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project planning

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
Consultant talking to a software professional Wisdom from Consulting: Getting and Vetting Advice

When you hire a consultant, they may appear to have a wealth of experience and knowledge—and may actually have it. But accepting their advice without question is dangerous. Here are some good practices to keep in mind when you're receiving advice, including asking questions, exploring alternatives, and analyzing risks.

Payson Hall's picture
Payson Hall
Team member estimating a project 5 Factors That Could Be Making Your Project Estimates Go Wrong

Why do our estimates for a project or a testing phase so often turn out wrong? Whatever causes underestimation, we clearly do not learn from experience, as we repeatedly make estimation errors, despite feedback showing previous errors. It’s a chronic problem. What could be driving these errors? Here are five factors.

Andrew Brown's picture
Andrew Brown
A software professional about to sign a contract Be Careful What You Ask For: Contract Considerations for New Projects

In a new project, there are always going to be challenges and delays, and when the end date is looming, you may be tempted to rush through the contracting and procurement process. But that can have dire consequences down the line if roles, responsibilities, and expectations aren't clear. Take the time to communicate.

Payson Hall's picture
Payson Hall