Author: Lisa

  • Year End Status

    Year End Status

    It’s the end of your year and you have to write up your project status. How’s it going? Have there been struggles and obstacles? Are you wondering if there’s a better way to run your projects? Maybe you’ve heard about Agile and Scrum but are unsure whether these approaches will work for you. Maybe your…

  • How much will it cost?

    How much will it cost?

    💲 How much will this cost? Your great idea runs up against this hurdle right away. Your instinct tells you it’s a great project. How do you answer this question? Turn the question around. 💥 If the project is successful, what is that worth? Early on, it’s impossible to know what a project will cost,…

  • Are you a Planner or a Pantser

    Are you a Planner or a Pantser

    Are you a Planner or a Pantser? And what does this mean about your options for doing projects in your organization? Planner vs. Pantser is a distinction made when folks talk about National Novel Writing Month — taking place now in November. 📖 Planners plot out their novels in advance and write within their outline.…

  • Thinking About Story Points

    Another way to think of points is to realize that we mostly use them in order to get the right number of Stories into a Sprint. Each team is going to assign Story Points uniquely. It’s a language that the team develops. When we’re a new team, we have no idea how many Stories/Points we…

  • Are You a Smart Sponsor?

    Are you a Project Sponsor? Yes, if you launch projects and are accountable for their success. Some clues that you might not be a Smart Sponsor: You wonder why your department’s projects don’t finish on time … or ever … even though everyone is working hard You suspect your department has too many projects You’ve…

  • “Problem” Team Members

    One of my office neighbors asked me about how I handle “problem” team members. His examples were: the team member who doesn’t provide good estimates the team member who doesn’t stop talking in meetings In each case, and I argue, in most cases, there are no problem team members. I firmly believe that most people…

  • Who is the Project Sponsor?

    The project sponsor is the senior leader accountable for the project’s success. The sponsor usually has financial responsibility for the project. He is placed high enough in the organization to be able to resolve inter-department disputes. He should represent the recipients of the project’s results. For example, if the project will result in a tool…

  • Blaming the Stakeholders

    I often hear technical people say: “my customer won’t make a decision and therefore I can’t begin work.” Our job is to make it easy for our customers and stakeholders to make decisions. Try asking them questions to figure out where they are stuck. Can you prototype an interface so that they have something to…

  • Jeff’s Rule of Email

    I’m teaching a course in Managing Projects for Healthcare Administration at the Marlboro College Graduate Center. We were discussing communication and specifically email. Jeff mentioned the frustration that results whenever he sends out an email that includes more than one request, but invariably the replies only include responses to the first request — any other…

  • Curriculum for a Consulting Project Manager 101 Class

    The Project Management Institute (PMI) has many different Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in order to meet the needs of its 250,000 members. PMI has asked the question: What should be the curriculum if we had a Consulting Project Manager 101 Class? Here are my thoughts: The book “Flawless Consulting” by Peter Block should be a…