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Topic Teasers Vol. 65: Assessing Electronic Tools

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

Question: I know project managers are now going to be more involved in business analysis things, but that doesn’t mean I know how to do that part of the job yet. My manager asked me to narrow down a list of electronic tools to see what would be best for our corporate situation. How do I even start?
A. Google “software tools for project management.” The product with the highest number of listings in your search page is the best one on the market. Recommend that one.
B. Ask your local PMI chapter, Agile Alliance chapter or IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) chapter board what three products they would recommend. They may also have a list of the vendors that had booths or tables at their last local event.
C. Software changes rapidly. Try to find the most recently developed software so that you don’t get stuck with outdated code. Always go with the old saying, “The latest created is the greatest created!”
D. Your management team, with the help of the procurement staff, will probably make the final decision. Use a logical matrix of tool profiles to narrow down the field for what you need in your organization, and then turn the final decision over to them.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

The Power of the Millennial Generation

by Rajakumar Ramakrishnan

Do project managers need to understand millennials? What do they gain with that knowledge? Millennials can influence the current market, so it’s essential that innovative solutions are provided to the customer--and solutions that are personalized.

Testing: The Bug Problem

by Michael Wood

Why are so many bugs and defects getting through to production? Even as the time devoted to testing is expanding, the dynamic nature and complexity of systems is outpacing most IT organizations' ability to keep pace. Here are some tips to help improve your testing results.

Project Managers and Application Delivery

by Andy Jordan

How much time do project managers spend thinking about application delivery? In this writer's experience, this crucial final step often gets a lot less consideration than it needs.

Successfully Managing Project Expectations: The Key to Project Success

by Marc Lacroix

Every person in service delivery should ask themselves (and all involved) at the inception of every project: What is the definition of success for this project? It seems simple, but it is infrequently done. Here we look at five ways to manage project expectations.

Preventing the Squeeze

by Andy Jordan

Anyone who has been involved in application development projects is familiar with the testing squeeze--the compression of time available for testing. How do we manage to prevent it?

An Introduction to the Cost of Change and Technical Debt

by Mike Griffiths

Application development speed and costs are not linear. Some small design and process decisions have big impacts on project outcomes. This article explores the cost-of-change curve and how agile tackles changes early, and also explains technical debt.

How to Improve Application Delivery With Agile

by Bruce Harpham

Many technology project managers focus on building or improving applications. Businesses rely on reliable and high-quality applications to serve customers and maintain operations. If you are in the business of application delivery, read on to see how agile can help.

The Abstraction Equilibrium

by Al Taylor

A useful goal for the mature organization would be the definition of an “abstraction equilibrium.” This is the state where there is no impetus for change with respect to the relationship between the amount of abstraction built into the application and other project variables such as cost and quality.

Improving Testing Integration

by Andy Jordan

Test functions are often viewed as independent, somewhat isolated parts of the project execution environments. It doesn’t have to be that way…in fact, it shouldn’t be.

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