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Excel: The Agile Project Manager’s Duct Tape

Duct tape–good in a pinch! I just read one of the many surveys conducted on the state of Agile development. In this particular study, the respondents were asked about the specific agile tools they used. The number one tool used by the more than 4,000 respondents was, you guessed it, Microsoft Excel . 69% of the participants reported it was their tool of choice followed by Microsoft Project which came in at 48%. Way behind these two Microsoft products were some of the newer suite of  tools developed specifically for the Agile development environment. Seems like old habits die hard. Excel has been around a long time. Read More »

The PMBOK 5th edition: what the changes mean to you…watch our free video(s)

Joe Czarnecki, PMP, MSP In preparation for the change from PMI’s PMBOK® 4 th to 5 th editions, we at ESI , have released a video that describes all the changes to the PMBOK®, Knowledge Area by Knowledge Area, including a discussion of how the changes will impact practitioners AND those who are studying for the exam. Joe Czarnecki, my colleague, and long time ESI PMBOK guru and project management specialist, breaks down what has changed and explains the impact of the changes.   The video is about 25 minutes long, and can be found here: Additionally, we have broken the full video into a series of 12 videos that outline the specific differences between the 4 th and 5 th editions – with one video for each Knowledge Area. All of the videos have been added to our YouTube channel here: . We hope you find these videos useful. Please pass the links along to anyone who “needs to know.” If you have any specific questions, comment on the post and I’ll forward to Joe. You won’t get better insight! Read More »

If your organization isn’t good at project management, Agile practices will make you worse

Dr. Fred Brooks. When he says there’s no Silver Bullet, he means it. If you are reading all the hype surrounding Agile, you’d have to think it’s that illusive Silver Bullet that Fred Brooks wrote about in his 1986 landmark article entitled No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accident in Software Engineering .  Most people, when in a logical and rational state, would agree that excellence in project management, and specifically in the field of software development, takes time, discipline, training, tools, and the right level of executive support. However, many try to shortcut their way to excellence by jumping on any bandwagon that happens to be rolling by; and, today, that bandwagon’s got Agile written all over it. Read More »

5 Pitfalls that Prevent us from Delivering what the Customer Really Needs

It’s well known that a large number of projects fail in some way or another. They are either cancelled prematurely, delivered late, cost too much, or they don’t deliver the expected benefits. It’s often this last reason that’s the worst one. Depending on the size of the overrun to budget or schedule, the organisation may be able to absorb it and live with it. But if the project doesn’t deliver the expected benefits, the rationale for undertaking the  project is at stake.  The dis-benefits may even be so significant that the delivery does more harm than good and has to be rolled back.   Have a look at the cartoon below. Read More »

As a Project Manager would you rather your team be more innovative or more productive? Marissa Mayer has definite ideas

Yahoo! remote employee contemplating his future Marissa Mayer , the new head of Yahoo! , has just caused a major brouhaha by abolishing the company’s work-at-home policy and ordering everyone to work in the office. Why? Because she believes that working face-to-face fosters a more collaborative culture for the simple, yet powerful reason, that people simply talk to one another more. And when they do get back to work, they’ll work in an office environment physically configured (lots of open spaces, no private offices or cubes, etc. ) to promote dialogue, not just among those who work together on teams, but with as many people as possible. All for the objective of encouraging better communication and having impromptu, serendipitous chance encounters with colleagues that may yield greater innovation. Read More »