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Project management Resources

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Articles (664)


Project Portfolio Management is a set of business practices that brings the world of projects into tight integration with other business operations. PPM brings projects into harmony with the strategies, resources and executive oversight of the enterprise. PPM provides the structure and processes for project portfolio governance. I could leave it right there and you’d scratch your head and ask, “What does he mean?” Or you can drop everything and pick up my 500-page book for a complete dissertation. How about a compromise – a slightly expanded explanation for now with additional segments to follow? It’s been about a decade…
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 08:10

What To Do If a Member Doesn't Fit With the Team?

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Agile development is not right for all software professionals. If you are bringing Agile into a siloed company accustomed to plan-driven methods, expect that 10% to 15% of the people will not fit. In my experience, individuals might not fit with their newly Agile team for one or more of these reasons: They strongly prefer to work alone, not as team members. They would rather develop their specialties than shoulder miscellaneous team activities. They prefer to implement other people’s plans and designs and don’t want to make any high-impact decisions. They feel that the Agile methodology sets them up for…
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 08:43

Baselines - Don't Leave Planning Without Them

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When I ask project managers what a baseline is and why it’s important, they tell me that it is an approved starting point against which project performance is measured. They are right, of course.  But when I ask them if they use baselines, as often as not, I find that baselining is a fundamental project management practice that is neglected by many project managers and organizations. Lack of good project discipline or good tools probably explains why many projects don’t get baselined.  Understanding project performance and providing input into lessons learned are two obvious reasons for utilizing baselines. One perspective…
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 08:20

Closing the Confidence Gap in Change Leadership

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Without a doubt, how well we handle change plays a large role in determining our success in life. The same is true for companies—those that are more agile at managing change in their organizations can drive better performance. Most of us know this intuitively—social media forums in project management, IT leadership, and business analysis continuously buzz about how leaders can amp up business results through change. Whether designing and implementing new solutions, improving business processes, stretching business unit targets, or managing people, we all play a role in helping our companies innovate and grow. In fact, a recent survey of…
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 08:42

The Problem with Red, Yellow, Green Project Status

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Many years ago I worked in a Project Management Office at a large financial institution. Once a week I prepared a project status report for executive management and the PMO director. I would calculate how we were tracking to budget, list any major issues or risks, and summarize overall status. I was also told to mark the project as red, yellow, or green – using the following definitions:
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 08:10

Why Should I Insist That Team Members Be Full-Time?

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Most Agile experts recommend dedicating people full-time to their Agile team. Developers, testers, and other professionals should only deal with items in their team’s work stream — the backlog. This minimizes the cost of switching between unrelated activities and enables the team members to concentrate on their work. Management usually frowns on this advice, for two reasons: They want to maximize people’s output. If someone is only needed 80% of the time on one project, what happens with the rest of his time? The workload usually includes more than net new development. It also includes production support, some training, fixing…
To almost quote Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” – to document or not to document, that is a risk question.  This article is a follow-up to the BATimes publication, “Verifying Requirements Documentation.”  As author of the article, I took special note of a readers comment on providing organizations a continuous process improvement model on composing a business requirements document (BRD).  The comment was: “... I too found some things worth cutting and pasting into some training or checklist material. The post script was prophetic - the environment for BRD seems to be getting squeezed by those who find the whole process "too cumbersome"…
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 08:03

Eight Steps to Make Better Business Decisions

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Decision-making errors exist within all levels of organizations. Some common examples include: Focusing on the symptoms instead of the problem Having no clear picture of the desired outcome Becoming fixated on only one option Making decisions that do not align with the overall goals of the organization Missing opportunities to set decision criteria Failing to evaluate enacted decisions It is important to recognize and accept (without blame or shame) that mistakes occur. Then it is time get over it, move on and apply a process that will enable successful decision making.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 10:15

What Encourages Team Members to Pull Together?

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One defining characteristic of any team is their shared purpose. I always ask about it when I meet a new team. The answer is usually beige, something like, “We do the social media component.” Stronger teams have an identity, a vivid purpose, or an inspiring vision. Such teams ask themselves, “What must we do together that is larger than any of us, requires all of us, and for which none of us can claim individual victory until it is done?” [i] In some cases, a team will reflect their identity in a name. [ii] Basic affinity between the members is necessary for…
An approach to defining and implementing your collaboration model How adept an organization is at collaboration can be a competitive advantage or, alternatively, a source of significant risk. The general makeup of project teams has been shifting to a more diverse, virtual makeup as organizations spread out geographically and increasingly work with multiple stakeholders on projects. Project management approaches that do not take into account increased communication and collaboration needs created challenges for which organizations are ill prepared. While the market is flooded with tools that claim they can improve collaboration, purchasing a new tool and weaving it into a…