PMI 9 – Project Integration

This is a post in a series where I will write down what I learned about project management.

Integration is making choices about where to concentrate resources and effort, anticipating potential issues, dealing with issues and coordinating work for the overall project.

Project Charter

The project charter is the document that formally authorizes a project and is issued by the project initiator or sponsor (internal or external).
It answers the Why? question.

It contains normally (some can be optional):

  • the business needs, high-level project description
  • the project justification or purpose, the business case including the return on investment
  • the high level requirements that satisfy the sponsor, the key objectives
  • the assigned project manager
  • the summary budget
  • eventually a draft schedule with milestones
  • eventually the functional organization

The Project Charters Inputs are:

  • the contract (when an external customer)
  • the Statement Of Work (SOW), for example for an internal project (contains the business need or the strategic plan)
  • Standards as governmental or industry ones, regulations, etc.
  • Organization processes, such as standards, policies, guidelines, templates, knowledge from previous projects, etc.

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Book Review: the 7 habits by Stephen Covey – Habit 4 or Think win/win

This is the fifth in a series of articles providing a chapter-by-chapter in-depth “book club” reading of Mr. Stephen Covey’s classic “the 7th habits of highly effective people”.
I’m reading from the 2004 Free Press paperback edition. This entry covers the fourth habit.

With thus habit starts the interdependence or public part i.e. after having successfully built on your private independence.
Before entering into details Covey is illustrating how to build a large emotional bank account thru regular deposits as:

  • Understanding the individual
  • Attending to the little things
  • Keeping commitments
  • Clarifying expectations
  • Showing personal integrity (conforming reality to our words, be loyal to those who are not present )
  • Apologize sincerely

Habit four is think win/win, which is one of the possible paradigm of human interaction, others being for example the win/lose one (competition instead of cooperation).
Three characters trait the Win/win thinking paradigm: integrity, maturity (the balance between courage and consideration) and abundance mentality (there is plenty out there for everybody).

Next: the other habits, from 5 to 7.

An introduction to Scrum

I talked in previus posts about the agile methodology compared with the more classic waterfall one.
Now I will introduce one of the most widely used: Scrum.
In another series I will talk more about how to introduce scrum in a company, and in another post about other agile processes as Lean or Kanban.

A very very short history of Scrum

In 1986, Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka described in an article in the Harvard Business Review [PDF] a new  approach that would increase speed and flexibility in commercial new product development.
They compared this new holistic approach, in which the phases strongly overlap and the whole process is performed by one cross-functional team across the different phases, to the rugby game.
There the whole team “tries to go to the distance as a unit, passing the ball back and forth”.

This article was widely influential in the software development area and several teams tried to put those ideas in place.

Scrum in rugby - Image from BBC

In the early 1990s, Ken Schwaber used an agile approach at his company,  and at the same time, Jeff Sutherland and others  developed a similar approach at their corporation and were the first to call it Scrum (Scrum in the rugby game is a way of restarting the game, either after an accidental infringement or when the ball has gone out of play).

In 1995 Sutherland and Schwaber jointly presented a paper describing Scrum at OOPSLA ’95 in Austin, TX, its first public appearance.  In 2001, Schwaber teamed up with Mike Beedle to describe the method in the book “Agile Software Development with Scrum.”

Continue reading “An introduction to Scrum”