Projects at Work

How-To

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


Is Anybody Listening?

- by Andy Jordan

Nurturing a work environment that fosters communication among teams, managers and stakeholders is an undisputed key to success. But some leaders focus too much on requiring a steady stream of detailed reports and too little on context. After a while, this frenetic approach to “communication” just becomes noise.

Do Not Pass Go Before Risk Analysis

- by Dan Patterson

Project risk analysis is about more than determining the probability of finishing on time and on budget. It should also be used to decide whether a project is a viable “go” in the first place. The more diligence we apply in this initiation or pre-planning stage will pave the way for less risky projects during execution.

Ideas Win with Wider Input

- by Linda Rising and Mary Lynn Manns

Leading change is not a one-person job. For a new idea or innovation to succeed across an organization, the effort’s “champion” should encourage everyone possible to contribute and claim ownership of some part of it. Diverse input also helps everyone learn more about the idea and their organization.

Full-Circle Estimating

- by Doug Putnam & Taylor Putnam-Majarian

While creating estimates is a fundamental step toward improving productivity on software development projects, it is not enough. Here is a full-circle model that organizations can apply to track actual performance against estimates, reforecast when significant changes occur, and then continually refine the process through post-mortem assessment.

Low-Hanging Fruit

- by Linda Rising and Mary Lynn Manns

Most major organizational initiatives require visible, unambiguous, short-term wins to persuade skeptics and marginalize cynics. Strategic change leaders need to identify the low-risk actions within the larger effort that will have the widest impact, and then publicize the results. Here are helpful tips and real-world examples.

Drive Benefits Realization

- by Andy Jordan

Successful projects deliver value; they benefit their organizations. But many organizations bring a haphazard approach to benefits realization, from unrealistic business cases to short-sighted decisions during execution to a stunning lack of post-delivery accountability. Let's take a look at these issues, and what can be done about them.

Go Deeper on Metrics

- by Jenna Puckett

The traditional metrics of time, cost and scope are rarely sufficient to determine how a project or program is really performing. It’s important to dive deeper to find the ‘why’ behind the numbers and ensure surface-level data isn’t giving a false sense of security (or doom). Here are some ideas.

Analytics Project Framework

- by Adriana Beal

The rise of big data and analytics can greatly improve an organization’s decision making, from programs and portfolios to products and processes. Here is a comprehensive checklist to help PMOs develop a framework for structuring large analytics projects, ensuring they deliver the desired business insights and impact.

Avoid Double Vision

- by Bart Gerardi

While it seems to make sense to create separate backlogs for the technical and business aspects 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.

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Bart G: "Nice piece, Aaron. I think one thing missing from this chat is the notion of be…" on Agile Readiness
July 27, 2015

Ashok S: "Some great points. Thanks." on Using PPM to Curb Complexity
July 27, 2015

Jim B: "Aaron, thank you for sharing Thomas P. Wise, PMP, and Reuben Daniel's book. Wha…" on Agile Readiness
July 23, 2015

Alisa A: "A Communication Plan would be a helpful tool to assist the Program Manager in tr…" on Is Anybody Listening?
July 23, 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…

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