Consulting Services

 

Remote Project Management Package Selection

 

There is a host of technology available to facilitate remote working and it’s an area that’s experiencing explosive growth. There are over 300 project management tools, large numbers of video conference and instant messaging packages as well as a proliferation of storage solutions.  Understanding what you need before you buy this software is vital.  Having a strategy for where you’re going is important too, so you don’t end up with a patchwork of tools that barely integrate.  If you want to know whether to chose Skype or Zoom or Slack or Discord or Jira or Mavenlink then I can help.

The two words that cover the technology are collaboration and co-ordination.  It should facilitate collaboration between members of a team and the co-ordination of the team by a project manager.  The market is positively overrun with a wealth of tools that will allow you to achieve both collaboration and co-ordination of geographically dispersed teams but very few that hit everything you’re going to need in a single package.

So how do geographically dispersed teams work together?  Well they’re going to need some way of talking to each other, so that’s where videoconferencing comes in.  They might need to send messages to each other, so e-mail and instant messaging is useful.  Then they’ll need to share files so some sort of shared workspace is pretty handy and finally the team will need to co-operate and work to plans which is what project management software is designed to facilitate.

The good news is that all of this is well provided for by a wide choice of software vendors.  The bad news is that there are an awful lot of them – project management package vendors alone run into the hundreds and there are growing numbers of instant messaging and videoconferencing packages to choose from.  However, storage for shared workspaces is a fairly mature market where making a choice should be reasonably straightforward.

And if you thought all of that was bad, once you start looking a bit closer you find that there is a huge degree of overlap between these tools.  Many project management packages provide chat boards, instant messaging and shared storage and have very close integrations with e-mail.  Many of the videoconferencing packages include chat and many of the instant messaging applications are also set up to facilitate topic or project based chat boards.

My feeling is that longer term, mergers and partnerships will result in a consolidation into a single market for  ‘collaboration and co-ordination’ tools which will include shared spaces, project management, instant messaging, chat boards and videoconferencing.  The big vendors like Microsoft and Google are already moving solidly in that direction.

If you’re starting from scratch for the sake of simplicity you might want to restrict your search to two distinct packages – a project management package with message boards, instant messaging and shared spaces together with a separate videoconferencing package.  However if you’ve already invested in say storage technology or love your instant messaging application then you’ll need to concentrate on buying the other pieces of the jigsaw and making sure everything fits well together. 

The other consideration is the selection of best of breed.  You may find that one package for project management and collaboration doesn’t work because the one that does everything isn’t best of breed for any one aspect of its functionality.  Comprehensive and least worst might not be what you’re after!

Need some help?  Contact me on +44 07788 925027 or e-mail gren.gale@pmresults.co.uk

Project Management Organisation

 

For a successful business project disciplines are as critical as financial ones.  Anyone can run a project, but to deliver a high-quality product to time and budget requires leadership, skill and – as importantly – demands that your whole business is set up to support delivery. In many cases companies don’t recognise that they’re running projects. They simply see a discrete work task and get on with it with little in the way of organisation or discipline.

Good organisation, governance, people skills and professional approach to project management as well as allowing you to deliver what you want when you want it will give you a genuine competitive advantage over your rivals.

The times when a project team were all located together in the same office are fast disappearing and increasingly project managers are being asked to organise disparate groups in many different locations across the world. Language and cultural differences as well as limitations with technology and communications make each assignment a unique challenge.  This can result in a host of new demands on project managers that barely existed as little as ten years ago…..as if the job wasn’t difficult enough already!!

Need some help?  Contact me on +44 07788 925027 or e-mail gren.gale@pmresults.co.uk