Compiling a Project Status Report - Questions?
Situation: You're compiling a project status report and need a quick audit of what you're doing.
Project Headway tasks offer a lot of guidance in managing your projects. One popular feature of the process is "Questions you ask of yourself and others" within each task in the process. Compile Project Status Reports guides you through compiling status reports for your project. These are the questions we've come up with for that task. Please let us know if you feel they are helpful and/or what's missing.
When compiling status reports, consider asking yourself the following questions:
Ask a trusted colleague or key project team members the same questions.
Building a WBS - Questions?
Situation: You're building a WBS and need a quick audit of what you're doing.
Project Headway tasks offer a lot of guidance in managing your projects. One popular feature of the process is "Questions you ask of yourself and others" within each task in the process. Define Work Breakdown Structure guides you through building a WBS for your project. These are the questions we've come up with for that task. Please let us know if you feel they are helpful and/or what's missing.
When defining your WBS, ask yourself the following questions:
Ask a trusted colleague or a key team member the same questions.
Situation: You need people who think broadly to make existing systems work, rather than simply deploying new ones.
A few days ago, I came across an HBR posting "Why your IT Project needs a Cognitive Scientist." . In a nutshell, the author says that in addition to technology-focused and business-focused folks, we need to have people who can look at problems in new ways and understand how the available information can be used to create something new and truly useful. He wraps up by saying that we need people who know:
These questions are useful to ask whether the business is depending on you for a breakthrough project or you're simply making the most of a more routine effort. Take a look at each member of your team. How do they measure up on each of the five points above? How could you help them improve?
Google-integrated Gantt Charts?
Situation: You need a simple PM app that integrates with Google Calendar
I thought this one was a little different. Most software is moving into the cloud, but the outer edge of that software spectrum contains the free email accounts that most of us have on Google.
Ganttic is a simple PM and resource management app that integrates with Google apps. It probably isn't appropriate for a large scale technology project, but for the many smaller efforts that most of us deal with, it could be great. At ProjectManagement.com, we run Goo
gle Mail (the business version) for work. Then each person has a personal GMail account. It's great to integrate the two calendars to get a high level view of what's going on in your life as a whole. Ganttic would bring small projects into that mix, giving you an even clearer view of the fact that you have way too much to do.
In any case, for Google Power users, it's worth a look -
Situation: You want to keep up with the latest industry trends.
ESI released it's annual Top 10 Trends for Project Management a few minutes ago. You can see them listed out below. Do you agree with their assessment?
“This year’s trends bring a murky problem into specific light,” said J. LeRoy Ward, Executive Vice President, ESI International. “Leadership skills are lacking within the project community, and until project managers learn how to properly lead teams and their projects, project execution will continue to be a problem.”
1. Organizations will continue to call for strong project leaders but will focus on investments in hard skills
2. Agile implementation will be viewed in some organizations as a failure, but for the wrong reasons
3. Project management is not just for project managers anymore
4. Large projects pose unique challenges that are increasingly tough to overcome
5. PMOs will focus on proving their worth and driving innovation
6. The U.S. government will upgrade its PM certification in the face of rising criticism
7. Improving vendor management practices will top the list of skills for project managers
8. Continued poor project performance in many organizations will result in more PMOs being terminated
9. Portfolio management will take on a greater role as funding continues to tighten and the number of projects grows
10. Organizations will adopt Agile to accelerate time to market but what they ultimately achieve may be a different story
“Many of this year’s trends focus on the need to improve project skills, process and the overall management of our initiatives,” said Ward. “It is clear that it is no longer possible to hire project managers and expect results. We need our PMs to be experts, and take control of our projects to get maximum results.”
ESI’s top 10 trends in project management is put together annually by ESI senior executives and subject matter experts.
You can also check it out in video form (see below)