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Agile from a 20 year PMP veteran – Where does the work of the PM go?

The PM’s time is spent on a myriad of activities (as found here):

• Planning and Defining Scope   • Activity Planning and Sequencing   • Resource Planning   • Developing Schedules   • Time Estimating   • Cost Estimating          • Developing a Budget   • Documentation   • Creating Charts and Schedules   • Risk Analysis   • Managing Risks and Issues   • Monitoring and Reporting Progress   • Team Leadership   • Strategic Influencing   • Business Partnering   • Working with Vendors   • Scalability, Interoperability and Portability Analysis   • Controlling Quality   • Benefits Realisation

Notice the centralization of responsibility and the single focus on this one individual for the planning (mentioned several times) and documentation as referenced by ‘estimating’, ‘developing’ and ‘analysis’.  The PM is the one person with their neck in a noose as far as the project goes, a very visible and real alliteration of what happens if the project doesn’t go well. But also notice that of all of these actions, none of them create any real business value.  They are all based on making sure everyone knows what they are doing and where the project is going.

The real business value is created by doing actual work.

Planning and defining scope happen in real time and is distributed between the entire team. Distributed work is still getting done, however with Agile it’s getting done as needed and it’s not a separate phase of a project.  Same goes for almost all of the other activities; they are all done as and when needed and not as a stand alone effort.  As well, the work is distributed to the entire team or it is deferred indefinitely.

Everyone has a different perspective

Perspective

Having some great success with this warm up exercise

I learned this one a few months ago and have been using it in retrospectives and in some of the training I have been part of.  It’s called “Fortunately/Unfortunately”. I explain that this warm up exercise helps with communication skills by making the participants actively listen to what the previous person said and then responding appropriately.

The instructions are quite simple. The first person in the group starts a sentence with “Fortunately” and the next person follow up on the sentence with “Unfortunately”.  It’s important that they listen to what was said and make their sentence follow the same theme.  During one session I had started with “Fortunately my wife is pregnant” and the next person, who obviously wasn’t paying attention stated “Unfortunately the Raptors are out of the playoffs.”.

I use the “Fortunately my wife is pregnant” when I am explaining the game to the group because it also loosens them up and gets them laughing as I follow that statement up with “Unfortunately the baby isn’t mine”!

During this exercise there is a lot of laughter and creativity, which really helps everyone loosen up before your session.

Difficulty: Easy

I plan on working from home a lot this year

Looks like Hoth

The importance of training

Muhammad Ali

I need to get some of these to hand out

Meeting

Business role definitions

Business Role definitions

Master versus beginner

Master versus Beginner

Asking Questions

Asking Questions

Two rules for success

Success

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