I have been doing project management for seventeen years already. I have carried out software development projects for a bank, for civil engineers and for document management.
- Rational Unified Process (RUP)
- Earned Value Method
- Agile Project Management (based on Scrum )
Although I was always trying to apply correctly the methods, identify and address risks properly, communicate with the team on a daily basis (this has never been a problem in our projects), communicate with the customer often, I have suffered the problems of
- Incorrect estimations
- Having to work long hours and weekends to meet dates
- “Everything is urgent” and must be implemented in the current iteration
- Having to stop the entire project to correct an error in the architectural design
- Delivering a version without having done all the tests for the lack of time.
- Not knowing exactly how to react to eliminate a deviation of time or budget and get the project back to estimates
Until I learned Kanban and attended the David Anderson’s Kanban Coaching Professional Masterclass course, none of the methods had taught me that to make project work flow well I also had to focus on the following:
- Ensure a smooth workflow
- Apply Little’s Law to balance demand and team capacity
- Resolve bottlenecks to improve workflow
- Understand the process variation and the effects of this
Today I wonder why nobody taught me this before? If I knew this before, my projects would have gone much smoother …
Well, so far the time machine exists only in the movies.
Anyway, if you’re a Project Manager, a Team Leader or a Scrum Master, when you have a moment, have a look at these topics. They will help you avoid some fires.