At Castellan Systems we have collected a lot of information about Project Management. This includes tips, hints, techniques and tools. In this page we present it for other Project Management professionals to browse and use if appropriate.
As Project Managers ourselves, we know that you never stop learning and someone out there may actually have a better way of doing things than our way. The trick is to be open to these ideas. Having also come from an IT development background, we also have the tendancy to develop our own tools and templates every time we need to do something new; we guess we're still frustrated code-cutters at heart. But we're not always the first to think of these things, so we have taught ourselves to embrace the knowledge out there.
This "openness to ideas" in our Managing Director lead to the formation of this business. Michael took over a project from another project manager and it came with a
different Ms Excel spreadsheet to track costs than the one he had developed; it was better that his, so he adopted it for all of his projects. Then he saw opporunities
to make it better until he reach the limit of what he could do easily with Excel. That lead to ProMan, our very first product which has since been superseded.
You will also find various articles on this subject published by our own staff that address some controversial topics currently in the industry.
Project Management Knowledge Base
At Castellan Systems we have collected a lot of information about Project Management. This includes tips, hints, techniques and tools.
In this page we present it for other Project Management professionals to browse and use if appropriate.
Barbarians at the Gate - In defense of Project Managers
The proponents of Agile talk about it being an alternative to traditional “Waterfall Project Management”; this a fallacy. Waterfall is not
Project Management; it’s a Product Development approach, technique or methodology but it’s not Project Management. So, if Agile is an alternative to Waterfall, then
Agile is not Project Management either and its use should not lead to the exclusion of proper Project Management processes.
Navigating through the Fog
At his last engagement working for someone else, before he decided to concentrate all my professional energies on Castellan Systems, our Managing Director was confronted
by how little people knew about the difference between programmes and portfolios in relation to managing projects. What made this even more astonishing was that highly
qualified people within the project management field were part of this misinformed group.
The Eternal Question
Let me start by saying that may be this is not the eternal question, but it is a question we get asked very often. Why are all of our Project Management
solutions “on-premises” solution rather than cloud based? Many of our competitors’ solutions are cloud based, so why have we gone for the opposite
direction? Are we just trying to create a point of difference between us and our competitors?
Waterfall Model Guide
The term "Waterfall" refers to a traditional software development methodology where the project is defined sequentially and through clear project phases.
This is a common approach to large-scale projects where little change is expected to the overall project plan. This is a distinct approach from Agile project
planning, which is designed to accommodate rapid changes to the schedule.
Agile Model Guide
Agile is sweeping the world. Well, it is if you’re involved in product development. It’s not new, Agile has been around for over 20 years, but it’s
seems to have gained traction with each passing year and is trending, as they say in social media circles. But is Agile really the miracle cure for
all project woes as it’s often prescribed?
Hybrid Model Guide
The term hybrid methodology isn’t as opaque as some new ideas that have sprouted up recently in the field of product development. The simple definition
is that it’s a combination of two different methodologies or systems to create a new and better model.
When to Choose Waterfall over Agile Guide
Prior to the extremely popular Agile methodology, there was Waterfall. Waterfall is defined as a sequential or linear product development methodology in which each
development phase is completed before the next one begins. Waterfall is a straightforward, logical approach to product development. In this method, you determine
what to build, plan the build, work out a schedule, obtain your resources, assign resources, develop the product, hand it off to a test team, work out the bugs,
and then release it. Along the way the marketing team creates some “buzz” in anticipation of the product, and sales people convince customers that the new product
will solve all of their problems. Since the introduction of Agile, Waterfall isn’t used as often, but there are still there are plenty of times when it makes sense
to use Waterfall.
Scrum Framework Guide
Scrum is a framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining complex products. This Guide contains the definition of Scrum. This definition
consists of Scrum’s roles, events, artifacts, and the rules that bind them together.
Scrum Master Guide
There are not two other words that when put together sound as unseemly as… Scrum Master. If you’re new to Agile, you might wonder who in their right
mind would want that title? Agile devotees, however, have a reverence for the role; only those worthy to walk in the footsteps of Jedi Knights
ahead of them… or something.
Kanban Method Guide
Kanban is getting a lot of buzz these days as a project management method because, according to its fans, it can overcome problems that stymie methodologies
like Scrum and Waterfall. But with its Japanese origins and Zen-like aura, Kanban is mysterious to many people. One of the most quoted sayings in Kanban is:
“Stop starting and start finishing.” Sounds profound, but how do you implement that?
Lean Method Guide
Lean is an often-used adjective in business these days, but there’s some confusion over its exact definition. In essence, the goal of Lean is to maximize
value while minimizing waste. In other words, creating more value for the customer with fewer resources. Lean was born on the factory floor, so many people
think of it as a manufacturing technique. However, that’s a misconception because every process, whether in production or services, can benefit from a Lean
approach. Today, Lean is finding a home in every industry from finance to healthcare.
Product Based Planning Guide
There are many different ways of creating a plan. One of them is a product-based planning technique. With Product Based Planning, your focus is first and
foremost on the products that need to be delivered as opposed to the activities the project needs to undertake. It means that you plan the project from the
client’s and user’s perspective, because you put the focus on tangible deliverables and outcomes.
Earned Value Management Guide
Earned Value Management (EVM) is a project management technique that objectively tracks physical accomplishment of work. cost overruns.
EVM has emerged as a financial analysis specialty in United States Government programs in the 1960s, but it has since become a significant branch of project
Project Portfolio Management Guide
A project portfolio is a collection of projects, programs and processes that are managed together and optimized for the financial and strategic goals of an organisation.
A portfolio can be managed at either the functional or the organisational level.
Programme Management Guide
The ultimate goal of a Programme is to realise outcomes and benefits of strategic relevance. To achieve this a programme is designed as a temporary
flexible organisation structure created to coordinate, direct and oversee the implementation of a set of related projects and activities in order to deliver
outcomes and benefits related to the organisation's strategic objectives.
Delivering Successful Programmes Guide
The rapid pace of innovation and the increasing level of management, stakeholder and customer expectations demand that organisations re-assess how
they do business. Programme management, which PMI® defines as “a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control
not available from managing them individually,” is key to executing major strategic initiatives. Unfortunately, many organisations are ill-equipped to
manage larger-scale programmes. This paper describes 10 vital steps of programme management that must be done right in order for organisations to
successfully deliver the benefits of change initiatives. The steps, which may be performed by a programme manager or by others within the organisation,
together address the three overarching responsibilities of the programme manager: effective governance, stakeholder management and benefits management.
Project Planning in Project Management Guide
Project planning is a major first step towards a successful project. A project plan is a strategic organization of ideas, materials and
processes for the purpose of achieving a goal. Project managers rely on a good plan to avoid pitfalls and provide parameters to maintain
crucial aspects of the project, like the schedule and the budget.
Using DACI Framework for Better Group Decisions Guide
DACI is a project management framework used to clearly define the roles of the various stakeholders on a project. DACI stands for Driver, Approver,
Contributor and Informed. These roles, defined by DACI, make it clear who has authority in certain areas and situations. This allows a project to
progress smoothly whenever group decisions have to be made.
How to Fund a Software Development Project Guide
A critical success factor for a software development project is how it is funded. This will drive many aspects of the team’s behaviour throughout the project.
Project Stakeholder Management Guide
Leverage your stakeholder relationships and get more out of your projects.