5 Reasons Why Being Agile Is More Important Than Being Perfect for Innovation


I must agree that all my projects that leverage Agile practices produce Customers and Employees that are much more ENERGIZED and ENGAGED. By continuously releasing features and functionality – your project stays “top of mind” and “talked about” with your sponsors and customers.

A great example would be several of the projects in my current program where we have created a prioritized backlog of features we believe meet our customer’s needs.  Which was done after a 2-3 month planning and analysis phase that outlined the resource, budget, technology, and architectural needs for our sponsors.

We are now putting a release roadmap together for iterative releases on a 4 week cycle.   And the developers and testers are using daily standups during each iterative development cycle to keep a handle on progress, obsticles, and continuously adjusting the backlog for future releases.

A great article I read this weekend talked about the 5 Reasons Agile is much more important than being Perfect for being innovative, including:

1. Speed Wins
2. Perfection equals 2nd place
3. Who’s perfection is it anyways
4. It energizes your employees
5. It energizes your customers

Click here for the full article on OPENForum 

 

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Keep up to date on Agile-Lean News with Paper.li

One of the greatest tools I’ve found to stay up to date on what is going on in the Agile/Lean space is Paper.li.  It is a tool that sends you daily emails from all kinds of social media resourcs on the Agile topic – in newspaper format.  So you don’t have to goto twitter, facebook, RSS feeds — it does it for you. Talk about saving you time.

You type in some key words and Paper.li will give you a list of newsletters available to you to subscribe to.

When you subscribe to one – you will get a newsletter emailed to you….

If you don’t see something you want – then create one yourself !   It is super easy.  Enjoy !

 

 

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Agile / Lean / Waterfall in the same Project – Is that possible?

I was asked recently:

“Do you believe Agile and Lean methods can be used along side traditional waterfall in the same project ?”

I quickly answered,

“YES I do – and I’ve done it with amazing results”

Agile methodology evangelists often find it difficult to obtain management support.  

They are often seen as trying to implement dramatic changes.  Or trying to fix something that is not broken.   Agile requires that developers, managers and users alike must change the way they work and think – when I’ve found that people resist change – especially change that they don’t understand.

XP practices is an example of this:  where pair programming, test-first design, continuous integration, and an on-site customer can seem like almost impossible changes to implement.

So is there another way to become Agile?

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Playing Games: Project Management’s Next Innovation

Communication and social dysfunctional relationships are often associated with project teams’ inability to meet their project goals and objectives. This all too often leads to project’s coming in over budget and/or schedule.

The social and emotional skills of a project teams and individuals have been de-emphasized in favor of process and procedural fulfillment on part of the project profession.  In some respects, this is leading towards the commoditization of project management.

There’s a clear need to acknowledge and value of emotional and social intelligence in project teams. Research shows the best way to increase emotional and social intelligence is through experiential processes like ‘serious games’. Serious games provide a powerful, proven new tool for the PM toolkit. They are an engaging, economical way to create respect, trust, appreciation for diversity and ultimately organizational value.

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Scott Ambler’s State of the IT Union Survey (July 2010)

The goal of Scott’s ongoing survey series is to find out what IT professionals are actually doing in practice. There’s a lot of rhetoric flying around out there but not a lot of hard data, making it very difficult for IT departments to make fact-based decisions as to how to organize the work that they do.

You can help to rectify this problem by filling out this survey as honestly and thoroughly as you can.

This survey should take you less than 5 minutes to complete.

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The Financial and Budgetary Impact of Agile and Lean

Learn about the financial risks of  ‘Leaned out IT.’

Agile teams are better aligned with corporate financial priorities, enable a higher rate of capitalization, consume less cash, provide better cash management, protect yields, and reduce exposure to “black swan” events.  But liquidity and solvency threats are loops that IT must mitigate.   A webinar from Thoughworks.

COST: Free
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Webinar Recording is here

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CASE STUDY – PART 5 – Proven, Practical Tactics For Agile IT Release Management (LESSONS LEARNED)

OVERVIEW:

This article is the last in a series of five which explain how an IT organization delivered a release management process that exceeded its management’s expectations and provided a foundation for continued success. The series includes:

  1. How did we get here – THE CONTEXT
  2. First solution steps – DEFINITIONS AND TRIAGE
  3. Intake and Release Planning – THE CORE SOLUTION
  4. Production Change Control – FINAL QUALITY CONTROL
  5. Metrics and Insights – LESSONS LEARNED

SUMMARY:

Many Information Technology organizations flounder when they are tasked to understand, organize and implement change to the system and application software serving their clients and end customers over a period of several years. This fifth article focuses on the key results of the solutions developed during the Release Management consulting engagement.

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CASE STUDY – Part 4 – Proven, Practical Tactics For Agile IT Release Management (FINAL QUALITY CONTROL)

OVERVIEW:

This article is the fourth in a series of five which explain how an IT organization delivered a release management process that exceeded its management’s expectations and provided a foundation for continued success. The series includes:

  1. How did we get here – THE CONTEXT
  2. First solution steps – DEFINITIONS AND TRIAGE
  3. Intake and Release Planning – THE CORE SOLUTION
  4. Production Change Control – FINAL QUALITY CONTROL
  5. Metrics and Insights – LESSONS LEARNED
SUMMARY:
Many Information Technology organizations flounder when they are tasked to understand, organize and implement change to the system and application software serving their clients and end customers over a period of several years. This fourth article focuses on the key processes of the solution I developed during the Release Management consulting engagement.
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CASE STUDY – Part 3 – Proven, Practical Tactics For Agile IT Release Management (THE CORE SOLUTION)

OVERVIEW:

This article is the third in a series of five which explain how an IT organization delivered a release management process that exceeded its management’s expectations and provided a foundation for continued success. The series includes:

  1. How did we get here – THE CONTEXT
  2. First solution steps – DEFINITIONS AND TRIAGE
  3. Intake and Release Planning – THE CORE SOLUTION
  4. Production Change Control – FINAL QUALITY CONTROL
  5. Metrics and Insights – LESSONS LEARNED

SUMMARY:

Many Information Technology organizations flounder when they are tasked to understand, organize and implement change to the system and application software serving their clients and end customers over a period of several years. This third article focuses on the key processes of the solution I developed for the Release Management consulting engagement.

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Top 10 Skills in Demand in 2010 (PM is #1)

I recently read the Global Knowledge/TechRepublic 2010 Salary Survey results, where they asked:

“What skill set will your company be looking to add in 2010?”

And although there were many technical skills listed as are normally expected – the #1 was Project Management with Business Analysis making a come back in the top 5.  The reason they said was the need for organizations to acheive ROI via professional project planning and implementation.

I have even found that my clients are even doing ROI analysis – by doing “prove it to me” work after the project has completed to see if the project really delivered on what was outlined in the business plan that justified the work in the first place.

PMs still need to advance their status in Organizations:

According to an article on the Project Management Institute Web site, project managers still have to develop their

  • people skills,
  • organizational leadership, and
  • individual professionalism.

It isn’t enough to pass the PMP exam.   Team building, relationship building, team leadership -v- management and more are the skills organizations need us PMs to provide them.  And the broader lifecycle experience you can offer, the more valuable and in-demand you are to them.

BA’s need “faster pace” skills:

This economy has made companies think through their business problems and solutions.   Where the BA is playing the role of “liason among stakeholders” to gather requirements.    And IIBA says there are 3 types of BAs:

  1. Enterprise BAs – who identify opportunities for business change & define the work to be done
  2. Transition BAs – who fine-tunes the plans
  3. Project BAs – who work on project teams that implement the changes

People are more than titles – our skills define us…

Due to the faster pace times that started in the 90’s – starting the need for Agile-Lean approaches to be used — I have found that many of my fellow “seasoned PMs” have all these skills and are playing one or more of these roles to help bring focus and value to the customer and business.  Especially technical PM’s who have a business side to them – they not only can gather the requirements effectively, they also see the bigger picture of implementation.   Hence they are helping bridge the customer needs for the implementation team…so Agile-Lean methods can be used to produce value to customers faster.

** To read the entire survey by Global Knowledge/TechRepublic, go here

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