Musings on Project Management

Agile strong -- a reveiw

Musings on Project Management

Trying to remember how you got here? Perhaps Understanding why you're sticking around is also important So, here's my top ten reasons why agile has worked for me 1. Agile is a "best value" method: it's doctrine is centered on value and accomplishment for the customer and user, not so much adherence to cost and schedule--though the sponsor's investment can not be exceeded, so cost is at. agile

2019 191

Bigger pie, or more slices?

Musings on Project Management

Leadership v Followership I've been revisiting Michael Porter this week here at "Musings". I was struck by Porter's description of leadership v followership in technology: About that pie: Leadership increases the size of the "pie", but Followership only reslices the pie. Followers accept "zero-sum"; Leaders change the sum. Buy them at any online book retailer! leadership

2019 170

Agile and the V-and-V thing

Musings on Project Management

Have you thought much about this? Two of the conceptual conundrums of the hybrid methodology project are: How do you verify that which is incomplete and. How do you validate the efficacy of that which is yet to be conceived? Verification and validation (V-and-V) are traditionally held to be very important project practises that are difficult to map directly into the Agile domain. agile

Agile 207

F.W. Taylor: should we care?

Musings on Project Management

How many project managers are still laboring with the aftermath of Fredrick Winslow Taylor, more popularly known as F.W. Taylor? Taylor Who? You might ask: Who was Taylor? Good question F.W. Taylor was one of the first to study business systematically -- an original "operations research" guy. He brought 'Taylorism" into the business culture in the years leading up to World War I. By 1915, agile human factors process Quality

2019 170

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?

Agile C.R.A.C.K. customers

Musings on Project Management

Barry Boehm, a noted software methodologist with a long and illustrative career at TRW, DARPA, and USC, and author of the COCOMO model and Spiral methodology, writes about the ideal customer for agile projects. Boehm's perspective: -- Collaborative: they will engage with their customer peers and with the development team -- Representative: they know the product or system requirements. agile customer

2019 170

LeCarre and project mangement

Musings on Project Management

As a former intelligence professional, John LeCarre is one of my favorite authors, to say nothing of the dry British wit and sparkling prose that supports some quite challenging plots. Nonetheless, I didn't expect to find this wisdom on the pages of "Our kind of traitor" In operational planning there are two opportunities only for flexibility: One, when you've drawn up your plan. Two, when. Project Management

2018 179

F.W.

Musings on Project Management

How many project managers are still laboring with the aftermath of Fredrick Winslow Taylor, more popularly known as F.W. Taylor? You might ask: Who was Taylor? Taylor was one of the first to study business systematically. He brought 'Taylorism" into the business culture in the years leading up to World War I. By 1915, his ideas were considered quite advanced, and they had significant

2018 170

The Fiduciary and the PM

Musings on Project Management

Consider this explanation of a fiduciary: In a fiduciary relationship, one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably vests confidence, good faith, reliance, and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires the fiduciary to act at all times for the sole benefit and interest of the one who trust So, what are we. Project Management

2018 170

Behavior v Outcome

Musings on Project Management

You have to give Jurgen Appelo high marks for imaginative illustrations that catch the eye and convey the thought. He says this is one of his best illustrations ever; he may be right. He calls it his "celebration grid". I imagine Jurgen will be telling us a lot more about this if it catches on. But what he says about these grid points is the more important take away: “Celebrate. human factors

2018 184

Managing The Project Budget - Developing Your Project Management Skills

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

Meeting the customer's standards

Musings on Project Management

"They" say about Agile: You don't have to bother with gathering requirements; requirements just emerge You don't have to have any documentation; it's all in the code You can do away with V&V: verification and validation, because that's like QA tacked onto the end You don't really have to have an architect, because (somehow) the best architecture emerges Taking responsibility for business. agile

2018 170

Faces of risk

Musings on Project Management

1 When you say "risk management" to most PMs, what jumps to mind is the quite orthodox conception of risk as the duality of an uncertain future event and the probability of that event happening. Around these two ideas -- impact and frequency -- we've discussed in this blog and elsewhere the conventional management approaches. This conception is commonly called the "frequentist" view/ Risk Management

Risk 170

To self-organize, or not?

Musings on Project Management

I like headlines that have a simple message This one--No more self-organizing teams--caught my eye for three reasons: I agree with the sentiment It was written by Jim Highsmith, who rights some good stuff I have an interest in leadership per se Now, to be fair, Mike Cohn more or less supports the thesis we present here when he (Mike) quotes Philip Anderson who writes in "Biology of. agile human factors Teamwork

2018 170

Failure or faults?

Musings on Project Management

Does software fail, or does it just have faults, or neither? Silly questions? Not really. I've heard them for years. Here 's the argument for "software doesn't fail": Software always works the way it is designed to work, even if designed incorrectly. It doesn't wear out, break (unless you count corrupted files), or otherwise not perform exactly as designed. To wit: it never fails Here's. risk Risk Management

2018 170

Top 5 Project Management Report Templates

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

Resume tic's

Musings on Project Management

Want a job in "big business", or want to pursue "gigs" with the big guys? Here's some resume tic's from the those that know the General Motors' needs: The "new" GM will want workers who are highly creative and capable of working autonomously as well as collaboratively. The future employee will take initiative and have a strong technology background, good communication skills, and project. human factors Project Management

2018 170

Multi-lingualism

Musings on Project Management

MIT is to open a new College of Computing. That's nice for them Of note, however, is this bit from L. Rafael Reif, MIT President, as quoted in the press The goal of the college is to "educate bilinguals of the future" And, to be clear, bilinguals are people whose 'other interests' are -- among others -- biology, chemistry, politics, history, and linguistics who are skilled in the techniques. human factors Project Management

2018 170

Alice, the Cat, and Agile

Musings on Project Management

I've heard it many times that this little ditty is the essence of why Agile is problematic with its dearth of plans, estimates, etc: "Would you tell me, please which way I ought to go from here? That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat. 'I I don't much care,' said Alice. Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat. 'So So long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice. agile

Agile 179

Great project management

Musings on Project Management

Give pause to this insight: "The mark of a great ship handler is never getting into a situation requiring great ship handling" Admiral Ernest J. King The paraphrase is obvious: The mark of a great project manager is never getting into a situation requiring great great project management Buy them at any online book retailer! Project Management Quotations

Retail 170

Living With Technical Debt: Balancing Quality and Perfection

Speaker: Cliff Gilley, The Clever PM

As a Product Manager, you probably have to deal with technical debt. Regularly. Whether you like it or not - because it can’t be avoided. Unexpected details pop up, as small as UX that needs clean-up, and as big as a previously unforeseen flaw in the infrastructure of a project. We have to accept that nobody gets away without some technical debt. And of course, the longer you take to deal with your technical debt, the more difficult it becomes to address fully. Feeling frustrated? Fortunately, we can take a step back, gain clarity, and see how the decisions we make impact our technical debt. Then, we can make decisions about how we want to balance technical debt with other priorities. Are we willing to live with some level of technical debt in order to ship product and meet deadlines? Can we mitigate technical debt to get to an MVP faster?

The Agile Canon

Musings on Project Management

I thought this posting on the "Agile Canon" was worthy of passing along in its entirety. So, there's the link for a pretty good read on the most important elements of a canon that all should be interested in adopting: Measure Economic Progress: Outcomes, means to measure, means to forecast Proactively Experiment to Improve: Assess options, embrace diversity and variability, execute. agile

Agile 179

Initiative and independent action

Musings on Project Management

From Viscount Nelson, victorious British commander in chief at the naval battle of Trafalgar, we get this insight for initiative and independent action, as described by Admiral James Stavridis in his book "Sea Power": Nelson knew he would not have clear and instantaneous communication. making] precise command and control impossible. As [Nelson] said in his [planning] memorandum: " leadership

Blitz-scaling

Musings on Project Management

So, I'm just catching up with the buzz about blitz-scaling, the business model that says: Get to scale fast! Actually, get to even larger scale even faster. Blitz your way there! Only the fastest to scale wins; there's hardly a spot for number two One might ask: What's the debt and debris accumulated in blitzing scale? Reid Hoffman has an answer in his book, titled no less than: " process

2018 170

Agile: revolution to evolution

Musings on Project Management

20 odd years ago, Agile was a revolution in methodology and some say a revolution in business objectives, all set down in some now-well-known principles from the last '90s. But, has there not been an evolution in the last two decades? Mike Cohn, a spearhead in the Scrum world to be sure, says this: Originally, agile meant valuing individuals and interactions, working software, customer. agile

Agile 170

The Business Opportunity of Embedded Analytics: New Findings from 500+ Application Teams

Speaker: Josh Martin, Director of Product Marketing, Logi Analytics

Embedded analytics has evolved from an afterthought to a necessity. But most companies don’t realize that the features they embed and how they develop have a lasting impact on revenue, customer churn, and competitive differentiation. The state of embedded analytics in 2018 is in flux. Learn from the experiences of 500+ application teams embedding analytics—including which features actually move the needle, how analytics benefits their companies, and what development approach yields the best results.

8 Administrative Professional Conferences You Can’t Miss in 2018

Musings on Project Management

8 Administrative Professional Conferences You Can’t Miss in 2018. Have you ever noticed the amazing ideas and inspiration that come from connecting with other like-minded people who have the same profession as you? We want administrative professionals to feel that invigorating spark again and again!

2018 269

Leveraging customer relationships

Musings on Project Management

One of my students offered this strategy for establishing, maintaining, and leveraging relationships with the customer. I thought it was pretty good, so here's the idea: 1. Customer Account Responsible (ACR) -- who. is the Account Manager. for the domain, market or dedicated to the customer (big accounts) responsible for: Account relationships, Opportunity identification, Commercial. customer human factors

2018 170

Plan A (or B, C, D)

Musings on Project Management

There is always Plan A: "Do nothing" This is actually different from "do no harm"; do-no-harm could be Plan B Following that theme, sticking with Plan A could actually be harmful. thus, Plan B could be not only less harmful but also could be essential for limiting harm So, presume there is always Plan A, and good management principles say: there should be a Plan B What about Plan C. planning

Ratios! Some good; some evil

Musings on Project Management

Ratio's. as commonly applied. often violate the higher law: "Do good; avoid evil" Poster child for the evil ratio: Wouldn't it be nice if we could ban % Complete from the lexicon of project management! Complete is a ratio, numerator/denominator. The big issue is with the denominator. The denominator, which is supposed to represent the effort required, is really dynamic and not static estimate planning schedule

2018 185

A Guide to Designing Delightful Dashboards

Speaker: Daniel O'Sullivan, Product Designer, nCino and Jeff Hudock, Senior Product Manager, nCino

We’ve all seen the increasing industry trend of artificial intelligence and big data analytics. In a world of information overload, it's more important than ever to have a dashboard that provides data that's not only interesting but actually relevant and timely. Dashboards assist decision makers facilitate new ideas and business opportunities, increase customer approval rates, and analyze current business process. All of these activities play a vital role in providing the superior experience your customers demand.

Validation and Verification -- in Agile? Really?

Musings on Project Management

Validation and Verification: traditionalists know these ideas well. Do they still have relevance in the Agile space? My opinion: Yes! Traditional V-and-V: the way it is Traditional projects rely on validation and verification (V-and-V) for end-to-end auditing of requirements: Validation: the requirements ‘deck’ is validated for completeness and accuracy. If there are priorities. agile

Agile 170

Program success dashboard

Musings on Project Management

Looking for project dashboard that really provides insight at a glance? This one from John Higbee might be the answer If you've not a Higbee person, maybe you've not seen it. Take a look at John Higbee's presentation about "Program Success Probability". (*) Take notice of the neat arrangement of program success divided left and right by internal and external factors. On page 5 of Higbee's Project Management Risk Management

2018 170

Quantum science projects

Musings on Project Management

“God does not play dice with the universe.” ? Albert Einstein, The Born-Einstein Letters 1916-55 “So Einstein was wrong when he said, "God does not play dice." Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen.” ? Stephen Hawking Science and engineering projects If you line up with Hawking, Project Management

2018 170

Plausible or probable?

Musings on Project Management

Ponder this for a moment: Adding detail to the description of an uncertainty may make it seem less probable (the more you know, the less you think it will happen than a more abstract version), though it may make it more plausible Now move forward to that first tool of choice among risk managers, the risk register. The logic is this: As detail abounds and abstraction abates, plausibility Risk Management Statistics

2018 185

Turning Metrics into Dollars: How to Turn Your Analytics Data into a Real Financial Model for your Startup

Speaker: Tristan Kromer, Lean Agile Coach, Kromatic

Some teams struggle to constantly optimize conversion rates without understanding the financial impact of those conversion rates. Sometimes that 0.1% increase isn't worth the engineering time we're spending! Early stage startups in particular may not need a four year business plan, but they need to start building out a model which will show how they can someday be profitable. At the very least, they need to be able to see the impact of a change in retention rates to their user growth.

Bad Haircut

Musings on Project Management

The bad haircut What do you say when your colleague comes in with a bad haircut? (*) Jump on it? Criticize it? Threaten abuse? Probably none of the above; probably you ignore it or make some civil remark The bad idea What if the same person comes in with a bad idea? Now what? Probably you can't ignore it, but your commentary can be civil, inquiring, benefit of the doubt and all that (Speak communication human factors

2018 170

3-point estimates. good for you!

Musings on Project Management

Here's my three point estimate paradox: We all know we must estimate with three points (numbers). so we do it, reluctantly None of us actually want to work with (do arithmetic with) the three points we estimate. In a word, three point estimates suck -- not convenient, thus often put aside even if estimated -- and most of all: who among us can do arithmetic with three point estimates? But Monte Carlo Risk Management Statistics

What flavor is your scope creep?

Musings on Project Management

Can there be scope creep in Agile? Doesn't agile define it away in a stroke: "Scope is whatever is prioritized in the backlog that fits within the budget (OPM, other people's money) and the time. The backlog changes all the time, but that's not creep, it's just backlog management." What I just wrote is a "best value" definition of scope. But, sometimes it doesn't sell. I credit my agile. agile Project Management schedule

2018 184

Communications v content

Musings on Project Management

"The New York Herald pointed out [that] the telegraph appeared to make it possible for the whole nation to have the same idea at the same moment. Henry David Thoreau raised an eyebrow: "We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate" The New York Times Nothing important to communicate? communication

How Agile Approaches Change Project, Program, and Product Measures

Speaker: Johanna Rothman, Management Consultant, Rothman Consulting Group

Before agile approaches took the world by storm, we used Gantt charts and defects to measure project and program progress. We had trouble measuring product progress until just before release—often too late to change anything. Join Johanna as she discusses how agile approaches change what we measure, and possible measures you might use in projects, programs, and to assess the product as the team(s) build it.