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Preparing Teams for Different Ways of Working

by Andy Jordan

As more and more organizations recognize they need both agile and waterfall project execution processes in order to succeed, teams are being asked to work in very different ways.

Project Management – Fast and Slow

by Klaus Nielsen, MBA, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PMP

How do the biases, effects, fallacies, illusions and neglects outlined in Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow (2013) affect decision making? By applying Kahneman to the Knowledge Areas of the PMBOK® Guide, the author illustrates how project managers can mitigate the effects of irrational thinking.

Collaboration as a Productivity Booster

by Mike Griffiths

Are command-and-control undertones hurting your organization's performance? Are people getting the passion and desire to contribute slowly crushed out of them by project management bureaucracy and prescriptive process? Then free them to be hyper-productive by emphasizing collaboration.

Four Elephants in the Agile Testing Room

by Paul Carvalho

Some topics in agile testing may point to dysfunctional organizational practices that are often taboo, off limits or avoided in regular conversations. In this article, we identify four such topics that need to be discussed and addressed for agile success.

Self-Managed Waterfall?

by Andy Jordan

One of the cornerstones of agile is the concept of self-managed teams. Does that concept translate into more traditional project areas?

The Key to Greater Organizational Agility

by Braden Kelley

Companies seeking to cope with the pace of accelerating change are looking for ways to go faster, and managers in non-technical disciplines have become increasingly infatuated with the agile software development methodology. Agility sounds like a good thing, and agile marketing sounds like it must be better than regular marketing...but is it?

How to Stay Agile in a "Wagile" Environment

by Gopinath Venu, PMP, PMI-ACP

The transformation from waterfall to agile frequently meets with resistance to change. Many startups who want to embrace an agile approach fall into a vicious trap of a blended methodology often called “Wagile.” Learn how to encourage development of an agile mindset in your organization.

Benefits Realized by Applying Agile

by Oscar Correia

There’s a simple solution to complex projects: Create agile project teams. These teams close the gap between business areas and IT, reduce the workload, do away with rework and improve communication and team performance.

Getting Inventive with Agile

by Ankit Kothari

Agile principles have expanded much further beyond their software development roots. Here, we look at how agile principles were used in each step of the process to make a multimedia invention emerge from inception to reality.

Is Agile More Successful?

by Blaize Reich

What is best: a pure or hybrid approach? Help answer this question by participating in a survey.

Topic Teasers Vol. 72: Agile Customer Support

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP

Question: We’re totally committed to agile as a methodology, and we think that is partially why we have now grown so big that we need to open a customer call center. However, my expertise is not in planning contact centers, so what is the current wisdom of how these need to function to satisfy customers?
A. Customer inquiries are best served by FAQ sites: online and well-written website summations of the products you offer and the way they function. Spend your money in this type of development, which is probably more comfortable for you anyway.
B. Most staff members are reluctant to move into customer support functions, so you will first need to make sure there are enough competent people who know about your offerings available for hire. Prepare hands-on tests to screen out those who do not already know your merchandise or service products.
C. Call centers are the most cost efficient way to deal with customer issues, but you should outsource this function as creating your own may be beyond the skill set you possess. Third-party providers are uniformly cheaper than an internal system.
D. First, determine if it’s in your organization’s best interest to create a call center or a contact center. They are two different things and have different pluses and minuses. Then consider a management style for the center based on the agile philosophy.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Servant Leadership: The Agile Way

by Johanna Rothman

In more traditional projects, we often hear about "control." But what might an agile project manager do? Here are three examples of servant leadership in action with respect to the team, the product owner and management.

Keys for Agile Co-Evolution of the WBS and Schedule Network: The "Schedule Network 100 Percent" Rule and the "Add and Prune Dependencies" Algorithm

by David Pratten, PMP

The pressure for greater agility in project management approaches increases the challenge of achieving coherence between the WBS and the schedule network. This article elaborates on best practices where the goal of full coherence between the WBS and schedule network can be taken for granted and maintained without effort by the project planner.

A 3 Step UX-Inspired Process for Achieving High Benefits Realization

by Dmitri Khanine

Do we have to wait until after the project is delivered and handed over to operations to see if it was a good investment? This article will provide practical advice and a proven user research process you can use today to improve your benefits realization management .

Effective Validation Testing for Regulatory Compliant Agile Software

by Dina Laresch, PMP

The iterative nature of agile development poses key challenges when validating software for regulated industries. With thoughtful planning and careful execution, it is possible to achieve compliance through automated testing. Successful practices using automated validation testing and the steps a team can take to reduce validation cost and time at the end of a release cycle are discussed.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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I think somebody should come up with a way to breed a very large shrimp. That way, you could ride him, then, after you camped at night, you could eat him. How about it, science?

- Jack Handey