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Elyssa Pallai

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Digital marketer and translator, Elyssa spends her time putting NPD and engineering concepts into plain english and working on new and meaningful ways to connect with Playbook's amazing clients.

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Five Things Innovative, Lean and Agile Project Managers are Changing About the Way They Work

Elyssa Pallai- 02/25/14 11:45 AM

Product development should be fun, exciting, predictable, and of course profitable too. We also believe it is possible to have schedules that satisfy management and that the project team believes in as well.

5 Things Project Managers Know about Project Acceleration 

Here are five things the most innovative lean and agile project managers know about running projects faster, while delivering higher quality, more innovative products.

  1. Make work visible

    When the project team, management and the wider organization has a complete view of the work that is underway, individual work schedules can be effectively managed. In matrix organizations, managers can better gauge availability of staff and avoid work overload and ultimately avoid slowing down the entire system from that overload. Most importantly, team members’ priorities are clear – keeping projects zooming forward at breakneck speed.

  2. Create velocity, initiative and focus through frequent communication

    Activities like daily 15-minute stand-up meetings help drive velocity, initiative and focus through active communication. Teams are inspired when they know their activities have a real impact on achieving a particular long or short-term goal, or they are helping their teammate achieve their next milestone.

  3. Learn early

    Early learning decreases project risk and increases project velocity and the ability for teams to innovate. Reducing batch sizes in our work, test, and communication paths results in earlier learning. As an example, only meeting as a team once-per-week delays learning and therefore increases risk. De-batching design and test activities accelerates information generation.

  4. Use a distributed tool

    Tools that allow for distributed management of project activities and tasks empower teams. Team members know best how long it takes to deliver on their particular activities. Therefore, the best people to keep those activities up to date and create the task detail required to ensure timelines are predictable and manageable. Distributing plan management also frees up the project manager to focus on strategic activities like finding better, faster ways to innovate.

  5. Baselining project plans has changed

    No longer is every step in the project schedule expected to go the way it has been planned. Even the Major Milestones are expected to move some from their planned dates. Regardless of the flexibility required for the subtasks, the final launch Milestone can be fixed with confidence, by using the first four tips, along with good planning, a Project Buffer shared by the team, Project Risk Management, and measurements and control over Resource Availability.

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