tablet, phone, map, diagramsWhen we talk about project management tools, we often think about gantt charts, project plans and project reports. But when the user is a PMO officer, things are quite different. You probably haven’t thought of all these apps to help you manage your project portfolio.

One of the major responsibilities of a Project Management Office is to adopt a technological suite that supports the daunting mission of coordinating the entire project portfolio of an organization. Additionally, many projects have a heavy data print, often in the form of unstructured data, or data without a clear impact on work quality. However, being able to make decisions based on the analysis of those type of untapped data is extremely important for both project leaders and C-level executives. The PMO in that context should assume a facilitating and catalyzing role.

Each PMO officer ought to select with care the technological portfolio that best meets project nature and the governance model. In this article, we recommend several software applications that can be very useful to organize your ideas and have a hold of a complex, corporate project portfolio. Not all of them are project management nor PPM tools, but they all have clear benefits in this world. Consider them for your own toolkit!

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Whether it’s for a corporate PMO or an IT PMO; for strategic projects, R&D or client projects, these apps can be an essential part of your daily operations.

The most useful apps and tools for PMO managers

1. PPM

Because a professional tool to manage your entire project portfolio is the first duty of any PMO.

The tool: ITM Platform

ITM Platform - Projects Programs and Portfolio

If you don’t already know it, ITM Platform is a cloud-based project, program and portfolio management tool (PPM) with a core strength: it doesn’t need heavy configuration work and and enables an incredibly fast roll-out. With a simplified user experience aligned with the methodological best practices of PMBOK and Prince2, ITM Platform supports the setup of new PMOs with predefined dashboards, customizable reports, plus all the features that a project manager needs.

Pros: ITM Platform is the simplest way to communicate the status of critical projects with senior management, letting them know how money is being spent and supporting more informed decision-making.

Cons: As with any other PPM tool, an adoption plan is required to manage the roll-out, ensure that all project teams are involved and that the system data are reliable.

Want us to show the advantages ITM Platform can bring? Request a free online demonstration.

2. Dashboards and Business Intelligence

In the 21st Century, information must be visual. If you want to make data analysis, you will at least need a robust project that can visualize project reports and establish dynamic relationships between variables.

The tool: Power BI

Power BI - powerful SaaS for project dashboards

Power BI: SaaS brother of Excel and cousin of Tableau.

Excel’s SaaS brother and Tableu’s cousin, Power BI is Microsoft’s data visualization tool. It uses the language M (same as Excel), and can be connected to any external source through API.

Pros: Once plugged to your data, it provides a really friendly experience to analyze data… with Microsoft’s quality.

Cons: In order to onboard Power BI it’s highly recommendable to get the help of a programmer that plugs into the data sources – small teams and organizations may have issues here.

How to connect it to ITM Platform:  Follow this basic tutorial to use ITM Platform as a data source through the open API: although the tutorial talks avout excel, it’s really the same code.

3. Ticketing and development

IT maintenance and software development teams have very specific work management needs. It’s often useful to adopt software that supports change requirement and issue tickets, as well as agile sprints.

The tool: JIRA

logo JIRA

JIRA, from Atlassian, is the standard product for the management of development teams.

JIRA, by Atlassian, is the golden standard for managing development teams.

Pros: JIRA makes it really easy to report issues, user stories and epics to development teams, attach supporting documentation, mention involved people and assign tasks to a given sprint.

Cons: Reporting is not its most satisfactory aspect.

How to connect it with ITM Platform:  The native connector allows to send tasks and projects from JIRA to ITM Platform. Just add your JIRA url and actívate the connector!

This easy integration allows PMOs to report and control their development portfolio from ITM Platform.

4. Team communication

If your team doesn’t have a nice communication environment, they will find it somewhere else.

The tool: Slack

logo Slack

I’m sure you know Slack by now. Its combination of IRC-type chat with in-built work management apps has transformed it into a really powerful tool to connect and coordinate teams: channels by project, attachments, checklists, code snippets… While no technology is radically innovative, the product is unbeatable.

Pros: Slack’s Marketplace hosts hundreds of SaaS apps that will boost your productivity enormously.

Cons: While the freemium option is quite elastic, the cost per user and month is high, but you will have to pay it if you don’t want to lose stored data.

How to connect it to ITM Platform: ITM Teambot, ITM Platform’s app for Slack, allows any user find out their assigned tasks and projects, report effort and progress, as well as add comments to their ITM Platform projects, directly from their Slack chat.

5. Demand management: compile change requests

All PMOs face change requests that exceed by far the capacity of available resources. But before ideas can be analyzed and approved, they must live in one place.

The tool: ITM Platform templates for Zapier

Zapier - task management

The ITM Platform templates in Zapier allow you to collect tasks from anywhere in the cloud.

Thanks to Zapier you can send tasks to an ITM Platform project from hundreds of apps, like Gmail, Google sheets, Dropbox, Evernote… If you take into account the possibilities of multiple-step zaps, there are few limits!

Pros: Empower your entire organization to participate in a culture of innovation and give them an authorized channel to send change requests to the PMO

Cons: Honestly speaking, Zapier is very reliable, and for small data flows it can be even used for free. Of course, the safe bet is to stick to processes that can be automated without affecting performance.

How to connect it to ITM Platform: To understand how to set up a zap you can follow our tutorial, use popular zap templates (below), or use this Google Sheets template.

Zapier, demand management, Create a task compilator in 5 steps

The template to collect tasks in Google Sheet and send them to ITM Platform.

6. Diagrams

Diagramming processes and workflows is one of the most useful ways to promote change, create new procedures and make sure you’re working scientifically towards organizational improvement. A diagrammed PMO is a better managed PMO!

The tool: Lucid Chart

logo Lucid Chart

Lucid Chart is a leader in the niche of professional diagrams

Lucid Chart is leader in this software niche. That said, there’s a lot of really trustworthy competitors, and they’re all using similar license plans. Try on your own a couple of them and go with what you like. If the PMO has only a few users, the cost will be neglectable.

Pros: Do you want to explain complex procedures that affect different areas of your company? Forget pen and paper.

Cons: Very few. In the case of LucidChart, it can even be imported and exported to Microsoft Visio.

7. Big Data Analytics

Big Data won’t be a passing fad for PMOs. If they are in a corporation, they may have to coordinate internal big data projects; in smaller settings, data generated by project teams can be monitored with specific solutions.

The tool: Apache Hadoop

logo Hadoop

Hadoop, from Apache, is the well-known programming framework for distributed data analytics.

Apache Hadoop is the better known software for distributed data analytics.

Pros: The sheer amount of references of documentation that you can fin don Hadoop has no end.

Cons: Compared to all the suggestions above, it’s a programming language, and not a finished product –it may escape the authority and skillset of the PMO team.

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character - system administrator, tools, cloud, cableIt's not news that Chief Information Officers tend to be considered the directors of all technological projects in an organization.

In fact, in the mid 90s it was understood that project managers could not simply undertake assignments, but should have a comprehensive commitment to the organization's systems strategy. It was then that something similar was proposed: that the PMO directors have a very similar role to the CIOs.

With the consolidation of project management offices in all types of organizations and the emergence of good start-up and operation practices, PMOs have become a clear model for the management of internal projects in large corporations. For this reason, it is also worth remembering the contrary statement: that the CIOs lead the PMO of internal technology projects.

Take charge of your systems strategy with ITM Platform

Lack of definition of the CIO: strategy vs. day to day

It is very difficult to define in detail what is being done by a Chief Information Officer (CIO). There are those who say that they are, quite simply, a budget manager. Although this is a good joke, it is a very imprecise statement: any CIO is primarily responsible for the strategy, practices and policies of an organization's information systems.

That said, the day to day activities of each CIO is very different, varying depending on the industry, the country, the size of the company and the personality of the managers who are above.

In fact, top management's expectations about what a CIO should do is probably the most weighty aspect. It is very different that a General Manager wants to have a CIO to materialize the vision of the business thanks to a technology expert to rely on a system manager to respond as quickly as possible to all their requirements. That's the big difference between a CIO as a top manager and a CIO as a responsible one. Exaggerating a little from this distinction, it can be said that there are two types of CIO: those who do not have time to supervise daily operations, and those who do not have time to get out of them.

At bottom, every CIO is between two worlds: top management, which focuses on long-term vision and value creation for investors; And the day-to-day management of technology, which includes aspects such as:

  • Technology purchase
  • Damage limitation and planning for possible disasters
  • Staff planning, including training
  • Creation of new systems
  • Integration and maintenance of existing systems

When the organization is small enough, the CIO can take care of all these aspects; but from a certain size it must rely on a delegation system, laying down rules and procedures for others to assume those responsibilities within a unified framework.

The aspiration of every CIO is probably to establish this frame of reference to be able to dedicate themselves to directing the strategy and to be involved with the direction of the company that counts its counterparts in great multinationals, as for example, one of the great pharmaceutical companies. In the words of Paul Burfitt, CIO of Astra Zeneca until 2006, the work of the CIO is to create frames of reference (policies, standards and strategies) that allow each subsidiary to act on its own, in an empowered way. In the meantime, the CIO is dedicated to designing priorities, objectives and goals, combining in any case the business perspective and that of information systems.

Why the CIO carries a PMO of systems projects

In that difficult balance between day-to-day and strategy is where the CIO's comparison with the leader of a PMO fits perfectly.

It is easy to understand if we ask ourselves the following question: What are the CIO's responsibilities in project management?

  • Combine demand with capacity

Requests for improvements in internal computer systems, databases, management modules, CRM, etc., always grow faster than the ability to generate such improvements. The development of new software and the integration of different technologies are long and costly processes.

For this reason, one of the first responsibilities of the CIO is to ensure that there is capacity to cover the projects to be started and that the resources allocated have the necessary technical knowledge. Hence the importance of comprehensive resource planning.

  • Know when to say NO

As the demand for technical work will always exceed capacity, every CIO must know how to say no to ideas, requests, and requirements. For this, it is essential to have guidelines and policies that allow prioritizing and bringing the technology of the organization to its next state.

Likewise, strategic PMOs offer tools and tools for decision-making, which projects need to be started and which are not important enough to go from mere drafting. Sometimes the PMO even has sufficient authority to make such decisions.

  • Generate the right expectations

When internal policies and strategic plans communicate properly, different departments are more likely to know what to expect from their requests and what kinds of ideas are most likely to be included in the project portfolio.

  • Involve departments requesting change

Agile culture has demonstrated that the success of internal technology projects depends on the degree of commitment of the project sponsors. For technology strategy to match growth prospects, many CIOs make sure that each department is held responsible for the success of the ideas it proposes. In this way, unnecessary requests and ideas whose consequences have not been properly analyzed are avoided.

A PMO has very similar responsibilities, serving as a coordinating body so that all parties involved in the projects collaborate proactively, and offer more business context to project managers to understand the motivation behind each new requirement.

In short, both the CIO and the PMO have the functions of coordinating, monitoring, unifying, evaluating and selecting an organization's project portfolio. The fundamental difference between the two is that the PMO rests very closely on project management methodologies, while the CIO is more responsive to what the organization requires, its strategy and technological challenges. Both roles can be combined productively.

Moreover, responsibilities also come closer to the level of training, continuous learning and the transfer of knowledge. As both the CIO and the PMO have a cross-sectional dimension, routine, conformism and watertight compartments are their greatest enemies.

Benefits of addressing the work of the CIO from the PMO:

CIOs who choose to embrace the idea that they actually have a PMO, even if it is embryonic, can benefit from the following elements:

  • Adopt portfolio methodologies to monitor, evaluate and select projects
  • Have clear criteria to prioritize the work according to the value it brings to the business. An agile PMO can manage the backlog of requirements dynamically, adapting to the circumstances to maximize the value delivered to the client.
  • In addition, project governance represented by the PMO allows the CIO to leave the field of reactive work to defend the strategic importance of its profile, approaching the CTO. Although this gives another article, it is about imagining the future and moving towards a vision from the means that gives the domain of technology.

Of course, the relationship between the CIO and the PMO is variable. It may be a direct dependency, but there are also organizations where the CIO advises the PMO: By being the owner of the strategy and having a much more direct contact with customers and generating value, it can help PMO and Project managers are put in the place of the clients and make the project's own goal through empathy.

Objective: to enter the steering committee

According to a study by Russam GMS, only 2% of the steering committees have a CIO. And that despite the fact that it is a generalized aspiration of this profile with clear benefits when deciding the direction of a business adventure.

The isolation of the top representative of information systems from top management is another point of resemblance to PMOs: very few organizations admit the PMO director to the committee, considering everything that has to do with the direction of the PMOs. Projects at a lower level than the executive.

However, both the CIO and the PMO display their maximum organizational capacities when they have as their mission to design and maintain governance systems.

When project governance is incorporated into the steering committee, project performance is maximized and the contribution of projects to the organization's objectives.

When the CIO that joins the committee not only monitors technological governance, but is involved in project governance, the organization will be laying the foundations to achieve maximum strength as a digital actor. A real demon for the competition.

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abstract vector 4 steps infographic template in flat style for layout workflow scheme, numbered options, chart or diagramITM Platform is specifically designed to support multi-project organizations: our client base ranges from small consultants to large corporations, such as Grupo Lala, the first manufacturer of dairy products in Mexico, or Spire Healthcare, the second largest private healthcare provider in the United Kingdom.

Why do they choose us? They say that among all the tools that allow both planning and executing projects and managing portfolios, it is not easy to find solutions that are useful for both project managers and PMO directors at the same time in the same environment.

So when someone asks us if we can help them get their Project Management Office up and running, the answer comes as natural as the smile you give an old friend. In this article we discuss the main reasons why ITM Platform is a great ally to support the activities of a PMO.

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1.  Capture your organization

Any organization can reflect the structure of their teams in a very short time. Whether it's a functional organizational structure based on departments, a purely project-based structure, or a matrix-type intermediate structure, the first step for your organization to start managing your ITM Platform projects is to map which department, project or area of ​​competence belongs to each member. 

In fact, flexibility is achieved by combining two criteria: 

  • Organizational units, comparable to traditional departments
  • Working groups, which allow cross-grouping. For example, you can create project teams that have a certain permanence character. These groups can also be used to bring experts together by competencies so that project and PMO managers can easily assign them to specialized tasks and groups. 

Once you have reflected the departments and functional units, you can continue defining the details that will allow ITM Platform to control the costs and progress of your projects in real time:

  • Hourly rates: How much do your team members charge per hour? How much do external consultants charge? What is the overhead of a workgroup compared to a technician? By specifying the fees for each type of expert, ITM Platform allows you to reflect the actual costs of your projects with the desired level of detail.

2. Capture your processes

ITM Platform allows you to capture any methodology you are using in your organization for project management. Although the software is intended to capture the components, processes and groups recommended in standards such as PMBOK or Prince2, especially when it comes to project integration management, it is not necessary to strictly follow these manuals to properly manage the projects. The focus of the tool is to provide a flexible technological service that allows the capture of all relevant information and capture the process flows that exist in each organization. 

3. Connect to your teams

ITM Platform empowers all project teams, from the highest level director to the young talented new arrivals.

  • Management: Those who are interested in seeing key metrics such as the degree of progress of the projects by each program, the level of risk exposure of the projects, or the composition of costs per manpower according to the provider can use the customizable scorecards and reports.
  • PMO portfolio managers, program managers and PMO directors

The people that connect the company's strategy to day-to-day project management are those that most directly benefit from the ITM Platform. Let us see some different aspects: 

Shared resources

In situations with cross-cutting projects shared by experts and analysts from different functional areas or departments, it is common practice for one of the PMO director's main attributions to be to avoid conflicts when using shared resources: professionals in high demand due to them being very qualified and are irreplaceable in their specialty. Conflicts for shared resources are the cause of delay in 42% of large cross-sectional projects.To avoid such conflicts, ITM Platform allows you to immediately identify over-allocation of all resources in the organization. 

Scenario projections

The ITM Platform methodological tools for defining business objectives and linking them to project execution scenarios are one of the aspects most valued by those who manage project programs. 

Portfolio Evaluation

Aggregated project data allows you to carry out a continuous evaluation of your portfolio with the required periodicity. From the moment that your entire project team is using the same tool to plan and execute projects to carry out portfolio tracking, you can say goodbye to tedious periodic portfolio evaluations that stretch over months. It will be sufficient to extract data from ITM Platform to discuss with your team.

Project Managers

The possibility of combining predictive projects with agile methodologies allows different relationships to coexist between customers the development of products and results within a single unified portfolio based on shared financial management and resources.To top it off, project managers benefit from a user experience optimized for the integration of projects from menus that are always visible and easy to navigate.

Analysts and team members

Team members with no planning and control responsibilities should only enter the progress data of their tasks on the ITM Platform. For this, they have different auxiliary interfaces that save time and increase their productivity:

  • Mobile App on Android and MacOS. Report the time worked on a task. It is a fundamental support tool for those who are out and about or working remotely.
  • The ITM Platform teambot. The integration of ITM Platform with Slack is designed to aid personal productivity, as it allows each team member to track the tasks in which they are involved and report progress with simple commands such as “/itmplatform list tasks”
  • In addition, software development teams working with JIRA for issue management can connect these with their ITM Platform projects to manage their portfolio from their preferred environment.

4. Align project management and portfolio planning

Project management software can be divided into three broad sections: task managers and teams; project planners; and portfolio managers. Few tools can find the balance between these three areas. This is where ITM Platform stands out precisely because our obsession is to optimize the return of the projects from the first minute, with little to no barriers of entry.

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2 persons, transfering knowledge from one rain to another oneOne of the greatest challenges of a PMO is to ensure that the experiences generated within a project are extended to the rest of the organization and not lost when the project team dissolves. Even within each project, reaching a knowledge baseline explicitly shared by all key team members can be tricky.

This process of knowledge transfer is specific to project-based organizations and encounters different obstacles to those that characterize the transfer and application of knowledge in the field of R & D, for example.

 

Unfortunately, Project Management Offices can either leave the functions of knowledge transfer in the background or, when they recognize their importance, often do not take an in depth approa Preview ch. To address the problem in its complexity, we recommend starting from the recognition of the main obstacles that prevent the linear flow of knowledge.

According to B. H. Reich, there are 9 obstacles to knowledge transfer between projects:

 1. Lessons Not Learned

The difficulties organizations have in managing their day-to-day projects, starts and ends with this issue. It is true that beyond the records of previous experiences and the guidelines for the project in question, a new and unrepeatable path is undertaken that is not possible to predict, but the lessons learned allow the team to compare and analyze the possible scenarios, as well as Learn from previous situations that made it difficult to achieve the desired results.

Unfortunately, the unrepeatable characteristic of the projects complicates the application of these lessons, which are often transferred through the personal experience of a team member. In order to scale the learning beyond the personal components, it is advisable to:

- work on document repositories that allow for identification of previous similarities

- share the most relevant lessons of projects with characteristics that are going to be repeated, either because they belong to the same line of business, have the same client, or develop in similar markets.

2. Selecting defective equipment

Even if you have a project team with all the necessary competences to deliver a result of sufficient quality, it is possible that there are competencies that are difficult to identify, especially with regards to the accumulated experience, the Know-how of the company and, in the case of projects abroad, the multicultural dimension. Added to this is the fact that whoever carries out the planning will never be an expert in all the technical aspects that must be covered, which may fail to match the requirements with the technical capacity of the team. In this case, even transfer of knowledge internally to the project can seriously fail.

3. Volatile team governance

On this occasion, this is a problem related to project governance. The loss of a member of the governance structure that has a direct bearing on resource orientation and corporate strategies (eg, executive sponsorship or project management) seriously compromises levels of knowledge and stability within company departments based on projects.

4. Lack of function recognition

Project governance is sustained both by management and project sponsors, who must receive the appropriate training to monitor with more discretion. The difficulty is to incorporate top management into the management of knowledge without taking away the authority and the urgency we perceive it in the danger of taking wrong directions because the sponsors may have some inaccuracy or wrong distinction in relation to the project.

5. Inadequate knowledge integration

Large-scale projects require the intertwining of expertise in a number of areas to solve complex problems, to innovate or to transform that knowledge into something greater, thanks to its correct coupling. As we commonly see, there is not a person with the exact key to fit that diverse knowledge appropriately, so there is a risk that the pieces of the puzzle will come together incorrectly, interfering with the result. Given this scenario, project management requires that the directors ensure that effective communication with and among their work teams is maintained, to achieve a successful integration of multifunctional knowledge.

6. Incomplete transfer of knowledge

Often, for the development of a complex and innovative project, that requires the implementation of resources or specialized technical support, project members must go to the suppliers of the organization or interact with a consultant. In such interactions, knowledge transfer should strive to be as transparent as possible, but fears and conflicts of interest between the project team and their knowledge provider often interfere with the process.

Most of the failures that undermine the completion of a project occur because of incomplete knowledge transfer between the team and external consultants or suppliers during design.

This is because the people from the consultancy have the aspiration to receive higher profits, for their intellectual property and recognition of value, so in the first instance they will refuse to sell their knowledge.

Consequently, during the transfer of knowledge, information that is often crucial for the success of the project is omitted and this is not usually discovered until it has failed, which encourages us to go back and evaluate the failure. It is therefore of paramount importance to ascertain the quality of the documentation received by the knowledge provider and to evaluate its quality so that the project manager can make the most appropriate decisions.

7. Loss of Team Members

The fact that a member of the team may leave due to planned or unforeseen circumstances is an intellectual leak of great value for the project, since the time that person has dedicated to the planning and / or design process involves the accumulation of knowledge and skills related to the project and that are irreplaceable. This knowledge disappears once the person leaves.

In order to protect ourselves from the knowledge gaps created by possible losses of team members who are key players for the project, preventive measures should be taken to document knowledge, in order to continue the project with new members. Of course, there will always be some knowledge that stays with the person, which will be irreplaceable.

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8. Lack of a Role Awareness Map

As part of the project management, we highlight the creation of a knowledge map, grouped by role, to serve as a tool so that all members of the team (including the senior positions) can identify who knows what and what skills the team has for the project.

The knowledge map allows us to facilitate the efficient and effective approach to complex problems. Not having one translates into greater difficulties in finding the solution to a given conflict, since it involves the risk of assigning decision making to people whose knowledge is not the most suitable for the type of problem.

Theorists on the subject, such as Crowston and Kammerer, and Faraj and Sproull, have concluded that project teams with a knowledge map can be more effective, focusing mainly on the integration of knowledge.

9. Loss between phases

During the operational processes of the project, the structure and integration of the equipment varies with the passage from one phase to another, so we run the risk of losing valuable knowledge in those changes in composition or transmitting knowledge inadequately. For these cases, traditionally, one uses the techniques of written or graphic documentation, to record the knowledge of a previous phase, useful for the operations of the next phase.

However, in the written record, we often overlook data of great relevance for the optimal development of the new operational phase, such as the rationale of the design or its options. In turn, the interpretations that each team gives to documentation may be altered by the subjective criteria of its members, which leads to errors or delays, while trying to understand why certain decisions were made in the previous phase.

Therefore, as a method of knowledge management within the project management, we recommend integrating multimedia records in the documentation that complementcrucial aspects of the decision making of a phase, as well as manage mining data and networks of experts, so that it is as specific and clear as possible.

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Even in a specialized world like project management, there are current trends and popular kids (often newcomers), while other issues, skills and areas are relegated to a second row or altogether ignored. Here are ITM Platform’s candidates to those second row components in project management that are worth discussing more in-depth.

1. Project Evaluation

Project Evaluation should be a methodical and un-biased assessment of your projects, both completed and ongoing. Post Project Evaluation completes the project management process once the product is in use. It provides feed-back in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, etc. in order to learn for the future. There are two main stages:

  • Immediately, evaluation seeks to identify isolate learning moments, transform them into lessons so that they can be applied to the next project – that’s the moment they turn into lessons learned
  • A longer term review to determine what, if any, adjustments should be made to company policies and procedures

2. Project Integration Management

The objective of Project Integration Management is to co-ordinate the diverse components of the project by quality project planning, execution and change control to achieve the required balance of time, cost and quality.

Project integration management ensures the effective integration of a project into the organization’s total business and co-ordination of the diverse components of the project. This includes setting up the planning and control systems for project selection, planning the total project and co-ordinating the activities in the other eight knowledge areas. It also includes working with everyone in the organization who is involved in the project, not only the immediate stakeholders.

3. Management tools and techniques

The objective of using management tools and techniques is to optimize specific activities in the development of a system. Although much of the attention is paid to the selection of planning tools, some areas that are often neglected from this point of view are:

  • Growth Management. Beyond the adoption of prediction metrics that can measure the growth of an organization, it is essential to have scalable tools to accompany an organization when it goes through a transition between different maturities. By combining ease of use with the full benefits, ITM Platform is specifically designed to support these processes.

Using Project management tools such as ITM Platform will help automate management processes and make your company more efficient.

  • Talent development should go beyond measurement and remuneration by objectives, seeking to introduce a learning loop between project performance and work performance of team members.

4. End-customer orientation

Although this is the fundamental focus of agile philosophy, putting yourself in the place of the end user is a form of empathy that is always lacking and which there are few formative options. Here are some strategies that demonstrate customer orientation:

  • Work in startup mode beyond the initial phase of creating an organization: the business orientation is to respond to what the customer is looking for.
  • Responding swiftly to customer complaints and questions.
  • Dealing respectfully with community issues.

5. Creativity

Essential to conceive solutions for customer problems, they are typical of engineers and product owners, but obviously extend to project managers. In one way or another, creativity is an essential skill in project management. As opposed to the regular and standardized world of operations, there is no one-size-fits-all for projects.

But creativity in project management is not a voiced desired for the extremely original or the never-seen-before. It’s, put simply, the ability to identify what’s should be happening when placed under a new situation.

Project managers require a taste for recalling their past experiences, and those of the projects they interact with, to come up with a combinatorial solution that applies to the current context. That’s creative project management.

6. Coaching and Development

By employing their coaching skills, supervisors assess the training and professional development of team members with the aim of offering them opportunities for improvement, such as new experiences that allow them to develop new competencies. Although project management certification is a recognized goal, it is often important to be able to identify intermediate training and experience objectives.

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