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

Applied Kanban Values: Transforming the PMO, Part 4

In April a colleague and me went to visit our partner in Delhi. Over breakfast in the hotel we reflected on the difference between the restaurant service there compared to Stockholm (this was a normal chain business hotel).

First, there were more people working with service in the restaurant than there were hotel guests having breakfast. Second, most people working in the restaurant had a very specialised responsibility. Finally, people working in the restaurant had time for the extra details: chatting, decorating and… smiling :-). Continue reading

Culture Matters: Understanding My Colleagues (and me) Better

Culture is a collective programming of the human mind

One thing I love with my job is working with people from many different countries. This not only makes you learn about other cultures, you also learn a lot about your own.

But working together across cultures is also sometimes a challenge. To learn more  I participated in an intercultural management training last week. This is my summary and thoughts. I have focused on data and examples for countries I often work with. My class consisted of colleagues from our offices in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, France and Sweden. Continue reading

Applied Kanban Values: Transforming the PMO, Part 3

In part one I touched briefly on plans and forecasts. In this post about customer focus and flow for the PMO i come back to them.

Flow: don’t work in the system, work on the system

In our PMO we had plans covering about three to 15 months: there were high-level milestone plans, mid-level milestone plans and low-level detailed milestone plans.

Continue reading

Applied Kanban Values: Transforming the PMO, part 2

Respect: put away the RACI

Have you ever produced a RACI document? Together with many other steering documents it forms a pillar for the PMO, and defines who is responsible, accountable, contributing or only informed for each and every step in a process. In a RACI meeting you would typically discuss whether the product owner should contribute in the UX work for his/her story or only be informed. Or maybe the PO is actually accountable even though the UX expert is obviously responsible?

Kanban should be like water, making its way through cracks.

Continue reading