Best practices, lessons learned and advice from your peers in the trenches.
A turning point in the American Revolution, the Battle of Saratoga in 1777 offers a number of critical lessons that today’s project leaders would do well to revisit now and again, from the fundamental importance of the project charter and thorough risk assessment, to understanding the project environment and skill-sets of team members.
Are your project retrospectives getting a bit stale, diluting their effectiveness? Keeping retrospectives fresh for your team requires diligence on your part, but the rewards from continuous improvement are worth it. Here are three fun, simple retrospective techniques that can help get your teams re-engaged.
Project leaders often make decisions in the face of uncertainty and available choices might or might not produce the desired outcome. In these cases, a decision tree can help identify the “best” choice — the one most likely to give you what you want most of the time. Here’s an example of how to use a decision tree.
Scenarios and storyboards are great tools to describe how users interact with a product. They also complement user stories by helping to explore risk, discover new user stories, and capture the relationship between stories. Here is a primer on what these tools are, and how they can be used in an agile context.
Busy project managers must prioritize their time and energy when working with stakeholders. This can be accomplished by using a simple matrix to gauge their impact on your projects, based on attributes such as power, interest, influence and knowledge. Here, we will focus on power and interest.
In the quest for continuous team improvement, identifying corrective actions through retrospectives is only the first step. Those actions need to be agreed upon by the team, made visible and tracked by the Scrum Master, revisited at the next retrospective, and celebrated upon successful implementation.
A good project decision can produce a bad result, and dumb luck can save a bad decision. But in the long run, more good decisions will result from a process that avoids four common pitfalls and takes into account the triple constraint, stakeholders and the unavoidable fact of uncertainty.
Scrum Masters use different props and materials to plan, estimate, conduct retrospectives and maintain information radiators such as task boards. This collection of “stuff” is key to creating a visible, tactile work environment that engages team members. Here is a detailed look at the contents of one such “Agile Kit.”
When you understand the three phases of change, you have a much better chance to reach your objectives. Here are four impportant steps to help your team navigate the phases of change — from creating a clear view and moving quickly, to communicating continuously and recognizing early achievements.
Important project decisions should not be dictated by the project manager alone. Instead, they should involve the project team with the PM serving as champion of the process. When teams “own” the decision, they feel responsible for resolving any unanticipated consequences of it. Here are five steps to help guide them.