RefineM Blog

Progressive Elaboration Techniques for Agile and Waterfall Teams

Progressive Elaboration Pyramid
November 21, 2017

Teams in the traditional project management mode (or Waterfall) may be hampered by their structure from fully adopting Agile. Despite this constraint, they can still take advantage of many key Agile practices, just in different ways. Read on to find out how any project team can take advantage of the practice of progressive elaboration to move toward early and continuous delivery of value to the customer, satisfying one of the twelve Agile principles.

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Eleven Tips for Passing the Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam

Photo of students studying for the PMP exam.
August 3, 2017

Earning the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification demonstrates experience in project management and the ability to add value to organizations through use of project management skills. One barrier to earning the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is the difficulty of the exam. In this updated post, we share tips and tricks for passing the PMP certification exam. If you are preparing to take the PMP exam, please note that the exam is going to change on March 26, 2018 following the release of the A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) Sixth Edition in September. If you are not ready before the end of the year, you may want to wait and study using the new Sixth Edition.

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Agile Practices for Waterfall Teams Part 1: Maintaining a Backlog

Person writing in a notebook next to a laptop computer
March 24, 2017

On a waterfall project, the bulk of the value is delivered at the end of the project. On an agile project, value is delivered incrementally through iterative cycles with the highest-value items prioritized, increasing customer satisfaction. Backlogs serve as the mechanism for clarifying priority on projects carried out by agile teams, allowing them to put the customer’s highest priorities first. How can waterfall teams achieve a similar effect?

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Agile Practices for Waterfall Teams

February 21, 2017

Many organizations with traditional, or waterfall, teams struggle to transform to Agile. The struggle could happen for many reasons:

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Top 5 Books for Beginning Project Managers

Person reading a book with a cup of coffee
November 29, 2016

Project managers just starting out may wonder how they can continue to build their knowledge and skillsets. Based on our project management reading, we have identified five books to help beginning project managers, as well as those with some degree of experience, establish continuous learning and dedicate themselves to further success.

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Understanding and Overcoming IT Project Risks [Infographic]

October 12, 2016

Many high-profile IT projects face their own risks and challenges from conception to the final stages. Perhaps the addition of technology into the mix makes these projects particularly challenging, but if project managers and teams are not careful, all of their hard work could result in a failed project and disappointment from all involved. When considering management of IT projects, two questions must be considered: How and why do IT projects fail, and what can you do to prevent this failure? In this blog post and infographic, we explore the top four types of IT project-related risk factors to look out for and provide strategies to put in place that will help your teams overcome threats to your IT projects.Continue reading

Five Ways to Foster Project Management Innovation

Team meeting to try innovative ideas
September 16, 2016

Project teams have a lot to deal with on projects. They will have to navigate multiple problems, such as risks becoming issues, costs exceeding budget, and schedules slipping, on any given project. The top notch project managers and teams are skilled and experienced at coming up with innovative solutions to these problems. How can any project manager or team acquire this skill? In this post, we describe five ways to improve creativity on project teams to foster project management innovation. These steps range from building the foundation through organizational structure and culture to trying out agile practices.

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4 Project Management Software Tools to Consider for Your Teams

Team members at a meeting with their computers
July 18, 2016

Project management processes can be implemented with only simple tools that project managers and team members are likely to have, such as templates for Microsoft Office programs or Google Docs. For some project managers and teams who have grown out of Microsoft Office, a software tool may be useful. Many tools are available on the market for teams or companies of various sizes, and some are also cloud-based for ease of access by everyone on the team.

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5 Things Needed to Be Agile Ready

Hands at a laptop keyboard with notepad nearby
July 11, 2016

Is your organization thinking about implementing Agile? Agile can provide numerous benefits to any organization, but the implementation process is not always smooth. This post is for change leaders or executives who are thinking about implementing Agile in their organization, but are not sure if the organization is ready yet. Before investing in training or resources, make sure these five things are in place; otherwise, it may not be worth investing resources in training teams yet.

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5 W’s of the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam [Infographic]

5 W's of the PMP Exam Featured Image
July 7, 2016

Ever wondered what exactly the Project Management Professional (PMP)® is and why everyone is talking about it? In this blog post, we cover the 5 W’s of the PMP exam: who, what, when, where, and why.

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PMI, PMP, CAPM, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, and PMBOK are all registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.