Project Management

3 Simple Questions for Better Results with Software Projects

Expecting different results from the same behavior is by definition, insanity (as a certain famous person is often quoted for saying). Harry Hall, in his PM South blog, entreats you to stop the insanity. Whether you’re chronically rushed to deliver results on time, or simply cast out to sea without a coach or a partner, there are several ways to self-improve.

Reflecting on Performance

  1. The Good
  2. The Bad
  3. The Different Approach

Whether you’re at the end of a project, at a milestone, recovering from a failed project, or at the closing of an iteration / sprint, it’s never inappropriate to analyze your state of affairs. You can start with the positive. What went well for the project / iteration / segment that you can replicate in the future? Was the coding completed on schedule? Did you properly utilize a change control process?

Next, visit the blunders and failures that occurred for you or the team. Be sure to tread lightly on this topic. Hall recommends turning attention to failed processes and not failed people. Perhaps there were too many requirement defects during testing or maybe your stakeholders were not well informed about critical changes.

Lastly, there’s always room for improvement. Once you’ve identified your team’s strengths and weaknesses, reformulate your approach. Find ways to change the behavior of yourself or others. This can manifest as anything from a traceability matrix, prototypes, context or data flow diagrams, requirements validations, etc. Most importantly, stop repeating past mistakes. Stop the insanity!

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