Author: Martin

Back to the essence (of PRINCE2 and Agile/Scrum)

I sometimes notice that people get confused implementing PRINCE2 and/or Scrum. Especially PRINCE2 is notorious for the amount of processes and artifacts. Scrum is much more free format, but also with Scrum people seem to lose track over what’s really important. So here’s my view on the essentials of both PRINCE2 and Scrum. PRINCE2 – product based planning PRINCE2 as a method is reverse engineered from successful projects. It’s a bid sad that the end result (a PRINCE2 manual) gives the impression of a mostly theoretical approach, but nevertheless there are valuable concepts in there, based on practical success rather than theory. In my opinion the essence of an effective project management approach is product based planning. There’s a big difference between focus on delivering a product (which is a project result) and focus on performing work (which isn’t the goal of a project). So, please use a product breakdown structure instead of a work breakdown structure. Determine which products are made by the project and which ones are necessary for the end result, but are made by other parties. Determine for each product quality criteria and a quality process. Determine the interdependencies between those products and the roadmap from the first till the last product. Only then start looking at activities. Finally, start delivering products! Agile/Scrum – delivering production-ready products each sprint In theory each sprint a number of production level quality user stories (let’s call them products)...

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New cool video on leadership: Greatness

Today I found a new cool video on the leadership subject. Inno-Versity created an Inno-Mation based on the book by former US submarine captain David Marquet in which he explains how he turned his submarine from the worst to the best performing vessel in the US Navy. His experiences closely resemble the leadership style needed for high performing agile teams. Of course it also resembles lean leadership...

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Calculating planning uncertainty for agile projects (Excel 2010 template included)

I’m a great believer in visual management. I love brown papers with sticky notes and lots of charts. That’s also why I love spreadsheets. Not because I think you can manage projects by crunching data, but spreadsheets give me the opportunity to visualize the project’s status and progress by creating charts. One of the most challenging parts of agile project management is managing trust and uncertainty. Of course the best way to create trust is to deliver software and demo it each sprint. Keeping status and progress transparent also is a “trust requirement”. Still, sometimes going agile is a big leap of...

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