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.