Projects at Work

How-To

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


PM Obstacles: Unrealistic Goals

- by Vicki Wrona, PMP

Leaders who set unrealistic expectations often lack understanding of the intricacies involved in a project and the ripple effect they create on decisions, contingencies and risk. Still, best for project managers to assume good intent and work to overcome this challenge with detailed planning, communication and documentation.

The Daily ScrumMaster?

- by Bart Gerardi

Should ScrumMasters ever attend the daily scrum or stand-up meeting? As a guiding principle, agile values self-organizing and self-managing teams, but let’s explore five scenarios where the presence, and perhaps even participation, of a ScrumMaster could be helpful if they adhere to a specific role.

Avoid 'Groundhog Day' Mistakes

- by Eric Bergman

Mistakes are inevitable on any project. Some are even valuable if they serve as lessons learned for future efforts. But mistakes that happen again and again are damaging. With the movie "Groundhog Day" as our guide, here are four common mistakes that no project manager should repeat.

First Sprint, Lasting Lessons

- by Andrew Makar, PMP

Agile processes can offer rewarding advantages to traditional software development, but they take time to adopt properly. New teams will likely encounter conflicts and confusion during their first sprint retrospective. Here are five lessons learned that can help your next sprint avoid some common pitfalls.

Change Readiness Assessment

- by ProjectsatWork.com

Change management requires continuous communication, active sponsorship, stakeholder buy-in and tailored training. Project leaders can use this spreadsheet-based assessment tool to evaluate their organization's change readiness and to provide guidance on better preparing for change initiatives.

The Color of Projects

- by Kristyn Medeiros

Red and green signify more than holiday spirit for most project managers. Along with yellow, these colors are used to indicate the status of a project — be it real, implied or imagined. Here are some helpful thoughts to keep in mind when using red, yellow and green to represent your project's health.

Hindsight Is 50/50

- by Bart Gerardi

Do team members and executives in your organization see retrospectives as a waste of time and expense? If so, maybe your retrospectives aren’t providing the value they should, from establishing a culture of team learning and stressing continual improvement, to tracking metrics and celebrating successes.

PM Obstacles: Miracle Work

- by Vicki Wrona, PMP

Some organizations expect project managers to be “miracle workers” who produce results without the active support or involvement of leadership. And sometimes project managers are able to leverage resources, meet deadlines and achieve deliverables under these conditions. But it’s not a long-term strategy for success.

PM Obstacles: Turf Protection

- by Vicki Wrona, PMP

Organizational silos and poor communication are often the result of “turf wars” in which groups or teams value their interests over cross-functional cooperation for the good of the entire enterprise. Here are some ideas to help project managers operate in this environment and overcome its harmful effects.

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.

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TOP CONTRIBUTORS

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…

Vicki Wrona

President, Forward Momentum, LLC
Vicki Wrona is the founder and President of Forward Momentum, a PMI Regi…

Andy Jordan

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

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…

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