Chances are you won't be able to deliver on everything your customer wants. Asking good questions at the beginning of a project can help you determine where your customer wants to go. Although you may not be able to give them everything they want, if you are able to deliver the top ten things on a list of fifty items you've still delivered value. Keeping the lines of communication open is essential to helping you achieve your project goal.
How effectively and efficiently your team functions can make the difference between project success and project failure. Once a decision-making process is established, it is up to the project manager to hold the team accountable to the process. Over time, processes can stagnate and lose their relevance. The project manager should continually monitor the process for applicability and make adjustments where necessary. Learn how to leverage your team's performance through process, structure, and team leadership.
Got blank walls? Instead of hiring a decorator, perhaps you should enlist the help of a facilitator. This article examines how three experts use the wall in very different ways to make retrospectives, design, and collaboration better and easier.
If you think that keeping a journal is only for adolescent girls, read this week's column by Lee Copeland. Among other things, he suggests that a project journal helps you stay organized; teaches you what not to do next time; and makes it easier to explain what went wrong in a troubled project when you have to defend yourself. He also gives tips on being a good recorder.
How to allocate testing resources is a difficult issue. Sometimes it is hard to justify testing in projects, especially small ones. As quality control professionals, we know that testing is essential to guarantee product quality. This article shows a new approach to the testing methodology, which is applied at the organization I work for. The new approach intends to answer some of the questions in order to ensure that testing resources are appropriately allocated in a project. The main goals are to reduce testing costs, keep the product quality high, and anticipate the delivery date.
Improving processes takes planning, time, and effort. A formal improvement project that applies the best practices of development to process improvement can help focus your team and effect real and lasting change.
Tried and true techniques for getting a grip on priorities and schedules can mean the difference between breaking your neck to get a passable software product out the door and emerging from a project with a quality product and a sane staff. Alyn Wambeke relays some software-specific time management suggestions.
Steve Whitchurch reviews the latest edition of Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, by Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister, describing it as a "must-read for all management wannabes, as well as those who are currently leading project teams and organizations."