to meet any company or industry’s process needs.
30 years of PPM industry experience. Sciforma has specialized in PPM for more than 30 years. They are a worldwide organization with major companies on their client list. Buying Sciforma gives you access to comprehensive services provided by experienced project management consultants.
The complete, end-to-end solution. Sciforma covers all the aspects of PPM:
Completely scalable. Sciforma is completely incremental/scalable. Companies can start with a small pilot and then grow at their own pace by adding more users and features. Companies might want to start with only project management at first and then add time tracking or portfolio management. Sciforma is available as SaaS, On-premise and Hosted. Customers have the flexibility to switch from one to another.
Ready to check out Sciforma for yourself?
Ready to see for yourself what Sciforma is all about and find out if it might be right for you? One hour webinars are offered twice per month…sign up for a webinar/demo that fits into your schedule. After you've viewed one of Sciforma’s informative webinars, give the software your own test drive by signing up for a free 30-day, fully supported trial.
First question: Are you happy with the career and work choices that you have made?
Some people say to me, ‘Eamonn, work is not that important.’ I am afraid that I cannot agree.
You work from pretty much nine am to five or six pm each day, and many of us probably longer. You do this from Monday to Friday and some of us work at weekends. You do this for roughly forty-eight weeks of the year. Some people sadly more. You do this from age eighteen, nineteen or twenty-two to age sixty or sixty-five? You are giving the best hours, the best days, the best weeks and the best years of your life to work. You have no better time to give.
Personnel issues have to be the least favorite part of any manager’s job. I know they are of mine. I’ve enjoyed being a project manager with no real direct reports… working instead with “borrowed” project-by-project assigned resources for many years. But even that situation is not without issues, concerns and conflicts. PM’s still end up being resource managers, in a sense, but for short bursts and the teams are always changing. Easier? Twenty years in and I’m still not sure.
For help though, I offer these four tips of mine for making things easier on the team resource management portion of project management. Please read and feel free to share your thoughts and additional suggestions...
I realize that collaboration is a big buzzword in project management and really all business strategy and delivery areas, right? Collaborate for success. The best teams collaborate. Our project teams and our projects would be performing better if we were collaborating. We’ve all heard these and about a hundred other phrases, concepts and excuses just like them, haven’t we?
But what does “collaborate” really mean? A quick online check reveals two very similar definitions:..
Do you ever find it difficult to focus? Distractions just keep cropping up and you allow your focus to shift?
This can be a major time drain and a hindrance to goal achievement. In order to be successful, you need to set a specific schedule and keep to it as best you can.
We are going to walk you through seven of the most common traps that completely trip up and distract you from a productive schedule and we are going to give you seven tips, that will help you minimize these distractions...
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