Agile is From Venus and PMOs from Mars


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The role of the PMO must shift as an organization embraces agile methods to avoid the many points of conflict between agile teams that self manage and self-organize and control oriented, administrative PMOs. A solution to this problem is to refocus PMO activity on tasks outside the team’s purview. This presentation discusses the three voice metaphor used to sort out roles in this new environment.

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  • Slide 1In Agile is from Venus and PMO’s from Mars I will discuss the roles of three groups in an agile organization. Those roles are : The PMOThe agile teamsThe product owner  Each of these uses language differently to describe how they work and to describe their view of their environment. For example, the term requirement can suggest something this is notional to be evolved or something that is captured, carved in stone and placed under change management. Understanding the language will help each group develop an understanding of the other’s culture. Each group speaks with a different voice:The PMO speaks as the voice of management The agile team speaks as the voice the process The product owner speaks as the voice of the customer On a positive note while it might sound like I am describing a Tower of Babel, all of three of the groups have the same ultimate goal which is to create value for the organization. With a today’s dynamic business environment focused on efficiency and effectiveness, PMO's must hone their value proposition to be relevant. PMO’s with control and administration as their core responsibility might not be construed as adding value; value defined as transforming an input into something of higher value. Projects are funded to create value not to consume value.  
  • Slide 2 Is agile a vision or an ultimatum? Does it foretell the breakdown of order and project management or is it a tool to enable organizational effectiveness? The framing quote I think will foreshadow one of the central themes of Venus and Mars (Venus and Mars).” Venus and Mars falls more into the enablement camp believing that Agile methodologies free the project manager from the drudgery of being a taskmaster, thereby enabling the project manager to focus on being a leader . The word “leader” is critical. Where PMOs and project managers have walked away from leadership Venus and Mars is an ultimatum. As many of you know, I recently published a book on project management with Murali Chematuri, During the process we played out the agile versus standard project management passion play on a more intimate front. Much to the chagrin o f both of our wives. In many cases our differences of opinions could be categorized into a set of dichotomies: administration versus leadership control versus facilitation task management versus coaching The quote we're looking at suggests that agile frees project manager to be a coach but this only works in an organization whose data needs are met either through classic status reports or transparency and intimacy.
  • If we believe that communication helps in our personal lives then perhaps understanding our differences and talking about them is a path to higher effectiveness .The title of this presentations is an homage to John Gray's popular book. As I mentioned before I think that most of us have this single goal for projects. How each group in a project will pursue their goal and the the language they use differs. Dr. Gray suggests that communication is better if we acknowledge our difference. So let's draw some lines in the sand so that we can acknowledge those differences.
  • Slide 4There are six common rules for the PMO the project manager and PMO:1 measurement answering the question how are we doing ? 2. tracking answering question where are we?3. reporting providing status4. facilitate communication connecting groups and people 5. macro risk reporting what are the risks and are we ready if they happen finally 6. compliance are you following the process All of these activities important but they're not directly involved in turning ideas and effort into product. Therefore thereat to be targets to be leaned. Tuck into the back of your mind for now that the focus areas can be thought of as the voice of management but first let's deepen the line in the sand. 
  • Slide 5We don't talk much about the iron triangle anymore. The iron triangle is scope, cost, schedule with quality being in the out come of these three factors shown in the middle. I would like all project managers or administrators to ask themselves whether they control any of these factors and if not whether you're role is that of a recorder of corporate project data rather than a leader, manager or coach. Responsibility without influence, notice I did not say authority, is a recipe for stress. Would also suggest this type of stress on projects was a contributing reason for the agile manifesto
  • I am sure most of you are familiar with the agile manifesto so I won't read it. I will remind you though of the four basic diacodomies that are the core of the manifesto. individuals and interaction over processes and tools - I think many times into easy to pay lip service to the fact that our greatest rule only the people who do the work. working software over comprehensive documentation - this dichotomy really talks about the fact that what ever the project is supposed to deliver is more important then the process attributes. customer collaboration over contract negotiations – think we must remember that the goal is to satisfy and work with the customer as much as it is to have an absolutely precise definition of what's to be done. responding to change over following plan - we live in a dynamic environment if we don't respond to change and just follow the plan then it will be difficult to deliver value. I think of the agile manifesto is a discussion of values and intimacy; people communicating and a recognition that we live in a dynamic business environment. BottomLine the manifesto recognizes that we need to find a new way for expressing influence . We need a new way to express influence of great importance given the weakening of the command-and-control mindset and generation Y's use of interaction and intimacy as a more powerful tool set to influence the world around them. Agile team work based on the following attributes:
  • The common features that make agile teams function begins with: cross functional teams; multiple disciplines and places.Self organizing teams which includes how and who does what. Self managing teams use pure pressure and group consensus and discussion. Including the business representative on the team. The voice of the customer, the voice of change. Sprints are back log and release driven versus schedule; queue versus time. The seeds of stress between the PMO and agile team are sown in the term self; self organizing and self managing. Areas of activity that typically fall into the PMO's bailiwick. This gets translated into a discussion of organizational control versus self-control. A conflict of voices
  • ConflictFinding space for all rolesDifferent audiences and mastersVoice of the process and voice of the customer was popularized by Edward Deming and John Sherlenbach.  I suggest our three groups represent three separate voices. The team is the voice the process, how work is done.  The customer is the voice of the customer, duh, what needs to be delivered answered on the spot; answered dynamically. The PMO is the voice of the organization answering where are we, what are we doing. Knowing we have three distinct voices allows us to apply a standard action model.
  • Slide nine: why voices matter – because each roll speaks for a group, each may have separate goals, and because unless you recognize these differences you will create conflict. bottom line we need to ask do we need all these rolls? The answer is maybe no, if they are not tailored to add value and not to add conflict.
  • Slide nine: why voices matter – because each roll speaks for a group, each may have separate goals, and because unless you recognize these differences you will create conflict. bottom line we need to ask do we need all these rolls? The answer is maybe no, if they are not tailored to add value and not to add conflict.
  • The PMO has rulesThe counter person wants a big tipThe customer wants a toasted MUFFIN and wants to know if he or she likes the honeyConflictSlide 10 an example: picture insert.  A: the sign exists in the bagel shop in New Orleans and we can use this scene to set a problem in our minds. B: the PMO has rules2.counter person wants a big tip he's hovering behind the camera three the customer wants a toasted muffin and wants to know if he were she likes the honey 4. conflict between the rules and the counter person between the rules and the customer.  C: got it? So why not ignore the rules and just tell everyone to play well together…  
  •     Central control versus business partner responsibility    Grinding Wheels    Discovery versus Specific Requirements        What is Possible        What is requiredWhich voice has vision??????Which voice is leadingDodo boundIs the roll of PMO pm to go to meetingSlide 11: so what is the deal? Friction strips gears divemasters causes friction different goals causes friction different points of view cause friction Conflict causes friction which strips the gears of the project. I don't know how many conversations that I've had with stressed project managers when teams ignore them or with teams that want to know why they need to convert card walls to schedules during a project. When we have helped organization sort out the problems we have to answer questions like:central control versus business how does this work discovery versus specific requirements answering:what is possible and what is requiredwhich voice has visionwhich voice is leadingis it the role of the pm just go to meetings?Does agility just mean anarchy in another picture?  The last two questions sound are rarely and ask him sound like hyperbole but many times they're what people are thinking so let's sort out the voices… 
  • Slide 13: our solution is sorting out the voices. The solution is to recognize the master the goal in the point of view for each of the roles. In order to understand how people will act and react. The voice of the process: scrum master the agile team in its composition their master is the Sprint team their goal is functioning software the point of view is an inside the team view The voice of the organization: PMO, their master is the CFO or IT management their goal being risk and cost containment and the point of view is an outside view towards the organization The voice of the customer: the customer or proxy for the customer the master for this rile is the business their goal is revenue, maket share customer satisfaction, and their point of view is that of the business. Get more detail to how we've solved this problem in or some the basic tasks within these areas will do that next. 
  • Slide 14: the solution to the Tower of Babel Voice of the organization, PMO, and outside view.One analyzes and reports overall data,Two facilitates big picture coordination, three clears external blockers, and Four stays out of the way of the team. Voice of the team (scrum master/coach) an inside view One facilitates team activities Two clears internal blockages Three leads and does (in many cases) Voice of the customer (customer or customer proxy) a market / business view One provides business direction Two make business decisions Three prioritizes work on functionality  This solution makes the PMO a real asset to delivering value and an active management participant.  
  • How are decsions. . . Made and enforced.Learning to be self managed and not paralyzed by consensus.Slide 15: the PMOs job is to analyze and interpret information. Overall measurement data for the purpose of forecasting the overall project outcome that's a provide information type of goal this spring team develops collects and consumes measurement data within the team boundary not outside. It is not the teams role to collect it data and fir consumption outside the team. Self managing teams require the necessary data, the PMO should be position to ensure that the agile teams have the right to data so that they can be self managed. The PMO's role is providing information position. If they do not have the data they cannot be self manage.  as an example of the information the PMO can provide are the true goals of the project. does the team understand the true goals. Knowing the true goals, not just the ones that are published in the charter, is necessary for them to make a day to day decisions on individual task that all self managed teams must make. Knowing the goals allow for correct trade-offs to be made without having to go and seek external qualification of those decisions.  One of the normal roles of PMO is to facilitate getting things back on track when the overall project outcomes are not expected to meet management and customer expectations. VM would agree but rather than focusing on all of the potential blockers would focus the PMO on the macro external blockers. Help fix those things that are outside of the team, get the things out of the way of the team and get out of the way, letting the team do what they need to do. Issues inside the team blockers inside the team the team will deal with on their day to day basis using self managing and collaborative techniques. Finally the PMO keeps the team informed about the outside world through information and data verses for simply trying to coordinate and manage them based on what's happening in the outside. 
  • Slide 16  Self managing teams are self measuring. Without data no one can consistently manage . This might sound like a truism but it is true. Measurement belongs within the development team so that the team can actively manage the work. Typical measures are task time, hours to applied to real work, cycle time sprint duration, throughput function points delivered in the sprint, rework, everything that has to be retouched and backlog or input queue. An interesting concept that has emerged as we have wrestled with sorting out the PMO in an agile world is the topic of measurement. Measurement needs to be part and parcel of the teams feedback loop whether it is a function of calculation for velocity or knowing how far away done is, measurement as feedback to work belongs to the team. This can be another point of conflict between the team in the PMO. Think inside outside just sorted out. One more tidbit ...
  • Slide 17 He who prioritizes directs. another interesting learning is that he or she that prioritizes, directs. The voice of the customer must prioritize supported by information from the other voices.  While the customer does not define how we do the work they do define what to do and in the best case in which order… Again a hard concept if you think of development as a line dance versus a mosh pit. An example…
  • Slide 19 The answer we had to build trust amongst the whole team after sorting out the voices in get everyone to admit that each voice at a world. We cemented the relationships with food and cricket a bit more data
  • What is your role . . . Slide 20 Multiple sprint teams leveraged scrum daily Sprint meetings monthly PlanningSprint retrospectivescross functional Teams Day to day the team used the agile tools, measurement and self organization to stay on track. combination of stories and use cases for requirements  The PMO led Roundtable scrum of scrums external escalation change management - keeping the overall backlog. Separating the inside and outside focus roles allows the teams to function with far less overt management and to continuously hone there methods to get the word done faster, better and cheaper.
  • Agile is From Venus and PMOs from Mars

    1. 1. Agile is from Venus and PMOs from Mars Pat 2013
    2. 2. The StorylinePMOs, Agile Teams and Customers:• Each group speaks a different language• Each serves a different master• All should have one ultimate goal• PMOs must hone their value proposition©2013 David Consulting Group 1
    3. 3. A Vision or An Ultimatum? "Agile methodologies free the project manager from the drudgery of being a taskmaster, thereby enabling the project manager to focus on being a leader - someone who keeps the spotlight on the vision, who inspires the team, who promotes teamwork and collaboration, who champions the project and removes obstacles to progress.”Source:©2013 David Consulting Group 2
    4. 4. Homage to John Gray Men Are From Mars and Women are from Venus• Metaphor for the problems caused when two different groups with different goals communicate• Communication is better if we acknowledge our differences©2013 David Consulting Group 3
    5. 5. Historical Roles of Project Manager in a PMO Common roles of the PMO: • Measurement • Tracking • Reporting • Facilitate communication • Macro risk reporting • Compliance©2013 David Consulting Group 4
    6. 6. What Do You Control? Scope Do You: • Lead, • Manage, or • Administer? Quality Cost Schedule©2013 David Consulting Group 5
    7. 7. Manifesto for Agile Software DevelopmentWe are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it andhelping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:• Individuals and interactions over processes and tools• Working software over comprehensive documentation• Customer collaboration over contract negotiation• Responding to change over following a planThat is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the itemson the left more.©2013 David Consulting Group 6
    8. 8. Common Features Of An Agile Team • Cross functional • Self organizing • Self managing • Include business representative (or proxy) • Sprints are backlog and release-driven©2013 David Consulting Group 7
    9. 9. Voices Voice of the Process Voice of the Customer Voice of the Organization©2013 David Consulting Group 8
    10. 10. Awareness, Attention, Action• Knowing something is only the beginning of an equation that culminates in action• Awareness helps provide a spotlight of attention that filters unwanted informatio.• If you are not able or interested in taking action, you really do not want to know Awareness Attention Action©2013 David Consulting Group 9
    11. 11. Why Voices Matter• Differences – Audiences – Goals and Masters• Mediation Role – Conflict resolution – Goal synchronizationThe big questions are:• Is there space for all roles?• Is there an absolution need for all roles?©2013 David Consulting Group 10
    12. 12. The Perceived Problem©2013 David Consulting Group 11
    13. 13. So What Is The Deal?Friction Strips Gears:• Different Masters• Different Goals• Different POV ©2013 David Consulting Group 12
    14. 14. Sorting Out the Voices Voice of the Voice of the Voice of the Process Organization CustomerScrum Master / Agile Team PMO Customer / ProxyMaster: Master: Master:Sprint Team(s) CFO, IT Management BusinessGoal: Goal: Goal:Functioning Software Risk and Cost RevenuePOV: POV: POV:Inside View Outside View Outside Business View©2013 David Consulting Group 13
    15. 15. A Solution to The Tower of Babel• Voice of the organization (PMO) – Analyzes and reports overall data – Facilitates BIG picture coordination – Clears external blockers – Stays out the way of the team• Voice of the team (SCRUM Master / Coach) – Facilitates team activities – Clears internal blockages – Leads and does• Voice of the customer (Customer or Customer Proxy) – Provides business direction – Makes business decisions – Prioritizes work on functionality©2013 David Consulting Group 14
    16. 16. PMO As An Active Management Participant• The PMO’s job is to analyze and interpret overall measurement data for the purpose of forecasting the overall project outcome – The sprint team develops, collects and consumes measurement data within the team boundary• Self-managing teams require the necessary data, the PMO should be positioned to ensure that Agile teams have the right data to be self-managed. Or – If they do not have the data, they can not be self- managed• When the overall project outcomes are not expected to meet management and customer expectations the PMO needs to facilitate getting things back on track©2013 David Consulting Group 15
    17. 17. Self-Managing Teams Are Self-Measuring Teams• Without data no one can consistently manage – Measurement belongs within the development team so that the team can actively manage the work! • Typical measures are task time (hours applied to real work), cycle-time (e.g. sprint duration) throughput (function points delivered in sprint), rework (everything that has to be retouched) and backlog (or input queue)* *According to Bob Ferguson ( ©2013 David Consulting Group 16
    18. 18. He Who Prioritizes Directs• “Customers (voice of the customer) who prioritize are customers who direct” – Measurement and sizing supports disaggregation and reduces escaping stories. Motivation Ability Trigger©2013 David Consulting Group 17
    19. 19. Case One Large software development firm, hierarchical culture, and one very large project and many smaller Mixed SCRUM/XP (recent addition) and Plan-based project environment Strenuous budgeting process with tax accruals Significant discovery was required to define, design and develop the large project Experienced-based estimation based on bottom-up task planning – questionable on the large project!©2013 David Consulting Group 18
    20. 20. The Answer Voice of the Customer Voice of the Organization Voice of the Process©2013 David Consulting Group 19
    21. 21. More Detail. . .• Multiple Team Leveraging SCRUM • Daily Sprint Meetings • Monthly Planning • Sprint Retrospectives • Cross-functional Teams• Combination of Stories and Use Cases• PMO-led Governance • Management Round Table • Scrum of Scrums • Escalation • Change Management ©2013 David Consulting Group 20
    22. 22. Contact UsEmail: p.eglin@davidconsultinggroup.comPhone: 1-610-644-2856, ext 24 @DavidConsultGrp /DavidConsultGrp /company/David-Consulting-Group©2013 David Consulting Group 21