Embracing the Zen of Program Management

The lovely folks at Thoughtworks interviewed me for a blog post, Embracing the Zen of Program Management.  I hope you like the information there. If you want to know about agile and lean program management, see Agile and Lean Program Management: Scaling Collaboration Across the Organization. In beta...

Management, Humanity and Expectations

There’s a twitter discussion of what people “should” do in certain situations. One of the participants believes that people “should” want to learn on their own time and work more than 40 hours per week. I believe in learning. I don’t believe in expecting people to work more than 40 hours/week. My experience is that when you ask people to work more than 40 hours, they get stupid. See  Management Myth 15: I Need People to Work Overtime. If you want people to learn, read Management Myth #9: We Have No Time for Training. One participant also said that people should leave their emotional baggage (my word) at home. Work supposedly isn’t for emotions. Well, I don’t understand how we can have people who work without their emotions. Emotions are how we explain how we feel about things. I want people to advocate for what they feel is useful and good. I want to know when they feel something is bad and damaging. I want that, as a manager. See Management Myth #4: I Don’t Need One-on-Ones. People are emotional. Let’s assume they are adults and can harness their emotions. If not, we can provide feedback about the situation. But, ignoring their emotions? That never works. It’s incongruent and can make the situation worse. I have a problem with “shoulds” for other people. I cannot know what is going on in other people’s lives. Nor, do I want to know all the details as a manager. I need to know enough to use my judgement as a manager to help the people and teams proceed. When managers build trust...

Learning Opportunities for All

If you are not on my Pragmatic Manager email list, you might not know about these opportunities to explore several topics with me this month: An Estimation hangout with Marcus Blankenship this Friday, April 10, 2:30pm EDT. If you have questions, please email me or Marcus. See the Do You Have Questions About Estimation post. Think of this hangout as a clinic, where I can take your questions about estimation and help you address your concerns. In the Kitchener-Waterloo area April 29&30, I’m doing two workshops that promise to be quite fun as well as educational: Discovering the Leader Inside of You An Agile and Lean Approach to Managing Your Project Portfolio To see the descriptions, see the KWSQA site. You do not have to be a manager to participate in either of these workshops. You do need to be inquisitive and willing to try new things. I believe there  is only room for two people for the leadership workshop. I think there is room for five people in the project portfolio workshop. Please do sign up now....

Early Bird Ends Soon for Influential Agile Leader

If you are a leader for your agile efforts in your organization, you need to consider participating in The Influential Agile Leader. If you are working on how to transition to agile, how to talk about agile, how to help your peers, managers, or teams, you want to participate. Gil Broza and I designed it to be experiential and interactive. We’re leading the workshop in San Francisco, Mar 31-Apr 1. We’ll be in London April 14-15. The early bird pricing ends Feb 20. People who participate see great results, especially when they bring peers/managers from their organization. Sign up...

Posted: Creating an Environment of Leadership

My most recent Pragmatic Manager , Creating an Environment of Leadership is up. If you like these tips and the ones in Discovering Your Leadership, check out the Influential Agile Leader. Gil Broza and I are offering the Influential Agile Leader twice this year: once in San Francisco, and once in London. The early bird deadline for registration is Feb 15. If you are trying to transition to agile and you’re having more challenges than you expected, you owe it to yourself to participate. If you have questions, contact me. I’m happy to answer...