Project Governance, Project Management Practice, Project Online, Project Planning

Does your Project Support Office need support?

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Implementing a PPM solution like Project Online has the potential of delivering significant benefit to your project teams, management and whole organisation. Increased efficiency, more timely and consistent information, improved resource utilisation, a more strategic project portfolio, and ultimately increased project success – a lot to aim for. Be aware though: The role of the Project Support Office (PSO or PMO) is crucial in turning this potential into reality.

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Project Management Practice, Project Planning

The State of Project and Portfolio Management in the Legal Sector

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When you think of the legal sector, Project and Portfolio Management isn’t something that you’d think would have a connection, right? You’d be correct. Much like Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, the relationship between the two wouldn’t necessarily be classed as natural. Law firms – and lawyers in particular – tend to be more au fait with document and practice management systems to carry out their daily tasks. Systems that have helped them work effectively and efficiently for a number of years now.

However, with changes in the law and changes in how clients now expect the legal sector to work – i.e. less emphasis on just billing and more on being transparent, providing better value for money, assurances over project duration and completion dates. Better planning and preparation of work is now a big requirement and want for many organisations. Continue reading >>

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 >>

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 >>

Project Online, Project Server

Portfolio Management using Project Online, Project Server 2010 / 2013, creating a Competitive Advantage inside your Organization

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If you want to achieve great results in a demanding environment and create Competitive Advantage for your Organization, then you should ensure you are selecting the best projects, the best investments and above all creating the best portfolio[1] for your organization.

As a CEO, a CSO, or a PMO in a Private Company or in the Public Sector, selecting the best projects means ensuring that you’re delivering the best value-for-money for your investments.

The aim of this article is not to be an overview of Strategy Management, or Portfolio Management, but to quickly demonstrate how Project Online / Project Server can help you achieve the intended results.

[1] Portfolio: a range of investments held by a person or organization.

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Office 365, Project Online

Project Online: An Overview

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In the first of an occasional series we will be providing an introduction and overview to popular Microsoft enterprise products. In this post we look at Microsoft Project Online.

Microsoft Project Online is the cloud version of Microsoft Project Server and available as part of Office 365. It offers a flexible Project Portfolio Management solution, supporting users who need insights in current and upcoming projects. It allows organisations to prioritise projects based on business values, governance requirements, and priorities from senior stakeholders. It also provides resource and task management to maximise the efficiency of a particular project team.

An established product

Back in 1984 Microsoft released the first version of Microsoft Project. At that time it was a client application without any server side software element. In 2000 Microsoft released the first server version called ‘Project Central’. Project Online quickly followed. The 2007 version of the main server product offered the first integration with SharePoint Server. Continue reading >>