Project Management Essentials

Empowering Your Teams

Project Management Essentials

The virtues of high-performing teams are well documented. They are 50% more productive. They are more creative, and members are 76% more likely to be engaged. Gallup studies of organizational performance find that companies with highly engaged employees are twice as likely to be successful.

2021 52

Better Zoom Meetings

Project Management Essentials

In one of my training classes, there is an exercise to conduct a daily stand-up meeting. The meeting should be no longer than 15-minutes and be well structured. In class, we challenge the leader with common distracting and unproductive behaviors. Watch the clip, the results are often hilarious.

2021 52
Insiders

Sign Up for our Newsletter

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Project Tools: Which to Choose?

Project Management Essentials

There are many tools to help project teams manage their work, collaborate, and track performance. The number of options is overwhelming— Capterra has published over 900-project management tool reviews. I teach project management classes and am often asked, “Which tool should we use?”

2021 52

“Keep in Touch”

Project Management Essentials

I called an old colleague just to say “hello” and see how he was doing. We have worked together at different companies over the past dozen years. He is an inspirational finance executive and counted on me to implement his vision.

2021 56

Insiders' Guide to Self-Service Analytics

Self-service analytics are vital for how your users interact and engage with your application. As you explore analytics solutions for your application, see why self-service analytics can prove critical to the adoption and stickiness of your application.

A Personal Retrospective

Project Management Essentials

This year was like living through a 500-year storm. COVID has infected 1 in 20 Americans, and 1 in 1,000 have died of the disease. Nearly 15 million people are still out of work. Thirty-three million have been remote for 9-months and are not likely to return soon.

2021 52

 Feedback: The Right Way

Project Management Essentials

Feedback is a critical and valuable management tool. For managers, it is the engine of continuous improvement. For employees, it is the gift of valuable insight. Unfortunately, many managers feel uncomfortable giving regular feedback, which deprives them of the ability to affect change.

Considering How We Think

Project Management Essentials

We are living in interesting times. All countries are struggling to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Societies are challenging their histories of racial and social injustice. Fundamental beliefs are being scrutinized.

Create Value: Map the Value Stream

Project Management Essentials

If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” Edwards Deming Our work and home lives our bounded by standard operating procedures and process—and too many of them stink.

2020 52

Failed Agile Sprints

Project Management Essentials

Agile teams using the Scrum framework commit to delivering value in each development sprint. Sprints are generally 2-weeks long, and the goal is to create working software that can be deployed into production.

SCRUM 52

4 Approaches to Data Analytics

As the analytics landscape continues to evolve, application teams who need to embed dashboards, reports, and other analytics capabilities in their applications can choose from dozens of solutions. How do you differentiate one solution from the next?

Making Complex Decision

Project Management Essentials

when faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution.”

2020 52

Is Your Agile Project Healthy?

Project Management Essentials

Experienced agile coaches and practitioners develop a sixth-sense. They can quickly assess the health of an agile project or team just as doctors do with their patients. In 2013, Mike Cohn coined the term scrum smells to describe the signs that a scrum team is in trouble. In my agile training and consulting practice, I have witnessed similar symptoms when an organization is struggling with its agile adoption.

SCRUM 40

Be Productive by Focusing on Value

Project Management Essentials

Productivity is defined as our ability to create value. Traditionally manufacturers and farmers became more productive by adding resources—people and machines—to the process. Knowledge workers can generate more value by working smarter, rather than harder.

Disciplined Agile: To Agility and Beyond

Project Management Essentials

Disciplined Agile (DA) has the potential to become a leading agile framework because it creates harmony in this congested thought-space. DA recognizes practices from across the spectrum and offers a pragmatic and context-driven approach to agility. Currently, DA is not widely used.

Agile 52

2021 State of Analytics: Why Users Demand Better

As organizations become more data driven, their analytics requirements grow. Find out how knowledge workers use analytics and explore their needs and preferences.

Agile Project Governance: It Should be Easy

Project Management Essentials

Many organizations struggle with project governance, oversight, and control. The truth is that most projects are not successful. Over the past 25-years, only 30% of all projects are delivered on-time, on-budget, and with the desired scope.

Leadership in the Time of Coronavirus

Project Management Essentials

The coronavirus pandemic is the most frightening, disruptive, and widespread crisis of our lifetime. As managers and leaders, none of us have faced challenges of such a magnitude or scale.

Road Trippin’ Organization Change: The Journey

Project Management Essentials

Organizational change and transformation efforts are often challenging. Most fail to meet their planned objectives with 30% failing outright. In last month’s article, ”Road Trippin’ Organizational Change: The Beginning” , I recommending using adaptive-agile planning practices and treating the effort like a road trip: Set the direction, not the destination. Set high-level goals and the strategic direction of the change, motivate the “what” and “why,” but do not dictate the “how.”

Feedback: The Right Way

Project Management Essentials

Feedback is a critical and valuable management tool. For managers, it is the engine of continuous improvement. For employees, it is the gift of valuable insight. Unfortunately, many managers feel uncomfortable giving regular feedback, which deprives them of the ability to affect change. And, many employees mistake feedback as criticism and miss the message. The Feedback Model—when practiced and. Source. Agile Leadership Project Management Management Organization PM Skills

Task Management For Project Managers

How can project planning that stretches over months or years remain relevant and account for new ad-hoc activities that arrive every day?

Road Trippin’ Organizational Change: The Beginning

Project Management Essentials

Most organizational change efforts do not succeed. They fail to achieve the desired results. They are disruptive and sometimes leave the company worse-off. An oft-cited statistic is that 70% of organizational change efforts fail. This metric is attributed to Hammer and Champy’s 1993 classic, “Reengineering the Corporation” and is reinforced by a 2008 McKinsey survey of executives.

2008 40

The Daily Stand-Up Meeting: Best Practice

Project Management Essentials

Lean and Agile organizations have harnessed the power of the stand-up meeting as a valuable process tool. The stand-up is an efficient and effective way to communicate. It promotes transparency into the progress of work and highlights issues. The meeting fosters a collaborative work environment and creates accountability. In this article, I share best practices and the “what”, “who”, “when”, “where” and “how” for conducting a successful stand-up meeting.

Create Value: Map the Value Stream

Project Management Essentials

If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” Edwards Deming Our work and home lives our bounded by standard operating procedures and process—and too many of them stink. We all have encountered Byzantine-like bureaucracies where the lines are long, the rules are contradictory, and nothing makes any sense. Poor user experience (UX) design can even be. Source. Agile DevOps Value Stream

Kanban 101: Improving How We Work

Project Management Essentials

Kanban is a versatile and powerful tool to help you manage your work. It can be used to track personal projects, complex operations and large programs; for example, it can be used to: Efficiently manage the flow of inventory in a factory, Help students manage their homework and papers, Track the progress of project tasks and activities, Organize the preparation and set-up for a holiday meal, and. Help non-profit boards manage programs and events.

Lean 46

Report by Dresner Advisory Services: Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study

According to the 2020 Dresner Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study, embedded business intelligence is crucial for application success. This report explores the current state of BI and why application teams are increasingly choosing an embedded solution.

Failed Agile Sprints

Project Management Essentials

Agile teams using the Scrum framework commit to delivering value in each development sprint. Sprints are generally 2-weeks long, and the goal is to create working software that can be deployed into production. While commitment is one of Scrum’s core values, in reality, teams do not always complete the work. This is commonly known as a “failed sprint. Source. Agile Planning & Scheduling

SCRUM 40

Making Complex Decision

Project Management Essentials

when faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution.” Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow In the midst of the pandemic, we have and will continue to face numerous complex decisions where there are many unknowns and no clear choices. Organizations and individuals are grappling with challenging issues. What is safe? Source. Agile Leadership Project Management Decision-Making

2020 40

Be Productive by Focusing on Value

Project Management Essentials

Productivity is defined as our ability to create value. Traditionally manufacturers and farmers became more productive by adding resources—people and machines—to the process. Knowledge workers can generate more value by working smarter, rather than harder. The massive shift to remote work caused by the pandemic has exposed complexities and inefficiencies in how we work. Through the wonders of. Source. Agile Leadership Project Management Kanban Value Stream

Knowledge Management: Share the Wisdom

Project Management Essentials

Knowledge Management (KM) is broadly defined as the process of creating and sharing information across the organization. Its goal is to enable learning. KM became a formal business disciple in the 1990s even though it dates back centuries. I believe that project management follows the apprenticeship model. Throughout my management career, creating a learning environment for my teams has been a constant pursuit, and often a challenge.

Lean 40

Managing The Project Budget - Developing Your Project Management Skills

This eBook describes the process of managing the project budget and its associated costs.

Create a Learning Environment:  Profit from Your Mistakes

Project Management Essentials

“All good lessons come at a cost. Try to learn them inexpensively.” Howard Zucker. When I made a mistake as a child, my father would remind me that all lessons come at a cost. The goal was to learn them cheaply. I did not always follow this maxim. But, this pearl of wisdom stayed with me throughout my life. I have passed it on to my children. It also shaped my approach to management and leadership.

2018 40

Forming a Team? Plan for Success

Project Management Essentials

Remember the last time you joined a new team or organization. What was it like? Was it awkward? Did you make decisions easily? Were expectations clear? Did the team gel immediately? You probably answered “No” to these questions. High-performing teams do not form quickly or naturally. As a manager or project manager quickly moving your team through the early stages of group development is critical. It can also be challenging.

2018 40

Agile Project Governance: It Should be Easy

Project Management Essentials

Many organizations struggle with project governance, oversight, and control. The truth is that most projects are not successful. Over the past 25-years, only 30% of all projects are delivered on-time, on-budget, and with the desired scope. Traditional waterfall projects have phase gates that theoretically establish defined control and governance points. The project must complete the work for the. Source. Agile Managing Projects Portfolio Management

Disciplined Agile: To Agility and Beyond

Project Management Essentials

Disciplined Agile (DA) has the potential to become a leading agile framework because it creates harmony in this congested thought-space. DA recognizes practices from across the spectrum and offers a pragmatic and context-driven approach to agility. Currently, DA is not widely used. In the State of Agile Report, it does not make the list of top methodologies. Until recently, the extent of my DA. Source. Agile Leadership

Agile 40

Are Your Embedded Analytics DevOps-Friendly?

Does your analytics solution work with your current tech stack and DevOps practices? If not, any update to the analytics could increase deployment complexity and become difficult to maintain. Learn the 5 elements of a DevOps-friendly embedded analytics solution.

Leadership in the Time of Coronavirus

Project Management Essentials

The coronavirus pandemic is the most frightening, disruptive, and widespread crisis of our lifetime. As managers and leaders, none of us have faced challenges of such a magnitude or scale. Over the next several weeks and probably months, our teams will look to us for guidance, support, and leadership. In this article, I draw from my experience managing teams through times of crisis. As leaders. Source. Leadership Change Management Management

PMI Goes Agile

Project Management Essentials

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is making a bold pivot toward agile. As a project manager and an agilist, I am excited by these moves. At the same time, it is hard to envision both this transition and the future state. In this article, I share some of my thoughts about the upcoming changes to the Project Management Professional (PMP®) exam and PMBOK® Guide. Two years ago. Source. Agile Project Management Managing Projects Training

PMI 40

What Are They Saying About You?

Project Management Essentials

“You are not in the room for the conversations that impact your career.” Farley Price. I was having dinner with an old friend and colleague. We were talking about the arc of our careers and the events that brought us to this point. Farley remarked that we are rarely present for important conversations that affect our careers. We are not there to explain, clarify, or tell our side of the story. I thought about this for a moment and recognized that this is absolutely true.

Going Agile

Project Management Essentials

Agile 40

Top 5 Project Management Report Templates

These FREE most popular templates will help you perform your role more efficiently.