During lunch one day, project managers Jim, Mary and Alex got into an argument over who was best adhering to their industry’s project success criteria. They all had sound arguments. The problem was, however, an “industry standard” did not appear to exist.
I have been working in an Agile environment for the past nine years. The one question managers keep asking is, "What is my role after my teams have adopted Agile?" Having worked as a manager, I can say that this is the one question no one could answer satisfactorily.
I work with a lot of companies that are learning to use Scrum as a tool for agility driver. Recently, I spotted a trend: if a Scrum Team cannot articulate their Sprint Goal, the problem quite often lies with the Product Backlog. As a rule, it looks a lot like my favourite mixed salad (or, frankly speaking, a mess). It's not easy to make sense out of this mix.
The dictionary defines a paradox as a statement or group of statements that, despite sound reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems to defy logic or intuition. An example of a paradox is: “This statement is false”—if it is, it is not; and if it isn’t, it is.
I experienced my first agile project nearly a decade ago. At the time, agile was still an emerging concept. I remember thinking there were all sorts of activities going on that I had never seen on any of my projects. People were standing up for meetings, marker boards were filled with things called “stories” and delivery moved forward under the framework of a “sprint.”
Imagine this scenario: You are the project manager of a new, strategic project of your company. Excited, you prepare the necessary documents and schedule the project's kick-off meeting.
If agility is why your organization adopts Scrum, look for more sophistication in employing Scrum.
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Skyscraper project teams sidestep risks to reach dizzying new heights.