Project Times just announced their top 10 articles for 2015 in terms of readership and I made the list...twice. Thank you to all of my readers - I really appreciate the comments and readership I've received and continue to enjoy sharing my project management thoughts and experiences with you. Looking forward to more of the same in 2016! To see the list and read those top 10 articles - or any articles from Project Times - go to: Project Times Top 10 Articles for 2015
Successful creative project management is often a mix of many facets: tried and true processes; creativity; a bit of luck; lessons learned from past successes and failures; and of course the input from a great team and a willing and excited client. If you want to achieve ongoing success on your creative projects, it's always best to keep that “luck” element to a minimum. It will always be there, though, whether for good or for bad, and you just need to try to focus on those elements you can regularly control rather than expect luck to help you out every time...
As project managers, often we are juggling 3, 4 maybe even 5 or more projects at one time. You know that overwhelmed somewhat sinking, scary feeling, right? It can be fun and it certainly makes the days go fast, but it can also be a little too much chaos when two of your projects are in the middle of labor intensive phases at the same time or going through issues in parallel...
You would think this would be a no-brainer. You would think this would be a logical step in the process. But, in reality, do we have our team and peers review all project deliverables? No. If you're already doing this then I tip my hat to you. In reality, we often are pressed for time and resources and trust our very experienced staff have looked over the output they are producing at least twice. But that isn't always the case. If you save yourself from sending out even one project deliverable full of errors to the project client, then it will be money well spent to have your team review all project deliverables that are handed over. Customer confidence and satisfaction is priceless and is hard to win...but even harder to win back...
At some point, teams realize that using spreadsheets to manage workload is impractical. They recognize the need for a single platform, used to manage daily tasks, short- and long-term projects, documents, and to track time and budget spent. For project managers to maintain a current, up-to-date overview, it’s essential to manage these tasks efficiently and effectively. InLoox is able to provide this with two products, InLoox for Outlook and InLoox Web App. Both applications offer seamless Outlook integration, and PC and Mac users can equally benefit from the ease of use and functionality. Here are my 5 Reasons Why InLoox is your best choice as a fully-featured project management software:
Technology should make life easier, and help foster a more productive work environment. InLoox does exactly that with a user-friendly user-interface and easy-to-handle functionality. It is clearly structured and supports you both in your daily tasks and large-scale project work. Whether you are a project team member, a project manager or have upper management responsibilities, InLoox can provide the functionality needed.
InLoox works with companies of all sizes and across all industries. Its scalability is reflected by its diverse customer base including large corporations such as US Airways and Siemens, NGOs like African Wildlife Foundation, SMBs like Broadwind Energy, as well as educational institutions such as Santa Clara University.
Project size and scope grow as a company grows, and InLoox can accommodate that growth. The convenient licensing model allows companies to add or subtract users as needed. Also, InLoox software can combine classical project management methodologies with agile methods, making it a highly adaptable tool for any type of project team. Mind maps visualize the initial project components, Gantt chart planning helps track progress, while the Kanban view enables everyone to quickly visualize what’s been done and what needs to be done.
InLoox can be integrated into Outlook or used as a stand-alone browser application. The Outlook integration lets you work efficiently within a familiar environment, and enables high level functionality in the most-used work environment available. Its widespread adoption can also be attributed to how simple it is to incorporate. InLoox Web App can also be synchronized with Outlook in real time, which is great for dispersed teams and makes InLoox a truly mobile project management solution. It works where you work, on any device, operating system, and browser – and offline. In contrast to solely web based solutions, InLoox PM operates without an internet connection and automatically synchronizes during the next internet connection.
Communication is key when managing projects, and InLoox provides collaboration functionality to make it as frictionless as possible. Features include attaching documents and adding notes to tasks or projects, sending emails with automatically added project numbers in the subject line, and creating task lists to share them with everyone involved. InLoox also has a stream function that displays all activities in a neat timeline view, a project dashboard and a project list, providing essential information at a quick glance. These features provide collaborative functionality across teams, keeping all necessary employees apprised of important tasks.
Nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing hard work result in great project success. Reports enable visualization, displaying how much workload has been handled, how much time and budget has been spent, and how many resources have been involved in the process. InLoox also keeps track of changes during the project, and by collecting and analyzing data can help improve processes, identify problems or bottlenecks, and help streamline future projects. InLoox is a reliable PM solution that simplifies and improves project management processes, keeping employees and clients happy.
Ready to see for yourself?
Go to their website and get a free live demo of their products. A specialist will give you a great tour and show you how to use InLoox for your specific project management needs. You can also download a free, 30-day trial version and give it a go yourself.
Need ideas on how to report status on a project. Follow my thoughts and steps in this informative video and let me know what you think. Thanks!
Ever get that eerie feeling that something may be going wrong on one of your creative projects? Something lurking in the corner, waiting to rear it's ugly head at you and take down one of your supposedly well-managed projects? If you are looking over your shoulder or you keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, you may be onto something. An issue, an overlooked problem, or some odd conversation with the project client stored in the back of your head that keeps bugging you are just examples which might actually mean something important. Don't brush them off. Too much is at stake....
As a discipline, I see project management as being fairly static. Still, there are changes and movements happening. Here are my top five for 2016.
What's going to happen with project management in 2016? Since project management as a discipline is fairly static, I liken this concept of predicting changes in project management to a conversation two fictional characters had on one of my favorite shows, “The Big Bang Theory,” a few years ago. Leonard Hofstadter is an experimental physicist and his future girlfriend and wife, Penny, is asking questions about his job while they are out to dinner together...
I'm a sports fan. Not of any one sport, but a sports fan in general. And when I saw today that one of the best basketball players in history - especially in the recent era of the NBA - is making less than 34% of his shots this season, I thought of this concept. That's Kobe Bryant I'm talking about, by the way. He's my oldest son's all-time favourite player. But it may be a sign that, at 39 years of age, Kobe has been through enough injuries and jump shots taking their toll on his body, and it's time to call it quits on a career before he goes out at the bottom rather than on top.
I know it's hard to throw in the towel. Doing what you love or leading something that means a lot to you is important. Quitting when you think you have more gas is like giving up - at least it is in your mind - but is it really? Or is it making a wise decision at just the right time when Old Father Time…in Kobe's case…or project management karma in the case of a misaligned, south-facing project tells you it's time to pull the plug?..
Who cares the most about your project management best practices? Likely, it is those who interact with you daily on the projects you manage.
Imagine, if you will, that you are a clean slate – at least your project manager mind is a clean slate in terms of project management best practices. Best practices could be anything you want them to be.
This article isn't going to be so much about what your best practices are as it is more about who should decide what those best practices are. Should an organization like the Project Management Institute (PMI) decide project management best practices? Should your senior management decide what best practices are? Should your PMO director decide? Your customer or your team?...
Author: Brad Egeland