It’s budget season. The economy is in the tank. You know budget cuts are are on their way. How do you make sure your team and projects survive? Prove that agile increases value. That’s exactly the message Richard Leavitt and Michael Mah presented this morning. But, to get your executives to keep your team and your funding, they don’t really need to understand agile per se, they need to understand the financial value of agile. That’s what they understand and care about. The numbers. So Richard and Michael gave the numbers and explained how to talk to the C-level when trying to show the advantages of agile development practices.
Posts from the "Project Management" Category
We all learn how to ride a bike the same way: we learn to pedal, keep our balance, and steer. And that’s it. We learn how to ride when we’re 5 years old and we’re off and riding for the rest of our lives with minimal instruction. I used this limited knowledge for years as I raced in triathlons and various cycling events. Last week I bought a new bike (an Orbea Orca for those of you who care). As part of the deal, I got a custom bike fitting and coaching session. I learned a lot during the session, mainly that I needed to learn how to “ride” a bike. I learned that my cycling posture was wasting a lot of energy and that my pedal stroke was not as efficient as it could be. I took the coach’s advice and this weekend put it into practice. And boy, was I sore. I was using my muscles in a whole new way. And guess what, I was riding faster and more efficiently. Over time, my muscles will get used to riding the right way and won’t hurt as much, and I’ll keep improving my speed and efficiency.
Many organizations require a fair bit of weekly or monthly project status reports in order to provide invoices to clients and executive level visibility into project status. Recently, I’ve been working through the issue of project reporting on our agile projects at the request of our COO. He has implemented a policy requesting weekly project status reports that require reporting on the iron triangle of scope, schedule and budget. It’s not an overly complicated report and it doesn’t take much time to assemble. However, I’m not entirely sure that it provides useful information for our customers and our executives. It’s very easy to gloss over the facts in a line item report with very generalized reports for milestones, schedules, and forecasts reported only by a project manager. Currently, my scope status section of the report looks something like this:
Yesterday’s keynote speaker at the ESRI Developers Summit was Alan Cooper. Cooper is the author of The Inmates are Running the Asylum and About Face. His talk was entitled Post Industrial Management. Mainly, he discussed how to get non-technical people to have success and achieve their goals with software products. He did make some very interesting and valid points regarding the management and executive view of software development. In particular, he emphasized that organizational structure and technologies that worked in the past are failing today in the post-industrial bit-centric world. I completely agree on this point. Most of what passes for management today is based on industrial management, but the industrial age is over. We need a new wave of executives to find the right organizational cultures and management tactics to support the new post-industrial knowledge workers.
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