Trends on the horizon point to a renewed focus on the alignment of IT operations and strategic business goals. In addition, competition in all markets will continue to place pressure on both optimization and innovation. Savvy professionals can stay ahead of the curve by keeping the following project management trend predictions in mind.
Custom software development is notoriously difficult to estimate. We start with vague ideas of what we want, expecting to fill in the details later. We’re usually doing something a little different than what we’ve done before, or completely different. How can we act more productively?
Do you ever wonder how far to go with formal documentation on a given project? PMBOK gives us an extensive set for project management standards from which to draw, but we don’t always choose to apply the full extent of these standards to every project--nor would it be appropriate to do so. Meet Project Sizing...
The purpose of the project proposal template is the first step to gain approval of a project moving forward. Similar to a project charter, it provides the initiator of the project with an avenue to document the purpose of the project, the objectives, and the basic information need to see the project approved through to the planning stage.
Extending ourselves through online profiles and social channels, we are exposing more of our individuality--and essentially building a virtual persona that others can recognize and use for a number of purposes. When it comes to identity and security, do you feel safe or paranoid?
Saving the world is a heavy undertaking. That's probably why many of us leave it to the superheroes of cartoon and screen to take on. Or the men and women of the armed forces, taking on the impossible while wearing blue berets. Whatever your preferred form of superhero, real or imagined, it probably isn't you. But maybe it's time to go get a cape...
A project can get in a great deal of trouble when the tail starts wagging the dog instead of vice versa. Here are some issues to look for so that the project manager can keep a tight hold on the project leash.
Everyone gets a difficult customer every now and then. The project manager must learn to deal with them while getting the job done at the same time. Having a planned approach ready can help create a positive outcome.
Is your agile team’s velocity constant from sprint to sprint? No? That’s not a surprise. Many teams assume that their velocity will be constant. In this article, we’ll see why that’s not the right expectation--and how that affects how you use this metric.
Time consuming, friction inducing and potentially costly, there is plenty that you would want to avoid when properly building IT service management. Yet if you hold your nose and do it right, you can establish a strong and effective process.
PowerPoint presentations are all the rage, yet the simple whiteboard has helped us come a long way in how we encourage development and collaborative breakthroughs. It is through its continued use that new products and ideas will be created.
In a way, most of today’s project management qualifications are like driver’s licenses. They both demonstrate a certain level of competency at a point in time but do not guarantee effectiveness. But most project management exams don't have a practical part--an idea that is at least worth discussing.
Consistent study is the key to passing the PMP exam--this approach will help you improve your project management skills for the whole of your career. Here, an IT consultant shares his tips after passing the exam.
A lot can happen during planning and requirements. The business may be discovering what it wants for the first time, or stakeholders may see what the solution demands. Those are just a few of the creatures lurking in the dark...
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Every project has stakeholders. Your job is to get to know the ones who will be crucial to your project. This analysis worksheet will help you get a feel for what to expect from various key parties who have an interest in your project.
While self-organized teams are valuable and shared responsibility is the way to manage any project, it seems like a project manager is needed to steer things in the right direction--just make sure you allow them to adapt.
Question: Today a person appeared at my desk saying he was the new Business Analyst for the team and he set up a meeting with me for next Tuesday. I didn’t want to appear stupid, so I just said okay. We’re an agile team, so is he replacing me as ScrumMaster, or what? Should I be worried about my job?
The Business Analyst (BA) certification is the replacement credential for the old Project Management Professional (PMP), but with an agile flavor. Check online to see how quickly you might get this new certification if you hope to continue on with your organization.
Rather than replacing a project manager or ScrumMaster, the BA is the representative of the Customer or Product Owner who is funding or authorizing your project. He will benefit the team, as he may have more availability than the actual Product Owner.
The BA is a junior version of a Quality Assurance team member, and can help you finish your projects more quickly since he does not have the test backlog of a seasoned QA person.
The ScrumMaster reports to the Functional Manager whose department will benefit most by the completed project deliverable. Perhaps the BA made an error in contacting you.
Question: I’m so confused. I was a Quality Tester at my last job, but here the employees seem to use the titles Quality Assurance, Quality Control and Testing interchangeably. I started out in a more traditional organization, but now I’m a tried and true agile believer. Since I have no job description, what are my responsibilities?
The three concepts are often used interchangeably. Ask what it means in your new organization and accept that as your role in your workplace reality despite the real definition.
Find the specific meanings for each term from a university professor in the town where you work. Use that information to correct the organization so that they use proper terminology.
Once you learn your job description from Human Resources, create a new title for yourself so that others can understand what you do. Perhaps Defect Engineer would be apt.
Since agile teams work without formal processes or documentation, there is no need to answer to a particular title. Everyone on the team is merely a team member.