Free directory of online courses

March 7th, 2013

The project — http://www.onlinecourses.com/ — is a free and comprehensive resource that is a collection of open college course that spans videos, audio lectures, and notes given by professors at Harvard, Princeton and MIT. We offer highly relevant courses such as iPhone Application Development from Stanford and Cyber Humor from Oxford. This is something I believe would be a wonderful resource for those looking to explore additional educational topics and to see what college level course has to offer.

I hope that you will find this to be a powerful resource for anyone pursuing to further their education. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

ProjectLibre – Free project management software

October 9th, 2012

This is another of our free alternatives to Microsoft Project.  From the reviews it is a relatively similar product to Microsoft Project.  It has a ribbon menu and covers such things as scheduling and resources.  It can provide Gantt, Network and work breakdown structure.  The only thing missing seems to be a body of knowledge or help files.

For more information Click Here

Free Project Management Software

September 13th, 2012

Over the coming months, we plan to list some free software to manage your projects. The first is called GanttProject. It is an open source solution that runs on most platforms. We reproduce the following summary from their website.

GanttProject is a cross-platform desktop tool for project scheduling and management. It runs on Windows, Linux and MacOSX, it is free and its code is opensource. What can it do?

Gantt chart. Create work breakdown structure, draw dependencies, define milestones.
Resources. Assign human resources to work on tasks, see their allocation on the Resource Load chart.
PERT chart. Generate PERT chart from Gantt chart.
Export. Save charts as PNG images, generate PDF and HTML reports.
Interoperate. Import projects from and export them to Microsoft Project formats. Export to spreadsheets with CSV.
Collaborate. Share projects with your colleagues using WebDAV.

For more information you can go to http://www.ganttproject.biz/

Rescuing a failing project – A 4 step plan

June 28th, 2012

Projects can fail for numerous reasons. Original budgets may not match the practical realities of a project, or the responsibilities and roles of team members may not have been clearly outlined at the beginning of the planning process.

A general lack of clarity about the direction of a project, and a failure of communication between different stakeholders and parties can also delay success and lead to confusion about responsibility over project delivery.

However, there are ways to rescue a failing project, which involve engaging with a four step plan that reviews, revises and resets goals and communication for a project, while working out the best forms for its delivery.

 

1 – Reviewing Problems

The first step in rescuing a project is to review the problems that caused it to fail, or be delayed. Re-evaluate the original goals of a project, and break down what the plan was, and whether overestimations were made.

Moreover, check that anything was not picked up on in the planning stage, and bring in as many different viewpoints as possible. These viewpoints might include managers, team members, sponsors and stakeholders. At this stage, it is also worth making a hard decision about whether a project can be saved.

2 – Revise and Set Out New Goals

If a project goes ahead, draw up new goals and a set of differentials that will ensure a better delivery. Are there extra factors that need to be budgeted for? What are the expectations and the input of stakeholders and sponsors? Can a system be put into place that can deal with risk, and that can swiftly respond to any problems?

Getting this structure right before setting a deadline is vital, as it ensures that no one in a project team feels like they don’t understand how to react to any obstacles during their work.

3 – Ensure New Expectations Are Met

Ensuring that these new expectations are met does mean being pragmatic about budgeting and the restructuring of a team. What needs to be reduced, and how can communication be managed to speed up the process of a project to best meet deadlines and priorities?

Moreover, it is important to decide what the focus of particular parts of a project will now be, and how much of a budget can be realistically spread out to hit the parts of a project that need the most attention.

4 – Decide When the New Project Will Be Delivered

A clear deadline needs to be made for when a project will be delivered, which will need to be agreed on amongst a team and other parties. Again, communication is vital to ensure that everyone stays on the same page.

A software project management tool is particularly recommended for achieving this communication, as it can enable realtime conversations and an exchange of information.

Similarly, by restructuring a management team and ensuring that there are contacts that people can rely on to troubleshoot any problems, it is possible to refocus a project into something that has shared aims and failsafes.

While rescuing a failing project does require a lot of hard work, by creating a strong team environment, and by establishing a clearly structured management structure, the original goals of a project can be revived and clarified for all involved.

Amy Henderson

Amy Henderson has been involved in running a business in the past. Amy enjoys writing on business/technology related topics and is currently guest blogging on behalf of Iris who specialise in small business software.

Project Perfect Members Club

June 16th, 2012

For those of you who regularly visit our site, you will not have seen much activity over the last few weeks. We have been busy building a whole new area for you. Welcome to the <b style=”color:black;background-color:#ffff66″>Project Perfect Members Club.</b> As well as our library of over 150 white papers, we offer lots of other goodies.

  • Free software.  Get our Meeting Administrator and Method H software for free.  Method H normally sells for A$35.
  • Project Management Templates.  A whole range of templates to help you with your project management.
  • User Guides.  Documents that guide you through regular tasks such as risk management, carrying out interviews, managing scope, and lots more.
  • 40% discount on a single user license for Project Administrator when you pay an annual subscription to the members club.  The discount pays for your annual subscription.
  • Access to Software Package Selection Process.  SP2 is our online methodology for undertaking a software selection and implementation. Most of the methodology is applicable to any project.

There is lots more to come.  We plan to expand the offerings to make our members club a vital part of any project managers toolbox.

You can subscribe for A$10 per month and cancel at any time.  If you want to save some money, pay an annual subscription of A$100.  At the time of writing this post – mid June 2012 – the A$ is on parity with the US$. A$1 = US$1.

Click here to register.

Click here to find out more.