Project Management

Mar 06, 2022
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Agile project management describes an iterative approach that targets project management in a given setup. Usually, Agile project management focuses on subdividing large projects into smaller and more manageable tasks. These tasks are completed in some sort of short iterations that cover the entire project life cycle. 

If your team takes advantage of agile methodology, it will have higher chances of finishing the work faster, optimizing the workflow, and adapting to ever-changing project requirements. 

Agile project management enables your team to re-evaluate every single task it is undertaking. The Agile project management also lets the team members adjust in increments to keep up with the shifting customer landscape.

Nov 07, 2021
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Several years ago, I had the opportunity to manage a group of project managers and business analysts. This article reminisces about what shaped my thoughts on managing such a group and hopefully gives you some considerations given the opportunity.

Past Experience

Perhaps negative experiences impress us more than positive ones. What does not kill you, makes you stronger. In the area of managing a group of project managers and business analysts, two negative experiences stand out for me. I was a project manager engaged in a conversation with my boss on my development. I had worked for this person several years. I asked him if he had heard about a group called the “Project Management Institute.” He said “yes” and maybe he should expose the organization to the group. Maybe? I asked the question since I had been working as a project manager without guidance and frankly was a bit upset over the lack of leadership and development. I told myself, “isn’t that the role of management - to develop people.

Apr 18, 2021
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For the past year the COVID-19 virus has forced us to limit our exposure to the outside world. This virus has given us a need to find a home activity to entertain ourselves and our families. One of the activities I have pursued is assembling jigsaw puzzles. As you may know, a jigsaw puzzle is a challenge in assembling picture pieces into a single image. They come in various shapes and sizes. After doing a number of these puzzles, I noticed the similarity between this fun activity and executing a project.

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Business Analysts save their companies money, in big and small ways, every day. Is your organization aware of the savings your Business Analysts (BAs) have provided? Few BAs brag about their successes, most are toiling away inside departments and projects, without a direct line of communications to their executives. But executives would be wise to search out these individuals and their managers to quantify these successes and use them to upskill others within their organizations.  Drawing on our experience with our consulting clients, large and small, we will share some specific examples of the business analysis value proposition.

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I spent a lot of time in the past half-century doing software work: requirements, design, user experience, programming, testing, project management, writing documentation, process improvement leadership, writing 7 books and many articles, consulting, and training. Sure, there were some side trips along the way,.... But basically I’m a software guy. Over all that time, I’ve accumulated numerous insights about the software business. Here I offer 66 of those lessons. Perhaps you’ll find them as helpful as I have.

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Everyone’s crazy busy when you’re launching a new project, and taking the time to study existing bodies of knowledge doesn’t seem like real work. However, “doing nothing” while you examine the lessons of the past is a high-yield investment in your own future. An overconfident project manager, in contrast, will rely solely on personal experience, memories, and the team members’ intelligence and experience to weather any crisis and master any challenge. Hubris, arrogance, and cockiness aren’t solid foundations for project success.
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Perhaps you’ve seen a sign at an auto repair shop that asked, “What do you want: good, fast, or cheap? Pick two.” While humorous, the sign is also wise: it acknowledges the reality of trade-offs. You generally cannot optimize every desired outcome of a given situation.  The notion of such a “triple constraint” or “iron triangle” appears throughout project management. The problem is that I have seen numerous representations of the triangle with various parameters on the triangle’s vertices—size, cost, time, or scope—and various assumptions made about what is being held constant, such as quality or functionality. I’ve also seen diagrams that show four project dimensions. So, in my view, the traditional “triple constraint” is wrong, although the concept of constraints and trade-offs is certainly valid.

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Successful projects—and successful relationships—are based on realistic commitments, not on fantasies and empty promises. This article, adapted from the book Practical Project Initiation, presents several ways to improve your ability to make, and keep, achievable commitments... Unfulfilled promises ultimately lead to unhappy people and unsuccessful projects. Strive to build a realistic commitment ethic in your team—and in yourself.

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The fact that software projects and tasks are reported to be “90 percent done” for a long time has become something of an industry joke. (A related joke states that the first half of a software project consumes the first 90 percent of the resources, and the second half consumes the other 90 percent of the resources.) This well-intentioned but misleading status tracking makes it difficult to judge when a body of work will truly be completed so you can ship the next product release to your customers. Here are several typical causes of “90 percent done” syndrome and a few possible cures.

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In this article, I want to share my knowledge on how to manage product backlog using Jira. The article will be useful not only to business analysts or product owners but also to scrum masters, project managers. Basically, anyone who works with backlog and requirements on a project will benefit from reading it. There are certain rules and approaches that you have to follow to achieve good results.

Before we take a look at it I want to point out that this approach is not a market standard yet. However, over the last 3 years, I’ve completed a good number of projects using the approach I’ll be describing here

On the image below I tried to emphasize the main activities and processes that should be presented in your project. You also have to keep in mind that each artifact and process has own goal and definition.

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No matter what type of project you’re working on, how big your team is, or what your specific processes are like, you can apply these 5 steps to help you manage the day-to-day events that get you to the finish line. They help you cover the bases by assessing the project status, planning proactively, reacting appropriately, connecting your work with others, and following up with the team and clients.

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Most professionals in project management understand that in order to successfully approach a project, the problem statement must be clearly defined. The problem is that many practitioners treat problems and opportunities interchangeably when developing Business Cases and Project Charters. Understanding the difference between problems and opportunities is critical to selecting the optimal approach any project. 
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Scope change and frequent requirement modifications impact projects execution. Unpredicted changes that occur outside project planning are all encompassed by the concept of volatility. Lack and insufficient predictability of change creates volatile dynamics that impact execution and project’s deliverables. Endeavours with objectives to find and develop solutions suffer most from volatility, a phenomenon that directly correlate to the volatility degree. Although little control can be exercised on volatility, some instances can be managed or averted. However, the level of uncertainty exerts great influence on the overall volatility of the project.
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Success and failure are difficult to define and measure since they may mean different things to different people. An assumption that success can be quantified seldom holds true in the face of an ever-changing yardstick used to measure success. What might be considered to be a successful attribute today can be rendered unsuccessful under the influence of dynamic and multi-dimensional constraints.  A project is primarily implemented to target a predefined outcome, and it is imperative to measure the output in order to determine the benefit derived through the project. However, benefits realized do not necessarily add up to success. Project ‘success’ is different than ‘benefits realization’.

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A long, long time ago in a land far, far away…. a project delivery team was busily spending their days delivering projects. They were tasked with delivering change projects and often these included software delivery. This team consisted of people with a variety of skillsets, personalities and experiences. Some of them were project managers, some were analysis and some were developers. Others were software testers and others were business experts and non-project people.

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