Save Time by Managing Your Email [Infographic]

How much time do you think you spend on email each day? What if I told you, for every 5 extra, unnecessary minutes (yes, they are unnecessary!) each day you spend on email – you have just lost 1 full year of your work life. Here’s how we reached this number:     In Collaborative Project Management: A Handbook, BrightWork CEO and book author, Éamonn McGuinness outlines a six-step process to help you become more efficient in processing your email, and as a result become way more productive with your time. Below is a summary of the process. For more details, download a free copy of the handbook! P.S  If you use Outlook, you’ll like this blog post, Four Tips to Save Time When Using Outlook.     Related Articles Four Tips to Save Time When Using Outlook Personal Energy Audit: 5 Emotional Factors Four Ways To Save Time On Your Projects With BrightWork and SharePoint Image credit    Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2016 and has updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Save Time by Managing Your Energy [Infographic]

Personal leadership is central to project management success, and one area of personal leadership worth investing in is time management. There are lots of ways to improve your time management skills, but at BrightWork, we like to start with energy levels. Consider the following for a moment: what if you have unlimited time, but very low energy? You’re not going to get much done, leading to schedule overruns, increased cost, unhappy stakeholders, and low team morale. Time is a finite resource. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. However, you can ‘top up’ your personal energy levels throughout the day and get more done! In Collaborative Project Management: A Handbook, BrightWork CEO and author, Éamonn McGuinness outlines a two-part personal energy audit to help you identify any factors that drain or boost your energy. Check out the below infographic for a quick overview of these factors.  In the coming weeks, we’ll explore the energy audit in more detail so make sure you check back for updates or subscribe to our blog!     Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.  

Your Checklist for Effective Communication [Infographic]

To build on my post from last week –  Seven Communication Secrets of Great Leaders  – we know communication is the language of leadership! With that, some key objectives of a leader who aspires to be a great communicator are to; successfully convey the goals and desired results, gain support for goals, and build rapport with the stakeholders and those whom they are responsible for leading in the process. And you can check out the seven secrets here! This week, I bring you a checklist for effective communication, lead by 7 C’s. The 7 C’s of effective communication provides a useful structured checklist, resulting in both written and verbal communication processes performed in a clear, concrete, target group-oriented and well-structured manner. At work and at home, we can almost spend our entire day communicating. So, how can we provide a huge boost to our productivity? We can make sure that we communicate in the clearest, most effective way possible. Use this infographic checklist below to pave your way to effective communication:     What are your next steps? Is it to create a project communication plan? Check out a recent post from my colleague Grace, How to Create a Project Communication Plan Is there…

Seven Communication Secrets of Great Leaders

The art of communication is the language of leadership – James Humes Good leaders, effective leaders, understand and realize they need to be great communicators. In addition, they understand that the art of two-way communication is imperative in order to be effective. Not only does an efficient leader need to be good at speaking, they also have to be good at listening to feedback, ideas, opinions, and constructive criticism, responding accordingly to meet the desired outcome. A description from John Baldoni‘s publication Great Communication Secrets of Great Leaders which resonates highly with me states; “leaders who become better communicators automatically enhance their value as a leader”. As we all know, the communication approach and method from any leader within an organization has a huge impact on the fellow people or employees, as it shapes the way in which we think, talk about and perform. “Leaders need to do more than just stand up and speak. They need to integrate communications into everything they do as leaders so that their communications, both oral and written, emerge from who they are as leaders and within the appropriate cultural context. Leaders who fail in communications will fail to achieve their organizational aims” –…

Top 5 Effective Communication Skills for Project Managers [Infographic]

The word communication has been evolved from the Latin word “communis” which means common, general or public and “communicare” meaning “make something common”. When we communicate, we are trying to establish “commonness” with an individual or a group. We have a requirement to collaborate and share information, an idea or thoughts among the team involved in a project. Communication is an essential process in our day-to-day life, and the entire world revolves around it – and now, effective communication skills are an essential element in the skill set of a project manager. According to the PMI (Project Management Institute), it’s been estimated that project managers spend 90% of their time on communication related activities! The success of a project largely depends on how effective the communication process is. This process beings during the first stage of your project (project initiation) and continues right though each stage into the final stage as you close out your project Communication is not like time, it is not a finite resource – however, we need to use this resource effectively and efficiently. You can never assume that the receiver of information will interpret the message the same way as the sender intended it. Because of…

5 Quotes to Improve Data-Driven Decision Making

Most of our decisions are made on gut instinct in a matter of seconds and usually less than a minute. This is the most common way to make a decision. It’s often said the best ideas are the ones that come from your gut, but when you start making more tactical decisions within your business, then data always helps. Data is more than just facts and figures. Data is everywhere. There’s more data available now than ever before, and we are continuously striving to stay head of the curve in an increasingly data-driven decision making world. Data can align your team members, improve collaboration and ultimately enhance your organization’s bottom line. With this, the increasing opportunity to collect, interpret and leverage digital information, has led many managers and leaders adapting to how they make decisions – relying less on intuition and more on data. Data vs. Opinions When it comes to making decisions, your colleagues and team members have their own distinct strategies. The more experience we gain, and the more time we spend at a job, the more opinionated we become. How many of you can relate to the quote from James Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape, who famously said “If we have data, let’s look at data. If…

Decision Making: 3 Approaches to Help You Make “The Right” One!

Decision making is hard. I put my hands straight up and admit, I am one of those people who always want to make “the right” decision. How do you make the right decision? “Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.” – Mark Twain But how many people want to admit this – who wants to make a bad decision? The quote above is one I have to remind myself about, every time I have a big decision to make! Decision making is a task which faces us everyday, through personal decisions and professional decisions. For this part of my post, I will be referencing one of the newly added chapters to the Collaborative Project Management Handbook, Second Edition – Make Good Decisions. Making good decisions is a key part of project management and furthermore, making transparent decisions with your team is a critical part of collaborative project management. Project teams are staffed with intelligent team members from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines who expect to be involved in the decision making of a project. With this, decision points occur at all five stages of collaborative project management. As a project manager, you need to merge…

Millennials: The Heart of Collaborative Project Management

What is collaborative project management? Can you not just identify the need, and then do it? Do we even need project management? Let’s break it down. If you’re in an organization and you want to do something new, strategic, exciting, challenging, difficult – it’s a project. A project is an opportunity to transform. It’s a mechanism to bring you from a starting place to a new interesting place and it’s an action you take to realize your potential and meet your goals. Sounds exciting and invigorating, right? Especially this time of year as we are preparing for, if not already breaking into, a successful 2017. If you want to innovate, succeed and grow – you should explore collaborative project management! Project management is moving away from traditional managerial hierarchies and processes into a collaborative approach which emphasizes teamwork and cooperation. Why? Well, this is mainly due to the shift in personnel due to the growing numbers of millennials joining the workforce. People like myself who have graduated from college over the past 5 to 10+ years, who are looking to innovate, succeed, and grow. We want to make an impact, expect to work for a purpose, and we are willing and…

Top Three: Our Most Popular Project Management Webinars of 2016

Every year I say it, “we’ve had the best year yet with webinars here at BrightWork”…and my tradition continues! A fabulous year of top-class content, presenters  and awesome attendees. We covered everything from making project management easy, project visibility and portfolio reporting to and using SharePoint to select and approve the right projects, to cultivating collaboration within distributed project teams…and much more! Prepare for project management success in 2017 and check out our recorded webinars below. Enjoy!   SharePoint + MS Project = The Perfect Combination for Project Collaboration Using SharePoint and Project together, make an invincible platform for collaborative project management! See how you can use SharePoint and Project together to: Start with managing a simple project schedule with tasks, issues and deliverables Evolve to manage a more complex work breakdown structure, with timelines and automated reports Manage across project and portfolios with metrics, dashboards and status reporting   3 Must-Have Skills of a Project Leader Many people believe that managing and leading projects is an innate skill. Not true!   Watch this recorded webinar to learn more about three essential skills that a project manager must have and practice: Time Management Energy Management Email Management Portfolio Management & Resource Tracking Using…

Happy Holidays From Our Family to Yours!

With the holiday season in full swing and as we prepare for the weekend festivities, we spent some time here at BrightWork reflecting upon and celebrating our many blessings and successes! We are grateful for you, our readers, for your constant support and attention. For our customers, who have given us their confidence and the opportunity to serve their needs over the past 21 years. And of course we celebrated together, as employees after another amazing year, laying the groundwork for a very positive start to 2017 – which we are looking forward to already! It has been an unforgettable year. We introduced a new release of BrightWork for SharePoint 2013 and 2016, launched our first book – The Collaborative Project Management Handbook, with proceeds going to Concern Worldwide and we even redesigned our website – with a surprise coming to it early next year. As we are closing the year, extreme excitement shines through us all – wait until you see what we have planned for 2017! From us all here at BrightWork, we wish you a happy holiday season accompanied with a healthy and happy new year!

Bring Your Projects Back from the Dead!

Are the ghosts and dark shadows of poor project management haunting you? Unfortunately, this can happen throughout the year and not just at Halloween! Not only can you be haunted by the 5 enemies of project management (check out the infographic here!) but you can also be followed by the dark shadows of: Project selection problems Lack of visibility and control Sub-optimal use of resources Poor project set-up Lack of relevant training Inconsistency Resistance to change Time management   ….and so on! Pretty scary, right?! Well it doesn’t have to be! Bring your projects back from the dead with BrightWork! It’s time to make your projects spook-tacular with a range of best-practice templates and advanced cross-project reporting! Use the BrightWork 30-day free trial to: Increase visibility and control across portfolios Deliver more successful projects Improve your project management practices Benefit form efficient work tracking and collaboration.   By using BrightWork, it’s guaranteed your project management experience will be a Thriller (of course we all love this Michael Jackson tune this time of year!)   Happy Halloween Folks 🙂

IPM Day 2016: Leading with Agility and Embracing Change

Projects drive change, and project managers are the agents of change The countdown is on once again to one of the biggest project management virtual events this year. We are delighted to announce that BrightWork will be exhibiting as a Gold sponsor at this year’s International Project Management Day! IPM Day is an online virtual conference that you can attend via your desktop, laptop, and/or mobile device, live on November 3, 2016. IPM Day 2016 provides up to 30 PDUs and includes 90 days of on-demand access , 25 Videos and 6 Keynote sessions, and valuable takeaways!  The event promises to be as spectacular as always and will provide you with the opportunity to gain the latest insights from thought leaders in project management, leadership and business strategy. In addition, some of the the very best speakers, will provide insight, commentary, and guidance on making you the best change agent you can be…and you can attend for just $45! Why attend? Exceptional content and speakers Networking and engagement Bonus access to two on-demand courses Valuable professional development On-demand conference access Great takeaways   Plus, all registrants receive a complimentary white paper on Benefits Realization by Harold Kerzner, Ph.D. You can register to attend here! As always, we will have our…

Project Visibility and Portfolio Reporting in SharePoint [Infographic]

Staying on top of projects across an organization can be tricky! The lack of visibility into projects is one of the most common complaints we hear from our customers and the wider community. The complaint is often:  senior management needs more accurate reporting into project and portfolio information. However, senior executives are not the only ones who suffer from poor project visibility – everyone does! Poor project visibility results in team members unsure of what their tasks are and no reporting on the status of those tasks for project managers – not to mention how you are supposed to communicate all that to stakeholders! Project visibility is one of the keys to unlock successful project management. Project portfolio reporting is another. BrightWork provides a range of powerful reporting templates, which include a range of configurable dashboards that enable project managers to keep projects on track and gives senior executives the visibility and control they need to deliver project success across the organization. Check out this infographic below for a snapshot of a sample of templates:   In addition, just this week we had a hugely successful live webinar on Project Visibility and Portfolio Reporting in SharePoint – and you can check out the recording here! This…

A Real Approach to Project Management [Infographic]

As we all know, in order to successfully manage a project, you need an approach. A process, mechanism, a ways and means of doing something – whatever you like to call it. For this post and my infographic below, I am going to go with approach! A very real yet simple approach to collaborative project management is based on the ideal approach shown below:   But as we know, we do not live in an ideal world! It is said no plan ever survives the first encounter with the enemy, the same stands for project management – and we should probably identify the enemies! I have done just that in a previous post, with an infographic, and you can check it out here: 5 Enemies of Project Management    Because of these enemies, the resulting real approach to collaborative project management is then comprised of the following 5 stages:   At a high-level overview, there you have it: A Real Approach to Project Management! If you would like to read and learn more about each step and sub-step in the process, you can download the free Collaborative Project Management Handbook today!

[Infographic] 5 Enemies of Project Management

In an ideal world we would be able to manage projects using the following simple process with four stages: But as we know, we do not live in an ideal world! There is a wonderful quote from a Prussian Army Chief of Staff that can be paraphrased as follows: “No plan ever survives the first encounter with the enemy”. (Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke (1800 – 1891), Chief of Staff of the Prussian Army and Master Strategist.) When we say that no plan ever survives the first encounter with the enemy, we should probably identify the enemies! There are at least five enemies of project management and I’m sure you could add another few yourself. These so-called enemies are the normal stuff of project management. This is what a project manager is trained to expect to have to contend and deal with. Because these enemies are very real, an ideal approach to project management is not possible.   And here are our 5 enemies of project management: To learn the steps and skills needed for collaborative project management success, check out our newest resource Collaborative Project Management: A Handbook – with hundreds of downloads in less than 15 days, it sure is a popular one! This…

Infographic: A Simple Resource Management Process

Wow has this been a popular topic among you guys! Seeing as we are dedicated to providing the project management community with helpful and educational content that will allow you to achieve project management success – last week, we launched The Project Manager’s Pocket Guide to Resource Management – and it was (and still is) a huge success! As you well know, project management and processes go hand-in-hand, so it makes sense to adopt a set of steps when it comes to resource management. Check out our latest infographic below, outlining the 4 steps involved in a simple resource management process:   Resource management is difficult but vital to your project. And it can be done. Download our free pocket guide to learn more about: The basics of Resource Management A Simple Resource Management Process Best Practice Tips to Ensure Success.

Six Secrets to Using Earned Value Management [Infographic]

After a recent question I came across in a LinkedIn group about using earned value management in your projects, I provided some advice and a link to an EVM webinar recording, which in turn became very popular! Then it got me thinking; this is a topic where everyday project managers can struggle to understand and successfully implement. And what better way to portray some of the key elements in EVM, than an infographic! Here is a simple definition of earned value: earned value is a way to measure project performance and progress. You take your plan and assign a value for each item or deliverables. Typically, this value is expressed as a monetary value, but hours can be substituted as the measure as well. As mentioned below, there are 3 elements to earned value (or as it is sometimes called Performance Management): You need a Project Plan – How you expect to accomplish the project over time You need to set a value for the deliverable and work that will be performed. You need to have a standard way to measure how you earn value for completed work.   And here are the six secrets:    Click here and watch an on-demand…

10 Characteristics of a Top Project Manager #2

It is often said that the “best” project managers are those who consistently deliver, on time and within budget, projects that meet or exceed stakeholders’ expectations. Right? Ok, I can’t argue with you there, but…there are so many more characteristics a project manager needs to possess in order to be “the best” – in my opinion! I have listed ten characteristics of a top project manager which I think are most important, to get you on the road for successful project management! Also, as it is a Friday, I decided to make this blog a bit more fun and present these ten characteristics to you in an infographic! Check them out here: AS I  mentioned in at the bottom of the image – we have lots of top project management tips, which are yours for free (no registration required!). We cover everything from knowing the basics before you begin your project, to implementation plans and PMO communications plans, many of the bases are covered that will have you well on your way to project management success. You can access them here: Project Management Tips  Is there anything I have left out in the infographic above? Or which you think should definitely…

New Year – New You – New Projects!

Week 1 of 2016 and how are the resolutions going? Has the novelty worn off and you are now starting to struggle a little? Not to worry, we are here to help! However, if you are a percentage of the population brushing off the fitness regime, or who have stocked the fridge with all the green vegetables you can find, and are now searching for inspiration – we can’t help you there, BUT we can certainly help when it comes to your resolutions regarding your project management, SharePoint projects and every day work management! So here are our top 3 tips to get you on the road to sticking to, and exceeding your 2016 resolutions! 1.Manage Your Time, Energy and Email!  When it comes to successful project management or project team member , you need to manage your time efficiently. And your energy levels will directly affect how and where you spend your time! Here is a free time management video series which walks through a 5 steps approach to managing your time, including a suggested personal time management audit, a process for setting personal and professional goals, a “plan week” approach to managing your schedule and three tips for managing distractions. It will give you…

How to Get Your Users to Love & Adopt SharePoint [Infographic]

SharePoint – some may describe it as a love/hate relationship! Yes, we know SharePoint is an awesome platform to share information and collaborate, but can we use it for more than just an internal file share? Of course! The big question is –  how do you get users to love and adopt this tool to its full capacity? Check out our infographic below and see how using these 5 tips can increase SharePoint user adoption. Increase User Adoption with these 5 tips: Start-Evolve! Create meaningful navigation Explain the power of document libraries Make it personal for each user Training for the role – not the platform.   Would you like to hear and see each point explained? Check out our on-demand webinar here and get on the road to increasing SharePoint user adoption!  

A Project or Thanksgiving? Project Turkey – 6 Steps to Success!

The countdown is ON! We are less than one week until we celebrate Thanksgiving 2015. Has the planning started, or are you THAT good at project management that “Project Turkey” has been initiated, planned, tracked and closed already? I am going to assume you are that good, but the project has not been started yet. But not to fear, we are not behind schedule…yet! This is your time of year…time to show the family how a true project manager takes over the kitchen – it is your time to shine! Guarantee Thanksgiving success, with these six simple steps in the infographic below and let Project Turkey begin! I hope the Thanksgiving building up is enjoyable and you have a wonderful and well-deserved break! If you would like to brush up on even more project management tips, check out all of our free resources here! Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

Project Failure in Six Simple Steps!

Project management – a vital business activity, but many organizations find it a challenge to preform successfully. Agree? If so, keep reading! If your project management efforts are always 100% successful, please let me know your secret!! 🙂 From speaking to our community, I understand that many projects are managed using email and Excel, with no best practice guidance, tools or templates and because of this, troubled projects are caught too late and project failure is inevitable! So what do you have to do to ensure project failure? Here is one of our latest infographics with some of our top tips to guarantee your failure – inspired by BrightWork CEO, Eamonn McGuinness! So you know exactly what to do – or what not to do? I will leave that decision up to you 🙂 Is your organization guilty of any of these failures? By being aware of some of these common issue areas, project managers can gain some insight into why their projects are not working as well as they should and readjust their efforts accordingly. Alternatively, if you would like even more advice on successful project management, check out our Top 10 Project Management Tips here!

10 Characteristics of a Top Project Manager

It is often said that the “best” project managers are those who consistently deliver, on time and within budget, projects that meet or exceed stakeholders’ expectations. Right? Ok, I can’t argue with you there, but…there are so many more characteristics a project manager needs to possess in order to be “the best” – in my opinion! I have listed ten characteristics of a top project manager which I think are most important, to get you on the road for successful project management! Also, as it is a Friday, I decided to make this blog a bit more fun and present these ten characteristics to you in an infographic! Check them out here: AS I  mentioned in at the bottom of the image – we have lots of top project management tips, which are yours for free (no registration required!). We cover everything from knowing the basics before you begin your project, to implementation plans and PMO communications plans, many of the bases are covered that will have you well on your way to project management success. You can access them here: Project Management Tips  Is there anything I have left out in the infographic above? Or which you think should definitely…

Project Lifecycle Management & Out-of-the-Box SharePoint 2013

Live Webinars in August! Our August webinar schedule includes Project Lifecycle Management Using SharePoint and How to Manage Projects Using Out-of-the-Box SharePoint 2013. Check out the details below and register to join us. We would love to see you there! Imagine being able to control the full lifecycle of your projects in SharePoint? YES, we’re talking from project idea right through to project completion – all in SharePoint. Join us live and see how you too can use SharePoint to: Manage your pipeline of project requests Organize in-flight projects Efficiently control projects of all sizes from initiation to close Register: [US] Tuesday, Aug 4th at 9.30am PT/12.30pm ET  Register: [Int’l] Thursday, Aug 6th at 10am GMT/11am CET Out-of-the-box SharePoint 2013 provides awesome capabilities to support project management initiatives in your organization. Learn how to leverage these capabilities to enable a collaborative environment where project teams can: Consistently initiate, plan, track and control all projects. Get real-time status reports and make decisions faster. Communicate efficiently and stay connected to their work & each other! Bonus: This session will also show how SharePoint 2013 can be further extended for more advanced project and portfolio management. Register: Tuesday, August 18th at 9.30am PT / 12.30pm ET / 5.30pm GMT  

Teamwork at Tough Mudder!

Here we go again! You may remember my previous post about Tough Mudder and Project Management, when I took on the course for my first time, last October. I still remember the buzz while writing the post, as I was sharing with you all, my wonderful and exciting experience. As described on their website, “Tough Mudder is a team-oriented 10-12 mile (18-20 km) obstacle course designed to test physical strength and mental grit.” – and it proved to be nothing less! Last Saturday, I faced the Tough Mudder challenge for another go…except this time, without the months of training, preparation, project planning, and team goals! This time, I signed up just four days (yes, FOUR!) before the event! So why did I do it again (without all the preparation) you may ask? Some may answer saying I am crazy and you are probably right, but I do love a challenge 🙂 A challenge, and a team which would support me all the way to boot!  Knowing you have one of the best and most supportive teams, whether is it a project team, a sports team or a team for Tough Mudder, you are already half way through your battle, or perhaps your project! I was…

Using SharePoint and Microsoft Project for Collaborative Project Management

Tomorrow, July 15th, Microsoft Project User Group (MPUG), along with our very own Jonathan Wesiglass (a customer success architect here at BrightWork) are hosting a live webinar on using Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Project for collaborative project management. Combining the collaboration capabilities of SharePoint 2013 with the rich project planning features of Microsoft Project, gives project teams an ideal platform for collaborative project management. During this live session, the presenters will demonstrate how SharePoint and Project work together to: Manage a simple project schedule with tasks, issues and documents  Deliver a more complex work breakdown structure, with timelines and reports Would you like to attend? You can register here to join us tomorrow! 

Top Templates for Project Portfolio Management on SharePoint 2013

Would you like to track and control all of your project portfolios on SharePoint? And attain the cross-project visibility you need to make real-time decisions? Let me guess – YES! Project portfolio templates help project managers to deliver successful projects with collaborative and intuitive project management templates and automated reporting. With that, they also provide senior executives with high-level visibility across all projects in the organization, giving a clear view into the allocation of resources, and enables a consistent methodology to ensure approved projects are aligned with strategic objectives. In a recent webinar, my colleague Jonathan gave a brief overview of our top 4 SharePoint templates for project portfolio management, including the: Projects Tracker Projects and Work Tracker Project Office / Project Office Portfolio Project Request Manager Check out a short clip of Jonathan’s presentation here: If you would like to continue watching, you can check out the full webinar recording and access the slide deck here!     If you are evaluating software for your portfolio needs, check out our Project and Portfolio Management Software Evaluation Guide!

[Video] Evolve to Manage a More Complex Work Breakdown Structure Using SharePoint and Microsoft Project

One of the biggest parts of project management is the project process, i.e. project goals, tasks, risks, issues, etc. This could be a lot of process, it could be a little bit of process … but whatever the amount, the processes are the basis for your project management approach. The beauty of SharePoint is the ability to connect your project processes directly into your project site. SharePoint 2013 makes it even easier for you to manage project processes, especially project tasks using the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)! One you have started and have the first process mastered, it’s time to evolve to manage a more complex WBS, where you can use both Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Project. The evolved project management site can be configured to support a standardized formal project process with a well defined phases and content to support all the processes associated with them. Why would we use Microsoft Project? Microsoft Project gives you an easy tool to manage the planning and replanning cycles that are an important part of your project management process.  With MS Project, you can quickly visualize what has been accomplished on the project and what the impact is to future tasks. And with the SharePoint Sync, you can easily…

[Video Blog] Evolve Your Project Management in 2015 – Best Practices!

Project Management is a vital business process, but many organizations struggle to do it successfully. Sound familiar? Would you like a simple method to make real time project decisions, to consistently deliver successful projects, and be guided by a proven best practice approach? In this short video, learn the best practices on how you can get started quickly with just the right amount of project management and gradually evolve it to where you need it to be! In the words of BrightWork CEO Éamonn McGuinness…“Crawl – Walk – Run,” to get started with project management on SharePoint quickly and successfully, and then evolve as your project teams are ready or your projects dictate. You can also watch our recorded webinar: Crawl, Walk, Run: Evolve Your Project Management in 2015 here and see a more detailed explanation and live demonstration of each of these best practices!

Happy Christmas from BrightWork!

Wishing you – our community, and all of our customers a peaceful and Happy Christmas. We cannot thank you enough for all of your support, collaboration and communication this past year and we are looking forward to working with you all again in 2015! We couldn’t gather everyone, but here are some members of the BrightWork product management and marketing team – sending their Christmas wishes! Signing off until next year, Ciara! 🙂

A Project Manager’s Guide to Surviving Thanksgiving in 7 Simple Steps

Are you already feeling the heat thinking about your Thanksgiving turkey? Time to show the family how a true project manager takes over the kitchen – it is your time to shine!   But wait…will the turkey be big enough? What if the dinner is ready, but of course some of the guests are extra late? Or even worse, they show up extra early? And the hot topic lately…the family member who will request if each item is gluten-free, dairy-free, taste-free! Okay, this IS a project and in order to successfully manage a project, you need an approach. So here it is, a project manager’s guide to surviving Thanksgiving in seven simple steps!   1. Define Your Scope How many family members have you initially invited and how many have RSVP’d (as we know to allow for a few extra – someone always forgets to RSVP!)? Is it going to be a full sit down meal or a buffet? How many turkey lovers to you have, who will most definitely look for seconds?   2. Initiate the Project The first task is to ensure that you have approval to proceed with the project. You might say that it is easier…

Top Reasons SharePoint is Awesome for Project Management!

Ask anyone here and we will all agree that SharePoint is awesome for project management! But why?  As much as I would love to reveal each of the many reasons you should use the SharePoint platform for project management – I don’t want to spoil the video below, where my colleague Jonathan Weisglass will explain to you the top reasons SharePoint is awesome for Project Management! The fact that SharePoint can be configured out of the box  to support project management initiatives in your organization,  can be easily customized to match your organization’s processes and enables communication and collaboration amongst project teams are just some of the reasons that spring to mind – and I haven’t even mentioned how SharePoint can be extended with other Project Management tools (such as our Free Templates)! Top Reasons Why SharePoint is Awesome for Project Management   Image source 

[Live Webinar] Earned Value Management in SharePoint Projects – A Preview!

We have to admit, there are times when we can never know precisely how far along we are in a project!  Fortunately, with Earned Value Management (EVM), we can get a close estimate! On Tuesday August 26th, we are running a live webinar with Scott Footlik, a customer success manager here at BrightWork, and Scott will show you how to use Earned Value Management to determine a project’s status in SharePoint – the fast and easy way! Attendees will learn how to use a project site template to: Define a Task Plan Set Planned Value Track Project Progress Calculate Earned Value Track Actual Cost Calculate Performance Indices Register here to join the live webinar! Here is a quick preview of what you can expect to see on Tuesday: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ATmD84Y2Is]

[Video Blog] Free SharePoint Project Management Template – An Overview

From speaking to a number of our customers and community members, we know taking the first step to initiate and formally manage a project in SharePoint isn’t easy.  Questions arise that almost always stop you guys from progressing straight away.  How do we structure our project?  What deliverables and reports are needed by each stakeholder?  How much process is enough?  What best practices should we follow?  Do we have the skills to set this up ourselves in SharePoint? Do we need more help, and where do we get it? Because of this, we decided to give people a really easy and risk free way to get started, and we created a set of two free project management templates – based on best practices – that will run on both SharePoint 2010 and 2013. In this video below, you will see an overview of the free Structured. As with the other free templates, the project Structured is completely integrated with SharePoint 2013 and is highly configurable.  You can make changes to the forms, reports, fields, columns, create new reports etc. with no programming needed.  AND you get installation guides, training videos, and free access to an online community and forum where you can…

[Video Blog] 3 Critical Success Factors for Collaborative Project Management

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” One of my favorite quotes of all time from the amazing Albert Einstein. Sometimes the best answer to a complicated problem is a simple answer. You have been there I bet! While complicated answers can be very accurate, they can be very hard to understand, even harder to implement! As a project manager, or a member of a collaborative project management team, if you were asked the following questions, I bet the answer will be ‘No’ to at least one, if not all of them: Are all your projects performing to expectations? Have you real-time visibility into all projects? Are all the individuals involved skilled and trained in Project Management? Are there templates (i.e. guidance) on how to deliver projects collaboratively? Was I right? :Not to worry! In this video below you will see 3 simple yet critical success factors for collaborative project management! Image source  

Friday Funny: You Know You’re Irish When…

With the build up to St. Patrick’s day in full-swing and the worldwide celebrations soon approaching, attending a St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a weekend activity for us all.  As a typical cailín Gaelach (Irish girl), from the west coast of the Emerald Isle,  I love celebrating every year. I love the decorations, the spread of the color green and of course all of the typical Irish traditions – it is the only day of the year I have an Irish coffee! With all of the excitement looming, I stumbled across this article – 35 Irish sayings and phrases you need to learn before you visit. It’s a fantastic and hilarious post outlining some of the phrases you’re going to need to get yourself acquainted with before visiting Ireland. You know you’re Irish when…you use any of these phrases. I have picked my favorite 10 to share with you – taitneamh a bhaint as (enjoy)! “Sure look it” – Rule number one for speaking like an Irish person: ‘Aw sure look it’ is an acceptable response for any question, statement, or comment. “Go way outta that” – This has a few meanings. It can be an exclamation of disbelief, or a…

Top 5 SharePoint Project Management Webcasts of 2013!

With our last live webcast of 2013 wrapped up this week, I had a look at the most popular SharePoint Project Management webcasts of 2013! We got some fantastic feedback from our viewers this year, which allowed us to deliver even better webcasts each month and also contributed to the 2014 webcast planning – which we are very excited about already! So, which webcast topics were the most popular this year, and how can you see them if you missed out? Here are the top 5 SharePoint Project Management Webcasts of 2013, with all the links below: [Live Demo] Free SharePoint 2013 Project Management Template The new Project Management Template for SharePoint 2013 is released and is yours to use for free! This webcast will show how to effectively deploy this template to: Capture and organize project goals, tasks and documents. Keep track with My Work reports, discussion forums and team calendars. Get immediate visibility with project status and issue reports Enable the two-way sync with Microsoft Project SharePoint 2013 and Project 2013 – Managing Projects Has Never Been Easier Combining the new project collaboration capabilities in SharePoint 2013 with the improved two-way sync to Project 2013, make it an unbeatable…

Project Management: It Works 60% of The Time, Every Time!

This weekend, I hope to get a chance to see Anchorman 2 – which is the inspiration to today’s Friday Funny. Anchorman is definitely on my favorite movies list and also features some of the best one-liners and quotes. Although Ron Burgundy shows leadership skills and qualities throughout the movie, I wonder would he be a successful project manager? Based on a recent blog post “What Qualities Make a Great Project Manager?”, I don’t think he fits the criteria – but I am sure it would be very humorous to watch him try! Want your projects to be successful more than 60% of the time? Here is a (not so secret) recipe for collaborative project management success along with 11 mistakes to avoid if you are an accidental project manager! No more project failures, or using the quote in this picture! Project management with BrightWork: 100% of the time, it works every time! Are you an Anchorman fan too? What are your favorite quotes?  

How To Get Social with SharePoint Server 2013

Collaboration is one of the key elements to successful project management, and involved in this collaborative process are many project stakeholders and team members. The previous blog post How to Get Social with SharePoint Foundation 2013, explained each of the capabilities associated with SharePoint Foundation 2013, to make collaboration extremely easy. In today’s post you will see the added capabilities available if you purchase SharePoint Server 2013. Get Social with SharePoint Server 2013! Here is a summary of the additional collaborative features in SharePoint Server 2013: Community You might know it as a forum – the community has added extra social abilities which resemble many features of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, which are applied directly to your SharePoint Server. The community portal then aggregates all this community information to one place. Below is an example, where you can see a general discussion started by a member in the PMO Community and the Community Tools providing further actions for you to take. My Site My Site provides a number of capabilities which include: 1. Newsfeed: allowing you to view all the information from the people, posts and discussions you are following 2. SkyDrive Pro: providing a secure way of sharing documents …

How to Easily Manage Project Metrics and Scorecards in SharePoint 2013

Project Metrics give a very fast and objective indication of status and progress of a project. In turn, this enables Project Managers to make important decisions and take action. As a project manager or a stakeholder in a project team, you will use metrics to find out what is happening “right now,” but you will also want to see trends from the project, previous metrics and how far you have progressed. That is where a metrics scorecard, or balanced scorecard, will be extremely useful. Scorecards bring these metrics to life and provide the ability to trace the history of the metrics in question for your project, over a given period of time. BrightWork templates give you the ability to track project metrics quite easily in SharePoint 2013, and this short demonstration below explains project metrics and how you can use a metrics scorecard in SharePoint 2013 to track the trend and history of the selected project metrics over a chosen period of time.