The Agile PMO’s Dictionary

Seek first to understand, then to be understood – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey

For some time, I’ve been collecting expressions that often lead to misunderstanding, confusion, or even frustration and conflicts. And these expressions clearly stand in the way of organisational and process improvement.

You always have a choice to either try to understand and find a way, or to spot flaws and come to a dead-end. Even though it’s the message that matters most, sometimes using a different word or expression will help carry your message further without confusion.

This Agile PMO dictionary should help you choose alternative expressions for some commonly misunderstood ones.

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From Push to Pull, Lesson 2: Ownership

In August, I started a new journey and also a new blog series: From Push to Pull covers my first observations and reflections at my new job. The first post is about communication: how basic habits negatively impact a workplace and contribute to create a Push system. This second post is about the importance of Ownership.

The Observation

Our product has received seriously negative customer feedback for a long time. One could therefore expect devoted engagement and a strong drive, but it wasn’t there. I wondered why? Continue reading

From Push to Pull, Lesson One: Enterprise Communication

One of my first observations at my new job was that I had come to a very meeting- and mail-intense workplace. After one day my calendar was fully booked and my inbox flooded. I realised my big plans for fast changes would soon be shattered, since I would be so busy running to important meetings and reading even more important emails.

Having coworkers enthusiastically filling each other’s calendars and inboxes creates a destructive Push culture. These basic actions form whether someone else controls your time (Push) or you decide yourself how to make the best of it (Pull). Continue reading

True Grit

“Individuals high in grit are able to maintain their determination and motivation over long periods despite experiences with failure and adversity. Their passion and commitment towards the long-term objective is the overriding factor that provides the stamina required to “stay the course” amid challenges and set-backs.”

Most of my posts have played a part in a long story about a web development program, the people in and around it and a crucial overall transformation.

Last week we agreed we are done with the transformation in the sense that we are in a good enough state to switch main focus to new areas. It took two years. While erasing our large, now paid-off, tech debt board I thought about what was really the key to getting to the very pleasant state where we are today. Continue reading

The Enterprise and Mob Programming

This post is about learnings and reflections of our mob programming teams from an enterprise perspective. Not so much about the benefits for the team itself, but the impact on the organisation and its processes, the obstacles that may appear, and the ways to navigate around those obstacles. Continue reading

The Enterprise and Getting Things Done

In April 2010, the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull’s dramatic eruption caused an ash cloud that kept the travel industry in its vicious hands for several days. The closure of the european airspace resulted in 100,000 cancelled flights…

Seven years later, one morning in March, two meetings take place.

Meeting 1: Replanning of Enterprise Project X

Project X has been running for more than two years and has reached a serious state. The implementation involves 10+ teams and an external vendor. Not only are the budget, plans and scope dark red from a traditional PMO RAG status view, but energy and motivation are drained, teams are exhausted, and project management is lost. Continue reading

Standard Products and Differentiators: Getting the Worst of Two Worlds

Time to retire the dinosaur system born in the seventies. How hard can it be with today’s technology? There are plenty of standard products out there that can do the job. And you get so much additional functionality instantly plus all the features planned in the beautiful product road map! Continue reading