Projects at Work

How-To

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


PM Obstacles: Firefighting

- by Vicki Wrona, PMP

Many organizations live in perpetual ‘fire-fighting’ mode, a space in which short-term results often supersede long-range plans and strategies. While this can certainly make it more difficult to fully realize the benefits of sound project management practices, there are techniques to accommodate a ‘high-drama’ culture throughout the project lifecycle.

6 Reasons Project Plans Fail

- by Microsoft Office Team

From simple problems to complex, and everything in between, there are many pitfalls that can plague a project. And with low-performing organizations wasting nearly 12 times more resources than high-performing ones on failed projects, there’s no time like the present to address the causes and implement much-needed changes.

Using Software Project Metrics

- by Don Beckett

Software measurement by itself does not resolve budget, schedule or staffing issues for projects or portfolios, but it does provide a basis upon which informed decisions can be made. Here are examples of how to use metrics to determine present capabilities, assess whether plans are feasible, and explore trade-offs if they are not.

Risk Escalation

- by David Hillson

When a risk does not affect project objectives but could still impact another part of the organization, it should be “escalated” to the appropriate owner to ensure that it is recognized, understood and managed. Here is an overview of this key risk response strategy in practice.

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.

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EVENTS

Anju A: "Nice article.. Looking forward to read more in series.. I would agree (though n…" on PM Obstacles: Firefighting
December 3, 2016

Elizabeth W: "This is the best treatment I've read of how leaders' understanding of control an…" on The Art of Letting Go
December 1, 2016

Marlon C: "Thanks" on Building An Integrated Roadmap
December 1, 2016

KASIREDDY S: "It is very simple and easy to understand the concept of agility and its implicat…" on The Art of Letting Go
December 1, 2016

 

TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Andy Jordan

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

Beth Spriggs

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

Bart Gerardi

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

Dave Prior

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

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

Saving Christmas with Scrum

Posted by Dave Prior

Christmas is just around the corner and that means that Kim Brainard is VERY busy. In addition to her day job, her volunteer work as the co-chair of the upcoming 2017 Scrum Gathering, Kim is the found...
Posted in: The Reluctant Agilist


Being Agile vs. Doing Agile

Posted by Dave Prior

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} In this podcast, Jessie Shternshus , Paul Hammon...
Posted in: The Reluctant Agilist


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