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This Week in #Agile - 20/01/2017

Posted by James Brookes on Fri, Jan 20, 2017

Holá from the Cake Project Management team. Another week of 2017 has raced by and brought with it the seventeenth edition of “This Week in #Agile”. Our PM team continues their quest to improve their knowledge, searching the web and devouring your blogs and articles (not literally of course). Here area few of the articles that we gained some insight from and would like to share with you today, along with our learnings on them.

Ten daily practices that show respect to your team” by Mary Jo Asmus

Mary’s article provides some useful advice and examples  on how to show respect to a team.  Her article may provide interested PMs with a simple reference upon which a quick health check can be conducted. How do her practices resonate with your team? Is there anything that you think that needs improving?


A Simple Explanation of the Earned Value Management technique” by Sean Whitaker

I remember the first time I was introduced to EVM, and despite the tutor’s best efforts, I decided that if EVM questions came up on a closed-book exam I’d quickly move on to the next question, without hesitation. Sean’s article may appease similar sentiments, which is why I decided to put in this blog. Hopefully some of you find it useful!

The Need For Agile Project Management” by Mike Cohn

Another great article from Mike, where he gives real life examples of why Agile teams need PMs, and he also highlights some of the value we can offer.

5 Important Agile Interview Questions” by the Agile Times

Spot on for anyone looking for an Agile Project Manager. In many interviews there is an overriding principle of looking at complex projects and dealing with difficult clients. I’d argue that it’s more important to ask about a person’s mindset towards Agile. In much the same way as the PMI-ACP exam, the focus in an interview, I think, should be on understanding Agile and its applications, rather than only utilising straight project management situations as questions.

Explaining Agile” by Steve Dennings


For anyone just starting out in Agile and trying to understand what it is, this is a nice guide from Steve as to what it means to actually be Agile. Personally I think it is key to understand the diagrams Steve has used comparing the difference between a standard team with it’s top down management, against the Agile team which is much more empowered and has a bottom up approach in terms of the team being self organising, with management enabling the team by removing blockers in the practise of servant leadership. This is something I personally try hard to work on as the most effective teams I have had the pleasure to work with are self organised and only required input to help resolve blockers, without impeding the development work.

As shall continue to be the case with this weekly blog on all things Agile and Project Management, if you write a blog or read an article you would like to be included feel free to contact me either via email - jamesb@cakesolutions.net -  or twitter - @JBrookes91 - and we can try and include it in a future edition!


This week’s image is another by Dave Bales and is related to the development of coaching in an Agile environment. The key point for me from this diagram is the following the "plateau of complacency" and ensuring the team take the "ramp of evolution" which I would assume means moving through the Shuhari levels of mastery which the PMI-ACP exam can focus on.

Agile Coaching.jpg

 

That's all folks and see you next week!!

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