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Project Portfolio Management Outlook for 2016

by Kevin Kern

Are you managing your applications? Is agile everything? What about the cloud? One expert reflects on some of the industry-specific project portfolio management trends of the past year--and considers trends for the coming year that might have an impact on the business.

The Problem with Process

by Srinivas Kandala

Process is a word often used by many team members when justifying the need to do something that they would rather not do. The cause for this conundrum is not with the process as a concept; the problem is with the decision to force a predefined process on everyone.

Agile for Hardware Product Development

by Jason Chisham, PMP

It’s rare to read about product development processes these days without mention of the benefits of using agile methodologies, yet one might be led to believe this only works for software development. Are hardware teams left out of the agile world? Not at all. You just need to be agile and adapt.

The Fallacy of Red, Amber, Green Reporting

by Gene Gendel

Although the RAG system (Red-Amber-Green) is still widely used in conventional project management as the method of rating issues or reporting on status, it is not only inaccurate, it is also counterproductive. There are agile reporting practices that are much more reliable.

Five Project Management Trends for 2016

by David Robins

The discipline of project management tends to be relatively stable as processes and methodologies are well established. However, just as technology and business models change, project management adapts over time. Here are some trends within our industry that are likely to gain momentum over the coming year.

Slashing Risks with User Experience Engineering (Part 4)

by Dmitri Khanine

This is the fourth and final installment in this series on using the latest UX methods for focusing on the right problems and slashing requirements-based risks. In this installment, we will be validating designs, using our prototypes for conducting usability tests.

Slashing Risks with User Experience Engineering (Part 3)

by Dmitri Khanine

What is UX, and why should you pay attention? In the first article, we looked at the seven key UX activities involved in collecting accurate insights, modelling and validating our designs. Part 2 focused exclusively on the key differences of modern user research methods from traditional requirements-gathering activities. Now we look at building prototypes that will make it easy for us to later validate our solutions with usability testing.

Slashing Risks with User Experience Engineering (Part 2)

by Dmitri Khanine

In Part 1, we introduced the idea of User Experience Engineering (UX) and the core tools and processes we use today to conduct user research. Here we continue by showing the core principle that all user research is based on--and how you can use it to combat scope creep and other requirements-based risks right now.

D-Cube (Decisive Dynamic Development): Transparent, Feedback, Motivate, Reduce Waste

by Chandra R. Munagavalasa, PSM I, SSGB, PMI-ACP, PMP

Why do we need another agile approach when there are numerous variations that already exist in the market? Many popular agile approaches have strict rules and/or requirements. D-cube (Decisive Dynamic Development) is simple and highly flexible, and can be tailored to fit to your needs. D-cube emphasizes the need for motivated teams, transparency, stakeholder feedback, and the reduction of waste.

Effective Use of Kanban for Monitoring and Controlling Low-Complexity Projects in a High-Volume Project Environment

by M.W. Settlemire, PMP

Kanban is an effective tool for monitoring and controlling high-volume/low-complexity projects when the goal is to increase throughput, limit work in process (WIP), and measure flow in project environments. Implementation of this approach has the ability to reduce the project management team’s level of effort while optimizing resource utilization.

Slashing Risks with User Experience Engineering

by Dmitri Khanine

What is UX, and why should you pay attention? This article will help you steer clear of common pitfalls. You'll understand the key UX activities, their goals, deliverables and what kind of outcomes you should be expecting to receive. We will also look at the degree at which each of these activities are affecting your risk breakdown structure and your schedule, their typical durations and typical manpower requirements.

Agile Tools for Volunteer and Community Groups

by Mike Griffiths

Having used agile methods for part-time task forces within corporations with good success, it seemed logical to this practitioner to try them for volunteer and community-based philanthropy groups, too. How did it go?

Overcoming the Barriers to Agile Expansion

by Andy Jordan

Agile is moving beyond software development and into many other areas of business. However, as it bumps into more traditional project areas, it isn’t always embraced. Why is that?

Capital Cost Depreciation: Agile Wins Over Waterfall

by Kevin Aguanno, PMP, MAPM, IPMA-B, Cert.APM, CSM, CSP

Waterfall projects are “done” at the end, and it is easy to determine when benefits realization begins; however, on agile projects, deliverables are produced in a phased approach, and benefits realization may begin at many points along the project lifecycle. Which brings us to the question at hand: For agile projects, when can we start deducting/amortizing capital expenses?

Measuring Organizational Agility: The Triple T Metric

by Braden Kelley

There is an increasing amount of chatter and confusion out there around what organizational agility is--and a feeling that it must be important to organizational success. Maybe you should consider using the Triple T Metric.

Effective Functional and Cross-Functional Requirements in Agile Projects

by Dina Laresch, PMP

To produce effective functional and cross-functional requirements, project teams must focus on solving real user issues. The author’s team initially ran into problems with delivering software that did not completely resolve market and user needs. To improve their practice, they increased their cross-functional team collaboration and enhanced the requirements management process in their agile projects.

Agile Knowledge Management at the General Services Administration's Public Buildings Service

by Sam Falcone, MSW, MBA, PMP, CSM, Lisa Binckes, M.A., Co-Sponsor

The General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) Public Buildings Service (PBS) needed better knowledge management (KM) approaches for supporting their building maintenance, leasing, construction, and renovation projects delivered annually across the United States. A national KM team, utilizing a rapid piloting approach, customized preexisting/prepaid software tools to quickly meet their information needs. Read the case study for details about lessons learned and critical success factors.

Say Bye to Testing Metrics in Agile Teams

by Paul Carvalho

Stop counting test cases and bug reports in development! They aren’t as helpful as you might think, and there is no direct correlation between these counts and delivered value or quality.

An Introduction to the Cost of Change and Technical Debt

by Mike Griffiths

Application development speed and costs are not linear. Some small design and process decisions have big impacts on project outcomes. This article explores the cost-of-change curve and how agile tackles changes early, and also explains technical debt.

Read My Lips: Agile Isn’t a Speed Play

by Bob Galen

This coach is getting truly tired of talking to managers and leaders whose sole motivation in adopting agile methods is "increased capacity to go faster!" But if agile isn’t a “speed play,” what sort of play is it?

Agile Benefits Management

by Mike Griffiths

Benefits are why we undertake projects in the first place and agile maximizes business value, which is a benefit. So agile is all about benefits management, right? Partly yes, but it's not that simple...

Getting a Grip on Chaos, Part 2: 9 Core Practices for Leading an Extreme Project

by Doug DeCarlo, Principal, The Doug DeCarlo Group

In today’s increasingly dynamic project world, more and more project managers are finding themselves riding an extreme project--a venture characterized by high speed, high change, high complexity and high stress. What does it take to succeed? Let's look at nine vital leadership practices.

Agile Iterations: Why Bother?

by Gil Broza

Teams run into trouble when they adopt agile practices without really knowing why they are doing them. This can happen when people who’ve been told to use iterations (sprints) still don’t understand why. And when they act on these statements, they unknowingly undermine their efforts to use agile. What can we do?

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