Low Tech Way to Visualize Your Percentile Confidence for Forecasts

Michael Mahlberg taught me something cool last week. We’re writing an article together. Part of the article is about forecasts. I was ranting and raving about how to help people see their confidence levels. He pointed me to this slideshare: Lightweight Kanban Metrics (in German).  (Don’t worry about the language.) Go to slides 24, 25, …

Estimates Anchor Expectations; Forecasts Include Uncertainty

What happens when you use the word “estimate?” For many of my clients, “estimate”== guarantee. Which is not what those words mean. Even if you update the estimate based on data, too many managers still want to know, “When will it be done?” Emphasis on done. And, while managers might not remember the assumptions you …

Agile Approaches Can’t Save Impossible Projects: Fixed Cost, Scope, Date

You’ve got an impossible project. You have no flexibility. The project is a fixed-price, fixed-scope, fixed-date project. And, you have a specific team to do the work. (There are other impossible projects. Such as when you have a collection of people who multitask among several projects.) Can an agile approach save these projects? No. An agile …

Projects, Products, and the Project Portfolio: Part 2, Assess & Rank the Work

Part 1 was about seeing the value in the various projects. I called the value stream a product so that people would think about who would use it and why. I suggested that we stop work on specific products when you have more products than teams. That would allow you to work on other projects …

Product Roles, Part 8: Summary: Collaborate at All Levels for the Product

Too many teams have overloaded Product Owners. The teams and PO have trouble connecting the organization’s strategy to what the teams deliver. The teams, PO, management, all think they need big planning. Too often, the POs don’t do small-enough replanning. They’re not living the principles of the agile manifesto. That insufficient collaboration means the PO …

Product Roles, Part 3: Product or Feature Teams vs Project Teams

An agile approach requires a cross-functional team. That means that everyone on the team focuses on the same intent. That intent might be an entire product. It might be a feature set as part of a larger program. But, the team focuses as a team. That cross-functional team is a product team or a feature …