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Episode 016: Harry Fisher on Groupware Solutions

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Show notes: Listener Harry Fisher submitted an overview of his Groupware Solutions project to The Project Management Podcast and we are happy to feature him today. Listener Michael Witt submitted today's helpful resource and the new year brings several excellent items in the News segment to project managers. The show ends with a review of an episode of Boagworld, where Paul Boag discusses Project Management with Marcus Lillington.

Todays review in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is on:
- Boagworld: Web Design Project Management

Project Management in the News
- PMI seeks input to Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures
-’s 10 Hottest Certifications for 2006 (PMP is No. 4) [Update: The web page is no longer available so we removed the link]
- What's Next in 2006: Project Management
- CIO Council releases guidance on EVM plans
- FBI looking to hire IT workers
- Ex-Combatants Train On Project Management

Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of a computer-generated transcript with all its computer-generated quirks.

Speaker 1 (00:09): [inaudible]

Cornelius Fichtner (00:11):

You are listening to the project management podcast. We bring project management topics to beginners and experts. Find us on the web at or send your emails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Hello, and welcome to show number 16. I am Cornelius Fichnter. Now this is the project management podcast for the 7th of January, 2006. Happy new year to all of you. I am very glad to tell you that today's main show segment comes from Harry Fisher, who is a listener like you, and decided to send me his input. A couple of announcements here to get us started. First of all, uh, we are still on a two week schedule, so there is no show next week. And then there is one the week after that. Also, I promise to you in the last show that today we would have an interview for you on how to manage your job search as a project. Well, I had to change some scheduling around and you will get to hear that particular interview into weeks down the road. And now a word from our sponsor project load is the web based project management tool for your team. As project manager, you create the tasks and assign activities as your team progresses. Their time sheets automatically feed into project reports with task forecasting documents, storage, integrated notes, and over 25 alerts project load is the one tool for project monitoring. Visit us at

Music (01:59): [inaudible]

Cornelius Fichtner (01:59):

Today I have one helpful resource from you and this one was sent to me from Mikael Vitz. He is a project manager for sun Frankfurt, and he writes, I Cornelius my project management colleagues, and I are certified as Prince 2 practitioners. We adapted Prince 2 here at sun Microsystems in Germany. In your last podcast, you discussed status reports. I Googled and found a Prince two templates set, including status reports. We adapted these templates within our company, best wishes to California. Well, everybody go and get these templates. They are an excellent starting point for anyone who needs new templates or who is in the process of updating their templates. But even if you're not go take a look, because I'm sure when you look through these templates, you'll find something useful in them and you'll go, Oh, this is, I should include that in my templates as well. Yeah. And that's the only helpful resource I have for you because there is tons of news this week and new year, lots of news. It seems so on. We go with the news.

Cornelius Fichtner (03:21):

So what do you think is going to be big in project management in 2006? Well, that's what the article here in the computer world addresses it is entitled. What's next in 2006 project management, the five biggest project challenges for 2006. This is from the 2nd of January, 2006. And they have five items that they're talking about here. The global teams, of course, we know that that's been going on for quite a while. Then they're talking about moving parts projects that are constantly influx and constantly changing. And of course, rather challenging. Then they'll talk about software development. Then the next one entering number four here is vendor partners. So working on a project management basis with vendor partners, it's going to be big. And finally, their fifth prediction is that project portfolios are going to be big in project management in 2006. Definitely an interesting read this article here.

Cornelius Fichtner (04:33):

What else do you think is hot in 2006? Well, the PMP certificate is hot in 2006 to be precise, precise, it ranks or number four on cert city's 10 hottest certifications for 2006. And this is our annual attempt to predict the certifications that will shine brightest next year. And cert cities is an online magazine for the certified it professional. They write PMI's PMP title also made a strong showing this year, rising from its debut. Stop at number 10 last year. Thanks to in part thanks in part to even a stronger buzz for this industry neutral title within the it community. So if you haven't got your PMP yet, well, think about it.

Cornelius Fichtner (05:33):

Are you a work break down structure guru? If so, then the PMI is looking for your help. This article here is from Thursday, December 29th, and it's titled PMI seeks input to practice standard for work breakdown structure until the January deadline 2006, the PMI makes the latest work breakdown, structure, practice standard available to everybody in the world on their website. Well, you have to sign up and sign 25 disclaimers, et cetera, but you have the opportunity to give your input into the WBS practice standards. So if you're a WBS guru, go and give the PMI a hand And we're ending today's news with two that come from the far side of the news, really the first one is entitled. Ex-combatants train on project management and it comes to us, came to us on December 30th, 2005 from the new times in Kigali, they write child X combatants association in collaboration with the international labor organization is training ex-com battens on project management and design the ongoing 10 day training attracted 20 members from different associations funded by ILO to improve capacity building among youths who were affected by war. Interesting.

Cornelius Fichtner (07:24):

And finally, we stay on the far side of the news. FBI is looking to hire I T workers interviews for a number of it jobs begin next month, that was on the 29th of December. And they're writing here in the computer world. The FBI is looking for a few good it professionals to operate and maintain a robust, secure global it infrastructure environment for the agency in announcement last week, the agency said that it's seeking to fill critical it positions, including computer scientists, computer engineers, it specialists. And of course it, project managers annual pay for the positions range from 35,000 to 135,000 us dollars, not bad based on experience and qualifications with recruitment bonuses, for the candidates who possess the most critical skills. The FBI said, okay, why not become an agent project manager? And that's the helpful resource and news for this week as always, if you want to read up on any of the resources or news in detail, just go to a PM, where you will find links to each individual item that I have just mentioned. And now the project management podcasts, project

Cornelius Fichtner (08:56):

Management tip of the week,

Music (09:20): [inaudible]

Cornelius Fichtner (09:20):

The project management podcasts tip of the week is divide your projects into phases. Now let's begin at the beginning. What's a phase. What's the definition? Well, the PMBOK defines a phase as a collection of logically related project activities. Usually culminating in the completion of a major deliverable project phases are mainly completed sequentially, but can overlap in some project situations. Phases can be subdivided into sub phase it phases and then into components and so on. It goes on and on and on, but doesn't really tell you what the benefits are of dividing your project into phases. Well, it's quite simple. It makes it easier to manage your project, both planning and estimating because instead of having one large lump of work, if you divide your project into phases, you end up with smaller, more manageable pieces of work. And personally, I like to subdivide these phases into steps.

Cornelius Fichtner (10:34):

So let's say if we're talking about the implementation of some, some software piece, I'm saying, okay, step one in March, we'll be delivering the following features. Step two in April, you'll get these features and may you get those features? So that's, it makes it also much more understandable to the customer. If you have phases and steps, the, they understand that better. If you look at the PMI phases, their official phages are initiation, planning, executing, controlling, and closing. If you look at prints too, it's a bit different. They're talking about starting up and initiating a process planning and directing a project, managing stage boundaries and controlling a stage managing product delivery and closing a project. Those are the Prince two, uh, phases. And if you're looking at general phases, we're talking about planning, analysis, design, testing, and implementation phases. Also allow you to plan your project on a more, um, let's call it as you go basis.

Above are the first few pages of a computer-generated transcript with all its computer-generated quirks. A human-generated transcript is available to Premium subscribers starting with episode 136.

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Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, is the host and the author at The Project Management Podcast. He has welcomed hundreds of guests and project management experts to the podcast and has helped over 60,0000 students prepare for their PMP® Exam. He has authored dozens of articles on and PM World 360. He speaks at conferences around the world about project management, agile methodology, PMOs, and Project Business. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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