Projects at Work

Agile


INVEST in User Stories

- by Bart Gerardi

The most basic form of requirement in an Agile project is the User Story. It describes an actor, what the actor is trying to do, and the actor’s goals. Each story is unique, but they all should have the same components and adhere to the same guidelines. To make this happen, consider the acronym INVEST.

9 Criteria for Better Metrics

- by Pollyanna Pixton

Metrics are easy to get wrong, and the price tag can be high for projects and stakeholders. Are your organization’s metrics providing value or just getting in the way of your team? Here are nine criteria for determining if your current metrics should be tweaked or removed, and if new ones would be more useful.

Making Change Happen

- by Dave Prior

Melanie Franklin’s new book presents an agile framework for planning and implementing change. She says Agile doesn’t just welcome change, it actively seeks it out. Here, she discusses what that means for project leaders, including the often overlooked importance of psychology, relationship-building and self-awareness in managing change. [24:20]

Q&A: Backlog Grooming

- by Bart Gerardi

In a follow-up to an article on backlog grooming, we answer reader questions about how the process differs from requirements documentation; how prioritization works without a complete picture; how a backlog differs from a work breakdown structure; and how to achieve an “all-in” view of product features when the backlog is a work in progress.

Agile in the Middle

- by Dave Prior

Middle managers are often seen as one of the biggest roadblocks to Agile team success. Here, agile transformation coach Chris Matts discusses the important organizational role they can play in mitigating risk and supporting decision-making processes like “feature injection” to deliver business value. [23:50]

CMMI, the Agile Way?

- by Greg Pfister

Can you formalize your processes and still maintain an Agile culture? More specifically, can Agile principles coexist alongside a Capability Maturity Model Integration program? Here is how once organization has embraced both its CMMI journey and Agile ways to achieve new levels of success.

Groom With A View

- by Bart Gerardi

The process of refining requirements to the point that they are ready to be worked upon is known as ‘backlog grooming.’ But this task accomplishes more than clarifying requirements; it informs stakeholders, contributes to the project plan, and reinforces Agile principles in general. Here’s guidance on how and when it should be done.

Teach Your Managers Well

- by Dave Prior

Agile transformations tend to focus on teaching team members new approaches and behaviors, neglecting to address how managers must also change. But even with self-organizing teams, managers have a crucial role to play and need some guidance to do it right, says Ron Lichty, technology leader and author of Managing the Unmanageable. [23:47]

The Agile Thermocline

- by James Buchanan

The higher levels of an organization often struggle to keep track of the work they direct. A different set of obligations keeps them out of the day-to-day work and challenges project teams face. When adopting Agile, this gap can become even larger due to a separation of leadership values from team values.

Taking Your Portfolio Agile

- by Tony Grech

Agile is a team-focused philosophy. However, when transitioning a portfolio to agile, management’s role is crucial, and a clear roadmap and resource plan will serve as a foundation. Here are lessons learned from a recent agile transition of a multinational retailer’s digital project portfolio.

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Anju A: "Very good and informative answers.. thanks" on Off the Beaten PM Path
March 18, 2017

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March 15, 2017

Jennifer C: "Nice read. A great way to start the day!" on Off the Beaten PM Path
March 15, 2017

Vernel J: "Excellent article and all leaders should read it. This piece highlights those co…" on 3 Tenets of Leadership IQ
March 11, 2017

 

TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Bart Gerardi

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

Beth Spriggs

Vice President, Technology, Leadership for Educational Equity
Author of The Project Manager’s Little Book of Cheats. Available o…

Andy Jordan

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

Vicki Wrona

President, Forward Momentum, LLC
Vicki Wrona is the founder and President of Forward Momentum, a PMI Regi…

Kathleen O'Connor

I’m a freelance journalist and digital content strategist with 15+…

Aaron Smith

Editorial Director, ProjectsAtWork.com
Aaron has served as the editor of ProjectsAtWork since 2001, leading its…

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