Velocity is an agile planning tool, not a measure of productivity. Its purpose is to help determine which stories will fit into a sprint, and how many sprints remain until a release is ready or the project is done. Velocity is not about team efficiency or effectiveness, and treating it as a metric to continually improve is another Agile Anti-Pattern.
Do you tackle the most critical, high-profile elements of an initiative as early as possible or hold off until you have a better understanding of the end-game? Home improvement projects, Meryl Streep, and book writing offer insights into three common mistakes project managers make when planning workflow.
It can seem like a good idea to add a backup story into a sprint — if works gets blocked or things turn out easier than expected, another story can be pulled into the sprint. However, having more than one story identified, even if not committed, is likely to lead to less work getting done.
There are many ways that story points are often used incorrectly by well-meaning teams. In the fourth installment of our series, we look at two more agile anti-patterns that seem like good ideas but aren’t: allowing everyone to have a vote, and playing “Go Fish” during planning exercises.
In the face of limited resources, executives and project leaders simply can’t keep up with the shifting priorities, emergent activities and sheer complexity of managing demand across an entire organization. This is the fundamental issue that inspired a new handbook on resource management and capacity planning.
Wouldn't it be better if scheduling tools focused on deliverables rather than the work — the activities and tasks — needed to deliver them? Execution is about creating value, and stakeholders care little about the busy details. Project managers who get this distinction right will reap the benefits of more realistic and achievable plans.
The best process for your project should be determined by careful consideration of key factors, including overall complexity, the level of risk involved, and time-to-market requirements. Often, a flexible hybrid approach fits best, but it must agreed upon by management and the team before the project starts.
A turning point in World War II, the D-Day invasion, code name Operation Overlord, offers a number of critical lessons that today’s project leaders would do well to revisit now and again, from the fundamental importance of clearly defined objectives and thorough training, to overcoming the unexpected and fully utilizing your strengths.
So much hinges on the project schedule, yet so few team members contribute to it. Whatsmore, they typically don’t care about critical paths, constraints and other building blocks; they just want to know “what, where and when.” We're overdue for consensus-based planning tools that bridge execution and analytics.
In this installment, we introduce an adaptable framework for Occasional PMs to use as a recipe or a starting point for managing their projects, regardless of classification or type. This framework allows the OPMs to control the project management process rather than having the process control them.