Questions tagged [planning]

This tag is for questions that involve planning a project schedule or planning tasks for the team.

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10
votes
4answers
3k views

Software tool for resource pipeline planning for multiple projects [closed]

My company has about 20 - 30 open projects at any given time, as well as 5 - 10 that have been approved and will start within the next few weeks. We currently use Basecamp to manage the projects and ...
12
votes
8answers
13k views

Why Project Management is so hard? [closed]

I know a lot of Project Managers and they are all over 30 years old. Are all project managers like that? I mean, is this about getting more experience than at least 7-8 years? Or being a Project ...
4
votes
4answers
340 views

The Case for Hourly Estimates

My boss has always operated on fixed pricing projects; where we rarely see a profit on. I'm on board with selling our clients hourly rates on large projects. We have yet to get a client willing to ...
7
votes
8answers
547 views

What is the preferred number of tasks to assign?

I am going to lead a small team for the first time in my career and I am determined to not subject my team to the same issues that I perceive to have been subjected to as a programmer. This question ...
9
votes
6answers
5k views

How to handle user stories that cannot be split and do not fit even a 30 days long sprint?

Given a small team (3 people or so) and a technically challenging area (e.g. middleware, embedded software etc.), and Assuming that a user story is a smallest thing that has value for the end user, ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you schedule maintenance work in Scrum?

What are some of the different patterns you use to schedule maintenance work (any non-feature work like bug fixes, technical debt reduction, etc.)? In our organization, we've considered mash-ups of ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

Are processes and procedures only for enterprises?

I've had the opportunity to work at quite a few start-ups. One thing I've found to be common in them is adhoc way of doing things and ignorance towards processes, best practices and known project ...
4
votes
3answers
876 views

What approaches exist for long-term planning and responding to change?

In a software development firm, we often make release plans to fit a particular need: be it a focus on feature development, or carving out a market niche, or just overall quality improvements to stay ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Best usage of milestones in a Gantt

Background I'm building a project Gantt, involving multiple teams. In the past I've had a good experience with a Gantt as a means of planning a project but not so much as a means of tracking a project'...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the right approach to work package size?

In medium size project were you are interfacing with functional Project Managers, and you are the PM for the entire project. How much details do you want in your WBS? Do you break it and keep it ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Cancel or change a sprint

The Scrum method defines that the content of a sprint cannot be changed. But can a sprint be cancelled while it's done? I mean, it's unlikely to happen and probably shows really bad planning skills by ...
5
votes
5answers
11k views

What are the first steps to take when given a new project?

After you've resisted the urge to run towards the door screaming, what are the first two or three things that you do to get your thoughts in order when you have been given a new project? I tend to ...
24
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there any data to show planning poker produces better estimates than individuals?

As described here planning poker is a group estimating process. It seems that it would work.But is there any data to show that it is better than individual estimation? Edit 4/19/11: I am interested ...
13
votes
4answers
269 views

Eliciting Requirements as a Client

Background: I am a computer science student and am currently employed as a programmer for a health institution. Recently we discovered the need for a project which is beyond a 1-man job (I am their ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Making a budget and time plan for a software project

Let's assume that we are starting a project, but have no previous experience of budgeting a software project. What should the guys who will work on that project do to make a decent budget planing? ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Are Program Management skills different from Project Management skills?

My company has a series of projects with dependencies between them (eg back end hardware refresh/virtualisation, new desktop build/roll-out, database upgrade and implementation of new functionality, ...
15
votes
7answers
6k views

How should a project manager capture decisions?

As a project goes through the planning and design phases, many decisions will be made. To develop with technology X instead of technology Y. To leave feature z off of the plan for this version of the ...
4
votes
2answers
497 views

How to create/track a project Gantt while aggregating multiple functional teams plans

I'm taking over a project as a project manager where several functional teams deliver and integrate. Those teams are also delivering to other projects. Each of the teams is expected to have its own ...
10
votes
3answers
208 views

When a PM goes on holiday, what can they expect when they get back to convince that the project has not suffered?

Partway through a project and a significant holiday kicks in for the PM. What should the PM take their temporary replacement through before they go - and what should they expect to be handed back ...
5
votes
2answers
393 views

Are GTD techniques applicable to PM?

Is Getting Things Done helpful in terms of understanding PM, and does it make any direct contributions? I'm not asking whether GTD will make you better organized, or more effective generally. I mean,...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

How to link Scrum release backlog to conventional project plan (MS project) in keeping sprint benefits?

We use the Scrum methodology for our software development. Since software development isn't the core activity of our company, and since this company isn't agile methods oriented yet, I need, as the ...
7
votes
5answers
9k views

How to calculate budget margin?

Say a work package (containing several tasks) is estimated to take between 320 (Most likely) and 480 (Worst case) hours of work (not duration) to complete. Because of some dependencies and the ...
3
votes
3answers
332 views

How to simulate scenario's of possible project networks based on actual capacity by month?

I have calculated the available capacity in hours by month, taking into account overhead, training, holidays, sick leave, etc. (all based upon historical data and expected holidays during summertime). ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Should every WBS item map to a single “charge number”?

Assuming you are running projects where every employee submits their time in a corporate accounting system like SAP or Deltek, should every project always define charge numbers for every WBS item? ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Where to get general info on Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)?

I work in a software development company. I have this major ticket for which I have to produce a WBS (Work Breakdown Structure). I also have to prepare an estimation for the ticket. The ticket deals ...
13
votes
6answers
641 views

Advice for a young programmer on creating programming estimates

I'm a young programmer who has recently gotten a job at a company that is small but loves programming estimates. Since giving good estimates has been a problem for me in the past I'm happy about this ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

What makes a great planner?

I would like to become better at planning in my role as PM and would like to know what makes a great planner? I was told efficiency is an important attribute and im not sure if this is correct.
10
votes
2answers
22k views

What percentage of a project manager's time should be spent working in the project management software and documentation?

What percentage of the project manager's time is spent planning, writing tasks, and tracking time in the project management software? How much time should be given to documentation? Every position ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

When is overtime an appropriate use of resources, and how do I account for it?

Under which conditions is it acceptable to push my team to do overtime work? Once I have pushed my team to do overtime work, how do I factor the added risks and costs associated with the push into my ...
25
votes
7answers
4k views

Is PMP certification an appropriate career goal for someone about to start a career in project management?

Is PMP certification a requirement for a successful career in Project Management? At which point would it be appropriate for a newly starting project manager to plan to include PMP certification?
93
votes
9answers
38k views

How to estimate amount of work/man hours for an unfamiliar task?

Sooner or later we come across a task in our project, with which we are totally unfamiliar ('we' as in PM, but also possibly the staff assigned to do this particular task). How can we estimate ...