Projects at Work

How-To

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


Saved By Zero

- by Bart Gerardi

On agile projects, different teams can have different definitions of effort when estimating work. It is one reason why velocity can vary greatly on teams whose productivity is similar. It is also why using a story point value of zero can prove helpful in planning. Here are three scenarios when the practice makes sense.

The Politics of Change

- by Lisa Hillenbrand and Ellen Auster

Project and programs are the drivers of change in organizations, but too often more attention is paid to the plan and cost than to the people who can make or break these initiatives. To succeed, we must embrace our “inner politician” and work closely with both the key influencers and the skeptics within our organizations.

Making Sponsorship Work

- by Kathleen Ryan O'Connor

As catalysts for collaboration to providers of protection, sponsors can bring many benefits to strategic initiatives. But a hierarchical culture can severely limit this potential value. Project leaders need substantive interaction with sponsors that goes beyond review/approval and offers end-to-end engagement and support.

We Need A Decision

- by Bart Gerardi

Timely decision-making is critical to project success. In fact, sometimes no decision is worse than any decision. Here are three common reasons that decisions don’t get made, and tips for how project leaders can possibly circumvent them to avoid delays that frustrate the team and put the schedule at risk.

Stakeholder Assessment Checklist

- by ProjectsatWork.com

The success or failure of most strategic initiatives can be directly linked to its stakeholders. These are the influencers and decision-makers who have organizational authority to allocate resources, set priorities and drive change. Here is a comprehensive checklist to assess their commitment, capability and communication.

Design Thinking + Agile

- by Bob Tarne, PMP

Agile and Design Thinking, two leading trends in project management, follow an iterative approach and emphasize the importance of the team. But it is their differences that offer great potential when combined as complementary tools for complex problem-solving, customer interaction and value delivery.

Manage Your Optimism

- by Gary Atkinson

A common human trait called “optimism bias” leads many project leaders to build unrealistic schedules and underestimate budgets. Buffers, retrospectives and peer reviews are some of the fundamental steps that can help you balance your optimism and produce better estimates.

Channel Your Communications

- by Joel Roberts

By optimizing communication along three channels — upward (executives), lateral (clients, functional managers) and downward (team members) — throughout an organization, project leaders can minimize risks and improve outcomes.

The Product Management Leader

- by Rich Mironov

Product management leaders must create an environment in which their teams can succeed. That includes attention to organizational design, behavior modification, and relentless focus on the most important projects. Here are seven ideas for creating conditions that can unleash outstanding product and technical work.

7 Causes of Project Failure

- by Brad Egeland

How they affect the project can vary from company to company, project manager to project manager and project to project, but each of these seven factors — spanning budgets and resources to stakeholders and requirements — will have severe negative implications for the success of any project.

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SPONSORS

EVENTS

Drew D: "Timely article Kathleen. Thanks. I have developed and apply a practice called Pr…" on Making Sponsorship Work
May 2, 2016

Ed K: "We've been using zero primarily for Scenario 1. It's good to learn of additiona…" on Saved By Zero
May 2, 2016

Miguel R: "Interesting role within the Risk Management practice." on The Risk Facilitator
May 2, 2016

Ashraf T: "Very useful, Thank You," on Stakeholder Assessment Checklist
May 1, 2016

 

TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Dave Prior

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

Bart Gerardi

Director, Software Development, Audible.com
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…

Tushar Patel

VP of Marketing, innotas
Tushar Patel is currently Vice President of Marketing at Innotas, the le…

Kathleen O'Connor

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

Aaron Smith

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

BLOGS

Agile in Education Update

Posted by Dave Prior

Click here to go straight to the interview At the 2016 Scrum Gathering, the Scrum Alliance sponsored a meeting that brought together leaders in education from all over the world who focus on helpin...
Posted in: The Reluctant Agilist


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