Most would say it is a project’s team members, not the project manager, who create a quality product. They believe that quality means doing quality work, or, that it can be tested in. But, in fact, the project manager has a lot to contribute towards a quality product, starting with the schedule and communication.
Tasks that require judgment and creativity also require focus, so it is this type of project work that is most compromised by the distractions of multitasking. Unfortunately, the problem is largely unrecognized by organizations even as its invisible costs multiply. Take these steps to eliminate the scourge of multitasking.
Project portfolios present a challenge to project managers and PMOs. Established to meet an overall strategic mission with greater efficiency, instead, they often lead to confusion, with conflicting priorities, resource needs and timelines. Navigating this landscape before it turns to chaos requires foresight, ongoing evaluation and careful planning.
Too many project managers separate risk analysis from their schedule development, leading to overly optimistic estimates and unwelcome suprises along the way. Here is a holistic approach for making risk analysis an integral part of schedule creation, which, in turn, will help you and your team generate more realistic estimates.
Project managers who lose sight of the big picture eventually lose control of their projects. The key is developing a strategy to manage your project that is iterative and accounts for competing demands, from risk to priorities to durations. Here’s an example of how to build Agile benefits into your non-Agile processes.
Earned value management is a widely recognized system for planning and controlling projects, and project managers should consider a deeper education in the tool. But some of EVM’s benefits are overlooked at the organizational level, specifically strategic planning and risk and change management maturity.
In the midst of sprint planning, it can be a challenge to keep track of when your team has reached its forecast capacity. Here is a simple technique that provides a visual representation of the planned stories versus the total time available in a sprint, keeping everyone from Scrum Master to Product Owner to team members in the loop.
Project managers must keep their teams (and themselves) calm when serious issues arise. What actions can you take to shield your team from the chaos? For one, deal in facts, not opinions. And focus on solutions, not blame. Here are some other suggestions for maintaining the calm eye of the storm.
Time-tracking solutions can help you uncover hidden opportunities to maximize your project’s value, from more efficient resource allocation to more accurate estimating and bidding. Here’s a closer look at how better time management produces more successful projects.
Sometimes a pure agile approach is not appropriate for a particular project — the important thing is getting the work done, not strict adherence to a process. Still, a non-agile project can benefit from the inherent values of agile, including strong team collaboration, prioritized, incremental development, and regular progress assessment and adaptation.