Musings on Project Management

Some risks aren't manageable

Musings on Project Management

Ideas about extreme risk management have been around a long time. No news there, so let's press on. Here's a working definition: Extreme risks are those for which the consequences are nearly irreversible, and the impact is near-catastrophic.

2020 212

Who said 'evidence'?

Musings on Project Management

Did you see this witicism at herdingcats? A skeptic will question claims, then embrace the evidence. A denier will question claims, then reject the evidence. Neil deGrase Tyson. Think of this whenever there is a conjecture that has no testable evidence of the claim. And think ever more when those making the conjectured claim refuse to provide evidence. When that is the case, it is. estimate Project Management Quotations

2020 163

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The collision of risk and politics

Musings on Project Management

There have been a lot of very high profile examples that demonstrate what seems like the evitable progression of the collision of risk and politics. The narrative seems to always fit this frame: Conventional risk management processes identify a risky situation and assess the unfavorable outcomes Mitigations are designed and briefed up the chain Such mitigations are immediately clamped from. Risk Management

2020 163

The unfolding course of events

Musings on Project Management

"It is not given to human beings -- happily for them, for otherwise life would be intolerable -- to foresee or predict to any large extent the unfolding course of events" Winston Churchill Of course, project management can modify such a bit to tolerate some of the intolerable: Simulations can add to the extent of foresight of unfolding events Systems tests can reveal unforeseen hazards in. Risk Management

2020 163

Building Healthy Innovation Ecosystems for Your Projects

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

In this webinar, Nick Noreña will walk through an Innovation Ecosystem Model that he and his team at Kromatic have developed to help investors, heads of product, teachers, and executives understand how they can best support innovation in their own ecosystem. He'll also go over metrics we can use to measure the health of our ecosystems as we build more resources for innovators.

Agile down the ages

Musings on Project Management

In the beginning, there was pre-history Agile, almost prehistoric era: Before 2000 and the meeting in Utah that birthed modern Agile Rogue developers trying various "light weight" and "rapid" prototyping and coding practises.

Agile 195

Stage gates and Agile?

Musings on Project Management

Stage gates and Agile? To some, that might sound horrifying! Not exactly! One of my Agile Project Management students asked me about stage gates and agile. My first response was this: Agile is not a gated methodology, primarily because scope is viewed as emergent, and thus the idea of pre-determined gate criteria is inconsistent with progressive elaboration and emergence. Agile does. agile

Agile 237

Agile -- what it means

Musings on Project Management

Dilbert: We need 3 more programmers. Boss: Use agile programming methods. Dilbert: Agile programming does not mean doing more work with less people. Boss: Find me some words that do mean that and ask again Dilbert is a creation of Scott Adams And so, you might ask: what does agile mean?

Agile 227

Who said 'hybrid Agile'?

Musings on Project Management

What's the hybrid thing? It's agile coexisting in the same project with a traditional methodology, presumably for the swim lanes that are not software. Some call hybrid agile as: agile in the waterfall Are hybrids practical? After all, the traditional is top down planned, most requirements up front, much system testing at the end, etc. Agile is the not-traditional. Can you fashion a hybrid. agile

Agile 190

Job done?

Musings on Project Management

Agile Principle 5: Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. Trust them to get the job done. What job? Is it the job described in the business plan and in subsequent project plans, albeit lean plans consistent with the Agile Manifesto? Is it the job that has been estimated and scheduled? Is it the job. agile

Lean 163

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?

So, you need a System Integrator -- SI

Musings on Project Management

You've got a big (big!) project with a lot of moving parts (different contractors doing different stuff). You've been told: Get yourself an SI! The questions at hand: what is a System Integrator (aka SI), and what do they do?

2020 195

Excel is watching you!

Musings on Project Management

If you've ever managed a project with a really large data set, say the payroll for a bunch of 1099 developers, or the sales records that you're trying to translate and import to a spreadsheet, you may need to watch a couple of important cells to let you know what's really going on: Summary totals; error codes; record totals, etc. Excel gives the PMO a convenient tool in the Watch Window Project Management

2019 212

Two doors for risk managers

Musings on Project Management

A narrative* Imagine two doors to the same room: One labeled risk manager; the other labeled decision maker. Though the risk manager's door, entry is for the inductive thinker: facts looking for a generality or integrating narrative Through the decision maker's door, entry is for the deductive thinker: visionary with a need to connect specifics to the vision And, consider this: Pessimists. Risk Management

Risk 150

Can you beat a checklist?

Musings on Project Management

Can anyone image doing serious risk management without a checklist? The answer, of course, is No. or, it should be!) Actually, any procedural management can benefit from a checklist. There's been whole books written about checklists. In fact, one of the more prominent books -- "The Checklist Manefesto" by Dr. A. Gawande -- entitles Chapter 1: "The Problem of Extreme Complexity", Project Management

2019 243

Managing The Project Budget - Developing Your Project Management Skills

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

The many flavors of scope creep

Musings on Project Management

Can there be scope creep in Agile? Doesn't agile define creep 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."

2019 212

Agile and R/D

Musings on Project Management

I was recently asked if Agile and 'R/D' go together. Good question! I'm glad you asked. The issue at hand: how do you reconcile agile's call for product delivery to users every few weeks with the unknowns and false starts in a real R/D project? Let's start with OPM. Other people's money. And the first question: What have you committed to do with the money? There are two possible. agile

Agile 150

Risk un-management

Musings on Project Management

Risk un-management? Perhaps the largest task within risk management, and requiring the greatest judgment, is "risk un-management" On any project there are going to be dozens, perhaps hundreds, of unmanaged risks. These comprise the population to be un-managed. I doubt this is news to anyone, but these are, as a group, more numerous than those selected for the usual risk management paradigm. Risk Management

Risk 197

Very short course in risk management

Musings on Project Management

Need a quick introduction to risk management? Don't have much time for this? Try this very short course on risk management (no math required!). Risk management short course from John Goodpasture. Buy them at any online book retailer! Risk Management

Risk 150

Top 5 Project Management Report Templates

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

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

Backlog management

Musings on Project Management

Yikes! My backlog is blocked! How can this be? We're agile. or maybe we've become de-agiled. Can that happen? Ah yes, we're agile, but perhaps not everything in the portfolio is agile; indeed, perhaps not everything in the project is agile. In the event, coupling the culprit Coupling? Coupling is system engineering speak for transferring one effect onto another, or causing an effect by. agile

2019 190

Two doors: risk and decision managers

Musings on Project Management

A narrative* Imagine two doors to the same room: One labeled risk manager; the other labeled decision maker. Though the risk manager's door, entry is for the inductive thinker: facts, experience, history looking for a generality or integrating narrative Through the decision maker's door, entry is for the deductive thinker: visionary with a need to articulate specifics for the vision Risk Management

Risk 207

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 183

Beyond the Findings: The Case for UX Research in Digital Transformation

Speaker: Marina Foglietta-Tereo, Head of UX Research, AXA Insurance

People often think of UX research as a tactical approach to improve the usability or visual appeal of a digital product. While good research will certainly validate an existing design, using it for validation alone would be like using your iPhone solely to tell time! Join Marina Foglietta-Tereo, Head of UX Research at AXA Insurance, as she explores the unrecognized organizational, cultural, and strategic benefits of an in-house, central and mature UXR team.

Mixing Agile with oil and gas

Musings on Project Management

There comes a point where more planning can not remove the remaining uncertainty, instead execution must be used to provide data and remove uncertainty. This quote comes from a nicely argued case -- from the agile blog 'leading answers' -- for mixing agile methods in rather traditional businesses, like the oil and gas exploration/production business If ever there was a business that. agile

Agile 183

Agile for Project Managers: an analogy

Musings on Project Management

It's been a few years since I wrote the material for the presentation below, but I find it timeless. It's all about an analogy It's all about how a self-directed team working on a mission of top-down importance and specification -- these imperatives coming from executive leaders -- get the job down sufficiently well (in Agile speak: well enough) to succeed. Agile for project managers - agile

Agile 204

Scaling down, down

Musings on Project Management

Most of the posts I read are about scaling up to ever larger projects, but what about scaling down? What if you are doing bug fixes and small scale projects with just one or two people? Is a methodology of any help, And if you're working with software, can Agile be helpful scaled down? Methodology To the first point, my answer is: Sure! A methodology -- which is just a repeated way of. Project Management

2020 150

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 215

Before Transforming The Experience, You Need to Disrupt Yourself

Speaker: Vivek Bedi, Product Expert and Keynote Speaker

Every company is (soon to be) a technology company. Undergoing digital transformation is the key to succeeding in this digital era - but the process isn’t all innovation and shiny new tech. Join Vivek Bedi, a product expert with 18 years of experience across Fortune 100 companies and startups alike, as he shares his expertise on how to strike the right transformation balance and change your product mindset.

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

Agile 195

Against the Gods. (no luck required)

Musings on Project Management

If you are in the project management (read: risk management) business, one of the best books that describes the philosophy and foundation for modern risk management is Bernstein's "Against the Gods: the remarkable story of risk". Between the covers of this "must read" we learn this bit: The essence of risk management lies in maximizing the areas where we have some control over the outcome. Risk Management

2019 200

If you can't draw it.

Musings on Project Management

Many creative people will tell you that new ideas begin -- often spontaneously -- with a mind's sketch that they then render in some kind of media. Fair enough -- no news there. We've talked about storyboards, etc before. But then the heavy lifting begins. How to fill in the details? Where to start? My advice: Draw it first. If you can't draw it, you can't build it! And so the. planning Project Management system engineering

2020 150

Quantitative risk for the new guy on the street

Musings on Project Management

Repetition and review are good--Malcom Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to be expert at anything--so here's a few words that will take a few minutes on three important quantitative concepts every risk manager should know: Concept 1: Centrality Most phenomenon of interest to projects, particularly naturally occurring phenomenon, tend to cluster around a central value, given enough samples. risk Risk Management

Risk 207

Business Agile: A Roadmap for Transforming Your Management & Adapting to the VUCA Environment

Speaker: Peter Taylor, Speaker/Author, The Lazy Project Manager

Businesses everywhere are trying to “get business agile”—but it’s not easy to adapt to becoming this adaptive. How can conventional organizations succeed in this transformation? In this webinar, Peter Taylor will walk through the change process step by step, and look at a tried and tested transformation roadmap: benefits are outlined, solutions to common challenges offered, and tried and tested methods and tools provided. It will be a guide towards a decentralized and management style that offers more successful decision making through collaboration.

"Open" risk management

Musings on Project Management

To be open Every text and paper I've read describes risk management like many other project processes: open, transparent, available to any on the project team. Risks are identified, evaluated, ranked, made subject to some form of risk reduction paradigm; and everyone is made aware. Oh, but if it only were! Most of us can handle the text book process. It's more will than capability But, on. Risk Management

Risk 163

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

Hey, we can put it off until.

Musings on Project Management

Are you a procrastinator? Do you procrastinate and still try to manage schedule? Do you think of yourself as a procrastinator who can manage risk? Do you understand that managing schedule risk is tantamount to managing the concept of schedule buffers and the critical chain methodology? Then, you'll understand that handling your tendency to put things off, and thereby forcing upon you. Risk Management

Agile and R/D

Musings on Project Management

I was recently asked if Agile and 'R/D' go together. The issue at hand: how do you reconcile agile's call for product delivery to users every few weeks with the unknowns and false starts in a real R/D project? Good question! I'm glad you asked. Let's start with OPM. Other people's money. And the first question: What have you committed to do? There are two possible answers: (1). agile

Agile 183

Walk a Mile in Your Customer's Shoes

Speaker: Steven Haines, Founder and CEO, Sequent Learning Networks

Product professionals use phrases like "voice of the customer," and "user experience" so often that it can be easy to lose sight of their actual meanings. How can we, as product professionals, learn to keep customers and users at the heart of our work? Join Steven Haines, globally recognized thought leader and author, as he guides us through a memorable journey demonstrating how you can walk a mile in their customer's shoes. He'll explore how, by developing true empathy for your users, you can ensure you're creating the features and products they actually want.