Tag Archives: Collaboration

Version 2010.10.07 – Alternative Email Notifications’ Subject Line

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We have been addressed some dissatisfaction with regards the email notification’s subject line format. First, there was no alternative if you disliked the format and second, we realized that the biggest problem was the task name that was missing. “New Task #48 by Peter – Project ABC” didn’t mean much to most users and required opening the email every time to learn more, which isn’t great from a time-saving standpoint.
Once again, we listened and found a solution. From now on, you’ll be able to use either the good old format, or the new one, which is more significant. Here are examples:

  • Task # modified by user – project name (good old format)
    • Example: Task #48 modified by Peter: Office Construction Project
  • Task created/modified by user: # summary (new alternative format)
    • Example: Task modified by Peter: #48 Install Lighting

Got questions about this upgrade? Read the Complete Post

Take the risk of trusting your team

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Background on this post

I wrote this post as a bit of a manifesto. I often have the impression from project managers that, while they expect their teams to trust them, they are not giving the trust back to the team. And it occurred to me that this really was about taking a risk, and managing that risk in the project.

Take the risk of trusting your team

From the part of the person who gives it, trust is hard. It requires
a leap of faith. It requires that we believe the person we trust is
worth it.

From the part of the person who receives it, trust is energizing. Read the Complete Post

Project managers who like to learn belong on Twitter

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Ah, Twitter. Possibly the most misunderstood tool online.

A lot of people wonder “what’s the deal with Twitter? Why would I tell the world what I had for lunch?”

For us at Websystems, Twitter is a learning tool. The amount of information, wisdom and discussion that happens on the twitternets is simply amazing. Since each post is only 140-characters long, not only must people be concise and to the point, but it’s also very quick to browse through all those tweets.

The secret to getting good information from Twitter is to use hashtags. Hashtags are like search terms that people will put at the end of their posts. Read the Complete Post

Take the risk of trusting your team

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From the part of the person who gives it, trust is hard. It requires a leap of faith. It requires that we believe the person we trust is worth it.

From the part of the person who receives it, trust is energizing. It means that someone was willing to take that leap of faith for us. It means we are worth it. Trust also carries responsibility: if we want to keep that trust, we must prove the giver right. This means delivering on that trust.

Project management requires a high level of trust

  • The project manager must trust the team to do quality work on time and on budget.
Read the Complete Post

Sharing the burden of project updates with your team: why collaborative project management tools are a time-saver and team-builder.

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There are two schools of thought with project management tools: project management OR collaboration.

Why should project teams have two tools, one for project management and one for collaboration? Shouldn’t both these uses be united in one tool?

Project management is not about secrecy, quite the contrary. It’s about sharing information with everyone who needs it. Project management is about getting your team to work together to achieve results.

When using a collaborative project management system, you not only share information on the project with the team, your stakeholders and even your clients, you also get to share the burden to updating project information with your team. Read the Complete Post

LinkedIn changes the way sales work

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We’ve had our Linkedin profile for while now, but we were not very active on the network until a few months ago. That’s when we discovered Linkedin Groups. We signed on for project-management related groups. The discussions on Linkedin groups are insightful, interesting, and go deeper than those on Twitter.

On Linkedin, we are all individuals, not the companies we represent. We become part of the community. And this is a much more powerful sales tool than one would expect. At first, it may seem like a big investment in time, that yields no direct sales.

This is not true.

Linkedin is about people. Read the Complete Post

Virtual teams make everything more difficult

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Virtual teams are a fact of today’s projects. With outsourcing and increased mobility for the workforce, there is a higher proportion of people who either work in satellite locations, or simply work from home.

The project team becomes virtual. How can we keep up with everyone when we can’t see them?

A huge part of project management is getting a feel of how the team is doing

How can we do that without seeing the people we work with? After all, the biggest part of a person’s message is not conveyed with words. It’s transmitted via pitch and intonation of voice, the way she sits or stands, her facial expressions and hand gestures. Read the Complete Post

How to get the most out of AceProject, Part II: Teachers and Schools

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Last week, we saw how AceProject can help consultants ensure their budgets stay on budget.

This week, we’ll see how teachers and schools can improve communications with their students and keep track of all their classes in a central location.  For workshop-oriented classes, AceProject can make your class like a project team.

One project, one class
AceProject helps prepare your materials for your classes. Simply setup each class as a project.

Then, you can create a task for each thing that you need to do to prepare the class, such as your class presentations, exams, or handouts. You can also create a task for each important event when you give the class, such as exam dates and paper due dates. Read the Complete Post

Project management and communications

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It’s easy to get swallowed by project management tools. It’s easy to feel that we can get all the information we need from a piece of software.

But it’s not true.

If you want to know how well a project is going, take your team to lunch. They will tell you more about the project than any statistic. While you’re sitting at the table with your team, take a look at their non-verbal behavior. Are they happy to be together? Are they talking to each other? Are they just sitting there, waiting for lunch to end?

How your team interacts together will show if they are getting along and where there might be personality clashes. Read the Complete Post

5 ways to involve your client in your projects

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When managing a project, it’s important not to lose sight with who you’re working for. Your client is not always an actual customer. Not always the person who pays for the project, your client can also be the person who will use the product or service you are making. For example, if you’re reorganizing archives at your work, the client could be those who need to search the archives: administrative and customer service teams.

It can be quite disheartening to deliver something that disappoints the client. After all, you worked hard on that project, and you would like people to be impressed. Read the Complete Post