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Scrum project management is usually associated with the software development process, but its flexible, iterative approach has been drawing interest lately from many non-IT teams.

A recent study by the Scrum Alliance revealed that 36 percent of organizations with active Scrum projects are using it outside of IT in some capacity.

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In the previous articles, we positioned Project Management and Process Management as systematic ways to compensate the issues of pure functional management: loss of control at handoffs, loss of focus on corporate goals, sub-optimization, etc. Let us now consider the tools (i.e. software) support for functional, project and process management.

Let’s start with the functional management. First, there are standalone applications – accounting, warehouse, product lifecycle management (PLM), advanced planning & scheduling (APS), etc. targeted to specific departments. Historically, these applications have appeared first as the earliest form of management was functional management.

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In our  first article we described how the division of labor increases productivity of an individual employee yet, at the same time, creates a disconnect between departments reducing the company’s effectiveness.

These problems arise when the company grows. As long as the founder is in charge, and the number of employees is limited, the mutual understanding and motivation among managers is sufficient to limit “friction” to a minimum. Then, e.g. a new ambitious sales director comes onboard to reorganize the sales department.  The changes might be positive overall, but the former mutual understanding with the director of Manufacturing is no longer there, leading to tensions, that evolve in a search for a “scapegoat” in meetings with the CEO.

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It’s all because of Adam Smith! Wasn’t he the one who introduced the division of labor? What, he didn’t invent it but simply described it? Anyway, it’s the phenomenon that we are going to talk about, not the person.

It happens all the time: as soon as we find a solution for a problem, the solution becomes a problem itself. The division of labor is not an exception: it increases the productivity indeed, but it also decreases in other cases.

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This article reviews the essentials on how to delegate tasks and manage a small team.

Consider this scenario:

You’re spearheading a research and development project. A problem crops up, and the client wants the cause investigated. You tell her she’ll get the details in the next monthly meeting. Because your plate is already brimming, you assign the task to a team member. The next meeting comes, and the client asks for the details you promised. Sitting next to you, quite visibly shaken and all color drained from his face, is the person you assigned the task to.

Even without uttering a single word, you know that the task hasn’t been carried out, but, in your mind, the more pressing question is: How could you possibly have forgotten about this very important task?

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What are you looking for in a workflow management solution for your team? Should it be customizable enough to adapt to your team’s processes? Should it be easy to use? Should it have powerful reporting tools? Of course, all these factors contribute to the overall product value, but for a manager, one of the key points are the product reporting capabilities.

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This is a guest post by Elizabeth Harrin of A Girl’s Guide To Project Management.


Putting together a project schedule is one of the most important tasks for a project manager. It’s also very easy to get caught out! Here are some scheduling problems and how you can beat them.


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Spearheading a project isn’t a walk in the park. You would be responsible for its planning, execution and completion, as well as the aggregation of separate tasks by teams and individuals into a cohesive whole. Grace under pressure is always an essential, but below are seven other key ingredients to lead a project to success:


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Managing any project can be tricky. Your job as the manager is to ensure each moving part is working towards a common goal, and diminish, if not completely eliminate, unnecessary processes that merely waste resources. Delegation is a necessity, and in order to be an effective manager, you need to understand the project inside out, and from different perspectives, i.e., from the perspectives of your team members, because this is how you gain their respect and loyalty.

This being the case, it is fair to say that managing multiple projects across different teams, all at once, is exponentially trickier. But it can be done and has been done. We list five things on how to manage effectively multiple projects simultaneously.

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If project management is a process that helps us achieve our goals through proper planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling, the smart way is to do it in a manner that optimizes available resources while effectively integrating them to produce desired results.

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