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Software Project Management

Software Project Management Stories
Hourglass Managing Resistance to Organizational Change

Change can be difficult, and some people's reaction is to shut it all down. If they think their concerns aren’t being heard, they get defensive, and your project is on a trajectory for disaster. Don't fire off an email while tempers are running high. Managing expectations thoughtfully is essential to project success.

Payson Hall's picture
Payson Hall
Missed the target 7 Harms Done by Keeping Unrealistic Project Goals

Project management is about supporting informed decision-making. No one wants to break the news that a project is not on schedule, but a good sponsor would want to know that the original goals are no longer realistic. Reluctance to communicate or unwillingness to hear have some real business consequences.

Payson Hall's picture
Payson Hall
Too many changes The Importance of Timing when Implementing Change

Too many changes at once can prolong upheaval and delay people's adjustment to the new norm. If you are planning to start a complex project, introduce a new tool, or undertake any other major initiative, and employees are still reeling from other changes, it may be wise to delay the planned change if you can.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
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