Tag Archives: project management

Who Decides What Done Means for a Program?

2012 Johanna Rothman When I start working with new-to-agile teams, one of the first things we do is to discuss what done means. Chances are good they have not discussed what done means before. The developers dont agree with each … Continue reading

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When Your Projects Are a Program

I was supposed to start coaching with a project manager, Trish. She postponed our weekly coaching call–for the third time. I said, “Trish, are you postponing again because you have too much work to do?” “Yes!” “Then I suggest we … Continue reading

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No Exit

Always have an exit strategy. ©2005 – 2009 Don Gray, Gerald M. Weinberg “The thought that disaster is impossible often leads to an unthinkable disaster.” – The Titanic Effect, The Secrets of Consulting, pg 95 Engelbert, the Software Engineering VP, … Continue reading

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Transitioning to Agile in the Middle of a Project

This article was previously published on stickyminds.com “My company has decided to transition to agile after the team and I started this project,” Gina complained. “I know what agile is, but I still don’t understand how I’m supposed to transition … Continue reading

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How Much Building Is Too Much?

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Climbing Out of Technical Debt

© 2002 Johanna Rothman, www.jrothman.com Have you ever had a conversation like this one? Vice President: In the last release, you were able to bring the release date by over a month by cutting the testing. Do that again, ok? … Continue reading

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Charting a Course for Requirements

© 2002 Becky Winant This article originally was originally published on www.StickyMinds.com Projects are like voyages; they both start with a launch. Ever wonder what happens before we get into the boat and it pushes off from shore? I might … Continue reading

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Plan to Re-plan

©2003 Johanna Rothman, www.jrothman.com Do you sometimes feel partway through a project, that you now have some key information that would have helped you plan the project’s tasks better? If so, you’re not alone. Software projects typically unfold in unforeseen … Continue reading

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What to Do When Your Project Slips

©2001 Johanna Rothman, www.jrothman.com You’re not going to meet schedule. Maybe requirements have taken longer. Perhaps in the middle of implementation, you uncover something requiring redesign. Maybe developers haven’t met one milestone yet and you’re worried about the test time. … Continue reading

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Starting With Rolling Wave Planning

©2006 Johanna Rothman Some project managers considering moving to iterative, incremental, or agile lifecycles, stumble when it comes time to move to rolling wave planning. They aren’t sure how to start it, how to continue it, or how to see … Continue reading

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What’s Wrong With Wednesday?

2005 Johanna Rothman Many of the project schedules I review contain milestone completions on Fridays and new task or phase beginnings on Mondays. With a Friday or Monday milestone, what you’re really saying is that people can work overtime all … Continue reading

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Schedule Chicken

2005 Johanna Rothman I perform project and process assessments as part of my consulting work. During one assessment, a senior manager took me aside, and said, “I want you to tell me what you think of our testers.” “All of … Continue reading

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Watch for Falling Rocks: Unpredictable Risks

©2000 Johanna Rothman, www.jrothman.com I was recently driving on some back roads in New Mexico, and saw the sign “Watch for Falling Rocks.” I turned to my husband, Mark, and said “Now, why do they tell us to watch for … Continue reading

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Use All Four Parts of Project Estimation

©2004 Johanna Rothman. Project work estimation has three components: the initial first cut, commonly known as a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess), tracking the estimate against the actuals, and using the schedule to see what’s happening in your project. If … Continue reading

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

©2002 Esther Derby, www.estherderby.com A software project is a complex thing. It involves many players, many tasks, and lots of things that could go wrong (and often do). If not for dogged optimism, some projects might not be tackled at … Continue reading

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Learning What You Don’t Know

©2005, Don Gray “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” — Mark Twain Working on hardware projects requires incredible attention to detail. Design time can take … Continue reading

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Lunches, Looks, and Loops

©2004, Don Gray Michelle works as a software engineer. Recently we discussed the utility concept (Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations, Austin)1 and she asked, Cant we just measure for the sake of learning? Measuring for learning is a wonderful … Continue reading

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Disposable Programs

©2005 Gerald M. Weinberg We hear a lot these days about “reusable programs,” but we seldom hear about programs that shouldn’t be reused. Most programmers know what it’s like to be forced to reuse code that was supposed to be … Continue reading

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Project Pitfalls

©2000 James A. Ward, www.jamesaward.com Despite the best efforts of the project manager and the project team, organizational forces may work against project success, especially on projects with tight time constraints. This column normally deals with issues of applying Total … Continue reading

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The Liar’s Contest

In this game, the only way to win is to stop playing. (c)2004, 2005 Don Gray and Gerald M. Weinberg It may look like a crisis, but it’s only the end of an illusion. – Rhonda’s First Revelation The Setup … Continue reading

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Planning for Delays

©2000 Gerald M. Weinberg, www.geraldmweinberg.com As some of you know, a group of consultants are producing a conference for our colleagues and clients. It’s called AYE, for “Amplifying Your Effectiveness.” One of the main goals of this distributed project is … Continue reading

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Predictions

©2003 Gerald M. Weinberg, www.geraldmweinberg.com People are always asking me to make predictions, especially predictions about their financial future. Which stocks will grow? Which dot.coms will fold? What jobs will be best? What should they study to prepare for their … Continue reading

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Advice for Software Development Managers

© Gerald M. Weinberg, 2004 www.geraldmweinberg.com Software Development Magazine recently interviewed Jerry. Here are some of his answers. Q: Whats the most important piece of management-related advice anyone has ever given you? GW: If you blame your employees, you’re a … Continue reading

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Test Trimming: A Fable about Testing

©2007 Gerald M. Weinberg Throughout my career, I’ve watched in dismay as one software manager after another falls into the trap of achieving delivery schedules by trimming tests. Some managers shortcut test work by skipping reviewing and unit testing in … Continue reading

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Convincing Management That Context Switching Is a Bad Idea

© 2005 Johanna Rothman (This article previously published in Better Software.) The last few times I’ve taught project management, I’ve explained that multi-project context switching wastes time. The project managers agree with me. But then they ask the question, “How … Continue reading

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Estimates: Precision vs. Accuracy

©2003 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com Jim, a new project manager, struggled to define the projects parameters: schedule estimate, people estimate, requirements outline, and necessary capital equipment. Jim proudly walked into his managers office, and proceeded to walk through his project plan … Continue reading

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Focus Your Project

©2003 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com Do you ever wonder what you’re really supposed to focus on for your project? Companies create a variety of products, and different releases of those products, for many reasons. Some product releases can tolerate glaring defects; … Continue reading

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Implement by Feature

©2007 Johanna Rothman This article was previously published in Better Software, May 2005. Brent and Deidre, both technical leads, poked their heads in Myrtle’s door. “Myrtle, we have a problem.” “OK, come on in. What’s up?” Deidre started. “Remember on … Continue reading

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