Project Management Archive

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Podcast Interview on Personal Kanban

I recently spoke with Dave Prior to discuss Personal Kanban, the ways in which we’ve each used it to manage the work we have to do, and what it has taught us about ourselves and how we get things done professionally and personally.

Here are some links to people and things I mention in the podcast.

Personal Kanban – Book by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Berry
Jim Benson – Super insightful and nice guy
LeanKit – The digital tool to help manage my analog work and life
Pomodoro Time 1.1 – Keeps me focused 25 minutes at a time

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Cost of Delay is Important

A few days ago, I published an introduction to Cost of Delay over on the LeadingAgile blog. I asked some of my colleagues to check my numbers because the one thing I’ve noticed, people can be pretty unforgiving with spelling and math errors. The interest and response from both my colleagues and readers has been really positive.

What I demonstrated in the blog post is, surprisingly, doing the most valuable feature first in your portfolio backlog is not always the best economic decision. Next time you prioritize your portfolio, do not just try to maximize value delivered. Limit your cost of delay. – See more at: http://www.leadingagile.com/2015/06/an-introduction-to-cost-of-delay/#sthash.ODrAFTyO.dpuf

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Agile Baltimore Unconference

agile-baltimore-logo-21Click here to register for just $29!

Agile Baltimore Unconference

Monday, October 12, 2015 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

ETC Incubator
101 N Haven St
Baltimore, Maryland 21224
United States
Map and Directions


Join us for the first annual unconference with Agile Baltimore Group as local Lean/Agile practitioners, technologists, entrepreneurs and advocates come together for a day of idea sharing, networking, and collaboration. The conference will be organized with a modified open space format to allow for meaningful conversations to take place throughout the day. As part of your registration, free breakfast, lunch, and beverages will be provided.
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What is the goal?

What is the goal?

I seem to lead with that question a lot these days. Is the goal to practice Scrum? Is the goal to apply SAFe? Is the goal to use some other Agile delivery framework? Is the goal to uphold the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto?

They are all means to an end. Your goal depends on your organization. Fundamentally, every for-profit organization I’ve come in contact with has pretty much the same primary goal. Make money!

Before committing budget for that next project, let’s first ask ourselves if we know our core business drivers.

Common Business Drivers

  • Predictability
  • Higher Quality
  • Shorter time to market
  • Lower Costs

But let’s look at this again. What is the primary goal? Make money!

How do we achieve the goal?

  • Through predictability, we get better at forecasting sales and delivery (lead times)
  • Through higher quality, we lower costs of rework and increase customer satisfaction
  • With shorter time to market, we can get an earlier ROI and increase cash flow
  • With lower costs, we free up capital for other areas of our organization

Answer these questions:

  1. What is your primary organizational goal?
  2. What are your core business drivers, relative to your primary organizational goal?
  3. If you don’t know the goal, how do you know where to spend your time or money?
  4. How do you know where to start?

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My Personality Assessment

checklistI recently took a personality assessment for LeadingAgile.  I didn’t know what to expect.  I wasn’t happy with all of the choices that were presented to me but I answered all of the questions the best that I could.  Below is the outcome of the assessment.  When I showed it to my wife, she laughed and nodded her head. Regardless if this was a partial result or the full readout, they kind of nailed it.

Strengths:

  • Assumes the weight of the world on his shoulders
  • Probably more good than bad, but his focus in personal goals and relentless intensity can make for a person who will execute at a high level.
  • His quick decision-making and ability to change direction is helpful to inspire confidence.

Opportunity:

  • His temper and emotions get the best of him at times and can be explosive.
  • He tends to be focused on going solo in his role and probably doesn’t share much.
  • He’s super willing to take on tasks or responsibility which may weigh him down especially as he’s not the most organized person either.

Final Take:

  • There’s A LOT going on in his life and he’s not taking time to stay balanced.
  • Something is new or changed in his life that is causing him to be really stressed and not have time to exercise and is causing him to be really short and harsh in his reaction and interactions with others.
  • He’s a really strong individual who has a ton of quality strengths, he just needs to fix whatever is going on with him and build a way to manage the stress and aggravation that is present.

I’ll have to give these these people credit.  They pretty much nailed me.  I am very goal orientated and do have a relentless intensity.  When someone tells me they are doing their best, my internal monologue says something like “Don’t do your best. Do better”.  To provide clarity around “he tends to be focused on going solo”, it should be written as “if he doesn’t feel confident others will do something to the level he expects, he’ll do it himself”.  I do take on a lot of responsibility and lack organization and therefore use a personal kanban for everything.  I think the misunderstanding there is I enforce my WIP limits.

Knowing my limitations makes me very anxious.  I’m working on balancing things out a little by running more, which I did this morning.  My long term goal is having a stable velocity and sustainable pace.

 

Has anyone else out there taken one of these assessments?  What do you think of them?