My favorite April 1st fool

Nokia Lumia close up

It’s April 1st 2015. The day of a year you shouldn’t believe everything that’s in the press. My fave this year definitely comes from Microsoft.

With their new strategy ‘Mobile First. Cloud First.’ Microsoft’s goal is to reinvent productivity. Read the official announcement here on Microsoft’s site. The key note here is:

We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.”

Read more My favorite April 1st fool

How You Can Profit From the App Market Development


I recently struggled on reports of the app market development. There are astonishing numbers within the reports. In the first minutes after reading I was really amazed. But reflecting these numbers, it is no real surprise. Looking into the app stores on a regularly basis, the situation is quite clear. We are getting flooded by apps.

As an example: The Apple app store kicked-off in 2008. It took nine months to sell 1 billion apps. Did you know how may apps has been sold by end of 2013? It is 2 billion apps – per week. Putting these numbers on a graph you see that the market is growing exponentially.


Read more How You Can Profit From the App Market Development

Top 7 FAQs on Microsoft Project and SharePoint 2013


In November, I got the honour to present the new versions of Microsoft Project and SharePoint to a lot of customers cross-over Germany. I gathered lots of questions that I’d like to share. Here are my top 7 frequently asked questions (FAQ) from these sessions.

General Topics

Is there a summary on what’s new?

Yes. There are multiple summaries. Here’s my personal distillation on The New Project. My colleagues Boris and Markus have been featured in the magazine ComputerWoche on ‘Microsoft SharePoint 2013 – How good is new office collaboration suite?’ and ‘What’s new in Project 2013’.

What’s your conclusion on the new release?

Read more Top 7 FAQs on Microsoft Project and SharePoint 2013

Project Reporting with Burndown Charts

Burndown Chart

Controlling a project might be quite a hassle if you don’t have proper instruments. This article shows how to use Burndown charts for tracking progress and how to model this in Microsoft Project.

First time I got in touch with Burndown charts was back in 2006 at one of my clients. We faced the challenge to integrate the controlling of agile and classical projects. Being new to that topic it was quite hard to read that these charts not to mention making them comparable with classical controlling methods.

First, let’s have a look at a Burndown chart.

Burndown Chart
Burndown Chart used in agile projects

Read more Project Reporting with Burndown Charts

The New Microsoft Project – What’s New?


Last week I got the chance to attend the Microsoft Project Ignite Training in Warsaw, Poland. Christophe Fiessinger and Jan Kalis went over from Redmond to explain the new features and business opportunities of the new Microsoft Project and SharePoint. Here’s an exec summary from my p0int of view:

  • The new version is a landmark release – THE big NEW thing is ‘Project Online’ – the SaaS version of Project that integrates with ‘Office 365’
  • Microsoft pushes it as ‘The new Project’ (and not Project 2013) – compare it to Apple, ‘The new iPad’, or Facebook (no one posts to Facebook 3.5.1, do you?)
  • ‘Project Online’ opens a market with 750 million users, in 88 countries with 32 languages and 24/7 availability at an SLA of 99.9%
  • PPM means ‘Project Portfolio Management’ and is the new term for Microsoft EPM (for those who know what EPM is)
  • The official shipping date is under NDA – but the RTM is signed off (view here) and some versions are available on MSDN (view here)
  • It will be a big-band release with Office, Exchange, Lync, SharePoint and Project

Read more The New Microsoft Project – What’s New?

5 Important Planning Tasks for Programs in Matrix Organizations

Important tasks during planning and execution for each role

Matrix organizations with a strong line organization that are conducting programs are having two key players: program and department managers. Both roles are following competing goals. The program manager is focusing on time, budget and quality – the department manager will look for profitability, team management and corporate strategy.

This article will show how to mitigate the risk of failure in program management by giving an overview on the 5 most important tasks for each role. Before looking at the detailed tasks, let’s break the goals down to objectives regarding operative program management:

Important tasks during planning and execution for each role

The program manager needs to focus on schedule planning – the department manager’s main task is to manage the resource in order to deliver results. Let’s get into the details…

Read more 5 Important Planning Tasks for Programs in Matrix Organizations

Insights into the Microsoft Project Conference 2012

Few days ago I’ve attended the Microsoft Project Conference 2012 in Phoenix, AZ. This had been a full week of presentation, information, great talks and social events.

Conference Center

Day 0 was dedicated to the partner network. Jan Kalis organized the sessions this day, kicked-off by Chris Crane, Marketing Manager for Microsoft Project. During the sessions, we got bunch of information on partner structures, the quite clear licensing model at Microsoft and business cases of EPM implementations. Read more Insights into the Microsoft Project Conference 2012