Welcome to our site!
What is ProjectConnections.com and why are we here? That's what this page explains.
Since 1999, over 350,000 people around the world have used our project management templates, resources and other expert know-how to quickly gain practical project tools and techniques, solve project problems and "get it out the door," and establish and spread practical management techniques throughout their organization.
We provide resources to help PMs, teams, functional groups, and leaders in the organization
- kick-start project activities and deliverables
- get teams collaborating on critical cross-functional work,
- train, support, and grow the people working on projects – hard skills, soft skills, business-savvy
- create and continually improve workable, practical management and development methodologies
Why did we start the site?
Because many of us learned project management, and making it work not just team-by-team but throughout an organization - the hard way! As an engineer, I personally happened into untitled PM work fairly early in my career—managing small feature enhancement projects, leading a particular portion of a larger product development project, representing Engineering on large corporate release programs.
After years in technical work and line management, I finally transferred into a titled PM role, managing larger projects on my own
all after starting with no training. I learned much as I went, long before I ever got sent to a project management course or even got any coaching. While it was interesting and often exciting, it WAS NOT painless. And I know I must have wasted time and re-invented the wheel at least a few times, too.
Even as I gained experience and confidence, I can remember late nights wondering how to handle particular tasks or challenges. (The questions just kept changing as I moved along in my experience and career.)
- How do I get the recalcitrant developer to give me good schedule inputs?
- What does a good work breakdown for this type of project look like?
- How do I estimate this project that the company has no internal experience on?
- How can I possibly do resource loading of 80 software engineers across 120 projects and 3 releases this year?!!
- How do I scale down what I know about project management for small internal department projects?
- How much project management process is enough, how much is too much for a given situation—useful tools vs. dreaded bureaucracy? Some of the people who had no time for project paperwork thought almost anything was too much; how could I counter that?
- How can I have enough influence to get support for the operational changes I believe we need to make for our projects to move faster?
- What approach should I take to training all the managers and team members I'm responsible for, to get them more skilled and business-savvy without taking a lot of time away from work?
- How do I determine whether this organization needs a formal PMO?
- What's the best way for this organization to get going with some portfolio management, so that we don't keep spreading people ridiculously thin?
And of course, I wondered, how do other managers handle these issues? What tools and techniques are out there to help? Who can I ask? At the time I had no one to ask my detailed daily questions, no easy place to look for guidance on some of these how-to questions—especially the nuances of dealing with real people and making it all work in different situations.
My early project management career experience, echoed by many colleagues over the years, led to the idea for our site. Since we couldn't find it out there, we decided to create it. And now we continue to add to it.
Who uses our site
Our huge worldwide membership includes over 350,000 people in almost every country—all people who work on or are responsible for projects in one way or another. Our members include project managers (both career PMs and untitled/part-time/occasional/accidental managers-of-a-project), team leads, team members, managers of project managers, heads of Project Management Offices, functional managers, and executives who are trying to get business results from their projects and programs.
What you'll see on the site:
- We want to give you an always-available support system for all your project challenges, an easy-to-use starting point for whatever you or your people need.
- We realize that many people in your companies are involved in projects, not just the titled project managers who do that full time. So we provide resources for new project managers who need to learn the ropes fast; non-titled part-time "never-gonna-be-my-only-job" team leaders; team members who just need to provide estimates, write a status report, understand project scope, etc.; and managers of project managers who need to develop excellent PMs, teams, tools, and processes.
- We understand that colleagues are the deepest and best information sources available, with the best take on how to make "standard project management" principles work in wide variety of situations we all encounter in our own slices of the real world. So:
- The how-to resources we publish—articles, templates, checklists, how-to guidelines, online courses—are created by managers and team members with real-world experience, who also include instructions and advice on how to use it.
- Our online educational options—FastRAMP courses, audio mini-courses, webinars, roundtables, and virtual clinics—include extensive Q&A for hearing what your peers are facing, and getting answers to your own questions from us and peers as well. Every course also includes our own advice on "situational application". (Every person, team, project, and culture is different, so why would we think the exact same approach will work exactly the same way every single time?!)
- Our practical case studies and live stories-from-colleagues—project and organizational case studies, interviews, live and recorded roundtable discussions—get the experience of others right to your desk for direct and interesting learning from their experience.
- Our other research insights—from course participant surveys, research scans, member-wide surveys, and coming related reports—focus on nitty-gritty questions on what's working, or not, in the trenches, and why, to help the rest of us see what matters most and where we should focus our own next steps.
- All our support for organizational improvements to project execution— public FastTRACTION improvement forums, internal Community of Practice programs, targeted on-site sessions for kick-starting a new effort—are designed and led by people who are still doing the job themselves, and thus have had a front row seat to making it all work.
- We know that there are many great resources beyond our site, but we also know you're probably time-strapped and may not even have time to make it through the top 10 Google results. So we also keep an eye out for practical resources elsewhere. For whatever you're trying to do, we work to provide highly-recommended pointers to relevant content, and to find specific items you need if we don't have it yet.
- Overall, we just want to make your life easier, to make your project-related work easier, and to help you advance your career path with more options and greater success! Because, let's face it, if you can manage the kinds of projects and business imperatives we're all faced with these days, your career options should be amazing!
Finally, but very importantly to us: we really do try to have fun while we're at it. You'll probably notice tongue-in-cheek or outright irreverent blurbs as we describe our content on the site. Of course our projects are serious work, but life is too short to get too weighed down while we're getting all that work done. We bring you practical and effective resources, but we figure we might as well have fun while we're at it. We hope you will too.
Cinda Voegtli, President and CEO
PS You can also see our Contributors list to learn more about the people behind the site; new contributors are coming on board as well.
(If you'd like to become a contributor to share your own perspective, techniques, and advice, please get in touch! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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