When I ran a team, there was the need for weekly or at least monthly, staff meetings. Not to, as the comic suggests, get my ego stroked but to make sure everyone was up to date with what everyone else was working on. With an agile team, we are all acutely aware of what we are working on so the only updates that the team needs is on how the company is doing, and I provide that information on demand. Another great agile benefit.
While I did my MBA this was definitely one of the outcomes. However, working on an agile team has changed this. You have to trust your team. You quickly learn that everyone is professional and trying their best to do the job.
My world has changed, for the better. When I first was introduced to Agile it was just a buzzword at a large company. “We need to be more agile. We need to set up agile teams.” Okay, sounds easy. Let me put together a project plan for that. It turns out that we were just paying lip service to an idea that someone told the CIO about. When we had to actually do agile, there was no support, no plan, no idea of what we were supposed to be doing. I had a team of 6 developers working on web projects that reported to me. A great opportunity to actual put an agile team in place, however were told to “Keep Calm and Carry On”
Fast forward a year and I’m now part of an agile company and working closely with an agile team. There are many differences, all of which take some getting used to.
Over the next several posts I will examine some of the major differences:
- Leading from behind
- Where does the work of the PM go?
- No Project Plans
- “Meeting Hell” removed
- Visible, daily updated progress
- “Requirements? We don’t need no stinking requirements!” (with all apologies to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre)
- Weekly/Monthly Status reports: guessing versus actual metrics
- A reason to invest in 3M -> Post-it notes everywhere
The thousands of dollars spent on attaining my PMP are not necessarily wasted, but they are diminishing in value for my future. Sure I can still talk the talk, but I no longer want to walk the walk. In the words of Pumbaa from the Lion King “You’ve got to put your behind in your past”, basically it is time to move forward with something that is better, stronger and faster in delivering results.
Wow. “The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has awarded Accenture Federal Services a five-year, $13 million contract for major architectural improvements and redesign of its three public websites, online tools used most frequently by the public, and the agency’s employee intranet” (source) That seems like a lot of money and a very long time to do some redesign work. I realize that the sites get 35 million hits per day combined, but as someone who has recently converted to agile project management, this seems like a very old school way to do this work.