Having managed projects in a waterfall structure for 10 years and Agile approaches for 6 years I have learnt a very important fact, sometimes very painfully, it is so very important to ensure that you have in place and follow best practices.
A couple of years ago I went into a company delivering mobile software solutions. The company had grown over the four years since its formation but had never defined how they approached a tender, how they put a proposal together, and how they managed and delivered a project. At the time I started working with them they were working on a six-month project which had started 18 months prior and there was no end in sight.
The problem was that they had prepared no Statement of Work (SoW), there was no scoping done and the payment structure had not been defined. The customer continually questioned the delivery stating that certain functionality was required, and because no requirements had been defined and agreed there was no way out for the company. I immediately put a SoW in place and agreed to new terms with the client; the project was finally delivered three months later.
It is so easy to get pulled along with the energy and emotion of a new project, but it is also important, and it is your job, to keep things at a steady pace following clear practices whether you are following traditional waterfall techniques or Agile and iterative approaches. In this article I am pulling together a selection of quality articles that define and clarify key areas of project management that should form part of your best practices.
This is most certainly not an exhaustive list but the articles included cover the areas that I have found to form the foundation of any project on which I have worked. I have tried to ensure that the articles cover both waterfall and iterative approaches where possible and include the project areas as follows:
- Defining the project
- Build an effective project team
- Project deliverables and procedures
- Risk management
- Change management