02/24/2016 by Brad Egeland Tags: project manager, project resources, project schedules, project work, technical projects
No one ever wants to admit that they are in over their head. It’s a show of weakness or possibly a professional short coming. It may actually be neither – you simply may just be overworked, but it can feel like a weakness. And we are just not programmed to scream that out loud.
We can try to “fake it till we make it”…which is what I like to do if it’s something new. I like to take on new projects, new challenges and learn along the way. I feel that as long as I’m in the ballpark, I can make it happen. But sometimes we all come up short. If that happens…what do we do? I’m focusing on technical projects here so let’s consider some options…
Continue reading “In Over Your Head on Project Work?”
02/03/2016 by Brad Egeland Tags: project leader, project leadership, project management, project manager
Project management is not just about experience, leadership and organization. It is also about management style, interpersonal relationships, conflict management, task delegation and communication. But I think most of us who are battle-tested realize that by now. It isn’t always about having the right technology experience or even hands-on experience, though I feel – at least for tech projects – that can, at time be very helpful and important to success.
Let’s consider the role of management types in the project leadership role and issues or concerns that can come from this…
Continue reading “Project Managers: Managing the Right Way on Our Projects”
01/20/2016 by Brad Egeland Tags: project communication, project communication best practices, project manager, project success
Communication on the project is critical to project success. When key information that affects the project somehow falls through the cracks, the overall impact to the project can be enormous…even when those in the know think it likely means little to nothing to the project’s ongoing success or forward motion. Someone knows something that the project manager should be aware of but has no knowledge of…that’s never good. This happened to me…and I’d like to share this frustrating experience from a few projects ago in hopes of generating discussion and never experiencing it again.
Continue reading “When Project Communication Fails”
01/18/2016 by Jackie Dembinsky Tags: FastTrack Schedule 10, Onboarding, Practice Files, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials
When working with an application that a user is not familiar with – whether it is a new version or an entirely new product – picking up the best way to use the software can often take a good bit of time. With FastTrack Schedule 10 we offer numerous options such as feature-specific Quick Tip videos and longer live or pre-recorded webcasts. However, both of these items are typically geared toward users looking to find out new information on the software and won’t provide full details on use. Because of this, one of the best ways to quickly get into the software will be to utilize the built-in Tutorials.
Tutorials offer a simple way to “on-board” users with the software, allowing them to easily walk through the features and functionality at their own place. The tutorials also serve as a tool for users to refresh themselves on certain features within the application. For example, if a user has been working on simple schedules but would like to start utilizing resources, then the user can very easily review the items covered in the “Working with Resources” tutorial.
The Tutorials offered in FastTrack Schedule 10 offer a 2-part system. First there are the Tutorial PDF files which provide instruction on various features and functionality within the software. Second are the Tutorial Practice files which allow users to directly follow along with the PDFs and make changes using these features in sample schedules. To access the Tutorial system, users can start by going to Application > Tutorial > Tutorials on Windows or by going to Help > Tutorials > Tutorial on Mac. Selecting the Tutorials will open the Tutorial directory in your default web browser.
Continue reading “Using FastTrack Schedule 10’s Tutorial System”
01/06/2016 by Brad Egeland Tags: agile project management, chief project officer, cybersecurity, project management trend
This time of year it’s always fun to take a shot at what you might consider to be key trends or areas of change in the work that you do or the industry you’re in. Project management is no different. I realize there isn’t lots of room – or possibly even need – for rapid change in project management…overall it’s a fairly static discipline. But I’ve racked my brain a bit and these are some of the changes in focus that I’m going to predict for this coming year. It will be interesting to check back in December or January in about 12 months and see how accurate these predictions were. For now, let’s consider these top 5 project management trends for 2016…
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12/23/2015 by Brad Egeland Tags: project deadline, project deliverables, project delivery, project manager
The timeframes on our projects – both projected and real – seem to almost define us as project managers. They define what we are doing today, how successful we are to date, and what our customer likely thinks of our performance. As project managers, it seems that everything we do is measured by time or timeframes. We live and die by them. Our projects fail or succeed by them. Our raises and pay incentives are usually based on them. Our whole careers are one big master project schedule. It almost seems like we should run our lives using a project management software tool – but seriously, don’t try this at home…it won’t go over well.
Continue reading “Timely Project Delivery is Critical”
12/15/2015 by Brad Egeland Tags: project management activities, project manager activities, project resources, project schedule
We never love everything about our jobs, right? And, while I would call myself a pretty good consultant and project manager – there are key aspects of the project management world – very critical activities that have to happen – that I’m not always that good at unless I try very hard or that I like to do all that much. I’ve narrowed it down to three things that hate the most about project management to present here today. Ok, hate is pretty strong…and I dislike others using it (especially my kids) so I will say here are three things about project management that are my least favorite concepts because they tend to contradict some of my life tendencies. But, they are necessary and I force myself to do focus on them a little harder than I otherwise would.
Here are the three things about project management that I probably my least favorite areas of PM responsibility…
Continue reading “My Top 3 Least Favorite Project Management Activities”
12/08/2015 by Brad Egeland Tags: business analyst, project management, project manager, project schedule
There is always a chance – depending on the organization structure and project load on the project managers available – that this could be happening in any organization. I have personally led a couple of projects where, due to my schedule with other projects, I’ve had to rely heavily on BA participation and part-time leadership of the project. It’s not a good path to follow regularly – but when the project is smaller and you – the project manager – are tied heavily to other projects that are requiring most or all of your time, it may have to happen. And only if the client is very comfortable with your business analyst.
Continue reading “The Business Analyst in the Role of the Project Manager”
12/01/2015 by Brad Egeland Tags: project issues, project manager, project problems, troubled project
Sometimes we attack problems because they are the latest problem and someone is demanding a fix. We can also end up spending too much valuable time on issues and project problems that may likely be solved through simpler means when given the proper amount of research and analysis.
Continue reading “Analyze Project Issues Thoroughly Before Attacking”
11/19/2015 by Jackie Dembinsky Tags: FastSteps, FastTrack Schedule 10, Filters, Reporting, Resources, Sharing Schedules, Tips and Tricks
An important part of running any project is clearly communicating project details with the various resources or personnel that are assigned to the project. Depending on the size of the project it may not always be the best option to share an entire schedule with each individual resource. In these cases we can create unique reports to show only one specific resource’s assigned activities and share these customized schedules with the users in a few different ways. In FastTrack Schedule 10 the best way to accomplish this will be to create FastSteps, or combined sets of steps such as applying a layout, filter, or even exporting to a specific file type such as .ics or .jpg.
The first step in setting everything up will be to create filters for a specific resource in your schedule. To do this go to Project > Filters > Define. In the Define Filters dialogue select New which allows us to create a new Filter from scratch. Enter a customized filter name (such as the resource name), then switch to the tab labeled Column/Value Criteria. From the Column drop-down list select Resources Assigned, in the Test drop-down list keep the *txt* (Contains) option selected, and finally enter the Resource Name that the filter is for within the Value field. Then select OK to save the Filter and Close to close the Define Filters dialogue.
Continue reading “Sharing Resource Reports with FastSteps”