Projects at Work

How-To

Best practices, lessons learned and advice from your peers in the trenches.


Sizing Matters

- by Jay Daniel

Agile is about adapting to change, not completely abandoning documentation or dismissing helpful planning and estimating inputs. Here is a look at how the benefits of an agile approach can shine brighter when used in conjunction with a fundamental development practice such as sizing.

Check Assumptions Exercise

- by Beth Spriggs

Assumptions can introduce significant risk to projects. Whether assuming someone is responsible for a task or all implications of a change are understood, they lead to scope creep, delays and outright failure. Use this collaborative spreadsheet as a risk mitigation exercise to uncover assumptions about your initiatives before they do serious damage.

Stay Agile with Discovery

- by Johanna Rothman, Marcus Blankenship

What happens to your agile principles when a customer or sponsor insists on knowing the cost and duration of a project before you even start? It’s a common quandary, but there are ways to show a non-agile client the benefits of going agile, starting with a discovery project.

In Projects, We Trust

- by Bart Gerardi

Trust is the currency a project leader must deal in. It requires clear communication, doing rather than telling, making human connections, being open and honest, and answering tough questions. Here are five ways to earn and keep the trust you need from your team members, stakeholders, sponsors and clients.

Saved By Zero

- by Bart Gerardi

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.

The Politics of Change

- by Lisa Hillenbrand and Ellen Auster

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.

Making Sponsorship Work

- by Kathleen Ryan O'Connor

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.

We Need A Decision

- by Bart Gerardi

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.

Stakeholder Assessment Checklist

- by ProjectsatWork.com

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.

Design Thinking + Agile

- by Bob Tarne, PMP

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.

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EVENTS

Shumaila N: "Thanks for sharing. Putting the assumption down on a sheet really saves you from…" on Check Assumptions Exercise
May 25, 2016

Romans L: "Thank you!" on Check Assumptions Exercise
May 25, 2016

Maxim S: "Very basic statements." on Channel Your Communications
May 24, 2016

Lawrence P: "Nice article Jay! You make a very reasoned non-emotional case for balance when …" on Sizing Matters
May 24, 2016

 

TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Dave Prior

Agile Consultant, LeadingAgile
Dave Prior, PMP, CST, MBA is an Agile Consultant for LeadingAgile where …

Andy Jordan

President, Roffensian Consulting Inc.
Andy Jordan is a well known author and speaker on project management and…

Bart Gerardi

Director, Software Development, Audible.com
Bart has been in ecommerce for over 20 years, and can’t imagine a …

Tushar Patel

VP of Marketing, innotas
Tushar Patel is currently Vice President of Marketing at Innotas, the le…

Kathleen O'Connor

I’m a freelance journalist and digital content strategist with 15+…

Aaron Smith

Editorial Director, ProjectsAtWork.com
Aaron has been the editor of ProjectsAtWork since 2001, leading its evol…

BLOGS

TOOLS & TRAINING

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Mavenlink delivers enterprise-class Software as a Service (SaaS) that transforms how businesses work with distributed teams around the globe. Our software combines collaborative project management with resource planning and business insights.

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