Projects at Work

How-To

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


Significance + Success

- by Beth Spriggs

A project’s goals and a project manager’s success measures are often conflated, but they’re not the same thing. Goals come from stakeholders; they are outcome-driven and focused on organizational impact. Success measures demonstrate the work achieved. Here’s a closer look at this key distinction.

Find the Glue for Your Team

- by Joe Curcillo

Project leadership is about finding the “glue” that binds a team to work well together. It starts with gathering information about team members, listening to their concerns and knowledge, finding the common threads that can unify them, and then empowering them to execute the plan.

Solidify, Amplify, Multiply

- by Beth Spriggs

How many of your projects stagnate before they ever really get going? How many kick off with grand expectations but fail to deliver even minimal benefits? Here is a back-to-basics framework for starting and scaling your work, be it a process, product, system or entire business.

Is Your Project Audit-Ready?

- by Ruth Zive

Project teams in regulated industries must get compliance requirements right — a company’s reputation and legal standing depend on it. Here are eight best practices to help PMOs, product owners and business analysts to better understand complex regulatory environments, interpret rapidly changing regulations, and develop clear, complete requirements.

Sprintus Interruptus

- by Bart Gerardi

Agile approaches are meant to maximize flexibility, while minimizing costly disruption to projects. In practice, they typically accomplish the former better than the latter. Here are six strategies to help teams manage interruptions and mid-sprint changes. Finding the right balance among them is the key to success.

Use Demos to Build Trust

- by Johanna Rothman, Marcus Blankenship

Once a non-agile customer or sponsor begins to see the benefits of an agile approach, it is critical to reaffirm their leap of faith and build trust through demonstrations that deliver working product, facilitate open discussion and change-focused feedback, and keep the project on track.

Match Risk Style to Technique

- by David Hillson

Whether a risk facilitator takes control of a workshop, encourages collaboration or plays a support role, the approach should take into account the risk identification techniques being used by the group. Here is guidance on which style works best with six common risk identification techniques.

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.

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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 …

Beth Spriggs

Vice President, Technology, Leadership for Educational Equity
Author of The Project Manager’s Little Book of Cheats. Available o…

Kathleen O'Connor

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

Aaron Smith

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

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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