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Project Practitioners > Executive

Posts Under "Executive"

Training Does not Equate to a Learning Organization
By Brian Irwin
In a recent discussion it became apparent to me that there may be a fundamental misunderstanding about what it is that defines a learning organization. The discussion was centered on how to help drive agile adoption throughout an organization. My revelation about the misunderstanding came when the individual mentioned that attempts have been made in the past to “institute organizational learning by bringing in agile training and supporting those who desired to attend. The organization was also supportive of individuals pursuing advanced degrees.” First, let’s discuss what a learning organization “is not”. Sending individuals, or teams, or departments to training... Read More»

First Things First: Scale Agile Values and Principles
By Brian Irwin
Over the past few years there’s been an interest in scaling agile to the enterprise. The desire to scale agile seems to have intensified over the last year. Almost without exception, every conference remotely related to software development and/or project management seems to have some presentation on the topic of scaling agile. While I don’t believe this is a bad thing, per se, I believe it misses the point on three levels. First, almost all of the discussions I’ve heard and most everything I read refers to scaling a process. I can understand why so many are looking at the... Read More»

Reality is a Perception: It is Time to Change our Perception
By Nathalie Udo
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." – Albert Einstein There might be disagreements about the root causes, but the facts are clear: The world population is growing rapidly. While it took centuries to get to 1 billion people, it has only taken 80 years to grow from 2 billion to over 7 billion people. During my lifetime alone 3 billion people were added to Earth’s population. The world's economic middle class will grow from 1 billion to 4 billion by 2050. Most of this growth will take place in Asia and South America. Our natural resources... Read More»

An Open Letter to Executives Leading Agile Transformations
By Brian Irwin
Dear Executive, Let me congratulate you on your decision to introduce agile methods within your organization. It is a wise decision that holds incredible potential for your employees, your company, and its customers. If you are just beginning your improvement, or are yet to begin, the journey upon which you are about to embark is one that will be well worth the effort. And it will take effort—long, arduous, and at times frustrating effort. Although Machiavellians do exist, my experience is that they are exceedingly rare. In general, people are good, honest, and hard-working and really want to do the... Read More»

Scrum is Not the Goal
By Brian Irwin
Every day I witness teams doing Scrum, each operating at varying levels of maturity. Scrum is a great way of working because, as a lightweight framework, it dictates nothing about how the actual work inside of a sprint is done. It does provide a number of roles, ceremonies, and artifacts, but stops short of instructing a team how to do its work. How the works actually gets done is determined by a number of factors such as how the team self-organizes, interacts, and how the individual members relate to one another. Sometimes a weakness is simply a strength overdone. I... Read More»

A Day at the Oscars
By Ed Reynolds
The company is in somewhat of an uproar. The CEO has announced a new corporate strategy and organization structure. He holds a company-wide meeting where all this is presented in some detail. His candor encourages a lot of difficult questions from the audience. A key focus area is on increasing span of control but he makes sure everybody knows what he means…we have too many managers and we will be flattening the organization...many managers will lose their jobs. He also comments that sales compensation plans are going to change. Top-line revenue doesn’t drive the right behavior; everybody needs to be... Read More»

The Night Before the Deadline
By Brian Irwin
In all aspects of life, I believe it’s important that we not take ourselves too seriously. With the holidays squarely and firmly upon us, I’ve decided to take a little creative liberty with a popular holiday story. I hope you enjoy the project management version of this holiday classic. ‘Twas the night before the deadline, when all through the plant Not a milestone was met, not one on my Gantt; The status reports were all sent to the sponsor with care, In hopes hopes he would see pending trouble to beware; The team were all nestled all snug in their... Read More»

Knowing Your Limitations
By Patti Gilchrist
According to fictional San Francisco police detective, Inspector Harry Callahan, in Magnum Force of the Dirty Harry film series, “A man's GOT to know his limitations.” While it is true that there comes a point where every individual eventually reaches their limitation and thus you must know your boundaries, how can organizations encourage growth for people to realize their full potential without driving them over the border? And what is the responsibility of the individual to strive to attain their full potential without overstepping the boundaries of their limitations? Below are some tips for individuals and hiring managers to aid... Read More»

Data Management
By Patti Gilchrist
I remember as a child my mother would never throw anything away. If I tried to throw away even a useless scrap of paper, she'd frantically dig through the garbage, excitedly proclaiming that I would one day look back and thank her for not letting me throw away something with such sentimental value. Clothing was packed into bags and stored in the back of the closet for decades. Even if it was 10 years out of date, 10 sizes too small, it could not be thrown out, just in case one day it would come back in style. She refused... Read More»

Managing With Consultants
By Ed Reynolds
If you have been managing for more than a few years, you have been in the situation where you needed some outside help to complete a project. Sometimes you request the help yourself but sometimes your management supplies the help without asking you - how uncomfortable is that? That can create the perception with the consultant that they are there to clean up your mess and they show up with “the attitude.” If you value your team, check with them before you hire consultants to help them and make sure consultants know where they fit in the organization. I knew... Read More»




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