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Software Project Management Stories
Camping in the snow Improve Software Project Success by Conducting a Hudson’s Bay Start

The Hudson’s Bay Company outfitted fur traders in the 1600s. To avoid problems when camping in freezing conditions, they'd send traders on a short trial expedition before the real one. This idea also can be used to reduce risks when starting a software project that’s complex, expensive, or disaster-prone.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Software measurement and metrics The Problem with Software Measurement and Metrics

Many software practices rely on setting target numbers for the team to hit. But when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure. People start gaming the system by changing their behavior in such a way to favorably adjust the measure in order to achieve the target. Don't get hung up on metrics.

Lee Copeland's picture
Lee Copeland
Excellent customer satisfaction What Not to Do if You Want Satisfied Customers

You may think that overperforming would ingratiate you to your customers. But customers don't always want you to go above and beyond—often, they just want what they asked for. Don't fall for this common misconception. The trick to customer satisfaction is delivering just what they want—and good communication.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Effective communication Effective Project Communication: Not Just What, but Why

The requirements for communicating project status to executives are often paradoxical: Be brief but thorough; don’t go into the weeds, but make sure I know all the important details. Responding to these constraints can be challenging, but you still need to clearly convey your work's significance and risks.

Payson Hall's picture
Payson Hall
Problem management Are You Problem Solving When You Should Try Problem Managing?

Usually in our projects, our goal is problem-solving. We find the root cause of a problem and experiment until we eradicate it. But is solving always the right path? Sometimes, our problems are temporary and only require a patch. In those cases, problem managing is probably the better choice.

Johanna Rothman's picture
Johanna Rothman
Team doing a project review 5 Questions to Ask in a Project Review

Project managers often dread doing reviews, but they're necessary to make sure the project is on the right track. Progress can be affected by unclear definitions, risk, schedules, and cost, so it's important to evaluate whether the project manager, sponsors, and team members are all on the same page.

Payson Hall's picture
Payson Hall
Why? Know the “Why” behind Your Projects

Every project has its own unique reason for existence. We often work on projects to deliver some kind of return for our organizations. When you start a project, do you know what that return is? When we know the reasons behind our work, we can be more successful—knowing why can create success.

Johanna Rothman's picture
Johanna Rothman
A team making a plan The Difference between Plans and Planning

As former president Dwight Eisenhower said, "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." The fact that plans may have to change does not mean planning is a waste of time. In projects, it's always valuable to consider budgeting, resources, and timelines.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten