Author: Rhona

Project manager skills NZ. A Maori woman leading a project meeting.
Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
After recovering from an incredible Waitangi day spent on the beach (which may or may not have agreed with my Scottish skin), I thought I would honour this incredible place we call home with a New Zealand-themed Blog. For all the project managers in the land of the long white cloud. Whether you’re wrangling sheepdogs ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Hutt Valley taken from the hills of Eastbourne.
Hutt City Council's Finance Services Refresh Project: Empowering Financial Excellence
Every year at the ALGIM conference, local councils compete for the ICT Project of the Year, an award that recognises outstanding project management success. The award always has exceptional entries and Psoda proudly maintains our tradition of sponsoring this prestigious award. Every year we have the honour of introducing the three finalists, the third of ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Northland Waipoua River.
Northland Regional Council: Transforming Environmental Data Management for a Sustainable Future
Every year at the ALGIM conference, local councils compete for the ICT Project of the Year, an award that recognises outstanding project management success. The award always has exceptional entries and Psoda proudly maintains our tradition of sponsoring this prestigious award. Every year we have the honour of introducing the three finalists, the second of ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
McLaren Falls Park, Tauranga
Tauranga City Council: Revolutionising Parks and Reserves Maintenance
Every year at the ALGIM conference, local councils compete for the ICT Project of the Year, an award that recognises outstanding project management success. The award always has exceptional entries and Psoda proudly maintains our tradition of sponsoring this prestigious award. Every year we have the honour of introducing the three finalists, the first of ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Project management horrors. An image of spooky carved out pumpkins
The 10 scariest things that can happen on a project - a Halloween special
Halloween is just around the corner and while you might be preparing for spooky costumes and haunted houses, project managers have a different kind of fear to contend with – the spine-tingling experiences that can turn a smooth project into a horror show. In honour of Halloween, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 scariest ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
An illustration showing the difference between waterfall and agile. Waterfall is a simple staircase. Agile is zig zag steps with platforms in between.
10 differences between waterfall and agile project management
When it comes to managing projects, there are two stand out methodologies: waterfall and agile. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses and understanding the differences between the two approaches can help you choose the best fit for your project. This article explores ten key differences between each methodology. 1. Project structure and planning Waterfall: ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
woman closes her ears highlighting colleagues not showing effective communication in project management
How to master effective communication in project management
Effective communication is a key skill for project managers. Whether it’s convincing a sceptical stakeholder, addressing an underperforming work package owner or advocating for necessary resources, these conversations can be challenging. These discussions often involve sensitive topics such as scope, quality, timelines, budget, solutions, tools and methods. However, delivering negative feedback or sharing bad news ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
The power of Psoda's interactive project reports
The power of Psoda's interactive project reports!
In project management, staying on top of a project’s status and delivering what you promised is crucial. Project reports play a vital role in supporting decision-making by providing invaluable insights that guide your choices and ensure successful project outcomes. Project reports act as a compass, guiding project managers and stakeholders through the complex terrain of ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
boy with head in hands depicting project scheduling mistakes
Five project scheduling mistakes and how to fix them
Project managers must ensure that project or programme milestones are met and deliverables stay on schedule. Without a schedule of what needs to happen and when complications arise, you will soon find yourself in uncomfortable discussions with stakeholders. So how do you avoid getting into this sticky situation? Avoiding the most common scheduling mistakes is ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Project management software vs Excel
Project management software vs Excel - which is best?
In today’s fast-paced business world, project management has become essential in achieving organisational success. Project management covers many facets of business operations, but one thing every project has in common is the need to have the right tools to complete the project on time and within budget. The primary tool that a project manager uses ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
PsodaVerse – Psoda’s annual community users’ event in Wellington.
PsodaVerse 2023 – Psoda’s annual community users’ event!
After a small(ish) COVID hiatus, we were delighted to bring PsodaVerse to Wellington again in May 2023. PsodaVerse is our unique and innovative annual user community event for project management professionals. We bring our users, keynote speakers and the people behind our software together for an opportunity to network, learn, share knowledge, discuss industry trends ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
project management skills
Why every manager can benefit from project management skills
As the workplace becomes increasingly complex and the need for quick results grows, project management skills have become essential for today’s leaders at all levels. Whilst project management is a stand-alone skill set, the key competencies that successful project managers display are universally desired and required, at all management levels. Effective project managers blend strong ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
woman using project manager jargon
Project manager jargon among stakeholders - should you use it?
Project management jargon can be a confusing and overwhelming aspect of stakeholder communications. With so many acronyms, technical terms, and specialised language, it’s easy to feel intimidated or confused during project meetings and discussions. While jargon can help project managers communicate more efficiently with one another, it can also create a barrier to effective communication ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Energy conference. Psoda's stand
Psoda is attending Downstream 2023, the energy sector's strategic forum
As the world’s demand for energy continues to rise, the need for efficient and effective project management becomes increasingly critical. This is where Psoda’s expertise shines, providing innovative solutions that help organisations navigate the complexities of this dynamic industry. With years of experience and a proven track record, Psoda has become a trusted partner for ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Disaster recovery. Blades of green grass sprouting through cracks in grey concrete
Project management and disaster recovery
As we’ve seen in New Zealand in recent weeks, natural disasters can strike at any moment, and their impact can be devastating. Whether it’s fires, floods, earthquakes or severe storms, they can lead to the loss of life, damage to property and disruption of essential services. Getting through an event like this is challenging, but ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Work goals. A person jumping from a 2022 cliff to a 2023 cliff.
Five things that I do to help me when I come back to the office in the New Year.
As offices around the world start reopening after the holidays, many of us are preparing to return to work after a much-needed break. While it can be exciting to get back to work and tackle new challenges, it can also be a bit daunting to jump back into the routine. For me, coming back to ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Holiday list. Santa and his reindeer and sleigh ticking off a list.
Final things to do before leaving for Christmas - project manager edition
It’s almost that time of the year when everyone downs tools for a well-earned holiday. Like the rest of the Southern Hemisphere, we’re heading into Summer here in New Zealand, so our time off is longer than most. Whether you’re leaving for a few days, a few weeks or even longer, you want to ensure ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Natural Environment Stakeholder Engagement - Auckland Council
Natural Environment Stakeholder Engagement – achieving natural environmental outcomes across the Auckland region
Conservation of our natural environment is more important than ever. Both central Government and local communities are expecting their Councils to actively manage and protect biodiversity in their regions. Auckland Council realised that to effectively manage this huge undertaking they would need to invest in technology. The result was the Natural Environment Stakeholder Engagement (NESE) ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Pūwhenua ki Ruapehu - view of the main street in Ohakune
Pūwhenua ki Ruapehu – Making better decisions using data and community experience
Making life changing decisions for your community is never easy, but when you rely on data that isn’t fit for purpose the challenge is magnitudes harder. This was the problem Ruapehu District Council was facing. Good decisions rely on good data, so the Council commissioned the Pūwhenua ki Ruapehu study. Background Ruapehu District Council has ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Te Parikaranga - Panorama of Nelson City reflected in the Maitai River, New Zealand
Te Parikaranga - Bringing iwi engagement to the heart of Council
How do you bring your local iwi into the heart of your council and make sure community engagement becomes business as usual? Nelson City Council didn’t take a half-hearted approach when answering this question. Instead they built a brand new digital communications platform, Te Parikaranga, in collaboration with the eight iwi of Te Tauihu o ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
A successful project manager is like a conductor of a symphony orchestra. Image of an orchestra
How to be a successful project manager
Getting your first job as a project manager is an exciting time! It’s a first step on a fulfilling and rewarding career journey. It can also be scary and nerve wracking, with you wondering if you’re doing it right and worrying about bringing the project to a halt because of your inexperience. Having been there ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Long term plan - a team completing a large and complex jigsaw puzzle
Long term planning – shaping the future of your district
Long term planning is hard work. You never know what is around the next corner. Case in point with Coronavirus and the impacts that it will have on the way council residents will work, rest and play in the immediate, medium and long term. The long term plan is the way a council outlines its ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Star Wars Cake - Millennium Falcon
When you are a natural born project manager and you need to bake a big Star Wars cake…
Most project managers have had at least one project that has challenged them like no other. It was probably complex with many tasks to complete, tight deadlines and for a demanding customer.  And there will have been no room for overruns on delivery or budget. The one My ‘one’ project like this happened very recently. ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Be a Valentine's Day hero. Two red heart shaped balloons floating in a blue sky
A project manager's guide to Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day. You either love it, or loathe it. Every year you’re guaranteed to read on various social media platforms about hero partners that have gone all out and made the day amazing or zero partners that have failed to deliver even the most basic of surprises. One year in my naïve youth I had ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
You're a clinician. Speech bubbles with who, what, when, where, why and who
Ask a Project Manager – Help! I’m a clinician, I’ve been asked to run a project and don’t know where to start!
Welcome to our latest Ask a Project Manager blog. This time I’ve been asked how to help a clinician run a project they’ve been given when they have no project management experience. Hello, I’m looking for some advice please. I’m a clinician in a hospital and I’ve been handed a project to run. I’ve got ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Keeping your projects healthy. A pile of different coloured pills
How to achieve healthy projects in four simple steps
Keeping projects healthy takes a huge amount of time and energy, especially when you’re managing more than one or managing it on top of your day job. Here are four useful tips to ensure your projects stay in tip top condition. Tip 1: Manage your schedule The project schedule is one of your most important ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Writing documents: A man creating a document on a tablet
Writing documents your stakeholders will read
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” – George Berkeley If you write a project document and no one reads it, what was the point of writing it? You’ve spent hours crafting what you’re sure is the perfect project initiation document and ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
working remotely - a sunny day with bench on a hill overlooking Wellington harbour
How to Effectively Manage a Project Remotely
Working remotely is the new normal for many of us. I authored this blog at home, for example! According to an Airtasker survey, remote workers are more productive and less distracted than their office-located counterparts. However, as a project manager, how do you manage your team effectively from a distance and ensure your projects stay ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Mentoring for Women in Project Management
I was very pleased to be invited to present at the monthly PMI Women in Project Management Forum in February.  I chose a topic close to my heart – how mentoring can kick-start your career. My mentorship journey I’ve been fortunate enough to have had two great mentors in my life – both older men.  ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Pandemics and Project Managers
I never thought that my first blog after my holiday would be about a pandemic, but here we are. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that COVID-19 is currently rampaging its way around the world. It’s disrupting everything in people’s lives – from travel to work to social gatherings and in most ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
What does a project dream team look like?
No one is self sufficient. This is why teams are crucial in project management. Teamwork is essential for the smooth running of projects. It allows for more successful project outcomes by helping to drive the team to its goal faster and more efficiently. However, for teamwork to be effective, there has to be strong leadership, ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Why You Should Implement Artificial Intelligence in Project Management
You can’t ignore the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in project management. Put simply, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is an aspect of computer science created to solve problems that would typically require human intelligence and input. In project management, AI-powered systems can assist project managers with the day-to-day administration and management of projects. Enabling them to ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Ten tips for project manager interviewees
I took a quick straw poll in the office and interviews are up there on the list of things that stress people out. I’ll confess that I hate interviews. I always worry that I’m going to say the wrong thing or do something silly. So anything that helps make the process easier gets a yes ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Contingency planning – or how not to run out of blog posts!
It’s been a while since the last blog, thanks to a series of illnesses that has rampaged through my family. These unplanned events got me thinking about contingency planning –  something I haven’t taken too seriously to date, as evidenced by my lack of blogs over the last few weeks. You’d think being a project ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Psoda Supreme Project of the Year Award Winner: Picasso - Fonterra's Edgecumbe Stormwater and Wastewater Upgrade
At Psoda, we’re proud to support excellence in project management. That’s why we sponsor the Psoda Supreme Project of the Year Award at the annual New Zealand Project Management Awards, presented by the Project Management Institute of New Zealand (PMINZ). This year we’re honoured to once again highlight a worthy recipient of the award – ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
I want to be a project manager
Welcome to the latest “Ask a project manager” blog. This week’s question is about how to get a project management job: Hello, I’m looking for some advice please. I’m getting ready to graduate soon and want to be a project manager, specifically within IT. I’ve got a general business degree and some office experience from ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
5 environmental projects that could help save the world
Whether you agree with the science or not, it’s pretty clear there’s something weird going on with our planet. We’ve got the Arctic burning, plastics in every step of the food chain, more plastics in the oceans than fish and storms that are increasing in strength. Not to mention the Amazon burning at unprecedented levels, ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Project business cases: 5 things you need to know
If you’re a project manager, chances are that at some point in your career you’ll be expected to write a project business case. This can be a daunting exercise, especially if you’ve never written one before. I remember the very first business case I ever wrote. I can honestly say it was the biggest bunch ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Help! My stakeholders want me to fail
Welcome to the latest “Ask a project manager” blog. This week’s question is about coping with difficult stakeholders: I’ve just been given a project that, in all honesty, will make or break my career. It’s a fantastic opportunity but, and it’s a big but, the stakeholders are horrendous! They all want completely different things, they ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Will horizontal visibility unlock your project success?
What would you say if I told you you could increase your project success rates, shorten delivery times and reduce rework? And that the information you need to do it already exists in your organisation? You’d probably say I’m crazy, right? No. Organisations have a huge amount of really valuable project data which they’re just ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
An easy ten-minute guide to project health checks
Setting up a project health check programme can be a bit of a mission. You need to make sure you cover everything regularly without annoying the people actually doing the work. In this easy ten-minute guide I’m going to talk you through how to set up a health check programme that will deliver the required ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How do I deal with a bottleneck boss?
Welcome to the latest “Ask a project manager” blog. This week’s question is about how to deal with a boss that’s a bottleneck. I’m a part time project coordinator/part time EA to a great boss who manages a team of 20 engineers. They’re all working on different projects and it’s my boss’s, aka my, job ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
12 more key project management terms you need to know
When you’re starting out in project management, it’s really easy to become lost and confused by the lingo. To help you through the early days, we’ve created Fundamentals of Project Management. It’s a series of videos which talk you through the basics of project management. Our latest episode is “12 more key project management terms ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
What is a PMO?
Welcome to the latest “Ask a project manager” blog. This week’s question isn’t about project management but about that lovely adjunct – PMOs. I’m a recent graduate and have an interview for a (very) junior role in a PMO. I’m really excited but I’ve not got much of a clue about what a PMO is ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How to rescue a project in trouble
Welcome to the latest “Ask a project manager” blog. This week’s question is about how to rescue a project that’s in trouble. Our questioner asks: I’ve got a bit of a dilemma. My boss has asked me to take on a project that’s in real trouble and I don’t quite know where to start. I’m ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
An easy 10-minute guide to change management
All projects involve some form of change, whether you’re building a bridge, putting in a new IT system or modifying business processes. To put it simply, change management is the processes, techniques and tools you use to get people ready for the changes your project will be bringing. It shouldn’t be confused with change control ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How do I keep my subject matter experts happy?
Welcome to the latest Ask a Project Manager blog. This week we’re answering a question about subject matter experts. I’m working on a large and complicated project at the moment, involving a lot of different subject matter experts. They’re not in my project team full time but are assigned to it on an “as needed” ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
An easy 10 minute guide to project quality management
Quality management is one of the most misunderstood parts of project management. Unfortunately project managers often think it’s a policing activity that is there to “catch them out”. The truth is that in the simplest terms, project quality management is there to make sure the project delivers what it said it would. Nothing more. A ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Who does what in a project?
Welcome to our new blog series ask a project manager, where I’ll be answering any portfolio, programme or project management related questions. I’m Rhona Aylward, Deputy Everything Officer at Psoda and I’ve been involved with portfolio, programmes and projects for over 20 years. I’ve set up PMOs, been a project manager, worked as a subject matter expert, ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Psoda welcomes two more Summer of Tech interns
We’re proud and excited to share that we have once again appointed two interns to help us over the New Zealand summer. Logan Barnett and Rodney Cruden-Powell have both just completed their computer science studies at Victoria University of Wellington and join us through the incredible Summer of Tech internship programme. This is the fourth ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
A column of boxes with ticks in them showing good project requirements
How to help your project succeed with good requirements
Capturing project requirements is what I call a swan task. On the surface it looks really easy and not much effort but underneath is a heck of a lot of work. It’s also one of those jobs that if it isn’t done properly it will have a significant negative impact on your project. Normally by ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
An easy ten minute guide to resource management
Whether you’re new to project management or an old hand, resource management can be a time consuming and frustrating exercise. It’s important to remember that resource management is about more than people management. It also covers the equipment needed to do the work and any materials. One of the most common problems for project managers ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
5 Key People You Must Know (and not annoy!)
As is the case in most organisations, there is often an unofficial hierarchy in projects. There are certain roles that you really, really don’t want to annoy and should get to know and keep onside. And it’s not always the people you think it will be! Project coordinators This one is pretty obvious, but you’d ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
What your project sponsor really wants to know
When I was a project manager, I often wondered if my project sponsor was actually interested in anything I had to say. It seemed like everything I gave him was met with “meh”. Then I ended up on the other side of the fence. It was a revelation and made me appreciate all of the ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Why project reporting is the dullest thing ever
I hate Tuesdays! Why? In one of my previous jobs, Tuesday was project report writing day. Enough said! It filled me with dread and although that job is long in the past, I still get that familiar sinking feeling in my stomach. It was such a tedious, dull and unrewarding part of the job. I ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
An easy explanation of the three Ps of project management
If you’ve been even loosely involved in project management, you’re likely to have heard people talk about portfolios, programmes and projects. They’re part of the language of project management but it can be difficult to know the differences between them, even though they’re all related. A really good way to visualise the difference is to ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How do you cope when things go wrong?
As a project manager I’m used to things not always going to plan. I also think of myself as being pretty resilient. Yet, the past week has seen my patience and tolerance disappear pretty quickly! I’ve been having a really bad week where it feels like everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. It’s ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
2018 Psoda Project of the Year Award Finalist Profile: Education Sector Logon upgrade - Ministry of Education
IT projects face any number of challenges – tight deadlines, complex stakeholder relationships, multiple systems and end-users, and difficult technical issues. The Ministry of Education’s Education Sector Logon upgrade had all this to contend with, and more. The project, described by the Ministry as the most complex IT project in the education sector in over ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
2018 Psoda Project of the Year Award Finalist Profile: Watercare Mangere Biological Nutrient Removal Project
As the largest single-site capital works wastewater infrastructure project in New Zealand in almost 20 years, the upgrade of the Watercare Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant can justifiably claim its title as an iconic development. Already the largest wastewater treatment plant in New Zealand and Auckland’s main wastewater treatment facility, the Mangere plant needed expansion to ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
2018 Psoda Project of the Year Award Finalist Profile: Maraetai Intake Rehabilitation Project - Mercury
Complex projects come in many shapes and sizes, but few take four years, have a $6.8 million budget, involve 500 tonnes of steel gates and require 400 decompression dives. But then few projects are as complicated as renewing a 70-year-old asset located 50 metres beneath a lake, with the full force of the Waikato River ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
A simple guide to project management (for beginners)
Today I’m doing something a bit different in that I’m simultaneously releasing the blog and a new video. It’s a beast of a video and as the title suggests it’s a beginner’s guide to project management. What is a project? Project management is everywhere! From someone building their own home to a country putting on ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How to tell if your project is failing
If we’re being honest, most project managers know if their project is starting to fail or is already failing. Whether they speak up or not, is another question. However, if you’re not the project manager you’re less likely to pick up on signs the project might be in trouble. So, if you’re involved in a ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Lego man with a stop sign
Five reasons you need to kill your project
We’ve all been there. Working on a project that just isn’t going anywhere. It’s burning money, people keep changing and the deadlines are being pushed further and further out. Everyone knows the project needs to be put out of its misery, but no one is brave enough to do it. Over the years, I’ve been ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Psoda's new agile tech solves your kanban pain
How many of you use kanban boards? They’re pretty awesome, aren’t they? I really like how they encourage communication. It’s easy to see where everything is in the workflow and you can quickly change things on the fly if you need to. It also gives you a great sense of satisfaction when you move the ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
People skills board - a cork board with post it notes full of soft skills
Should project management be taught in schools?
When I was at school (a long time ago, in a land far, far away) we were often given team projects to run over the term and ended up with a presentation of some sort. No-one gave us any instructions on how to set up these projects or what the best way was to run ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Make your project successful with great requirements
“Who needs requirements anyway?” This is a direct quote from a project stakeholder on a very large and expensive project I worked on. He said it at the end of a frustrating group session where we were trying to put together a reasonable list of project requirements. Unfortunately, this is a common sentiment. It can ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Should project managers be part of a professional association?
I made two interesting discoveries recently while working with the Project Management Institute of New Zealand in the run up to its annual conference in September. First, I was surprised to learn there are approximately 36,000 project managers in New Zealand! Second, and perhaps more surprising, only a fraction of this number are members of ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How to be productive in project meetings
Have you ever been in a project meeting and started playing “meeting bingo”? Or have surreptitiously checked your phone? I’ll put my hand up and admit I’ve done both on more than one occasion. Why do people do that? Surely, you’re in a meeting because you either want to or have to be there? Looking ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How to solve the problem of scope creep
Have you ever been involved in a project that grows and grows? It feels like every day something else is added to the to-do list. Welcome to scope creep, something most project managers dread. It can happen to almost any project and when it does, the impacts are far reaching. From budget blowouts, stakeholder frustration ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How to do project scheduling
I don’t need to convince you that project scheduling is important. After all, if you’re involved in projects in any way shape or form you’re going to know that anyway. On saying that, do you know how many projects fail because of poor scheduling? No? The results might surprise you. 43% of projects failed due ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Five unexpected industries using project management
I’ve been involved in project management in one form or another for longer than I care to remember. Over the years, I’ve worked in a wide variety of different industries. Reflecting on these, I started to wonder what industries you don’t normally associate with project management. In the end, I came up with five industries ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Matrix manager
5 essential ways programme management differs from project management
When you think of programme management, do you automatically think of it being project management, only bigger? If you do, you’re not alone, but ultimately – like me: wrong! Managing a programme is very different to managing a project. The Project Management Institute has great definitions for both a programme and a project. It defines ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How to manage through a crisis - even if the world is crumbling around you
Strong crisis management skills are probably among the most under-valued traits a project manager can have. After all, aren’t project managers used to working well under pressure? Many years ago, I was involved in a project when a completely out-of-the-blue and cataclysmic event struck. It had a disastrous effect not only on the project, but ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Why pregnancy is like project management – part 3
Following on from part 2…. Congratulations you’ve passed Stage 1 and Stage 2 and have been cleared to move to Stage 3 – arguably the most difficult stage to date. Your steering committee consists of your obstetrician, midwife, phlebotomist, nurse and any other interested person who feels like sticking their nose in. An added bonus ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Want to build the profession? Sponsor a student to attend a conference
Do you want to encourage someone who’s keen on a career in project management?  What better way to do so than to sponsor them to attend an event where project professionals from multiple industries get together? Here at Psoda we’re passionate about project management. So, when we were approached by the New Zealand Project Management ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
The case for using a cloud portfolio, programme and project management tool
I’m often asked why an organisation should spend time and money investing in a cloud PPM tool. Here’s my reasoning as to why it is money well spent. Picture the scene… You’re a project manager on a project that’s two thirds of the way through. You have 10 different work streams, each with their own ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Managing a project in stages – why I like working this way
There are almost as many ways to manage a project as there are varieties of wines in the world. Ask a project manager what their preferred way to manage is, and you’ll likely get as many different methods as you can think of. I recently had this discussion with a few project manager friends and ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
5 tips to get the most accurate estimates possible
One of the hardest parts of building a project schedule for me is getting accurate estimates for tasks. It’s made more difficult when people outside of the project see the GANTT chart and think the estimates have come out of an objective process, rather than one person’s subjective gut feel. For example, how often have ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
A daily to do list for a project manager.
Why lists are as important as registers for project managers
I’ll admit upfront I am naturally not a list person. So until very recently I wasn’t convinced of the difference they would make to my projects. Yes, I have logs and registers, etc., but the thought of creating a whole bunch of lists left me cold. Until I was challenged by a friend to see ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Catching up at PsodaVerse 2018 – our annual user community meeting
Yesterday was the annual Psoda user community meeting in Wellington where we were lucky enough to have a great turnout of attendees from most of our Wellington based customers, as well as several others from further afield. Our venue was the beautiful Wharewaka on Wellington waterfront, which has the most amazing views across the harbour. ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
What you should look for in a project management job
I will always remember the project management job I wished I hadn’t taken. I had niggles at the interview but put them aside because it was a job and at the time I needed one. Unfortunately, it’s a decision I lived to regret – the job just wasn’t a good fit for my skills and ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
9 things to think about when developing a communication plan
Getting communication right when running a project is a tricky business. It’s more than just pushing out the occasional project update. You need to think about everything from how you’ll communicate to your team, the way you will report to your steering committee, how you will keep your wider stakeholders informed, and how you will ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How to promote your PMO
One of the hardest things as a new PMO, is to get the business to believe in you and buy into the service you’re offering. Over the years I’ve seen a number of great PMOs fail to deliver on their promise simply because they haven’t promoted themselves properly. So, if you’re in the process of ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Five things I’ve done to become a better project manager
Hello and welcome to my first blog of 2018. In honour of the New Year I want to share some steps I’ve taken recently I hope will help me become a better project manager. Before I went on leave over Christmas, I’d noticed I’d become jaded and disinterested in my projects. I was snappy, with ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
The joys and rewards of continuous learning in project management
Each week or so, I join a group of project management professionals on Twitter to debate a particular project management-related topic. Called #PMChat, the chat group is a great way for me to gather opinions from other project management practitioners and to get answers to questions which bother me. I also get access to project ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Help! My project is over budget and behind schedule, what should I do?
Help – I’m the project manager on what can only be described as a hospital pass of a project. I was given the role four months ago after the previous project manager resigned (she was the third PM in a year!). Because of the constant change in project managers, the project has really lost its ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
What makes good customer service great?
This week’s blog isn’t strictly about project management, but about a closely related topic – customer service. Many of our roles these days do include an element of customer service, and after all, what are our stakeholders and end-users but customers? Recently, I had the (mis)fortune of having to communicate with two of our vendors ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How to be prepared for a stage gate review
When I was a project manager I used to hate stage or phase gate reviews. They often turned into a bit of an interrogation or bun fight. And more often than not, they ended up having to be reconvened as a decision couldn’t be made there and then! Over the years I came up with ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Quiz: Which (fictional) project manager are you?
For this week’s blog I thought I’d do something a bit different so I came up with a fun quiz to find out which fictional project manager you are. Hopefully you enjoy trying it out.     [sc name=”quiz”]
Is a good coordinator a project's secret sauce?
This might sound like a stupid question but I’ve been asked in the past why was I wasting time trying to recruit project coordinators, as don’t they just do admin stuff? Knowing how hard project coordinators work and what a skilled job it is, to say I was surprised at that comment is an understatement. ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
When risks become issues – a process to deal with them
We’ve all been there… We’re working away happily on the project and a risk we’d logged and forgotten about suddenly rears its ugly head. Or something we didn’t even think about comes up and causes problems. So how do you deal with such sudden issues on your project – without losing your head or focus? ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Funny (but true) project management quotes
Leading up to the 2017 PMI Conference in Christchurch, New Zealand, we created a video based on funny project management-related quotes from around the world. We hoped that it would resonate with our audience and create a talking point for attendees. The quotes we chose to illustrate are: “Project management is like dating – you ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Requirements checklist
How to capture better requirements
You may think capturing requirements for a project is common sense. However, you’d be surprised at how often it’s done in a slap dash, half-hearted manner. This results in all sorts of problems – from products that don’t deliver what the customer wanted, to work taking twice as long when it needs to be re-worked. ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Why project meetings are too important to skip
When you’re under the pump and working 16 to 18 hour days to deliver your project, it’s really easy to consider stopping the project catch up meeting. After all, it will free up at least an hour a week that could be spent on other things. Besides, if there is anything important or urgent, the ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Why should I care about social media? I’m a project manager
Social media is one of the biggest drivers of behavioural change in recent times. It’s almost expected that everyone will be on at least one platform – especially now that most of us are near constantly glued to our smart devices. Like it or not – we’re now hardly ever disconnected unless you want to ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
PMINZ Project of the year finalist profile: Waitaki Hydro Power Station Refurbishment – Meridian Energy
How do you refurbish a power station while keeping it fully operational, and keeping everyone in the team – and local wildlife – safe? These are just some of the challenges the two project managers – yes, this project needed two! – overcame in this complex and multi-faceted project by Meridian Energy, which is one ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
You had us at beer... How Beca helped create Emerson's a new home
Helping to create a new “spiritual home” for an iconic brand would be a dream mission for many project teams. To also transform a derelict coal yard site into a stunning new attraction where beer lovers could taste, touch, smell, celebrate and discover a well-loved craft brew? Pour us another and let’s get started! In ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
PMINZ Psoda Project of the year finalist profile – Electronic Logging Device, EROAD
We’re pleased to present the first in a three-part series of blog posts to highlight the finalists of the Psoda Project of the Year Award at the 2017 New Zealand Project Management Awards. The Project of the Year Award recognises the success of a project and the project team, for the superior performance and execution ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
A $1-million lesson on why communication in projects is critical (well, almost!)
This is the story of how I almost cost my company a million-dollar contract simply by not communicating effectively with my project team. We were building a mobile app that would save one of our customers a significant amount of time. It was critical that the app was delivered by the agreed due date. We ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
A man standing outside 4 PMO doors & struggling to select one
How to choose the best PMO model
Project, programme or portfolio management offices (PMO) come in many different flavours – there is no one size fits all. A question I’m often asked is how to decide which PMO model will work best in an organisation or project. This is an interesting question and the answer will likely vary depending on who you ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Thumbnail of the Making Project Management Simple Video
Psoda's new YouTube channel
Project management made simple! We’ve recently launched our Psoda YouTube channel where we’ll be sharing all manner of portfolio, programme and project related content. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced project manager we have something for you. Our project management videos cover everything from fundamentals to advanced project management techniques, humour, trends and of ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Eco-friendly projects. Green superhero with the recycle sign on his chest.
Can project management (help) save the world?
A clickbaitesque title I know, but it’s something that I have been thinking a lot about recently.  As resources become scarcer around the world, the need to save even small amounts on what would normally be thought of as “non-environmental” projects, will become more and more critical. Severe weather events are also already having an ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Example of a hierarchical project work breakdown structure
Five tips to help you build the best work breakdown structure possible
A project’s work breakdown structure is one of the first, if not the first, deliverable of the project. It is a cornerstone piece of work that almost everything else on the project hangs from so getting this wrong can have disastrous consequences. I’ve seen more than one project fail because the project manager has built ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Female project manager holding papers
Encouraging the next generation of project professionals
When you’re next at a project management conference or event, take a look around at the audience. What do you see? Who’s missing? One of the most interesting things I’ve found when attending project management conferences and events is the distinct lack of young people in attendance. Not school children, but people in their mid ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Matrix manager
How to manage when you’re not “the manager”
As a project manager, you’re often in the unenviable position of managing people while not being their line manager. This is a particular problem in large organisations where you are given a percentage of someone’s time, rather than having them solely dedicated to your project It’s all good and well when such arrangements work, but ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Scunnered with sexism
Scunnered – A Rant from a Pissed Off Woman!
Another week and another slew of articles about why companies need more women in tech and facile statements from organisations with institutional sexism problems. It seems like this is the topic of the moment and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. Well as a woman, never mind as a woman in tech, I can tell ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Project portfolio management bubble chart
Why and how to create a portfolio management strategy
If you don’t already have a portfolio management strategy in place, you may be wondering what it does and why you need it. A good portfolio management strategy can help organisations enjoy greater project success. This is because a portfolio management strategy is the art and science of matching programmes and projects to your organisation’s ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Eleven project management terms everyone should know
Being involved in projects, even if you’re on the periphery, can expose you to a whole new language – like someone talking Klingon. To help you fake it till you make it, here are 11 project management terms everyone should know: 1. Project manager The head honcho, conductor of the orchestra, or other management clichés. ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
The big picture - Wellington city from the botanic gardens
Focus on the big picture - why project managers shouldn't sweat the small stuff
I’m the first to admit that when I started out in project management I was absolutely terrible at it. I spent so much time worrying about the tiny details, I forgot to look at the big picture. Inevitably, my project slipped further and further behind. New project managers often struggle to focus on the big ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Showcase of Features of Psoda - Inline Editing in gold letters
How inline editing works in Psoda
We’re proud to present our new Showcase video series, which highlights some of the awesome current and new features you will find in Psoda’s portfolio, programme and project management tools. In the first video in the series, we take a closer look at inline editing. Inline editing lets you make changes to your data in ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Celebration of the close of a project. Clip art people with party hats & streamers,
How to shut down a project - in a dignified way
The day you probably thought you would never live to see has finally arrived – you have a final end-date for your project. So how do you close your project in a controlled way, instead of just shutting up shop on the final day (I have seen that happen!). Here are six steps to follow: ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Weirdest projects ever. A man with a watermelon on his head
Five of the weirdest projects from around the world - ever
In search of inspiration for this week’s blog, I decided to trawl Google for some weird projects. After an afternoon of following rabbit holes to various bits of the internet that I will wish I had visited using an incognito browser, here, in no particular order, is my list of the five weirdest projects from ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
From rocket ships to server farms - a brief history of Psoda
Did you know, the idea behind Psoda originated when founder and CEO Bruce Aylward was programming rocket ships back in the 1990s? No, well watch the video below, which gives a brief overview of our history, and you’ll find out. Plus, you’ll also learn that Psoda is an acronym and what it stands for…
3d girl with multiple arrow paths
Should you have a formal project code of conduct?
Observing on social media the latest controversy about a speaker at an organised event got me thinking about project teams. How many of us have been spoken to disrespectfully, shouted at or insulted when working? Or asked to do something that you really shouldn’t? You’d think in this day and age that a document outlining ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Successful change. Red coffee machine
Why effective stakeholder engagement is critical to successful change
(Or… What I learned about keeping stakeholders engaged from switching office coffee suppliers) Let’s be honest, no-one really likes change. Whether it’s switching the supplier of the office coffee or implementing a new company-wide IT system, there is always going to be some resistance. It’s really easy to underestimate the power stakeholders hold over the ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Glasses focusing on data with paper blurred in the background
PMO as a service - a quick (and rather painless) path to project management maturity
In organisations with poor project maturity, it is almost impossible to get a handle on how much time, money and resources are being spent (or in some instances, wasted) on projects. This way of working is becoming less and less acceptable, particularly in the public sector. Getting consistent processes, PPM tool adoption and sound project ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Phoenix rising from the flames that has PMO in it
Phoenix rising: the rise, fall and rebirth of the PMO
In an ever changing business world it’s not surprising that project management offices (PMOs) need to adapt and change over time. What is surprising is just how short a life-span a PMO has – on average four years. So why does the average PMO have such an abysmal life-span? As in every situation there are ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Merry Christmas from Santa - the ultimate project manager
Why Santa Claus is the ultimate project manager
For the final blog of the year, and with the big day fast approaching, I wanted to get into the spirit of things by looking at what makes Santa Claus the ultimate project manager: Scheduling No-one rocks fixed deadline scheduling like the big man in red. Imagine the faces of half a billion children (the ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Can of bug spray
Why can’t bug spray work on software?
Blasted bugs. They’re guaranteed to turn up just when you don’t want them, hang about like a bad smell and taint everything in their wake. If we were talking about a fly hovering over the BBQ. you’d either reach for the bug spray or, if you’re like my husband, annihilate it with a swift flick ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
4 people holding jigsaw pieces
10 ways to get the most out of project planning
Everyone wants to make their projects successful and any little thing that can help is always welcome. As a follow-up to my earlier blog on Gantt charting, here are 10 tips on how to get the most out of project planning: Remember that planning is more than just scheduling. When building your project’s work breakdown ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How to successfully manage organisation change
Any project undertaken by an organisation will inevitably result in some kind of change. This creates a task for someone to manage the change – including how it is communicated to the wider organisation.  While some larger organisations do employ dedicated organisational change manager, it is often a project manager who is expected to also ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Gantt chart with thumbs up and down
Why bother with Gantt charting?
Before we get into this blog post, I need to hold my hands up and confess I’m not a fan of Gantt charts. I think they are too often taken as being the be all and end all of project documents, when they don’t really provide much information. That isn’t to say they’re not important ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Don't forget the end users. Cartoon of a robot showing different interpretations of requirements
Who needs requirements anyway?
“Who needs requirements anyway?” This is a direct quote from a stakeholder in a project that I was part of. It was said after a group session where the project team was trying to herd cats and get a reasonable list of requirements for a new framework that was to be implemented. After the project ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Ball flying between rugby posts
Getting the most out of your project benefits
While benefits management is not a new concept, in fact we wrote a 101 guide back in 2008. It’s still something that organisations don’t do particularly well. We’ve spoken to a number of project management professionals over the years and some common areas of concern keep popping up. Below are the top five, with some ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Team reviewing financial information
Project finances in a business as usual environment
Have you ever been in a situation where you’re accountable for something but have absolutely no control over it? Does that sound like an unlikely scenario? Unfortunately it’s not. It’s one that project managers all over the world face every day when project budgets are managed by a central finance team. The first time I ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Brain on a circuit board
The digital life of a project manager
As our personal lives become more and more digitalised, it seems logical that our business lives are too. Digitalisation has quietly revolutionised project management. Back in the day, projects needed to be run with people physically in one place, with hard copies of project documentation and if off site work needed to be done the ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Suited man wielding a Samuri sword over his shoulder
A case study in social engineering
With the recent hacking of Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts bringing cyber security back to the top of the news I thought I would look back to my information security days for this blog. One of the more often overlooked parts of hacking is social engineering, which is basically tricking people into divulging information ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Stand up meeting
The benefits of the daily stand-up meeting
The second task of the day in the Psoda office (making coffee is the first) is the daily stand-up meeting. We spend 15 minutes going round the team discussing the previous day’s achievements, the plans for the day ahead and any issues. As we’re so busy, it’s a great way for us to catch up ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
four yellow rubber ducks in a row
How to get through a project assurance audit in one piece
I’ve been (un)lucky enough to be involved in project assurance audits as both the auditor and auditee. It’s a situation that’s almost always stressful, but a few simple things can make the process go more smoothly for all concerned: It’s not personal When you’re being audited it’s difficult not to take it personally. Just remember ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Psoda infographic
10 years of Psoda
A column of boxes with ticks in them showing good project requirements
Twelve questions to ask cloud PPM providers
Picking a cloud programme and project management (PPM) tool is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly and it is only natural that you would want to evaluate multiple vendors. These 12 questions should help you make an informed decision: Where in the world is our data held? In today’s security conscious world, it is ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Photo of the Psoda clock above the desk of the COO
A day in the life of… Rhona Aylward, COO
With the Psoda team growing so fast, I decided to start a series of blog articles where we offer a glimpse of what it’s like to work here. As it’s my idea, I thought I’d break the ice and go first… What’s your job? My official title is COO but my unofficial one is Deputy ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Mother and son
Women in Tech – It’s not just about our daughters
As a woman in tech I’m both encouraged and saddened by the #womenintech movement. Encouraged that such a great initiative exists and is so successful in showcasing the awesome female tech talent out there, but saddened that it is needed in the first place. A recent article by Leo King (@LeoKing11) on Forbes about how ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
2 women having an informal discussion
How to be a better project management mentor (and mentee)
Last week, I had the privilege to join in a very interesting Twitter conversation about mentoring with two leadership experts – Dr Liane Davey and Martin Headley. Liane is the bestselling author of You First: Inspire Your Team to Grow Up, Get Along, & Get Stuff Done, while Martin is a leadership couch based in ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Laptop with coffee and timtams
Ten things I wish people had told me
Just before I came back from my holidays I was working out how long I’ve been in the workforce. After I’d got back up off the floor I fell to when I realised it’s been 18 years since I graduated university, I looked back on those first few project jobs and thought of some things ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Prioritisation matrix: Example bubble chart with segmentation
Designing a prioritisation matrix
When I attend networking events and people find out that I’m a portfolio, programme and project management specialist, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is around prioritisation of projects in a portfolio. So, I thought I would use this post to write about designing and implementing a simple prioritisation matrix. In simple ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Summer of Tech Interns: Lego Mindstorm robot
Summer interns join team Psoda
This week we welcomed our interns Luke Hardiman and Marina Voronova to the team. Luke has joined us a developer, while Marina is a designer. Both of these wonderful students from Whitireia Polytechnic and Victoria University respectively have come to us through the phenomenally successful Summer of Tech internship programme. Luke and Marina will be ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Torso of a person in scrubs holding an ipad
The fundamentals of healthcare project management
Following on from our last blog about why clinicians make good project managers, this week I look at how project management principles can be applied in healthcare. The advent of cloud technology is fundamentally changing the way healthcare is delivered and the consequences of not keeping up with the pace of change and getting something ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Why clinicians make good project managers. Stethoscope & Keyboard
Why clinicians make good project managers
A lot of healthcare providers use clinicians as project managers from time to time. But it can be rather daunting to be suddenly thrust into a completely new role if you’re an expert in your particular field. However, clinicians – whether doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists or other specialists already have a lot of the skills ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
3d girl with multiple arrow paths
Do project managers have to be experienced in the industry they work in?
This is a question I regularly hear debated, particularly when an attractive looking job appears which isn’t in the industry the person usually works in. There are usually two opposing camps – on the one side are those who feel project managers should hold relevant industry experience, and on the other are those who feel ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Businessman juggling business tools
How to manage multiple projects successfully
In an ideal world project managers would manage one project at a time from inception through to completion. Unfortunately this is often not the case and project managers have to manage multiple projects at different points in the project lifecycle at any given time. So how can you do that successfully? Below are some tips ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Image of the Gaudi House in Barcelona
Architecture and extreme project management - a match made by design
Last year when I was researching my blog post about extreme project management I discovered that it is a methodology often used in architecture. Since then, I’ve been really interested in the way project management is applied by architects as it wasn’t something that I thought would need project management – oh, how wrong was ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How tech companies can help new parents return to work
This week I thought I would write about something completely different. Having just returned to work after having a baby, I thought a post on the way tech companies can support women returning to work would be timely. Especially as women in tech is an issue that is being heavily debated globally. As a new ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Why pregnancy is like project management – part 2
Following on from part 1… Congratulations, you’ve passed the stage 1 project review and received the all clear to move on to stage 2. Your steering committee consists of your obstetrician, midwife, phlebotomist, nurse and any other interested person that feels like sticking their nose in. Your project sponsor (if you have one) is the ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
How happy are your stakeholders? Find out with an engagement survey
Stakeholder management is a critical part of any project, whether it costs a few thousand dollars or a few million, but how do you determine if your work is successful, or if there are areas you need to improve? When I worked in project management offices (PMOs), I conducted stakeholder management surveys to help project ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
3d girl with multiple arrow paths
How can I become a project manager?
This is a question we’re often asked by people interested in getting into IT project management. I’ve always said that there is no real defined route to becoming a project manager but there are some particular jobs to consider that will help on the way. In fact, a study published in SAGE Open last month ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
3 team members working together round a table
What makes a good project leader?
I’ve been lucky enough to work with two charismatic project managers in the course of my career. It was a conversation with an ex colleague discussing what made one of these managers so successful that inspired this post. Both project managers had a number of characteristics in common that I think contributed to them being ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Why P3M3 self-assessment is a good thing
Portfolio, programme and project management maturity model (P3M3) is a self-assessment tool that you can use to check your organisation’s capability in portfolio, programme and project management. It is made up of three independent models. One each for portfolio, programme and project management and has five levels of maturity. You rate your organisation’s maturity by ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Man with his head in his hand looking frustrated
How involved should you be as a project manager?
As a project manager, it is sometimes difficult to get the right balance between being over or under involved in a project, especially when you’re on a deadline and tasks just never seem to be completed. So how do you know if you’re taking on too much of the day-to-day work? Hopefully these five indicators ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Are project management methodologies like fad diets?
Happy January! It’s that time of year when the latest fad diet to take the world by storm is hitting the news. Funnily enough the same thing is happening to me with new project management methodologies.  In the last few days I’ve had three different customers ask me about implementing the latest and greatest new ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
12 days of project management. Red pohutukawa flower in full bloom
The 12 days of project management
On the first day of the project my sponsor gave to me: a business case to write On the second day of the project my sponsor gave to me: two project initiation documents to pick from and a business case to write On the third day of the project my sponsor gave to me: three ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
2013 User Community Meeting: Psoda Bottles
Musings from the 2014 Psoda User Community Meeting
We held the annual Psoda User Community Meeting in Wellington last Thursday and not only were we blessed with beautiful Wellington weather, we had a great turnout of both current and potential customers. The five keynote speakers kept the audience engaged with a variety of topics relating to portfolio, programme and project management with three ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
2013 User Community Meeting: Psoda Bottles
Counting down to the 2014 Psoda User Community Meeting
Our annual Psoda User Community Meeting is scheduled for Thursday 16 October in Wellington and we’re very excited about it! This year we have some great speakers representing both current customers and external PPM experts. There’s also going to be a workshop on ideation – a must for anyone thinking about starting up a portfolio ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Why pregnancy is like project management – part 1
Congratulations, you’ve discovered you’re pregnant (received the signed business case) and now the biggest project of your career is about to kick off. Welcome to stage 1, you are about to grow a brand new human! Your steering committee consists of your obstetrician, midwife, phlebotomist, nurse and any other interested person that feels like sticking ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Scales showing project on one side and programme on the other
How to tell the difference between project management and programme management
I recently had a very interesting discussion with a colleague about the difference between project and programme management. We’ve both been in situations where organisations have struggled to differentiate between the two and have expected project managers to be programme managers and vice versa. This has led to confusion and, more often than not, programme ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Who needs an action register anyway?
As any project manager can tell you, keeping track of who is working on what task, when and where, or when items are due is one of the most time consuming aspects of managing a project. This is where an action register can help. An action register is a central place where the project manager ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Grass hut in Africa
What the world would be like if project management didn’t exist
This week I wanted to do something a bit different so imagined what the world would be like if there was no such thing as project management. If this was the case, there’s a good chance that civilisation as we know it today wouldn’t exist and it’s very likely that the human population would be ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
A stack of paper files
Five tips for coming to grips with document management
Document management is one of those ongoing project tasks that need to be done again and again and again. It’s also one of those things that if it isn’t set up correctly in the first place, it can come back and bite you later on. Unless you work for a large enterprise or Government department, ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Quality stamp
The fundamentals of setting up a quality assurance programme
As I wrote before, quality assurance is very important in programmes and projects. However, having been involved in programme and project assurance for many years, I’ve learned there is no one size fits all approach to quality assurance programmes. So how do you go about setting up a quality assurance programme? Here are a few ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Blackboard with lessons written in chalk - lessons learned, recognise mistakes, observe what works, document them, share them
Make the most of lessons learned
Following on from last week’s parody blog about making sure your lessons never see the light of day, this week we look at the benefits to be gained from taking lessons learned seriously. Projects by their very nature are transient and it is very easy to lose any knowledge and experience that might have been ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Zombie graveyard at night
How to make sure your project lessons never see the light of day
Lessons learned – that useless paperwork exercise the PMO insists we carry out at the end of every project. They haven’t registered that we spend 95% of the lessons learned meeting time recovering from our hangovers and dissecting the project close-out party the night before, and then spend just five minutes coming up with two ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
An individual timesheet from Psoda
Four great reasons why you need timesheeting on projects
It’s 4pm on a Friday, you’re just getting ready to run out the door to the pub and an email pops up reminding you to fill in your weekly project timesheet. If you think “what a load of old rubbish!” you’re not alone. Most people see project timesheets as a waste of time and effort. ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Why clinicians make good project managers. Stethoscope & Keyboard
How a health care provider moved to the cloud
This week I wanted to do something a bit different on the blog, so decided to share a case study from one of our customers so that you can see what a difference Psoda has made. The client Hutt Valley District Health Board (DHB) was formed in 2001 and is one of 20 district health ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Megaprojects. Aerial photo of Palm Island Dubai
Megaprojects - risky business
I’ve always been fascinated with megaprojects – those huge undertakings that take many years and have a budget the size of a small country. Projects like Terminal 5 at Heathrow International Airport, the Galileo spacecraft, Palm Jumeirah in Dubai and the CERN Large Hadron Collider . It’s not just the end product that gets my attention, ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Quality stamp
Why is quality assurance important in programmes and projects?
You’re sitting at your desk going through your emails and you see the subject line: Request for Meeting: Quality Assurance Audit. Do you: Delete the email and if questioned deny all knowledge of ever receiving it Mark it as read and forget about it until the second reminder Respond immediately and enthusiastically If you’ve answered ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Multiple graphs illustrating value
Are you setting up a portfolio management practice? Here’s a process to follow
Portfolio management has come to prominence in recent weeks after featuring on the ESI International Project Management trends for 2014 list and with the Project Management Institute rolling out its new Portfolio Management Professional qualification. An earlier Psoda blog post gave an idiot’s guide to portfolio management that focussed on ideation, so I thought it ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Multiple graphs illustrating value
Five ways to make sure your PMO adds value
I was recently given a copy of a report by Masha Nehme from Software Advice that addressed the question: Do you need a project management office (PMO)? The report highlighted five scenarios where having a PMO would add value to an organisation. If you are considering implementing a PMO, it’s worth a read. You might ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Suited man wielding a Samuri sword over his shoulder
Silent but deadly – why silent stakeholders are your worst nightmare
Managing your stakeholders is one of the most fraught tasks a project manager faces. Even if you’re involved in a large programme with dedicated change managers, managing the project stakeholders inevitably falls to you. You know what it’s like – you do your stakeholder analysis and have a nice diagram of the high power, low ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Psoda blog - picture of software code showing an error message
Testing, testing..... 123, testing
“Hi Mike, can you please let me know the minimum amount of time you’re going to need to test the system? Given the level of dev, I thought two weeks would be enough, is that fair? I need to cut some time from the schedule and testing looks like the obvious place.” In my ignorance, ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Don't forget the end users. Cartoon of a robot showing different interpretations of requirements
Six ways to improve your requirements management
Many things can make or break a project, but in my opinion, one of the foundation stones of project success is the quality of the requirements that define the project. Requirements management is something that should be taken seriously and is worth spending time on and doing well. However, I realise it can be an ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers
Psoda Extreme Project Management - Confident surfer riding the wave of documents
Pushing project management to the extreme
Looking for something a bit different for this week’s blog post, I decided to search for the most extreme projects I could find. I was expecting to come across things like bridges requiring foundations miles into bedrock. Houses that had been built on the side of a mountain with the only way to get the ... Kia Ora and Kia Kaha: 10 Must-Have Skills for Kiwi Project Managers