Successfully reported this slideshow.
Your SlideShare is downloading. ×

Seven Habits of a Highly Effective agile project manager

Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad

Check these out next

1 of 4 Ad

Seven Habits of a Highly Effective agile project manager

Download to read offline

Recent neurological studies indicate that the role of emotion in human cognition is essential; emotions are not a luxury. Instead, emotions play a critical role in rational decision–making, in perception, in human interaction, and in human intelligence. Habits are the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire.

Recent neurological studies indicate that the role of emotion in human cognition is essential; emotions are not a luxury. Instead, emotions play a critical role in rational decision–making, in perception, in human interaction, and in human intelligence. Habits are the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire.

Advertisement
Advertisement

More Related Content

Slideshows for you (20)

Similar to Seven Habits of a Highly Effective agile project manager (20)

Advertisement

More from Glen Alleman (20)

Recently uploaded (20)

Advertisement

Seven Habits of a Highly Effective agile project manager

  1. 1. Page 1 of 4 CH2M Hill Program Management Office Seven Habits of a Highly Effective Agile Project Manager Glen B. Alleman, VP Program Management Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site Recent neurological studies indicate that the role of emotion in human cognition is essential; emotions are not a luxury. Instead, emotions play a critical role in rational decision–making, in perception, in human interaction, and in human intelligence. Habits are the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire. The habits of Effective IT department members are based on three attributes: n Knowledge is what to do and why we do it n Skill is how to do it n Desire is the motivation, the want to do. Using these attributes and the full acknowledgement of Stephen Covey’s habits † a concept can be formed of highly effective software development, infrastructure management and general IT management processes. Be Proactive We are free to choose This habit reflects our innate ability to take charge of our lives. We are not simply products of ingrained stimulus–response reflexes. We have the ability to take charge, plan ahead, and focus our energies on things we can control instead of reacting to or worrying about things over which we have little or no control. This habit allows us to rise above the ebbs and flows of the tides of our day–to–day lives and direct our lives. As individuals we must accept that we are responsible for our own behavior, and for the consequences of our actions, especially the consequences of our actions as members of a team. As an organization, we need to take a similarly proactive approach to success. For our organization, this involves the tasks of constructing projects and portfolios of projects, aligning the physical infrastructure with the organizational objectives, redesigning the architecture to the organizational strategy, and changing the rules we use to deliver information technology to our customers. Begin with the End in Mind Identify the mission, the vision, and the goal In this habit, we begin each day, week, project, etc. with a clear vision of our direction and destination. This habit inculcates the ability to create the desired results mentally first in accordance to our guiding principles, and then maintain this vision throughout our daily activities. Part of the process of developing this habit is to develop a personal mission statement, philosophy, or creed. This mission statement focus on what we want to be and do. Our planning activities always refer back to this mission statement so we can maintain a proper perspective on where we are headed and how we hope to get there. This habit is called “Personal Leadership” because Leadership is considered to be the first creation of our vision, which is then managed, in our planning and daily activities. Just as an individual accomplishment must be accomplished twice, once in the mind and once in reality, so our organizational accomplishments must be accomplished twice, followed by the project execution † Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey, Simon & Shuster, 1990.
  2. 2. Page 2 of 4 CH2M Hill Program Management Office accomplishments. Our IT organization really does have a consciousness, even though it is made up of the collective consciousness of its members. Our organization creates the mental image of the end through a combination of a mission statement, public visions, public strategies, organizational vision, and of course our project plans. Put First Things First Act on the priorities as they appear First Things are those things we find most worth doing according to the project we’re are managing or participating in. We use these priorities to manage our time and events so that every day we keep these first things first. A key concept related to this habit is “Quadrant II Planning.” The diagram at the end of this paper is the Covey “Time Management Matrix.” The top of the matrix divides the blocks into activities that are Urgent, and Not Urgent. The left side divides the matrix into Important and Not Important. Here is a summary of the quadrants. n Quadrant I: Urgent and Important. This quadrant includes those items that represent true crises, deadline driven projects, and other such truly important and pressing items. n Quadrant II: Not urgent but Important. This quadrant includes items that are truly important in our work that we truly need to do to maintain our productive abilities. Unfortunately, since they are not urgent (“Oh, I can put that off today and get it done tomorrow!”) we tend not to do them. We procrastinate because they are not urgent. Unfortunately, if we do this long enough, this tends to create highly urgent crises which force us back into Quadrant I and give us less time doing quality activities. Most of us would conclude that our “First Things” fall in Quadrant II. By ignoring things, we are setting up conditions so that we will have even less time to devote to these important activities. n Quadrant III: Urgent but not Important. This quadrant is those activities that appear to be urgent (or at least seem to demand our attention as such) but are not that important. Examples include: needless interruptions, many phone calls, other people's minor issues (which they invariably seek to make major ones because they like to live in this quadrant as well!). A good example is all of emails or unnecessary phone calls during our normal work time. Most of us are “Phone or Email Addicted” and find ourselves unable to resist a message. This is a quadrant we tend to fall into when we become “urgently addicted”. We get a nice rush from the pressures of Quadrant I and the success we have in solving these issues. Unfortunately, we then begin to fall into the habit of mistaking urgent matters in Quadrant III that are not important as being important. Our precious time tends to drift into Quadrant III (since there are more of these items hitting in on our daily lives than any other) and we end up dealing with not very important matters most of the time. As a result, our project management abilities begin to erode, and our productivity rapidly falls as well. This is the sure path to project problems. The message is clear. Our First Things First planning should target spending less time in Quadrant II and moving that time to Quadrant III. n Quadrant IV: Not urgent and Not Important. Here we find items such as excessive email, time wasters, web surfing, coffee (or tea) room chat, “escape” activities such as reading the trade rags and others. Obviously, we don’t want to these things in excess. The key is “in excess”. Reading technical magazines is not bad in and of it self, but when taken to extremes the danger is clear. The activities here all have a valued place as once–in– a–while rewards, if not used excessively. Spending less time in Quadrant III and IV gives us more time to spend in Quadrant II so that we can put first things first, with the added benefit that we will also be finding ourselves dealing with fewer Quadrant I crises. Successful management and execution requires prioritization to put the most important things first, day in and day out. It is important to remember that the squeaky wheel is not necessarily, or even normally, the highest priority item. Reactionary management activities, responding to crisis and immediate needs, is never optimum. For an organization to effectively put first things first, it must do a critical success factor analysis to identify those critical aspects vital to the success of the organization, perform strategic optimization so that
  3. 3. Page 3 of 4 CH2M Hill Program Management Office the organization’s resources are focused on the strategic mission, and do prioritization of goals based on strategic objectives rather than immediate pressures. Organizations starting from scratch should begin their strategic planning initiatives with these first three items. Just as individuals move from dependence on others to independence through the first three factors, so our organization can move from dependence on others or luck to independence through a focus on these first three habits. Think Win / Win Look for alternatives so all stakeholders “win” in some way Covey advises to get out of the win / lose way of looking at interpersonal relations and move towards a win / win attitude. Too often we think of ourselves succeeding in terms of someone else failing. This has been promulgated by the competitiveness of our culture. Unfortunately, in the real world, we have to cooperate a lot more than we have to compete. A win / win attitude seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Covey suggests establishing a win / win agreement as a tool for creating an effective, long–term foundation. This agreement seeks to make explicit the following items: n Desired results – What is to be done and when (not how!) n Guidelines – The guidelines governing how the results are to be accomplished n Resources – Human, material, and other help available n Accountability – What are the standards for evaluating the performance and times of evaluation. n Consequences – What will happen as a result of achieving and not achieving the results? Win / Win is not a management buzzword, its a philosophy of interaction. Covey applies the concept to individual interactions, but it applies equally well to corporate interactions. Without a true, from the heart, desire to operate with the highest degree of integrity and concern for others a corporation cannot persevere. Corporate win / win is accomplished through such strategic planning concepts as stakeholder analysis, corporate culture analysis, development of a strategic reward process, and building individual learning within the corporation. Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood Deep listening is the key to understanding We can’t listen while we are talking! Unfortunately, when we interact with people, we rarely listen in order to understand. As the other person is talking, we are already framing our replies. In effect we are talking while they are talking. We are not listening. Covey suggests we engage in “Empathic Listening” which we do our best to get inside another person’s frame of reference and see the world the way they do. This takes tremendous courage and ability, because we have to suspend our own frame works to do this. We in effect, make ourselves vulnerable to change. Keep in mind, however, that empathic listening does not have to mean you agree with the other person’s views, just that you make an all-out effort to Understand them. Before we can effectively make ourselves understood, we must first understand where the other person is coming from. Then and only then are we in a position to communicate in a way such that our own views can be understood.
  4. 4. Page 4 of 4 CH2M Hill Program Management Office Synergize Creativity can be discovered when differences are explored together Synergy refers to the fact that in most situations 1+1 2 but 1+1=3 or more! That is, through creative cooperation (not giving in or compromise) two or more people can produce results far better than either could do alone. This habit draws upon the previous five habits. It allows us to be effective in an interdependent setting! The key to developing this habit is to value differences among people. We must have the humility to recognize that our own views are limited and preconceived, and that interactions with others of different values and mind sets allow us to reach creative solutions that are far better than what we could have achieved on our own. Inculcation of this habit removes bigotry and prejudice from our thinking and replaces it with respect and caring. Intellectual, emotional, and philosophical arrogance are replaced by humility and cooperation. Sharpening the Saw Call others forth to participate in the process, using this as a daily private victory This habit involves engaging in those activities that are aimed at preserving and maintaining ourselves and in the case of an IT Project, the project itself! Just as individuals need on–going renewal to remain at their peak, so our organization must constantly look for ways to re–invent itself to remain competitive. This is the fundamental purpose of our efforts with Balanced Scorecard, Earned Value Analysis, and our team building and growth efforts. The table below is Covey’s matrix. The accompanying Power Point presentation “Time Management According the Stephan Covey,” should be “owned and practiced” by all members of the IT Team. Many of Covey’s ideas are getting a bit “long in the tooth,” but the core “time management” concepts can serve us well between now and closure. ¹ IV Trivia Busy work Pleasant activities III Interruptions Mail Meetings Popular activities Not Important II Prevention Relationship Building Planning New Opportunities I Crises Pressing Problems Deadline Driven Projects Important Not Urgent Urgent

×