project planning | TechWell

project planning

Asphalt with painted arrows pointing in three directions The Good, the Practical, and the Expedient

When a process isn't working, you'll have to make a choice that will help move things along. However, some choices are less about inspecting and adapting than about getting things done quickly, and that incurs risk. To manage this risk you need to be aware of the differences between "practical" and "expedient."

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Computer, calendar, projections, and business paper all laid out on a table Making Decisions at the Right Level of the Organization

Decision-making in a climate of ambiguous responsibility is a no-win situation. If you're in a position of some authority, how can you define exactly what that authority allows in order to better secure sponsor support for your decisions? It involves considering some scenarios and asking the right clarifying questions.

Payson Hall's picture
Payson Hall
Project manager working with her team 5 Common Mistakes Project Managers Should Avoid

When you're responsible for leading a new software project, of course it’s impossible to steer clear of every single mistake. But there are plenty of common mistakes project managers fall into that can be easily avoided simply by being mindful of them. Here are five common mistakes PMs make that you should be wary of.

Freddie Tubbs's picture
Freddie Tubbs
Business analyst performing analysis on a new project domain “It Was More Complex Than We Thought”: Why Business Analysis Is Essential

Many new project fields look simple from a distance because we only see the outputs and interfaces. But corner cases, bad data, users with special needs, regulations—getting inside a new knowledge domain and teasing out the special cases and unhappy paths is a skill. This is why business analysts are so important.

Payson Hall's picture
Payson Hall
Agile team members refining the product backlog Refine Your Product Backlog Continuously to Improve Flow

One way to address poorly defined product backlog items is to spend time refining the items as you go. Refining the backlog continuously helps the team deliver consistently and can lead to shorter planning meetings at the start of the sprint. It can even help improve reliability, velocity, and the quality of work.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Software team working on a new project The 6 P’s of Getting Started on a New Project

Ideally, when an employee is transferred to an existing project, there would be at least one team member designated to train the new person. However, this isn’t always the case, and you may be left to fend for yourself. If you suddenly find yourself on a new project, take control and get started with the six P’s.

Richard Estra's picture
Richard Estra
Tombstones in a graveyard The Premortem: Planning for Failure

While a postmortem, or retrospective, is done after a project is completed, a premortem is done before the project starts as a way to imagine that the project failed and to explore what went wrong. You list every possible thing that can go wrong, then devise solutions to the most probable risks—before you need them.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Person adding a square to a grid of sticky notes, photo by Kelly Sikkema How to Prioritize Tasks and Do Only the Work That Matters

When you’re working on multiple projects at a time and everyone is breathing down your neck for results, it’s difficult to separate wants from needs. You have to be smart about task prioritization. Here are four ways to break through the noise and make sure you’re focusing on the work that really matters.

Kristin Savage's picture
Kristin Savage