The Top 10 Project Management Books

Note: This article is updated at Program Management Books. “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra.” — H.E. Luccock Being an effective program manager at Microsoft means knowing how to make things happen.  While being a program manager requires a lot more than project management, project management is still at the…


Cuttable Scope

Note: This article is updated at Cuttable Scope. Early on in my Program Management career, I ran into challenges around cutting scope. The schedule said the project was done by next week, but scope said the project would be done a few months from now. On the Microsoft patterns & practices team, we optimized around…


The Art of the Agile Retrospective

Note: This article is updated at The Art of the Agile Retrospective. I’ve been asked to do a lot of Agile retrospectives around Microsoft over the years.  I don’t know how it started, but it started several years ago when somebody recommended that I lead a retrospective for their team, and then it caught fire…


Roles on Agile Teams

Note: This article is updated at Roles on Agile Teams. You can think of a role as a group of related tasks, activities, and responsibilities.  By knowing the responsibilities and core types of activities up front, you can help make sure you have the right people on the team so that you can achieve project…


Agile Life-Cycle Frame

Note: This article is updated at Agile Life-Cycle Frame. As a program manager, it’s tough to shape a process with the team, if the team can’t “see” it.  When you have a mental model you can share with the team, things move a lot faster.   The problem with life cycles and end-to-end processes, is that…


Agile Performance Engineering

Note:  This article is updated at Agile Performance Engineering. In this post, I’ll share the model we used successfully for years in Microsoft patterns & practices to bake performance into an Agile Life Cycle. One of the key challenges with building software, is how to bake quality into your process.  Some teams try to do…


Kanban: The Secret of High-Performing Teams at Microsoft

Note: This page is updated at Kanban for High-Performance Teams. If you are a project manager or a program manager, or aspiring to be, one of the best project management tools you can add to your toolbox is the Kanban. In fact, if somebody were to ask me, what’s the single best way to exponentially…


Monthly Burn Rate

Note: This article is updated at Monthly Burn Rate. One of the most useful patterns I’ve found to stay on top of a project budget is to think in terms of a monthly burn rate. As a program manager, one of my responsibilities is managing a budget. In the early days, I hated managing the…


Agile Methodology in Microsoft patterns & practices

Note: This article is updated at Agile Methodology in Microsoft patterns & practices. “I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.” — Vincent Van Gogh I find myself mentoring on Agile practices and Agile methodology on a regular basis.  More and more teams are needing…


Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Framework

Note: This article is updated at Project Management Body of Knowledge at a Glance. Here is a quick map of the process groups, knowledge areas, and processes in the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge).  Regardless of the PMI certification, I think it’s useful to know how the knowledge for project management is organized by…