watch out goblins

Watch Out, Goblins!

Here in Fairy Project Land, perfect requirements lead to perfect planning and the delivery of a perfect product (every time), a product that satisfies the customers’ every desire. OK, the pixies working on our projects have to use a lot of paper to write absolutely everything down (which upsets the dryads who live in the…

real project startup

Real Project Start-Up

Most project managers I’ve met believe that the only way to give life to a new endeavour is to forcibly introduce stakeholders to Prince2 (or similar) methodology and then to undertake extended interviews with customer group representatives in order to detail to the comma and the second what will be built and when. Thus, full-day…

what is agile

What is Agile? No, Really, What is it?

Now, I consider myself somewhat of an agile practitioner. So I was rather despondent when somebody (from outside of the “project world”) recently asked me “What is Agile” and I found myself unable to give a satisfactory explanation! Sure, I could recite (most of) the 12 agile principles, and evangelise about self-organising teams, but I…

status reports are evil

Status Reports are Evil

I am not a big fan of status reports. As far as I’m concerned, they should all come with a health warning: “this is a political tool – all statuses allowed as long as they are green”. Surely common sense tells us that the only indicator of how well we are doing is the rapid…

projects- a big list of stuff

Projects: a Big List of Stuff

Whatever agile methodologies may say about “plug and play” teams, in an increasingly complex working world it is no longer feasible for one person to have the skills necessary to undertake all of their colleagues’ activities. While an engineer in Henry Ford’s day could rise through the ranks to become a project manager able to…

pirates ahoy

Pirates Ahoy!

The Agile Project Management people provide an analogy whereby traditional project management methodologies are likened to a railroad track between two known points and Agile to a boat taking a faster, uncharted seaborne route. The idea is that a skilled boat captain should be able to make rapid and calculated course alterations in order to arrive…

Is Agile So Different

Is Agile So Different?

Project managers tend to get very all-or-nothing about their favourite methodologies. A suggestion of anything less than 100% requirements coverage is invariably met with folded arms and cries of “cowboy approach” while huge requirements documents elicit calls of “useless” and “won’t be read”. Maybe the biggest reason for these emotive responses is a lack of…

Sony- Agile in Action

Sony: Agile in Action

The Agile Manifesto Principle # 1: “Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools.” A visual case study of the Agile ethos in action, from a previous client.   HOME

project management rip

Project Management, RIP

What do PM’s actually do? Replace “physicist” with “project manager” in the following exchange from the 1988 movie “Young Einstein”: does this pretty much sum up most people’s impression of the PM role?  “Dad, I want to be a physicist project manager” “What do they grow son?” “They don’t grow anything” “Well what’s the use of…

get agile

Get Agile

When starting a project, a conscious decision must be made regarding the governance and methodology to be adopted. For many people, the default choice is a serial “Waterfall” process of requirements-gathering followed by design, build, hopefully a bit of testing, and finally deployment, with each phase completed before the next can start and no phase…