Objectives & Accountability vs Responsibility & Autonomy, Part 2

I explained about objectives and the differences between MBOs and OKRs in Part 1. I’m tackling the issues of “accountability” in this part. Examine Accountability What does accountability mean to you? I’m serious about that question. For many people—managers included—people are accountable when we can blame them for not doing something. If you don’t achieve …

When OKRs Become MBOs and Accountability, Part 1

I have personal and professional goals. Sometimes, I state them as objectives: complete this book, learn that thing. Those are personal objectives. My personal objectives look like MBOs, Management By Objectives. These personal objectives contribute to my company, but they are not a corporate objective. Some of my goals are corporate objectives: release that book, build …

Visualize Your Constraints

As I work with people to use agile approaches, I see many organizational constraints. I’ve been trying to find a visualization for what I see. I don’t know if I’ve got it yet, but here is my sum-of-the-parts image. The organization’s culture drives decisions (or not!)  about the strategy. Strategy, with any luck, creates clarity …

Leaders Manage Uncertainty

One of the problems I see in projects and organizations is when people wish for certainty. Too many agile project managers and Scrum Masters want a known velocity. They don’t realize that velocity is a relative capacity measurement, not a guarantee. Product managers, the people who manage the project portfolio, all seem to want certainty …

Families vs Organizations and Organizational Culture, Part 6

I’m (finally!) circling back around to Joe Berkowitz’s statement: There is no template for how to be a good man in the #MeToo era. I said that respect provided that template. (And, we can say “good people” instead of only men because abuse of power is not limited to men. See Power, Management, and Harassment: It’s …