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Agile, Waterfall - Wait its WaterGile! (Trademark it!)

How Agile Product Management has evolved in the last few years An interesting thing has been happening in the market, and it’s not just that everything is moving to the Cloud, or that Facebook is about to go IPO, it’s the very real, and very concrete adoption of agile methodologies across the software industry. Originally a concept that gave birth to the Agile Manifesto (I know I can’t believe I’m referencing Wikipedia), Agile has really taken over as a concept everyone strives for, but rarely achieves. Why is that?

From a corporate stand point, many of the other processes at a company, like fiscal budget planning, employee performance reviews, and marketing campaigns, go through yearly planning and longer cycles. Can you imagine if you “iterated” on your performance review weekly, with a full day spent reviewing your objectives and decided what to focus on the next week? But wait – maybe that’s not such a bad way of approaching it, it provides quicker feedback from your manager and peers and keeps you completely aligned. And that is the heart of the issue, people just aren’t sure how much better that faster iteration is for everyone, they have this fuzzy feeling that there’s value to be had, but it’s hard to draw a line in the sand to say just how much.

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Benchmarking Overview

Benchmarking Overview

"If I use measures, metrics, and benchmarking in our improvement initiatives, then we will improve much quicker, and with less cost, but benchmarking needs to become a core capability of our team."

No single benchmarking process has been universally adopted. The wide appeal and acceptance of benchmarking has led to the emergence of a variety of benchmarking methodologies. However, with regard to project management, benchmarking activities usually are easier to implement and accept because you have something to point at- it has a tangible characteristic to it.

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Create and Leverage Templates

Create and Leverage Templates

“If project managers co-develop standard practices and templates, then practice adoption and baseline performance would be higher, but with so many varying opinions, a ‘We’ culture is required.”

Gary stares at his computer monitor, bewildered, as he scrolls through a large folder of project template files, “Just ask the top project managers to share their templates”, he mockingly mumbles to himself. With project performance varying greatly across the different project management teams, Gary, as part of the Governance team, has been tasked with establishing a standard set of project templates to improve project performance across his business unit. Just like a fancy dessert, without a recipe or set of repeatable steps, consistent results aren’t guaranteed.

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e-Learning Free Courses

e-Learning Free Courses

“If I participate in the Center of Excellence on-line courses, then I can expect courses using Integrated PM following standardized best practices in adult training today, but I want to test the courses and see if they will help me in my current circumstances.”

This Blog posting maintains a listing of the e-learning, free courses offered at the Center of Excellence. If you don’t see a course, feel free to request a topic in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

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Integrated PM Frameworks (2 of 7)

Integrated PM Frameworks (2 of 7)

"If we begin our Integrated PM journey, then we will gain additional experience in Integrated PM methods, but we should address some of the thinking found in Dimension 1 of this transition framework."

Dimension 1:

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Multi-Faceted Nature of Projects

Multi-Faceted Nature of Projects

“If I categorized and studied the correlations between all the factors (state variables) of project performance, then I could control and optimize the project’s performance, but gathering and computing this information would take too long, and the project portfolio’s state would change before I could interpret it.”

When we consider the many facets of enterprise project management we can quickly see we need a different way of examining the forest instead of analyzing each tree. Due to the lack of a standardized approach, the popular approach is to divide the various disciplines such as Risk Management, Resource Management, Project Management, Portfolio Management, Capacity Planning, Scheduling, and Finance and then approach each facet separately.

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The Integrated PM ‘Un-Conference’

The Integrated PM ‘Un-Conference’

The Integrated PM ‘Un-Conference’ is a free user-organized local community of Integrated PM professionals driving best practices through teaching, learning, and networking. It is modeled after many other open-conferences including BarCamp, ProductCamp, and HealthCamp. The ‘Un-Conference’ is a full-day, participant driven event, providing a face-to-face component to the pmNERDS’ Center of Excellence.

Local Groups within the community provide leadership and organization to the ‘Un-Conference’ event. Unlike traditional conference formats, the local group’s ‘Un-Conference’ has a self-organizing character, relying on the passion and the responsibility of the participants, not just it’s leadership.

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The Project Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

The Project Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)


"If I develop a WBS, then I will have a framework for capturing project information, but how do I create a WBS?"

From the initial Project Plan, we expand our project planning efforts. However, many times before we spend time on this additional planning effort, we go through some kind of review or approval process. Then, once approved, we will continue the planning activities to create a Work Breakdown Structure or WBS.

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