Agile Alternatives for a Geographically Distributed Team

If you’re the project manager for a geographically distributed team, you have likely encountered time zone challenges in running your meetings: 7 a.m. New York time is 8 p.m. in Singapore. Meetings at these times can exhaust everyone. Here’s a common scenario faced by...

The Value of Taking Breaks

For me, writing has four main parts: researching or deciding what to write and organizing it, writing, editing, and publishing. You might think of these steps as analysis and design, coding, testing, and release. I like to keep my writing chunks small so that my...

Make the Effort to Invest in Yourself

I’ve lost count of the number of companies that don’t pay for training—or even provide tuition reimbursement. I also see too many organizations decide whom to hire based on technical skills. They don’t see the irony here. That means you’re...

Servant Leadership: The Agile Way

In more traditional projects, the Project Management Institute has a notion that you can “control” a project. I have never found that to be true. Of course, I never quite used a waterfall approach–I have used feature-driven approaches more often than I used a...

Agile Does Not Equal Scrum: Know the Difference

I have a problem with the way many people talk about Scrum. They say “agile/Scrum,” as though they’re the same thing. No, no, no. Scrum is just one way to approach agile. It’s a terrific project management framework, especially for cross-functional teams that work on...

Start the New Year with a Retrospective

Many people like to start the new year with resolutions. I’m not one of them. I don’t like resolutions unless they are very small action steps I can take every day. Too often, people select resolutions such as “Lose twenty pounds this year.” That’s big. It doesn’t...