Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hey You - There's a hole in your side of the boat

This post contains many great links, one of which is There's a hole in your side of the boat from Simon Baker at Energized Work. The image says it all..

There's a hole in your side of the boat - Jeff Patton

This is the best quote I've heard in a long time. Basically, it doesn't matter who's fault it is, we're in this together. - Simon Baker


What a great image! In fact - wouldn't it be awesome to have a poster-sized version to hang in the office?

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More PM Insights: Good Info On Managing Project Metrics

Another good post with great info: Good Info On Managing Project Metrics, this time from raven's brain:

The folks over at Journyx Project Management blog referred me to some excellent information on metrics via Max Wideman's article managing project metrics. Wideman provides a solid definition of the term metrics - ""Metrics" are nothing more than "A theory or system of measurement" and isn't that what we are supposed to have been doing on projects all along?"- and discusses how often in project management we need more info and get lost in what to look for. Wideman suggests we track things such as:
  • Scope containment
  • Quality of deliverables
  • Duration
  • Cost
  • Risks
  • Effort
  • Productivity
  • Stakeholder involvement, including project team

Read more Raven Young's post:!17376F4C11A91E0E!4123.entry

Read more of Max Wideman's post:

PM Insights: Getting the task dependencies right

PMThink! has a post called Software Innovation Time which includes a video of Google software engineer discussing their concept of "twenty percent time".

Direct Link:

Thoughts on Tasks, Projects, Programs

Good post over at Anticlue called Tasks, Projects, Programs. Here's an excerpt:

As the development of a methodology persists for a PMO, there is a vagueness surrounding the conceptual differences between a project, program, and task. For the project description, simply having a temporary unique endeavor with a beginning and an end is almost too general and simplified. At times, I believe the disconcerting part is that the realization everything is a project comes to light. Projects are large, medium, small, and tiny. As clarification occurs, realization that the manual running of the report every day at 8:30 am really isn't a project, those additions of doctors to the doctor master, really isn't a project. In my experience, the difficulty embracing the concept derives from something deeper.

Read more of this great post here:

Project management search engine

Elizabeth at A Girl's Guide to Managing Projects posted a quick review on a new Project management search engine:

If you are new to project management, or just don’t want to wade through pages of irrelevant search results, try Jack’s latest addition to PMConnection.

project management search engine searches around 80 dedicated project management websites and blogs, like Gantthead, PMHut, Projects@work, Raven’s Brain and of course, this site.
Read more here:

Friday, February 1, 2008

PM Insights: Why Are PMs Such A Miserable Lot?

Craig Brown has a guest post over at Project Shrink, the Blog that's worth reading - Why Are PMs Such A Miserable Lot?:

Are they really? Probably not everywhere and probably not all the time but there
are force at work that keep our project mangers scowling.

Other people’s money: Dealing with that responsibility can be stressful for many people. It’s good practice to treat your client’s money as if it were yours, but really, if you have $5 million, would you waste it on a software project? No wonder our PM’s feel the pressure to perform.

Business is serious: That’s right. Our business is very serious and our stakeholders and shareholders are important people who we want to impress. The way you manage your project won’t make a blip on the stock market indicators, but you have to share some of our burden. As the project’s manager you are in charge, right?

Except for the following things: You rarely pick your team, you usually don’t get to choose the solution, or the project management approach. And your stakeholders, who all have history in the organisation and are probably playing politics 70% of their working life will not spare a second on screwing you behind your back if it suits them. Of course you like your job.

Read more here:

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Skip Angel: The Case for Story Point Estimates

Here's an older post from Skip Angel that's great: The Case for Story Point Estimates

I have been a fan of story points ever since I attended a seminar several years
ago where Mike Cohn presented the concept. I never really trusted other
estimating practices such as function points and time-based estimates. Why?
Software development projects are rarely similar from project to project, yet
these practices focused entirely on past experience. Therefore, to get a
"reliable" estimate of time for every new project you needed to gain a lot of
experience. In other words, you have to figure out up-front how you will do the
work. Not only does this take a lot of investment up front, it also does not
account that the work you do later could change based on the work you do now.
The estimates assume that nothing will change in the effort of doing the work,
which is definitely not true in the Agile world. What I like about Story points
is the focus is on the relative size of "things", then how they will be
accomplished. As Mike would say, "Estimate size now, derive duration later".

Read more here:

Good stuff, be sure to check out the rest of Skip Angel's posts while you're at it!