Getting Good at Being Bad

Everyone should know by now that a problem caught early is cheaper to fix. But how many companies behave as if this is really true? In this column, Linda Hayes explains why protecting management from the truth about project problems may not be the wisest course of action.

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes
Planning and Preparing for a Capacity Test

Is your company preparing for a capacity test? Are you unsure and uncertain about how to prepare for this test? This article proposes a few strategies to help companies overcome issues such as how to select business processes for a capacity test, the value of automation for a capacity test, and mitigating risk. A poorly coordinated and planned capacity test could prove costly and have a deleterious impact on the end-user's ability to conduct everyday tasks.

Jose Fajardo
Multiprojecting: The Illusion of Progress

Think working on five projects at once will make great results appear like magic? Don't be so sure. The price your team pays by switching from one project to another could make your productivity disappear. Johanna Rothman reveals the smoke and mirrors behind the illusion of multiprojecting.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Becoming an Information-Gathering Skeptic

Customers don't always know what they want. That's a given. But even if they do know, they may not always be able to communicate it clearly. That's also a given. Given these givens, you have a much better chance of comprehending your customers' needs and concerns if you're a skilled information-gathering skeptic.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Creating Team Norms

In their eagerness to embark on a new project, project teams sometimes overlook an essential aspect of their effort—building a relationship among team members, which will foster not just a successful project outcome, but also a satisfying work experience. Investing in relationship building is invariably less costly and time-consuming than recovering from the divisiveness and conflict that may result from its absence. And that's where team norms come in.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
The Tyranny of the "To Do" List

We create lists to help us prioritize tasks and stay on schedule. Sometimes those lists help us accomplish those tasks faster. Sometimes those lists simply chain us to an archaic way of doing things. Having a "To Do" list is a good thing if you don't let it prevent you from thinking outside the box. In this column, Elisabeth explains why the agenda items that don't make the list can often be some of the most important.

Elisabeth Hendrickson's picture Elisabeth Hendrickson
When Should You Start Project Overtime?

Many managers believe that overtime, even extended overtime is a good thing, and will help a project make progress. However, most technical people who try to work more than two weeks of overtime make huge numbers of mistakes. Often, they don't realize the mistakes and have already wasted a lot of time and money.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Project Management Planning – Checklist, Template, Guidelines (Template)

This checklist is a recommended guideline for the content of project management planing documentation

A project management planing document is applicable to any and all phases of a system / product life cycle.  The PMP may be applied to any type of computer system, software application development, or computer related project, regardless of the scope, size, complexity, or criticality.  The PMP is applicable to all forms of computer system product delivery media, including client/server, web-based, firmware, embedded systems code, programmable logic arrays, and software-in-silicon.  


Sidney Snook
Give 'em the Business

Miscommunication is at the heart of most software defects. Being knowledgeable about a company as a whole, and not just about the specs of a particular project, is just one more way to safeguard against failures. Read on as Elisabeth Hendrickson explains the importance of technical people staying informed about business strategies.

Elisabeth Hendrickson's picture Elisabeth Hendrickson
work completed by elapsed time The Fine Art of Scheduling

Why is scheduling an art? If it were a science, every project would be delivered on time. Overruns have become so common that people have lost faith in schedules and view them as very malleable. In this article, Nick Jenkins explains how to prevent this in your project.

Nick Jenkins


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