Good communication between a project manager and his or her project team, clients and subcontractors has always been an important aspect of successful project management. There are tons of blogs out there on how to improve project communication, and many project failures can often be attributed to poor communication between the project team. Project management is as much about good communication as it is about good management.
Have you worked in an organisation where there has been no central database for everyone to manage a project from? Not having a central database has many implications for the way the project is managed, but one seemingly simple one that can drive employees nuts is that project managers often need to create their own report templates for each aspect of the project. And we know not everyone thinks the same way when it comes to templates.
Since childhood I’m sure most of us have been continually told about the benefits of team work and how success is often achieved when people work together. Motivational speakers feast on team work and collaboration and sometimes the meaning can get lost in mushy motivational stories about working together.
As the days of managing projects with pencils, foolscap and good old brain power morphed into days of spreadsheets and shoeboxes, people began to realise that spreadsheets could actually provide them with a better way of doing things. Now we are experiencing a similar transition from spreadsheets and shoeboxes to an even better way of doing things with dedicated, specialised project management software. However, human nature shows that we are often resistant to change, and this is completely understandable with a decision to invest in project management software, as it is often a considerable investment.
There has been a lot of buzz around the concept of ‘cloud computing’ lately, and you may have seen Microsoft’s ‘to the cloud’ global advertising campaign. But even after all this buzz, I still find the concept hasn’t been fully explained for the average ‘non techie’. Starting out at IPM Global as a ‘non techie’ myself, I will do my best to explain it as I have come to understand it, and in completely ‘non techie’ terms.
Way back when I first started writing for this blog, I wrote my very first post on how end user buy in is the key to the success of many software implementations. Whilst that post focussed more on the usability of IPM because it can be used within Outlook, I wanted to use this post to illustrate some other user friendly features.
There has been a lot of talk in the project management blogosphere lately focussing on project failure and how it can actually lead to success. However, one of the key points I have taken away from all these blogs is that failure only contributes to future success if you learn from the mistakes you made the first time. Failure is obviously no good if you continue to make the same mistakes over and over, without any change to your practices in light of what the failure is showing you.
Throughout The Workflow Series, we have shown you many ways you can use workflows to automate and customise your use of IPM. As we are continually adjusting and changing IPM in our development process, new ways to use workflows are appearing all the time and one such way is the conversion of Site Diary information into official Change Requests.
So far I’ve covered a few of the new features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 that are going to make it a lot easier to manage your projects within IPM. With customisable dashboards to show you snapshots of information about your project in the one screen, to conditional formatting to change the appearance of certain items in a list so they stand out, the new version of IPM definitely looks exciting for project managers. So I thought, why not treat you with a few more new features?
We all know projects carry some degree of risk, but the important thing is to try to manage and mitigate the risk so that it doesn’t evolve into an issue on your project. Too many times, companies have either not conducted a risk assessment, or have ignored risk assessments and not properly addressed and dealt with the risk, and the risk has come back to bite them tenfold.