Adrenalin rush, it’s not just for parachutists anymore

In A Successful Manager But Never A Successful Project?Bruce Benson writes about a rather thought provoking idea: People might actually like being in firefighting mode! The next time I’m in a situation where I’m having trouble understanding why management is not encouraging improvement, but completely focused on dealing with the craze of the day, I’m going to remember this post. And perhaps arrange some panic theater to keep everybody happy…

Deliver business value, yes. But what should the business value?

Paul McArdle of Global-Roam writes about an interesting article by Roger Martin in the Harvard Business Review (which ca be found here, but requires payment for the full article): ‘The Age of Customer Capitalism’. The main drive of Agile processes is to deliver business value as effectively as possible. For anyone working in a more complex environment, this automatically raises the question of what business value is, and how it should be prioritised.

It’s the people, stupid!

I just came across an old article by Alistair Cockburn, called Characterizing people as non-linear, first-order component in software development that should be required reading for anyone working in software development. The title might be a little off-putting, but the message of the article is simple: It’s the people that make or break a project. Cockburn first describes his own history in designing methodologies, and running into the same problems again and again:

Seven habits of highly effective scrum-teams

A colleague of mine, Dion Nicolaas, has written what I think is best described as a manual for Scrum: Seven habits of highly effective scrum-teams. The great thing about this book is that it is incredibly practical, a true implementation guide. The subjects discussed are there in enough detail that anyone using scrum will immediately be able to place them, but are very short and to-the-point, obviously coming directly from practical experience.

The Declaration of Interdependence

The Declaration of Interdependence is an initiative of the APLN, and codifies some guidelines for lean and agile (project) management. It’s not new, but it does make for a nice companion to the Agile Manifesto with a different way of stating the same principles, with a focus to link them to the business reasons for applying the principles.

Lean? Or Gaunt?

The fear of economic downturn can make companies reluctant to enter into any kind of commitment (don’t worry, this won’t deteriorate into some sort of relationship advice… I think). They don’t want to commit to their employees, by stopping bonuses, canceling pay-raises, ‘no-motions’, and sticking to temporary contracts only. When seen as a matter of risk-management this can readily be understood: limit expenses, and make sure it won’t be too problematic to get rid of any of your employees, should the necessity arrive.