Give Up Chocolate to Telecommute?

In the recent CIO Insight poll (see link below), 29% of the respondents say they’d give up chocolate to telecommute.  Yeah, right!  For how long?  17% said they’d give up a salary increase for telecommuting.  And 5% would even ditch the spouse.  Okay… that’s going a little too far.  But evidently, that’s what they said.  Check out the story here.

Evidently, people will do almost anything to work at home.

I can tell you from first-hand experience that the productivity boosts are enormous.  Focus comes so easily.  But only if you are self-motivated person with autonomous tasks.  Project team members with frequent ties to other employees can’t pull this off well.

There is also no substitute for face-to-face interaction.  Ten times the information passed between people when they look each other in the eye.  Information fidelity drops as you employ lessor communication tools like telephone, email, and finally the worst, text.  Even Morse code is faster than text, as Jay Leno demonstrated, but not by much.

But the upshot is, employees will give up almost anything to telecommute.  Just remember that, project managers!

Project Portfolio Management 2

I’ll take the liberty to build on Warren’s Project Portfolio Management post below.  Hope he doesn’t mind!  It’s a great post, but the images below could help solidify the usefulness of project portfolios.  See the Project Portfolio YouTube video here.

There is a wonderful Timesheet software product named Standard Time® that handles project portfolios nicely.  The screenshots below are from it. Standard Time lets you see forecasted revenue for a selected project portfolio.  It also lets you see future task allocations and employee availability for a selected portfolio.  That’s powerful!



Here you see a project portfolio chosen from the dropdown list at the top-left.  The chart at the bottom forecasts the future revenue from all the projects in that portfolio.  This lets you compare one portfolio to another and focus on the profitable ones, and ditch the rest.



This screenshot shows project resource allocation for a selected project portfolio.  In other words, you see when your employees are scheduled to work on the projects in that portfolio.  The program takes all the projects in that portfolio, and then checks to see when employees are working on them.  If you decide to postpone a portfolio, you’ll see where you can pick up some extra resources.