It’s Spring here in Austin, TX. The bluebonnets are in bloom, pollen is in the air, and we’ve been busy. We wanted to share some updates you might have missed. We’ve had a busy couples of months working on the blog, engaging our community on LinkedIn and creating new Project Management training resources we’re excited to share with you all.
New Project Management Training Guides
We now have a new section in Resources featuring six new training guides that let you take a deeper dive into project management topics. Each new guide contains detailed information for both beginners and advanced project managers looking to refresh their skills. With practical tips, advice, videos and links to additional resources, these guides will be your go-to source whenever you have a question you need solved.
We feature the following new (and free!) guides for you and your team:
- Project Management Guide – Everything you need to know to help you manage projects is in this guide. Learn about project management roles and practices, including a detailed breakdown of the project management life cycle and what you need to do in each phase. Learn about the different methodologies for managing projects, like Waterfall, Agile and Lean, and learn how to use project management tools to help you succeed. This is your reference guide to all things PM.
- Excel Project Management Guide – Most project managers use Excel at some stage of their project, and some use it exclusively. In this guide, learn all the ways you can use Excel to help you with your project. Includes free Excel templates to help get you started and to help track risks, issues, tasks, expenses as well as monitor your project performance, with our Dashboard template.
- Gantt Chart Guide – Gantt charts can intimidate some people. We help take the mystery out of the Gantt. Learn the history of Gantt charts as well as how they have evolved to help you plan your project better. Explore all the features of a Gantt chart in an online project, such as breaking down each column’s purpose and explaining what milestone’s and dependencies are, to name a few. Then, you learn how to actually use those Gantt features to plan your projects and manage your team.
- Project Planning Guide – Project planning is a critical phase in project management, yet few people are born with the planning talent. Rather, planning takes skill and practice, and this guide offers extensive training in the art and skill of project planning. You’ll learn the elements of a good project plan, and how to use tools and templates (includes a free planning template download) to help guide your project planning effort.
- Timesheet Guide – Whether you need to bill time against a specific project or client, or track productivity of your own team, it’s important to know all the ways timesheets can be used beyond just tracking time. Learn how to use timesheet data for things like estimating future projects or historical reporting. Know how to get your team to love timesheets and to get more efficient through management tips and tricks.
- Task Management Guide – When you’re managing a project, it might seem like you’re spending all your time managing tasks. In this guide, learn how to get better at prioritizing tasks for yourself and your team, and how to use online and mobile task management apps to help. You can save time when you manage your tasks better.
We know it’s hard to find time when you’re running several projects to find the right templates. Our free templates section has just grown to help you solve that problem. We now have included Excel templates to our collection of Word templates to help you track and manage your tasks and teams. All of them are free.
Every day your peers in PM are discussing new trends and techniques in project management in our LinkedIn Group. Here’s some conversations you may have missed and that are still waiting for your input!
How to Manage Positive vs. Negative Risk on Projects
Jennifer’s video on how to manage both types of risks has spurred on a spirited discussion about whether positive risks can be called risks at all. Niels Malotaux likes to call them “opportunities.” And James Graham wants to categorize them differently:
How do you hold people accountable?
Miguel Angel Saucedo Velasquez asks about holding people accountable, especially when they don’t report directly to you. Benjamin Grieg notes that it’s a team effort between you as a PM and their direct managers. Howard Wiener suggests a more direct approach:
Patrick Sheehy (aka Lean Philosopher) asks the community about their real-world experience with Lean, including any Lean horror stories. Santiago Valencia Sarmiento notes that this subject is akin to opening Pandora’s Box:
This debate is certainly very much alive. Ricky Bhardwaj asked the community to ponder this question, and it was well timed with the new PMI certification and PDU requirements that are opening up the skillsets from technical PM skills to more business management and strategy. Our own Jennifer Bridges weighed in:
Philip Paker and others take a more semantic approach, suggesting that “management” has evolved into “leadership”:
With over 69 comments and still counting, this topic has raised many different topics and angles among PMs. What do you think?
We’re proud of all our contributors. They represent the best voices in the field of Project Management and Leadership. March was Women’s History Month, and Naomi Caietti’s interviews with leading women PM practitioners has generated a ton of interest.
Dave Wakeman published a couple pieces, as well, on process and prioritization. Mario Henrique Trentim explored the future of PMO’s and trends shaping the industry. Mike Clayton explored the topic of project governance, and yours truly asked whether project politics was “Trumping” your project. We wanted to know the legal aspects of whether you should broach that subject at all at work. According to a Twitter poll we ran, 67% said talking about politics at work is best avoided.
On our Training Videos page, Jennifer Bridges and Susanne Madsen have been teaching us a lot about Project Leadership and Project performance. We publish a new training video every week, and you can find them right here on our site, on our YouTube channel or via our mobile app.
We hope you have enjoyed these posts. We know we have learned a lot from our experts, and we hope you do too!
Remember, we also make award-winning project management software that can help you manage your tasks and teams better. With resource management, time tracking, real-time dashboards and the world’s best Gantt, we’re confident you’ll love what ProjectManager.com can do for you. Sign up for a free trial today.