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28
votes
5answers
6k views

Do technical leaders compete with project managers?

Technical leaders in our projects are competing with project managers. Or in more general aspect, is it a problem if someone with greater domain specific knowledge tends to dominate in project or ...
27
votes
13answers
10k views

How many project managers are needed to change a lightbulb? [closed]

How many project managers are needed to change a lightbulb? P.S. Guys, it is April Fool's Day, so don't be so serious with "off-topic" ;-) I will delete this question tomorrow.
27
votes
8answers
10k views

De-scope vs push back timeline vs overtime?

When it becomes apparent that your project is running behind, what considerations should be made when deciding to cut scope, push back the timeline, or ask for overtime? Or is it purely up to the ...
26
votes
8answers
15k views

Toxic culture - I'm putting in more resources to help the project move faster, but people are slowing down

Background: I work in a company that has a bad culture: everybody has been treated the same: The same salary, no rewards for high achievers, and no punishment for bad employees, including people who ...
26
votes
11answers
4k views

As a PM, How do you select your project team members?

I’m new to project management and it’s not a fulltime job; in other words a programmer turned project manager, still do some coding :-) I was following this site’s proposal from the beginning, and ...
26
votes
6answers
50k views

What makes an effective email status report? Why?

In project management, what criteria makes an effective email status report, and how often should a status report be sent to be useful?
26
votes
6answers
11k views

Are Gantt diagrams compatible with Agile methods?

If they are, is it simple to use them with theses methods? Have you some use cases to present?
26
votes
6answers
8k views

Can PRINCE2 and SCRUM work together?

This question has raised a debate within my organization with multiple points of view. Several Project Managers think that they are completely different things aiming for different results whereas ...
26
votes
3answers
6k views

Can Scrum be suited to smaller development teams?

I'm not a 100% certain that this is the best place for this question as it's a little more development methodology related than directly project management related. I work at a company where the ...
26
votes
6answers
2k views

Any tips on how to 'sell' the necessity of dealing with technical debt to nontechnical stakeholders?

A number of stakeholders do not quite understand the necessity of dealing with technical debt preferring new features on top of not very maintainable code. Development is sometimes seen as kids who ...
25
votes
15answers
10k views

Dealing with a coworker who keeps making the same mistakes over and over

I've been struggling in a peculiar situation since a while ago and would like your inputs on it. In our project (which is a maintenance project), there are some tasks that are done from time to time (...
25
votes
7answers
4k views

Scrum, Agile, Kanban looking for 'for dummies' type of information [closed]

I'm sure I'm not alone in this. I have heard and read a lot of snippets of information about this topic and I've formed my own understanding - probably not the best way to assess the value or try to ...
25
votes
10answers
2k views

How to avoid being interrupted?

As a project manager, I think it's important to be heard. I find that many times, even when just meeting people, I am getting interrupted mid sentence. Can anyone out there provide tips on how to ...
25
votes
11answers
5k views

How to deliver bad news to a project sponsor?

Report Performance (especially if it is behind plans) is a responsibility of a project manager (according to PMBOK). Very often adequate and accurate reporting of insufficient performance will provoke ...
25
votes
4answers
6k views

Why does Pivotal Tracker discourage estimating points for bugs and chores?

Pivotal Tracker "strongly discourages" estimating velocity points for bugs and chores – you have to change a setting and accept a warning to be able to do it. They explain why here, but I just don't ...
25
votes
12answers
2k views

When and how to schedule effective meetings?

I'm the lead programmer turned project manager in a small shop. Our project has entered "the last 90%" phase where many things need to be communicated between different departments. This means many ...
25
votes
2answers
40k views

What are the definitions and differences between: Theme, Epic, Feature, User Story and Task?

There are several terms which we use to describe requirements: Theme Epic Feature User Story Task What are the formal definitions of these terms and what are the differences between them (except ...
25
votes
7answers
5k views

Why use both story points and hours?

I'm a new scrum master for a team that is using story point estimation and hours. We do story points first during grooming and then hours during planning. I always thought of story points as being ...
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?
25
votes
5answers
2k views

Project Management for Kids

What would be the essential elements of project management you would teach to kids? And how would you teach them? Would there be a difference in teaching approach for 10-12 year olds vs 12-16 year ...
25
votes
9answers
9k views

Which sticky note is the stickiest?

The question might sound a tad silly, but I'm actually trying to solve a real problem. Our team room has a glass wall, which we also use as our kanban board with hand-written swimlanes (= status) and ...
25
votes
1answer
547 views

What is a “battery”?

I was very surprised to read, in this question, the mention of “batteries” as a PM tool, seemingly linked to Scrum. The OP talks about an article about their use, but none of my desperate Googling ...
24
votes
14answers
4k views

Are 40 hour work-weeks (no overtime) acceptable for development teams?

No matter what our current conditions are, it seems like my team is always working 40 hour work-weeks. Under normal work conditions this would be fine, but as we approach a deadline on a major ...
24
votes
4answers
3k views

Would gamification increase employee engagement with time tracking?

A typical difficulty in implementing time tracking in companies is that employees are rarely engaged with time tracking tasks, seeing them as a waste of time. I'm wondering if a gamification approach ...
24
votes
19answers
3k views

What are the current tools available for PM? [closed]

What are the current up to date project management tools to use? I have been using dotProject which I know is outdated, what ones are out there and the best for small to medium projects? To be more ...
24
votes
10answers
13k views

Can a Product Owner be a developer in Scrum?

Can a Product Owner be a developer in Scrum? In theory, yes, but is it recommended by Scrum?
24
votes
8answers
2k views

What is the best way to manage a person who shows very little interest in work?

I am supposed to manage a person who tries to give many excuses to avoid work. I talked to her several times that she needs to change her behavior and tried to give her a task to improve her ...
24
votes
9answers
3k views

Adding new team members to a late project

According to Brooks' Law, adding more people to a late project will make the project later (or by analogy, nine women cannot have a baby in one month). The increased lateness is due to the fact that ...
24
votes
7answers
1k views

How can a new PM manage a failing project in a few hours per week?

I am working as a beginning scientist and was given the management role for a small project (5 internal scientists, 1-2 external software contractors). What are the absolute essentials I need to ...
24
votes
7answers
23k views

How do you schedule delivery dates in Scrum?

I've run into a constant issue. When a project starts, the client typically has a list of functionalities to be built in to the application. As a team we would like to follow Scrum. But the next thing ...
24
votes
7answers
3k views

Risk Management: How do you overcome risk resistance?

We know that risk management touches every PM process, from planning through execution through closing. It is taught in the most basic of PM classes and, if you were to ask, most would likely ...
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 ...
24
votes
9answers
64k views

What's the exact definition of “Program Manager”?

I'm still confused with the title 'Program Manager' after I went through this site and searched over threads. Actually I haven't seen many 'Program Managers' in practice. Is it a regular role in ...
24
votes
3answers
18k views

Scaled scrum/agile frameworks (SAFe vs. Nexus vs. LeSS) comparison

Would someone please shed some light on the differences between: LeSS: http://less.works/ Nexus: https://www.scrum.org/Resources/The-Nexus-Guide SAFe: http://www.scaledagileframework.com/ Background:...
23
votes
16answers
1k views

What are the signs that a project is going wrong?

The obvious answer is 'missing key milestones', but that depends on a structured project plan with clear milestones (e.g. waterfall model). What are some of the not-so-obvious or subtle signs that ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

Task estimation for PMs who are not developers

While working Agile, how can a PM estimate a task when he/she is not a developer?
23
votes
10answers
3k views

What are the best 3 pieces of advice you would give to a new project manager? [closed]

I ask this question because I have noticed that in our community, we have some new project managers. We have also very experienced project managers. I would like our more experienced collegues to ...
23
votes
15answers
12k views

What is better: a physical Scrum board or an online board?

I used to practice Scrum with a physical board. We often faced problems when working with distributed teams or just when going into a meeting room. So I decided to implement a SaaS service to provide ...
23
votes
6answers
12k views

How to run our first post mortem?

I'd like to do a post mortem ("lessons learned") analysis of a recent feature development. It would be the first formal post mortem we do. It was a comparedly small project (roughly 3 weeks), but ...
23
votes
5answers
1k views

Should I explain the root cause of a bug when a client asks for it?

Our client asked for the root cause of a bug after we delivered our fix. Should I explain it to her? For example, should I say that the bug arose from a wrong condition check or from bad configuration ...
23
votes
4answers
7k views

How do handle adhoc work during a sprint from pressing customers

I intend to introduce sprints to my company, fairly new to it myself. Not sure if it's appropriate for my current situation, we have several on going projects, all of them are ERP scale size and most ...
23
votes
5answers
18k views

How to make Scrum of Scrums meetings more productive?

At my job, we're having a Scrum of Scrums meeting where all the Scrum Masters get together. This meeting is turning into a boring meeting where everyone gives their status update. I'm trying to make ...
22
votes
12answers
10k views

How to motivate a team when you have nothing to offer but equity?

I recently got into the whole startup scene, and I was hired as CTO for an early-stage startup. I've got a fair bit of engineering experience, but when it comes to management, I'd definitely be in the ...
22
votes
10answers
2k views

Is estimating a project without basic requirements or user stories a good idea for a fixed cost proposal?

I am currently trying to create an estimate for a software proposal. In this context, we are requesting a fixed cost amount of funds. I personally lean toward Agile development practices. I, however,...
22
votes
15answers
3k views

Which skill set is necessary for a project manager?

I know that this question depends a lot in the environment the Project Manager works in, but still want to know on the average, which skill/skill set that need to be focused more than others. To name ...
22
votes
7answers
1k views

How to handle CEO “priority” requests that affect existing client deadlines?

Our team(s) have agreed upon timelines both by the team themselves and the clients, including a bit of extra padding in case of any mistakes. However, the CEO of the company consistently sends ...
22
votes
8answers
1k views

How do you deal with constant interruptions coming from outside the team?

As one of our teams was restructured completely (6 our of 8 new people in the last 2 months) and their knowledge base is now very weak, I notice constant daily interruptions from them. We share the ...
22
votes
3answers
10k views

In Scrum, how to estimate research stories?

In our Scrum team, when there is uncertainty about a story or the team is not sure about how to implement it, we take up a research story first. Based on the findings of this research story, we are ...
22
votes
5answers
4k views

Transitioning into a project management role [closed]

Many project managers start out as strong individual contributors, and end up as accidental project managers (filling in while the project manager is away, filling a need where a project manager is ...
22
votes
6answers
16k views

What role should a technical architect play in Project Management?

I've recently been given the role of Technical Architect in my organization (I will also be project managing some projects and developing if the 10-12 senior developers are all too busy). I'm ...

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