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Project Management 101: What is a PICK Chart?

Posted by on 1:58 pm in PM 101

Project Management 101: What is a PICK Chart?

Have you ever had a number of options available to you, but couldn’t decide which one worked best? I’m not talking about trivial decisions like what’s for lunch, or what TV show to watch. I’m talking about the significant, far-reaching choices you make as a project manager: which issue to tackle first, for example, or which project to prioritize. Consider using a PICK chart. What is a PICK chart? The PICK chart is a Lean Six Sigma tool that was first developed by Lockheed Martin for lean production. Its original purpose was for organizing...

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Repair Your Project with the Three R’s

Posted by on 11:00 am in Project Management

Repair Your Project with the Three R’s

Is your project at risk of failing? Are you losing steam or (even worse) losing control? Are issues piling up faster than you can deal with them? Sometimes problems are too big to fix by spending more time at the office. Band-aid solutions don’t always work, and can often lead to more complications. In these extreme situations, the best way to repair your project might be to overhaul it with the three “R’s”. Retrace your steps You have to figure out what to fix before you can fix it. How did this project get in such a bad state? Is it your...

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5 Tips for a Successful First Project

Posted by on 1:40 pm in PM 101, Project Management

5 Tips for a Successful First Project

Few things are more thrilling (and nerve-wracking) than doing a project for the very first time. But you don’t want this inexperience to be an excuse for failure. You want to hit the ground running and show your new team that they can trust you to perform. To that end, I’ve assembled a few tips that can help you make a strong project management debut. 1. Do your homework Whether it’s a new career or a new industry, there are holes in your knowledge that you need to fill. Try to spend as much time as possible reading up on your new environment...

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Why a Worst Case Scenario is Your Best Idea

Posted by on 1:31 pm in Project Management

Why a Worst Case Scenario is Your Best Idea

Project managers aren’t paid to be optimists. And yet I’ve seen many project managers plan an ideal scenario and expect everything to run accordingly. And so, when the poop hits the proverbial fan, they’re caught flat-footed. They don’t know what to do and there are no more resources available to help, so the project spirals out of control and it eventually fails. What they should’ve done instead is construct another plan: a worst-case scenario. This is usually done in addition to the ideal project plan, so it definitely involves more work....

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Easy Projects Update: New Assignment Control function

Posted by on 8:00 am in Easy Projects, New Releases

Easy Projects Update: New Assignment Control function

Sometimes you’ll encounter tasks that are too big for one person to handle. In Easy Projects, this means you’d assign multiple people to a single task. But sharing the workload is rarely an even split. That’s why Easy Projects is introducing the new Assignment Control feature. It is now possible to allocate different estimated hours to each assignee sharing a task. You first need to open the new Assignment Control panel, which replaces the old one in the Activity Center. Clicking on the icon in the upper right corner expands the window to...

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6 Things You Should Never Say to Your Best Project Team Members

Posted by on 11:58 am in Project Management

6 Things You Should Never Say to Your Best Project Team Members

Project managers are people managers. There’s no getting around it. You may be a great at organizing and planning, but if you can’t motivate and manage people, then you’re not going to get very far. I’ve seen and worked with quite a few project managers who are rude, abrasive, and insensitive to the point that their best people–valuable and loyal employees–have left or become demoralized. If you want to avoid the same mistakes that these “project demoralizers” make, then remove these words from your vocabulary: 1) “You’re too...

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Narrow Your Focus for Better Productivity

Posted by on 11:00 am in Project Management

Narrow Your Focus for Better Productivity

Most project manager’s tasks lists are a dozen or more items long, and cover administration, client management, and team coordination. And that doesn’t even cover all the technical aspects of the job. As a result, project managers often jump between multiple tasks and projects in the span of an hour. That can make it difficult to keep your priorities straight. It might sound counter-intuitive, but the best way to keep up with all of your tasks is to take them one at a time, and not do them all at once. Remove Distractions In today’s...

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Project Management 101: What is Kanban?

Posted by on 3:22 pm in PM 101, Project Management

Project Management 101: What is Kanban?

Kanban (which means signboard or billboard in Japanese) is a visual-based project management method that also incorporates some elements of change management. Its focus isn’t necessarily on the task, but the process behind it. Kanban’s objective is to increase collaboration between team members while limiting unnecessary work. Focusing on Stories Kanban organizes projects or tasks into “stories”, just like in Agile. These stories travel across a board that’s organized into multiple columns. Stories are taken from the backlog of pending...

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4 Annoying Email Notification Mistakes You Should Avoid

Posted by on 3:15 pm in Project Management

4 Annoying Email Notification Mistakes You Should Avoid

Project teams have a lot on their plate at any given time, and it can be hard to remember it all, even with the assistance of Gantt charts and project management software. That’s why automated email notifications were created, to shift the burden of reminding people off you, the project manager, and onto a more punctual (and less shy) project management tool. But automated email notifications still require your input. You still set the frequency, content, and trigger events for each email that goes into you team’s inbox. And, like any...

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How to Create Templates in Easy Projects

Posted by on 5:00 pm in Easy Projects, Tutorials

How to Create Templates in Easy Projects

If you encounter the same type of project over and over, then you’ve probably been recreating them from scratch every time. This is tedious and inefficient—not to mention a waste of your valuable time. That’s why Easy Projects allows you to create and use templates. It’s a much faster and more reliable method of creating common projects. To create the template, all you need to do is create a project like you normally would. You set activity schedules, assign people, and establish dependencies. When you’re done, just click on the Activity...

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