The Latest

What Is a Good Project Manager?[article]

The definition of a "good project manager" varies depending on what skills you value most of this person. In this week's column, Payson Hall explores the root of the definition, highlighting the key characteristic he believes is the true hallmark of a good project manager.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
Believe the Territory[magazine]

Test plans are seldom followed as written, project plans hardly ever fit the actual progress, and process models are rarely followed to the letter. Markus Gaertner examines why most of our documents become obsolete and gives advice about whether or not to continue to write and maintain them.

Markus Gärtner's picture Markus Gärtner
A Common Language[magazine]

Do your stakeholders use different terms to talk about the same concept or use the same term but in a different way? A domain model can clarify key concepts and the relationships between them, helping your team resolve ambiguous terms and leading to more productive discussions about project requirements.

Laura Brandenburg's picture Laura Brandenburg
Unintended Consequences[magazine]

Every action elicits a response, but sometimes that response is not what we expect. These anecdotes from industry experts are good examples of how our best intentions don't always match our plans.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
The Weekend Testers[magazine]

This is the true story of freedom from the monotonous work of checking. It is the story of what happened when a few passionate testers took responsibility for their own education and fun in testing. Explore how they test, learn, and contribute to the open source.

Leveraging A Learning Culture[magazine]

Mistakes happen. It's how you respond to them that matters. Teams might react to a bug with panic and blame, leading to a quickly hacked fix and possibly more issues. Taking time to investigate and learn leverages problems into process and practice improvement and a higher quality product.

Lisa Crispin's picture Lisa Crispin
The Marriage of Lean, Scrum and Extreme Programming (XP)[article]

Many flavors of Agile have emerged: Scrum, Lean, Feature Driven Development (FDD), and Extreme Programming just to name a few. These methods have numerous complementary and distinguishing features, but the gamut of choices can be confusing and disorienting - as if being told to choose the best from 31 flavors of ice cream. Return on Investment (ROI) is important to me, so Lean must be the answer. But wait, I also want to be agile with my business priorities so I’ll choose Scrum. We are left wanting a simple question answered: “Which Agile method should I choose for my organization?”

Geoffrey Bourne's picture Geoffrey Bourne
2020 Best CIO Acceptance Speech (penned in 2010)[article]

In the 2010 article, ThoughtWorks consultant Tiffany Lentz pens the speech a successful CIO might write ten years hence in 2010. She talks about the ways that agile principles had become the norm in development and spread beyond software teams in into IT and corporate planning and project execution.

Anupam Kundu's picture Anupam Kundu
Insights From Three Agile/Lean Product Development Thought Leaders[article]

Here is what Mark Lines (Unified Process Mentors, Co-Founder) has to say:

The fact that basic agile concepts are so easy to learn, as well as the proliferation of certification courses with very little investment required has had both positive and negative effects. Certainly the mindshare of methods such as Scrum has exploded in our industry and people are excited about the benefits that agile can deliver in terms of elimination of waste and timely delivery of systems with immediate ROI.


Mark Lines's picture Mark Lines
Active Following[article]

Great leaders don't always lead the charge, stand in front, or offer direction. They know when to step aside to let others step forward. Yet, this type of leadership is often mistaken for passivity or overlooked entirely. Esther Derby shows how "in front" leadership actually can cause gridlock and loss of productivity and destroy the good spirits of a team. You can avoid these pitfalls by noticing when the most effective leadership means choosing to follow.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Agile Removes Limitations—You Must Now Change the Rules[article]

If you're practicing agile methods but continue to reach back to the rules and structures your organization used before adopting agile, you might be asking for more trouble than you know. In this article, George Schlitz discusses the mingling of old and new rules in organizations in different phases of agile adoption and offers a four-step method to help sort out the confusion.

George Schlitz's picture George Schlitz
Using Product Portfolio Management to Improve the Efficiency of Teams[article]

Product portfolio management has become an essential discipline for all development organizations that want to achieve enterprise agility. The repeated process of selecting, sizing, and prioritizing the work to be done ensures that their development teams are delivering the most valuable products and enhancements for the business’ clients. This is required for both external clients in the case of product companies and for internal clients in the case of IT organizations. However, the subject of this paper is another, possibly even more important, reason: avoiding the overloading of the organization’s development teams which greatly lowers their efficiency.

Alan Shalloway's picture Alan Shalloway
Project Portfolio Decisions—Decisions For Now[article]

If you are anything like me, you have a to-do list a mile long. Because I work for myself, I have an integrated list of everything I need to do: projects for clients, books to write, articles to write, columns to write, presents to buy, house maintenance, clothes to organize, office cleanup. The list is long and never-ending.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
So, You Want to Be a Consultant?[magazine]

Many practitioners see becoming a consultant as their ultimate career goal. But what does it mean to be "a consultant"? In this email to an aspiring consultant, Fiona Charles (a consultant for more than fifteen years) discusses different consulting approaches and describes how working for a consulting firm can help you get there.

Fiona Charles's picture Fiona Charles
Catch Them Doing It Right[magazine]

Rewards can be powerful management tools, but only if you implement them effectively. In this installment of the Management Chronicles, discover how the right timing and getting to know your employees better can improve the impact of your recognition method.

Steven M. Smith's picture Steven M. Smith


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