Project Planning

Product Management Is Really Innovation Management

What is innovation? Innovation is not new. Humans are creative by nature. Innovation is written into our DNA. We have our wits, not our strength or speed, to thank for the fact that we didn’t end up as just so much smooth-skinned lion food thousands of years ago. When faced with challenges, we conceive innovative solutions that change the way we live our lives. Driven by humanity’s intense need communicate, our ancestors innovated from pictures painted on cave walls to spoken language, then to written language, then from handwritten books to the printing press and newspapers, and on to radio and TV. The spiral of innovation has continued into the Internet age with the creation of electronic books, social media,...

The First 100 Days…

Taking over a software project halfway through can be difficult depending on how well the transition is managed. In the first 100 days of the job, your top priority should be establishing trust between yourself and your team members. You need to trust your team to execute the plan and they need to believe that you will give them what they need to accomplish the plan. To gain their trust, we suggest using the following strategies: Listening: One of the qualities of being a great project manager is communication. As someone new to the team, practice active listening. This is important because each project team is unique in terms of its culture, strengths and problems. Learning: Ask the crucial question...

Zen Leadership

The practice of Zen in both business and daily life is centered on the paradoxical acceptance above. As instinctually conflicting as it may seem, to truly be a great leader you must release yourself of your innate desire to lead. We no longer live in a world where the business model of leadership is intimidation, and seeing oneself as the all-controlling dictator will only lead to failing performances of your employees. Demands and threats only create fear and sub-par work. If someone is only concerned about being ‘adequate’ enough to maintain their position, then they will never have those singular breakthroughs that occur when they are genuinely interested in the success of the business.

Iterative vs. Fixed-priced Projects

For those of you familiar with a traditional project management process, you’re probably familiar with a usual project life cycle- plan, budget, design, develop, test and release, A.K.A. waterfall. This style of management can typically be found in fixed-price projects. You may be less familiar with the percentage of projects that utilize this management process, yet fail to stay within the project’s intended time line, budget and scope. According to the “Chaos Report”, a project management research study on software development companies: ...35 percent of software projects started in 2006 can be categorized as successful, meaning they were completed on time, on budget and met user requirements. This is a marked improvement from the first, groundbreaking report in 1994 that labeled...