Successful Collaboration requires Team Engagement

Each person on the project team is essential to a successful outcome. The level of engagement that each team member has can significantly influence the level of success the project will have.  Here are a few ideas for engaging your team.

Understanding the Pain

If you can involve the entire team in reviewing requirements, then the team will understand why change is needed to reduce or avoid the pain being experienced.  Don’t just tell them what you want changed.   This not only helps all team members better develop their piece of the solution for better test planning, it allows the entire team to discuss the problem and possible solutions so the best solution can be selected by everyone – including the customer/business. Read more


What’s a Good Measure of an Agile PM’s Success?


Most agree that an Agile  project managers measurement of success is NOT “product adoption” – rather it includes various metrics.  Some metrics are from PMBOK, such as the triple constraints:  Time – Budget – Scope/Features.

….I would argue there are other key metrics to an Agile PM’s success.   Being an Agile PM is an art, so lets talk about some of that artistic magic…

(1)  Enabling your team to own the project – When everyone owns the project – they also own the success of the project or product adoption.   Many PM’s today are contractors that are handed a project from a PMO department with an End-Date, Budget, and Scope already dictated to them.   How does a PM hit these expectations handed to them?    If a team is going to truly “own” the project, then they must buy into these set expectations to have a chance of being successful.  Agile PM’s success will be directly tied to their ability to build that “buy in” by all team members.

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7 Ways to Avoid Being a Project “Micro” Manager

Micromanaging a project team is akin to managing each task or deliverable with extreme control.  This suffocating management style is likely to put a damper on creativity and inhibit individual growth. There are many reasons why this happens, but in general, it is not a healthy situation for the project manager, employee or team. As a program manager, you want to help project managers improve their performance without stepping on their toes or stepping into their projects. As a project manager, you are keen on making the project a success while balancing the needs of the team, the sponsors, and the organization as a whole.


So, what should you be focused on while others are tackling the work of the project?

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Successful Projects through Agile Project Management

Successful projects are found when project managers (PM) learn to

* Lead a team and not just manage it

* Enable the team to collaborate and self-direct, not just wait to be told what to do

* Facilitate and encourage innovation and creativity in solving problems, not just act as a foreman

Staying aware of the triple constraints (scope, time and resources) is critical, but managing them through the use of a project plan can make it very hard to adjust with changes that inevitably come your way during the project.  Rather, changes can be seen as opportunities to improve the solution and make it fit bestt for the customer / business.

Agile project management is done through the collaboration of teams that consist of the customer, the business, and the project implementation team.

Project Times | Successful Projects through Agile Project Management


Running an Agile Release Planning Meeting, with Dean Leffingwell and Jennifer Fawcett

Release planning is the “pacemaker” of enterprise agility and the Agile Release Train (ART) which aligns the Agile program to a common mission.  Based on nearly a decade of experience, Dean Leffingwell and Scaled Agile have developed a process which has worked with small trains of 40 people to larger trains of 180.

This webinar explains what it takes to run a successful Agile release planning meeting from a scaled point of view (100’s of teams).  Hear real stories and feel what it’s like to be a Release Train Engineer!

What you’ll learn:

  • Overview of Agile Release Planning
  • How to prepare, content preparation, executive, product, and architectural briefings
  • Release Planning Days 1 & 2, ceremonies and timelines
  • Beyond the basics, logistics, and evolution

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Agile Simulation – The Daily Standup Meeting

VideoWhat better way to learn how to do a great Daily Standup than watching it done right before your very eyes in just 10 mins!

First witness a disfunctional way of doing Standups – then see how it should be done.

It really is an excellent example to watch and learn.

Watch the video by clicking HERE


Team Coaching: A Game Changer for Project Management Success

It’s common knowledge that coaching can help individuals improve skills, gain confidence and successfully meet objectives. But when it comes to coaching teams, and in particular project teams, there is a significant added value that augments the overall success of the project itself. Team coaching builds trust among members, fosters collaboration and teaches the group how to be proactive in problem solving and risk resolution.

Using real-life examples, this webinar explores:
• Why team coaching matters in project management
• The challenges of team coaching and how to overcome them
• The benefits of team coaching for both the members and the project
• How to use and apply coaching on a project team

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Communication Secrets for Challenging Conversations

Delivering tough messages, giving critical performance feedback, saying “no” to a client or supervisor—these are just some of the challenging conversations we all face in the workplace; and, as a leader, you’re directly impacted by your ability to communicate effectively. The business results you produce, the strength of your internal collaborations, the effectiveness of your corporate strategy, and the retention of your key employee talent, all depend on the skills you bring to communication and relationship management.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • The three crucial elements of a conversation that will determine success or failure
  • A systematic process to prepare for your most challenging conversations
  • Four key skills for persuading and influencing others Read more

What They Forgot to Tell You About Agile

Do Agile without sprints?   Stop using Story Points?   Create a Microsoft project plan for my sprint?

This webinar covers numerous uncommon ways of being Agile, without conforming to the most common Agile practices.  You will learn what seasoned Agile teams know – that Agile principles can be supported in numerous ways, not strictly by the practices we usually associate with Agile.

DURATION: 1 hour
Earn PDU’s: 1


SPEAKER: Greg Smith is a seasoned Agile coach and the founder of GS Solutions Group. He is a Certified Scrum Master, Certified Agile Project Manager, and a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner. Read more


Agile Practices You Can Try Today

I spoke at a Fortune 50 PMO gathering recently – where the CIO encouraged 100’s of PMs to “try” new things to deliver value faster to customers.  Someone asked,

“What Lean-Agile techniques can I start using tomorrow?”

My responses included the following, which every project and PM can benefit from to stay on budget and on time and on scope !!!

  • Focus on one thing at a time – Studies proove that multitasking is a killer of productivity. You can really only done one thing at a time and every time you try to start something new – you actually take longer at getting everythind done. So, “Stop Starting – Start Finishing !”
  • Make things VISIBLE – If you make the progress of work visible on a board or in a spreadsheet….you can easily see bottlenecks, and adjust when you see problems.  “What you track is what gets done” – so track value being delivered!
  • Burn Charts – Are a great way to visibly let you see how value is really being completed by tracking deliverables, features, … (not tasks getting done). When you see it is not being delivered as estimated – then you can address it quickly to bring the project back in line. It shows you if you are really on schedule or not – predict when you’ll finish too !
  • Define “DONE” – Stop using percentages complete – only when something is DONE is value actually delivered! DONE tells you when you are complete your project. 90% done is not DONE.  Use your Burn Charts to track DONE.