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Agile Collaboration in a Virtual World: Harnessing Social Media, Web 2.0 and Beyond
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Agile Collaboration in a Virtual World: Harnessing Social Media, Web 2.0 and Beyond

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Andrew Filev, Cornelius Fichtner and Elizabeth Harrin, members of PMI New Media Council, share practical tips for making virtual collaboration easy and efficient.

Andrew Filev, Cornelius Fichtner and Elizabeth Harrin, members of PMI New Media Council, share practical tips for making virtual collaboration easy and efficient.

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  • The goal of this presentation is to give you recommendations from a virtual agile team and its use of social collaboration tools.We are going to spend 2 minutes on reviewing the team, the work we do and the tools we use and spend the rest of the presentation looking at the recommendations.I assume that you have a good understanding of Agile and that you know what social collaboration tools are. I want to present an overview of my experience and recommendations in such an environment.
  • Team overviewRed1 CEO (USA)1 Team leader (Manila, Philippines)1 PM (Pakistan)Blue6 team members (throughout Philippines)Development Team (Belarus)Various SMEs (England, USA)
  • The workPerforming operational workMarketingAdministrationCustomer supportProduct maintenancePerforming project workPMP Exam SimulatoreBook
  • Social collaboration tools overviewSkype (pc and android)Google DocsChat (Both Google & Skype)Wrike: Online PM and collaboration toolAnymeeting: Online meeting service (presentations)Video: Camtasia Studio, Jing & screencast onlineSMS text messages (during blackouts for “emergency” communication)
  • 1.) Delegation is true for any decentralized team. Decentralized structures require a decentralized decision making process. Go further and delegate the RACI process to the individual, keeping track of their decisions in an online RACI chart.Social Collaboration tool -> Google spreadsheet2.) Motivation comes from knowing that you are valued and can contribute. Once a week we ask one team member to give a short presentation about one of their tasks or projects and explain to everyone what it is they are doing.Social Collaboration tool -> Google presentations and Anymeeting
  • You cannot follow every Agile principle or best practice. Do as much as you can do.In our case we cannot meet face-to-face or use video because of slow connections. So instead of having daily 15 minute standups we take about 25 mins every day (and people are allowed to sit down…)We also went ahead and have 2 published agendas. One for Monday (tell us what you did over the weekend, what was your #1 achievement last week, overall plan this week) and one for rest of week (completed, planned & roadblocks). People have started to show up to the meting about 5-10 mins early using Skype chat and they stay afterwards to banter on.Social Collaboration tool -> Skype (chat & voice)
  • It isn’t “Agile or bust”. It’s “project success of bust”. So don’t think that you have to follow Agile to the letter. Instead design your processes so that they help you to deliver what the customer wants.In the PMP Exam Simulator project we decided to start out creating an in-depth scope document used for discussion between PM and Sponsor. Later on, when we brought the development team on board, we switched over to a prioritzed backlog for sprints.Social Collaboration tool -> Google docs
  • Great productivity & collaboration idea: Testers used video instead of providing written test results.Each of our testers used either Jing or Camtasia studio to record the bugs that they found at the end of their testing session. Video was uploaded to screencast.com for development team to view. This removed much of the language barrier because it was so visual.In come cases, testers & developers connected using screen sharing if additional info was needed.Social Collaboration tool -> Camtasia Studio or Jing in combination with Screencast.comSocial Collaboration tool -> Skype screen sharing
  • Once we had the backlog created for the simulator, the development team started with a 30 day sprint. It became clear very quickly that everyone had underestimated the team’s ability to deliver. Pretty soon, we were down to 2 week sprints, then we even began piling more features into each sprint.Social Collaboration tool -> Google docs (simple spreadsheet for backlog, doc for “user stories”)
  • Measuring productivity in our type of environment is difficult because the members of our project team are all contractors. It’s easier when they are all part of the same company and you have local offices and local managers who are overseeing daily work from an administrative perspective. There are technical solutions available to monitor how long people work, but that means turning into a “police state”.Instead, team leader & project manager review planned vs. actual team member performance and discuss any issues during our weekly strategic meeting. Any decline in productivity is immediately addressed personally with the team member.Social Collaboration tool -> None. (But in writing this presentation I’m wondering if Wrike offers collaborative time tracking…)
  • Working on an Agile Project using social collaboration tools means having to learn a new way of doing things. The PMP Exam Simulator project manager was a traditionally oriented PM last employed in a global telecom company. He had a terrible time shifting from using MS Word (attached to email) over to Google docs. He “insisted” on creating the doc in word and then uploading a new version each time he wanted to share it with the team.In the end, I decided that this wasn’t my fight and that even though this seemed cumbersome, there was no denying that he delivered results.Social Collaboration tool -> Didn’t use Google Docs… 
  • Self organizing teams are great (though they still require some form of management, albeit more on a strategic and less so on a tactical level), however, we noticed that in our situation we had a mushrooming of collaborative docs. At times this lead to confusion because nobody had an overview of what docs we had or who they had been shared with. One small solution: When creating a new doc allow discovery from everyone on the team.On the administrative side of the organization we welcomed Wrike as as a real benefit for the organization. We had a central tool to manage all assignments. And discussions on the tasks were stored alongside the tasks even though the communication between the team members happened 100% via their regular mail client. In this way we didn’t have to change our processes, yet we had a centralized, easy to use repository.Social Collaboration tool -> Google docs and more Google docs and even more Google docs… ;-)Social Collaboration tool -> Wrike for task assignments and collaboration/discussion on tasks

Agile Collaboration in a Virtual World: Harnessing Social Media, Web 2.0 and Beyond Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Agile Collaboration in a Virtual World: Harnessing Social Media, Web 2.0 and Beyond TRN10PMI New Media CouncilCornelius Fichtner, PMP “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010 Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only
  • 2. Virtual Agile Team & Social Collaboration Tools 1. 2. 3. 4. The The The The Team Work Tools Tips “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.Presentation Title ©2010Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only
  • 3. The Team• Arial minimum 24 point “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010 Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only 3
  • 4. The Work Projects Operations• PMP Exam • Marketing Simulator • Support• eBook • Admin • Product maintenance “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010 Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only 4
  • 5. The Social Collaboration Tools “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010 Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only 5
  • 6. The Recommendations Learn from Invest in Delegate each other team building Test results? VelocityMix & Match What test varies widely results?Measuring Don’t fight Collaborationproductivity dinosaurs confusion “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010 Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only 6
  • 7. Delegate & Learn: Principle 5 Build projects around motivated individuals. Givethem the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done True for any decentralized team Delegate RACI Weekly rotating presentations “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010 Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only 7
  • 8. Team Building: Principle 6 The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within adevelopment team is face-to-face conversation Longer standups Remain seated…  Agenda & chat banter “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010 Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only 8
  • 9. Mix & Match: Principle 1 Our highest priority is to satisfy the customerthrough early and continuous delivery of valuable software Make Agile work for You Began with Scope doc Switched to Backlog “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010 Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only 9
  • 10. What Test Results? : Principle 10 Simplicity--the art of maximizing theamount of work not done--is essential Written test results? That’s so 2009! Do video instead! “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010 Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only 10
  • 11. Velocity’s your friend: Principle 3Deliver working software frequently, from a coupleof weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. Initially 30 day sprints Then 14 days Then more features “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010 Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only 11
  • 12. Measuring Productivity: Principle 12 At regular intervals, the team reflects on how tobecome more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly It’s difficult. Period. Focus: plan vs. actual Personal follow ups “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010 Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only 12
  • 13. Fighting Dinosaurs: Principle 4 Business people and developers mustwork together daily throughout the project New work style Can be hard Focus on results “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010 Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only 13
  • 14. Collaboration: Principle 11 The best architectures, requirements, anddesigns emerge from self-organizing teams. Sharing is great Docs and MORE docs! Collaborative assignments “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010 Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only 14
  • 15. Two sides of virtual collaboration Benefits Common pains• Lower costs • Leadership issues• Company works 24/7 • Miscommunication• Wider outreach • Culture differences• Minimal, easier to • Limited visibility into maintain infrastructure progress• Talent and diversity • Data isolation 15
  • 16. Pain reliever 1: Establish ground rulesGet one “language” interms of how theteamwork is organized. 16 16
  • 17. Pain reliever 2:Manage work in a granular way Breaking down tasks into smaller, easier to tackle ones facilitates control over project progress. 17 17
  • 18. Pain reliever 3: Keep the data easily accessibleDon’t let work-relateddata get “locked” in e-mails, files on personalPCs and other silos. 18 18
  • 19. Pain reliever 4:Leverage the right technologies Mix and match the available solutions to meet your team’s needs. 19 19
  • 20. Pain reliever 5: Don’t stop talkingNot only to discuss issuesand share updates, butalso to maintain a positiveatmosphere for theteamwork. 20 20
  • 21. Virtual Meetings #1 Technology is not a silver bullet 21
  • 22. Virtual Meetings #2 Make the most of different time, different place 22
  • 23. Virtual Meetings #3 Prepare 23
  • 24. Virtual Meetings #4 Create a level playing field 24
  • 25. Virtual Meetings #5 Keep people engaged 25
  • 26. Contact InformationCornelius Fichtner, PMPcornelius.fichtner@osp-international.com+1-714-710-9091www.pm-podcast.com TRN10 “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only
  • 27. Contact InformationAndrew Filev, CEO at Wrikeandrew@team.wrike.comwww.wrike.com/projectmanagement TRN10 “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only
  • 28. Contact InformationElizabeth Harrin FAPMelizabeth@otobosgroup.comwww.otobosgroup.com TRN10 “PMI” is a registered trade and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc. ©2010Permission is granted to PMI for PMI® Marketplace use only