Quick Test to Determine the Project Management Process Your Company Uses

Process is the gears that connect the team

Process is the gears that connect the team

A first step toward improving your project management process is to know which process you are using

By Robin Rowe

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Gosh!TV) 2016/5/8 – The C++ programming language designer Bjarne Strustrup famously said, “Design and programming are human activities…forget that and all is lost.” Now that we’ve reminded ourselves, what next? What type of process are we using to manage these human activities?

I’ve worked as a consultant to many Fortune 500 companies and start-ups. When taking on a project, one of the first things I want to discover is what process the project is using. Often it’s not the process I was told to expect. I’ve created a set of criteria to quickly determine what process we have by observing the team meeting and checking for project documentation.

How does your project compare with this test?

Agile Process Indicators

1. User stories
2. Daily scrum, 15 minutes
3. 2-week sprints
4. Release early and often
5. Pair programming
6. Kanban board
7. Cloud-based project management

Waterfall Process Indicators

1. Written business requirements
2. Requirements analysis and written specifications
3. Preliminary Design Review (PDR)
4. Critical Design Review (CDR)
5. Charge numbers and change orders
6. Test plan and bug tracking
7. Gantt charts (Microsoft Project)
8. Daily status meetings are backward-looking, 1 hour long and may go longer

Unstructured Process  Indicators

1. No written goals
2. Team members say they don’t know or don’t care when they miss deadlines
3. Budget out of control, illogical cost-cutting and binge spending
4. Top-down directives out of sync with conditions on the ground
5. Death march working conditions expected to compensate for inadequate planning
6. Open communication suppressed, news comes first as rumor
7. Testing takes six months or more, release has been postponed six months or longer
8. Team stressed out, checked out, and key people leaving for better companies
9. Defeatism, project veterans express expectation of project failure and make excuses at every meeting, no time for productive ideas in meetings

Which process do you have?

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