My Articles

Some lessons learnt and experiences on leadership and management

Can companies neglect to adopt a change management strategy?

The last decade has shown explicitly how the advances in technology are transforming the way organisations work and adapt to change. To facilitate innovation in your organisation, you might want to consider building change capability through one of the well known models, with an eye to the disruptive power of millennial leaders.

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Stop living in fear and reach your objectives!

I talk to a lot of people every day; most of them have dreams, many are passionate about their aspirations, a purpose drives some of them, only a restricted few seems quite comfortable they will reach their objectives in the long run. Whether they openly admit it or not, the vast majority of people feel they have lost their passion at some point, or that fear is preventing them from keeping up with their aims. Learn how to stop living in fear and meet your objectives!

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The Project Manager: an heretic in the Agile landscape?

The debate began almost as soon as Agile started spreading. Being lean requires that we abandon the outdated model of software delivery, and we embrace a new vision. In this new world, the client is not only a customer but primarily a member of the team, and this...

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Understanding (and using) the burndown chart

What is a burndown chart? It is a very simple, easy to read chart. Read this article to discover how it works and how to use it properly to convey the right information to your executive stakeholders. The burndown chart will have no more secrets for you. Gift alert: my burndown generator is available for download at the end of the post!

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Who are the rock stars of project management?

A few days ago somebody asked me whom I consider project management “rock stars”. I immediately thought that every single project manager, saving some projects someplace in the world, genuinely deserves some kudos. However, it is true that there have been some remarkable individuals that laid down the foundations of the profession and are worth mentioning.

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Switch to Agile in seven steps

Replacing old methodologies with Agile determines a complete shift in roles and values and that is why it will not succeed if the whole organisation does not decide the be “agile” at all levels. There are seven important steps that anyone willing to enforce Agile across the company should bear in mind.

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The top 5 mistakes made during a discovery phase

When properly managed, the “discovery phase” could ensure the project starts with the right foot, with clear requirements and a detailed plan. This are the top five mistakes that could ruin your discovery and make your project really go south!

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I.N.V.E.S.T. on good user stories

One of the most interesting techniques I used to validate the backlog in its entirety lays in the motto “INVEST in good stories”, where INVEST is an acronym that resumes the qualities every user story should have: Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Small, Testable.

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Project Estimate: three-point estimation

The fact that we are not good at estimating time does not mean that we should not do it. We just need to do so factoring in the intrinsic uncertainty generated by personal biases. That is possible with range estimating techniques, such as the three-point estimation, whose ultimate purpose is to establish the range of the total project estimate using three values: a best case, a worst case, and a most likely case.

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Project Estimates: Story Points

What is the best way to estimate a new project?
The answer may vary according to the pre-existing process established within your organisation. The methodology adopted for delivering will, for instance, determine whether or not you can estimate with Story-points – which would not be possible in a Waterfall framework.

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Do not forget the iron triangle. Ever.

Once upon a time there was Waterfall. Everybody hated it, the management, in particular because the company-supplier was the sole responsible for unreliable estimates and any delay was impacting the profitability. Full stop. It was the iron triangle and no one ever dared to question it.

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Increase project delivery success slicing user stories correctly

One of the main steps in every Scrum project is the commitment of the team to delivering the user stories by the end of the Sprint, and we know how binding that commitment is for every client. That commitment inevitably creates an expectation that will end in disappointment should the team fail to deliver.

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Why your Scrum project is not working

There are several reasons why impediments are not identified and taken care of, but the major one is the fact that some basic Scrum recommendations are disrespected or ignored.

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Is the Business Value still a thing?

Scrum facilitates the adoption of an Agile approach in a broader chunk of the sales process since it recommends that the Business Value be a mandatory property of every Story.

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So, you want to be a Project Manager

I have been recently asked, on Quora, to mention lessons learned relevant for somebody about to begin his first employment as a Project Manager. Writing that answer, gave me the chance to think about what it takes to be a project manager.

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Definition of Ready and Definition of Done

Are we always clear on what is really done? And even more stubbornly I wonder, are we clear on what is ready to be done? You will discover, if you did not already, without these two essential notions our Agile process turns out being entirely incomplete.

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“Walk out of a meeting if it lasts more than 30 minutes.” (S. Jobs)

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Run effective meetings

A short e-mail, a quick phone call, a brief IM chat are usually good ways to discuss open topics, share information or tackle simple issues, but sometimes a meeting is the most effective way to set clear action points and get specific commitment from all the stakeholders.

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Effort, Duration, Elapsed Time

People that are not used to project management terminology, or more specifically to the waterfall approach, might have some confusion about the difference between duration, effort and elapsed time. Let’s try and clarify how to use this terms correctly.

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