Webinar: Project and Portfolio Management Using TenStep and Planisware

When your portfolio of work consists of one or two dozen projects, it’s possible to keep track of what’s going on with spreadsheets or simple desktop tools. However, tracking projects, resources, and costs with standalone tools becomes increasingly more difficult as your project pipeline grows.

This webinar will focus in two main topics. First we’ll discuss the critical connection between the project management and portfolio management processes. In the second part of this webinar, we’ll demonstrate how a solid end-to-end PPM software can support and even automate your project and portfolio management processes. The demonstration will be provided using Planisware, Enterprise Project, Product Portfolio Management software solutions that support the end-to-end governance of company portfolios.

Join Tom Mochal, President of TenStep, and Michel Delifer, Sales Director at Planisware, in a discussion of these important topics.

TenStep webinars… attend… learn something.

Date: 4 December 2014
Time: 12:00 (Atlanta time) / 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM CET
Live participants will receive 1 PDU.

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Six Reasons Companies Struggle Implementing Project Management

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”150″ align=”right” width=”300″ autoHeight=”true”] There are many companies that do not have common project management processes, templates, approach and skills. One initial observation is that companies that don’t manage projects well are usually run by senior managers who never learned formal project management themselves. It is hard for them to lead culture change around project management when they don’t understand the value themselves. In fact, sometimes these managers think of project management as a tool for managing projects, rather than as a process for doing the work. When they discover a tool isn’t involved, they lose interest.

There are a number of other reasons why companies have not implemented project management processes. These include:

  • The company does not have committed sponsorship.

Some managers want to hold a training class and hope that project management sticks. They don’t have a strong commitment to the culture change required to get better at managing projects. In large companies, it could take two to three years, or longer. The sponsor needs to be committed and focused long term to make the changes successfully.

  • The entire organization is not included.

It’s hard to be a good project manager in an organization that doesn’t value project management skills. For instance, if you take the time to create a Charter document, and your sponsor asks why you were wasting your time, you are probably not going to be very excited about the planning process on your next project. To be effective, the entire organization must be part of the project management initiative.

  • The organization does not have a lot of pain around projects.

This is very common, especially in small to medium sized organizations. In many companies, the projects are not under pressure to complete within fixed deadlines and budgets. They just need to be completed within a “reasonable” timeframe. In these companies, there is not much internal pressure to change the status quo.

  • The organization is not scaling the processes and approach.

A common criticism of methodology is that it is cumbersome, paper intensive and takes too much focus away from the work at hand.  Sometimes this is a legitimate concern, caused by not scaling the methodology to the size of your project. For instance, if you were required to develop a fifteen page Project Charter even if your project is only 200 hours, you may have been turned off. This is not usually a methodology problem as much as it is a misapplication of the methodology.

  • The project teams fight the changes.

Many people want to solve problems and do their jobs creatively, with a minimum of supervision. They fear that project management techniques will result in controls that will take the fun out of the work. Without strong sponsorship, the project teams resist the change until the pressure goes away.

  • There is a fear of the loss of control from management.

If you really want to effectively implement a project management discipline at your company, you must give a level of control and authority to the project manager. Some organizations, and middle managers especially, do not want to lose that control. They may want people to coordinate the projects, but then they want to make all the decisions and exercise all the control. Formal project management will not be possible in organizations where this fear is prevalent.


These are some common reasons why project management is not sponsored at companies, and when it is sponsored, why it does not always stick. However, almost every study that looks at project management shows that it is a discipline that will help project managers deliver on time, on budget and within client expectations. All companies should have a common project management process to maximize the chances for delivering their projects successfully.

Purchase Order Form is a Simple Line of Approved Credit

In a purchase order form, there is a complete description of what your organization is in need from by a particular supplier. The greater the detail that is includes will mean the less ambiguity the message will hold. This will allow for the correct item or material to be sent as requested.

When using a purchase order form the best ones today that are used will be created with the aid of a computer program. This is one of the many project management templates that most project managers have access to today. This type of template allows for the vital information to be placed in the form in the same manner each and every time this particular third party vendor is contacted. This makes it possible for a concise and consistent message to be sent out each and every time you are in need of suppliers or material from another organization.

This use of a purchase order form that is made this way also helps to ensure the message you are sending will be received as it was sent. This allows for the correct material or items you need to be sent. This will reduce the number of errors that can occur when dealing with a third party organization that is outside the control of your business. The receiving of the wrong material can be hazardous to the schedule of your project.

Inside the purchase order form is also the information for the billing requirements and data necessary for both parties to make this type of transaction. This is the portion of this business deal that is important to the third party vendor. They need to know how much they are going to make off of this transaction and when they can expect it.

The use of a purchase order form is very common today in all sectors of business. The more complete it is with accurate information on every aspect of the transaction, the smoother it will be preformed. A successful transaction of this type builds the credibility and reputation of all parties that are involved

RFP is a Necessary Document

Today one of the templates in a project management program is the RFP template. This digital outline can help you to create a consistent document so you will receive from your raw material suppliers what you ordered for inclusion in your business venture.

Inside an RFP has to include what you need from your third party vendor in detail. This way there is no ambiguity in just what you need for your project and what you are willing to pay for it. There will also be a schedule when the material is needed that the third party vendor has to confirm they can meet for this proposal to move forward.

There is another section in the RFP that will list the vital information you need from this third party vendor. This can include payment schedule and time frame for delivery of the entire order if it is going to be sent in different loads or times. This will let them know in advance all the terms and conditions for this business arrangement before they agree to it.

The issuing of a RFP is not the final document to confirm any transaction; it is the one just before a deal is made. This document can be modified by both parties to fit the needs of each. The reissuing of this document after the alternations if necessary are easy since this document is saved in its digital format.

To get the best price, several RFP’s can be sent out concerning the same raw material. This allows for your project to not only be provided with the best price on any item, but also an alternative delivery of the item. This is sometime necessary in the business world where businesses are not always dependable because of the state of the economy. This allows for you to cover all the bases to ensure the success of your business venture.

The RFP will help you plan your project in more detail and less time so a positive result can be the conclusion of your business venture. It is one of the necessary requirements of doing business in the global market place

Using a Sample Communications Plan

By using a sample communications plan when you need to document your project’s communication pathway, the benefits will soon become obvious. This is extremely true if your sample plan was made with the same project management template program you are about to use.

There are a few precautions that you need to take when following a sample communications plan from the past. Even thou it is from your own organization, there will be some changes to what you will be creating. By using the template, you will be able to cut n paste many of the sections in, but just make sure all of the information is up to date.

One of the most common changes from your sample communications plan from the past to your current one is the list of stakeholders. This can change and an up to date list must be included in your current communications plan. Another point connected to the shareholders is if they have changed their preference for how they are to be communicated with. With the integration of cell phones, smart phones, blackberries and tables, knowing the correct line of communication to reach them will not unduly upset them when the need arises.

Your communication events along with their dates and times will have changed from the sample communications plan you are using. If these are forgotten, then your work will look unprofessional. Also make sure the same resources for the communication events are still available. If nor make the appropriate adjustments. This way the lines of communications within your organization will work as it is intended to.

By creating this kind of comprehensive communication plan and starting with the sample communications plan, you will not start from scratch. It is the best way to build on past experience and have a firm foundation to stand on.

The sample communications plan is just one of the project management tools you can use to make sure the message you are sending out is received as it was sent. This allows for all concerned parties to be informed about the same information so no ambiguity occurs when attempting to communicate.

Using a Quality Management Program

Using a quality management program is the best known way of creating a product that meets or exceeds the specifications set out in the business plan for creating your revenue stream. To have a plan like this in place, it first has to be created with the correct specifications that your facility can produce on a regular basis.

The creating of a quality management program begins with knowing the limitations of your manufacturing process and the equipment you will be using. Once this is known, then you can proceed to the documentation of your quality plan. This can be done in an effeicent manner with the use of the quality management template. This preformatted document has a set path the project manager can take to filling in the required information about your quality processes and what is expected from it.

By using the template for the documenting of the quality management program, the project manager can concentrate more on the content of the plan rather than having to worry or determining what should be included and where it should be placed. This makes it possible to include greater detail that is more accurate into the plan itself that will reduce any possible delays in the execution phase of the project lifecycle.

In the quality management program, there has to be two active teams. This will include the Quality Assurance team that will create all of the documentation needed involving the processes and methods to be used to determine if the deliverable meets or fails the set specifications. This team has to know the limitations of the personnel conducting the inspections along with the most economical manner in which to conduct the inspections.

The second team in the quality management program is the Quality Control team. They are the ones that do the actual inspections and record their findings. The documents they create will be the proof needed to show regulators and customers alike that you are producing what you claim to be making.

By having a quality management program, your deliverables will be easier to pass thru the custom inspections easier so your target audience will be able to purchase them. Making it to the global market faster is key to success in today

The Available Free Project Management Templates

The available free project management templates to the business world are useful in many different fashions. Not only can you begin to use them immediately in your next business venture, but you can actually see how efficiently they work in a real world scenario.

The offer of free project management templates from a supplier will never include all of the templates they have to offer. Instead there will be a limited number of them available. This is usually done over the internet with a free downloading option. How you use this free offer to evaluate the product is your choice. Many just rummage thru them to see just what they contain. This is advisable as a first step. This allows for the new users to see just what type of content the template has to offer them.

When you are analyzing the free project management templates, it is advisable to take some critical notes on what you are discovering. One of the critical items you need to note is just how easy the template is to use. Ask yourself, does it follow intuitive thinking? The easier the template is to use and follow, the faster your project manager will be able to document the particular process the template is designed to generate.

Another item to note is what does the final product look like? Most free project management templates have the format and style of the finish document already set in place. Make sure the type of document that is produced will be acceptable by your organization.

The two main reasons an organization is looking at free project management templates to use include the ability to save time in the documentation process of your project. The second is for the consistency that will be generated in using such a project management tool. Both of these are relevant points and should be considered when evaluating the templates you have downloaded.

No all free project management templates that are available today are equal. Know what you need out of this type of tool before you begin to evaluate them is essential. This will make the decision process of choosing the right one for your organization the easiest.

Manage Your Project Using the New MPMM V6 Methodology

There are not many full project management methodologies available on the market. The Method123 Project Management Process (MPMM) is one of the best. MPMM includes an entire methodology for managing projects. It steps you through every phase, activity and task needed to complete a project from start to finish.

MPMM is a methodology because it contains more than just process descriptions. MPMM includes a full set of templates, completed examples, techniques, e-learning, and much more. It also comes with a full content management system which makes navigating the methodology very easy.

We are also excited to launch MPMM V6. This new version comes with complete integration with the PMBOK Guide from PMI. Now you have the content of MPMM along with extended and related content from the PMBOK Guide. It is a great combination.

During this webinar you will also get a quick tour of MPMM Program (for program management) and IT Lifecycle (for IT development projects).

Join us. You will learn about MPMM but you will also learn how a full methodology is structured and defined.

Thursday, September 25, 2014 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM CEST (The Netherlands)

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Using a Project Tool

Having a project tool and knowing how to use it to its fullest potential are two very different things. This is why most of the project management tools of today have training included when they are purchased. This training is specific to the tool on how to use it in multiple ways, so it can best fit the needs of your organization.

Unlike a project tool of the past that was generally an item used on the production floor, today’s project management tools are mainly computer programs of some sort. This type of tool has become an integral part of the business world, since the uses of computers have been extensively integrated into the business sector.

To help spread the word about a new program or project tool, many organizations now introduce them in a manner by offering a portion of their programs for free. This allows the prospective buyer to use it in a trial run. This is the best way to see if the tool itself will be useful to your organization. It will also give your project team the opportunity to see just how easy the program is to learn and use.

These are important to know before you place a substantial amount on the purchase of a project tool to be used in your next business venture. By using them in an actual business venture, you can then gauge just how much money and time the tool has saved in a real world situation. This way, you can make a projection just how beneficial the new tool can be, in the terms of revenue. This then can be presented to the stakeholders of your organization, as the reason in favor of acquiring such a tool to be used by your project team.

The exact type of project tool that will benefit your company the most will be determined by your needs. There are project management templates available for a free trial run. There are also Project Management books of knowledge available to help guide your project leader in new paths to completing a project successfully. There are many other sources that are available if you just look for them. Each one has a specific purpose to help you and your organization to achieve your goals.

Creating a Project Feasibility Study

Creating a project feasibility study in the correct manner can make a difference in the conclusion of your project. This is done by identifying all of the possible target audiences and their preferences for your particular deliverable. Other factors that must be clarified include the right price, level of quality, and color the target audience will prefer in your type of product.

The project feasibility study is a project management tool that will help discover just what markets in the world have the need for your deliverable. Not only does the target audience have to be correctly identified, but also a secondary audience, and if possible, a third. This allows for an organization to get input to just what they are looking for in the type of product you are producing. This input makes it significantly easier to provide a product that is desirable by more people. This increases the possible revenue stream from this business venture.

In the project feasibility study, you can also explore the desired level of quality your product is expected to have. The reason for this is so the minimal level can be obtained without affecting the desirability of your product by the target audience. This does not mean it is ok to create an inferior product on purpose, but rather place the level of quality in the product that is necessary for the use of the item. A good example of this is a nail. If you are selling a nail that is supposed to be 1 inch long, the specifications can be from 7/8” to 1 1/8”. It is possible to make every nail 1” long, but then the profits of your business venture will diminish because of all the rejected material.

Creating a project feasibility study in the right manner will give you the information that is necessary for your business venture to succeed. It is the interpretation of the data that is collocated which is vital to the success of your project. This allows for you to provide the deliverable at the right price, so your organization can make a level of profit that is desirable.