- Creating a project plan involves several steps, including defining the project scope, identifying the project objectives, identifying the project stakeholders, determining the project deliverables, developing a project schedule, allocating resources, and creating a project budget. Here's a general overview of how to create a project plan:
- Define the project scope: Clearly define the boundaries of the project, including what is included and what is excluded.
- Identify the project objectives: Determine what the project aims to accomplish and how it will be measured.
- Identify the project stakeholders: In addition to the sponsor who commissioned you, who else needs to be involved in the project?
- Determine the project deliverables: Create a list of all the products, services, or results that the project will deliver to meet the objectives.
- Develop a project schedule: Create a timeline that outlines the tasks, milestones, and deadlines that are required to complete the project. Use a Gantt chart or a similar tool to visualize the schedule.
- Allocate resources: Determine the resources needed to complete each task, including staff, equipment, and materials.
- Create a project budget: Estimate the cost of each resource, and use this information to create a project budget.
- Identify risks and mitigation strategies: Identify potential risks to the project and develop strategies to mitigate or manage them.
- Develop a communication plan: Identify who needs to be informed about the project, how often, and what information they need.
- Monitor and control the project: Regularly review the project's progress against the plan, and make adjustments as needed to keep it on track.
It's a common practice to include a project Charter--a single page cover sheet describing the project's' essential information. The helps others quickly understand the purpose of the project.
Creating a project plan can be a complex process, but it's an essential step in ensuring the project's success. Consider using project management software to help you plan and manage the project. Popular project planning software includes Microsoft Project, Jira, Smartsheet, Asana, and One-Page.
Here are some interview questions that can be useful when hiring a project manager:
Can you describe your experience managing projects? What was the size and complexity of the projects you managed? How did you manage the project scope, schedule, and budget?
How do you communicate project progress and issues to stakeholders? What strategies do you use to ensure that stakeholders are kept informed and engaged throughout the project?
Can you walk me through your project management process? How do you plan a project, identify risks and issues, and manage changes?
Can you give an example of a time when you had to deal with a difficult stakeholder or team member? How did you handle the situation?
How do you manage team members who are not performing as expected? What strategies do you use to motivate and engage team members?
How do you prioritize tasks and manage multiple projects at once? What strategies do you use to ensure that each project receives the attention it needs?
Can you describe your experience with agile or other project management methodologies? How do you adapt your approach to the needs of each project?
How do you measure project success? What metrics do you use to track progress and determine whether a project has met its goals?
Can you give an example of a time when a project did not go as planned? How did you manage the situation and what did you learn from it?
Can you describe your experience managing remote or distributed teams? What strategies do you use to ensure effective communication and collaboration?
These interview questions can help you assess a candidate's experience, skills, and approach to project management, as well as their ability to adapt to different situations and work effectively with stakeholders and team members.
The term "Gherkin" is associated with Agile user stories because it is the name of a specific format for writing user stories that was introduced by the Cucumber testing framework. Cucumber is a popular open-source tool for Behavior-Driven Development (BDD), which is a software development methodology that emphasizes collaboration between developers, testers, and business stakeholders. The actual name is credited to Dan North, the creator of BDD, in a May 2006 blog post.
The Gherkin syntax is a way of writing user stories in a structured format that can be easily understood and shared by all team members, including non-technical stakeholders. The Gherkin syntax uses a simple language that is designed to be readable by both technical and non-technical people. It consists of a set of keywords, such as "Given", "When", and "Then", that describe the steps of a user story.
The Gherkin syntax is named after the small pickled cucumber, which is a reference to the idea of "pickling" or preserving the requirements of a user story in a structured, easy-to-understand format. The name was chosen to reflect the simplicity and ease of use of the syntax.
The Gherkin syntax has become popular in the Agile development community because it provides a standardized format for writing user stories that can be easily understood and shared by all team members. It can also be used to automate acceptance testing, as the steps of a user story can be mapped to test cases that verify that the software meets the requirements specified in the user story.
Model-based testing (MBT) is a software testing technique that uses models of the software system under test to automatically generate and execute test cases. The models used in MBT can be of different types, such as state diagrams, decision tables, flowcharts, or UML models. These models describe the expected behavior and interactions of the software components and can be used to generate test cases that cover all possible scenarios.
The main goal of model-based testing is to improve test coverage and reduce the time and effort required for manual test case design and execution. It also helps detect defects earlier in the development cycle, which can reduce the cost of fixing them. MBT can be applied to different software testing levels, such as unit testing, integration testing, and system testing.
The process of model-based testing typically involves the following steps:
Model creation: Create a model of the software system under test that describes its behavior and interactions. This model is typically created using a modeling language or tool.
Test case generation: Use the model to generate test cases automatically that cover all possible scenarios. The test cases are designed to validate the behavior of the software components and ensure that they meet the specified requirements.
Test execution: Execute the generated test cases and record the results. The test execution can be performed manually or automated using a testing tool.
Analysis and reporting: Analyze the results of the test cases and generate reports that provide insight into the software's performance and behavior. The reports can be used to identify defects and performance issues that need to be addressed.
MBT is a powerful software testing technique that can help organizations improve their testing efficiency and effectiveness by generating test cases automatically and increasing test coverage. It can be used to test different types of software, such as embedded systems, web applications, and mobile apps.
A Project Management Office (PMO) and an Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) are both centralized groups within an organization that provide project management guidance and support to ensure that projects align with the organization's goals and objectives. However, there are some key differences between these two types of offices.
A PMO typically focuses on managing projects within a specific business unit or department, while an EPMO has a broader scope and oversees all projects across the organization. An EPMO is responsible for developing and implementing a standardized approach to project management across the organization, including processes, tools, and templates.
The primary responsibilities of a PMO include providing project management guidance and support, monitoring project performance, and ensuring that projects are aligned with the goals and objectives of the business unit. The PMO also facilitates communication and collaboration between project teams, stakeholders, and senior management.
The responsibilities of an EPMO, on the other hand, are much broader. In addition to the responsibilities of a PMO, an EPMO is also responsible for developing and implementing a project management methodology that is used across the entire organization. The EPMO ensures that all projects are aligned with the organization's strategic goals and objectives and that projects are prioritized and resourced appropriately.
An EPMO also typically has more authority and influence within the organization than a PMO. It has a higher level of oversight and governance over projects and may be responsible for strategic planning and decision-making related to project portfolios. An EPMO may also be responsible for managing the organization's project management resources, including project managers and other project management professionals.
In summary, while a PMO and an EPMO share many similarities, an EPMO has a broader scope and is responsible for overseeing all projects across the organization, while a PMO typically focuses on managing projects within a specific business unit or department.
Establishing a Project Management Office (PMO, sometimes called EPMO for 'Enterprise' PMO) within an organization can be a complex and challenging process. Some of the common challenges that organizations face when creating a PMO include:
- Resistance to Change: One of the biggest challenges of establishing a PMO is resistance to change from employees and stakeholders. Some employees may not want to adopt new project management practices or may be skeptical about the need for a PMO.
Solution: To overcome resistance to change, organizations should clearly communicate the benefits of the PMO to all stakeholders and involve them in the process of creating the PMO. It is important to create a culture of change management that encourages all stakeholders to actively participate in the PMO creation process.
- Lack of Resources: Creating a PMO requires a significant investment in resources, including personnel, technology, and training. Organizations may struggle to allocate the necessary resources to establish a PMO.
Solution: Organizations should develop a clear business case for the PMO that demonstrates the value it will bring to the organization. They should also allocate sufficient resources to support the PMO, including personnel, technology, and training.
- Difficulty in Identifying and Prioritizing Projects: Organizations may struggle to identify and prioritize projects that align with their strategic objectives. Without clear guidance, it can be difficult for project managers to determine which projects to focus on and how to prioritize them.
Solution: Organizations should establish a clear process for identifying and prioritizing projects, and communicate this process to all stakeholders. The PMO should provide guidance and support to project managers in determining which projects to focus on and how to prioritize them.
- Lack of Project Management Maturity: If an organization lacks project management maturity, it can be challenging to establish a PMO that can effectively manage projects and deliver value to the organization.
Solution: Organizations should assess their project management maturity and identify areas where they need to improve. The PMO should provide training, coaching, and support to project managers to improve their project management practices.
- Resistance to PMO Governance: The PMO may face resistance from project managers who may feel that PMO governance is too rigid and inflexible, which can hinder project delivery.
Solution: The PMO should establish governance frameworks that are flexible and adaptable to the needs of individual projects. The PMO should also provide guidance and support to project managers in following the governance frameworks to ensure that projects are delivered on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.
Establishing a PMO can bring many benefits to an organization, but it can also be challenging. Organizations must be prepared to address the challenges that they may face when creating a PMO. By implementing the solutions outlined above, organizations can overcome these challenges and establish a PMO that can effectively manage projects and deliver value to the organization.
A Project Management Office (PMO) is a centralized group within an organization that provides project management guidance, support, and oversight to ensure that all projects align with the organization's goals, vision, and objectives. PMO provides a set of standardized project management practices, tools, and templates that facilitate communication, decision-making, and project execution. Here are some benefits of establishing a PMO within an organization.
Benefits of Establishing a Project Management Office:
Standardization of Project Management Practices: One of the key benefits of establishing a PMO is that it provides standardized project management practices, tools, and templates that can be used by all project managers within an organization. This ensures consistency in the way projects are planned, executed, and monitored, which reduces the risk of errors, delays, and rework.
Improved Resource Allocation: PMOs can help organizations to better allocate resources by providing a clear overview of all ongoing projects, their status, and their priorities. This information helps organizations to make informed decisions about which projects to prioritize, which resources to allocate, and when.
Enhanced Risk Management: PMOs can help organizations to identify, assess, and manage risks associated with project delivery. This can be done by setting up a risk management framework, conducting risk assessments, and providing guidance on how to mitigate risks.
Better Communication and Collaboration: PMOs can help to facilitate better communication and collaboration between project teams, stakeholders, and senior management. This can be achieved through regular status meetings, project reports, and project dashboards that provide a transparent view of project progress and issues.
Improved Project Performance: Establishing a PMO can improve project performance by ensuring that all projects are aligned with the organization's strategic goals and objectives. PMOs can also monitor project performance and provide feedback to project teams to help them improve their project management practices.
Increased Project Success Rates: PMOs can increase project success rates by ensuring that projects are delivered on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards. PMOs can also help to identify and address issues that may impact project success and ensure that best practices are followed.
Establishing a PMO can bring many benefits to an organization, including standardization of project management practices, improved resource allocation, enhanced risk management, better communication and collaboration, improved project performance, and increased project success rates. These benefits can help organizations to achieve their strategic goals and objectives by delivering projects that are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.
Here are some interview questions that can be useful when hiring a software tester:
Can you describe your experience with software testing? What types of testing have you performed (functional, regression, performance, etc.), and what tools have you used?
Can you describe your experience with test automation? What tools and frameworks have you used, and what types of tests have you automated?
Can you walk me through your testing process? How do you plan tests, write test cases, and execute tests? How do you track and report on defects?
Can you give an example of a time when you found a critical defect in a software application? How did you discover the defect, and how did you work with the development team to resolve it?
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in software testing? What resources do you use to stay informed?
Can you describe your experience with exploratory testing? How do you approach exploratory testing, and what techniques do you use?
How do you prioritize testing activities? What factors do you consider when deciding which tests to perform and in what order?
Can you give an example of a time when you had to work under tight deadlines? How did you manage your time and prioritize your testing activities to ensure that the software met its quality goals?
Can you describe your experience with performance testing? What tools and frameworks have you used to measure software performance, and what metrics do you track?
How do you work with other team members, such as developers and product managers, to ensure that software meets the requirements and quality goals? What strategies do you use to communicate and collaborate effectively?
These interview questions can help you assess a candidate's experience, skills, and approach to software testing, as well as their ability to work effectively with other team members and adapt to different situations. You can also ask follow-up questions to get more detail and context around a candidate's responses.
The software development life-cycle (SDLC) is the process of planning, designing, building, testing, and deploying software. There are various models for the SDLC, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common models:
Waterfall model: The waterfall model is a linear, sequential approach to software development, where each stage is completed before the next one begins. The stages include requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance. This model works well for projects with well-defined and stable requirements, but can be inflexible and slow to respond to changing requirements.
Agile model: The agile model is an iterative and incremental approach to software development, where software is developed in short cycles called sprints. The stages include planning, requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing, and deployment, and the process is repeated in each sprint. This model works well for projects with evolving requirements and a need for flexibility, but can be challenging for teams that are new to agile methodologies.
Spiral model: The spiral model is a risk-driven approach to software development, where risks are identified and addressed in each stage of the SDLC. The stages include planning, risk analysis, design, implementation, testing, and deployment, and the process is repeated in a spiral fashion as risks are identified and addressed. This model works well for projects with high levels of complexity and uncertainty, but can be time-consuming and expensive.
V model: The V model is a variant of the waterfall model that emphasizes testing and verification throughout the SDLC. The stages include requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance, and the testing process runs in parallel with the development process. This model works well for projects with a strong emphasis on testing and verification, but can be inflexible and slow to respond to changing requirements.
DevOps model: The DevOps model is a collaborative approach to software development that emphasizes the integration of development and operations teams. The stages include planning, development, testing, deployment, and monitoring, and the process is highly automated to enable rapid and frequent releases. This model works well for projects with a need for rapid release cycles and a high degree of automation, but can be challenging for teams that are new to DevOps methodologies.
Each of these models has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice of model will depend on the specific requirements of the project, the experience and preferences of the team, and the organizational culture. Successful software development requires careful planning, effective communication, and a willingness to adapt to changing requirements and circumstances.
The PfMP Exam is for senior executives who have reached a point in their career where they are part of the council within an organization that decides which projects get funded next. The PfMP is short for Portfolio Management Professional, and is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Once you've met the criterial for experience and training, you must submit an application detailing your experience, to be reviews by a board of existing PfMP holders at PMI. This is a challenging process and often applications are rejected.
The rejection letter appears to be somewhat vague, and is actually a standard form-letter. Something a bit confusing is that because it is a rejection form-letter, the reasoning given in it is not always accurate.
What the board is looking for are details of your portfolio (size, types of outcomes, projects, programs), and also what you did to establish the PfMP process, if it did not already exist, and what you do to govern it. How often you mmet with the portfolio committee, etc.
Portfolio Management is critical within a company because organizations grow through projects. Project spending actually sets the strategy for a company.
Mike Berry, PMP, CSMC, CSPRO, CSM, CSPO, PBA, ACP, ITIL, CSM, etc.