Best practices, lessons learned and advice from your peers in the trenches.
On agile projects, different teams can have different definitions of effort when estimating work. It is one reason why velocity can vary greatly on teams whose productivity is similar. It is also why using a story point value of zero can prove helpful in planning. Here are three scenarios when the practice makes sense.
Project and programs are the drivers of change in organizations, but too often more attention is paid to the plan and cost than to the people who can make or break these initiatives. To succeed, we must embrace our “inner politician” and work closely with both the key influencers and the skeptics within our organizations.
As catalysts for collaboration to providers of protection, sponsors can bring many benefits to strategic initiatives. But a hierarchical culture can severely limit this potential value. Project leaders need substantive interaction with sponsors that goes beyond review/approval and offers end-to-end engagement and support.
Timely decision-making is critical to project success. In fact, sometimes no decision is worse than any decision. Here are three common reasons that decisions don’t get made, and tips for how project leaders can possibly circumvent them to avoid delays that frustrate the team and put the schedule at risk.
The success or failure of most strategic initiatives can be directly linked to its stakeholders. These are the influencers and decision-makers who have organizational authority to allocate resources, set priorities and drive change. Here is a comprehensive checklist to assess their commitment, capability and communication.
Agile and Design Thinking, two leading trends in project management, follow an iterative approach and emphasize the importance of the team. But it is their differences that offer great potential when combined as complementary tools for complex problem-solving, customer interaction and value delivery.
A common human trait called “optimism bias” leads many project leaders to build unrealistic schedules and underestimate budgets. Buffers, retrospectives and peer reviews are some of the fundamental steps that can help you balance your optimism and produce better estimates.
By optimizing communication along three channels — upward (executives), lateral (clients, functional managers) and downward (team members) — throughout an organization, project leaders can minimize risks and improve outcomes.
Product management leaders must create an environment in which their teams can succeed. That includes attention to organizational design, behavior modification, and relentless focus on the most important projects. Here are seven ideas for creating conditions that can unleash outstanding product and technical work.
How they affect the project can vary from company to company, project manager to project manager and project to project, but each of these seven factors — spanning budgets and resources to stakeholders and requirements — will have severe negative implications for the success of any project.