Best practices, lessons learned and advice from your peers in the trenches.
The daily stand-up focuses on accomplishments and impediments. It should describe what was completed, and who needs help. If instead it’s treated as an update where generic information is recounted while developing problems are ignored or excuses offered, it will add no value to the project or team.
When you’re asked to take control of a project mid-flight with heavy turbulence, it might be tempting to start “fixing” the team. Instead, take some time to identify the underlying roots of the problem. Here is a five-point assessment that targets potential gaps on a struggling team, from vision to competency.
Many organizational change initiatives are undone by lack of buy-in, fuzzy goals or basic human fatigue and resistance. A better of understanding of some basic agile concepts such as minimum viable product, short release cycles and feedback loops can be helpful in overcoming these pitfalls when leading transformative projects.
Retrospectives are a catalyst for continuous team improvement, providing a feedback loop to examine methods, teamwork and results. But holding monotonous retrospectives that don’t engage your team isn’t much better than holding none at all. So here are three more fresh techniques to keep things interesting.
When faced with a burdensome change request, don’t just roll over or flat-out refuse. Instead, use a ‘conditional yes’ to buy time and develop a full picture of the impact. You may make the case to nix the change, but if you still end up implementing it, at least everyone will know what it takes and why it’s important.
A “Definition of Done” brings transparency to a team’s way of working, yet some teams have never heard of the concept, and many more have never actually created this essential checklist of activities. Here is a step-by-step workshop to help teams agree on and publish a Definition of Done.
Being agile requires eliminating waste to realize efficiency, productivity and quality gains. That means removing everything that does not deliver value to the customer, including all forms of project debt. Here are six practices that will help you and your team maintain this essential agile principle.
Many project managers complain that they don’t have any real authority over their teams — and they don’t if authority is about command and control. But we can earn a different type of authority, one that is more effective in the world of projects anyway. It is based on postion and relationship power.
A goal-oriented product roadmap is an agile planning tool that can help project leaders shift the conversation from tactical to strategic — from detailing features to agreeing on objectives and aligning stakeholders. Features are still provided, of course, but they are derived from the goals, which are measurable, not fuzzy.
What’s the quickest way to do a project? Do it right. And contrary to a popular backlash, processes can help. The key is understanding what process is necessary for the work at hand, and determining how it should evolve as things change. It’s not about bureaucracy, it’s about meeting the needs of your project.