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Project Practitioners > Behavioral Characteristics

Posts Under "Behavioral Characteristics"

Adapting to Our Partners' Perspective
By Jeff Richardson
Partnering is an evolving practice that is essential for survival in our rapidly growing global economy. On the surface the process seems simple and the savings substantial, but lying below the surface is a host of challenges and conflicts waiting to undermine good intentions. Your NDA’s and legal contracts are the least of your problems. When I first got involved in multi-company collaboration programs I was somewhat naive to the intricate differences in company cultures. There are hundreds of small, seemingly insignificant ways of operating that go unnoticed when immersed in your company’s ‘business as usual’ mode. These differences become... Read More»

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Creating New Team Connections
By Jeff Richardson
Resist the urge to “get right to work” when bringing new team members together to launch a new project. As the project manager, you’ve already gotten a head start by working for days, weeks or even months to build the business case and initiate the team’s kickoff. I’m constantly amazed at how haphazard the process for assigning project team member is at successful tech companies. So often engineers or support staff showing up at a kickoff session with no information about what’s going on or why they are here. Individuals coming together during this “forming” stage of team development1 may... Read More»

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Aligning People on Multi-Cultural Project Teams
By Jeff Richardson
Doesn’t it feel like sometimes the deck is stacked against you? Project success seems elusive as business complexity reaches a tipping point. I miss the days when technology innovation was the primary hurdle to overcome. In today’s environment, project leaders are dealing with complex set of variables that make their work more unpredictable than ever. Matrix structures, cross-cultural members, distributed locations, short term mindsets and unrealistic expectations are the norm in many companies. Managing these compounding factors isn’t as hopeless as it seems, provided you get the team aligned in moving in the right direction. Neuroscience experts are confirming insights... Read More»

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Scrum is not Difficult; Abandoning the Familiar Is
By Brian Irwin
Scrum is one of the easiest frameworks to understand. I’ve heard it said that, while Scrum is easily understood, it’s difficult to do. While teams and organizations do struggle with Scrum, I tend to disagree with the wholesale statement that Scrum is difficult to do. One of the reasons I believe this statement came about is that teams and organizations aren’t realizing the benefits they originally expected they’d receive when first adopting Scrum. The Scrum framework is intentionally lightweight and easily understood. Struggling to implement something that’s easily understood is indicative of different issues. Before I get too deep into... Read More»

Agility Does Not Exist in the Absence of Organizational Learning
By Brian Irwin
I've become increasingly convinced that a lack of learning is one of the largest inhibitors of agile transformation results. One can argue that we are at, or nearing, the end of the knowledge era. Knowledge is ubiquitous. Simple possession of knowledge is not sufficient for either the individual or the organization. Today's rapidly changing business climate requires the coalescing of knowledge and experience into rapid learning that can be applied to problems and opportunities we can leverage for business value–quickly. The amplification of learning is a key principle in lean and agile methods. However, this is where traditional organizations making... Read More»

Retrospectives and Getting Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
By Brian Irwin
The tension is palpable and suffocating, as if a pillow is being held over my face in anticipation of drawing my last breath. The last team member enters the room and it’s time to begin. “Welcome to the sprint retrospective,” I say with conviction. Perhaps I’m trying to convince myself that I’m emotionally ready. Or, maybe I’m trying to be an insulator to the electricity of anticipation coursing through the team room. Welcome to the retrospective. For me, and many other coaches or ScrumMasters, the sprint review is the most difficult undertakings. Yet, in my view, it is one of... Read More»

Think Differently About Project "Crunch Time"
By Margaret de Haan
So we have all been the lead on a Project that hit “crunch time” where everyone has borrowed a sleeping bag and planned on camping at the office 24/7 for a few days to make sure that the date is met, right? Well I have been speaking to a number of individuals from different organizations at some of my networking events that I have attended recently, and one of the COO’s that I met came out with a revelation that I feel I just have to share even though it should be considered obvious. In a discussion about the “Go... Read More»

How Should We Measure Success?
By Margaret de Haan
Obviously if you ask any of us the above question, the rote answer is “A Project that is delivered within scope, on time and within budget”. But really, it isn’t that easy, is it? That definition, as with everything, depends on the perspective of what your team and your Project Sponsor defines as "within scope” and “on time”. I have struggled with this since starting out as a Project Manager, and I have found that that possibility of misalignment in the perception of those particular Project components is most likely rooted in the corporate culture, and the level of maturity... Read More»

Agile Project Management, Yes! Agile Project Manager, No!
By Brian Irwin
There are two primary camps in the agile community concerning the role of project managers. One camp, the agile purist, contends there is no project manager in agile; while the other, whom we’ll refer to for purposes of this discussion as the traditionalist, argues that there is absolutely a place in agile for the project manager. My colleague and fellow blogger Kent McDonald explored the topic in two blog posts (1, 2) and I also contributed an earlier post on the topic. First, to ensure we’re all on the same page I will give an overview of the argument from... Read More»

Project Management and the Art of Confrontation
By Margaret de Haan
I have been brushing up on my negotiation skills to ensure my sanity lately, and came across a fantastic presentation deck about confrontation that I am sure every Project Manager on the planet can benefit from. I have summarized in my own words the highlights below, including some personal thoughts regarding the conclusions and comments made. If you would like to review the entire deck, please access the following link: http://www.pmipr.org/html/presentaciones/confrontation%20skills.pdf In terms of background on this “tool”, there are a few different confrontational types of behavior: Aggressive; Non-Assertive & Assertive – the “preferred” method. Assertive behavior involves face-to-face, respectful... Read More»




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