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  • Neil Kingston

    Neil Kingston - Do project managers still matter? | A Case Study

    45 Mins
    Case Study

    For many Agilist the idea of having a project manager attracts scorn and derision. The idea of having one at is laden with bad memories, mental baggage and principled objections.

    So, is there a role for a project manager in an Agile organisation? There is, but it requires a different style of project manager and a project manager that thinks differently.

    My company’s ongoing transition from project-based delivery to product-led Agile delivery runs in parallels to my own personal transition leading a team of project managers into this world.

1. Who are you?

Once upon a time I was a professional DJ but that was many moons ago !!  Outside of work I do youth volunteering work for Reach, inhabit the mosh-pit at loud concerts, avidly support Manchester City, weakly support St Kilda, and act as a hand model for my food blogging wife's photos. During the dot com boom I was digital tech team delivery lead with a crew of people doing eXtreme programming and knocking our world first web applications in the UK insurance industry.  I loved that job and the team.  I migrated to Australia and joined NAB as a project manager.  I did well there in career terms, but while most of NAB attempted to take on Agile ways of working I was in a silo doing a multi-billion $ waterfall business transformation.  When that finished so was my time at NAB - it had gone down the Agile path while I had not.   I was retrenched.   I knew I had to change to survive.   Nowadays I head up the projects, PMO and iteration management functions for Intelematics.  We're wholly owned subsidiary of the RACV.  We do IoT products for the automotive sector.  About nearly two years ago we decided to move to a lean-Agile product led company, and I had to lead a team of project managers and a PMO through that, while also building an iteration management competency from scratch.  We're better for it.