The LiquidPlanner Blog

Project management tips, tricks, and talk.

8 Benefits of Having Your Project Management Tool in the Cloud

Cloud-based services are no longer a new concept. An increasing number of organizations are storing their applications and data in a cloud-based system and it’s fast becoming business as usual. In case you have any reservations about cloud computing, here are 8 benefits of having your project management software in the cloud.

Easy access. Teams can be scattered all over the globe and still access an updated version of the project plan from whatever time zone they live in, and collaborate with their team on the most updated version of the plan.

7 Work-Life Balance Tips for Project Managers

work life balance

Work-life balance is a full-time job. But if you do it well, it can make the difference between just getting by and thriving—at work, at home, everywhere. To master the work-life balance formula, you have to project manage your private life as efficiently and with as much planning and diligence as you do your work life.

So how do you excel as a project manager of a busy, growing company—and maintain a well-balanced life? Here are seven work-life balance tips to even the scales:

1. Pace yourself. There’s nothing sustainable about working 65-plus hour weeks year in, year out.

5 Steps to Build Confidence in Your Team Members

confidence

In a previous post, 5 Tips to Build Confidence in Yourself As a Project Manager, we looked at how to build confidence in ourselves. In this post we change the focus and look at how to build confidence in others.

As project management professionals, one of our most important roles is to bring out the best in our team. This includes not just building a great team, but encouraging collaboration and empowering people around us. We achieve this success by helping individuals improve their confidence and make them see that their contributions and talents matter.

On My Way to RailsConf 2014 to Talk About Unreasonable Estimates and Improbable Goals

railsconf

RailsConf 2014 is right around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited.  I’m packing my bags for Chicago to see and hear from some of the Rails community’s finest.  Well, that and to sample as much deep dish pizza as possible.

RailsConf (April 22 – 25) happens to be the largest gathering of Ruby on Rails developers in the world, so it’s a great opportunity to meet with folks from all over the globe.

This is my second year presenting. I’ll be talking about the part of a software developer’s job that you might have wished you learned in school and is not about writing code.

6 Tips for Managing People

manage people

It seems to be the natural career trajectory these days: Excel at your job and you’ll find yourself managing people (whether you like it or not). Being a manager can be an extremely rewarding and demanding job, and like anything else takes practice, an open mind and a willingness to watch, listen and learn. Here are six basic tips to effectively manage people, and enjoy the process, too.

Know your business well. And if you’re new to the team, company or industry, sit back, observe and learn before jumping in and making your mark.

LiquidPlanner Included Among “Vendors of Interest” in Forrester Report

Forrester logo

LiquidPlanner was recently mentioned in a March 2014 Forrester Research report that finds a growing need for portfolio management among companies that want to stand out from the competition, be clear about their strategy and able to execute. “PPM tools have been a potential solution to these needs for some time,” says the report, “but successful adoption was limited to project-based companies or those with very mature operational processes. The situation is starting to change.

9 Steps to Plan and Manage a Schedule with Confidence

confidence in your project plan

Are you confident in your project plan?

Does your plan realistically forecast future dates or are you using “pick-a-date” task management?

Is the plan up to date? Are you even following a plan?

Project managers answer these questions with varying degrees of certainty. Some project schedules are built once and then left untouched on the file server. Others are meticulously maintained in an effort to keep up with actual project progress.

7 Steps to Improve Collaboration on Your Team

team collaboration

Effective collaboration achieves what no single team member can on her own. As business magnate Richard Branson said, “A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”  The best collaborations do this—optimize each person’s skills by utilizing suggestions from around the table, inspiring cooperation and creative buy-in from all involved.

Here are seven effective ways to create stronger team collaboration.

Aggregate and adapt:  Any good project manager will bring ideas and plans to the table.

11 Ways to Build on the Strengths of Your Team Members

Team strengths

In a past blog, “7 Ways to Get Your Team Members More Engaged,” one key suggestion was to focus on and develop employees’ strengths. I was asked a follow-up question on how to do this. Here, I’ll talk about how project managers and team leaders can build on their team members’ strengths.

Project Managers are the ones best positioned to recognize the strengths of a team. And managers can empower employees to discover and develop their strengths and then position them in roles where they can excel. To start, let’s look at why it matters.

Q&A With Steven Jackson—LiquidPlanner’s New Product Advisor

Steven Jackson

We feel pretty darn lucky about our new Product Advisor, Steven Jackson who touts an impressive career. Steven has spent years working in Enterprise IT for cloud-based products and he’s managed projects across several countries for clients in Europe. Now, he helps LiquidPlanner customers see the value of adapting our methodology. Read on to learn more about Steven—and to get some insight into his own impressively organized way of working.

LP: Briefly describe an average work day for you at LiquidPlanner.