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Showing posts from July, 2023

Is Scrum better than FDD (Feature-Driven Development)?

FDD is a customer-centric software development methodology that is known for its short iterations and frequent releases. Like Scrum, FDD places the customer, referred to as the project business owner, at the center of the process, requiring their input in the initial design meeting and iteration retrospectives. By prioritizing client requests and responding promptly to their needs, developers ensure client satisfaction through an incremental approach to feature releases. To accomplish this, developers identify feasible features, break down complex requirements into smaller sets of features, and devise a plan to achieve each objective over time. Jeff De Luca and Peter Coad developed FDD while working on a banking project in Singapore in 1997. The FDD process comprises five key steps. First, the chief architect or project leader defines the system's scope and context to establish the overall model. One way to effectively use Feature-Driven Development (FDD) is to generate a list of

Lead Time and Lag time in Project Management

Lead time refers to the amount of time it takes for a project to be finished after it has been initiated. This can be estimated, but unexpected issues or changes in objectives can cause it to deviate from the initial projection if proper measures are not taken. For instance, a customer is on leave and we need an important input from him to proceed further. In project management, lead time refers to the duration required for completing an entire project or a significant phase of it. In Kanban workflows, lead time encompasses all three columns labeled "To Do," "Work in Progress," and "Work Waiting for Next Steps" once the task is added to the board. However, please note lead time is different from cycle time in Kanban project management, as cycle time measures the time taken to complete a task once work has begun on it. Cycle time starts when work on a task begins, not when it is added to the board. Lag time refers to delays that occur between tasks, like

Fascinating 3 P's of Project Management

Did you know about the fascinating "3 P's" of Project Management ? Each one is distinct yet closely related to the others: Projects, Programs, and Portfolios. 1. Projects are temporary endeavors taken on by companies or organizations. These could involve creating a new product, service, or achieving a specific result. 2. Programs are groups of related projects managed together as a cohesive unit. 3. Portfolios encompass various programs and projects within an organization. These can be related or unrelated, but they align with the company's overall strategy. So, essentially, multiple projects make up programs, and multiple programs constitute portfolios. The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines project management as "Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements." For Project Managers , the key task is to strike a balance between project scope (deliverables), ava

Stakeholder Management in Project Management

Do you know what is the most important topic in Project Management ? No doubt, it is Stakeholder Management . The reason behind its significance lies in the complexity of understanding, capturing, and documenting project requirements. To truly comprehend these ideas, it becomes imperative to align them with the needs and expectations of all involved parties. And that's where the concept of stakeholders plays a crucial role. Stakeholders encompass individuals, groups, or organizations with an interest in the project, capable of influencing its outcome through resource mobilization. According to the PMI®, stakeholders are "individuals and organizations who are actively involved in the project or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected as a result of project execution or successful project completion." To effectively manage stakeholders, a thorough analysis is indispensable. This process involves gathering information about them and categorizing them based o

Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development

Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development , proposed by psychologist Bruce Tuckman in 1965, is one of the most famous theories of team development. It describes four stages that teams may progress through: forming , storming , norming , and performing (a fifth stage was added later: adjourning ). This model describes the evolution of a team's dynamics and leadership style as it progresses through these developmental phases. Does Scrum Team also follow Tuckman's model? Yes. All teams, according to Tuckman's approach, must move through each stage before either dissolving or operating at their highest level of effectiveness. The team's maturity is a key factor in determining how quickly it moves through these stages. In Scrum, without proper coaching, not all teams can inevitably progress to the norming or performing stages so quickly. Accelerating the team's transition to the performing stage is one of the main goals of organizations when using Scrum or any other agile m

Why is Scrum being used in your project

Why is Scrum being used in your project❔ 👉 Scrum is an easy process : No, scrum has a unique process that is difficult to master. It is merely a different set of procedures from those you previously followed. Scrum has its own set of guidelines, so using it to simplify things is not an option. 👉 It cuts down on my meetings : Really? Scrum provides clear meeting rituals for teams. Instead of the previous Project Status Meeting, Defect Review Meeting, Go Live Planning Meeting, etc., you now have Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective. If there are fewer meetings, it can be accomplished by adjusting your previous procedure as well. 👉 The teams are enjoying themselves without any stress : No way, scrum activities are time-boxed. Your teams must therefore advance to the point where they can collaborate across functional lines and operate under strict time constraints. 👉 Scrum needs no documentation : Scrum does not discourage documentation and documentatio

Agile Practitioner and an Agile Coach

What is the primary difference between an Agile Practitioner and an Agile Coach , a great question we hear in industry, right? It's true that Agile coaches and Agile practitioners have expertise in Agile methodologies, but an Agile practitioner primarily focuses on executing Agile practices within a team, while an Agile coach takes on a broader role in coaching and guiding teams and organizations through Agile adoption and transformation processes. Let's look at these roles in detail. An Agile practitioner possesses advanced skills in Agile methodologies, embracing change and seizing new opportunities. They adhere to the values and principles outlined in the Agile Manifesto and have a comprehensive understanding of various Agile frameworks, including Scrum, Kanban, and XP. They leverage their expertise to advise teams on best Agile practices and provide guidance throughout the transition process. By assessing the team's current work model and identifying areas for improvem

Project Manager and a Scrum Master (Servant Leader or True Leader)

The difference between the roles of a Project Manager and a Scrum Master (Servant Leader or True Leader) , has become an intriguing and hotly debated subject with the rise of agile techniques and practices. The function of a project manager has changed throughout time as the modern workplace undergoes transformational changes with an emphasis on open culture, innovation, and regular delivery. Let's examine the core of these jobs, their duties, and their distinguishing traits, going beyond simple labels, in order to fully understand this progression. Compared to leadership, management has a more technical and conceptual viewpoint. It functions in a mechanical environment and is mostly focused on duties, control, and the accomplishment of the organization's vision. Delivery on time, control, effectiveness, speed, command, and doing things properly are priorities for management. It emphasizes following established protocols and is process-oriented. In order to create win-win scen

Sprint 0, Hardening Sprint and Release Sprint

Let's discuss 3 scrum anti-patterns, most Agile practitioners argue there is nothing like these 3 in scrum. But unfortunately, something like this exists. Sprint 0 , Hardening Sprint , and Release Sprint are terms used in the context of Agile software development methodologies. While these terms may be used by some teams or organizations, they are not universally recognized or endorsed by all Agile practitioners. Let's examine each of these terms individually: 1. Sprint 0 : Sprint 0 is sometimes used to refer to the initial phase of a project where the team sets up and prepares for the upcoming sprints. This phase typically involves activities such as project planning, defining the backlog, setting up the development environment, other infrastructure, training of tools, and establishing team roles and responsibilities. In Scrum, each sprint is expected to deliver a potentially releasable increment of product functionality hence it is definitely an anti-pattern. 2. Hardening Sp

Cybersecurity in Project Management

In the realm of project management, where success and organization intertwine, it is vital to recognize the equal importance of cybersecurity . For years, cybersecurity has remained a pressing concern for organizations worldwide, fueled by the rise of cybercrimes and complex, devastating attacks recently. Therefore, project managers must remain ever watchful, staying abreast of security threats and trends. Let us now take a quick glimpse into the cybersecurity essentials. Embedding Security at Every Stage : Throughout the various stages of project management, security stands as a vital element. 1. Defining Project Requirements : Security considerations should be integrated from the outset to protect sensitive data collected and stored. 2. Technical Planning : A comprehensive project execution plan is outlined, taking security into account. 3. Resource Management : Budget estimation, team and time management, and risk assessment are vital components that should incorporate security cons

Managing Scope Creep in Project Management

Scope creep , sometimes known as "requirement creep" or "feature creep" describes the phenomenon of project requirements expanding beyond their original scope as the project progresses. This expansion can manifest in various ways, such as transforming a single deliverable into multiple ones, increasing the essential features of a product from five to ten, or reevaluating requirements due to changing customer needs. So let's explore the causes of scope creep and check practical tips for preventing it. While scope creep can lead to delays and additional costs, it is not always detrimental. Customers' needs may evolve over time, necessitating adjustments to the project scope. Consequently, a competent project manager should anticipate and prepare for scope changes. Managing project scope involves implementing controlled and documented procedures for incorporating changes, rather than allowing uncontrolled creep to occur. Monitoring and controlling project chang

Scrumban = Scrum + Kanban

Scrumban combines the principles and practices of both Scrum and Kanban to create a hybrid approach that provides teams with flexibility and adaptability while maintaining some structure. The primary goal of Scrumban is to enable teams to minimize work batching and adopt a pull-based system. By incorporating the visual management and flow principles of Kanban, teams can have a clear visualization of their work, identify bottlenecks, and optimize their workflow. Scrumban takes the framework of Scrum and combines it with the flow-based strategies of Kanban. In Scrumban, the Scrum elements are as follows: planning out tasks at regular intervals, assessing the amount of work that can be accomplished in a sprint, prioritizing activities on demand, making sure that sufficient research has been done before development begins, and organizing tasks through the 'ready' queue. Kanban then provides additional benefits to the Scrumban approach, such as process enhancement, visualization, an

An Intro to Hybrid Project Management

Some many people ask, what are the benefits of hybrid project management ? In essence, hybrid project management is a combination of two different methodologies, such as Agile and Waterfall. So why bother smooshing two different methodologies together? Wouldn’t it be easier just to use one? In some ways, yes. However, the benefit of blended project management is that it allows you to get the best of both worlds from various methodologies. This enables project managers to leverage the strength of their chosen approaches and maximize their efficiency, while also navigating around their weaknesses or potential pitfalls. In the traditional sense of hybrid project management (combining Agile and Waterfall project management), projects are planned utilizing the Waterfall approach and a work breakdown structure (WBS). Thus the teams can get a better idea of the work involved and the project's overall scope. However, projects are carried out utilizing an Agile methodology, which provides c

Empiricism and Lean Thinking in Scrum

Empiricism and Lean Thinking are the cornerstones of Scrum . What does lean thinking and empiricism actually mean? The necessity of learning from experience and basing decisions on what is seen is emphasized by empiricism. This means that in the context of Scrum, the team bases its decision-making on its prior experiences as well as the knowledge acquired during the development process. Lean thinking, on the other hand, emphasizes minimizing waste and concentrating on the most important things. In Scrum, this notion is put into practice by streamlining the development process to get rid of processes or activities that don't offer anything useful to the finished product. The emphasis is on providing value to the customer effectively and efficiently. Scrum uses an incremental and iterative approach to software development. It divides the task into sprints, which are compact, manageable units. A potentially shippable product increment is developed throughout the course of each Sprint

Effective Project Risk Management - An Organized Approach

For organizations to successfully navigate uncertain and complicated contexts, effective risk management is crucial. Businesses may reduce potential threats and seize opportunities by proactively recognizing, evaluating, and responding to potential risks. A organized approach to risk management is essential for achieving this. Identifying the risk is the first stage in risk management. Recognizing threats or uncertainties that could have a detrimental effect on a project, process, or organization is required for this. Technical problems, market shifts, budgetary limits, or human factors are only a few of the many possible causes of risks. Risk identification requires a methodical strategy, which might include brainstorming meetings, historical data analysis, expert judgement, and risk assessment tools. After analyzing risks, it's important to rank them in order of importance and urgency. Prioritization enables concentrated emphasis on the most important risks and aids in effective

Project Risk Management - Qualitative Risk Analysis (QLRA) and Quantitative Risk Analysis (QTRA)

In project risk management , all potential risks are discovered during the "identify risks" phase and recorded in a project document referred to as the "risk register". Then comes qualitative risk analysis. It may then lead to quantitative risk analysis or right away to risk response planning. In other words, quantitative risk analysis is sometimes optional. What do these two distinct risk analysis mean? Both qualitative risk analysis (QLRA) and quantitative risk analysis (QTRA) are critical steps in the risk management process in project management. They perform several functions and offer important information for successfully managing risks. 1. Qualitative Risk Analysis (QLRA): QLRA involves assessing risks based on their probability of occurrence, impact on project objectives, and other qualitative factors. It focuses on understanding the nature and characteristics of risks and their relative significance. QLRA helps in prioritizing risks based on their potentia

Five Whys Analysis - Agile and Waterfall

Do you know that the Five Whys Analysis can be applied to both Agile and Waterfall projects? As an illustration, consider performing a retrospective with five reasons, which entails performing a root cause analysis to determine the main causes of issues or problems. This strategy can be used during the Sprint Retrospective, which in Agile methodologies like Scrum usually takes place at the end of a Sprint. Five "Why?" questions: After determining the primary problem, lead the team in asking a series of "Why?" questions to delve further and identify the underlying reasons. Each "Why?" query reveals a more complex level of the issue. Five passes through this method will study different degrees of causation. After asking "Why?" evaluate the resulting causes and rank them according to their significance and potential for improvement. This will assist the team in concentrating on the most important areas for improvement. Make a plan outlining the pro

Planning - Scrum and Waterfall

Planning is a part of both the Scrum and Waterfall processes, but their approaches to dealing with uncertainty, change, and cooperation are different. While waterfall follows a more rigid and established procedure, scrum embraces change and promotes close cooperation between team members and stakeholders throughout the project. Scrum is built on empirical process control and encourages flexibility, adaptability, and iterative development. The team regularly inspects and modifies its work in response to feedback and altering requirements. Contrarily, a waterfall approach is sequential and linear, requiring that each project phase—including requirements, design, programming, testing, and so forth—be finished before moving on to the next. It relies on in-depth preparation and documentation, leaving little room for modifications or alterations after a phase is complete. In Scrum, Sprint Planning is a crucial activity starting a sprint, which is a time-boxed iteration lasting typically 1-4

An overview on Extreme Programming (XP)

Extreme Programming (XP) is an agile software development process that places an emphasis on efficiency, straightforwardness, and high-quality outcomes through condensed development cycles. In the software development world, it was first introduced by Kent Beck in the late 1990s. Five core values serve as the foundation of XP. 1. Communication : Promoting consistent and efficient communication among team members, stakeholders, and clients. The main form of communication in this scenario is face-to-face interaction. 2. Simplicity : Making every effort to keep software as straightforward in its design and implementation to reduce complexity and make it simpler to comprehend, maintain, and modify. 4. Courage : Encouraging team members to take chances, handle problems, and make required adjustments without worrying about failing. This involves being open and transparent about the project's state and any issues that may have arisen. 5. Respect : Promoting an environment of cooperation a