Greetings from Stateside!

Us_flag_largeSince this is my first official blog posting as a member of ProjectWizards, I thought I would start out with something simple… the story of how I came to know Merlin, why I think it completely rocks, and why that might be relevant to the opening of an office in the U.S.

I should start out by saying that despite the fact that I am a long time Mac user, over the past 15 or so years, I’ve worked at a lot of companies that were completely standardized around windows. I’ve been the guy who brought his Mac in every day, pushed his company issued windows machine into the corner and got to work. I did this for a simple reason, I was faster, more efficient and just plain happier working on a mac. The one hitch for me was that since I was a project manager, I was more or less stuck with using a windows based project management application.

So, two machines were necessary and this proved very lucrative for my chiropractor. And each week, I’d spend a few hours searching for a Mac app that had enough meat to it so that I could go to my windows-minded bosses and tell them that I no longer needed the company issued laptop because I had found a better way.

I was able to find a few options on the Mac, but unfortunately, none of them offered robust enough functionality for someone who needed enough depth in the tool to allow for detailed planning. For me, there seemed to be one specific question that the Mac based apps all failed on, “Does the application allow for independent values for work and duration?” Understanding the difference between the two is, IMHO one of the easiest, quickest ways to tell if a PM actually understands project management. I was so desperate to be able to hand in my PC that In some cases, I even called up the manufacturers of the Mac based PM tools and asked them when they’d be adding that functionality. Sadly, if I was able to get a product owner on the phone, two things were clear: 1) They rarely knew what I was talking about 2) They were obviously not PMs. What I needed was an app that was built by people who understood what I went through each day and who did not need an explanation of why I wanted independent values for work and duration. It always seemed to me that not having project managers design the project management application was kind of like having someone who did not know how to drive design a car.

Then, one day, I found Merlin, and I was so psyched that I wrote a thank you letter to the folks who made it. A lot of time has passed since then and I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of ProjectWizards now. As a project manager I take great pride in being able to say that I work for a company that makes tools I believe are the best ones available for people in my field. Merlin rocks, plain and simple.

On the topic of the United States, and why we are opening an office, there are a few reasons for this. The first is that we’ve got a user base there that continues to grow and needs more localized(ish) support. So for our existing customers in North America, it will mean we have a greater ability to service them directly, provide trainings, etc. But for the folks who are not yet our customers, the adoption of the Mac in the US continues to grow. The fact that Apple took 600,000 pre-orders for the new iphone in a single day is a strong indicator that the days of Mac being a small piece of the market share are all but gone. Project Management continues to be an area of job growth as well, and organizations like the Project Management Institute have helped fuel this massive growth in the profession. So, with an increase in the use of Mac, and the prevalence of the PM, the real question is, why are they not already using Merlin. I believe that there are lots of PMs out there who may not yet be aware of their options. A lot of them may not yet know about Merlin, or that the Merlin will let them work on Mac, windows or Linux, or how much more cost effective it is than its’ competitors. The thing is, Project Management is already hard enough, why not use the machine you use to manage your life, to manage your work as well.

My plan in the future is to try and stick more to topics around project management, a bit of Agile, and of course, how Merlin can help you get things done in those respective areas. But I thought this might be a good way to get started. If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you.

“Be good, take care of yourselves-and DON’T LEAVE THE PATH!”


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