Project Management

Project Management 2.0

New technologies, concepts, and Web 2.0 tools are popping up everywhere. How can you use them to help your project team collaborate, communicate - or just give your project an extra boost? [Contact Dave]

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Recent Posts

Are You Prepping For The PMP 24/7?

Are You Just Too Darn Busy?

Eliciting Requirements... Creatively!

What To Expect When Your Stakeholders Are Expecting

8 More Templates to Save You Time

Can Simple SaaS Tools Help You Focus?

Situation: It's a New Year and you're looking to get things done.

A big selling point of simple, inexpensive SaaS tools is that they give you the functionality you need & nothing else.  Tool vendors combine that with an interface that's easier to use and we assume that most of the ease of use is coming from the fact that there isn't much to do inside of the app. There is no complexity to simplify.

In our actual work lives, there is plenty of complexity built right in - which why we need tools in the first place. There is so much complexity, that even with tools we have trouble focusing our efforts. 

So the trend I've noticed recently is that tools are helping you focus on tasks or chunks of information one at a time. They effectively bring your attention to what matters now and obscure the rest. That last bit is where I see a difference in these new tools versus older ones - they completely clear away non-essential information. Yet that task or bit of information you are working on is kept in context in subtle ways - ensuring you still grasp the big picture.

For example, Workflowy is a neat little tool you could use to organize anything from a To-Do list to your life. There are lots of tools that help you create hierarchies, some of them very cool (I've always loved MindManager). The issue with these is that they do not force focus and clear away detail effectively enough.  You can still get lost in a dense hierarchy of information. Workflowy limits what you see to one focus area.  With Workflowy, higher levels of the structure are rolled up into breadcrumbs at the top, giving you context without detail. So you really only see what you should be working on now.



Example #2

Prezi has been all the rage lately as a new, flexible way of presenting dense information.  The idea is that people can absorb detail, but only in appropriate chunks. With Prezi, you essentially replace your PowerPoint Deck with a huge virtual sheet of paper that puts everything in to context like an infographic does. Then you zoom in on very specific parts of the presentation in a way that helps you tell a story. Again, dealing with complex information by breaking it into chunks - providing just enough context to have it all make sense.



What are you doing these days to help you focus?  Are the any particular software tools that help? Please share -

Posted on: January 03, 2013 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Get Yer Mind Maps Here!

Posted on: April 04, 2008 04:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


Situation: You Need to Lighten the Mood in Your Outsourcing Presentation..

One day, we'll have a gantthead Project Management comic strip (Mark's views aside) and when we do, I hope its as good as the one I ran across in TechCrunch today - called Doubtsourcing.  Whether your outsourced project is going well or hitting a snag, these funnies are certain to lighten the mood.  Check them out...

Posted on: January 09, 2008 07:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Create a PM SHOW - and Put it on the Web

Situation: You Need A Very Functional, Free Presentation Tool

I've posted in the past about a number of different online presentation tools that compete with PowerPoint using a basic functionality/ease of use approach.  None have the power of PowerPoint, but many offer the basics at low or no cost.  ZOHO Show is part of a larger suite of online office tools that does a great job with the basic features that are 95% of what most users need.  The latest version comes with the themes, shapes, fancy bullets, and clip art features that are basic to PowerPoint.  It also comes with tag and widget functionality that are very web 2.0 and go beyond what a desktop app can offer.  This means that you can create your presentation in ZOHO Show, then post it to your internal blog or any web page where the information might be useful to others (see below).  this is incredibly simple to do by cutting and pasting aline of code, similar to the way you would post a youtube video.  

If you are a consultant pushing your services, you can show prospects what you know in ZOHO's public presentations section or even sew them into your facebook page.

So there you have it, ZOHO Show is a pretty good way to create and share presentations online.
Posted on: December 12, 2007 03:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Presently... Your Presentations Might Be Free

Situation: You need a free substitute for PowerPoint.

Google just launched Presently, adding to its basic set of desktop tools that offer the core functionality of the MS Office Suite.  On the one hand, you get what you pay for and all of these apps are decidedly low end compared to their Microsoft brethren.  As with any Google Docs apps, you might be concerned about security as your files are stored on the google site, versus on your computer.  That's somewhat helpful if you need to collaborate with others (see video).  

However, if you're collaborating with others who use MS Office regularly (most of the busines world), you'll run into the hidden cost of these apps - compatibilty.  Going from MS to Google apps (like pulling a ppt into Presently) is pretty easy if you don't mind dumbing down your document.  However, going the other way -- not so easy. 


However, free is good and the argument for these tools is pretty strong for many - they give you what you really need (since most people don't need much) for free and make collaborating easy for small groups. 

Things you can do:
- Upload Powerpoint presentations into Presently (disabling some features)
- Cut and paste text from MS Office docs into Presently.
- Embed video and any of the other typical media types into a Presently slide.
- Use their predefined themes (not terrific, but ok)
- Decide to share the presentation (or not).
- Maintain versions of the presentation (happens automatically)

Things you can't do:
- Cut an paste graphics out of your Powerpoint files into Presently.  You have to save them off and insert them.
- Create your own themes
- Use cool transitions
- Save the file to your desktop

Posted on: September 20, 2007 04:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

"Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself."

- Chinese Proverb