Social Project Management – What is it and how do you adapt?

The world is going social and businesses are following suit.  Water cooler conversations are obsolete these days because social information is readily available and easily shared with a quick click of the mouse. Social Project Management is a new discipline emerging amongst organizations; it’s a non-traditional way of organizing and executing projects leveraging social networking techniques to quickly move information to distributed or virtual teams.

In today’s project management, it is nearly impossible to meet objectives, milestones, etc. without everyone’s participation.  The bottom line is that distributed teams lose significant communication value when they are not given the appropriate tools to collaborate.  It is also a new way of thinking that empowers team accountability vs. the ownership residing on the PM alone.  It also exposes expertise within your organization.  In addition, it is traditional now, to not only have internal teams collaborate but also external teams such as customers and vendors. Social Project Management is most often enabled by the use of Collaborative software and many times that software has been inspired in part through the new social media world we live in today. It is not managing projects using social media tools.  This is a common misconception.  It is a new approach to managing projects.  

What is Social Project software for?

Social Project Management is leveraged for improved communication within one system so teams don’t have to jump around to various tools actually getting more work done. Some businesses might be afraid to use a social approach to project management because they think of Facebook and other social networking tools on the market today that allow users to discuss freely what’s going on in their life at any given time.  The reality is that knowing information about others builds trust and relationships.  Social Project Management is not managing projects with Facebook and its purpose is not to share every detail about our everyday lives; however, it is about empowering users, generating status, establishing experts and allowing others to learn. Relationship transparency can create a very positive working environment.

Overcoming Adoption Challenges:

Like any new approach or tool there are hurdles that must be overcome in order to show the value of Social Project Management. One solution rarely fits the needs of all users, but with social project management it’s about empowering teams and allowing individuals the flexibility to customize the tool(s) to work the way they work while keeping company enterprise standards. Remind stakeholders that usability equal’s success in an enterprise system; the data outputs are only as good as the information going into the tool.

EPM Live offers many online project management tools to support Social Project Management such as comment streams and user customizable dashboards. Create your own Communities with specific homepage content and customized navigation. Communities can be used for departments or groups within your organization to show relevant information. Leverage EPM Live’s ideation or shout out apps to promote communication amongst team members.

To learn more about Social Project Management watch this on-demand webinar recording on Social Project Management – Adapting to the Change.

Improve Resource Management Maturity in 2013 – An EPM Live Analysis

When it comes to resource management, many organizations struggle to understand their resource planning maturity level and try to run before they learn to walk. EPM Live’s flexible resource management capabilities can lead you down the path to success, but like most processes, resource management requires a series of stepping stones; it’s a learning curve. Typically organizations’ resource management skills fall into one of three stages. The beginner stage is the basics, defining high level project roles and staffing them. The intermediate stage consists of assigning the right resources to projects based on capacity and skill set. Lastly, in the advanced level of resource management, organizations are able to move focus from individuals to teams, aiming to improve project velocity and project quality.

According to Gartner Inc. 54% of all organizations still need to learn the basics of resource management. To most organizations resource management is an emerging discipline; they have some defined project-oriented roles and processes, but need to work towards an overall strategic plan. Once the organization is successfully staffing resources to prioritized projects, resource managers can begin to evaluate taking the next steps to further their resource planning skills.

With some foundational steps defined, resource managers are ready to move up to the next level. The intermediate stage of resource management consists of matching the right resources with the right projects. This approach pays greater attention to the individual resources, their capabilities, skills and domain expertise — with the goal of proactively managing balance between the demand and supply.

Taking Resource Management to the Next Level

Here are a few key processes for improving resource management:

  • Analyze your successful experience with basic resource capacity planning. Create a compelling value proposition justifying the move to a more disciplined level of resource management.
  • Know your resources’ capacity and skill sets. Resource capacity planning should move from projects vs. resources to focusing on matching projects with individual skill level.
  • Standardize project management for a clear understanding of demand for project resources. Proactively understand resource supply and demand. Use a forward thinking mentality and know that project plans change often pulling resources to unplanned tasks and work, throwing-off future planning.
  • Leverage a PPM tool for better planning of resource workload to ensure proper placement, expertise and efficiency.
  • Create a meaningful implementation game plan. Most initiatives involving IT neglect to address human concern. For most employees the move to strategic resource management is a major change. Create meaningful documentation about the new resource plan and its benefits.

Take Resource Management from Good to Great with the EPM Live Platform

EPM Live’s PPM and Work Management Platform provides organizations all the tools they need to successfully manage and allocate resources. Leverage resource capacity planning tools to help you estimate role-based resource hours to ensure the resource plan can be fulfilled. Create resource requirements and compare resource availability to identify both resource shortages and surplus. Define resource plans for proposed projects and work and analyze the plans against current resource capacity. Leverage intuitive color-coded heat maps to view over allocations. Easily modify dates and sequencing to define the most optimal portfolio. Use EPM Live’s Resource Analyzer to view resource workload across all work. View resource availability by time-phase; perform what-if analysis on resource workload and availability by leveraging drag and drop functionality, and group resources by attributes such as department, skill and role.

Check out this free webinar recording to learn more about EPM Live’s resource management capabilities, “Lower Costs and Increase ROI with Strategic Resource Planning.”

EPM Live 2013 PPM Challenge and Opportunity Webcast Series – Challenge #4 – Improving PPM Maturity

The final challenge in EPM Live’s PPM webinar series is improving PPM maturity within the organization.  

Challenge:  In the last 3 webcasts of the 2013 PPM Challenge and Opportunity Series we have discussed three of the common challenges that organizations will most likely face in the New Year.  Every new year brings an additional set of challenges but one thing is for certain, there will always be room for improvement.  So as we enter the New Year, EPM Live would like to propose a New Year’s challenge for PPM organizations everywhere, put a plan together to improve your organizational maturity for 2013 so you can get a true picture of what’s possible.

Opportunity:  Join EPM Live as we walk you through the PPM Maturity Model.  The efficiency of an organization’s PMO can be best judged in terms of resource utilization, level of optimization and basic cost control. As an organization moves up the scale in the PPM Maturity Model, it transitions to a more effective PMO and thereby a higher project success ratio.  Topics include:

  • PPM Maturity Model
  • Understanding Maturity
  • Critical Steps to Improving Maturity
  • The Tools Needed to Support Maturity

EPM Live 2013 PPM Challenge and Opportunity Webcast Series – Challenge #3 – Providing Value to All Levels

The next challenge in EPM Live’s PPM webinar series is learning how to provide PPM value to all levels within the organization. 

Challenge:  Enterprise tools and processes can cause resistance across teams because the purpose of them is often not communicated.  In addition, these tools and processes are often defined without considering ALL the users who will be responsible for working within them.  It is also often true that an Enterprise system is defined with executive stakeholders in mind, leaving the users feeling as if they are being forced to use a tool that was not designed to help them with the underlying purpose of the tool….getting the work done.

Opportunity:  Join EPM Live as we define the steps that organizations must take to ensure all stakeholder needs are being met, including the users.  If you want to get more work done, the users must feel a since of ownership for the tool and to do that they must have a system that is designed to meet their needs.  Find out how EPM Live takes an “All Work, All Users, All Processes” approach to PPM.  Topics include:
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  • Enterprise vs. User Needs
  • Work Management – All Work in One Solution
  • PM Maturity Considerations and Tools
  • Project Roles and Tools
  • All Process and Methodology Support

EPM Live 2013 PPM Challenge and Opportunity Webcast Series – Challenge #2 – Project Communication and Reporting

Join EPM Live as we continue to conquer PPM challenges for a better 2013!

The New Year is quickly approaching which means your time for 2013 planning is rapidly coming to an end. To help jump start your portfolio strategies, EPM Live will be reviewing our most popular webinar series, “2013 PPM Challenge and Opportunity Webcast.”

Join us for this on-demand webinar presentation as we conquer PPM Challenge #2 – Project Communications and Reporting.

Challenge:  Meeting stakeholder expectations is a challenge for most organizations.  How do you keep stakeholders in the know with the current status of work and how do you prevent team members from making assumptions and more often than not, causing rework, due to a lack of project awareness?  Keeping teams informed provides a healthy environment and reduces risks.

Opportunity:  Join EPM Live as we walk you through the fundamentals of project communication and reporting.  Quickly and easily build collective intelligence by streamlining collaboration and information sharing among stakeholders and teams.  Increase productivity, minimize rework and provide a healthy informed environment for everyone involved. 

Topics include:

  • Project Communication Tools
  • Performance Reporting (Cost and Schedule)
  • Issue and Risk Reporting
  • Change Management
  • Resource Reporting

EPM Live 2013 PPM Challenge and Opportunity Webcast Series – Challenge #1 – Prioritizing Demand

The New Year is quickly approaching which means your time for 2013 planning is rapidly coming to an end. To help jump start your portfolio strategies, EPM Live will be reviewing our most popular webinar series, “2013 PPM Challenge and Opportunity Webcast.”

Join us for this on-demand webinar presentation as we conquer PPM Challenge #1 – Prioritizing Demand.

Challenge:  Have you ever been asked to accomplish more than your technology and resources could handle?  Prioritizing demand is not an easy task when there are many factors to consider:  strategic objectives, benefits, risk factors and so on.

Opportunity:  Join EPM Live as we walk you through the critical steps that must be taken to prioritize your 2013 portfolio while taking into consideration the environmental factors that play a role in affecting the outcome.  Find out how you can plan the most profitable portfolio for your organization while meeting all of your strategic goals.  A profitable portfolio leads to a profitable business. 

Topics Include:

  • Project and Work Requests
  • Project and Work Definition
  • Portfolio Capacity Planning
  • Portfolio What-if Modeling
  • Portfolio Selection

EPM Live Releases Integrated IT Portfolio Management App – ITEngine

Businesses are discovering pain points around using systems that are not consolidated data-sharing platforms. IT managers are now looking to systems that unify the disparate financial, project, asset and operational views stakeholders need to communicate across IT silos. EPM Live has focused on this area for some time and is the first to respond. 

We recently launched our Integrated IT Management application for the EPM Live Platform.

ITEngine is a complete solution that allows organizations to manage all IT Initiative, Projects and IT Services (such as application support) in a single, centralized system.

With ITEngine, users are able to funnel all work through a common governance and control structure. Streamline your IT service with best practices for problem management, change management and resolution management. Get a clear vision into all enterprise applications to better assess, prioritize and govern for reduced risk. Centrally manage all your projects and work across the enterprise. Gain improved visibility for better decision-making, lower risk and higher ROI. With ITEngine, better utilize your best resources and better control your schedules with multiple scheduling tools and methods to optimize successful delivery of project, products and work.


EPM Live has received many accolades for their advanced efforts in Integrated IT Portfolio Management, EPM Live was most recently named a Value Leader and Visionary for Next Generation IT Management by EMA Analyst Firm and Gartner Inc. placed EPM Live in their 2012 Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based Project and Portfolio Management while also releasing a newsletter in conjunction with EPM Live about Integrated Portfolio Analysis.




Learn more about ITEngine, join us for this upcoming webinar on “Integrated IT Portfolio Management Using EPM Live’s ITEngine App.”

EPM Live Launches eLearning for SharePoint Project Management

Over time, we’ve had many requests from our customers for re-occurring online training sessions.  We listened to you all, and I’m excited to announce the launch of our new eLearning courses for SharePoint Project Management using WorkEngine. Our eLearning courses are 90-minute informational webinars designed to help you quickly learn specific areas of WorkEngine through product demonstration and Q&A.  The course topics will be expanding over the next few months, so stay tuned!

We are currently offering eLearning courses for the following two roles:

Project Managers – those individuals who will be creating and managing projects with the WorkEngine 2010 Standard Edition solution.

Site Collection Administrators – those individuals who will be given Site Collection Administration rights and will be responsible for configuring and maintaining the WorkEngine 2010 Standard Edition solution.

To get more information or to register for any eLearning course click the appropriate link below! And remember, all eLearning courses are FREE through August 8th, however space is limited to only 25 attendees per course.   So, register today – don’t miss out!

WorkEngine eLearning Courses for Project Managers:

WorkEngine eLearning Courses for Site Collection Administrators:

Resource Management in SharePoint

Employees are the most valuable asset and the biggest expense for most organizations. The ability to deploy employees effectively against often conflicting projects and other work priorities enables organizations to optimize their return on human resource investments. In order to maximize both task throughput and company morale, resource and project managers need an efficient system to place the appropriate staff on the right teams at the right time.

SharePoint can help organizations accomplish every stage in the resource management life cycle so that maximum allocation can be reached without introducing risks. The five stages of the resource management life cycle are:

• Resource Capacity
• Resource Allocation
• Resource Work Management
• Resource Collaboration and
• Resource Task Management

Capacity Planning helps to ensure that resource capacity meets current and future business requirements in a cost-effective manner.  In the Capacity planning stage you will need to identify all the roles needed for the given project or work effort at hand.  For example, which organizations or departments will be involved in your project?  This will help you establish the structure for your project and potentially how your tasks will be organized and even identify security constraints.  What disciplines and skill sets are required to complete your project?  Without the proper skill sets and expertise, particular tasks may require more training, longer term times, possibly even result in rework.   Effective resource management relies on the fact that these factors have all been considered prior to selecting your resources. Once you have determined your generic roles, you will need to determine the quantity of each role needed as well as the timeframe.  As this information is obtained, you will then be ready to analyze your plan, make adjustments and prepare for actual named assignments.  Let’s take a look at how you can accomplish Resource capacity in SharePoint.

1)  Build a resource plan directly in SharePoint:

2)  Use a resource modeler to perform what-if analysis, finalize portfolio selection and apply the right sequencing.

3)  Leverage resource capacity reports built directly in SharePoint to analyze your current resource needs and all potential risks associated.

To see how you can leverage SharePoint to manage the remaining four stages of resource management, download our “Resource Management in SharePoint” on-demand webinar by clicking on the link below.

View Resource Management in SharePoint- On-Demand Webinar

Effective Work Management with Microsoft Project 2010 Professional and SharePoint 2010

EPM Live’s EPM WorkEngine offers expanded Microsoft Project Professional and SharePoint capabilities that give organizations the ability to manage both projects and all other work with one solution.  By providing the proper toolsets to track and manage all work and associated costs, EPM WorkEngine is empowering businesses of all sizes and types to extend their current project management practice into a full work management discipline.

Join us in this half hour presentation to see how you can leverage your current Microsoft Technologies to achieve effective work management across your organization for maximum productivity and increased ROI.

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