The recent Chilean volcano ash cloud and resulting closure of airports across southern Australia and New Zealand really goes to show how easily our travel plans can go awry. If you happened to be one of the many stuck at Melbourne airport last Monday, I’m sure the delays were not only frustrating, but also straining on your time. And even though this happened on a public holiday in Australia, there were still delays for people returning to work for days afterwards.
I’ve talked often on this blog about the availability of project management software for the past 20 years being limited to highly specialised, inflexible, out of the box solutions. And in order to make these solutions fit their organisation, companies were either forced to change their processes, or pay for customisations to be made in order to suit them better. Both these options seem unappealing, so what is the answer?
I’m sure most of us have heard of the KISS principle – Keep It Simple Stupid. It can be applied to almost every aspect of our lives and jobs and is especially important in project management software.
I know that this blog has often talked about the benefits of IPM and how they can help you manage your projects better, so we thought it might be a good idea to show you real world example of IPM in action.
Last week I came across a really interesting blog entry from Adeline Teoh, the editor of projectmanger.com.au. Looking back at project management as a profession over the last 30 years, the article talks about how there has been a paradigm shift in project management, whereby the profession is no longer confined to just construction and defence anymore. As companies are realising the importance of structured organisation and management of people and processes, the field of project management has stretched its influence to other disciplines such as IT, health and community development.
Since March, I’ve been keeping this blog updated from my new home for the next few months in Northern China. The internet and my laptop have been a godsend here, with the ability to remotely connect to my email and Microsoft Dynamics CRM in our offices in Australia, and also by using Skype to connect with family, friends and colleagues. But last week I had a very unfortunate mishap that involved a bowl of soup and my laptop keyboard. Fortunately, I was able to get the keyboard fixed relatively cheaply here, but it did mean I was without a laptop, and hence very little communication with Australia, for just over a week.
First off, I have to admit that I actually came across the idea for this blog whilst I was catching up on the hype surrounding the royal wedding. I know you either love it or you hate it, but I admit that I tuned into BBC World News on Friday afternoon along with 3 billion or so others. But as I was watching, something else caught my eye. Scrolling across the bottom of the screen were the other news stories of the day, and at once the word Microsoft jumped out.
We often encounter problems on a project, and sometimes even the best of project management practices isn’t able to avoid them. But we know there are also those other problems on a project that should never have arisen in the first place. Sometimes it comes down to the way the project is managed, and the skills and experience of the project manager, as to the kinds of problems you encounter, and whether they are the avoidable or non-avoidable type. But there are other times when problems can be avoided by simply using the right kind of project management tools for the job. So I thought I would illustrate 4 common project problems that are avoidable, or at least mitigated with the right project management software.
I recently came across an interesting survey from Cognitive Technologies Inc that looked to investigate the correlation between project success and the type and ‘maturity’ of project management toolsemployed by organisations.
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.