Want more innovation on your project team? Ask the right questions

Want more innovation on your project team? Ask the right questions

On a vacation in 1943 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Edwin Land took a picture of his young daughter. When she asked if she could see the photo immediately he, of course, said no, he had to take the film to be developed. He then asked himself something along the lines of “why not?” “Why can’t someone invent a way to take pictures that you could see right away?” It changed photography until the digital camera changed it! As you probably have surmised this was the very beginning of what became known as the Polaroid Land Camera, an invention that changed photography forever. In fact, the company he started had tremendous success, so much so, it was placed it on what was known as the Nifty-fifty , a group of high-flying growth companies that dominated trading on the New York Stock Exchange in the 1960s. In his highly readable work entitled A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger points out that it’s not just asking questions that leads to innovation; it’s asking the right kinds of questions. What kind are those? The ones that Edwin Land’s daughter asked; namely, open questions

Read More

TeamPulse R1 2014 Makes Release Planning and Tracking a Breeze

TeamPulse R1 2014 Makes Release Planning and Tracking a Breeze

R1 2014 is live and it’s packed with great new features! The new version aims to help teams manage their releases more effectively and deliver more projects on time and on budget. Release planning and tracking is easier than ever before – users can quickly assign features to releases, break down features into stories, assign stories to iterations and start monitoring progress. To help you spot problems early on and ensure the success of your releases, TeamPulse provides a forecast if you are going to meet the deadline or not, which items will be late and if there are any blocking bugs or issues. New Release Planning View Here is the new Release Planning view where you can drag and drop work items to assign them to releases. After every change you can see if you are under or over capacity. New Current Release View The new Current Release view shows the progress of the whole release. You can see how much of the work has been completed (based on the work item estimates), the status of the work items, how much capacity is being used, and more.

Read More

The ABC of Earned Value Management

The ABC of Earned Value Management

I’m off to try something new next month – an Earned Value Management Conference in London on the 20th-21st May. It’s called #EVA19 which gives you some idea about how many of them have happened previously. It’s actually more than a conference because wrapped around the main two-day conference there are also two days of workshops. A great idea to extend the learning if you want to. So why am I going? I’ll confess that my earned value knowledge in project management is pretty rubbish. I’ve tried to read about the subject before in the past but actually I learn much better when someone else is telling me about stuff

Read More

Do you know how ‘good’ you are?

Do you know how ‘good’ you are?

In this month’s newsletter we’re kicking off a year of focus on project management careers (and recruitment of course!). In the first one we’re looking at two different aspects – the project practitioners own career planning and getting nearer to being able to answer the question, “Do you know how ‘good’ you are?”. The other side of the fence – the hirers of project management staff – we’re looking at some of the extended results from the Project Management Benchmark Report – to see if they are able to answer the same question about the project practitioners they currently have within their business – and the ones they hope to recruit. Whilst the initial answers are not as positive as we would have liked – at least it gives us a baseline and a place to start the improvements. Take a look at the newsletter if you’re interested in your own project management career and see what real practical steps you can start taking to answer the question, “Do you know how ‘good’ you are?”

Read More

Celebrating People in Project Management

Celebrating People in Project Management

Head over to the latest Benchmark Report and download it – there’s a discount available for the book Last week was the official launch party for the Gower Handbook of People in Project Management. We held it at the National Centre for Project Management in Hatfield which we felt was a fitting place to bring together just some of the 50 odd authors who contributed to the Handbook. The book brings together all those soft skills; behavioural aspects of project management; career related issues and lots of other areas such as NLP; change and spirituality. We invited people from across the project management industry to join us for an evening talking about ‘people in project management’ and an opportunity to hear from some of the authors involved. Dennis Lock and Lindsay Scott – co-editors of the Handbook gave their thanks to the many authors involved in the mammoth project which took three years to complete and introduced some of them to the guests. Lindsay spoke to the attendees to share some insights and learnings from the project including the dreaded “ split infinitive ” and having a three-year lesson on English grammar from eminent author Dennis Lock. Lindsay’s side of the project included proposing chapter titles; commissioning the authors; initial proofread and subsequent read through of post edits.

Read More

PM leadership tips from someone who buries people for a living

PM leadership tips from someone who buries people for a living

That someone is Steve Muro who heads the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) responsible for 131 U.S. national cemeteries where more than 3 million veterans and their families are buried. The NCA is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs headquartered in Washington, DC. whose motto reads “for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan. These words were spoken by Abraham Lincoln during his Gettysburg Address and are now on a pair of metal plaques at the entrance to the VA. Next time you’re in Washington, take a short stroll down Vermont Ave NW. They’re really quite inspiring.

Read More