After a difficult project is completed, taking time to lead a retrospective may be the last thing you or the team want to do. But a structured review can provide valuable benefits and, it just might make the next project less difficult. Here are some best practices for leveraging lessons learned through project retrospectives.
As agile project management gains popularity, other progressive techniques are finding their way into project managers' toolkits. One is Kanban, a “continuous-flow” approach to handling requirements, based on Lean Six Sigma concepts. Here’s a look at how Kaban can beneft software project teams and improve results.
It’s hard enough to track all the incremental tasks that go along with even a modest project, so what do you do when those tasks start to number in the tens of thousands? One environmental consultancy was forced to find out in a hurry while trying to land a major client.
Remote worksites, international time zones and dispersed teams can isolate project managers and stymie their problem-solving efforts. But communities of practice may help, connecting them with like-minded individuals and the tools to approach issues collaboratively. Here are five ideas for improving project collaboration through CoPs.
When you’re operating in an Agile environment — or any other software development scenario, for that matter — three factors almost always make the difference between success and failure: domain knowledge, dialogue and deadline pressure. Here, Cutter Consortium consultant and researcher Michael Mah presents his anatomy of a failed project.
How often do you apply lessons learned from past projects to new projects? If rarely, you're not alone, according to recent surveys. Here are some best practices and suggestions from the field that project managers can use to better capture lessons learned.
Management guru Edwards Deming’s points on continuous improvement, training and leadership can serve as sound guidance in the pursuit of project management excellence. Here they are applied to using lessons learned to improve methodologies, going beyond trial-by-fire training, and knowing the difference between leading and supervising.
Understanding the coalitions, alliances and other ties that bind and influence the project environment can give project managers a head start in influencing project communication and cohesion. Organization development techniques like Social Network Analysis create a bridge between the technical side of project management and the soft skills required to achieve desirable results.
Project post-mortems tend to get short shrift in the fast-paced business world. Project managers and teams barely catch their breath before moving on to the next goal. But looking back can be invaluable. In studying myriad details of completed projects, the University of Virginia’s IT program is uncovering common causes of failure, and identifying ways to improve tomorrow’s projects.
Does your organization do a good job capturing and leveraging lessons learned on its projects? If not, perhaps responsibility for this crucial practice should be shifted from occupied project managers and teams to a full-time knowledge management coordinator inside the PMO.