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Communicating agile project status to executive managers
 

Communicating agile project status to executive managers

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This presentation focused on communicating Agile status to Executives.

This presentation focused on communicating Agile status to Executives.

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  • On occasion the truth may be too much to handle. The team needs to deliver the truth first and always in order to maintain high visibility and to become trusted amongst management. \nWork should never be assigned or delegated. The team may have a subject matter expert on the particular story at hand, but cross pollination is encouraged. Teams should take advantage of every opportunity to learn and educate each other. Over time the team’s velocity will increase as a result. \nThe worst decision that can be made is no decision at all. Make and embrace decisions. Your leaders will thank you for it. \nTeams really should be having items signed off on throughout the iteration. When a great product owner or manager makes themselves available to you for questions etc., make certain you set aside time to regularly demo what you have internally to prepare for the external release. \nNo team can be successful without a champion to remove the impediments and assist the team in running interference. This leader should be both a champion of the cause and a great facilitator. \nRegular short meetings have proven time and time again that they are far more effective than the once weekly status updates. Keeping on top of the information daily provides for crisper communication and increased visibility.\nAll committed parties should attend every team meeting. The meetings should be short, time boxed, and to the point. (This includes the retrospective)\nThe team should set rules, define done, and make & take commitments seriously. \n
  • The What If’s? are quite an interesting bunch. I remember the day when my children first stated asking this very question. \n\nCan I ride my bike to the park? …No, not now\nWhat if I invite a friend to come along? No = What she really hears = You do not trust my friends?\nWhat if I ride slow? No = What she really hears = You feel I am not safety conscious?\nWhat if I walk instead of ride? No = What she really hears = You do not even trust me to walk across the street?\nWhat if I just don’t go? What she really hears = You do NOT trust me at all? \n\nAgile teams feel very much the same way when we do certain things in the workplace. \n\nWhy did this project fail? Why did we deliver late? Why did we exceed our budget? \nThe plan to execute did not match the strategic vision of what the customer wanted = The Executive vision was not accurate and / or not communicated well.\nThe Management team failed to provide me with the tools / resources I needed to do the job to the best of my ability. = It’s a managers fault.\nThe requirements were not clearly defined or, we did not have a clear interpretation of what was to be done. = It’s the Product Owner\nWe had too many outside interferences and were constantly putting out fires. = It is the Project Manager or ScrumMaster\nWe simply failed to get it done. We the team take full responsibility. \n
  • Let’s put this in a different light: \n\nTeam: Will you support us in our efforts to complete this project using Agile Principles? \nBoss: Sure, if that means I get more done in a faster amount of time with fewer resources. \n\nAs the boss walks away he dreams of all of the last minute things he can toss into the fire and get them done quicker than ever before!\n\nThere is still so much left to explore when it comes to what if’s…\n\n \n\n\n\n \n
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  • The signs of an effective manager are a little more tough to outline on an Agile team. Not because they are doing less demanding work, but they are doing less work and more inspection and adaptation. Instead of steering a team to turn right, turn left, move slower, move faster, etc. the manager is spending more time removing the roadblocks and being a true team player. This does not mean they are spending great amounts of time analyzing things at the same level as the team. It does mean that they are taking the time to understand exactly what needs to be done and using that as a building block for team success. \n\nAbility to Manage and Deal With Risk - Every decision an Agile team makes involves some level of assumed risk. It becomes the managers responsibility to assess the dangers ahead and steer the team on the most safe route. It is also the responsibility of the manager to highlight what facets of any given project are at risk.\nResults Oriented - The Agile Manager worries a lot less about how many hours you have put in this week and worries a lot more about what you have produced as a result of the effort expended. This is not to say that we can completely do away with time as a fixture, there is always a cost to each output. This in essence says that our focus will be more directed to the output than the throughput. \nHigh Energy – Nothing is worse than the ‘donut supervisor’. If the manager in question is never around (especially from a product perspective), that is an indication that you need to get someone involved that is a bit more excited about the teams’ accomplishments. A GREAT manager is engaged.\nTeam Player – The Manager of an Agile team should truly feel like they are a part of the team! Although they may not be allowed to constantly change requirements or verbalize why something is critical to be squeezed in, they are still a core part of the success of the team. In many cases they represent the team to the customer and or the customer to the team. \n
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  • On occasion the truth may be too much to handle. The team needs to deliver the truth first and always in order to maintain high visibility and to become trusted amongst management. \nWork should never be assigned or delegated. The team may have a subject matter expert on the particular story at hand, but cross pollination is encouraged. Teams should take advantage of every opportunity to learn and educate each other. Over time the team’s velocity will increase as a result. \nThe worst decision that can be made is no decision at all. Make and embrace decisions. Your leaders will thank you for it. \nTeams really should be having items signed off on throughout the iteration. When a great product owner or manager makes themselves available to you for questions etc., make certain you set aside time to regularly demo what you have internally to prepare for the external release. \nNo team can be successful without a champion to remove the impediments and assist the team in running interference. This leader should be both a champion of the cause and a great facilitator. \nRegular short meetings have proven time and time again that they are far more effective than the once weekly status updates. Keeping on top of the information daily provides for crisper communication and increased visibility.\nAll committed parties should attend every team meeting. The meetings should be short, time boxed, and to the point. (This includes the retrospective)\nThe team should set rules, define done, and make & take commitments seriously. \n
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  • Many times we question the what if’s and how they apply to what I do. One of the very earliest projects I had the privilege of working on involved having an active Marine General as the end customer. For those of you without military experience, we are talking about the most impressive form of command and control management ever known to exist. The youngest Marines are educated by their senior officers based on years of experience backing every decision made for them. \n\nOne might go as far as to say that by letting go of the reigns, any complex project would enter a vortex of hopelessness and spin out of control ending in a fiery crash. I am here to state to you all this is simply not the case. In fact, it is almost entirely the opposite approach that works best. Once a team understands what they are being asked to complete and why, they are generally more successful than teams that rely on the command and control structure. My what if conversation went something like this:\n\nWhat if we didn’t jump into this Agile thing feet first? \nWhat if I just kept a running list (backlog), of the things I felt should be worked on first?\nWhat if we met daily for our recap as opposed to meeting once a week for several hours? \nWhat if I could provide you with samples of completed work every 2-4 weeks and let you inspect our progress? \nWhat if I could assure you that by placing confidence in the members of the team that the project stands a higher chance of being completed on time and within scope?\n
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  • Unfortunately, the first group looking to hold someone responsible for project failure is the executive team. Are you prepared to give a complete report on why the team failed to deliver? Have you considered doing a demo of what has been completed? What reaction might you expect from the executive team? What could we do to alleviate the pain in the future? \n\nWhat if we had the ability to promise both on-time delivery and precision metrics?\nWhat if we could help the Executive understand their role in the Agile process?\nWhat if we had the Power to help frame the Vision? \n
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Communicating agile project status to executive managers Communicating agile project status to executive managers Presentation Transcript

  • Communicating Agile ProjectStatus to Executive ManagersV. Lee Henson CST ~ @AgileDad 1
  • ✤ Founded in 2007 - Salt Lake City, UT✤ Specialize in Public & Private Certification Workshops & Courses✤ Deep understanding of Agile & Traditional Project Management, (PMP), RUP, Lean, Kanban, Scrum, (CST), XP, & PMI-ACP✤ Proven Applied Agile Principles in Software, Hardware, Financial, Insurance, Construction, Medical, Marketing, Legal, Entertainment, Research, Military, Government, Retail, Education, Law Enforcement, and many more... 2
  • V. Lee Henson CST✤ Certified Scrum Trainer✤ Project Management Professional✤ PMI- Agile Certified Practitioner✤ Certified Lean Agile Professional✤ Motivational Speaker & Executive Coach✤ Author of The Definitive Agile Checklist✤ Inventor of Rapid Release Planning✤ Information Technology / PsychologyCopyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 3
  • Start Using Agile: Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 4
  • The Agile Manifesto We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value: Individuals & Interactions over processes & tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan That is , while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 5
  • Setting Realistic Expectations Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 6
  • Agile vs. Plan Driven Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 7
  • Agile vs. Waterfall Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 8
  • 5 Pitfalls That Beset AgileImplementations 1) The inability of the Product Ownership Team to clearly identify and manage requirements that are consumable by the team. 2) What’s My Role Anyway? (Setting the course with a lear definition of each role with a consistent understanding of each across the team.) 3) Outlining a clear definition of done. What is the difference between done & accepted? 4) Lack of support from leadership to believe in the Agile mindset and set the wheels in motion. 5) Lack of consistency in training & coaching for the people who are responsible for getting the work done! Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 9
  • The What If’s:All too often embracing eventhe most basic Agile Principlesrequires us to address theWhat If’s:Agile Teams are nearly asinquisitive as our own children.We need to say what we’ll doand do what we say in order tobe successful. Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 10
  • More What If’s: What if we could engage Agile methods without Pain? What if we prescribe to one Agile Method and follow it to the Letter of the Law? What if we stop worrying about time and start focusing on end delivery? Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 11
  • What About Managers?✤ Managers should have three items of focus during the transition period to Agile:✤ 1) Define the Vision & the Strategy needed to achieve the vision.✤ 2) Remove obstacles that nobody else can remove.✤ 3) Play lots of golf! (Trust the people you hire to get things done. Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 12
  • How Do We Know If They Are Effective? 7 Traits of a Highly Effective Executive: 1) Ability to Manage and Deal With Risk 2) Results Oriented 3) High Energy 4) Team Player 5) Multitasking Ability 6) Improvement Oriented 7) Listen First Speak Second Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 13
  • What About Teams? Agile Teams also have three responsibilities as part of the Agile transition. 1) Collaborate & Communicate 2) Remove obstacles they can remove themselves. 3) Get the work completed that they have committed to. Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 14
  • Is The Team Being Effective? 1) The team embraces the truth 2) The team works in a culture that supports learning 3) The team has the authority and makes regular decisions 4) The product owner is consistently available to the team and the team takes advantage of it 5) The team has a GREAT ScrumMaster 6) The team meets daily and is aware of current & upcoming projects 7) Everyone required attends regular Agile Meetings 8) The team effectively uses the retrospective to inspect & adapt 9) The team has set the rules and understands the definition of done 10) The team is accountable for the work they commit to and they take that commitment seriously Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 15
  • Establishing Trust:✤ Management needs to work to empower Agile teams and show them that they trust in their ability to create quality solutions in a timely manner.✤ Teams need to trust in the vision of the product owner as well as upper management. Their leaders have a strategy planned to execute the vision in the form of a clearly defined product backlog.✤ Established trust is critical to the success of Agile Projects. Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 16
  • According To Walt... ✤ People and their enthusiasm are a precious commodity. We should take precious care to hire people we trust and are a pleasure to work with. ✤ If you have people you trust the work will get done. ✤ Take the trust litmus test... Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 17
  • How Does This Apply To What IDo? Can making even the smallest of changes have an impact on the success of an Agile project? What can I do in my role to make a difference on my team? Is it really possible to let go of the reigns without inciting chaos? Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 18
  • Five Levels of Agile Planning:A great place to start is by analyzing the levels of Agile Planning Product Vision Yearly by the product owner Product Roadmap Bi-yearly by the product owner Release Planning Quarterly by the product owner and team Iteration Planning Bi-weekly by the team Daily Planning Daily by the team and individuals Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 19
  • Do The Executives Lack Vision?To what detail should theExecutive team be involved inthe day to day operationalissues of a project?Does the team have anachievable strategy to executethe vision?Can executives still feel inpower by not using the iron fistapproach?Sail Well... Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 20
  • Roles - An Overview✤ Most Agile methods profess the use of 3-5 different roles.✤ Many teams adopting Agile struggle to determine where their traditional roles fit into an Agile landscape✤ Every role fits into 3 Simple classes: ✤ Customer ✤ Facilitator ✤ Implementor Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 21
  • Executives & Managers:✤ Executives & managers have the primary goal of focusing on the vision & the strategy.✤ One common point of failure happens when management dives too deep into the day to day activity of the core team.✤ Realistic expectations should be set for this group.✤ Ultimately executives should foster top down support with regard to Agile adoption. Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 22
  • Managers Care About?✤ What am I going to get?✤ When am I going to get it?✤ How much is it going to cost?✤ Are we there yet? Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 23
  • Agile Project Reporting: ✤ The best status comes from a demo of working product. ✤ We should strive to minimize intrasprint reporting. ✤ What gets measured gets done! ✤ Make it big and visible. ✤ Possible metrics could include: ✤ Current burndown chart(s) ✤ Sprint goals & changes to the goals ✤ Defects - inflow, outflow, & number of open defects per week ✤ Build quality per day / week ✤ Number of tests automated / tests passed per day or week ✤ Velocity over the last X sprints ✤ Action items, impediments, risks ✤ Customer satisfaction Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 24
  • Thank You! Lee@AgileDad.Com- Twitter @AgileDad - LinkedIn leehenson@gmail.com Copyright 2012 AgileDad LLC Licensed for Classroom Use Only. 25