Projects at Work


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

Adjusting to Virtual Teams

- by Vicki Wrona, PMP

Even very good project leaders will run into difficulties when they are called upon to manage a virtual team. What might have worked well in an office setting doesn’t always translate to a distributed environment. Here are five adjustments that can help you better manage your team from afar.

Why Small Teams Win

- by Rich Karlgaard

Size isn’t everything. If it takes more than two pizzas to feed your project team, it could be a good indicator that the team is too large. Here are eight compelling reasons why 8-to-12-person groups more often lead to higher productivity and performance. Plus: 12 tips for creating and nurturing these two-pizza teams.

12 Tips for Creating Two-Pizza Teams

- by Rich Karlgaard

In today’s fast-evolving business climate, smaller teams can be your organization’s best strategy for success. But how do you go about selecting and nurturing team members for maximum efficiency? Here are 12 tips for creating and nurturing “two-pizza” teams.

Operational Requirements

- by Ireti Oke-Pollard, MBA, PMP

On development projects, operational issues should be factored into the requirements or you could end up with a product that meets all the business requirements but is too costly to maintain and support in the real world. To avoid this, consider adding a seat at the table for operations to participate in the requirements gathering stage.

Prevent Watermelon Projects

- by Bart Gerardi

Watermelon projects are superficially green on the outside — everything looks fine on the status dashboard. But dig inside and they are bleeding red. So when traditional reporting metrics fail, how do you identify these watermelons and prevent them from growing? Here are three better measures that can help.

A Little Agile Goes a Long Way

- by Eric Rudolf

Agile principles and practices aren’t just for product development. They can also improve your effectiveness as a day-to-day manager and the performance of your teams and department. Here are seven great reasons why you should consider adding Agile to your management toolbox.

Watermelon Projects

- by Bart Gerardi

As organizations grow, senior leadership inevitably asks for more aggregated reporting; there is too much going on for them to know all the details. A popular version of this reporting is the stoplight: red, yellow, green. But when you reduce complex efforts into a single color, there can be a shocking loss of fidelity.

Better Brainstorming

- by Vicki Wrona, PMP

Many project leaders and teams believe brainstorming is a waste of time and doesn’t produce meaningful results. Maybe they aren’t doing it right. A variation called reverse brainstorming can help, focusing on the quality over quantity of ideas. Here’s advice on achieving better outcomes from both techniques.

Agile Sessions and Authority

- by Len Lagestee

Team dynamics can be disrupted when a person of authority sits in on a meeting. In the case of daily standups and other Agile events, a manager’s presence seems at odds with principles of self-organization. But in the spirit of openness, maybe sometimes it can work. Here are some guidelines.

Shape Up Your Daily Standup

- by Bart Gerardi

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.





Jim B: "James, nicely stated case for advocating Agile. In my 35+ years of pm, I used "…" on The Agile Thermocline
April 21, 2014

Tammy A: "Thanks James for providing a descriptive word that reflects my recent observatio…" on The Agile Thermocline
April 21, 2014

Andreea T: "A very well structured article in my opinion - it clearly explains the benefits …" on Operational Requirements
April 21, 2014

CHRISTINE R: "Any article that references Pizza gets my attention. This article kept my inter…" on Why Small Teams Win
April 18, 2014



Dave Prior

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

Andy Jordan

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

David Hillson

The Risk Doctor, Risk Doctor & Partners
Dr David Hillson - The Risk Doctor. Global authority on risk, combining …

Janis Rizzuto

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

Aaron Smith

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



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