Learning to Manage Intangible Projects
The project management discipline was created for tangible products - bridges, buildings, and nuclear powered warships. The current growth of project management is in intangible products: organizational redesign, recruiting strategies, and compensation plans for a few examples.
At Versatile, we've delivered project management training to construction firms and public school administrators. Our current growth audience is Human Resource professionals. So how do we help these knowledge workers bridge the gap between tangible and intangible products?
When an HR team recently attended our project management training in Seattle, they brought their projects with them. We used their projects in class, breaking down their end goal into major steps, then into specific tasks.
Every introductory project management class should teach you to clarify the tangible outcome of every task, even if that outcome is a recommendation or decision.
Thanks to Mark Mullaly, for posting on www.ProjectManagement.com to get me thinking about this.
What About Remote Team Members?
How do remote teams change the equation? If you have attended Versatile's project management training online, then you've experienced some best practices already.
Set ground rules for participation. This covers everything from starting and stopping times to when to communicate.
Invest in collaboration technology such as www.GoToMeeting.com or www.WebEx.com.
This conversation on LinkedIn has some great suggestions for specific habits of remote Agile teams.
"Which Tool Should I Use?"
The two most common questions we hear in Versatile's project management training in Seattle, online, and onsite are:
"Did you tell my boss all this?"
"Which software tool should I use?"
We'll talk about your boss another time. At Versatile, we like Microsoft Project, because it is full-featured, designed according to project management best practices and is widely available. But there are other options.
Take a look at the resources at www.project-management.com to see what tools they have found.