Joel Bancroft-Connors
  • Member for 10 years, 11 months
  • Last seen more than 1 year ago
What are the best 3 pieces of advice you would give to a new project manager?
28 votes

I have a set of five core principles that drive my project management/ management philosophy. I've had them for many years, even predating my adoption of agile. They are: People, not projects: If ...

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How to take minutes of meeting effectively?
26 votes

Manager-Tools.com has a couple of great podcasts on effective note taking. Really changed how I took notes and made them a lot more effective. The really simple boil down is that business isn't ...

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Our Team Finished Our Project Before The Deadline! What Now?
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22 votes

Start with a high-5 all around! :) Meet with your customer. Let them know you think you've completed the feature and give them a demo. Ask them if it meets their acceptance criteria. My bet is the ...

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How do I facilitate a first time Agile retrospective?
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19 votes

Awesome for you. The retrospective can be one of the most fun and informative "ceremonies" of agile. So once you get the book, Diana is going to recommended never falling into a rut and tailoring ...

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How to convince upper management of the need for agile software?
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19 votes

To tweak the Field of Dreams quote "Do it and the tools will come." Tools are not the solution, they are tools to aid the solution. You need the solution first. Start running agile with a physical ...

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How many project managers are needed to change a lightbulb?
18 votes

No matter how many Project Managers it takes, by the time the light bulb has been changed, Product Management will have decided they wanted a candle instead.

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Budgeting in an agile project
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18 votes

Well the easy and probably not completely helpful answer is, agile requires a change in how the business plans. You fund teams, not projects. That's not entirely helpful so let me try and bridge the ...

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How effective will be an iPad to take Meeting Minutes?
17 votes

I tried to use the iPad for taking meeting minutes. Even more than a PC, the iPad becomes a barrier to quick notes. The keyboard is useful for short stuff, but longer notes just become burdomsome. In ...

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A team have requested in a retrospective they want more waterfall and a Project Manager; how to proceed?
16 votes

Well first thing is to remember that a retrospective, like a user story, is an invitation to a conversation. I wasn't there, so I can only take a guess as the meeting. It sounds like the retrospective ...

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Can (and should) Agile be used for Infrastructure projects?
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14 votes

Agile is a new term on decades old concepts. I've blogged on this very topic recently with a blog titled "Gorillas can be Agile with any project" (PMI recently reposted this on their Agile Community ...

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How should a Scrum development team track KPIs (key performance indicators) besides sprint commitments?
Accepted answer
13 votes

So this is something I'm dealing with right now in AOL. The constant desire of business to measure seeps even into agile organizations. The key is to make sure you are measuring in a way that does not ...

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How to use Story Points, if User Stories are completely different?
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12 votes

You can't be faulted for being confused. It is very common for organizations to try and directly match story points to a real-world measurement. This exactly defeats the purposed of using story points ...

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Is the Product Owner allowed to be at the Daily Scrum event?
12 votes

Yes, you absolutely want your PO at the Daily Scrum. First off remember that the Scrum Guide is something like 17 pages and only covers the broadest brush strokes. The product owner is part of the ...

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Why can't I find well elaborated criticism on agile/scrum on the web?
11 votes

No, scrum isn't that "great." It is just another framework. It may or may not work for you. But the reason I think it hasn't become a "Mac vs PC" war is the agile community knows that. There are few ...

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How can a Project Manager manage a dependency on an external team?
11 votes

You don't manage the dependency, you manage the risk. What is the impact of the risk? If we don't get the toilet paper dispenser installed, will the plane be unable to fly? What is the probability ...

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Time estimation and deadlines
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10 votes

The short answer is never give a fixed time estimate, always give a range. And then clearly document this in emails or the project plan (writing). Long Answer: Fifty some off years of software ...

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Why does the WIP limit for a kanban discipline apply to completed work?
10 votes

I was taught a great game that really stressed this concept. It's the paper airplane production game. What it brutally shows is waste when something unexpected happens. Say you're building five ...

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When it is time to do poker planning - during Story Time or during Sprint Planning
10 votes

I gave Sergey's answer a vote, solid ideas. I think Sergey's answer works well at smaller scale, in an Enterprise class program or multi-scrum team program you might have a little more success if ...

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Why Project Management is so hard?
10 votes

I can only speak for myself on this, but I would have made a lousy project/program manager in my 20's. Why? It wasn't a lack of attention to detail, a critical component in being a PM. It wasn't a ...

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How Can I Maintain My PMP Certification and Earn PDU's In an Inexpensive Manner?
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10 votes

The possibilities are nearly endless. I earned a good half my PDUs through free resources. Now before I list my suggestions, I do need to make a caveat. This March (2011), PMI updated their PDU ...

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When is it appropriate to name names?
10 votes

I have two answers for this. First- Always. Build your project from the start, with clear lines of responsiblity. Every task has an owner, and it is clearly visible in the responsibility matrix (I ...

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Which scrum actors should attend a requirements gathering session
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9 votes

Never... :) By leaving the scrum team out of the conversation, you are just moving back into the pitfalls of waterfall requirements. When features are written in a vacuum, then you either end up with ...

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How do I organize a team of “shadow" software developers (think ghostwriters)?
9 votes

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 ...

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Fast start guide for ScrumMaster
9 votes

Zsolt gave a really great checklist for tackling any new project. I'd even point traditional project managers at this. I'm going to try and provide some additional Scrum focused detail. Brand New ...

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ScrumBut. Does this term have any negative connotations?
9 votes

Doing Scrum not "by the book" is not in an of itself bad. The best scrum teams have progressed well beyond the "book". ScrumBut is used to describe unhealthy implementations of Scrum. Yes, Scrum can ...

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Scrum uneven distribution of work hidden in a unified effort
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9 votes

trying to wrap my head around this question, so forgive me if I go off base. I'm going to tackle this assuming your billing as a team. I'm going to also assume a designer is a UI person. The team has ...

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What alternatives are there to a weekly status report to collect team members' progress on assigned work?
9 votes

I'll echo what David said with a real life experience. Face to face meetings, with clear information radiators are the hands down best way to do this. If you can't be face to face, then get on a ...

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Responsibility without authority
9 votes

Sean, I applaud you on understanding that even when we lack authority, we need to take responsibility. It is a tough road for a PM to walk and full of challenges. It can be done. I think Pawel's ...

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Justifying a Project Manager
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9 votes

I've faced this conundrum many times in my career. Most pre "chasm" companies don't see a need for a project manager, seeing it as part of being a bigger company. The constant drive to be multi-task ...

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How to handle "bad quality code" by a team member
Accepted answer
8 votes

David tackled the psychological side pretty well. I'd like to offer a couple of technical solutions. Test Driven Development: If you have to write the test, before writing the code, then you're ...

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