Project Management Best Practices
The other week in a LinkedIn group, PMPs were recommending best books to pass the PMP examination after the PMBOK. This post contains the list of books that PMPs recommended or mentioned in that discussion. Read more…Posted in Project Management - No comment
The other day my friend asked me about how project management is a part of program management in a software company such as Microsoft. After our conversation I thought about sending her links to articles that discuss the topic in detail. To my surprise, all the articles I was able to find were just discussing theoretical definitions as provided by the PMI in their PMBOK Guide. Perhaps in some companies program managers perform activities as described by PMI, but I have yet to learn about any such company in the software industry. The role of the program manager and PM responsibilities in software development can be more simply defined and differentiated. So, I have decided to summarize the differences between program and project management, based on what I have learned from experience. Read more…Posted in Program Management, Project Management - 6 comments
Several interesting observations are in Perry Wilson’s post in which she compares good PMs to bad PMs who achieve success by way of luck. It prompt me to share my thoughts on this topic in this post. Read more…Posted in Project Management - 2 comments
Continuing the conversation on lessons learned from failures and experience gained from successes, Ronda Levine has prepared a post on factors that contribute to the failure or success of a project. Ronda’s post is additional proof of how easy it is to list reasons for failure and how difficult to define factors contributing to success. Read more…Posted in Project Management - 4 comments
If you are preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, you need three books to pass on the first try. I used these three books to prepare for the exam and passed on my first attempt. Read more…Posted in Project Management - 7 comments
A colleague of mine asked me the other day about a simple way to track open issues in a feature crew. If you are not familiar with the term “feature crew”, it is basically 10-15 team members working on a feature in a software product. I have tried several techniques and tools over the years, and I have learned that sometimes the simplest solutions work best. Description below. Read more…Posted in Program Management, Project Management - No comment
WSJ has published a great article on how performance reviews are hated by everyone in corporations. It raises a good topic, but in my opinion it fails to answer why performance reviews are hated. It focuses only on how manager communicates with her or his reports. Perhaps it may make performance reviews better, but it does not the fix the real problem. I believe communication is not the key reason for many corporate employers hate performance reviews. In my opinion, the true reason is that many managers when they go over a performance review with an employee, they loose connection between performance and review’s result. Primarily because managers forget about employee’s performance because reviews are done once or twice a year.
Employees need evaluations they can believe and based on achievements they still remember. This is why evaluations have to happen often like every month or every quarter. The goal is to evaluate something that everyone still remembers. And good work, smart work has to be reward right away. Everyone has to clearly understand the connection between working harder, doing it smarter, producing more and the next paycheck or amount of the bonus.
Only if performance reviews build a strong connection between how smart an employee worked and the reward she receives when both parties remember that work clearly, only then performance reviews are useful.Posted in Program Management, Project Management - No comment
Some time ago I came across an interesting article listing Eight Secrets of Top Project Managers. Reading it prompted me to think about a checklist that project managers can use to ensure the success of a project. Development of this idea has taken some time, but I have finally started building a list; as follows:
- Clearly document the scope, goals, and objectives of the project and get sponsor sign off.
- Take time to carefully plan the project with the team.
- Keep sponsor and stakeholders involved with the project.
- Spend time identifying and anticipating problems, and do your best to prevent their realization.
- Understand project tasks and work items well enough to identify risks that may occur when the work is performed.
- Always use detailed tracking methods and track team progress against the project schedule.
- Ensure team members are given clear assignments.
- Know your team and listen effectively to them. Work with them on preventing problems and finding solutions.
I will continue to update this page and eventually complete the list.
Other posts on this topic:
If you or your Project Manager has a checklist used to achieve success in your projects, please leave a comment with a link – I would be happy to work on integrating checklists.Posted in Project Management - No comment