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Software Project Management Stories
Sign: Apocalypse Ahead Manage Project Problems without Getting Trapped by Catastrophic Thinking

It would be short-sighted for any project manager not to consider the potential risks in the project and not to evaluate and continue re-evaluating what can go wrong. But there's a difference between planning for risk and falling victim to catastrophic thinking—focusing on unlikely or irrational worst-case scenarios.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Brain The Cognitive Costs of Multitasking

We've heard that multitasking impairs your ability to concentrate and do an effective job of each task. But did you know it can also have negative effects on your brain? Researchers have found that multitaskers may have difficulty paying attention and recalling information, and they may even experience decreased IQ.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Project sponsor When You Should Get Your Project Sponsor Involved

If there are decisions to be made on a project, the project manager may think he's helping by going directly to the customer to get her opinion. But project sponsors represent the organization, and they should be consulted before any significant decisions are made. Do you know when you should get the sponsor involved?

Payson Hall's picture
Payson Hall
Self-managing team Who’s the Boss? Let Agile Teams Manage Themselves

This idea of a team in charge of itself is difficult for many people to accept. Traditional practices condition us to wait for someone to tell us what to do, and managers are accustomed to controlling everyone’s work and knowing everyone’s status. But agile teams can manage themselves—in fact, it's essential to agile.

Johanna Rothman's picture
Johanna Rothman
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