All posts in Project Management


Prioritization Matrix 101: What, How & Why? (Free Template)

priority matrix

As humans, we tend to focus more on the things we need to do than the things we’ve already done. This so-called “Zeigarnik effect”, named after Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, means our minds are often swimming with all of the tasks, responsibilities, and mental notes that we think we should be focusing on.

All of these tasks and projects that need doing, this mental to-do list, without a clear hierarchy of importance can make it difficult for us to stay focused and actually get things done.

One way to combat all of this Zeigarnik noise is to note down everything. Make an actual to-do list. Studies have been done, and it has been shown that the very act of noting down tasks can quite simply “make you more effective”.

But, even with a to-do list, before you actually get anything done it’s necessary to have a clear idea of your priorities.

Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, figuring out what to prioritize can be hard. It’s a complicated process that involves weighing up cost against value, effort against time, and for a lot of businesses, will likely involve many different stakeholders.

The solution is to work out a process for determining what to prioritize.

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The Straightforward Guide to Product Strategy (With Templates)

product strategyBuilding a solid product strategy is often thought of as a complex challenge and many companies fail to approach it systematically.

Other teams sometimes operate with a lean methodology and think this excuses them from developing a strong product strategy to guide development.

It doesn’t.

A solid product strategy is an important part of building a functional and coherent product and it shouldn’t be overlooked.

In this Process Street article, we will avoid long explanations and unnecessary detail, cutting straight to the point to give you a clear and actionable understanding of product strategy.

And we have provided an actionable product strategy template you can use in your business!

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Agile Marketing: What It Is, How to Use It and Why You Need It

agile marketing

“Agile marketing” isn’t a useless jargon term or some kind of crutch. It’s the driving force behind how our team is able to write 24 posts per month while onboarding employees, working on product launches, and much, much more.

It’s also not nearly as intimidating as it might first seem.

It’s all about applying the principles of Agile in a marketing setting. That means working fast, defaulting to action, and having much smaller work cycles than usual.

Let’s dive right in.

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8 Smartsheet Alternatives for Superb Project Management in 2019

smartsheet-alternatives

The Smartsheet platform provides exactly what the name suggests – smart sheets. It is modeled around the classic Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, enriching its capabilities with powerful collaboration features and integrations.

In addition to providing effective collaboration tools, Smartsheet’s user interface is relatively simple, which has earned it a solid reputation as a good project management tool for businesses of all sizes.

So why even look for an alternative?

Well, you may not feel that Smartsheet is particularly well suited to how you manage projects in your team and organization as a whole. Perhaps you are not very familiar with Excel, or just don’t like it very much and would rather use a tool with a different look and feel.

It can also become a difficult tool to manage in the long-term. As you add more and more projects, the organization of vast amounts of spreadsheets can become fragmented and confusing.

So, if you are not a big fan of spreadsheets, and would like a project management tool with a more fun, engaging look to it, here are 8 fantastic alternatives that may well be what you’re looking for.

The main criteria I used for selecting the following applications is that they all have excellent feedback from users, reasonable pricing models, good customer support, and effectively address Smartsheet’s limitations.

Let’s get into it.

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Airtable vs Trello: The Best of Task and Project Management

airtable vs trello

Airtable vs Trello. Which is better?

Our team had been using Trello for years and had only recently undergone a transition to Airtable. We were having a tough time adjusting (old habits die hard), and my Process Street colleague Ben Brandall was trying to get to the bottom of why.

We love improving our productivity using everything from business process automation to focus music, and this case was no different.

Trello is a powerhouse of task management but Airtable is a masterful mix of database, spreadsheet, task and project management app. How are you supposed to choose?

That’s why I’m writing this post. After having used both apps personally and professionally for more than three years, I’ve been able to get to grips with who these apps are designed for and what makes them useful.

Most of all, you can learn from this to see which app would suit you instead of spending years testing them out yourself.

Let’s get started.

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14 Essential Workflow System Features to Make Your Team Into Superstars

workflow system features

Whether you’re writing a blog post or building the world’s largest commercial aircraft, you need to be able to rely on your systems. To do that, your platform has to have a set of basic workflow system features.

That is unless you want to follow Airbus A380’s example and waste massive amounts of time and money because of a few simple oversights.

Building the Airbus A380… required production facilities from across the globe to build individual parts of the airplane… During installation, they discovered the parts designed by different teams didn’t fit together.

This cost the company $6 billion to put right and set the project back two years.” – Greg Bailey, 4 Famous Project Management Failures and What to Learn From Them

Here at Process Street we’re no strangers to what makes workflow and bpm software effective. That’s why we’ve collected a list of the 14 essential workflow system features that every team (and individual) needs to be useful.

Let’s get started.

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Waterfall vs Agile: Which Methodology Is Right For You?

 The following is a guest post by Uwe Dreissigacker. Uwe is the Founder of online invoicing software InvoiceBerry. InvoiceBerry helps small business owners and freelancers to create professional looking invoices, get paid online and keep track of unpaid invoices. In his free time, Uwe travels a lot, explores new cultures and loves trying new spicy dishes.

agile vs waterfall

As a business, if you want your operation to run smoothly, managing productivity and your workflows is one of the best ways you can stay on track.

Before you even get started on a project, you should first take a step back and plan out your approach.

What methodology will you use? How will you manage productivity and stay on track? SCRUM? SWOT?

Decisions, decisions

The choices can be overwhelming. Not to mention, over the course of the actual project, you’ll have to make hundreds of other choices.

If you’re not sure where to begin, it’s best to think about your project as a whole and then select the right methodology you’ll follow – Waterfall or Agile?

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Don’t Micromanage: How It Destroys Your Team and How to Avoid It

micromanage

It’s hard watching someone make mistakes, especially if you already know how to avoid them.

Staying silent while they slip up (or even do things in ways you would not) is harder.

That doesn’t mean you have an excuse to micromanage them.

Micromanagement is the ultimate controlling management style. It’s demoralizing and counter-intuitive, as the desire for control to make sure everything goes to plan only creates more problems in the long-term.

That’s why we here at Process Street will be going through:

  • What micromanagement is
  • The pros and cons of it
  • How to spot a micromanager
  • How to replace micromanagement with OKR
  • Using processes to remove the need for micromanagement

Let’s get started.

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DFSS: How Design For Six Sigma can Supercharge Your Business

dfss design for six sigmaAs we build businesses, we strive to make them successful in what they do and efficient in the way they carry that out.

Six Sigma is framework with dual American and Japanese origins which helps companies achieve both of these aims.

We want to take company processes and make them better, smoother, faster, easier – it’s what Process Street does. But having a complex process optimized to the highest degree, as Six Sigma advocates, is tough.

That’s why we’re going to look at Design for Six Sigma.

This will take the Six Sigma lessons and apply them to creating new processes or products. Importantly, it will help us set up these processes or products in a way which makes them ready from the start for further Six Sigma-inspired analysis.

According to Quality-One:

…[U]tilizing Design for Six Sigma methodologies, companies have reduced their time to market by 25 to 40 percent while providing a high quality product that meets the customer’s requirements.

In this article, we’ll look at:

  • What is Six Sigma?
  • What is Design for Six Sigma?
  • What is DMADV?
  • What is the difference between DMAIC and DFSS

We’ll run through the best practices of creating new products and processes in a way that they can be improved and optimized from the very beginning.

Don’t waste your time with poor processes. Start right and continue properly.

Read on to see how it works!

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Project Scope: How to Meet Deadlines and Keep Stakeholders Happy

project scope

Have you ever had a project which never seems to end? One which you either underestimated or kept adding tasks to as you went along?

That’s exactly what setting out your project scope will prevent.

By analyzing the elements of your projects before starting, you can set out the scope of the work in order to prevent extra work getting added (without adjusting the necessary resources) and avoid taking on projects too large for your team to handle.

Not to mention that the principles behind project scope can be applied elsewhere in your business too.

“I call this the Scopi-locks principle.

Don’t make your product too big, because no-one will adopt it. Don’t make your product too small, because it’s not worth adopting. You have to [get it] just right such that it’s worth poor people pulling it into their lives and, when they do, that they get some value out of it.” – Des Traynor (co-founder of Intercom) on product scope

Let’s get stuck right in with project scope by breaking down what it is, what you need to know before creating it, and how to use it in action.

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