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IT Product Managers and Business Analysts

Posts about the position of IT Product Manager and Business Analysts. Hiring, training and being one

Using tags in team workflows

Tagging Software Defects for Root Cause Analysis

I really, REALLY like using tags, indiscriminately of the tool we are using on a project (Rally, TFS, Jira, etc.) or the work product type (user stories, features, epics, etc.). But for today, I’ll focus on tags for bugs. Recently, I was working with a great team and gently pushing …

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Executive Buy In and Feedback

Business Analysis and Successful Outcomes

In a previous post, I talked about the need for executive buy-in on business analysis activities and some ideas on how to facilitate it. As I mentioned, they are not our target audience for PMI’s foundational standard on business analysis, so we need to find other ways to win their …

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Houston, We Have a Problem Message. Recycled paper note pinned on cork board. Concept Image

Solve One Problem at a Time

I recently re-watched The Martian, a great movie I recommend to anyone. One lesson I learned from the movie that is also relevant to my work is to solve one problem at a time. For those of you who have not seen the movie (no plot disclosures – I promise!) …

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Foundational Business Analysis Training

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills It should come as no surprise that if you change your requirements after you deploy, it costs A LOT more. Here’s a fun (read scary) fact: 65% of features stakeholders define for a product are rarely, if ever, …

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Chart, Stakeholder Analsysis

Tools for Understanding Stakeholders: A Case Study

I recently wrote about a critical, yet often overlooked, step in improving products: developing a true understanding of stakeholders. This week, I want to delve into a case study to demonstrate why this phase of development is so essential. Let’s say I am working with a hypothetical national non-profit with …

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How Politics Made Me a Better Consultant

In the “not Seilevel” part of my life, I help run a Texas grassroots political organization. I’ve been a member of the administrator group for several years. In addition to all our offline activities (meet the candidate events, volunteer events, volunteer training, get-out-the-vote activities, and charity drives) we run an …

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Don’t Throw Away Your Shot: Be A Hamilton Product Manager

Five years ago, nobody really remembered Alexander Hamilton, but with the helping hand of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical he has burst back into the spotlight over two hundred years later. While I will agree that Miranda’s songs are incredible, there is not enough focus on Hamilton’s greatest achievement: he got the US …

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Is Your Project Truly Agile?

Agile and Waterfall. Agile is the topic of many blogs just like this. People will tell you horror stories about their experiences with Agile. People spend hours at a time researching and debating about which is the better development method. Some people say waterfall development is a thing of the past. …

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PM Podcast – How to Write Excellent User Stories

Recently, I was able to speak at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. During the conference I participated in an interview for a PM Podcast; it was recently published. Here is the introduction to the podcast, with a link to the podcast at the end. I …

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