9 de marzo de 2014

The Agile Project Manager (part II)

... read the previous post

So, finally the project was a success, not because of you, but despite you. You wanted to impose unwise methods, now you realize that. Fortunately your team did not obey you. Now you know they were right, and you were not. You are also worried about the near future. Nowadays it is not very uncommon that projects are under continous change by nature. Knowledge workers have to give the most within the least time, adapting efforts to the changing needs from customers. Moreover, you feel this is not only a trend: this is like business as usual more and moreYou recently did some research about agile methods. To your surprise, these methods are simple and easy to understand (the challenge is not about knowing them, but practicing them properly). You enjoy specially practical videos explaining the job of a product ownerhttp://goo.gl/NHYZWL; and this other one on daily stand-upshttp://goo.gl/EiXCGo

Why not using your project management knowledge, skills and experience on this kind of projects? 

Next time you have an adaptive project, you will not keep aside:
  • In this project, the customer managed the requirements list, but this quite rare, isn't it? Could you play this role? How did they name it, Product Owner? Okay, let's be the product owner if the project demands.
  • In this project, you had an experienced mature team. What if the team members are new to the project job and they need to develop their particular role from scracth? You recognize the advantage of a self-directed team, but this does not happen expontaneously, you have to facilitate it. Maybe the servant leadership style shoud fit adaptive projects? 
  • Following situational leadership theory, you expect to follow the four styles of directing, coaching, supporting and delegating. Meanwhile, the team will go through the phases of the Tuckman model: forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. You expect to get the norming phase at the third iteration. It sounds as a good idea that the Scrum Master role will be assumed by one different team member on each iteration from the third iteration to the project finish? This would facilitate the forming of a self-managed team. Let’s play ourselves the role of the Scrum Master on iteration 1-2-3 if needed.
  • On this project, cost management has been quite easy: there was not a serious constraint on budget at completion. You could adopt these new methods to monitor iteration cost, this is basic math. What if the customer has to meet cost goals on a constrained project? Then the customer would certainly appreciate your knowledge about earned value management: cost variance is about 10,500€ so far; variance at completion will be of 12,800€; we need to improve cost performance from 0.85 to 1.26 in order to finish below the funding limit, etc.
  • Above all, somebody will have to manage stakeholder engagement, project communications, documents, logs, etc. The processes followed by the team are there, but what about the other processes? Somebody will have to ensure that the right processes are in place. And what about risk management? Somebody will have to manage future problems proactively. For a project manager like you, this is business as usual.

To be continued...
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