microTOOL blogs about methods and processes in project management and requirements engineering, about benefits and challenges, innovations and experiences.

Posts

Escaping micromanagement

Breaking Out of Micromanagement

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If you want to make a change you need to break out of micromanagement. By delegating tasks you gain the time to get things done. Find out how!

Effective teams with a unified vision

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Effective teams are an important factor in developing products. A unified vision is absolutely necessary for team work to succeed. How do you develop it?
Bumbling towards strategic success

Bumbling towards strategic success - is that even possible?

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Businesses find it hard to stick to their plans. That's why a German small business owner is trying to do things differently, with a wager and feedback.
5 Things software developers should learn

5 things software developers can learn from designers

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Design thinking is the ability to perceive things that others cannot see and knowing how to execute ideas. What can developers learn from designers?
Experimental leadership

Irresponsible experimental leadership

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Experiments can be useful in product development (to a limited degree). But if they are done on people they are irresponsible. When are they a good idea?
IT Analysis 2016

IT Analysis 2016 – Taking Stock

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There are many IT anaylsis concepts. Concepts that compliment each other, some that conflict and some that contradict each other. Time to take stock. 
Finding your way in projects

Chaos and Confusion or Clarity and Orientation in Projects

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Orientation can be obtained by means of goals, process descriptions and situational roles, according to Annette Berger. Find out how they provide clarity. 
using chance to your advantage

How to use chance to your advantage

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Chance could either be your biggest enemy or your greatest advantage. Find out how you can use chance to jump start your success.
Inspections as path towards good specifications

Inspection as the Path to Good Specifications

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Errors in specifications are unavoidable. An inspection is used to find those errors. Here are six best pratices help you do so. 
The System Footprint

Visualized Understanding: The System Footprint

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Using a system footprint to visualize your system requirements and allow everyone on your team to stay informed of the big picture. 

Lean traceability in three steps

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Learn how to get the right amount of traceability in your agile projects. Improve your compliance and your overall performance through lean traceability.
Patents and Your Competitive Advantage

Patents and Your Competitive Advantage

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Patents documentation contains information about developments as well as an invention’s technical context. Learn how to let your company benefit from it.
Step by step and level by level

Choosing Project Leaders with Logical Levels

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Learn how to hire the right project managers in your company using the Logical Levels method as developed by NLP expert Robert Dilts.

Project Cancellation - How Come and Why?

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Projects fail but procect cancellation is rarely seen. Why do companies have a hard time to cancel projects and how could they do better?
lego no game

LEGO is not a game!

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What is LEGO SERIOUS PLAY? How does it work as a participative problem-solving facilitation method and what is important in workshops?
Clear steps. Clear rules. High pace.

Agile Specifications

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How do you get agile specifications done within 2 weeks by following 5 steps and 2 basic rules? Maik Pfingsten explains how it works.
Patterns in nature

Breaking Patterns, Using Patterns

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By definition each project is unique, so can there even be patterns in projects? A project may be unique but only with regards to the result it produces.
The Internet of Things – Hype or Business Opportunity

The Internet of Things - Hype or Business Opportunity?

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Are there sustainable business models able to prove that the Internet of Things is not just a concept but an economically feasible trend?

Transparency Needs Feedback

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A lot of people are convinced that transparency is a good thing. But this conviction may be wrong. How do you turn transparency into a positive thing?
Braindumping-Session

Be More Creative! Forget Brainstorming!

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How to make meetings effective? What are the advantages of brain dumping and why is better than brainstorming or brain writing 3-6-5?

A Conversation with Peter Gerstbach of IIBA

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The Guide to Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) is a rich source of knowledge and another good reason for talking to Peter Gerstbach of IIBA.

Interview with Stefan Sturm, IREB

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The following is an interview between Stefan Sturm, Managing Director at IREB, and Tanja Weiß of microTOOL, about ireb, cpre and requirements engineering.
project launch

Project Launch – Why Is It So Difficult?

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Especially with IT projects initiated by departments acting under pressure of success we make the mistake of taking the second step before the first one.

When Run-of-the-Mill Is a Good Thing

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Run-of-the-mill is a term that describes something that is of average quality, something that is mean, or cookie-cutter. But is it always a bad thing?
projects need a business case

Why Projects Need A Business Case

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Projects fail because of mistakes by management rather than technical issues, so why are we still applying processes that do not include a business case?
effective compliance measures

4 Steps to Effective Compliance Measures

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The reason for non-compliance that almost always applies is an unfinished conversation about requirements. Read more about how to improve your compliance.
design thinking more than another method

Design Thinking

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Design Thinking is more than just another method of solving problems. It is an attitude. Learn more about the 6 phases of Design Thinking.
The Golden Circle by Simon Sinek

The Golden Circle in Requirements Engineering

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Why does a company do what it does? Why should customers opt for a solution of a particular manufacturer? The Golden Circle helps to answer these questions.
How to Streamline Your Project Documentation

How to Streamline Your Project Documentation

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Looking for a way to reduce project documentation by a third without missing anything? Read our 5 steps to project documentation without dead weight.
business analysis or project management

Business Analysis versus Project Management

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In many companies, there are uncertainties, which tasks business analysis and which tasks project management have to perform. Find a definition here.

Project Management: Is it art or science?

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Is leading a project to its success a form of art or is it a science to apply defined processes? Or is it maybe something completely different?
business analysis nutshell

Business Analysis in a Nutshell

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What is Business Analysis and why is it of inestimable value for companies trying to reach their real objective while saving resources and money?
Workflow - A combination of processor, activities, products and states

How to Manage Projects Effectively With Workflows

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A workflow is a chain of events, conditions & prerequisites. How do you create a workflow for your project and what advantages do you get using workflows?
The-ideal-number-of-diagrams

The Ideal Number of Diagrams and Diagram Elements

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„How many diagrams are necessary to describe a system?“ Systems developers are familiar with these kinds of questions. But is the number really important?
Compliance_Flexible

Do You Comply?

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Are compliance and flexibility a contradiction or can they go hand in hand if the processes and operations are designed to do so? How do you comply?

The Clever Way of Managing Project Documents

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The universe of project documents is subject to its own project laws, with teleportation and time travels being common phenomena.
Rowboats

Why Projects Fail: The Island Problem

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Projects fail. It is time to improve aspects that are not the primary focus of the projects, but still contribute very much to the success.
personas goals

Three Ways Personas Help To Improve Your Projects

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What do you do if you develop products and your customers don't want to be involved in your team? You can use personas. Personas will help you in 3 ways.
Ideas-Management

I have an idea!

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Ideas are the driving force of progress. Easily support your workflows and perform effective Ideas Management with in-STEP BLUE.

Risk Management: No Risk, No Fun?

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Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. We should take adequate precautions and perform risk management, even if we can't eliminate every risk.
PRINCE2 - Projects in controlled environments

What I Love About PRINCE2

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PRINCE2 is a well-known methodology for running projects. Learn what consultant Olaf Lewitz loves about PRINCE2 for his work.