Old times were simpler. When running a project, you just drew a Gantt chart. Then prayed. When motivating (which, as we are now, is not possible), you gave people more money. Or less. When scaling, you made your pyramid bigger, one level at a time. It’s all more complicated now. With projects, you have plethora of options to choose from, from hardcore (and boring) established methodologies like PMI or PRINCE2 to hippie lightweight approaches allowing you to think you’re cool, or a master of something – think Scrum and Kanban. With motivation, well, there’s the Management 3.0, Simon Sinek’s idea of Why and a ton of voodoo conveniently called leadership. Scaling, especially when you’re all cool and Agile, gives you an option of LeSS (that, some say, works), SAFe (that sells brilliantly, as it addresses all insecurities of old school managers in a perfectly engineered way) and Nexus (which is vague and esoteric enough to feel like a futile attempt to join the scaling bandwagon). It’s not easy to pick the right framework these days, especially considering each one is a viable and useful option.

Then, making this choice altogether might be a mistake. Read more

With what I do in my life, I visit quite many software development companies. From multinational corporations, via overgrown start-ups, to small ones, with just a dozen of employees. They’re all different, no story is ever the same. They aim at various markets, work using plethora of technologies, display all possible buzzwords of the last decade or so. There’s a common denominator though, which is Agile. Whoever works in software, for whatever reason, wherever in the world – they’re all the same at this one. It seems almost disgraceful to admit to work in some other way – that would be so 20th century! And whenever I ask them to show me their Agile, it’s always the same. Kanban boards. Magnets with photos. Burndown charts. Burnup charts. Software to streamline all these. And, inevitably, heaps and heaps of post-it notes, in every possible color of the RGB universe.

It’s so easy to fake Agile. Read more

There’s a cliché (and unfair) saying, that traditional project management was focused on just what it said – managing a project. That all the efforts, were aimed at the single goal of delivering the negotiated scope, within budget and on time. Some years ago, with advent of the new black (all things Agile), another statement was coined.

“Don’t manage projects! Manage products!” Read more

There are things you can do right about ‘going Agile’ with your organization. And there are countless blogs, articles and books pushing Agile folk wisdom into minds of the wandering ones. That’s fine. We all need someone to tell us how to do the right thing. But what if your goal is… different?

After all, this whole ‘Agile thing’ is likely to be the new black. You’ve seen it all before, right? You’re too tired of all these Communist-style manifesto things, right? Hacker’s manifesto, Cyberpunk manifesto, Agile manifesto… They’re all the same, a lunacy to lure the young minds, to give them hope, to let them dream of fulfilled life.

Damn hippies, you’ll get neither. Read more