Drafting problem statements for Business Cases Why do we need one? When developing a business case, it is common to include a problem statement or similar.  It should be the starting point for many business cases. Sadly, far too many business cases do not contain a clear problem statement or even none at all (1).…

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and how to make it much better: The purpose of this post is to describe the limitations of Scrum and why Scrum alone will often not work.  Later we describe what would work much better, while still using incremental product development. In particular, we focus on how to move beyond the mantra of delivering “value”…

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This is not a Waterfall-versus-Agile discussion: This post is not about Waterfall-v-Agile.  It is much wider than that. In its pure sense, Waterfall is a very specific and rarely used software development life-cycle.  This post is about the realities of projects in business, regardless of how unpalatable those realities may be, and what the real…

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What makes a great Project Sponsor? Having an effective project sponsor can be a very key role in a successful project. However, just nominating someone, even the right person, does not always work out as we hope.  This post describes the attributes of successful project sponsors. So what is the role and responsibility of a Sponsor?…

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Being a Product Owner: the things that are rarely mentioned Having an effective Product Owner (PO) on software development projects is a hugely useful and important role, whether using Agile or other methods.  The way the PO is described, especially by many promoting some Agile methods, is at best ambitious.  In many circumstances, it may not…

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Why it’s a huge mistake to assume anyone can manage a project: Most people don’t plan to go into project management.  They often find themselves in the role more by accident than design. It’s also common that when people first attempt the role, they have little if any preparation or real support, with something that…

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The good things in Agile: Firstly let me say, I am a huge fan of the good that Agile can bring, through some of the practices that it encourages (e.g. collaboration, transparency etc). Like all “new” ideas though, there are some whose interpretation goes beyond the bounds of what is good.  There are also some…

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Time for honesty I have been writing recently on the alarming trends around PM ‘methods’, including the latest edition of the Scrum Guide, which was updated in 2017. There are many people and groups developing and publishing methods, guides and standards etc. and we have to hope they are being written for the good of…

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There are large numbers of online discussions and posts promoting one project management or product development “method” over another.  As a career-long project management practitioner who has seen everything from excellent practice to appalling attempts at managing projects, I feel this is very wrong, damaging and totally the wrong debate. Where does all this ‘methodology’…

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The huge issue with certification training: Is that it’s like mixing oil with water There has been an enormous growth in certification and related training courses (e.g. PMP) in recent years. Firstly, there is nothing inherently wrong with certification itself. However, there is a world of difference between certification ‘training’ and courses that teach real…

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