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The Agile PMO: From Process Police to Adaptive Leadership


Published on

Presented by Arlen Bankston
2013 ATT Forum Atlanta

Published in: Business

The Agile PMO: From Process Police to Adaptive Leadership

  1. 1. The Agile PMO From Process Police to Adaptive Leadership Presented by Arlen Bankston @lithespeed
  2. 2. Meet your Presenter Arlen Bankston • Co-Founder of LitheSpeed, LLC • User experience & product development background • 14 years of Agile experience • Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt • Lately 40% training, 20% each of coaching, product development & management 2
  3. 3. 3 Agenda 1. Agile Adoption Snapshot 2. Setting up the Agile PMO 3. From Process Police to Adaptive Leadership – Project Prioritization & Selection – Portfolio Tracking – Resource Management – Sustainable Agile Adoption 4. Q&A Adaptive Leadership Adaptive leadership is the collaborative, flexible and learning-based management of programs and portfolios.
  4. 4. Agile is an umbrella term for a group of iterative and incremental software development methods. 4 Agile Adoption Snapshot Source: 2011 The State of Agile Development Survey Kanban
  5. 5. 5 State of Agile Adoption Agile teams are doing well, but we need to raise our game to overcome systemic problems… State of Agile Development Survey,
  6. 6. Showtime!
  7. 7. 7 Two Visions for the PMO “An organizational unit to centralize and coordinate the management of projects under its domain. A PMO oversees the management of projects, programs or a combination of both.” A group of project leaders who achieve these results: • We increase return on investment by making continuous flow of value our focus. • We deliver reliable results by engaging customers in frequent interactions and shared ownership. • We expect uncertainty and manage for it through iterations, anticipation, and adaptation. • We unleash creativity and innovation by recognizing that individuals are the ultimate source of value, and creating an environment where they can make a difference. • We boost performance through group accountability for results and shared responsibility for team effectiveness. • We improve effectiveness and reliability through situationally specific strategies, processes and practices. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), Third Edition © 2004 Declaration of Inter-dependence, [©2005 David Anderson, Sanjiv Augustine, Christopher Avery, Alistair Cockburn, Mike Cohn, Doug DeCarlo, Donna Fitzgerald, Jim Highsmith, Ole Jepsen, Lowell Lindstrom, Todd Little, Kent McDonald, Pollyanna Pixton, Preston Smith and Robert Wysocki.] How best can a PMO aid in delivering business value across multiple projects, programs and portfolios?
  8. 8. 8 An Agile Role for the PMO Agile PMOs consider Scrum teams to be their customers, and support them in: • Bringing lean discipline to project prioritization & selection • Guiding & tracking project portfolios using Agile reporting techniques • Moving towards a stable teams model of resource management • Scaling and sustaining agile adoption by supporting and empowering Scrum teams Adaptive Leadership Adaptive leadership is the collaborative, flexible and learning-based management of programs and portfolios.
  9. 9. SettinguptheAgilePMO
  10. 10. Intense collaboration via: 1. Face-to-face communication 2. Generalizing specialists 3. Self-discipline and decentralized control Traditional Silos Customer BA Designer DeveloperPM Core Team (EXAMPLE) BA / Tester BA Tester Product Owner Developer Designer Developer / BA SM Release Manager Capacity Planner Prod. Architect Tech Ops Business Sponsor Risk Assessor Security 10 A Sample Agile Team BAAnalysts DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper Designers Tester The Core Project Team ideally consists of 5-9 dedicated members (7 +/- 2). The Extended Team can contain many additional members, each playing an important role, but they are typically not dedicated to the effort. TesterTestersDevs
  11. 11. 11 Network of Small Teams “…for a large organization to work it must behave like a related group of small organizations.” - E. F. Schumacher , Small is Beautiful Scaling may require, at certain levels: • Chief ScrumMasters • Strategic Product Owners • Tactical Product Owners • Lightweight Agile PMOs serving as a “guiding coalition” Accelerate! By John Kotter, HBR, November 2012
  12. 12. 12 Organizational Structure • Encourage face-to-face dialogue across levels • Create overlapping management with “linking pins” • Run the Lean-Agile PMO as an Agile project team Source: The Lean-Agile PMO, Sanjiv Augustine and Roland Cuellar (Cutter Consortium 2006)
  13. 13. ProjectPrioritization& Selection
  14. 14. 14 The Typical Project Portfolio • Too much Work in Process (too many in-flight projects) • No project prioritization by business value • Resource over-utilization • Dangerous variation (large batch sizes, unregulated demand, irregular rate of service) Source: The Lean-Agile PMO, Sanjiv Augustine and Roland Cuellar (Cutter Consortium 2006)
  15. 15. 15 Portfolio Realignment • Terminate sick projects • Split large projects in smaller ones • Prioritize projects by business value, at least within business unit • Limit development timeframe to months • Re-prioritize projects regularly 1 Development 3 24 Little’s Law Business Goals & Strategy Production Sunset Cycle Time = Backlog WIP Completion Rate
  16. 16. PortfolioCoordination
  17. 17. Example Visual Management Systems Simple tools can facilitate deep conversations. 17 Columns are Sprints Rows are Feature Streams
  18. 18. Showtime!
  19. 19. 19 Portfolio Alignment Wall
  20. 20. An Established & Proven Pattern
  21. 21. 21 Portfolio Alignment Wall (Cont’d) • Features laid out on index cards as per overall release plan • Card colors identify agile teams • Labels identify dependent teams • Rows track feature streams • Columns track sprints/timeline
  22. 22. Who Should be Involved? A portfolio management team might include: • Chief ScrumMaster to lead the creation, maintenance, and facilitation of the portfolio management system. • Team ScrumMasters or Project Managers will provide insight into dependencies and blockers, as well as highlight process improvement and collaborative opportunities. • Team dependency representatives will be nominated by each team, changing as necessary each sprint, to provide insight into specific technical and process issues. 23
  23. 23. Who Should be Involved? (cont.) • Stakeholder dependency representatives must attend when called upon by the teams. They will generally represent key customers and affected departments, such as sales, marketing, and operations. • Product owners will collaborate between themselves to optimize realization of their value propositions, adjusting scope and workloads as appropriate. • One strategic product owner will be responsible for facilitating high-level tradeoffs, ensuring smart release strategies across the teams and outbound communication to interested stakeholders. 24
  24. 24. Portfolio Management Agenda A typical session agenda: • Review action items from previous meetings • Update visual management system, ensuring that each team’s sprints are updated to reflect completed and planned items • Review status and roadblocks by major feature set • Review new scope or action items that have been identified or suggested 25
  25. 25. Value Card Examples • Data interface design for Renewal by product category report service (Dependency - Data Team) • AppScan for Sales Service Platform (Sales Service Team) • Usability Testing Session (Mobile Team) • Stub Data service for Renewal by product category report (Dependency - Data Team) • Skeletal Renewal by product category report - Consuming stub data service (Mobile Team) • Final Data service for Renewal by product category report • Mobile Platform - Final Renewal by product category report (Mobile Team) • Sales Service Platform - Final Renewal by product category report (Sales Service Team) Feature Finalizer Non-code milestone Incremental Delivery 26
  26. 26. ResourceManagement
  27. 27. 28 Traditional Resource Management • Run many projects concurrently, with similar priorities • Split resources between multiple projects • Stress maximum resource utilization • ROI only after projects are done Time Projects & Resources ROI
  28. 28. 29 Costs of Task-Switching 0 20 40 60 80 100 1 2 3 4 5 PercentofTimeon Value-AddingTasks Number of Assigned Tasks Source: Managing New Product and Process Development, Clark and Wheelwright, p. 242, 1992
  29. 29. 30 Stable Teams • Multiple, stable teams each focused on a single project at a time • Dedicated to platforms or lines of business • Platform owner prioritizes next project • Result: – Support multiple lines of business simultaneously – Focused effort results in quick delivery for individual projects – Clear accountability – Stability and predictability Source: The Lean-Agile PMO, Sanjiv Augustine and Roland Cuellar (Cutter Consortium 2006)
  30. 30. 31 Lean Resource Management Lean organizations: • Dedicate core resources to each project team • Ensure that each team has all resources needed to complete projects • Stress maximum project throughput • ROI delivered incrementally with each project release ROI Time Projects & Resources
  31. 31. SustainableAgile Adoption
  32. 32. 33 Sustaining Agile Adoption Agile PMOs should support and empower their teams by: • Instilling a culture of process discipline • Raising individuals’ capability to enable team empowerment • Helping teams with continuous improvement
  33. 33. 34 Culture of Process Discipline • Standardize high-level process steps, deliverables, tools and artifacts • Agree on process audit procedures • Develop standard process metrics The Six Sigma Paradox To attain six sigma performance, we must minimize process variability, slack and redundancy by building variability, slack and redundancy into our organizations. Create a defined and reliable process:
  34. 34. 35 Team Empowerment • Decentralize authority for freedom • Focus on helping raise team capability • Help build a culture of continuous improvement Empowerment = Freedom * Capability Situational Leadership® – Paul Hershey and Ken Blanchard
  35. 35. Continuous Improvement The useful way to do “Lessons Learned:” • Periodically take a look at what is and is not working in your process • Typically 15–30 minutes • Done after every sprint • Whole team participates • Generates action items to continuously improve project execution Working Well Not Working Well Automated unit testing 6am Daily Standup Customers highly satisfied Testing team availability Retrospectives have improved process Build cycle time Estimates are stabilizing Product Owner availability Action Items Set SLA with QA team PO delegates to proxy during Sprints 8am standup
  36. 36. 37 Introducing Sensei
  37. 37. 38 In Summary – An Agile Role for the PMO Agile PMOs work by: • Bringing lean discipline to project prioritization & selection • Tracking project portfolios using Agile tracking techniques • Moving towards a stable teams model of resource management • Scaling and sustaining agile adoption by supporting and empowering Scrum teams
  38. 38. 39 Contact Us for Further Information Arlen Bankston Managing Partner On the Web: "I only wish I had read this book when I started my career in software product management, or even better yet, when I was given my first project to manage. In addition to providing an excellent handbook for managing with agile software development methodologies, Managing Agile Projects offers a guide to more effective project management in many business settings." John P. Barnes, former Vice President of Product Management at Emergis, Inc.