Projects at Work

How-To

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


The Occasional PM: Team Structure

- by Robert Wysocki and Joseph Matthews

In part five of our six-part series, we consider team structure and recommend a co-manager model that pairs the OPM with a client, business analyst or subject matter expert. This model facilitates meaningful stakeholder involvement while addressing the OPM’s challenges of juggling multiple responsibilities and sharing resources with competing priorities.

INVEST in User Stories

- by Bart Gerardi

The most basic form of requirement in an Agile project is the User Story. It describes an actor, what the actor is trying to do, and the actor’s goals. Each story is unique, but they all should have the same components and adhere to the same guidelines. To make this happen, consider the acronym INVEST.

The Occasional PM: A Framework

- by Robert Wysocki and Joseph Matthews

In this installment, we introduce an adaptable framework for Occasional PMs to use as a recipe or a starting point for managing their projects, regardless of classification or type. This framework allows the OPMs to control the project management process rather than having the process control them.

9 Criteria for Better Metrics

- by Pollyanna Pixton

Metrics are easy to get wrong, and the price tag can be high for projects and stakeholders. Are your organization’s metrics providing value or just getting in the way of your team? Here are nine criteria for determining if your current metrics should be tweaked or removed, and if new ones would be more useful.

Don’t Fear the Blank Canvas

- by Adriana Beal

A project begins with untested assumptions, competing options, diverging opinions about product scope and so on. Creating visual models that show the “why, who, how and what” of the problem being addresses can facilitate the process of getting to better solutions faster — even without sufficient knowledge to get them right the first time around.

5 Ways to Improve Time Tracking

- by Tushar Patel

There are myriad benefits to time tracking. The trick to realizing them is boosting adoption and compliance. By focusing on the potential benefits of time tracking from your teams’ perspectives, you can help get everyone on board and get over the internal hurdles quickly.

Control the Cost of Change

- by Bart Gerardi

When aware of the different hidden costs of change, project managers can positively influence those costs — and minimize the disruption to their teams, creating a project environment where change becomes a force for good, rather than something to avoid or resist. Here are three best practices that will help.

Hidden Costs of Change

- by Bart Gerardi

Changes, even when they are for the better of your project, come at a price. But it can be difficult to measure the true cost. Let’s look at five types of hidden costs that change can bring to a project, from the schedule to team performance, and what we as project managers can do about them.

The Occasional PM, Pt. 2

- by Robert Wysocki and Joseph Matthews

The Occasional Project Manager must first determine the type of project they are managing in order to choose the best approach. In part two of our series, we look at three types of projects that OPMs are most likely to encounter, and the unique challenges each presents.

Q&A: Backlog Grooming

- by Bart Gerardi

In a follow-up to an article on backlog grooming, we answer reader questions about how the process differs from requirements documentation; how prioritization works without a complete picture; how a backlog differs from a work breakdown structure; and how to achieve an “all-in” view of product features when the backlog is a work in progress.

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EVENTS

Gerald S: "Managing projects is both art and science, no matter the field or complexity. T…" on The Occasional Project Manager
August 17, 2014

Zachary M: "Thank you for posting this!" on 9 Criteria for Better Metrics
August 15, 2014

Kim H: "I enjoyed the article and the ease of the acronym - easy to remember!" on INVEST in User Stories
August 14, 2014

Jesse J: "Additionally, we have made some FREE change management resources available to th…" on Change Capable
August 14, 2014

 

TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Dave Prior

Agile Consultant, BigVisible Solutions
Dave Prior, PMP, CST, MBA is an Agile Consultant for BigVisible where he…

Bart Gerardi

Sr. Technical Program Manager, Amazon.com
Bart has been an ecommerce program manager for 15 years, and can’t…

Andy Jordan

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

Vicki Wrona

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

Janis Rizzuto

Contributing Editor, ProjectsAtWork
Janis has been writing for ProjectsAtWork for more than a decade, starti…

Aaron Smith

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

BLOGS

Shall we play a game?

Posted by Dave Prior

If you are coming from the traditional side of the house and you are probably all too familiar with the types of training classes, workshops and conference sessions where you have the opportun...
Posted in: The Reluctant Agilist


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