Program Framework

Microsoft Ignite 2015 – where to go in Chicago

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When it comes to putting on a conference, Microsoft know a thing or two about organising excellent events. So, when we got our tickets to Ignite 2015 we knew we could expect something very exciting. As the agenda has started to fill up with hundreds of sessions and influential speakers from Microsoft’s top brass, our list of things to see and do keeps getting longer and longer. Ignite kicks off in 10 days’ time (it takes places between 4th and 8th of May in Chicago). You shouldn’t wish your life away, but every new announcement on the Ignite Twitter feed makes us even more impatient to be there.

What is Ignite?

Since Microsoft’s ecosystem is so extensive, many of their previous conferences have been quite specialised – focussing on a specific tool such as Exchange, Lync, Project, SharePoint or MMS. Ignite bucks this trend however, and aims to incorporate all these diverse products into one enormous conference. Continue reading >>

Office 365

Power BI – Microsoft ups the ante

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Whether you’re a business analyst, an administrator, a market researcher or a project manager, being confused and frustrated by the vast amounts of data available within your business is far from an uncommon experience. Since the rapid growth in IT and emergence of the Internet, Information Overload has become a real problem for decision makers. There’s sometimes just too much data available to decide what’s important, what trends should influence business choices and what is simply inconsequential.

Getting the most out of the data available to you is a real skill, yet at present it can be incredibly hard. Take the data available within one single organisation’s SharePoint Intranet, or Project Server for instance; there’ll be files uploaded by different users, at different times. There will be project data, tasks, list information and more. Information may be out of date, infrequently updated or disorganised, often without the right metadata. Digging through all this to get the numbers you need requires a lot of time and even more patience. Continue reading >>

Project Management Practice, Project Planning, Project Scheduling

Managing Uncertainty – A Foundation Stone of Project, Program and Portfolio Management

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Implementing EPM solutions brings the PF Team into close contact with dozens of organisation’s PM groups and hundreds of PM professionals every year. One thing we discover time-and-again is that the key problem, often frustrating attempts to gain control of initiatives, is an inability to plan effectively and to deal successfully with the “unknowns” or uncertainties that planning encounters.

In general, PF’s customers are not dealing with environments of extreme uncertainty where a learning-by-doing approach might be required as a substitute for the efficient execution of plans. In fact, in most clients, projects are operating within the context of programmes and portfolios and it is desired and expected that project execution will proceed, as far as possible, in line with plan. Naturally so, as projects which execute far out of tolerance introduce considerable turbulence into Programs and Portfolios which greatly hamper their success.

Importantly too, although often unrecognised, such projects also hamper attempts to maximise strategic alignment and hamper efficiency by undermining the introduction of important organisational competencies such as Resource Management for example. Continue reading >>