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Top 5 Tips For Effective Project Management

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by: MitchellThomas1992
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Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 Time: 10:32 AM

This approach comes from one a long analysis of Lean and most recently inflences from the great book by Eric Ries, The Lean Startup. It's basic and can be adapted to just about anything in your personal or working life.

Identify Customer Value (Actionable Metrics)

In the Lean Startup Eric calls out 'vanity metrics' as the kind of numbers companies like to throw out to create competitors feel bad, but do not quite mean anything. I agree along with other Eric's assertion that the goal of the startup (and I want to think of each and every project as a startup) is to gain validated Learning as rapidly as possible.

For example, on my project value from the customer's standpoint is functional software that empowers their capability to do scientific research at the fastest and best way possible. Vanity metrics are things like wide range of releases, requirements verified, lines of code, etc.

Model The Value Stream

Everything has a value stream. The work that you do, your own personal projects, everything.

Simply put it's just the way you turn inputs into value extra outputs. It's more compared to a methodology or a project management process, it's the nitty-gritty of how Goods get produced in your project. For that matter it means the exact same thing in an operational setting, that's where the concept came from.

If you are just starting out, all you would like to do is model the reality of your current value stream. you may be not trying to change anything (yet).

Use The Model and Witness Results

Using this model of your value stream, a Kanban board is one example of how to visualize the value stream and in reality use it since you get things done. If your experience is anything like mine, you'll swiftly start to determine opportunities for improvement that had previously never been considered.

On a team, it's vital to draw attention to your observations of how things are working and encourage team members to offer their own opinions. Asking open ended questions like "how do you think this part is working?" can be an excellent technique to stimulate thought and discussion.

I do that day-to-day with my teams, and it's very an every day retrospective about how we are doing.

Solicit Suggestions from one Stakeholders

As you have regular discussions about how things are working, people will have Concepts that are worth experimenting with. Treat Many of these Suggestions along with other respect.

Keep Tips about opportunities for advancement somewhere everyone can see them.

Hypothesis For Testing

Based on all of the ideas, pick one (just one) at a time for testing. This is your approach of gaining validated Learning about a potential method of improvement. This is an experiment.

Every now and then it makes sense to implement the experiment across the board. Sometimes you may like to pick a single team member or customer (or a small group) to pilot the change just before Making it part of the basic process.

As you'll see in the next part, This is where you repeat the cycle. not merely do you propose an experiment, but you define the metrics for determining success or failure when it comes to customer value.

We just extra a brand new validation step into our value stream on one of my teams. It has already proven to be of value, because the actionable metrics were the great deal of discrepancies we can find and resolve as soon as possible. We identified discrepancies that would have only been identified considerably later at the extremely initial week. So we're keeping it. The shorter the feedback loop back to developers, the better.

A smaller feedback loop means much less create time for developers attempting to remember what they did (if feedback is instant, the fixes take much less time to implement) and we produce higher quality software with much less defects.


That's it. Repeat constantly. you should always be testing.

If you keep doing the same thing you did yesterday, don't expect to get better. That will go for any area of life. if you wish to get far better at anything, this is really a great approach to do it.

About the Author

This new write-up was authored on behalf of Concerto, specialising in software project management and project management systems,

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