6 simple ways to make every project successful

My latest article for The Business Journals is “6 simple ways to make every project successful“.  Below is the start:

Running a software development company for more than two decades has given me a lot of insight into making projects work.

Clients should expect fast, accurate and nearly immediate benefits from development projects that used to take months or even years to yield results. The strategies we’ve adapted to meet client expectations are useful no matter what type of business you’re in today.

Read the full copy on The Business Journals website.

Agile Project Planning: How to Budget When Using Agile

The holidays are approaching. For many kids, this means writing long, wish-filled letters to Santa in hopes of snagging enough toys and games to keep themselves satisfied throughout the new year. While this strategy frequently works for children with indulgent parents, it’s a poor model for devising agile project planning budgets for IT.

Yet agile project budgeting is remarkably similar to kids at Christmas for many project managers. They’re asked to deliver a wish list of projects and price tags in December to serve as the foundation for the next year’s budgets. Project managers are reduced to guessing at (and hoping for!) what they think seems like reasonable projections and budget requests. This involves trying to define most of an agile project plan’s requirements in advance, or what IT business consultant and writer, Scott Ambler, calls “the classic Big Requirements Up Front (BRUF) tactic.” He correctly notes that BRUF is rarely accurate.

Read the full post on the Intertech blog.

Presentations from Intertech’s 25 Anniversary Learning Summit

If you weren’t able to make it to Intertech for our 25th anniversary, here are the talks from my fellow presenters.  Senior Intertech Consultant Jim Karg delivers a presentation on The Internet of Things (IoT) for Business.  Lonnie Weaver-Johnson, Agile Coach and Instructor, presents on Organizational Benefits from Agile and Scrum Adoption.  Watch their presentations below.

 

Working with an IT Consulting Firm-Leaving the Client Better Off

Man-vs-machineAt the end of an engagement, we believe the customer should be stronger than when we started.

For example, on a recent engagement the improvements included a product platform used as a base for the organization’s different software products and a shift from managing projects using waterfall approach to Agile and Scrum

What’s interesting in the above example is neither was in the project’s original charter.

 

Working with an IT Consulting Firm-Being a Good Customer

Good-CustomerWhat makes a good customer? Isn’t it the job of a consultant to make the relationship work? Like all positive relationships, it’s a two-way street.  Here are a few thoughts on being a good customer.

Be Flexible

It’s no secret it’s a tight market for talent. If you’re looking at the credentials of the team members down to the minor revision-level, you may lose out.  For example, if there’s not a 100% fit to your technology set like a JavaScript library, have the team members used similar or competing frameworks?

Be Quick

Setup your process for interviewing a consulting firm or consultant to be thorough but quick to commit if you’ve found a fit. Top talent is rarely sitting on the sidelines for long.

Be Effective

  • Communicate expectations
  • Remove roadblocks and political boundaries
  • Be active and engaged in the process and project
  • Communicate
  • Pay according to the terms