Define Weather Report Icons with Care

Since the traffic-light model of project status doesn't have enough states, make sure you define what each weather report icon means for your organization. You can tailor the definitions to your organization's needs. Here's a set of definitions that works for one of my clients The project schedule is on target. Partly Cloudy There is minor project schedule concern, but the schedule can be met. There is schedule concern the schedule can be met with extra efforts. The current schedule or feature...

Timebox Requirements Work

My job is to make sure we finish our projects so the business can receive the value. We had a critical project that was taking too long. It was supposed to be a six-month project. Two months into the project, Sam, the project manager, came to me. I'm ready to tear my hair out. I can't stop getting requirements. Marketing keeps adding more and more How Important This is to Very Important Customer requirements, and they don't finish any of the ones we have, so I don't even know how to get...

Recruit the People You Need

You might not have the ability to hire new people.1 But you do have the ability to specify the talents and skills you need on a team. Consider these roles for your project team Organizes and guides the entire system development, including the test system Designs and writes product code Designs and writes tests, including test code Designs and writes product documentation Gathers and writes requirements Designs, writes, and maintains the build system and any other scripts associated with the...

Manage Your Drivers Constraints and Floats

One of the biggest risks to finishing a project is understanding the project's context. The project's context is a result of what is important to the organization. What's driving the project Are there constraints on the project Can you trade off any of the drivers and constraints or buy yourself some more degrees of freedom What's Driving This Project Is Different from My Previous Project I'm managing my second project now. The first project was a point release for our flagship product. It was...

Glossary of Terms

The critical path is the longest serial chain of dependent tasks. It is the shortest time it will take you to complete the project. This is the feeling that you'll never be done. It occurs when the team has focused all their attention and time on trying to meet an intermediate milestone. once they meet that milestone, they still have the rest of the project to do. Just when you think you're at the oasis, you realize you're not even close.1 Inch-pebbles are one-to-two day tasks that are either...

Bibliography

Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations. Dorset House Publishing, New York, 1996. BB96 Tony Buzan and Barry Buzan. The Mind Map Book How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain's Untapped Potential. Plume, New York, NY, 1996. BF01 Kent Beck and Martin Fowler. Planning Extreme Programming. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 2001. Bro95 Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. The Mythical Man Month Essays on Software Engineering. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, anniversary...

Define Projects and Project Managers

First, let's make sure we agree on what a project is. Project A novel undertaking or systematic process to create a new product or service, the delivery of which signals completion. Projects involve risk and are typically constrained by limited resources.1 Project managers manage those risks and resources. You need project management when you have risks across the project the schedule is tight, it's not clear you can achieve the technical goals, quality could suffer, you don't have unlimited...