Project Management Essentials

Agile Beyond IT: Lean Thinking

Project Management Essentials

Agile is a mindset described by a set of values and principles. It traces its roots to Lean, which is also foundational to other modern management theories. Lean’s primary focus is delivering value quickly and eliminating waste. Toyota was a Lean pioneer.

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Gantt 101: Building a Better Project Schedule

Project Management Essentials

The Gantt Chart is the most widely used project scheduling tool. It visually depicts the project’s activities, when they will occur, and their interdependencies. When used correctly, it is powerful. Unfortunately, most Gantts are poorly constructed, stripping them of their value.

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Pick Your Battles Wisely

Project Management Essentials

Conflict exists. It is a natural part of being human. It occurs at home and at work. We disagree. We have different perspectives and opinions. We get upset by things that were said, or not said. These events arouse our emotions. We become angry or afraid.

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Improve Your Project Schedule

Project Management Essentials

Let’s be honest, most project schedules disappoint. They are unrealistic, complicated, and do not help guide execution. For decades, Gantt charts, network diagrams, and the critical path method have been the standard practices.

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A Practical Guide to Business Intelligence Governance

Speaker: Marius Moscovici, CEO Metric Insights & Mike Smitheman, VP Metric Insights

This presentation will provide a practical step-by-step guide for implementing effective BI governance and a toolkit for addressing the three critical aspects of any program.

Economics 101 for Project Managers

Project Management Essentials

Economics is the social science that studies making choices subject to constraints. Project, program, and portfolio managers make economic decisions daily. We try to maximize value delivery subject to the constraints of time, cost, quality, risk, and resource availability.

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Better Project Communications

Project Management Essentials

Excellent “soft skills” differentiate the great project managers. Since 90% of a project manager’s time is spent with others, it is no surprise that communications and emotional intelligence are vital traits.

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Be Agile: Follow the Manifesto

Project Management Essentials

Agile teams are described as “self-organizing” or “self-managing.” ” But what does that really mean? The terms are frequently used but not widely understood. For teams to “be” Agile, they need to know how to act. Behaviors describe actions. They are observable and universally evident to all team members. To “be” Agile, teams should identify and clearly label the desired actions and interactions. Source.

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Busy, But Not Productive

Project Management Essentials

Everyone tells me they are busy. They are on video or conference calls from morning until evening. On average, workers receive over 100 emails per day and send at least 40. A common complaint is, “I spend my entire day meeting and doing email; and have no time for my ‘real’ work.”

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Project Portfolio Management & The Theory of Constraints

Project Management Essentials

Large enterprises struggle to manage their project portfolios effectively. They fall prey to the fallacy of optimizing resource allocation. Or simply stated, they focus on making sure everyone is busy rather than getting things done.

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The Innovative PM: Cultivating Creativity in the Evolving Hybrid Workspace

Speaker: Rachel Rai Henry, Founder of the Creative Flow School

In this one-of-a-kind webinar, speaker, creativity expert, and educator Rachel Rai Henry will walk you through the evolution of hybrid work management through the lens of creative flow.

Project Frameworks: Understand the Choices

Project Management Essentials

Selecting a project management approach and framework is complicated. Not that long ago, it was like buying a Model-T Ford; you could have any color you wanted, as long as it was black—our only option was Waterfall. Today Waterfall is still a choice.

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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.

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Flipping the Triple Constraint

Project Management Essentials

Project management theory established the Triple Constraint (aka, the Iron Triangle) as the key to project success. If the scope is known and fixed, then the schedule and cost must adjust to accommodate scope changes. The simplicity of this proposition is appealing.

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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?”

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How to Build Data Experiences for End Users

Organizational data literacy is often addressed, but it’s uncommon to consider users’ data literacy levels when building products. Product managers need to recognize their end users' data literacy when building an application with analytic features.

Unlock Potential: Push Decision Making Down

Project Management Essentials

Modern management theory is built on the premise of trust. If management creates a values-based culture, employees will make the “right” decisions. Douglas McGregor described Theory X (not trusting) and Y (trusting)managers.

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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.

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“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.

Business Agility: Getting Started

Project Management Essentials

Agile is now part of the general business lexicon. On the news, non-technology leaders keep mentioning the need to be “agile” or “pivot.”

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Projects Deliver Products, Products Deliver Strategy

Speaker: Peter Monkhouse, Founder, NewGenP

This webinar will introduce a strategy implementation circle, which will demonstrate the role that projects and products play in assisting an organization with strategy implementation. The webinar will emphasize the importance of using an iterative approach to product development and project execution.

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.

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 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.

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.

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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.

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The Definitive Guide to Embedded Analytics

Transform how you build value for your products with this definitive guide to embedded analytics.

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.

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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.

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Making Complex Decision

Project Management Essentials

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

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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.

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A PM’s Master Class on Building and Maintaining Stakeholder Relationships

Speaker: Americo Pinto, Founder and Chair at PMO Global Alliance

In this discussion, Americo Pinto, Founder and Chair at PMO Global Alliance, will walk you through best practices for communicating with stakeholders.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

Agile vs Waterfall: May the 4th Be With You in the Great Debate

Speaker: Joe Pusz, President, The PMO Squad

In this discussion, PMO Joe will challenge your thinking and perhaps bring you to the conclusion that the debate doesn’t exist. He will discuss the pros and cons of each approach and examine if one is superior to the other.

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.

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.

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

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.

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The PM Revolution: Key Trends Propelling the Project Management Profession Into the Future

Speaker: Jesse Fewell, Principal Coach, Fewell Innovation

Join this high-energy webinar with Jesse Fewell, author, coach, and project management trainer, to get practical answers and insights into what is propelling the profession into the future.