Project Management

Articles on how to run projects, using project management techniques

Examples of Poor Project Management - Planning Without Creating a Work Breakdown Structure

I would like to continue our series of articles on Examples of Poor Project Management with an article about something apparently trivial - the creation of Work Breakdown Structures during the planning activities of a project. Even though it seems to be a no-brainer, at least to an experienced project manager, I’m always surprised to see how many of my peers simply ignore this tool. Even most (if not all) project management literature praises the usefulness of this tool, as a critical input to Project Scheduling, this tool is not as used as it should be. This article will try to explore the reasons why this happens and the main negative outcomes of such practice.

Taking Over the Project No One is Running

Read any guide to project management, or have a discussion on project management processes, and there is normally one important assumption that is taken for granted: your work as project manager starts at the beginning of the project. Unfortunately, this is not always the situation. In this article I want to cover such situation and share some advice based on my personal experience.

Process Improvement Programs - What Methodology to Choose

It is time to continue our series of articles on Process Improvement Programs. In the first episode we have talked about Process Improvement Programs - When Are You in Need of One?. Continuing from the brief introduction, I will share an overview on what is available out there in terms of Process Improvement models, and in what kind of scenarios they work best.

Process Improvement Programs - When Are You in Need of One?

We all have encountered various process improvement efforts in the organizations we’ve been engaged in: starting with simple analysis of key processes and trying to make them more efficient to implementing more complex process improvement models like Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), Six Sigma or others. One way or the other, process improvement has been the news for IT organizations for over a decade now - and you might wonder - do we really need it? Why should we do it?

In this article I will try to kick off the discussion by quickly reviewing what is generally meant by process improvement and then going through a few possible problems which might trigger organizations to start considering process improvement efforts.

Examples of Poor Project Management - Overusing Positive Words

Have you ever encountered project managers or peers, abusing positive words such as: brilliant, great, super or even awesome? Unfortunately I did encounter them in quite a number of occasions. Also, at some point in my project management career, I was guilty of overusing such words for a period of time. Once I managed to internalize the effect this behavior had on the effectiveness of the project and the project team, I stopped and changed my approach. In this article I would like to discuss why project managers overuse positive words, the negative effects of this behavior and what we could do to identify whether we have this weakness in our project management approach.

Examples of Poor Project Management - Not Seeing the Woods for the Trees

In this article I explore one of the most common reasons for poor project management. Writing the article was prompted by a short piece of consultancy I recently did. I was asked to help a client sort out some trouble with one of their projects. We all know that projects can go wrong for many reasons. In this case it did not take long to work out the cause of their difficulties. The objectives and the scope of the project were unclear. Without clear objectives and with an ambiguously defined scope, trouble is bound to occur. Let’s look at why this can happen.

The Art of Agile Development - Learning How To Manage Software Development Projects

"The Art of Agile Development" by James Shore and Shane Warden is a pretty old book, published back in October 2007. I got my hands on it at the recommendation of an old friend, who now works as a software developer. Even though I do not manage software development projects, he highly recommended it to me, as an inspiration for healthy approaches to project management in general. Therefore I bought it and started reading. Little did I know, that I would find lots of project management inspiration in its pages. To learn more, don't hesitate to read the whole review.

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