Successful project managers exhibit critical thinking skills. But we are sometimes forced to make rapid decisions in situations for which we have never been trained. Why is it, that we so often demand absolute perfection of ourselves and our fellow project managers? We’re human, not a robot.

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From our work advising and studying client companies, we have discerned many blunders that leaders should avoid if they want to fully capitalize on agile’s potential. Here are key indicators that warn you when you are about to make a requirements blunder.

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With a structured and well-facilitated approach, one can move quickly and carefully to build/rebuild and manage the project portfolio your company requires to face challenges today —while also laying the critical next stepsfor prosperity tomorrow.

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leadership

Who’s the best project manager you ever worked with? This question, posed in a Q&A discussion after one of my recent corporate workshops, stimulated some fond reminiscing about all of the project managers I’ve respected through the years and what made them so good. It also probed into some comparison about what they all had in common. If you take nothing else from this post, do that … take some quiet time perhaps while sipping that second cup of morning rocket fuel, and develop a list of the project managers you’ve respected through the years. Then think about what traits they all had in common.

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Courage

For a scrum team to be successful, it is important to learn of and solve problems as they occur. As we work together, we express how we’re doing, what’s in our way, and our concerns so they can be addressed. It’s an ongoing process of improvement from sprint to sprint. A retrospective session is most effective when everyone on the team is forthcoming about what went well, and also what didn’t. At this meeting, each team member should take time to quietly reflect and answer those two questions as it pertains to him or her. There are as many team dynamics as there are teams, so sometimes getting started is awkward if people feel uncomfortable opening up. Sustained success demands a brave willingness to be ‘All-In.’

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Risk Aware Framework

Complex engineering systems are prone to schedule slips, budget over runs, and a variety of challenges that compromise delivered value. These challenges are a sign of failure on the part of both management and technical roles, but can be overcome through a Risk Aware Framework that integrates the roles into a cohesive systemic and systematic approach to delivering high-value business outcomes. This article shows how your organization can become more effective, more efficient, and more responsive, and enjoy better business outcomes by bridging the gap between Systems Engineering and Program Management via a Risk Aware Framework.

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