Skip to main content

Author: Mike Morton

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent accumsan aliquam ligula in luctus. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi ut fringilla mauris. Vestibulum et cursus libero. Maecenas aliquam viverra rutrum. Morbi dolor magna, rhoncus sit amet sollicitudin lacinia, commodo nec ipsum. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia curae; Sed velit orci, scelerisque vitae eros ut, laoreet lobortis eros. Vestibulum egestas mattis faucibus. Pellentesque at lectus dolor. Maecenas et ante velit. Curabitur eu nulla justo. Pellentesque ut pellentesque arcu. Quisque rutrum maximus bibendum. Aliquam tempor, neque et sollicitudin aliquet, ante elit vehicula justo, quis venenatis metus nisl a tellus. Curabitur dignissim, risus a interdum lacinia, orci sapien iaculis ante, et convallis eros orci quis ligula. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Cras fringilla fermentum purus, vitae condimentum quam pulvinar commodo. Vivamus quis urna ac leo rutrum maximus. Integer efficitur pellentesque lacus sit amet pulvinar. Duis eleifend massa id eros fermentum euismod. Mauris nec turpis eu tellus viverra porttitor. In accumsan fringilla tellus ac tincidunt. Donec tempus rutrum feugiat.

How Marketing Automation Boosts Project Management Efficiency

Automation is a keyword that has risen to popularity because of its many useful applications.

In marketing, automation refers to the method of streamlining different tasks to produce efficiency. But how does it work and why does it continue to be popular?

Trends in Marketing Automation

Email marketing automation is one of the leading and most effective ways of using automation for marketing campaigns. With a return on investment (ROI) of about 43:1 based on research done by Campaign Monitor and Omnisend, it’s no wonder that marketing automation has become a must-have for marketers.

Moreover, email marketing automation also positively impacts project management by reducing tasks needed to be performed. This has been a recurring theme of marketing automation. The aim is to reduce menial tasks by allowing an automated system to do the dirty work which allows more time for planning and strategizing new campaigns.

Marketing automation has also allowed for real-time viewing of sales and other important statistics. Reports can now be generated through marketing automation as long as there is available data. The best part is that automation also allows for automatic collection and tracking of whatever data is needed. Less time is spent waiting for data to be collated and more time can be made for strategic planning and analysis of the available data.

Marketing Automation for Project Management

Aside from making life easier, there are other benefits of automation for marketing. One major purpose of marketing automation is to streamline project management. But what is the benefit of using marketing automation over other management strategies?

Let’s break down what these benefits are and how can it be applied to project management in order to produce the intended results.

1. Strategic Planning and Real-time Implementation

The most time-consuming task is the collection of data for planning how the project will proceed and what steps will be necessary for its success. This may take weeks and even months just to collect the information. With marketing automation, collection is made real-time.

When real-time information is available, plans can easily be made and changed to match whatever is the result. As a result, planning and implementation cycles become a lot shorter.

You can even plan strategically based on actual sales instead of customer perception index and market estimations. That also allows unsuccessful strategies to be modified as early as possible.

Both small and large businesses benefit from real-time information because it allows them to adapt to the market and find their own niche where they could maximize revenue and minimize costs. Even sudden changes in the market won’t be as disastrous as it used to be since information is collected in real-time.

[widget id=”custom_html-68″]

2. Targeting and Lead Scoring

Marketing automation also simplifies tasks related to the expansion of a business towards new markets. We’re talking about targeting new markets and using lead scoring which can be aided by marketing automation. Instead of real-time information, the purpose of using automation is to be able to handle different sets of data at once to create an overview of the market’s readiness for the product. This is also called as “lead scoring”.

The use of marketing automation for lead scoring allows for a wider coverage to be handled easily. Automation also collects more accurate data without consuming too much time. Instead of manually collecting data, the available time could now be spent for analysing opportunities and creating marketing campaigns. The use of automation definitely is an upgrade in this case because of how it streamlines the whole process.

While larger companies seem like the biggest beneficiary of such technology, there is actually a lot of benefit granted for smaller businesses since they’ll be able to perform tasks that require a bunch of teams to previously complete. By spending for marketing automation, small businesses have acquired a comparative advantage that would usually require paying for a few regular employees glued on the task.

3. Team Integration

Streamlining project management is also another advantage and benefit of market automation. By allowing different sets of information to be collected and handled automatically, the different teams are freed from menial tasks and are able to collaborate towards planning and implementing strategies and campaigns.

The integration happens through the automation’s capacity to generate reports instantly. Different sets of data can be cross-referenced with each other to produce results that can help departments decide. There is no longer the need to send a long paper trail of documents between and among departments. The automation does the work for everyone.

What’s even better is that the system can also be automated to send the generated reports to a list of emails. Updates can be made at any chosen interval, whether it is daily, weekly, or monthly. All that needs to be done is to make sense of the available reports and use the data to come up with clever strategies that can bring in sales and revenue.

Future Impact on Smaller Businesses

The biggest winners are those who belong to a small business, whether it’s a personal online store or a recently-started business. Marketing automation may continue to develop and be able to do all the simple work done by employees in companies. What’s left is for the business owners to do what automation cannot: to create plans and be creative in developing campaigns.


Marketing automation is expected to remain popular because of the efficiency it brings into businesses, regardless of size. Its strength is that it could do the menial tasks all by itself and do it with less time required compared to doing these tasks manually.

Its added value is without a doubt able to bring accessibility and comfort to marketers since the amount of repetitive tasks is reduced. The flexibility that marketing automation gives to project management will certainly make it’s a must-have for several companies looking to cut costs and reduce the time spent on different projects.

Would marketing automation work for you? It’s definitely a yes. These are just some of the ways on how marketing automation is currently being used. Over time, other tasks will soon incorporate this technology to create productivity and efficiency.

How AI Will Change the Future of Project Management

The artificial intelligence buzz is already shaking the current business landscape.

Today, a lot of businesses across various industries are scrambling to get their share out of this promising technology. But, there is still another bunch of sluggards that are still skeptical about whole AI buzz – some even fearful – of how it’s going to impact their work culture, the society and workplaces too.

According to a recent survey by Atlassian, about 87% of respondents were afraid that AI will change their job in the future (by 2020). And, while 86% of those surveyed were excited about the new technology, about 87% of the respondents were reportedly skeptical about adopting AI. They still believe that nothing can out-do human potential, regardless of impressive advancement in artificial intelligence and AI-enabled tools like CRM software or project management software with AI capabilities.

What exactly is project management AI?

This is an AI-enabled system that can perform daily administration and management of projects without needing human input. It will help you automate simple project sub-tasks. It will also help develop an understanding of project performance. Thanks to project management AI, you can use the system to analyze and also uncover project insights, make your recommendations or even perform more complex tasks. Besides, it will also help you made informed decisions based on the insights provided, sometimes in ways human beings can’t do it. That way, the IA-based project management software will not only help you save time but it will also help improve outcomes for your team and projects.

Project management AI isn’t simply using bots like Hipchat bot to quickly check on the status of a project task. Besides, it isn’t running machine learning algorithms that help you predict estimates for various tasks. The magic happens when you combine the bots and algorithms together that you will realize what AI can do.

AI – and the future of project management

Today, AI-based project management software industry is still in its infancy. However, quite a few software development companies are already working on tools and smart algorithms that resolve some of the greatest project management woes. While there is still a lot of project management software out there, their uptake is still lacking. But, the question is, how will AI shape the future of project management?
Here is a roundup of a few things AI is poised to change in the industry:

  • Help interpret project management data

Unlike in the past, the volume of data churned out by different devices in monstrous. Unfortunately, the current technology has limited capability for handling such large swaths of data. That is where AI-based project management software comes in handy. Based on various data-sets, the system can warm the managers before things go south. That way, managers can study the problem and hopefully take preventive or corrective measures. For example, you could have scenarios like unexpectedly low output, heavy resource loads, under-capacity, or eve over-capacity. The project management AI system can also give project managers advice based on the skills of a particular team, or an individual needs to be trained.

  • Task prioritization

It is not easy to prioritize tasks, especially where you were working in teams. AI makes it easier to make an assumption with regard to the available data and thus help the team better understand their actual priorities or focus on a particular task.

[widget id=”custom_html-68″]

  • Help sustain holistic & Nano Project management

If you are project management expert, C-level expert or a simply a business leader, you are faced with a number of responsibilities down the line project execution. Thanks to AI algorithms, it is easier for project managers to delegate hundreds of tasks to various people in your team. Then the system helps the manager to maintain a holistic view of the projects and the teams.
The accuracy with which these systems perform the tasks is comparable to the Nanotechnology – an AI-based cancer diagnosis technology that analyses billions of cells in the body to detect the cancerous cells. In the same way, the AI system does it with 95.5% accuracy.
This is the kind of accuracy and precision that business wants especially when they are racing against time in pursuit of potential constraints and bottlenecks that might hinder the progress of the project. Then using project management AI tech, the project managers can easily and quickly release the bottlenecks.

  • Re-planning project

There are areas where AI functionality surpasses our capacity as human beings especially when executing tasks that contain a thousand of tasks. At this point, we don’t require project managers to re-plan everything (and, even if we required them, it would be too tricky for them to perform). But, the system will do it better.

  • Better and efficient analysis, insights and prediction

When you have gigabytes of data, it is beyond us as a human being to go through such information, analyses it and probably use it to make predictions. However, AI-based task tracking software will not only help analyze it but will also offer useful insights that can be used to predict the future.

  • Resource Matching

Efficient resource allocation is very critical to avoid a miscarriage of the project along the course of execution. Project management AI system’s learning capability helps bring forth local knowledge. Now based on this knowledge, the project manager can easily deduce the areas that have sufficient resources and where there are shortcomings.

That way, it becomes easier for the manager to make a better decision. The system also performs non-biased priority checks based on the set of rules (algorithms) set the project manager or the developer. That way, resource assignments becomes easier; the manager can determine the capacity levels of the employee and also get feedback on the employee’s behavior.

Summing it up

Despite the slow adoption of AI, a lot of companies are slowly realizing the importance of task tracking software AI when it comes to the management of their projects. AI is helping managers make better resource allocation, and delegate takes and view the project holistically as it rolls down the path of execution. Soon, AI will be the engine that helps project managers deliver better results, efficiently and within the specified time-frame.

The Internet of Things and the Future of Project Management

The Internet of Things, or IoT has evolved from its rudimentary purposes into an invaluable mechanism. It has found application in a host of industries.


Construction, engineering, and software development, among others, are areas where IoT is proving to be an indispensable asset. In its infancy, IoT was more of a novelty mechanism. With IoT, your refrigerator could notify your grocer when you run out of milk. Which is all well and great, but there had to be something beyond that. And there was.

Today, devices and systems are an integral part of any project. Everyone, from team members to managers, has come to rely heavily upon a plethora of devices and software in order to perform their job effectively.

Projects managers in all these sectors continue to delight in IoT’s capacity for increasing the connectivity of their systems and in turn, the efficiency of the processes involved. Here’s a widely quoted number: 20.4 billion. According to Gartner, this is the number of connected devices which will be in use by 2020.

Let’s delve further into how the Internet of Things will shape the future of project management.

    1. Reduced Workload for the Project Manager
      Starting with the most obvious effect of IoT enabled devices to project managers: it reduces their workload. Especially when it comes to gathering and organizing data.
      Before, the project manager had to manually gather data, status reports and more from each element involved. Say, you’re an IT Project Manager. You would be stuck collecting data and subsequently the reports for each system. It could take days, maybe even weeks, to compile reports for a single department.
      When the systems are connected via IoT, project managers will not be wasting their time collecting crash logs, maintenance reports and the like just in order to assess the situation. They would be getting steady updates from the very devices they are supposed to keep track of.
    2. A Real-Time, All-Encompassing View
      When combined with other technologies such as project management software, IoT can enable project managers to coordinate the various phases of the project. IoT gives project managers greater visibility into specific elements of each phase. It also increases foresight. Before, it would be impossible to predict exactly how a project would turn out. But IoT makes processes more agile, and with the increased scope of observation there is an opportunity to detect problem areas and glitches before they turn the whole project into a failure.
      For projects which have anything to do with construction, manufacturing, maintenance, and the like, this is a vital function being performed by IoT sensors.
      The smallest detail is made visible when IoT devices are empowered to access relevant areas. This makes it easier for various stakeholders to collaborate or take decisions in real time.
    3. Making Data More Accessible and Actionable
      As previously mentioned, IoT enables faster collection of data. It’s a hallmark of what makes projects truly agile, despite there being a greater number of touchpoints to collect data from. It provides a steady stream of relevant updates from the relevant system to the appropriate team members. The data is made instantly actionable, as the trends are made visible accordingly. This can be true whether you’re integrating your IoT devices with a simple task management software or with big data analytics tools. There is no longer a need to wait for a phase of the project to be completed before the team can gain insights into what needs to be corrected or improved.Data regarding the smallest element can be accessed by team members easily. It can also be cross-referenced against data from previous projects involving the same subject. This makes for more accurate predictions, and allows the team to avoid the pitfalls that were encountered in the previous iteration of the project.
      The speed with which updates are made available ensures that the right decision can be taken faster, avoiding project failure.

[widget id=”custom_html-68″]

  1. Project Execution Made Seamless
    Yes, IoT makes communication between systems lightning quick. It certainly goes a long way towards making project execution faster and more accurate. However, it also has another effect. It improves the speed and quality of the communication between the human elements of the project, namely the team members and the project manager. Due to hyper speed reporting, IoT gives team members the opportunity for better monitoring and control as well. And it’s not just team members, but other stakeholders as well. Management and other stakeholders can just as easily receive relevant updates on any project, removing the need for unnecessary meetings for minor updates or changes. It saves everyone’s time, but keeps all relevant stakeholders in the loop at all times.
    It makes collaboration between various stakeholders more effective and less time-consuming.
    Thus, project execution is made seamless by virtue of improved communication between all elements of the project, including the human elements.
  2. Evolution of the role of the Project Manager
    Owing to the changes in the very ecosystem of projects, there will be a significant shift in the role of the managers handling these projects. There will be a shift in the kind of maintenance plans that managers will have to develop for their projects. Because of IoT sensors are always “on”, the focus shifts to preparing long-term plans for monitoring and management of the project elements. This is what the project manager has to worry about now. There will also be greater need than ever before to be on top of security with IoT devices. These devices hold tons of valuable data, more of which is being generated every other minute. Moreover the connectedness to other systems such as document management software or CMS, makes IoT insecurity a real threat. Therefore, security will also be a bigger priority for project managers who want to avoid DDoS attacks that are caused by IoT insecurity.
    Project managers will function as the integrators of IoT with various organizational heads. Again, as things become more connected, the onus for ensuring that such a development yields better results, rather than the investment going to waste. He has to make sure that the connectedness is reflected within the workforce as well.


The Internet of Things is here to stay, there is no doubt about it. The applications of this technology are endless, be it in business, science, manufacturing or construction. It’s the reason why the global IoT market is expected to reach a $1.1 trillion valuation by 2025. Project managers across all relevant segments would do well to re-examine their role as well as the changing dynamics of projects before IoT inevitably becomes commonplace. The points mentioned in this article give a comprehensive view of the changes that they can expect in the future, how it will benefit their teams, and the pitfalls they should avoid so that IoT investment actually pays off.

Why Are Projects STILL Failing?

You have heard the old joke “Do software projects really fail?” Answer: “No. They get split into phases!”

Jokes apart, the general impression, which is backed by research numbers from some of the leading organizations like Gartner and Forrester, is that 70-80% of software projects fail. Repeatedly we on the delivery side are lampooned to the point that we start disbelieving ourselves. The number of project successes seem to be as alien as finding life on Mars. Is it true that software projects fail that often?

What is failure? When any of the following 4 occur, a project is considered a failure:

  • the required functionality is not met
  • there is a time overrun,
  • there is a cost overrun,
  • a combination of any of the above 3.

There are projects that are totally scrapped for political and other reasons but I am keeping them out of this post. It will be interesting to see if someone can get the breakdown of the 70-80% failure rate among the 4 factors listed above to provide a little more clarity on where most projects are failing.

Required Functionality Not Met

The onus for this squarely rests with the project team and more so on the Business Analyst. However, I would like to add some context to this statement. In a traditional waterfall model the requirements are gathered first, analyzed and make their way through the SDLC process. In large projects the time gap between gathering requirements and UAT is significant, couple of years in some cases. In a rapidly changing world this time gap is significant as the requirements could have changed for no fault of the BA or the project team. Or the business environment is such that things change quickly (the financial crisis in 2008 drastically altered the way that banks view liquidity) or new legislation was introduced (think Dodd-Frank or Basel) that calls for a significant change in the way business is conducted. All these are beyond the control of the project team, though sufficient hints will be available (and will be seen by a keen BA) of impending changes. If nothing has changed and the functionality is still not met, the problem may have stemmed from any of the many points along the SDLC lifecycle – the requirements were poorly written, inadequate analysis, inappropriate design assumptions, no technical walkthroughs, poor caliber of the technical team, no unit testing, no SIT or poor quality of SIT, or simply insufficient time to do any of these.

Time and/or Cost Overrun

The reason I combine the two is, in most cases, because they go hand-in-hand. (In some cases, as in where the project is on hold and people are moved to other projects temporarily, there may be a time overrun but not a cost overrun). For effective measurement, there must be a benchmark. When we say a project overran time or budget then the implicit assumption is that the time and budget estimates were accurate in the first place. How often does this happen?

Generally, the time is pre-determined either by the business or the project manager or someone higher up. “The project go-live date is 30th June”. That’s it! Work backwards and figure out how to fit the SDLC within that time frame. Having scratched around we figure the requirements and analysis are due in 5 days! The time estimates are inaccurate, grossly underestimated and fundamentally wrong. Come June 30th the project is checked for completion and is given an ‘F’ grade. How fair is that?

So is the case with the budget. Estimating time and cost is an imperfect science. There are many methods that have been around ranging from the least complex-pick-a-number-from-thin-air to very complex function point analysis with a bunch of others with varying degrees of complexity lying in between. But for a few, most of the projects I have been part of the budget is determined by someone who is detached from reality and has not heard of any of the estimating mechanisms. In some instances these numbers were pruned down by the budget department. Now, what does the budget department know about the system? Zilch. Are these high-end methods reliable enough to produce an accurate estimate? No. But we have some basis for the numbers.

Why don’t many folks use these methods? Lack of time is the common answer. There is another reason too – lack of information to input into these methods. It is very interesting to note the stage at which the cost is estimated. In almost all situations the cost is estimated even before the requirements process starts! The reason is simple – “we need to create a project charter for which we need an estimate. Give us a number”. Surprisingly these guesstimates become estimates and finally serve as the benchmark against which the final results are compared.

We have an inaccurate time and cost estimate to begin with. Is it fair to compare the actual time and cost of the project against these inaccurate numbers? No, but this is precisely the conundrum we are in.

The Endless Cycle of Project Failure

RAMASARMA 041317 1

Here is some food for thought to break the cycle:

  • Elicit requirements fully and analyze them. These costs cannot be capitalized anyway. These are sunk costs if projects don’t happen but at least they provide a greater insight.
  • Estimate time and cost based on those detailed requirements.
  • Use a reasonable estimation method to arrive at time and cost.
  • Compare actual project time and actual costs against these estimates.

Let’s bust up those project failure reasons to deliver project success!

Top 10 Articles for 2015

Happy Holidays!

2015 saw growth for in the number and quality of content on our site.  Thank you to all our contributors – we couldn’t have done it without you!  Thank you to our readers for your continued support!

Check out the top 10 articles on the site for 2015.  There was a wide range of topics from both new and regular contributors.

Enjoy and all the best for 2016 from everyone at !

Top 10 of 2015

1. 10 Must Have Skills for a Project Manager
by Helen Sabell

2. The Good Project Meeting
by Brad Egeland

3. What the 2015 Trends Mean for Business Analysis and Project Management
by Elizabeth Larson & Richard Larson

4. 5 Lessons From Working With Agile and Waterfall Teams
by Angela Wick

5. Be a Mindful Project Manager
by Kiron Bondale

6. A PM’s Guide to Requirements Modeling
by Elizabeth Larson & Richard Larson

7. 4 Things to Prepare For Before Kicking Off a Project
by Simon Horton

8. 10 Ways to Improve Your Project Today
by Brad Egeland

9. 2 Dozen Weird Agile Metrics Ideas
by Robert Galen

10. How Senior Executives Unconsciously Disrupt Projects
by George Pitagorsky