Visualizing Roadmaps for Execution Excellence

Note: This article is updated at Visualize Your Workstreams with a Roadmap. One of the first things I do to get a handle on execution is to map out the work in flight in the form of a roadmap. When there are multiple teams shipping stuff, one of the best ways to improve coordination, collaboration,…


Lessons Learned in Execution

Note: This article is updated at Project Execution Lessons Learned. I’ve been thinking about execution and the lessons learned.   I’ve summarized some insights and reminders. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up with patterns & practices over the last 10 years, so I’ve been able to see what works, what doesn’t, and the difference that…


Customer-Connected Engineering (CCE)

Note: This articles is updated at Customer-Connected Development. I’ve originally shared this in other places and other ways, but I’m consolidating here to make it easier to share a link.  As more teams ask me about Customer-Connected Engineering (CCE), it’s easier to just point them here for a quick overview. Customer Connected Engineering is a…


Project Plans in a Nutshell

Note: This article is updated at Project Plans in a Nutshell. “I love it when a plan comes together.” — Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, The A-Team Project plans are tough.  No matter how many times you do them – they are always tough.  I’ve been doing them for years, and yet the path from zero…


Key Questions for a PM at patterns & practices

Note: This article is updated at Program Manager Abilities at a Glance. I was looking for some of my old job descriptions for PM positions in patterns & practices to help out a colleague.  While I didn’t find them, I did find some of the questions that I have used to evaluate PM effectiveness: Project…


Project Life Cycles at patterns & practices

Note: This article is updated at Project Life Cycle at patterns & practices. Periodically I like to revisit our project life cycle in patterns & practices. I like to see how it’s shape-shifted over the years.  (Note – our project life cycle wraps our product cycle) patterns & practices Project Life Cycle Circa 2005 Here’s…


Turning Chickens into Pigs

Note: This article is updated at Turning Chickens into Pigs. Have you ever been on a project where key stakeholders don’t have skin in the game, but they have a controlling vote?  This is a bad situation.  It’s like multiple backseat drivers, except they won’t be there if the car crashes.  What’s the solution?  You…


How To Use Time Boxing for Getting Results

Note: This article is updated at How To Use Timeboxing for Getting Results. Time boxing is a way to chunk up time and get results.  If you continously miss windows of opportunity or spend all of your time in one area of your life at the expense of others, time boxing can be one of…


Vision Scope Template

Note: This article is updated at Vision Scope Template. How do you convince a team of venture capitalists to bet on you?  There’s a lot of ninja techniques but here I’ll share the fundamentals. Vision and Scope We use Vision Scope milestones in patterns and practices to sell management on how we’ll change the world.  Knowing…


7 Habits of Highly Effective Program Managers

Note: This article is updated at 7 Habits of Highly Effective Program Managers. What does it take to be an effective Program Manager at Microsoft?  I’m responding to some requests for my take on what it takes to be an effective PM.  I figured I could use a familiar 7 habits approach to help frame out…