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Prioritization

Save Your Project (with this One Weird Trick)!

I have been doing tech projects for years. My first job in technology was driving around New Jersey in 1990 trying to get retailers to carry Windows 3.0. I used to joke that I was so good at my job, the Department of Justice sued Microsoft for being a monopoly …

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The Project-changing Magic of Tidying Up Your Backlog

I’m a sucker for organization trends. Earlier this year, I read The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and cleaned my entire house in a matter of weeks under a strange neurotic spell. I threw away years of accumulated papers. I trashed expired cold medicine. I donated 4 …

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Why You Need a Project Portfolio

The goal of business case development–and it’s a very reasonable one–is to move away from having decisions about which projects to run based on the whims or argumentativeness of individual executives and towards a more objective decision-making process. The problem is that many organizations make the mistake of treating all …

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Ignore tasks, focus on decisions.

We all have our reasons for using a piece of software. Maybe it makes staying in touch easier, maybe it helps organize, or for that matter, make us money, maybe it’s just fun to interact with…whatever those reasons may be, the drive to get things done is not, and cannot …

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Gathering Requirements in a Green Field

In my time at Seilevel, I’ve had a chance to work with a number of different clients, operating in a range of industries. Oftentimes, these clients begin projects with a number of legacy systems that need updated or integrated with; it is a rare opportunity for a project team to …

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Just the Docs, Ma’am!

Have you ever worked on a project where you were tasked to create documentation after the fact? Have you needed to span that bridge between business analyst and technical writer? I’ve done a couple of these, and the challenge I’ve had each time was effectively estimating the work involved. Many …

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Using Opportunity Assessments, Business Objective Models, and Objective Chains to understand value and prioritize features

A few years ago, I started using a technique called Opportunity Assessments as a lightweight way to assess product and feature ideas.  Opportunity Assessments contain the business problem/value, target market, opportunity size, market options/competition, timing/window, go-to-market strategy, success metrics, success factors, risks/assumptions, and recommendations. In order to do an Opportunity …

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