27 votes
Accepted

Should I ask my boss not to come to retrospectives?

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 ...
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23 votes
Accepted

How can I map stakeholders without offending anyone?

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'...
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  • 8,689
16 votes

Giving high level estimates to client without commiting to numbers

Slight frame challenge: consider providing your estimates as the wide-end of a cone of uncertainty rather than a discrete number. "I need a [vague thing], how long would it take?" "...
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  • 14.7k
15 votes
Accepted

What does person-month mean in development time?

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 ...
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15 votes

How can I map stakeholders without offending anyone?

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 ...
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15 votes

Should I ask my boss not to come to retrospectives?

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, ...
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  • 47.4k
12 votes

Daily stand-up with multiple Scrum teams

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 ...
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10 votes

When can a project's wrong estimates be justified?

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. ...
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  • 36.6k
10 votes
Accepted

Giving PMs a view of developer resource

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 ...
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  • 47.4k
10 votes

Giving high level estimates to client without commiting to numbers

To add onto nvogel's correct answer. Besides for providing itemized deliverables, you need to add in the standard functions that are forgotten, overlooked but necessary and very time + resource ...
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9 votes

Giving high level estimates to client without commiting to numbers

Attach each estimate to an itemised deliverable rather than a named scope of work, that way there's less room for doubt about what was estimated. Use relative estimation (points) at the item level ...
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  • 5,662
7 votes

How to ask for more time if project misses a milestone and will be delayed?

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 ...
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  • 36.6k
7 votes

How to properly handle a team mate who rambles during daily standup and other meetings?

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 ...
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  • 36.6k
7 votes

How to get developers to take more initiative and ownership and think through problems before escalating?

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 ...
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  • 4,414
7 votes

What does person-month mean in development time?

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-...
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  • 1,380
7 votes

Team member frequently disregards "small" requests

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 ...
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  • 47.4k
7 votes

Method for managing Scrum ceremonies with an introverted team?

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 ...
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  • 445
7 votes

How should a non-technical person define tasks for technicians?

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 ...
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  • 14.7k
7 votes
Accepted

Earning Respect of Team Members When I Know Very Little About the Topic?

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 ...
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  • 248
7 votes

How should a Scrum Master deal with an angry stakeholder during a PO meeting?

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, ...
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  • 36.6k
7 votes

How should a Scrum Master deal with an angry stakeholder during a PO meeting?

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 ...
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  • 47.4k
6 votes

Working with a "single point of contact"

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 ...
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  • 47.4k
6 votes

Communication Among Teams

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 ...
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6 votes

How to communicate a delay to a client when team member is ill?

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.
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6 votes

What is the process of schedule management with clients who aren't very responsive?

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 ...
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  • 4,414
6 votes
Accepted

How to lead new or inexperienced developers in my project?

Have you considered paired programming? In areas completely foreign to them, the other developer could be the "driver", allowing them to get some good insight into this project. It'll also keep them ...
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  • 16.7k
6 votes

How do I deal with a potentially difficult client on a web project?

With respect to @mamoo answer: For sure, the best is to clarify the requirements. Due to the fact that you don't have access to the customer, the internal stakeholder should be your first choice. ...
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  • 1,767
6 votes

Number of communication channels in Chief-Programmer model

The number of communication channels in the Chief-Programmer model is theoretically n-1 because it assumes that everyone communicates with the central chief-programmer role and he delegates work out ...
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  • 16.7k
6 votes
Accepted

How should a non-technical person define tasks for technicians?

TL;DR You should not be defining tasks for technical people. Instead, you should describe a value proposition and some testable acceptance criteria, and then turn your technical experts loose to find ...
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  • 47.4k
6 votes

Why can't QA's share expertise and suggest new ways of working

It might be how you're suggesting these changes. It probably has nothing to do with your position (QA), per se, but more to do with the fact that some new guy is coming in, telling everyone that what ...
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  • 14.7k

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