27

It sounds like you have team members from high power distance cultures. People may not speak up when the boss is in the room because their values require them to listen and follow, not to advise or lead. You may even notice it happening between junior and senior team members or between yourself and team members. Read more about power distance here: https://...


23

compare to other colleagues and feel insulted. The other two answers are good - but this confuses me. When I've done stakeholder analysis, the process has been open and participatory. There shouldn't be any value judgement. Power and influence are closely related to budget and participation. If a given stakeholder feels that the graph shows them as less ...


15

Person-month is politically correct synonym for Man-month. It's mean amount of work performed by the average worker in one month. So, if: project requires 12 persons-months of development time all team members do only pure development activity (i.e. they are telepaths and they don't need to spend time for communication with each other). [note: this is not ...


15

I personally don’t like tools you have to hide. This leads to mistrust and if it leaks (for whatever reason) you are in trouble. So we started 20 years ago to use a technique which is called project environment analysis (AKA extended stakeholder analysis). The tool is simple and efficient and is part of the open accessible project handbook and is also used ...


15

Analysis There is a chilling effect when he is here. Am I overreacting? Should I just try to build up the confidence of the team? or should I ban my boss from the retrospective? In my experience, this is a classic case of missing the forest for the trees, and mistaking process problems for interpersonal ones. Let's enumerate some of the issues that ...


12

As Thomas Owens noted, one of the solutions to scaling up Scrum is the Scrum of Scrums. What you describe in the OP, however, is different: We've tried that each team delegates an "ambassador" who participate on the others' stand-up too but in that case the info flow was not the best. Instead of each team sending an ambassador to other teams' daily Scrum,...


10

Great project management is not about hitting your targets 100% of the time. Much of our performance is probabilistic where many of the drivers of our results are out of control and very random. Missing your targets becomes a problem if it became a surprise for you as the PM and your customer. If you were monitoring properly, such as using critical path ...


10

Your Capacity Planning and Prioritization Processes Need Re-Engineering You appear to be attempting to solve the wrong problem by treating this as an individual-availability issue. This is most likely because you have a weirdly-matrixed organization that isn't based around project teams or team capacity planning, but apparently based on the notoriously ...


8

Quick answer: It depends. It depends on: Frequency: If you're having a daily meeting, sending the minutes one day later make it useless. Action Points: If you're dealing with several people that will follow the actions discussed during the meeting, better sending the minutes before having the other people doing anything. Otherwise, if the attendees carry ...


8

I recommend: Demonstrate your application to the customer often, and get feedback early. Break stuff down into small tasks that you are very confident about estimating time for. This is key. Focus on minimal functionality first - login, logout, visit home page, etc. before the real features. Use an Agile methodology. Talk to your client daily. Use software ...


7

TL; DR The bottom line is that you're using a project manager for a reason. Assuming you feel the need to explain at all, the reason you provide to the client should be substantially the same reason you provide to the rest of your organization. Fixed-Price or Internal Process If a project is fixed-price, or the customer is inquiring about your internal ...


7

You do have a project manager and technical lead on your project. For every project, every project role necessary is represented. In this case, there is only one person filling these roles: you. You have been managing single person projects since you were six. You have more PM skills than you are giving yourself credit for. There are certainly ...


7

The message should be as factual and emotion-free as possible: Indicate the issue in a precise, straight forward, and simple way; Describe how the customer will be impacted; Indicate the the likelihood and degree of impact; Detail the cause(s) of the issue; If the issue was predicted in your risk program, outline what you did to try to mitigate it; ...


7

I fear my answer will probably not be applicable to your problem because of the fleeting nature of the projects and the capabilities you report in your stakeholders and sponsors. However- In the business I work in we always, without exception, do a Business Case first (and spend a little research money to investigate where key data are not known). The ...


7

Project managers manage variances. You will have both favorable and unfavorable ones. It is not a matter of "asking" but rather informing. Planning values that you choose, both cost and time, are single values that live in a probabilistic range of results. For example, your project has an estimate of finishing between three to nine months. You targeted ...


7

It sounds to me like you have two possible root causes here: The developers could triage but are instead escalating The developers should be capable of triage but are not able to because they do not have the knowledge or skill, and so escalate In the first instance, if you want to change their behaviours you need to do several things; you need to inform ...


7

Not to be pedantic, but the correct way to write the term would be person-month, or man-month. The distinction is that person/month implies units of people per month. This is inaccurate. A person-month is a unit of work that's calculated by multiplying the number of persons by the number of months they work. So a team with three developers working on a task ...


7

TL;DR You have one or more process problems involving communication and prioritization. You need additional information in order to inspect-and-adapt your team's process in a collaborative and sustainable way. Your Problems, Restated You make the following points in your original post: I say they are small requests because they aren't critical issues ...


7

The most important part of this is: be yourself. Your team will work best when they are being themselves too. Having said that though, the dynamic of the team is changing (naturally) because a new team member (you) is joining. So everyone (you included) will have to adjust to find the new collective norm. You may be introverted or extroverted naturally, and ...


7

Stories should always be defined in business terms. Why does there need to be web integration? Who is it for? What exactly does it need to accomplish? If it is not directly-related to a business requirement (unlikely for web integration, but theoretically possible), then it should instead be a developer task, and thus it should be defined by a developer. ...


7

I'm a manager of a software development team who was a designer. I started with almost no prior knowledge of writing code, other than simple html and CSS. My initial view was that they are the experts in their field and I am an expert in mine. I am just using my PM expertise to help them become more efficient and better organised, so that their skills can ...


7

I am drawing assumptions on your PO's agenda, based on my experience of other PO meetings, and discussing a stakeholder's objections on spend would not be consistent with that agenda. The PO, or you, or another leader of the team, should acknowledge the issue, validate the issue, and then table it with a promise of an immediate meeting to discuss further. ...


7

TL;DR I was thinking at the back of my mind to either: defend the PO and budget defend the team, since they were kept busy delivering items from the backlog Bring focus to the meeting by telling POs to keep focus on delivering high value items in the following sprints The correct answer is "none of the above." Your goal as Scrum Master isn'...


6

Think of the PM as the Master Trouble-Shooter The analysis, design and development resources are functional specialists and they are all very busy working on tasks for multiple projects. Their focus is on technical excellence. They neither have the time nor the mindset to follow-up with others to get prerequisite work done, manage contingencies, for example,...


6

Risks are typically classified into these two categories: Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns. You can break the latter down into Unknown Knowable Unknowns and Unknown Unknownable Unknowns. Known knowns are not risks since this implies certainty. You have two types of drivers when it comes to your budget and schedule risks. The first driver is ...


6

In my professional experience, the single point of contact is a gatekeeper or clearinghouse, rather than a sole resource. This person functions as a spokesmodel for the contract, but may certainly delegate responsibilities or facilitate communications between parties as needed. This point of contact is the first call you should make with questions, and ...


6

You may take these three ideas from Scrum that may be useful to you. Scrum of Scrums - a regular meeting of team representatives (usually one per team). In Scrum, the point is to communicate and resolve team level problems and blockers together. So the meeting is focussed (although not as strictly as the daily calls) to avoid wasting time. But you may adopt ...


6

You do need to make him aware of the impact of his pontification, and it sounds like he has some awareness now. However, it will not cure the issue. It is a well constructed behavior pattern he has developed over his life time and is likely consistent with his personality make-up and a ton of social engineering, i.e., he has been rewarded in his past for ...


6

It's not only ok, it's a bad idea not to. Be upfront and apologetic. Most importantly be ready to update expectations. Good luck.


6

The simple answer to "What does the PM do when the milestone passes" is: Re-schedule the project plan to take the delays into account then report on milestone changes back to the project sponsors and stakeholders. It is assumed that the PM would have been raising a risk to the project schedule in the risk log and talking to all relevant people in the run ...


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