Say No to Mandatory Fun

I keep encountering managers and consultants who want to make work “fun” for people. As a goal, “fun” is a bunch of hooey. Before I was a consultant, I held various Director-level positions at local companies. Each organization had mandatory fun days. In one organization, we played softball. Yes, everyone—especially the managers—had to play softball …

Clean Your Backlogs

I’ve been working at the intersection of the project portfolio and the product roadmaps. (You can tell because of the various posts about information persistence.) Here’s what I find when I work with my clients: They have years worth of projects in the project portfolio. They have years worth of ideas in various states of description in …

First of Three Modern Management Books Available

I’m in the midst of collecting the management myths into three books. The series is currently titled “Make Modern Management Easy”. The first book is Practical Ways to Manage Yourself. I was thinking of starting with managing the organization issues. The way organization attempt to “manage performance” and do/do not manage the project portfolio has …

Help Managers Visualize Their Problems

I’ve been working with several managers at organizations large and small, who want to capitalize their software “earlier.” These managers have some strongly-held beliefs about the people: People are resources Resources can multitask on several projects at a time If “headquarters” does the difficult work, you can move the “grunt” work to lower wage areas …

Divide and Conquer Creates Need for Management Control

Several recent clients want help with these problems: Estimation isn’t accurate. Because the estimation isn’t accurate, management can’t predict when they can release anything. Managers can’t manage the capitalization (a way to move from expensing software to capitalizing it). Teams can’t seem to ever deliver a finished feature. The work in progress everywhere is quite large. …

Management Signals

I’m catching up on my podcasts and just listened to Seth Godin’s Akimbo episode about honest signals. (Do listen.) It’s about the signals we send that are honest or dishonest and why we might choose one, the other, or both. I started to think about the management signals we send, especially in an agile transformation. …