Project Management 2.0 – What’s Wrong With 1.0?

Let me quickly state that I don’t really know what the consensus definition of PM 2.0 is, but I do have a feeling based on my very 1.0-style experience.

In the 90’s I worked on a number of fairly large scale SAP Projects in a variety of roles, including Project Manager, and supervisor of several other projects.  The standard tool was Microsoft Project.  It was used for:

  • Planning a Project (initial Scoping)
  • Selling it
  • Periodic reporting to Steering Committee during the actual projects

What’s missing from the above?   Well, how about using it to help the actual daily work of project team members?

Project  team members did not even have access to MS Project, it only existed in a few copies on the PM and Team Lead’s computers.  Information-flow was one-way: feed the beast to be able to occasionally print charts that look impressive (scary) enough that Steering Committee members won’t question it.

Ok, I am admittedly sarcastic, but the point is:  PM 1.0 was all about planning, reporting and it served Management but did not help actual Project Execution.

My expectation of PM 2.0 would be that it helps all team members involved who can share information, collaborate on it and actually get clues from the system on where they are, where they should be, what their next step is, instead of just feeding the beast.

Is this the real promise of Project Management 2.0?   I hope to find out from an excellent set of panelists that I have the honor of moderating at the Office 2.0 Conference next week:

  • Andrew Filev (Wrike)
  • Bruce Henry (LiquidPlanner)
  • Mark Mader (
  • Guy Shani (Clarizen)
  • Dean Carlson (Viewpath)

Of course this is just one of many exciting sessions – if you haven’t registered yet, you can grab a $100 discount by registering here.   Oh, and don’t forget to visit us at the Zoho Party – the address is #1 Cloud Avenue. smile_regular

(This article is cross-posted at the Office 2.0 Conference Blog)

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Office 2.0, a Most Irregular Conference – Get Your Discount Here

Nothing about the Office 2.0 Conference is even remotely ordinary.

Start with the organizer, Ismael Ghalimi, CEO of a VC-funded startup, Intalio.  That’s normally a full-time job – not when it comes to Ismael: he is also a scuba-diving instructor, a pilot, launched Monolab|Workspace, (is that Incubator 2.0?), launched the Extreme Productivity Seminar series, oh, and have I mentioned the annual Office 2.0 Conference?  ( I actually know his secret, he has two body doubles, I just haven’t been able to prove it yetsmile_wink)

Pressed for time he is turning a necessity into a virtue: year by year the Conference is a showcase of creating a successful event out of nothing in only two months. I remember the first event in 2006, when a couple of us Enterprise Irregulars were helping him plan the sessions only weeks away from the start.  A few days and a few blog posts later Ismael got flooded with request for sponsor and speaking slots.  This year history repeats itself: just a month ago the conference site was a placeholder and one could only wonder if … then a new site was born overnight, based on Jive Software’s excellent ClearSpace platform, and now it’s alive with user participation, sponsors, registration..etc.

What’s a Web-focused Conference without wi-fi?   It’s a joke that in 2008 conferences, including brands like Web 2.0, Gnomedex …etc.  still fail to provide sufficient connection.  Ismael’s solution includes laser beams to the top of the building, another one down to a terrace, then inside – making it happen with Swisscom was quite a project in itself.  Office 2.0 set the standard once and for all, anything less at major conferences is a failure.

Then there’s the issue of The Gadget.  I believe the iPod at the first conference was just more-then-generous swag.  The iPhones handed out at the second conference had an integral part at the event: several applications released specifically for Office 2.0 allowed participants to interact with each other, navigate the schedule and find sessions.  This time all paid participants will receive a the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC.

Yes, the conference swag is not pens, stickers or t-shirts: it’s a mini-computer, which cost about half the registration fee.  It will clearly raise eyebrows, and many would prefer to skip the gadget and pay reduced fees.  I think handing out such an expensive gadget will have an interesting effect on the conference demographic: we’ll likely see an increase of corporate employees, who can expense the entire conference and are less price-sensitive than startups and freelancers – the original Office 2.0 crowd.

But that may very well be what the conference needs.   There’s a reason why this year’s theme is Enterprise Adoption.  The Office 2.0 movement wouldn’t go very far with only the early pioneers, evangelists talking to themselves, dissmissing enterprise requirements.  For the principles to become practice in business, we need a more balanced mix, and in a twisted way the gadget may just help achieve that.

Those who can’t afford the full registration are not entirely locked out: Socialtext CEO and top evangelist Ross Mayfield will facilitate Un-Conference 2.0 the day before the official conference, at a cost of $50.

Finally, startups have a chance to present the attending VCs, media, bloggers at  LaunchPad – Ismael announced this event over the weekend, and already has 10 particpants – get in there while you can.  Note to my (numerous) VC readers: I hope you will be there, too.

If you’re still hesitating, check out the Agenda, the list of SpeakersMedia representatives,  and if you haven’t done so, register now.

I’ve saved the best for last: don’t use the standard registration, save $100 by registering here.

Update: while I was typing here, fellow Enterprise Irregular Dennis Howlett explained why this is an Irregular (pun intended) Conference in more than one way.  Update to the update: see Susan’s excellent summary.

(cross-posted on the Conference Blog)


Office 2.0: Zoho Announces Business Edition

When Zoho introduced their first Web application a year and a half ago, they were little known, and nobody cared about their business model. But then something unusual happened: they kept on pumping out new applications every few weeks or so, and soon became the #2 (or by some count #1) force in the Web application space. While some of their competitors went out of business, others got acquired, others charge for their offering, Zoho continues to offer their services for free. Needless to say the business model comes up a lot more often nowadays.

Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu made it clear he is in for a Marathon, not a sprint, and he knows what he’s talking about: in the past decade he has already built a solid, profitable company, Adventnet, whose financial stability allows him to play in the SaaS market. He pledged to always offer most of his products free to individuals, yet he hinted there would be a revenue-generating business version of Zoho Services some day. But his priority was to build a solid set of services first, without having to rush to revenue. Until recently the emphasis was on perfecting the individual products (15 of them), and in the past few months Zoho started to focus on integrating them. Zoho Notebook, although in “individual” product, was a major milestone as it tightly integrated several other offerings: document editing, presentations, spreadsheets, communication, collaboration. The recently announced Zoho Start page was the first step in pulling several existing products together in a home base.

As a next logical step, this morning at the Office 2.0 Conference Zoho Business Edition will be introduced. The next two slides will help understand the segmentation between Zoho Personal and Business editions.

Personal is essentially the already existing set of services, with a few (those with gray background) additional ones still in private beta: Mail, Calendar, Tasks, Contacts. It’s interesting to note that these “new” services have already been on the Zoho palette for quite a while, but they were offered as part of Zoho Virtual Office, a downloadable Outlook-like product – they are now being rearchitected as a Web service. All of these services are, and continue to be offered free. The services in the right box, Meeting, Projects, Creator and CRM also have a free level, but they will have a premium, for-free version as well.

The next slide shows Zoho Business, essentially the same as Personal, with an added infrastructure layer added to manage ones domains, locations, users, groups, and also offering multiple levels of security, backup and enhanced support. Zoho Business is currently in private beta.

Despite recent speculation, this is not Zoho’s entrance to the Enterprise market.

Zoho Business is primarily meant for the SMB / SME segment (small businesses). That is not to say that the core Zoho applications would not be “enterprise ready” (they have large corporate accounts in Japan), but it’s not what they focus on for now. Anyone who follows Zoho will know that they are obsessed with cutting out fat: it’s a lean, efficient operation. The last thing Sridhar wants is to hire an expensive sales force, which is still the way to enter the Enterprise. Case in point: mighty Google themselves- I’ve shared my impressions of a Google Enterprise presentation, where I felt I was teleported to an Oracle or IBM Sales Show from the 90’s. Let them be the evangelists, and wait for the currently SMB services emerge in the Enterprise.

(Disclosure: I am an Advisor to Zoho)

Related posts: Between the Lines, /Message, Web Strategy, Centernetworks, Mashable, Read/WriteWeb, Zoho Blogs, TechCrunch, VentureBeat,,


How Apple Sc****d their Most Loyal Customer

Today was supposed to be Office 2.0 day, with the conference starting tomorrow, pre-conference reception tonight, and the Unconference today. Yet Apple decided to steal the day, and with the flurry of announcement it’s hard to find anything but Apple news on TechMeme. But that’s not the worst.

This years Office 2.0 conference will be an Apple Lovers’s geek-feast. I guess the official version is focusing on mobility, proving that the iPhone is business-ready. Either way, this year all conference attendees receive an iPhone which will be actively used throughout the 2-day event. It’s hardly a gift, considering that the individual registration fee tripled from last year, but it doesn’t change the fact: we’re talking about 500 iPhones.

Conference-organizer Ismael Ghalimi did not receive a special deal from Apple, in fact he was not even allowed to buy the gadgets in batch, he had to do it one-by-one, which created its own logistical nightmare. The ‘default’ was the 4G model, which is now being discontinued, but attendees could pay an extra $100 to receive the 8G model – which today just saw its price dropped from $599 to $399. Of course this is great news for consumers, but I wonder what attendees will think. Will they ask for refunds?

Oh, before I forget, Ismael also purchased 60 iMacs (!) as demo units for the conference. It’s hard to find a more loyal fan/customer – yet today he may feel somewhat inconvenienced (if he even had time to follow the news) by Apple.

Some of the (many) post on the subject: Techdirt, Good Morning Silicon Valley, Apple, Computerworld,, Epicenter, Ars Technica, WebProNews, Digital Noise, IP Democracy, Between the Lines, Guardian Unlimited, Macworld,, Digital Daily, Live Coverage …, MacRumors, The Unofficial Apple Weblog, The Utility Belt, BloggingStocks, jkOnTheRun, Techomical, Channel 9, and of course Fake Steve himself.

Update (9/7): Ismael strikes back. On the phone


Office 2.0: Additional Awards

OK, unlike the real Awards, these are not “official” and in the lighter category. The “Awards” go to… (drumroll):

  • Kevin Warnock, CEO of gOffice for the most honest statement of all: “I warmly recommend everybody to use our competitors’ products, they are fare better than mine“. Kevin concluded his presentation by saying he wasn’t quite sure what to do with his company, and invited any advice …
    Oh, and how could I forget: for offering the gOffice domain to Google for free.
  • Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho/Advantnet, for coining the most origical term when the presenters experienced lousy connections: “office.slow
  • Ivaylo Lenkov, CEO of SiteKreator, for giving all participants a free Business Account (now, I wonder if it is the 450 who actually were there, or the 4,600 who voted? If the latter, I understand why the site is down for now …)
  • Mike Cannon-Brookes, CEO of Atlassian, for hosting the Enterprise Irregulars + a few analysts + his competitors to a private dinner and not using the opportunity to pitch his business
  • Michael McDerment, CEO of FreshBooks, for letting the cat out of the bag.
  • [your nomination here] – really. please recommend more “candidates” and I’ll post them here.

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