How to start and execute a program

Determine program size  To run a program it is important to evaluate the number of days needed to complete the program. In fact, it is important to determine the budget of the program. To determine the dimensions of the program it is necessary to evaluate the sizes of the projects …

Organizational structures can influence a project

Companies choose their organizational structure based on many factors such as: size, geographic location, the products and services that they will offer, and so on. Functional organization A functional organization is probably the most common type of organizational structure. The organization has groups based on its special functions such as …

How to perform work in Scrum

The team decides about the work In Scrum, after the Sprint Planning, the Development Team starts to work on the Sprint Backlog items. In fact, each member of the team analyzes the items in the Sprint Backlog. Afterwards, the team decides who will work on what tasks. Even if team …

How to evaluate project performance

Project performance by using the traditional approach In traditional project management, project managers can use Earned Value Management (EVM) to evaluate project performance. EVM is a structured project management process which finds variances in projects based on the comparison of worked performed and work planned. This process is used to …

Program scope describes the work to be done

Scope describes the program’s work Program scope describes the work of the entire program and its overall boundaries. Each project of the program must describe its specific scope of work. In fact, each of them contributes to the overall program objectives. To document program scope you can use roadmaps, narratives, …

Factors that can influence a project initiative

Factors that influence an initiative There exist many factors that can influence a project initiative. Projects are influenced by factors internal and external to the organization. For instance, stakeholders, governance, risks and many other factors have influence over projects. These internal and external factors can have a positive or negative …

The Sprint Backlog elements and traits

Increase the level of transparency The Sprint Backlog increases the transparency of information about what is the work planned and accomplished for the next Sprint by the Development Team. In fact, the Sprint Backlog is a highly visible, it represents a snapshot of the work that the Development Team plans …

The best way to determine the project status

The importance of status report It is a common practice to use status reports to monitor project’s progress. Status reports are part of the project management basics. In fact, they are part of the project documentation. Status reports quantify the project’s progress. This helps you to make informed decisions. In …

The project charter authorizes the project

The project charter starts officially the project When a project starts it is important to issue the project charter. The sponsor issues the document at the beginning of the project. The project charter is a document that formally authorizes the existence of a project. It authorizes the project manager to …

Sprint Planning kicks off the Sprint

Sprint planning is one of the events of the Scrum Framework. This event kicks off the Sprint. It can last a maximum of eight hours for a one-month Sprint. For shorter Sprints, the event can be shorter. The purpose of this meeting is to determine the Sprint plan and set …

The building blocks of Agile: Iterations

Agile approaches are characterized by sequence of iterations. In fact, iterations are the building blocks of Agile methods. Each iteration is a fixed-length timebox. Usually the length of iteration can vary between a week and a month. The development team works to deliver a potentially releasable Increment of “Done” product …

Programs are risky initiatives

Program risks can cause a program to fail to meet its objectives. There are different types of risks, and some of them are common to any program. Among these risks we found that the customer may want to change the program goals. The program charter which contains the program’s purpose …

Start from the framework and go beyond

Scrum is a lightweight framework which helps organizations to develop and sustain complex products. The Scrum framework has: Roles: Scrum Master, Product Owner, Development Team Artifacts: Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Increment Events: Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review and Retrospective Scrum addresses complexity by making information transparent. So that, …

Stand-up Meetings and Agile Teams

Agile teams have daily meetings called stand-up meetings. Teams usually have the meeting in the morning which lasts no more than 15 minutes. Stand-up meetings are important to keep the development team on the same page. In other words, teams use these meetings to uncover problems, and ensure the work …

Use Data To Present The Project Status

During the project you, as Project Manager, constantly collect and analyze data. Then, you aggregate and transform this data to become project information. To transform the data you need to correct errors, remove inconsistencies, and eliminate unrelated data. Once all project information is ready, you can present data clearly to …

Sprint planning produces a Sprint Backlog

In Scrum, the definition of what is to be built is created during Sprint planning. Sprint Planning answers the following: What can be delivered in the Increment resulting from the upcoming Sprint? How will the work needed to deliver the Increment be achieved? Sprint planning produces a Sprint Backlog, a …

A standard project has four major phases

A standard project has typically four major phases: initiation, planning, implementation, and closure.  These phases represent the path a project takes from the inception to its end and it is generally called “project life cycle”. There are three main types of life cycles: predictive (waterfall): the project scope, time, and …

Establish the program roadmap to start a program

Before starting a program, Program Managers should establish the program roadmap. A program roadmap is a representation of the program’s direction. It represents a time-scales summary of deliverables. In fact, programs that produce deliverables that will be sold as retail products usually have a roadmap with new offerings several times …

Program Managers gather program requirements

After stakeholder analysis, Program Managers start gathering program requirements. Once program requirements start taking shape, Program Managers should document and review them with key stakeholders. It is important to have a list with all requirements that are within the program scope and collect the ones which are outside. There could …

Strategic changes happen through projects and programs

All strategic changes in an organization happen through projects and programs. In fact, organizations should focus on the highest-stakes, business-critical initiatives. From a business perspective, a project has the objective to take an organization from one level of performance to a higher level. In addition, project managers need to present …

To adopt Scrum you should have guidelines

Organizations who want to adopt Scrum should have guidelines about how to structure the Development Team. The Scrum Master coaches the employees about Scrum and empirical product development and the organization about Scrum values and principles. He/She collaborates with other Scrum Master for organization-wide Scrum adoption. The organization should also …

To start with Agile you should start by forming a team

Companies which want to start with Agile should start by forming a team. An Agile team is cross functional with all of the skills necessary to analyze, architect, design, build, test and deploy the solution. Cross functional teams help organizations put their customers first, by encouraging effective communication across teams. …

Program Managers use the Kano Model

Program Managers can use the Kano Model to decide which features a product or service should have. This versatile model helps Program Managers to categorize program requirements into three categories: basic, performance and excitement. Stakeholders rarely mention or discuss basic needs when they are interviewed, but they are unhappy if …

A project is a temporary endeavor

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. The end is reached when the project’s objectives have been achieved or when the project is terminated because its objectives will not or cannot be met, or when the need for the project no longer …

External factors can play a crucial role on many programs

There could be legal requirements that restrict what can be done for a program. Program deliverables can be affected by regulations for protecting privacy, handling financial information and so on. For this reason, when a program begins, Program Managers should review external requirements, organizational standards, technological capabilities and other external …

Companies are investing money to create open work environments

Companies today are investing money to create open and collaborative work environments. Studies reveal that the benefits of teamwork and collaboration are different across industries, businesses and even generations. In general, a collaborative environment offers companies and workers several benefits. Project team members who work in a collaborative environment can …

In Scrum, there are no managers for team members

The Development Team manages how the development work is planned, performed and controlled. Whereas, the people aspects of the Scrum Team like hiring, firing, compensation and other aspects are handled by HR authority in the organization. It is only the Development Team that decides how to get the development work …

Multitasking is neurologically impossible

Some researchers have renamed it switch tasking, that means juggling from one task to another. Multitasking affects your performance and the quality of your work.  Indeed, performing several decisive tasks in parallel reduces your overall performance by 20 to 50% while extending the completion time from 30% to 200% and …

The Voice of the Customer

The Scrum Product Owner is the Voice of the Customer. The ideal Product Owner is the person paying for the product and generally speaking it is a business-facing person. It is important that he/she understands the market, product, business and any constraints involved. The role requires strong inclination towards a …

Agile approaches use servant leadership

Agile approaches use servant leadership to get the most out of project teams. In general, a servant leader works tirelessly to develop his or her team and is focused on what they can do for others. A servant leader thinks in terms of the needs of the team rather than …

Everything Starts With a Well-Structured Meeting

Programs are complex, so during program startup meeting it is important to spend some time discussing the overall approach the program will use. The startup meeting can begin by reviewing the agenda and clarifying the overall objectives for the meeting. As the meeting proceeds, the Program Manager presents the program …

The Value Maximizer in Scrum

The Product Owner maximizes the value of the product by constantly collaborating with stakeholders. He/She is responsible for maintaining the product backlog order by sequencing the items to best achieve company goals. Product backlog items are constantly updated by the Product Owner who looks for the latest insights and market …

How can companies switch to Agile?

Many companies are not able to make the switch to Agile approaches (from predictive to agile) overnight. Usually, the bigger the company the longer it will take to change from one approach to another. To reach the objective it is important to plan a gradual transition. In detail, teams can …

The Scrum Master is fundamentally a coach

A Scrum Master is a coach at organization level. A Scrum Master is a coach who coaches the development team in executing Agile practices to complete the work the Product Owner prioritizes. He/She coaches the Development Team to create high-value products. In addition, he/she coaches the Product Owner about managing …

Project Managers combine different life cycles

To reach a certain goal Project Managers can combine elements of different life cycles (predictive and agile). A combination of different approaches generates a hybrid approach. For example, a Project Manager can follow agile approaches by using short iterations, daily standups and retrospectives.  At the same time, in the same …

The kick-off meeting guarantees a healthy start

The first component of a program plan is the program kick-off.  Program Manager has to organise kick-off meeting to guarantee a healthy start for the program. The suggestion is to create a clear and motivating vision that describes why the program matters. The Program Manager should work with the program …