Projects at Work

How-To

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


Is Your Project Audit-Ready?

- by Ruth Zive

Project teams in regulated industries must get compliance requirements right — a company’s reputation and legal standing depend on it. Here are eight best practices to help PMOs, product owners and business analysts to better understand complex regulatory environments, interpret rapidly changing regulations, and develop clear, complete requirements.

Sprintus Interruptus

- by Bart Gerardi

Agile approaches are meant to maximize flexibility, while minimizing costly disruption to projects. In practice, they typically accomplish the former better than the latter. Here are six strategies to help teams manage interruptions and mid-sprint changes. Finding the right balance among them is the key to success.

Use Demos to Build Trust

- by Johanna Rothman, Marcus Blankenship

Once a non-agile customer or sponsor begins to see the benefits of an agile approach, it is critical to reaffirm their leap of faith and build trust through demonstrations that deliver working product, facilitate open discussion and change-focused feedback, and keep the project on track.

Match Risk Style to Technique

- by David Hillson

Whether a risk facilitator takes control of a workshop, encourages collaboration or plays a support role, the approach should take into account the risk identification techniques being used by the group. Here is guidance on which style works best with six common risk identification techniques.

Sizing Matters

- by Jay Daniel

Agile is about adapting to change, not completely abandoning documentation or dismissing helpful planning and estimating inputs. Here is a look at how the benefits of an agile approach can shine brighter when used in conjunction with a fundamental development practice such as sizing.

Check Assumptions Exercise

- by Beth Spriggs

Assumptions can introduce significant risk to projects. Whether assuming someone is responsible for a task or all implications of a change are understood, they lead to scope creep, delays and outright failure. Use this collaborative spreadsheet as a risk mitigation exercise to uncover assumptions about your initiatives before they do serious damage.

Stay Agile with Discovery

- by Johanna Rothman, Marcus Blankenship

What happens to your agile principles when a customer or sponsor insists on knowing the cost and duration of a project before you even start? It’s a common quandary, but there are ways to show a non-agile client the benefits of going agile, starting with a discovery project.

In Projects, We Trust

- by Bart Gerardi

Trust is the currency a project leader must deal in. It requires clear communication, doing rather than telling, making human connections, being open and honest, and answering tough questions. Here are five ways to earn and keep the trust you need from your team members, stakeholders, sponsors and clients.

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.

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TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Dave Prior

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

Andy Jordan

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

Bart Gerardi

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

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

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