Product Ownership…in a Public Sector environment

These are  the slides with synchronised audio of my presentation to the Public Sector Agile SIG based in the Midlands (UK). This was a day focused on the role of the Product Owner and I was asked to complement the more basic “what is a Product Owner” presentations with a “Product Owners in the real world” talk.

This is not a Scrum-only talk as it also includes mentions of Kanban, Agile PM and DSDM.

Any feedback, comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Dave Snowden’s Keynote at #LKCE12

Extract of the twitter chat generated during Dave Snowden’s keynote presentation at the #LKCE12 conference in Vienna (Austria) on 22 Oct 2012. Includes a link to the presentation slides

Continue reading ‘Dave Snowden’s Keynote at #LKCE12’ »

Agile Coaches Gathering UK Write-up

My write-up of the Agile Coaches Gathering

Continue reading ‘Agile Coaches Gathering UK Write-up’ »

Review of the APMG Agile Project Management Practitioner Training

This article reviews the 4-day Agile Project Management Foundation & Practitioner Level training course certified by APMG International (@APMG_Inter) and based on DSDM Atern (@DSDM). The course I attended was organised by RADTAC (@RADTACLtd) and run by Julia Godwin. Julia is a very experienced trainer (profile) with a superb practical knowledge of DSDM, Agile Methods and Project Management. It is no wonder that she has managed to get a 100% pass record so far despite this being a rather demanding course.

Continue reading ‘Review of the APMG Agile Project Management Practitioner Training’ »

Are You A Professional Agile Project Manager? Time to Ignore Scrum?

Let me get this clear. If you want to be a professional Agile Project Manager, going down the Scrum rabbit-hole could well be a mistake. A mistake with lots of ramifications.

Over the past few years, many traditional (PRINCE2) PMs have retrained as Certified Scrum Masters and they will be livid by this statement and ready for a heated argument. So, please allow me to explain what I mean.

Continue reading ‘Are You A Professional Agile Project Manager? Time to Ignore Scrum?’ »

Agile Project Management: Levels of Intervention

One of the problems for an Agile PM is how much, or little, to intervene and when.

As an Agile transformation coach , all the initial emphasis is put on ensuring that PMs are not com­mand and control, not directive and behave like “good chickens” for their team. This is the standard starting point for an Agile PM managing a per­forming, adult team

However, if things are not going so well, it may be necessary for the PM to change behaviours. After all, the Agile PM is still responsible for delivering the project and managing the risks and issues. From an Agile point of view, this is ac­ceptable, but the level of intervention should be a graduated “ramping up” process, and it needs to be a temporary measure (although changing teams embedded bad behaviours can take some time). It is not a good idea to go straight in at Defcon 1 level.

Continue reading ‘Agile Project Management: Levels of Intervention’ »

Google Apps tools for Social Business

Some of the coolest dis­cov­er­ies of­ten come as a sur­prise and today was no ex­cep­tion as I un­ex­pec­tedly found out a few Google Apps avail­able in the Mar­ket­place that look very slick and use­ful.

Continue reading ‘Google Apps tools for Social Business’ »

Turn your workplace policies into games

If you work for a com­pany of prac­tic­ally of any size and in any in­dustry, it is quite a cer­tainty that you will be ex­pec­ted to read and fol­low a con­sid­er­able num­ber of work­place policies (or man­age­ment de­crees). Many of those policies will have a very good reas­on to be in ex­ist­en­ce. It could be be­cause there are leg­al re­quire­ments that staff must meet in their job, or simply be­cause they re­flect good com­mon sense and best prac­tices.

However, with the rare ex­cep­tion, most of these policies are writ­ten in the most te­di­ous and un­friendly lan­guage pos­sible. The res­ult of­ten is that staff can re­main woe­fully un­aware of key as­pects of their role and un­pre­pared to take the cor­rect ac­tions when the time comes. Staff reg­u­larly see these policies as something neg­at­ive, re­strict­ive and, even, something that needs to be act­ively op­posed.

So, what do we of­ten do, as man­agers, when we real­ise that a policy is not work­ing? We re­write it mak­ing ex­actly the same mis­takes and we de­mand that all staff “read & un­der­stand” the policy. Surely, we are all aware the this is quite likely a point­less ex­er­cise doomed to fail­ure and wast­ing valu­able time (ours and our staff).

So, what can we do?

The Gami­fic­a­tion of the Work­place

Continue reading ‘Turn your workplace policies into games’ »

Are you a Social Gamer? Your mother probably is!

Li­ke it or not, in the mind of the ge­ne­ral pu­blic, the aver­a­ge user of so­ci­al me­dia and so­ci­al ga­ming is li­kely to be a ma­le teen­ager in­tent on con­que­ring the la­test shoot-it-all ga­me avail­able in the mar­ket. Howe­ver, this is li­kely to be mis­sing a new ty­pe of ga­mer with po­ten­ti­al­ly da­ma­ging con­se­quen­ces to com­pa­nies that fail to se­ri­ous­ly un­der­stand the fast-chan­ging world of so­ci­al me­dia and con­su­mer ha­b­its. This new hard-core so­ci­al ga­mer is your mo­ther and, may­be, even your grand­mo­ther.

Continue reading ‘Are you a Social Gamer? Your mother probably is!’ »

Has Facebook Places killed the FourSquare dream?

Fol­low­ing the re­cent an­nounce­ment of the launch of Face­book Places, there have been many blog­gers and so­cial me­dia ex­perts de­clar­ing the death of FourSquare as the next big thing in the world of so­cial me­dia, so­cial net­work­ing and geoloc­a­tion. What is the truth be­hind these pre­dic­tions? And does Foursquare have a way out of the prob­lems it faces with dir­ect com­pet­i­tion from Face­book?

The So­cial Graph Wars

The real­ity is that we are wit­ness­ing an in­tense war for the dom­in­a­tion of the so-called So­cial Graph. The main, and of­ten most ag­gress­ive, play­ers in this war are Face­book, Google and Twit­ter. All three are fight­ing to dom­in­ate this most-luc­rat­ive as­pect of our vir­tu­al lives and, as a res­ult, they are likely to ob­lit­er­ate new com­pet­it­ors along the way.

Continue reading ‘Has Facebook Places killed the FourSquare dream?’ »