Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Thanksgiving was last week here in the US. This is a unique American holiday to focus on giving thanks for all we have. It’s also a time to think about those that may not be as fortunate and how we can help them. For the first time this year, my family (including my 12 and 15 year old kids) and I volunteered to serve food at a church for those that couldn’t afford their own Thanksgiving meal.

As project managers, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. I have been on the board for the PMI IT & Telecom specific interest group for the past 6 years. There are others in PMI that have volunteered to help victims of hurricanes and tsunamis around the world. Our unique skills at running projects can be a great benefit for people in need. So this holiday season take some time to share your skills by volunteering.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Agile Project Management

“The sage says little and does not tie the people down; and the people stay happy believing that what happens happens naturally.” Tao Te Ching, Chapter 17

I have been doing some work lately with Agile project management, focusing on how to set up just enough process to successfully run the project without creating so much process that it “ties people down.”

I’ve seen projects fail due to lack of planning, and others that get stuck in the planning phase and never really deliver the product. One time I was hired by a company that was trying to launch an internally built sales force automation (SFA) project. The project had been going on for about 6 months and there were lots of programmers hired that were typing away at their keyboards. A huge project schedule had been put together and posted on the wall of the project room, and there was an extensive requirements document; however, it didn’t seem like any real progress was being made. By simplifying the work and breaking it up into iterations I was able to deliver some value to my customer quickly. This first release went out to the field so they could start using it while we kept moving forward with additional features. The key, as is with any Agile project, was to deliver value to the customer quickly.