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Legal Business

Can You “Demo” Project Management? An Introduction

In a column I write that deals with business and people-management questions, I described a very effective demo where the demoer showed up his product without appearing to demo it at all.

In response, someone from Planbox, a company that makes project management software, asked, "Do you plan on having a top 10 do's and don'ts (or that sort of thing) about demoing?" That's an interesting question, one I've actually worked on in another context, and I may come back to it in that other series of columns.

However, I bring it up here because it triggered two questions related to Legal Project Management:

1. How would I demo project management tools to an audience of accidental project managers?

2. Can you "demo" great project management itself?

#2 is the more important question. What does good project management look like in practice? Specifically, what does good Legal Project Management look like - not "how do you do it," but "how can you spot a legal project manager who's got it together as a project manager?"

That's an interesting question, and as I started to write up an answer, I realized I was in effect answering question #1.

How would I demo project management tools (to non-full-time PMs)?

Tools can mean anything - purpose-built software, co-opted software such as using Excel to track tasks, paper notes, templates, etc. For the purposes of this series of columns, I'll assume there's some sort of computer-based solution. It's not that I think software is necessary; I love index cards and thumbtacks for many PM tasks. Rather, it's easier to see the concept of "demoing" when the thing being demoed is embodied in software. And that concept will come into play in answering the second question, not just the first.

So over the next week or two2, I'll take up the answers to both of these questions in a series of articles.

Read more about Legal Project Management on the Lexician Blog.