Regarding project portfolios, it can be a big problem for clients to see all the work. Some clients have multiple kinds of projects, so they want to show their work in a variety of ways. Johanna Rothman describes some helpful ways to display the work being done.
Many people are familiar with the build-break-build method of starting with positive feedback, then the negative, and then more positive. But is that the most effective way to convey your compliments and criticism? Recent research has been done to determine the most effective, and polite method.
In this case study of a distributed agile team, the developers were in Cambridge, MA, the product owners were in San Francisco, the testers were in Bangalore, and the project manager was always flying somewhere, because the project manager was shared among several projects. The developers knew about timeboxed iterations, so they used timeboxes. Senior management had made the decision to fire all the local testers and buy cheaper tester time over the developers’ objections and move the testing to Bangalore.
A Scrum Master has only allegiance to the team. A project manager has responsibility to the team and to the organization. That means that the project manager might feel torn when the organization pressures the project manager to do something stupid.
This is a product development organization with developers in Italy, testers in India, more developers in New York, product owners and project managers in California.
This organization first tried iterations, but the team could never get to done. The problem was that the stories were too large. Normally I suggest smaller iterations, but one of the developers suggested they move to kanban.
Johanna Rothman has worked with several management teams who want her to train them or their project managers to take over the agile training. While on the surface this doesn't seem an unreasonable request, when one considers the self-managing, self-organizing nature of an agile team, the incongruity of this thinking begins to shine through.
I missed one presentation in my last post. At Oredev, I had an opportunity to speak with the PMI Sweden folks (at least, the southern Sweden folks). I talked about Agile Program Management, and discussed my current thinking about agile program management.