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Project Management Basics – Chapter 16 – Agile – Product Roadmap

“Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” Richard Cushing “A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.” H. Stanley Judd The product roadmap is a recurring source of confusion for students aspiring to the Project Management Institute Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification. I believe it is because we describe the roadmap as a document that describes the vision and strategy, helps align

Project Management Basics – Chapter 15 – Agile Rituals – Shu Ha Ri

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” Bruce Lee “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle I first heard of Shu Ha Ri in an Aikido Dojo. I was taking Taekwondo under Master Choi in a small school in Augusta, GA. My friends and I were consumed by the sport for several years, training constantly and regularly competing in local tournaments. I was attending a tournament in Columbia, SC, where I m

Project Management Basics – Chapter 14 – Agile Rituals – The Daily Scrum

“The human soul can always use a new tradition. Sometimes we require them.” Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline “We are our culture and tradition; if there is no culture or tradition we are no one.” Tamerlan A Kuzgov The rituals of agile matter. Several weeks ago there was a survey posted on LinkedIn that asked about the daily scrum. It specifically asked if the daily scrum was necessary for agile development. I can’t recall the survey results, but one my colleagues commented

Project Management Basics – Chapter 13 – Change Control

"It's a bad plan that admits of no modification." Publilius Syrus "A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." Proverb I've taught thousands of students who were preparing for a variety of different PMI® certifications, and one of the topics that is often a challenge for them is integrated change control. Let’s see if I can simplify that topic. Predictive projects have several core principles, but the cornerstone is establishing a baseline. We gather requiremen

Project Management Basics – Chapter 11 – Occam’s Razor

“Occam’s razor uses the least energy; it is the most economic solution. Nature always operates this way, and it does so because it is mathematical. If it were not mathematical, it could never do what it does and would degenerate into instability and chaos.” Thomas Stark, Extra Scientiam Nulla Salus: How Science Undermines Reason “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” Albert Einstein What is Occam’s razor and why am I discussing it in th

Project Management Basics – Chapter 10 – Three Pillars of Agile

“Agile is to continue delivering, with quality; ASAP and AEAP; as soon as possible; as easily as possible.” Vikrmn: CA Vikram Verma, Agile Able: Project Management Simplified “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” Stephen Hawking Agile uses the iterative approach of repeating a series of structured development cycles where knowledge is gained about the final product, and an incremental approach by providing working software to the customer after each development cy

Project Management Basics – Chapter 8 – Predictive, Iterative, Incremental, Adaptive

"Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning." Winston Churchill "Plans are worthless. Planning is essential." Dwight D. Eisenhower I think this is one of the topics that the PMBOK® makes unnecessarily complicated. Here is a quote from page 19 of the PMBOK, 6th Edition: “Project life cycles can be predictive or adaptive. Within a project life cycle, there are generally one or more phases that are associated with the development of the product, service, or r

Project Management Basics – Chapter 7 – The Business Analyst

“To think or not to think? That is the new question.” Nadina Boun, The Thinking Man, Paralysis by Analysis “The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step outside the frame.” Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet A project has a start, a finish, and a unique outcome. The project manager normally helps to write the Charter, and that document sanctions the project and allows the organization to expend resources. The project manager then develops and exec

Project Management Basics – Chapter 6 – The Benefits Management Plan

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Sun Tzu “Strategy is a commodity; execution is an art.” Peter Drucker Organizations should have a strategic planning process and use that to identify threats and opportunities. The threats and opportunities are used to develop a “to be” state, and a gap analysis should be conducted to identify the delta between that and the current state. Projects are then initiate

Project Management Basics – Chapter 5 – Product Metrics Part 2

“That which cannot be measured cannot be proven.” Anthony W. Richardson, FULL-SCALE: How to Grow Any Startup Without a Plan or a Clue “What science has failed to notice is that the measurement has become more real than the thing being measured.” R.A. Delmonico In my last article I discussed the importance of differentiating between product and project metrics. I specifically made the point that only focusing on the success of the project could lead to a product or deliverabl

Project Management Basics – Chapter 4 – Product Metrics

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts” Albert Einstein “What gets measured, gets managed.” Peter Drucker Last week I asked the question “Can I have a well-run project that delivers an unwanted product?” Sadly, the answer is “yes”. It happens all the time because organizations either don’t know project management basics or because management intentionally rejects good practices. Project should be initiated because someone has

Project Management Basics – Chapter 1 - Overview

The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Peter Drucker, Management Consultant and Author “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” – Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group Why do we start projects? The PMBOK® tells us that a project is a “temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.” But why do we do them? The PMBOK® answers that question by stating that projects are done to drive change, enable b

My experience with “Cancel Culture”, Part 12 – Lessons Learned Part 4

“It happens; incompetence is rewarded more often than not.” Jeff Lindsay, Darkly Dreaming Dexter “Never give a clown too many balls to juggle.” Will Leamon I was a victim of “cancel culture”. In the beginning I wasn’t even aware it was happening. I went from being the second in command of a non-profit to being completely removed from that organization in less than 6 weeks! If you haven’t read the story, you can find it beginning on my October 14 post. Had I realized I was bei

My experience with “Cancel Culture”, Part 11 – Lessons Learned Part 3

“The most dangerous irony is, people are angry with others because of their own incompetence.” Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words “Secrecy breeds incompetence because where there is failure, failure is kept secret.” Julian Assange I was a victim of “cancel culture”. In the beginning I wasn’t even aware it was happening. I went from being the second in command of a non-profit to being completely removed from that organization in less than 6 weeks! If you haven’t read the story, yo

My experience with “Cancel Culture”, Part 10 – Lessons Learned Part 2

“Useful men, who do useful things, don't mind being treated as useless. But the useless always judge themselves as being important and hide all their incompetence behind authority.” Paulo Coelho “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” Mark Twain I was a victim of “cancel culture”. In the beginning I wasn’t even aware it was happening. I went from being the second in command of a non-profit to being completely

My experience with “Cancel Culture”, Part 9 - Lessons Learned Part 1

“The problem with incompetence is its inability to recognize itself.” Orrin Woodward “When success and incompetence meet, disaster is not far away.” Robert Kiyosaki I was a victim of “cancel culture”. In the beginning I wasn’t even aware it was happening. I went from being the second in command of a non-profit to being completely removed from that organization in less than 6 weeks! I have been an executive in a large organization for almost two decades, so that was quite an i

My experience with “Cancel Culture”, Part 8 – How I got canceled: The Final Result

“Useful men, who do useful things, don't mind being treated as useless. But the useless always judge themselves as being important and hide all their incompetence behind authority.” Paulo Coelho “There are few things more dangerous than a mixture of power, arrogance and incompetence.” Bob Herbert Cancel culture is part of our society now. You can’t just disagree with someone; you must destroy them. A friend and I were canceled from a nonprofit fraternal organization, and I am

My experience with “Cancel Culture”, Part 7 – How I got canceled: They use your decency against you

“A campaign ought to demonstrate the basic human decency of the candidate. That means your First Amendment rights end at the tip of your opponent's nose - even in the matter of political rhetoric.” Mike Pence “It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.” H. L. Mencken Cancel culture is part of our society now. You can’t just disagree with someone

My experience with “Cancel Culture”, Part 6 – How I got canceled: He owned the system

“Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad.” Henry Kissinger “Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect any who seek it.” Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune Cancel culture is part of our society now. You can’t just disagree with someone; you must destroy them. A friend and I were canceled from a nonprofit fraternal organization, and I am sharing the process that was used. To battle something, you must first understand it. I’ll then explain what I could have done di

My experience with “Cancel Culture”, Part 5 – How I got canceled: Abuse the process!

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” Thomas Sowell “Anything is better than lies and deceit!” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina Cancel culture is part of our society now. You can’t just disagree with someone; you must destroy them. A friend and I were canceled from a nonprofit fraternal organization, and I am sharing the process that was used. To battle