Projects at Work

How-To

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


Avoid Double Vision

- by Bart Gerardi

While it seems to make sense to create separate backlogs for the technical and business aspect of a project, it can do more harm than good. In addition to causing team friction and inefficiencies, it negates an essential Agile benefit: delivering value based on one prioritized vision.

Transparency: Your Secret Weapon

- by Tim Kress

By providing access to documents and responding to queries with straight answers, you create an atmosphere of goodwill and trust on your teams. By doing so, when things don’t go exactly to plan, and they never do, people are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt and work harder to correct course.

What Teams Need (But Won’t Ask)

- by Bart Gerardi

A project manager has many responsibilities to the team. Some (direction, communications) are more obvious than others (providing context, looking for training opportunities, maintaining a work-life harmony). Obvious or not, these activities are essential to developing high-performing teams that deliver successful projects.

The Gift of Visibility

- by Andy Jordan

When team members feel that the organization as a whole isn’t interested in the project that they are delivering, they start to check out, increasing the possibility of careless mistakes and failure. But with a few simple steps, project leaders can often prevent this common morale problem.

4 Keys to High-Performing Teams

- by Cornelius Fichtner, PMP

What does a high-performing team look like, and how do you build and maintain one? Here, Maria Kozlova from Comindware shares four best practices, including clarity of objectives and visibility into activities; availability and centralization of up-to-date information; comprehensive, customizable reporting; and collaborative decision-making. [13:50]

Project Authorization Process

- by ProjectsatWork.com

Many things can change in the time between a project's approval and its actual start date. That's why we should include a final authorization step before any project kicks off. Here is a checklist of questions to help validate six critical areas of the project based on the most current information.

The Trust Artist

- by Dave Prior

Agile coach Olaf Lewitz has performed many roles on project teams, from software developer to manager to change management consultant. Along the way, he has seen that building trust is a pervasive challenge. Here, he talks about how trust can be mentored by creating opportunities for people to question and choose. [23 min.]

Everyone In On Estimates

- by Bart Gerardi

Establishing a small "brain trust" to develop project estimates might seem like a reasonable way to optimize resources, but it goes against three closely held Agile principles. Worse, it will likely lead to less accurate estimates, while disengaging the team and undermining value.

Are Projects Really ‘Unique’?

- by Dan Patterson, PMP

Have we got the formal definition of a project completely right? A finite start and finish, sure. But approaching each project as a “unique endeavor” can lead us to overlook opportunities to capture, reuse and benefit from prior knowledge, experiences and lessons learned. We need to better connect our closing phases with upfront planning.

Do No Sprint Harm

- by Bart Gerardi

Creating a test sprint or varying the length of a sprint might seem like helpful ideas to address common problems on agile projects, but they should be avoided at all costs. These anti-patterns won’t fix the real underlying issues; in fact, they will probably exacerbate them and weaken your team.

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EVENTS

Crispin P: "Would it be correct to say that the Agile model would better suit the high-conte…" on Context Is King
April 17, 2015

Shaunak S: "The best thing about the article is that it clearly identifies the factors that …" on Exercising Agency
April 17, 2015

Tim R: "What if you are working with someone whose daily practices show him (and it real…" on Context Is King
April 16, 2015

Garett R: "I like the simple approach and see myself using this next time." on Project Authorization Process
April 15, 2015

 

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

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

Cornelius Fichtner

Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is a noted PMP expert. He has helped over 25,000…

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

Scrum Gathering 2015

Posted by Dave Prior

Click here to go straight to the podcast The 2015 Scrum Gathering is almost here. In just about 2 weeks 700+ Scrum Practitioners are going to descend on Phoenix for a few wallowing knee de...
Posted in: The Reluctant Agilist


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