Projects at Work


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

Obey the (Software) Laws

- by Don Beckett

Many business leaders are unacquainted with the wealth of knowledge about how software projects behave. No surprise, they are unable to explain why these projects fail repeatedly, much less do something about it. Here are five fundamental “laws” of software development that all executives (and teams) should understand and follow.

The Agile Dating Game

- by Bart Gerardi

The more rigid an organization is about dates, the less agile it can be. Still, it is legitimate for executives to ask for delivery dates, and there are strategies to meet this need, from time-boxed releases to work-forward planning. Yes, executive visibility is possible in Agile, it just takes some compromise and participation.

Have Some Ambiguity

- by Beth Spriggs

Most project managers welcome clear-cut goals and processes. Likewise, they are uneasy around uncertainty, be it open-ended objectives or vague direction. But ambiguity can present an opportunity — to think creatively, to take a risk, perhaps, and try something new that just might lead to an exceptional outcome.

Options to Address Project Cost Risk

- by Michael Bissonette

Project costs receive serious scrutiny from executives and stakeholders who use ROI and other financial metrics to judge organizational performance. Here is a checklist of questions to help project leaders and their teams determine the best available options for responding to project cost risks and issues that may arise.

Motivational Moves

- by Beth Spriggs

A disciplined team is going to get the job done and produce satisfactory results most of the time, but a motivated team offers the possibility of delivering outstanding outcomes that go above and beyond expectations. Here are some strategies and tactics for motivating your team members.

5 Ways Agile Needs Managers

- by Bart Gerardi

Organizations that see Agile as a way to remove a layer of management are either missing the point or at risk of missing a huge opportunity. Specifically, the role of a software development manager takes on a different and often more important role in an Agile framework.

PM Tool Evaluation Matrix

- by Elizabeth Harrin

When assessing and comparing technology solutions to support your project management efforts, a wide range of potential features must be weighted and rated, along with vendor fit and cost. Use and customize this software evaluation matrix to guide your selection process.

Smart Devices, Wiser Teams

- by Andy Jordan

We should leverage technology to free our teams to focus on higher value work, but if our devices become disruptive, or replace sound judgment, we are increasing project and organizational risk instead. Rules for using technology can help, but the biggest impact will come from showing teams by example.

When Agile Teams Need Help

- by Bart Gerardi

Agile teams are typically small and ideally stay intact, improving as they bond. But sometimes specific expertise needs to be brought on board. There are several valid reasons to do this but also downsides, from dependency to disruption. Here are three steps to mitigate the risk of adding an "outsider" to your Agile team.

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.




Montaser A: "Thanks for sharing this article and information" on Options to Address Project Cost Risk
October 22, 2016

Kevin G: "Peter Drucker made the following observations on meetings: A good executives “…" on The State of (Interrupted) Work
October 21, 2016

DANIEL M: "Very good summary. It has made me realise that we are in fact using a mix of all…" on The Agile Dating Game
October 21, 2016

Crispin P: "Lawrence, I'm not sure that the way that Agile is often applied can be said to r…" on Obey the (Software) Laws
October 21, 2016



Bart Gerardi

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

Andy Jordan

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

Dave Prior

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

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,
Aaron has served as the editor of ProjectsAtWork since 2001, leading its…



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