Scrum Master

Scrum Master as Scrum Maester, a game of thrones

A listen to the Scrum Guide update video with Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland, and David West makes a case that I did not know some things. Though I am not-quite-ready to say that “I know nothing”, I acknowledge the danger across Scrum that pulls good people and good intention into a game of thrones. When I ponder Agile transformation all around me, I found Scrum has a clear point to revisit: the Scrum Master role. The Scrum Master role is an unfortunate political challenge to adopters and court jesters alike who question what is a Scrum Master master of? Likely, the thinking is that a Scrum Master knows nothing. The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team. The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t. The Scrum …

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Stand up to daily scrum

Successful Agile development is principles over practice. Many an Agile Coach, Scrum Master, and Agile roles assure people the difference between doing Agile with being Agile. The Scrum Team’s Daily Stand Up is a practice that many adopt, try to do, but ultimately fail to understand the principle being Agile in a daily Scrum. The most widely practiced Agile method, is Scrum. As both the focus on incremental delivery, Agile software development using Scrum methods highlights team success dynamics. Across Agile and Scrum the key: everyday calibrate, shift, plan, and validate. In the spirit of feedback and transparency Scrum co-creators Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber revised the Scrum Guide and took the opportunity to introduce many of their thoughts on the state of Scrum in an excellent video, moderated by David West. In this Scrum refresh I have a few items that …

projects, personas, stakeholders, death star, slides

Projects, Personas, and Stakeholders – the slides

Projects have stakeholders, that much is clear, these pesky project stakeholders influence the project in both positive and negative ways. As a project moves towards completion, such as the Death Star, that all-universe symbol of … well, that is an interesting point. There are a lot of stakeholders across the Death Star with very different views of the same project, stakeholders: The Empire, The Rebels, and The contractors … [did you think of them?] Every view into a project is filtered through one lens: WIIFM? (What’s In It For Me?). When I look deeper into stakeholders with a persona lens I gain empathy for the persona motivation through the project and post-project on to the end-user need. This week I had a fortunate invitation to the  Project Management Institute MassBay roundtable to discuss Projects, Personas, and Stakeholders. Here is the deck and resources shared …

user story, requirement, design

User story, no requirement needed

Good design meets end-user need. Bad design wastes time and money. The difference is not about requirements. Requirements are your great, grandparent’s design directive. Effective design is about empathy and to understand empathy you need to understand the user story requirement. Before development, every project team needs to understand what to build. In project management requirements gathering provides that essential view of what the project delivers. Good requirements assumes what the build is what the end-user requires. This up-front effort to understand user need is shared across many professions: In communications, start with know your audience; In product management, starts with know your market; In software development, start with user requirements; and Is digital marketing, start with know your persona Whether the user had to sit through a presentation, scour documentation, search software, or fumble through a webpage on their smart phone, bad design creates bad feelings. A requirements document is not a …

Agile example, Scrum design, Toby Elwin, Lord Business

An Agile example of Scrum by design

From startups to corporate leviathans the business directive is be more Agile. The most often employed project method is a Scrum design, an Agile framework for projects. Without Agile management adoption the executive call to “be more Agile” really means: Get faster results, in less time, and with less resources. Forbes touts Agile, The World’s Most Popular Innovation Engine, Agile expectation does not align to Agile implementation and adoption. In practice Agile is more a fragile mismanagement mindset of misplaced expectation that others do Agile while management retains control. Scrum is the most popular Agile adoption of a lean mind. Scrum, itself, unfortunately, becomes a confusion multiplier for organizations looking to adopt an Agile organization or team design, without shared understanding of Agile. Agile Example for Some What, however, is Agile? Agile works as a: Project management framework, Business management tool, Manufacturing discipline, and Cost control Yes. Agile is about lower cost and faster response. Agile gets talked about, planned, trained, …

Being Agile by the book

Our digital world demands ‘just in time’ connection, transparency, and community engagement. In an agile environment, classic project mindset and process are challenged to meet Agile method and Agile practice. Agile – Your Roadmap to Successful Adoption of Agile by international speaker and Agile raconteur Mario Moreira is a book to help cross the Agile chasm. This book takes Agile beyond the way you “do Agile” to the way you “become Agile”. … if you reach every scheduled release date, you bring the project in on budget, and you build it with quality, but you do not build features that customers want, they will not buy it and you have failed. This is why I contend that if you align your culture and processes around building customer value (e.g., what customers need and when they need it), then you will …

sharepoint, eric rhodes, jay hajj, Toby Elwin, blog

The project management SharePoint

Projects that understand what existed and what exists are both efficient and effective.

SharePoint has an incredibly rich out-of-the-box capability, but too many times the project team does not know what is capable with SharePoint.

With these self-paced, training links provide an overview of what could be to collaborate, search, publish, and file.

Project portals need to meet user objective, not IT administrator needs. More people should reject the SharePoint designer, not the SharePoint capability.

led zeppelin, project management, hindenburg, Toby Elwin, blog

A Led Zeppelin page of project management

Time impacts a project business need. How a project team identifies the impact decides if time is a resource waste or resource investment.

Before you sink costs into a project and well before your project looks more like sunk costs invest time for a better appreciation.

A review of what was, what is, and what should never be, is critical to identify risk to resource commitment.

Take a page from Led Zeppelin, who borrowed heavily from others, at times, without acknowledgment, to create something grand from what was tried.

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One change management plan is irrational project management

That people change for organization need is at distinct odds with people’s needs. People change for organization goal is a very irrational expectation.

You can not plan for change if you do not plan for the impact that change has on individuals.

One communication plan can not account for the unique roles if it does not account for unique impact. One plan for all to follow equals everything that no one relates to.

One change management plan is irrational project management.

atlas, project management, means, Toby Elwin, blog, pmi

Project Management Around the World — The Hub of the Universe

From the Hub of the universe comes this recovering project manager’s view. Project managers know where project success relies: project management. People from Boston know where the Hub of the universe lies: Boston.

Both, however, are disconnected from majority view, The majority do not even feign acknowledgement of a Hub of which I speak. And too-few organization interactions acknowledge project management boasts.

G8, meeting, project management, community persona, Toby Elwin, blog

Community persona for project management

A project is an intentional effort to deliver a product or service that creates an opportunity – intended or otherwise. Projects have multiple stakeholders with multiple needs for, or against, project realization.

Typical project steps include initial scope design, organization impact assessment, stakeholder identification, communications planning, risk, and a second iteration of scope, delving into user community goals serves project and stakeholders more accurately.

flash, michael turner, project management, Toby Elwin, blog

In a flash — the project management #pmFlashBlog

On September 25th a gang of, at current count, 70 project managers from around the world will release their reflection on one topic: What does project management mean to me – a Project Manager’s sermon.

This mob assembles under the banner of a Project Management Flash Blog or #pmFlashBlog and protagonist Shim Marom.