Products are not Projects — simple.

A project is:

"a set of interrelated tasks to be executed over a fixed period and within certain cost and other limitations."
"What is a project? definition and meaning". BusinessDictionary.com. Retrieved 2016-04-19.

Product development cannot be constrained to "certain cost" and products do not have a prescribed end date...so no "fixed period". So long as the organization finds innovative ways to meet market demands, the products they develop will evolve.

So, why all the projects?

I teach Scrum — it's a process framework that has been used to manage complex product development. Yet:

  • ~55% of the people in my classes are "Project Managers"
  • ~90% work daily in "project teams" (sic)
  • and ~0% are ready to let go of Project Charters!?

Project charters in a complex problem domain create an illusion of safety, certainty, and confidence, but are wholly inappropriate in most organizations represented at this conference for one simple reason: the nature of our work is complex and therefore it is not possible to predict a "set of interrelated tasks to be executed over a fixed period and within certain cost and other limitations".

 
4 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 0 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

The format of this session includes:

  1. brief activity to help individuals connect their own experience to the topic;
  2. followed by slide presentation as I share patterns and data from my personal experience;
  3. then a hands-on activity/worksheet to explore concepts related to the topic -- specifically, participants will illustrate Project-delivery patterns in comparison to Product-delivery patterns which relate to value delivery, risk mitigation, trust, employee happiness, documentation, team evolution, and responsibility;
  4. and the session concludes with an assertion that organizations which align themselves around product delivery are better equipped to address complex, adaptive problems — these organizations are more capable of supporting self-organizing, cross-functional teams. (As opposed to "shared services" or "project delivery" organizations who predictably suffer scheduling conflicts and coordination problems.)

Learning Outcome

For many who will attend and have worked exclusively in enterprises with authoritative Project Management Offices, they will learn that "the real world" exhibits tremendous diversity...most of which looks nothing like their experience.

For many who will attend and have worked exclusively in "product" companies (such as tech startups), they will learn of the world of "shared services" which is common in most large enterprises.

And specifically, I intend for all participants to learn:

  • multiple funding models (Capital and Operational) which can be employed to finance knowledge work.
  • a proper dichotomy — e.g. "Agile" is not the opposite of "Waterfall"; rather "Incremental & Iterative Development" is the opposite of "Waterfall".
  • "Agile" isn't the goal; "value delivery" is. Moreover, product-aligned organizations are showing (with clear evidence) increased ability to produce high-quality, valuable products.

Target Audience

Product Managers who are seeking better ways to discuss the complex nature of their work with clients and stakeholders. And Project Managers who are wondering, "how does project managment 'fit' in an Agile world?"

Prerequisite

asfd

schedule Submitted 1 week ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal

  • Liked Chris Murman
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Chris Murman - Things Are Broken: A Case Study In Moving Tooooooooo Fast

    Chris Murman
    Chris Murman
    Sr. Agile Consultant
    Solutions IQ
    schedule 1 month ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Speed.

    It's been a driver in our industry before it was even an industry. The more Agile becomes more mainstream, the more we think it's part of the package. Books are out promising that certain frameworks can deliver twice as much in half the time. And yet, teams still struggle delivering what's expected of them.

    Once I started asking people of all levels of leadership what they thought speed would give them, it allowed me to develop some experiments around those expectations.

    Please join me for a case study where we discuss the need for speed, the origins of that desire, and the ways it manifests itself into deliverables. My desire is for the audience to take away some powerful learning into their places of work. Only by understanding the expectations around speed can we reset them into an environment built around trust and support for motivated individuals.

  • Liked Steve Zhang
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Steve Zhang - The Joy Of Functional Programming

    60 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    The popularity of Functional Programming is booming! Are you still wondering what all of the fuss is about? Come to this session and find out! This is an introduction to the power of functional programming. It covers functional programming's basic concepts, and shows you how functional programming will make software simple, elegant, easy to test, and lead to cleaner code. I will share my experiences learning, so you can avoid some of the pitfalls. So if you enjoy coding, love clean code, then you should start learning Functional Programming right now.

  • Liked Mishkin Berteig
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mishkin Berteig - JIRA is the Worst Possible Choice

    90 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    A rant, with evidence, on why electronic tools in general, and JIRA in particular, are anti-Agile. Participants will use the Agile Manifesto to evaluate the electronic tools they are currently familiar with. JIRA is used as a case study.

    NOTE: Scrum asks us to have courage. The Agile Manifesto asks us to value individuals and interactions over processes and tools. I hope the organizing committee will consider this proposal despite the risk that it might offend some tool vendors. If we can't speak freely about our experiences with tools, we will fail as a community.

  • Liked Dave Dame
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Dave Dame - Design Thinking for Organizational Change

    40 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    We all know how people use design thinking to create better products and deliver delightful experiences to our users. However, design thinking can be an excellent tool to use for organizational change. In the case of organizational change, our product is the change that we are trying to drive, and our customers are those people who are impacted (internally and externally) and have to live with that change. In the same way that design thinking puts the user front-and-centre for products, it can be used to put people in the organization front-and-centre. In this talk we will discuss how design thinking works and, as a case study, how we have applied it at Scotiabank to help drive adoption of the Bank’s NPS customer insights into building solutions that serve our customers. In that program, previous internal processes were ineffective in pushing relevant data to delivery teams at the right time. Using a Lean or Agile approach would have provided some benefit, but taking a design thinking approach uncovered an array of useful insights to make the whole process more purposeful. Learn from this example to explore how you might incorporate design thinking to drive greater effectiveness and relevance for your team’s body of work.

  • Liked James Gifford
    keyboard_arrow_down

    James Gifford - 5 Metrics to Create Safety and High Performing Teams

    60 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Description:

    I see that a lot of organizations use metrics in inappropriate ways to measure teams. At the heart of these metrics, nine times out of ten, are velocity and story points. These metrics lead to a lot of mistrust, fear, and bad technical practices. This talk will focus on shifting the focus to diagnostic metrics.

     Before shifting focus to diagnostic metrics, we need to understand what inappropriate metrics are. When questioning teams about why their velocity was lower from one sprint to another, teams are more likely to inflate their estimates to avoid questions in the future. This is one of my scenarios. We will explore this case and my other top-ten based on the 165 teams I have interacted with. Focusing on one metric does not provide a balanced view of the team.

    For balance, I promote five metrics. The combination of metrics balances each other. These five metrics are lead time, quality, happiness, agile maturity, and business value. Focusing on these five metric areas can be used as a diagnostic tool to help teams grow and support coaching. During the session, we will use my Excel-based tool and visual model to simulate this balance.

    When you push shorter lead times (how fast) on a team with a lower agile maturity, the first thing to change is quality, followed by happiness and then the delivery of value. Conversely, if a team focuses on TDD, the first thing to change is quality, followed by agile maturity, reduction in lead time, and increased delivery of value.  

    Teaching teams to harness data in a positive way will help them to flourish.

  • Liked nuno borges
    keyboard_arrow_down

    nuno borges - The Crisis of Doing Agile

    40 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    Agile can be the coming of Age of an entire industry, but to most, it remains a deeply misunderstood collage of tools and practices that continuously fail to fulfill their promise of 'cheaper and faster' something.

    This session explores the etymology of the crisis of 'doing agile', and the dangers of willfully ignoring the principles that guide it. We will delve into the convergence of historical causality within the gnarled roots of Taylorism, with the future being crafted by Millennials at the crest of the conscious capitalism wave.

    Failure to recognize this opportunity will sweep aside the remaining giants that still feed on the apples of the fake economy; profit and shareholder value. Others will join the pews and lend their voice to the choir of the Information Age.

  • Liked Alistair McKinnell
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Alistair McKinnell - Don't Settle for Poor Names

    60 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    I get frustrated with code that is sprinkled with poorly named classes, methods, and variables.

    Whenever I work on a team or coach a team, I put a lot of energy into choosing good names and sensitizing my teammates to the power of naming.

    I've noticed that developers spend most of their days reading code rather than writing code. I suspect you've noticed too. Creating understandable code is a high leverage activity for any team. And naming is where I start.

    The core of the session is an example that illustrates the process and power of choosing good names. The example comes from a recent project. There will be code.

    I will connect the example to specific techniques and patterns for choosing good names and share resources that you can use right away.

    My goal for this session is to sensitize you to the power of naming.

  • 60 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    In today’s fast paced world, we in the Agile community have gotten better at organizing and prioritizing work. We have learned how to focus on high value and eliminate waste in our processes. And yet so much of Agile these days is focused on how we move work from an idea to production while ignoring or undervaluing how to build high quality working software. Our focus is on how to hold retrospectives, collaborate with product owners, and hold daily standups but very little attention has been paid to how we write and test code. This puts your business at risk.

    Join Cheezy as he talks about how we often miss the target in our “Agile Implementations”. Instead, he will challenge us to focus on technical excellence as the true Path to Agility. His lightweight approach for teams to deliver software with Zero Defects strips most methodologies down to their bare essence. This allows teams to focus on what is really important - rapidly delivering working software to customers. If you’re ready to take the next step in your agile journey then you won’t want to miss this talk.

  • Liked Paul J. Heidema
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Paul J. Heidema - The Agile Coach Program: Scaling from 20 Teams to Over 60 Teams

    40 mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    The number of agile teams that I support went from 20 (too many) to more than 70 (absurd) in a few months. What could I do? How could I help them?

    From this need came the Agile Coach Program that Paul created and facilitated at ADP with a small group of individuals - one was Iaroslav Torbin. These participants already support (or wanted to support) teams (be they using Scrum or Kanban) and the individuals around them. This is the story of that journey and the results.

    Feedback from the program:

    • "The agile coach program has been a valuable experience both personally and professionally. It was a fun, interactive and engaging."
    • "I really enjoyed being a part of this program. With its interactive and constructive parts."
  • Liked Valerie Senyk
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Valerie Senyk - Addressing Cultural Problems with "Popular Theatre" Techniques

    90 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Cultural change in any organization or team is admittedly one of the most challenging processes. However, any team or group of people can be empowered to find insights and a way to address cultural issues with the techniques of "Popular Theatre" - described as theatre for the people, by the people, with the people. Participants will be taken through the simple steps of identifying challenges/problems, role-playing and creating scenes that provide a window into the issue, where everyone looks at it together and suggests steps and solutions. These scenes become a rehearsal for reality.

  • Liked David Sabine
    keyboard_arrow_down

    David Sabine - Your Favourite "Agile" Tool Sucks!

    David Sabine
    David Sabine
    Scrum Trainer
    BERTEIG
    schedule 1 week ago
    Sold Out!
    40 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    • Ball Cap: Your Favourite Agile Tool SucksNote cards and stickies? Everybody scoffs at them!
    • Jira? Evil!
    • Trello? Sucks!
    • Pivotal, Rally, Blossom, Asana, Basecamp, Sprintly? Argh!

    The problem with every tool is actually simple: they solve for someone else's problems...not yours. Few aspects of the modern workplace receive as much attention and create as much controversy. Let's explore how "Agile Tools" impact our work.

  • Liked Dave Tung
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Dave Tung - Dual Track Agile: Discovering and Delivering on Customer Needs Together

    40 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Agile teams today are made up of design, science, engineering, and product specialists who work together to understand customer needs and build products. When teams focus exclusively on building shippable code, discovery of customer needs tends to get overlooked. Losing sight of customer needs results in less desirable products and mediocre experiences.

    How can teams continue to discover customer needs without sacrificing the quality of the software they ship? This is where Dual Track Agile (DTA) comes in.

    In this talk we will share practical advice on how to accommodate discovery and learning with the help of DTA. We will explain how to set up DTA on a cross-functional team, feed discovery learnings into the development process, and end up with a better product that your customers will love!

  • Liked Matt Dominici
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Matt Dominici - Breaking Scrum: A Tale Of Two Scrum Masters

    60 mins
    Experience Report
    Beginner

    Join Jon & Matt on a journey of enlightenment and witness their transformation from "Command and Control" to "Servant Leadership". Through their journey, discover the tips and tricks that helped two budding tech workers discover, embrace and live the Agile values. Discover common pitfalls and the resources that are available to help you overcome them.

    As many in our industry are learning, becoming and living as a Scrum Master is no easy task. Scrum Masters come from many different disciplines - sometimes from outside of the technology space all together! Becoming a Scrum Master requires self-guided learning, coaching, experience, and, (most importantly) failure.

    Jon & Matt will walk through their own journeys and make stops along the way to discuss the failures they experienced as well as the resources and materials they used to continue on their journey. They will also touch on what's next: Potential career paths for scrum masters, and how existing Scrum Masters can continue their own agile journeys

  • Liked Martin Aziz
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Martin Aziz - Amp up your Agile implementation in complex environments with Systems Thinking

    90 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Scrum has proven to be a successful framework for many companies in complex delivery domains to transition to Agility from more traditional delivery methods.

    At some point during these transitions many companies have experienced a stall to what have previously been ongoing and exponential improvements. Complexity brings with it challenges in the "white spaces" that exist between teams where local improvements become disconnected from the delivery of customer value.

    In this workshop, we introduce a simulation of "The Company" where the white space challenges are experienced.

    Players playing simulation

    Through the use of the simulation we introduce Lean & Systems Thinking concepts to improve the system as a whole and bring the company back to a place of continuous improvement that is connected to customer value.

    Note for conference selection committee: Additional option: the content can be presented in a 40 -60 minute talk format if workshop space is limited.

  • Liked Nayan Hajratwala
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Nayan Hajratwala - Building a Continuous Deployment Pipeline from Scratch

    60 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Confused about Continuous Integration vs Delivery vs Deployment? Not sure how to take the next step towards Continuous Deployment?

    In this session, Nayan will remove the confusion around the "Continuous" terms. He'll then show you how to go from Commit to Production with no manual steps, while remaining confident that your production system remains stable. We will do this with a variety of open source tools -- from traditional build & integration tools to modern deployment environments & monitoring. You'll leave the session inspired and ready to build your own Continuous Deployment Pipeline when you get back to work.

  • Liked Travis Birch
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Travis Birch - Rewiring "Agile" Identity: Overcoming Tribal Fragility in the Agile Community

    90 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    The Manifesto for Agile Software Development was written by a group of people who came together to think together and record their thinking in a document to share with the world. There is no doubt that the Agile Manifesto has had a profound impact on the way many people think about work and life. It has shaped the world of work in countless ways.

    As people come to identify themselves both individually and collectively by the doctrines of a manifesto, elevating it to the status of immutable sacred text is both tempting and comforting. Indeed, there are many examples of how highly-cohesive, cultish and fragile social groups vociferously defend the immutability of their founding ideas, manifestos and mission statements. The upholding of the transcendent status of their charismatic tribal leaders who provide rallying cries from the pulpit is vigorously pursued.

    Unsustainable as a movement, within one to two generations disintegrative patterns begin to emerge. Out of a desire to protect its aims and interests, the community becomes inward looking and insular. Insularity creates unnatural stressors that degrade integrity. Jockeying, antipathy, animosity and infighting among tribal leaders (especially if the movement is closely tied to their individual material gain) gradually escalate to the point of schism, fragmentation and multiplication of competing variations of ideology. Estrangement and apathy retard progress and stagnate intellectual activity. Some of the most influential, wide-spread and world-shaping movements have succumbed to this kind of collapse.

    We need not regard such susceptibility to inward collapse--such fragility--as an abomination, something to mock or scorn--something that only happens to other movements, other people with different beliefs and superstitions from our own. Identity is such a powerful human need that human beings will go to any length to preserve it, even to the point of self-ruin. It is social. It seeks belonging.

    Social cohesion galvanizes the identity of the individual. Much of this occurs at the level of the sub-conscious. In its noblest forms of expression, it has lead to the highest achievements of humanity. However, identity can be blind, and in most cases has its blind spots. It can lead us down a dark and perilous path. For identity to remain grounded in reality and illumined by truth, the thinking behind identity needs to be explored and understood more deeply.

    In this 90-minute session, participants will have the opportunity to think together--as the authors of the Manifesto did--in a safe and collaborative environment. Content gleaned from contributors to the discourse such as Senge, Schon, Kahneman, Bohm, Deming, Immelman and Taleb will help to guide and anchor the conversation.

    The goal of the seminar is not to rewrite the Agile Manifesto. Rather, it is an opportunity to better understand, together, what it means to be "Agile", an "Agilist", to potentially discover some new thoughts and ways of thinking about agility and to offer a humble contribution to the broader discourse for the betterment of all and towards the greater resilience of the community as a whole.

  • Liked Mike Bowler
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mike Bowler - Exploring Clean Language: A coaching technique for all leaders

    60 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Originally coming from therapy, Clean Language is a coaching technique that leverages our understanding of the brain to get more open and honest conversations. It's been used for everything from team building with Antarctic expedition teams to counselling troubled youth. Now learn how you can use it with your agile teams.

    This session will be mostly practical with many hands-on exercises although we will dive into a bit of the neuroscience behind it as well.

  • Liked Mike Edwards
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mike Edwards - Stop rearranging the deckchairs!

    Mike Edwards
    Mike Edwards
    Leadership Coach
    Leanintuit
    schedule 1 month ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    The Titanic was going 42 km/hr when an iceberg was spotted dead ahead. I imagine there was a wild scramble to do something to save the ship. I often wonder if they had rearranged the deckchairs, as I’m sure the outcome would have been different. As crazy as this sounds, there are many organizations who rearrange the deck chairs and can’t figure out why their transformation continues to fail. Adding more process, firing leadership and coaches, planning for efficiency, throwing more money at the problem and so much more. None of which helps the situation, and if anything speeds up the inevitable.

    In times of change, your response to the problems you will encounter can make the difference between success and failure. During this session, you will learn The Responsibility ProcessTM, and you will start to understand and know how your response to problems is creating your reality. You will also start to understand how by creating an environment of shared responsibility, it is possible to avoid the icebergs (or at least survive the collision).