Olby Shaju , PMP, PfMP, SAFe SPC, MCP – MSP and Project Server 2013

Keep an Eye Out for Project management Trends

Posted on December 12, 2021 by Olby | Agile, PPM, Project Management

by Ms. Subha Sadagopan, PPM IT Consultant in CAPPM (Centre for Advanced Practical Project Management)

Previously project management deals with fewer methodologies, lesser tools, smaller teams, and simpler projects. Things have changed tremendously as the projects are complex and the teams are more virtual. Due to the pandemic, there are more challenges confronted by the organizations and finding ways to not only survive but thrive with new processes, attitudes, and tools.  

Change is the only constant.” It seems so true for the project management industry. The project management landscape is changing rapidly with evolving technologies, tools, and the latest trends which affect the organization’s culture, policies, and processes, trusted relationships between the team, sponsor, and the project manager. 

The following are the trends in project management that ensure the organization and industries run the business efficiently.  

1. The expansion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Automation

AI makes global society a fourth industrial revolution. Internally, companies are using AI to automate tasks ranging from scheduling to data visualization. 

The Impact: 

  • Selection of best projects, efficient scheduling, and assigning resources in real-time can be done by AI.  
  • AI will assist in prioritizing projects and allocating resources for production.  
  • Machine intelligence can also contribute to improved decision-makingon multiple levels within a company.  
  • Consistency in decision-making is much more easily achieved by machines than people.  

How to Adapt: 

Using automation, the project managers can focus their efforts and energy on completing tasks that most greatly benefit their organization. This allows them to affect greater change and increase the likelihood of achieving the strategic goals of each project. Project managers should embrace AI in project management and then learn how to leverage it for successful project completion. They should understand their organization’s plans for AI in order to anticipate changes in their roles and daily work. 

2. Methodology Approach: 

The methodology is used for a collaborative, flexible, and simple project management tool to support every step of the way. Project management is an ever-evolving field that requires several approaches to be successful. There are still high project failure rates for the projects which use project methodologies. This suggests issues in the selection of project methodology tools and techniques. The right project management methodology can elevate the project and help the project manager to get the best out of each team. With the right project management methodology in place, the projects reach their levels of efficiency and implement the right processes for the team and organization. 

The Impact: 

Organizations have become increasingly adaptable in their approaches. Some organizations merged different methodologies into hybrid approaches that are unique to the needs of their specific project or industry or customers.  

How to Adapt: 

The increased adoption of alternative project management methodologies such as Kanban, Agile, and Scrum have contributed to this shift, along with changing corporate values that allow for increased flexibility. When using the hybrid model, project managers design the right framework for implementing the projects. Project managers use the traditional approach for simple projects and the agile approach for complex projects. 

3. Business value

Benefits Management is therefore a key aspect in the delivery of the value created in the early phase of the project.​ Value Management (VM) is a technique that, if used correctly and at the right time in the life of a project, can greatly enhance the value for money that a project can deliver.​ It works through a facilitated process that initially concentrates on the problem to be solved or the opportunity to be gained to ensure the project has a solid business case that will create value.​ Once the business case is established, then potential solutions can be considered through a creative process, and the best value option for project delivery can be selected, considering factors such as risk, technical capability, and political acceptability. 

The Impact: 

Previously project’s success was measured based on its ability to deliver quality, scope on time, and within budget. Indeed, complying with the constraints alone is insufficient for judging a project’s success. A project can only be considered successful if it delivers the predetermined business value to the customer. When businesses look at project success in this light, they will make better decisions about which projects to execute, and project managers will focus on what is important as their teams deliver value.  

How to Adapt: 

Traditional project management uses NPV, IRR, cash flow methods while agile uses NPS, A/B testing, incremental delivery, and demonstration methods to measure and track the benefits of the project. The project managers focus on delivering business value and the discipline will become valuable to the organizations. Those organizations will stay vibrant because they are delivering increased value to their customers, and they will continue to look to project management as a critical aspect of growing their bottom line. 

4. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence comprises of:​ 

  • Demonstrating excellent social skills and behaviour. 
  • Ability to motivate oneself and others to manage self-improvement​ 
  • Capabilities to show empathy, observe perception and foresee the obstacles of others. 
  • Experience in rightly controlling one’s emotions and responding accordingly while keeping in mind other’s situations, concerns, and experience​ 
  • Demonstrate self-awareness and proactiveness​ 

The Impact: 

Emotional intelligence is of utmost importance for a project manager because managing a project is a team effort. It can become the single most significant differentiator of success between the communication flow of managers and employees. If the team’s morale is low, the efficiency will definitely hinder the overall progress of the team’s effort. If the project manager lacks people skills and team management skills, which are the essential components of emotional intelligence, the entire project can suffer.  

How to Adapt: 

Project managers must manage people as well and that means more complications. To deal with a proper understanding of emotions (both yours and others) is required – making it a necessary leadership skill for project managers all over the globe. The project managers will analyse and assess the personality indicators and adjust to the emotional needs of key project stakeholders​. 

5. Greater emphasis on soft skills 

Soft skills are required in project management because of the forced relationships needed to complete projects. The understanding of people and how to manage them without any conflicts yield the best results. Effective project managers must be able to anticipate the needs of their team, understand their hopes and motivations, and identify and remove roadblocks before they impact the progress of a project.  

The Impact: 

Project managers need a certain level of analytical and organizational skills to be effective in their roles and for the project’s success.  The project manager must have clear communication lines for mitigation plans, problem-solving, and even conflict resolution. Essentially, most all the hard skills in project management, cannot be implemented without applying a soft skill as well. 

How to Adapt: 

As far as competitive job markets are concerned, to become efficient leaders the leadership quality depends on soft skills. A servant leader values diversity and recognizes the intrinsic value of each member of the community.​ It is an approach where the servant-leader focuses mostly on the development and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong.​  

The servant-leader distributes power amongst others first and supports people to grow and operate as optimally as possible.​Servant leaders need to protect the team from interruptions and distractions and keep the project on track. These skills help people to work and perform well in an adaptable environment. 

6. Advanced project management tools

Project management tools have become an indispensable part of project management. With appropriate use of Project management tools that are suited to the situational factors, the project managers should be able to deliver better project results. The use of PPM tools can lead to some potential benefits such as increased efficiency, reduced training, improved project predictability, increased stakeholder confidence, increased probability of project success, and improved communication. that are suited to the situational factors, the project managers should be able to deliver better project results. The appropriate use of Project management tools can lead to some potential benefits such as increased efficiency, reduced training, improved project predictability, increased stakeholder confidence, increased probability of project success, and improved communication. 

The Impact: 

Project planning, scheduling, budget tracking, and for meeting schedule deadlines these tools are making positive impacts in project management. The project management tools are of much help to project managers to plan and deliver projects on time. They also give team members a platform to communicate and collaborate in a single place. 

How to Adapt: 

Some existing applications like Atlassian JIRA and Trello are already seeing strong growth in terms of user numbers, which is a good indicator that there’s increased interest in improving internal project communications for businesses around the world. Intelligent project management software can provide a treasure-trove of big data to project managers that involves analysing an individual’s habits, the preferred mode of communication, areas of interest, time spent on a task, and other attributes that can make their work powerful and productive. With predictive and data analytics capabilities, project teams can make full use of KPIs and benchmarks, implement them proactively by establishing data-backed best practices, and deliver better projects faster. 

8. Remote working

Remote working has been causing ripple effects everywhere. Remote work is increasingly becoming the new norm rather than an exception. The COVID pandemic has mandated social distancing, compelling professionals to collaborate virtually. This globalization has encouraged more cross-team collaboration than ever before. 

The Impact: 

The generational change of new workers is entering the workforce, but older workers who can adapt are staying in with the help of remote teams. Creating a productive team, one that is energized by youthful enthusiasm and new ideas, but anchored by the experience and skills of older team members is essential and changes the dynamics in the workplace through remote work. 

How to Adapt: 

The best practices in a remote team,  

  1. Examine the Remote team’s needs and demands 
  2. The project managers must use their best leadership skills for remote team-building practices. 
  3. Proper project management tools for remote teams should be selected for communication and collaboration. 
  4. Weekly or biweekly check-in meetings and frequent demos should be conducted. 
  5. Make team members accountable by asking for status updates 

The latest trends of project management software make it apparent that the future of business operations includes the use of technology and other factors. To stay ahead in the competitive practices, we need to be aware of the trends ahead and be updated and equipped to take advantage of new opportunities. Thus, to succeed the companies should consider implementing project management solutions to make the lives of their team, and that of the stakeholders easier. 

#project_management #tools #pmtools #ppm tools #pm_trends #project_management_trends #projectmanagement_trends #remoteworking #softskills #emotional_intelligence #artificial_intelligence #ai

Magic spell for increasing productivity, team happiness, and work-life balance for remote workers

Posted on October 25, 2021 by Olby | Agile, Best Practices, Project Management

by Ms. Subha Sadagopan, PPM IT Consultant in CAPPM (Centre for Advanced Practical Project Management)

Businesses today are embracing remote trends and hiring top talent from different countries. A remote team is a group of professionals from various time zones, diverse skills, and different cultures working together on a unified project. Remote work is increasingly becoming the new norm rather than an exception. The COVID pandemic has mandated social distancing, compelling professionals to collaborate virtually.

Remote working was an increasing trend with the pandemic to just speed up this process:

  • 4.7 million People were already working remotely from home before the COVID-19 pandemic. (Flex jobs)
  • 74% of companies plan to shift some of their employees to remote working permanently after COVID-19 (Gartner)
  • Before the pandemic, 52% of global employees worked remotely once a week, and 68% did so at least once a month (Owl Labs)
  • 77% of remote employees say they’re more productive when working from home. (CoSo Cloud)

Examine Remote team needs:

  • The team members should be connected, not isolated.                                                                           
  • Have clear goals and expectations.​
  • Receive frequent feedback on progress.​
  • Be consulted on issues and decisions.​
  • Not be micromanaged​
  • Understand the capabilities of virtual teammates.​
  • Having clear communication channels.​
  • Ensure their career progress is supported.​
  • Feel appreciated and recognized for their contributions.​

Leadership Skills for Remote teams:

Strong leadership skill is essential for creating a business culture that’s productive, innovative, and able to adapt to an ever-changing professional landscape. The remote employee is going to be more a fitting than a favour, with this shift, team leaders will need to learn the new skills required to meet the challenges of a virtual workplace. Along with the other leadership skills, project managers use Servant leadership skills which adopt a more human-centric, collaborative approach to project management, where customer and employee relationships take center stage.

Best team-building practices:

Team building refers to the activities undertaken by groups of people to increase their motivation and boost cooperation. Best team-building practices that allow co-workers and employees to use their collaborative strengths to bring long-term value to the business.

Set Boundaries and clear goals with Remote Workers

  • Remote teams often need some kind of boundaries to outline their work and personal life as they are work from different time zones.

Working on Sprints

  • Sprints are the key to managing an agile team. Instead of setting goals by quarter or year, break them down into smaller projects ranging from 1-4 weeks. 
  • Start the sprint by creating a list of activities (backlogs) and deliveries that need to be made to complete the project.

Frequent Communication

  • Over-communicate decisions across all geographies training the team to understand when decisions are made and how they need to be communicated.

Encourage and Embrace Diversity

  • A simple way is to find how different people from different areas are open to receiving feedback, promote a mindset of celebrating differences, be respectful about national holidays for your global team, and respect every cultural difference.

Accountability and trust

  • Emphasize that for teams to work effectively, everyone must trust each other, focus on their responsibility, and be accountable for their actions.

Remote Team Tools:

Project management tools are a valuable addition to the teams working remotely. Project management for remote teams requires managers to rely on collaboration and communication tools, project management tools, and emerging technologies to help them stay connected and updated on projects and deadlines.

  • Asynchronous communication tools give people the ability to communicate instantly with anyone / anywhere without having a face-to-face conversation. 
  • Synchronous communication tools – real-time communication when you expect to get an answer at the same moment in time. 
  • ​The tools which make collaboration and communication easier for the remote teams are: GIT lab, Slack, Twist, Loom, Mural, Hugo, Geek Bot, Jell, Confluence, Microsoft Project, Trello, Wrike, WebEx, Google meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Fishbowl, Tumblr, etc.

The Remote Team types:

  • The Co-located team indicates that there is a functional team working on a project sharing the same workspace.​
  • The teams that work entirely from home or other remote locations are called fully remote or fixed teams.
  • The concept of a hybrid team refers to the amalgamation of remote work and work from the office.​

Engaging team members in Remote teams:

Use Agile to manage your remote Team

Implementing an Agile project management approach can minimize these roadblocks and boost engagement. For instance, the agile methodology allows people to communicate openly and frequently discuss roadblocks. Team members can openly share their challenges in scrum meetings, without fear of judgment. The Agile approach also includes frameworks like implementing scrum artifacts for managing cross-functional teams, which can help.

Invest in Frequent Training

This includes on-the-job mentoring and shadowing, as well as regular training workshops on technical and soft skills. Employees feel excited about training programs that help them build the vital skills they need to grow in their careers.

Create a Customer-Focused Culture

This shared purpose is more difficult to assimilate in a remote work team where people are physically separated from their team. This feeling of purpose is most important in customer-facing roles such as sales and support. Lack of engagement there will lead to stunted revenue growth and excessive customer churn – both of which can be disastrous. Creating a customer-centric company culture is a great way to build a sense of shared purpose and is perfect for boosting engagement.

Centralize your communication

Communication can get confusing in a remote work team. This leads to misunderstandings, conflicts, stress, and, consequently lower levels of employee engagement. Communication becomes a lot simpler when all members working remotely stick to the guidelines and use innovative technologies.

Rewards system and employee recognition

Motivated workers are always highly productive, and this, in turn, will enhance the bottom line. But to accomplish this, we should consider offering rewards and a recognition system to the workers. This will serve as a means to reinforce the employees positively. Virtual recognition ideas recognize performance and appreciate those departmental members who are consistently doing well. The best way for managers and businesses to show appreciation virtually is to recognize and reward with uniformity. 

  • Be as creative as we can: extended lunch breaks, gift cards, performance bonuses, extra vacation days, etc., are just some of the things we should consider. 
  • Work anniversaries and birthdays are landmark days in an employee’s life and are cause for celebration. 
  • Virtual contests are fun for virtual teams to participate in while challenging them. 
  • A wall of fame can be on a whiteboard tool where the person’s name, picture, department, and reason for going up on the wall are listed.
  • Social media shoutouts are a type of virtual kudos where everyone in your and your employees’ network sees the post and interacts with it.
  • Meal coupons with discount codes are one of the best recognition ideas invented.
  • Virtual employees who have worked overtime hours on billable projects can cash in complimentary offs for those weeknights and weekends.
Benefits of Remote teams Downsides of Remote teams
Increased productivity Nightmare in scheduling
Reduced costs for organizations Managing workloads
Reduced stress Harder to build company culture
Access to top talents Complex team communication
Report employee’s satisfaction Slower team formations

To develop an effective and efficient remote work team, here are six best practices represented by the acronym REMOTE:

  • Review the situation
  • Engage as a team
  • Maintain momentum
  • Foster Openness
  • Leverage Technology
  • Evolve team practices

#remoteteam #remote_teams #agile #project_management #projectmanagement #sprint #tools #rewards #benefits #lean

Webinar on Azure DevOps (ADO)

Posted on October 6, 2021 by Olby | ADO, Agile, Agile Tools, Project Management

Presented by Vimalkanna

Major Topics Highlights include:

  • ADO Basics
  • ADO Boards and Test Plan Demo
  • ADO Repos and Pipeline Intro

For details of services and training: https://www.cappmpl.com/

Mail to reachus@cappmpl.com to request for demo or to know more about the product.

#projectmanagement #webinar #agile #ado #azuredevops #apm #ado_boards #sprint #college #fresher #novice_project_managers #ado_testplans #demo

Webinar on Primavera P6 Basics

Posted on October 6, 2021 by Olby | P6 Professional, PPM, Project Management

Presented by Subha Mariappan

Major Topics Highlights include:

  • Primavera P6 Basics
  • Primavera Demo

For details of services and training: https://www.cappmpl.com/

Mail to reachus@cappmpl.com to request for demo or to know more about the product.

#eppm #epm #ppm #projectmanagement #webinar #primavera #primavera_p6 #primavera_demo #primavera_basics #planning_engineers #project_professionals #project_managers #freshers #schedulers

Webinar on Microsoft Project

Posted on October 6, 2021 by Olby | MS Project, PPM, Project Management

Presented by Subha Mariappan

Major topic highlights include:

  • Microsoft Project Features
  • Microsoft Project Demo

For details of services and training: https://www.cappmpl.com/

Mail to reachus@cappmpl.com to request for demo or to know more about the product.

#eppm #epm #ppm #msp #projectmanagement #webinar #msproject #project_professional #project_client #colleges #freshers #project_managers #schedulers #planning_engineers #projectmanagers

Webinar on Agile Basics

Posted on October 6, 2021 by Olby | Agile, Project Management

Webinar on Agile Basics

Presented by Olby Shaju, PfMP, PMP, SPC

Major topic highlights include:

  • Agile Basics
  • Agile Methodologies
  • Scrum Framework
  • Traditional vs Agile Scenario
  • Scrum Roles

For details of services and training: https://www.cappmpl.com/

Mail to reachus@cappmpl.com to request for demo or to know more about the product.

#webinar #waterfall #traditionalvsagile #agile #scrum #roles #colleges #final_year_students #freshers #novice_projectmanagers #scrum_masters

Webinar on Project Management Basics

Posted on October 6, 2021 by Olby | Agile, Project Management

Webinar on Project Management Basics

Presented by Olby Shaju, PfMP, PMP, SPC

Major topic highlights include:

  • Project Management
  • Program and Portfolio Management
  • Project Development Lifecycle
  • Domains and Principles

For details of services and training: https://www.cappmpl.com/

Mail to reachus@cappmpl.com to request for demo or to know more about the product.

#projectmanagement #pm #ppm #pmbasics #projectmanagementbasics #college #final_year_students #freshers #novice_projectmanagers #lifecycle #project_lifecycle #waterfall #predictive #webinar

Lean and Six Sigma

Posted on August 11, 2020 by Olby | Project Management

Presented by: Durgadevi Padmanaban, PMP, CSSBB

Major topic highlights include:

  • Origin of Lean
  • Understanding Lean Principles
  • Origin of Six Sigma
  • Six Sigma Model
  • Lean and Six Sigma – A Comparison

For details of services and training: https://www.cappmpl.com/