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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.