Hot answers tagged

33

An effective status report tells your project stakeholders in a clear, concise manner where the project is at and how well it's going. Its main objective is to inform, and to be effective it needs to be factual, up-to-date, and easy to read and understand for your audience. Medium: email is fine for small projects, but for larger projects that have ...


21

TL; DR Your question embeds some false assumptions about the linear nature of testing within an agile process. A mature agile team with cross-functional skill sets treats development and testing as intertwined activities rather than as sequential ones. You should strive to integrate development and testing so that they are not fundamentally separate work ...


17

We've struggled with this too. This kinda summarises our journey, that's not to say the same things will apply to you! Design work is done in sprint This used to be OK when we were doing long sprints (4 weeks) and there was time for some back and forth, between the designer, UX and Marketing about what the final design should be. Even in long sprints ...


17

A methodology is a set of principles, tools and practices which can be used to guide processes to achieve a particular goal. A framework is a loose but incomplete structure which leaves room for other practices and tools to be included but provides much of the process required. If we look at the software equivalents, for instance, where applications are ...


14

With no prior experience this is likely to be a tough ride. Listen, listen, listen to your team and others. There is a lot to learn for you. No two teams or companies are the same. Even with prior experience there is not cookie cutter approach to being a development manager or a project manager. What I typically do when I start working with a new team is ...


13

Your assistant did nothing wrong. You wrote he does not know company policy. You cannot hold him accountable for what he does not know. He, while you were on vacation, kept the ball rolling. He made a decision and he acted. He should be commended for his eagerness and willingness to put his neck on the line for what he thought was a super idea. Those ...


12

We have an index card on our board, that permanently sits in the Backlog, labelled "Technical Debt". Any team member can grab a post-it note and write down T.D. they think we are collecting. For example, if they know that a coding decision could have complications later down the line, we stick it on the Technical Debt card. At the beginning of every sprint ...


12

What the Stand-Up Meeting is For The Stand-Up Meeting (a.k.a. the daily scrum) is designed to accomplish two main things: Coordinate task dependencies within the team. Identify process or resource issues (blockers) that need to be addressed outside the stand-up meeting. Various scrum practices support these objectives. The individual practices are ...


12

One approach I have seen work is to initially stub the backend functionality before doing the detailed development work. These are the steps the team takes: The backend developer defines an API that the frontend will use for the feature The backend developer builds a very simple stub that allows the frontend developer to make API calls and get back ...


10

First, consider yourself lucky that you haven't yet signed the formal agreement. It's a lot easier to bring up bad news to a client early on than it is at the end, when the client is ready to take delivery. At such an early stage, you shouldn't need to just eat the cost. At this point the client hasn't lost anything. If they want to get the project done ...


10

Missing or incomplete requirements is one of about 1,000,000,000 random variables that will impact you during the course of a complex project, both favorable and unfavorably affecting your cost and schedule estimates. Many of these variables, you won't even see and, thus, will not have any opportunity to ask who is at fault on this exchange. This is ...


8

My opinion would be to hire the coach. The right coach is definitely worth the money, especially if you don't have any scrum experience (research does not count) on your team. If you have the experience of multiple past scrum teams on your team (either in one individual or several) you may be alright without a coach, but I would say if you want to get it ...


8

I have a different experience and  perspective to what an engagement manager (EM) does and I expect the term means different things depending on context. In my experience, on large projects where part of the work is outsourced to a third-party vendor, the EM is the person from the vendor organisation responsible for managing the relationship with the client ...


8

There are three reasons for estimation: To work out how much the team can take on each sprint To work out how long a release will take to be complete, given the team on hand To allow the team to reach a common understanding on the scope of the work. They're not really about the size of the work, but more about how much you can fit through your development ...


8

How you come about introducing (the idea of) change depends a lot on your relationship with your manager (and peers) as well as the organisation culture. Here are some suggestions to go about it: Start with an informal discussion: when you say you have to "break things" to your manager it just sounds like you're going to give him/her bad news, and no-one ...


8

PMBoK 4th Edition, glossary, page 437: Methodology: A system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline The term "framework" is used over 20 times in the PMBoK but is not in the glossary. I find that somewhat odd... Since we don't have a PMBoK authority reference, I prefer the defintion from WhatIs.com: In ...


8

I cannot add too much to the previous two answers by @the_reluctant_tester and @John, except 2 things: I got the impression that this will be your first job as a leader. If so, I strongly recommend to find a mentor in your organization, because without a mentor it will be a tough job. Maybe the guy who gave you this job can be a good candidate or a fellow ...


8

The simplest answer to this will likely be the answer you least like. Don't... In the last fifteen or so years we have seen an ever increasing level of transparency in the work place. This crosses all industries, all job levels and all work styles. Agile hasn't gained the traction it has because it is the best methods of development ever. Agile has been ...


7

Great question and definitely something that doesn't seem to be addressed very well in the standard material that is out there. I won't pretend to have all the answers as we are still struggling with this ourselves, but there is definitely still the need for an architect role in an agile environment. It is almost definitely different than the typical role ...


7

A process is a defined set of methods and steps required for completing an action. The concept of a process is that it is a defined pattern/steps that needs to be followed (without any deviation - no uniqueness). A project is a unique set of actions and tasks that are combined to fulfil a specific goal(s) in a defined time frame. Meaning that for a project ...


7

I used basecamp with scrum for over a year. It was wonderful and I wish I could go back. Excellent writeup here http://highnotes.posterous.com/how-to-do-scrumxp-with-basecamp The key ingredient is the burndowngraph.com tool. With modifications to that, here's how we ran it... I kept one todo list as the product backlog. (When things were very crazy ...


7

Conflicting or inconsistent requirements are not just part of an IT project but span across all types of projects. You can be certain, no matter how hard you try not to, that you will create a requirements baseline with a host of inconsistent or conflicting set of requirements. On top of that, the solution derived to meet a requirement could break another ...


7

Skips the Tools; Build a Process You describe your current process like this: Get order, a lot of communication with files that specify the details, delivery, more communication on setup and support. Then it can be years and the software needs to be updated according to new specifications and the communication starts again before a new delivery. While ...


7

I was managing a team of five developers and we started out with CI using CruiseControl. I am hard-pressed to think of a situation involving more than one developer where it would not be advantageous to do CI. Hudson/Jenkins is a good platform and we later moved to it. Also, you get A LOT more bang for your buck if you are doing CI against a build system ...


7

First: Document Your Process We don't do shopping questions here on PMSE, but we're all about process. The correct way to comparison shop for any tool is to document your actual work-flows and project processes, and then find a tool that supports what you are actually doing. Write down how your team does things right now. If your project is just forming, ...


6

This is very dependent on the nature of your project and team. Generally, I try and highlight the areas of the effort that are highly variable. In software, this is typically open impediments, impediments discovered and addressed, and new work (stories) completed. I'll also include some graphs that convey budgeted burn vs. actual burn vs. total budget and ...


6

I would first ask a question why it happens so that all stories are completed late. Is it possible that all stories need 9-10 days to be completed? If not than probably developers are focusing on starting building another story avoiding mundane task of testing. Limiting work in progress can be something which can help to change the focus of the team. This ...


6

The Purpose of CI for Project Management While the question as originally posed isn't really an ideal fit for this site (e.g. it's more about development practice than about managing projects) it is nevertheless a useful question when properly framed. The Value of Automation to a Project Manager From a project management perspective, real-world projects ...


6

In Team Foundation Server 2013, there are 3 templates available for team project by default Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 2013 MSF for Agile Software Development 2013 MSF for CMMI Process Improvement 2013 All of them agile enough to accommodate your needs, but I think the first two are more convenient. The Scrum template is designed to support the Scrum ...


6

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 they're doing is all wrong (despite not having been around long enough to understand why it's done that way). In addition, you could even be seen as a threat, ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible