Best practices, lessons learned and advice from your peers in the trenches.
Successful projects deliver value; they benefit their organizations. But many organizations bring a haphazard approach to benefits realization, from unrealistic business cases to short-sighted decisions during execution to a stunning lack of post-delivery accountability. Let's take a look at these issues, and what can be done about them.
The traditional metrics of time, cost and scope are rarely sufficient to determine how a project or program is really performing. It’s important to dive deeper to find the ‘why’ behind the numbers and ensure surface-level data isn’t giving a false sense of security (or doom). Here are some ideas.
The rise of big data and analytics can greatly improve an organization’s decision making, from programs and portfolios to products and processes. Here is a comprehensive checklist to help PMOs develop a framework for structuring large analytics projects, ensuring they deliver the desired business insights and impact.
While it seems to make sense to create separate backlogs for the technical and business aspects of a project, it can do more harm than good. In addition to causing team friction and inefficiencies, it negates an essential Agile benefit: delivering value based on one prioritized vision.
By providing access to documents and responding to queries with straight answers, you create an atmosphere of goodwill and trust on your teams. By doing so, when things don’t go exactly to plan, and they never do, people are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt and work harder to correct course.
A project manager has many responsibilities to the team. Some (direction, communications) are more obvious than others (providing context, looking for training opportunities, maintaining a work-life harmony). Obvious or not, these activities are essential to developing high-performing teams that deliver successful projects.
When team members feel that the organization as a whole isn’t interested in the project that they are delivering, they start to check out, increasing the possibility of careless mistakes and failure. But with a few simple steps, project leaders can often prevent this common morale problem.
What does a high-performing team look like, and how do you build and maintain one? Here, Maria Kozlova from Comindware shares four best practices, including clarity of objectives and visibility into activities; availability and centralization of up-to-date information; comprehensive, customizable reporting; and collaborative decision-making. [13:50]
Many things can change in the time between a project's approval and its actual start date. That's why we should include a final authorization step before any project kicks off. Here is a checklist of questions to help validate six critical areas of the project based on the most current information.
Agile coach Olaf Lewitz has performed many roles on project teams, from software developer to manager to change management consultant. Along the way, he has seen that building trust is a pervasive challenge. Here, he talks about how trust can be mentored by creating opportunities for people to question and choose. [23 min.]