What is Backlog?
A project backlog is an essential tool for any project manager to use when planning and executing their projects. It helps keep track of what needs to be done, who has been assigned tasks, and how much work is left to complete everything on time.
Acceptance Criteria are the conditions of a project, product, or aspects within them (such as sprint user stories or test cases) that must be met before deliverables are accepted. Agreeing on good acceptance criteria upfront with a user reduces the risk that development will not meet expectations.
Definition of Done
The Definition of Done (DoD) is based on the agreed criteria that must be met for a project team to consider an aspect of a project shippable or complete. The DoD establishes a shared understanding across the team what must be done for a user story, feature or product to be considered finished.
An Eisenhower Matrix is a productivity tool and framework that helps to prioritise tasks based on urgency or importance. It is a useful framework to enable a Project Manager to determine which tasks to prioritise in order to complete first and which tasks to defer or delegate.
Net Present Value
Net Present Value (NPV) or Net Present Worth (NPW) is a capital budgeting method used as part of a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) to determine the profitability of an investment. Net Present Value allows project stakeholders to determine if future benefits are more or less than the initial investment.
A program manager is someone who is responsible for leading a number of interdependent projects to achieve strategic objectives. The Program Manager focuses on overall benefits realization and achieving organizational goals rather than managing short deadlines and individual deliverables.
Sunk costs are expenses incurred to date in a project that are already spent and as a result cannot be recovered. Sunk costs are fixed and do not change irrespective of the levels of productivity of a project or operation. Sunk cost examples include rent, subscription fees or hardware.
Cost Benefit Analysis
Cost benefit analysis or CBA is a process or tool to support decision making in projects. CBA evaluates the cost versus the benefit of a project to determine project feasibility (how much the benefit outweighs the cost) as well as provide a decision making metric when weighing up multiple options.
Opportunity Cost is a concept in economics which quantifies the impact of selecting one option instead of another ‘next best’ alternative. In Project Management it is applied to quantify the missed opportunity when deciding to use a resource (e.g. investment dollars) for one purpose versus another.
What is MVP?
MVP is an acronym for Minimum Viable Product which is a concept from Lean Startup which focuses on validating a product idea with customers early in the development lifecycle. An MVP has just enough features to be usable and relies on early adopter feedback to inform ongoing improvements.
Scrum is an agile methodology that was originally designed as a framework to achieve faster and more efficient commercial product development. The term Scrum was borrowed from the game Rugby and was specifically used to highlight the emphasis on teamwork in achieving common goals.
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
The easy definition for KPI is that it stands for Key Performance Indicator which is a measurable value which can indicate progress to a project outcome or result. KPIs can be set against any data attribute as long as it is measurable which means KPIs can be used in any project methodology.
Project Portfolio Management
Project Portfolio Management or PPM as it is more often referred to, is the organisation of multiple projects based on a set hierarchy with common data attributes. It also describes the processes that are managed at each level of the hierarchy, who will manage them and how they will be managed.
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
A typical WBS is a hierarchy comprising 4 levels; a project goal, broken down into project objectives, broken down into project outputs, broken down into project activities and deliverables. It can be used for both waterfall (all of the work) or Agile (an iteration) planning.
SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. SWOT analysis is a planning technique that organises identified factors under each heading for the purpose of developing strategies to manage them (such as exploitation, mitigation or avoidance).
Statement of Work
A Statement of Work or SoW is a formal document, which details the agreement between a supplier or vendor and the customer. It includes the details on what will be delivered, the timeline of delivery and the cost. It is useful for vendor governance as well as controlling delivery and scope.
Project Scope is the work, deliverables or the required (working) product features that need to be done in order to complete a project. Scope Creep is the more insidious introduction of new requirements or work incrementally without governance or risk management.
Scaled Agile Framework
The Scaled Agile Framework or SAFe is a freely available set of integrated principles, workflows, knowledge (or competency areas) and practices to enable organisations to adopt Agile at scale. The benefit of SAFe is that it is always evolving to remain relevant within current market conditions.
A risk is something that could happen and, if not managed (or treated) and an impact occurs. Risk Management in projects can be defined as the identification, analysis and treatment of potential impacts (based on an assessment of likelihood and consequence) to the project.
RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed. Each of these aspects describes how a role will work within processes on a project. A RACI chart is the mapping of each role or stakeholder on a project to one of the descriptions for clarity on who is doing what in the team.
Traditionally, Project Scope can be broadly described as the work, deliverables or the required (working) product features that need to be done in order to complete a project. Scope Management is ensuring that only the agreed scope is delivered and controlling additional scope from being added.
Planned Value in Project Management
Planned value is defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI) as “the authorized, time-phased budget assigned to accomplish the scheduled work” or simply put the project cost over time baseline which can be measured at any point in the schedule.