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The Myth of the Project Manager in Agile Project Management

Between Santa Claus, Big Foot and the Agile Project Manager, which exists? Few people argue for the existence of Big Foot or Santa Claus, though most believe that Agile Project Managers exist. I would contend that none of them exist, especially the Agile project manager. (BTW we used a photo of a Wookie for Big Foot since all the pictures we had of Big Foot were blurry.)

An Exciting Benefit of Agile Transformation

A few months ago I had a conversation with a development manager whose teams had transitioned to Scrum earlier in the year. The development manager said he was really happy with the transition to Scrum and how productive, transparent and collaborative the teams had become. Then almost as an afterthought, he mentioned another benefit of Agile Transformation that excited me.

Agile Practice Guide

PMI Produced a Guide to the Agile Methodology?

Some of you may be surprised as I was to learn about PMI's recent collaboration with the Agile Alliance to produce an overview of Agile Methodologies. Groups of volunteers from both organization worked together to draft and review a document on Agile.  The product of their work is the newly published, Agile Practice Guide. A PMI publication, this document is now generally available and is included with the free download of the 6th Edition of the PMBOK.

Agile and Scrum Tip Sheet

During training courses, I often think it would be helpful to have all of Scrum and Agile summarized on one page.  It’s actually not so easy!  Even though the Agile Manifesto is just 4 values and 12 principles, and the Scrum Guide is 17 pages, it is still hard to summarize all that on one slide.  We’ve tried anyway, and I am interested in your opinion on our efforts. 

Motivated Individuals: Your Champions for High Performing Teams
Most people have no idea what motivates teams or creates high-performing teams. And even if you tell them, they don't seem to remember or care.

​I've had more than a few conversations over the last few years that led me to this conclusion.  I heard some pretty outlandish things and some pretty offensive things.
We Are Using Agile - Why Are Things Getting Worse?

Most IT organizations today have adopted some flavor of Agile.  Some use it across the board and some use it for just a few projects.  The question I frequently get from leaders and managers is why are things getting worse now that we are using Agile?!?  If this describes your experience, here are 5 questions you can use to better understand the results you are getting.
#1 - Are You Seeing Problems You Have Always Had or Are They New Problems?

Wait, That's Not Agile!

I have a colleague who is an Agile Coach and he frequently helps me to see my own biases about agile.  He gently points out that something I said was actually about Scrum, and not about Agile.  You see my colleague comes from an XP background.  When I talk about sprints or backlog refinement or other Scrum-specific concepts, he finds it jarring. 

Agile Hybrid Approaches - How to Get Just the Right Mix

It's interesting to me that the main people who talk about using hybrid approaches to Agile are traditionally trained project managers. They believe there is a special blend of waterfall and agile techniques that will yield better results than either approach alone.  They want to take the best of both worlds. I think they are misguided.

Reports of the Death of Agile Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Last month I wrote about a couple of blog posts on LinkedIn about the death of Agile.  Though the author admitted he was speaking tongue in cheek (and clearly hyping the topic by using an image of a nuclear explosion), he raised some good points about why some people wish Agile were dead.  In this post, I look at the areas where I agree with the author, as well as where I think he is wrong.

What is the Leader's Role in an Agile Transformation?

Many organizations today are running Agile pilots or are attempting an Agile Transformation. They want the flexibility and business agility that Agile methods promise. Leaders play a key role in the Agile Transformation. It is only with a solid understanding of this critical role that the transformation will succeed and deliver the promised benefits.