Agile Retrospectives: Making good teams great (Book Review)

Overview

  • The aim of the book is to introduce a structure for retrospectives and to walk the reader through planning, designing and leading a retrospective, with activities and guidance on how to use them
  • The book appears to be aimed at people who want to use retrospectives in their organizations, whether these organisations are currently using Agile techniques or not.

Continue reading “Agile Retrospectives: Making good teams great (Book Review)”

Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance (Book Review)

Overview

  • This very popular book looks at the relationships between success, failure, and improvement.

  • Drawing from approaches used by aviation and sport, it suggests ways to improve how we think about our experience to learn how to do things better.
  • Unusually for a book review on this blog, this book is not aimed at project management professionals particularly, but falls more into the category of “general self help”. I reviewed it because so many of my project management professional friends told me that I should read it (including the PMO Flashmob Book Club night)!

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Images of Projects (Book Review)

This book recommends that project practitioners should consciously view projects through multiple “lenses” or “filters” to gain different perspectives. This approach directs attention to project aspects that might not otherwise be considered, which will affect the action taken, and hence the results obtained.

Considerable repetition of the principles and case study content (mainly to make it easier to use for reference), and overlap between the images caused me to have several déjà vu moments in reading it straight through, but the approach should be useful to PMs (on projects and programmes) and PMOs (to challenge PMs on their view of projects, and to think about portfolios) at all career stages. Continue reading “Images of Projects (Book Review)”

What has the PMO ever done for us?

What has the PMO ever done for us

With all due acknowledgement (and apologies) to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, whose film The Life of Brian inspired this post.

THE INTERIOR OF A DIRTY CITY PUB. A SHADY BACK ROOM WITH A CONSPIRATORIAL ATMOSPHERE. We join a meeting of the Project Managers’ Revolutionary Front, where Brother Reg (the chairman of the meeting) is proposing a motion to the members (all Project Managers), and a CxO guest… Continue reading “What has the PMO ever done for us?”

Project Psychology (Book Review)

This book addresses a gap in the Project Management literature – how people and their behaviours contribute to project failure, and shows the reader how psychology can improve the chances of project success.

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Gower Handbook of People in Project Management (Book Review)

Let me start by saying that this is BIG book. As it would take me a very long time to read the whole thing (and I doubt that the book is meant to be used that way) I will base my review on a selection of chapters that appeal to me rather than the whole thing. Continue reading “Gower Handbook of People in Project Management (Book Review)”

When the Project Sponsor is just too important to be effective

Photograph of a door with a sign on it saying "Project Sponsor - No entry unless authorised"

As a project manager, there are a few things you want in a project sponsor:

  • A genuine interest in the success of the project
  • Sufficient “clout” and credibility to argue for the project’s priority against other projects
  • Availability to give ad hoc direction, sign off key documents, etc., as and when required

Failure on the part of the sponsor to fulfil any of these criteria can cause the project serious problems.

You might think that the sponsor’s interest in the success of the project could be taken as read, but this can be lacking, especially if the sponsor did not initiate the project but was “volunteered” for the role (usually by their boss). Continue reading “When the Project Sponsor is just too important to be effective”

How to make sure that Lessons Learned stay that way

I often wonder just how much project management organisations really learn from project successes and mistakes. I think we could all definitely learn better than we currently do.

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How to create a streamlined project management methodology

How do you develop a project management methodology that isn’t too heavy or too light, that respects the experience of project managers, and that is accessible? Here’s how I approached it…

How to create a streamlined PM methodology Continue reading “How to create a streamlined project management methodology”