Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Place for Face-To-Face Meetings?

Last week I was thinking about computing in the cloud, and even today I was pulling files off of Basecamp for another project. However, being in the events business, buzz on The Harvard Business Review and The Economist blogs about the value of face to face meetings definitely pulled me back down to earth.

When you're managing a project, how important do you feel face to face meetings are? Additionally, where do you place the value of networking events and conferences in contrast to online networking or webinars?

On The Harvard Business Review blog, Stephen Greer writes
"The most important aspect of these meetings is that they weren't blaming sessions. We shared successes and best practices — and learned from challenges."

To me, that is often the value of attending conferences, the opportunity to be inspired by thought leaders and peers, and also to share best practices and experiences. You might learn as much or more sharing "war stories" (and successes!) during a networking event or over coffee between sessions as you do during the sessions themselves. Similarly, inspiration may strike or your team may gel during the down time of a face to face meeting in a way that just isn't possible during a con call or by email.

Where do you stand? Would you just as soon save the networking for twitter? Or are you looking for some face time?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Computing in The Cloud: Where To Begin?

Today on the Project_World twitter feed I couldn’t help but notice a number of people tweeting about “Planio”—a cloud based collaboration and project management tool. It’s hard to say with twitter sometimes which of those tweets may have been sponsored, but it still got my attention.

Regardless of industry, more and more companies are looking towards cloud-based solutions like this for collaboration. From sharing documents and calendars in Google to paying for a solution such as those by PPM vendor Innotas discussed here there are a wide variety of ways to take your activities to the cloud. So many in fact that a simple web search for “cloud based project management tools” turns up overwhelming results (and frankly, lots of advertisements, but few clear reviews).

Cloud-based tools can be greener—less need to print and share documents or emails—and can be easier to access for telecommuters or team members in external offices. Clients won’t have to install new software on their computers, and in an era when Internet is ubiquitous, it just seems to make sense.

The question is, how to decide what program will work for your company or project? We’d love to hear from you about successes or failures with SaaS (Software as a Service) providers. What works and what doesn’t? What factors were key in deciding what to use? Share with us in the comments or e-mail me.