PMO Notebook is a site for Scrum practitioners, PMO Leaders, Program Managers and Project Managers - I've created this site to share information based on my experiences in those areas.
A Software Team's Journey to Great Achievements!
It is amazing to watch a few key factors to come together, enabling extraordinary accomplishments. This happened with a group of teams that I headed for several years. This is a journey of five dedicated and capable software teams - a path of greater teamwork, closer partnering with our customers, and game-changing solution deliveries. I initially thought of this as a story about implementing Scrum, but it is much more than adopting a team framework. This is about creating an environment and culture that supports teams and unleashes their creativity.
Determine Your PMO's Value Before Someone Else Does!
Without a single, universal definition of a PMO, stakeholders frequently have a wide range of expectations for a given PMO's focus and performance. It wouldn't be surprising if these varied assumptions resulted in unfavorable criticism of your PMO. How can a PMO survive under these conditions? Is a PMO leader destined to fail? Not necessarily - it might help to evaluate your PMO's effectiveness regularly and ensure that you indeed do have a high performing PMO that is creating and delivering recognized value - here are three areas in which to examine your PMO.
Five Essential Skills for Managers Transitioning to Scrum
If you are a manager and your team is adopting Scrum, then you can anticipate some confusion and ambiguity about your role in the transition to Agile methods. It isn't clear how your management background, skills, expertise and routines will fit into this new world of Scrum. With no definition of a manager role in the Scrum Guide, what are you to do? What skills will you need? How will you know if you are successful? Here's a starter set of five areas in which every "agile" manager will need to be skilled.
Skill Needed by Every Agile Transformation Leader
Introducing Agile methods to a team is frequently approached as a sequence of training events for the team, perhaps a tool purchase, and a period of coaching. Organizational Agile Transformation is a less developed field of practice, and I think much more complex because it has impacts far beyond the Agile Team, touching product managers, executives, financial planning and much more. The inherent risks of such a complex transformation create a need for a few essential leadership skills - I've identified three skills areas that I see as crucial for any Agile Transformation Leader.
Adopting Scrum Requires Much More Than Just Knowing About Scrum
A Scrum implementation is a difficult endeavor that can fracture relationships, diminish team performance, and impact business outcomes. Or, it can drive teams to higher levels of performance in delivering increased value. Here are a few tips for a team that can help your Scrum Implementation be successful.
An Easy Read and Good Introduction to DevOps
PMO leaders, don't be left in the dust. While agile teams are justifiably proud of transitioning from twice a year big-bang releases to bi-monthly releases, others are already releasing multiple times per day! Introduce yourself to DevOps with this book, The Phoenix Project, and get excited about the possibilities of ultra-effective cross-functional teamwork and short release cycles.
A Great PMO Doesn't Just Happen - Here's How You Can Establish the Right PMO
Building a Toolkit for your Change Initiatives
Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Project Managers, PMOs and Executives are all in the business of introducing changes that provide benefit to customers, the organization and employees. It is the rare team that listens to your outstanding transformation idea and immediately proceeds with implementation. This journey of change is almost always faced with resistance, challenges and detours. Familiarity with Organizational Change Management methods is a key enabler for success. I gravitate to Kotter's Leading Change framework, but there are other methods and techniques that might be better suited for your transformation initiative.
Not just a new name for a project status meeting!
The transition to becoming a self-organized team involves a fundamental change in how individuals, teams, and management approach their respective responsibilities. Traditionally managed teams depend upon anointed leaders who give direction, track progress and push the project to completion. Self-organized teams operate quite differently, and in such a team there is no explicit or implicit role of “project leader” or “project manager.” In the context of a self-organized team, this article describes how to implement the daily stand-up meeting.
A Straightforward Outline of Activities and Approaches for a Successful Retrospective
While the concept of a project retrospective is easy to grasp, it is all too easy to fail when trying to implement the concept. Esther Derby and Diana Larsen have literally written the book on retrospectives - here is their five-step approach with some specific tips to get your project teams effectively conducting project retrospectives.
Too Many Teams Have Forgotten How to Celebrate. Here's a Reminder That Recognition is Important.
Some project teams celebrate the completion of a project, while many others let this milestone pass without any special recognition for the team of the accomplishment. I've been in both environments, and greatly prefer a company, organization and team culture that acknowledges efforts and accomplishments - these places are just more enjoyable. A little appreciation expressed by co-workers, a project manager or upper management can be an important positive factor for project teams. As project manager, it is incumbent upon you to encourage a project culture that incorporates an appropriate amount of recognition for individual and team accomplishments.
Key Information to Understand About Scrum and Agile
- PMO and Agile Leadership: 3 Phases in Creating High Impact Teams
- PMO Leadership: Spring Cleaning - Should You Keep Your PMO?
- Agile Transformation: Managers Need to Flourish in These 5 Areas
- Diagnosing and Correcting Ineffective Stand-Up Meetings
- The Daily Stand-Up Meeting - A Core Practice for Self-Organizing Teams