Categories
Project Management

Project Management for Energy Reform: An Opportunity for Government

The benefits of project management for traditional energy projects,
such as building a power plant, are well known. But there are also
benefits for energy sector reform, particularly government
initiatives. Project management techniques can help by clarifying
objectives, engaging stakeholders, improving the speed of
legislation, and managing scope and schedule.

Categories
Project Management

I have my Scrum Master certification—now what?

State of Agile ReportThe project
management profession is in a state of dramatic change. The
percentage of projects using agile or hybrid practices
exceeds the number of traditional projects
, according to the
Project Management Institute. Agile is
moving beyond technology
and is now widely used in financial
services, government, and professional services companies.

Agile is a dominant practice for companies going through digital
transformations and accelerating customer experience through UX
(user experience) design. It is also changing how operational
groups manage their work.

Several
hundred thousand people
have taken Scrum Master certification
courses with the expectation they will be prepared to lead a Scrum
team. As an agile consultant and instructor, I am often asked, “I
just received my Scrum Master certification, now what do I
do?”

Scrum Master training provides participants with a great
introduction to Agile and the Scrum framework. But it does not
offer all of the skills and experience required to be a master in
this critical role.

Agile is a mindset and way of working. Scrum, Kanban, and other
agile methodologies are a path to achieving agility. However,
merely learning the frameworks does not guarantee success.

Scrum is still the most popular agile framework, with over

50% market share
. The Scrum Master plays a critical leadership
role in both transforming the team and the
organization. Since agile is a journey, the Scrum Master or agile
coach is also responsible for continuing the teams’ development
and growth.

The Scrum Guide
defines the Scrum Masters responsibilities to the Product Owner,
Development Team, and the Organization. Fulfilling these
expectations and obligations requires experience and knowledge.

Introductory agile courses open the gateway to further learning.
These certifications are like getting your driver’s license. They
grant you initial permission to explore the wide and wonderful
world of agile. Once inside, there are many paths to travel. A good
agile coach or Scrum Master will:

  • Be a servant or facilitating leader understanding how to guide
    and motivate teams and influence decision-makers without formal
    authority;
  • Understand multiple product development lifecycles to optimize
    how value is delivered; and
  • Master several agile frameworks to help the team and
    organization select the practices that best fit their context.

Strategy Execution offers several learning and development
opportunities geared to all levels, from team members to agile
coach to executives leading the transformation.

StratEx has developed a unique
Lean & Agile certification program
that is methodology
agnostic and teaches best practices from Lean, Agile, and the
emerging field of DevOps. In this program, students will learn how
to apply the principles of Lean, Kanban, and Agile delivery to both
their IT and non-IT projects. They will also understand how DevOps
is a set of principles and practices that embraces lean and agile
to achieve the primary goal of continuously deliver value to
customers.

Being agile is an on-going process of learning and personal
development. StratEx is poised to be your partner.

This blog post is written by Strategy Execution Instructor
Alan
Zucker

This post first appeared on PMO
Perspectives Blog
.

Categories
Project Management

Take me to your Leader

Make an introduction to your Head of Projects, Services Lead,
PMO Manager, CIO or anyone overseeing your project community and
I’ll send a free copy of my new book to you and your
manager/director/VP

Leader

Categories
Project Management

The Best Wrike Alternatives You Need to Try in 2020

Wrike is a cloud-based project management software that project
managers and team leaders turn to for help with their projects.
With a suite of online tools, Wrike can help you begin to bring
order to a project and its tasks, but it can only take you so
far.

Wrike allows you to manage tasks, but it fails to follow through
on its promise of a fully-fledged project management solution,
forcing some to find a Wrike alternative. Thankfully, there are
other platforms out there with similar tools at a comparable price
point. We take a look at five of the stronger Wrike alternatives so
that you can find a project management software that suits your
needs.

1. ProjectManager.com

ProjectManager.com
is a cloud-based project management software that helps project
managers and their teams through every project phase. Like Wrike,
it is designed to help teams work more productively, offers
multiple views of projects and has reporting capabilities.

ProjectManager.com’s multiple project views let users work in
an environment they’re most comfortable with, such as online Gantt
charts
for managers, who schedule tasks, link dependencies and
assign work, and kanban boards that let teams define their own
workflows and collaborate. Additionally, ProjectManager.com gives
teams the autonomy to comment and add attachments at the task
level. That keeps the conversation wedded to the topic and avoids
the annoyance of searching for relevant files through a quagmire of
emails. These are things that Wrike and ProjectManager.com have in
common; however, ProjectManager.com has more features than Wrike to
help facilitate a successful project.

For example, Wrike doesn’t have dashboards that can track
progress across a program or portfolio of projects, nor can it deal
with expenses and budgeting or manage resources.
ProjectManager.com, on the other hand, has a dashboard that tracks
progress across projects and portofolios, monitors project costs,
updates automatically and doesn’t require manual configuration.
It’s a huge help when monitoring and tracking projects.

ProjectManager.com has tools that help plan, monitor and report
on projects throughout its life cycle. That’s what really sets it
apart from the pack. The ability to both plan and report on
projects with a level of sophistication that yields real insights.
On top of that, the user interface is very intuitive for something
that offers so many powerful features.

portfolio dashboard screenshot in ProjectManager.comProjectManager.com
offers advanced tracking and reporting features—Try it
free

ProjectManager.com also has resource management features that
Wrike lacks. There is a team section that offers a summary of your
team members, which lists their skills, but also the days they’re
working and the days off they’ve scheduled. This is across time
zones, which is especially helpful when working with distributed
teams. When scheduling resources, holidays and PTO are blocked off,
making resource management plans and schedules much easier.

When it comes to monitoring your budget, ProjectManager.com
keeps you on track. You don’t need to use another software tool
for budget tracking. ProjectManager.com compares estimated costs
against your actual costs in real time.

ProjectManager.com has a
free 30-day trial
in which users can try the software,
obligation free, for 30 days.

2. Smartsheet

Smartsheet has a
simplicity that creates an ease of use that is a great benefit for
those who don’t have the time to invest in learning a new
complicated software. However, the downside to that is Smartsheet
will only take you so far in terms of providing a robust project
management software. This cloud-based software is a nice
alternative to Wrike in that it has a fairly intuitive user
interface.

While it offers a limited palette of project management
features, the software integrates with a lot of other enterprise
tools and apps that can fill in the gaps. Some of those gaps
include not being able to assign multiple team members to the same
task. The dashboard is limited, which reduces clarity when trying
to focus in on progress. While there is some automation, setup is
not easy. That can be ignored, but the rudimentary resource
planning is unforgivable. But, if spreadsheets are your tool of
choice, give Smartsheet a look.

3. MS Project

When it comes to Wrike alternatives, the elephant in the room
has to be MS
Project
. It has all the project management tools one would
expect, from project scheduling to budgeting. MS Project has a
dashboard to follow the progress of your project and reporting
functionalities, too. It can be used as a desktop application, and
there is a cloud-based version. However, exporting a project file
is unnecessarily complex, even when using the add-on MS SharePoint.
The software is also notoriously hard to use or adjust settings.
Many team members don’t want to use MS Project, which can lead to
a lack of collaboration.

While there are several subscription tiers, the price is still
on the high end of project management software, especially as you
add users. That and the software is hard to use, especially for new
users. What’s worse, the help articles aren’t helpful, but
wordy and unclear. It’s also not built to work in an agile
framework or with scrum teams. It can feel dated and behind the
times. However, if you’re a traditional PM who likes waterfall,
you may enjoy this tool.

4. Flow

If you’re looking for a lighter Wrike alternative, one that
isn’t trying to do everything, then Flow is your software. Like its
name, Flow helps teams move through their tasks and focus on
what’s important. There are task and subtask management features,
a project dashboard, kanban boards and a list view, so teams can
manage their work how they’re most comfortable. Unlike Wrike,
Flow allows users to flag tasks and add notes. But considering
it’s all about flow and ease of use, it has a surprisingly poor
user interface.

There are many layers of tabs and a user can get lost in them
very quickly. It tracks your tasks, but that’s not total project
management, only one arm. The platform just isn’t that flexible,
considering how lightweight it is. You can only flow the way the
creators want you to, which is great if you want to work that way.
While there is a mobile app, it’s not ideal for big teams. That
being said, the simplicity in design can lead to wider adoption
across your organization.

5. ActiveCollab

Another Wrike alternative is ActiveCollab, which provides
project management features such as task management, kanban boards,
time tracking and billing. It has a simple interface and offers
add-ons. It helps you plan and organize by breaking down projects
into digestible tasks, which can be prioritized and even broken
further down to subtasks. It keeps teams accountable, as they’re
in charge of their own work and notified when there are any
changes. That keeps everyone on the same page about deadlines.

While there is an invoicing option, it’s limited and cannot be
used without first inviting the client to join the software. There
are filters, but they are also limited to client, category and
label. Another add-on that doesn’t add much is the workload
feature. There have also been complaints of poor customer service
and servers going down. The company is working on resolving these
issues, so if you have the time to wait for fixes, this tool may be
worth a shot.

ProjectManager.com
is the only Wrike alternative you’ll need. Our cloud-based
project management software does everything Wrike does and more.
Our dashboard metrics give you a clearer picture of your
project’s progress. Resource management is more robust. Budgets
stay on track with real-time monitoring of costs. That’s just the
beginning. We have online Gantt charts to plan, time tracking, task
management and project portfolio management. Try ProjectManager.com for
free with this 30-day trial.

The post The Best
Wrike Alternatives You Need to Try in 2020
appeared first on
ProjectManager.com.

Categories
Project Management

Your Risk Management Probably Isn’t Working

You'll never meet a project manager who thinks risk management is a
waste of time, but much of the risk management that's happening is
just that-a waste of time.

Categories
Project Management

How Many Technical PM Skills Do I Really Need?

All of them? None of them? Somewhere in between? This is one of
those philosophically challenging and ultimately insoluble
questions. In this article, the author attempts to give a
meaningful, considered and comprehensive look to all of those
answers.

Categories
Project Management

Lifecycle Management: When the Party’s Over

As one of the core technical components of the PMI Talent
Triangle®, lifecycle management walks us through various project
phases before it finally culminates with the termination phase.
What is the best way to manage this when project closure is abrupt?

Categories
Project Management

Foundational Technical Skills: The Key to Project Success

Organizational leadership often favors the development of soft
skills, resulting in the gradual erosion of PM technical skills
that form the foundation of any solid project management
capability.

Categories
Project Management

The Advantages of Probabilistic Estimates

Sharing probabilistic estimates with stakeholders is one of the
best ways a project manager can align expectations and foster sound
decision making by sponsors and other executives…even on an agile
team.

Categories
Project Management

3 Ways Risk Management Methods Can Be Misleading…and How to Fix It!

In this article, the author shares three common mistakes that can
make your risk management effort completely useless, if not
counterproductive.