Agile Leadership

Agile parallels

I had done a course with Chris recently on Sales and I was interested on his take on Project Management and I was not disappointed. Chris has a clear way of explaining things and providing great examples to cement the knowledge.

I wanted to see how Agile methodologies map to the Twelve Steps to Managing a Project Successfully.

Twelve Steps to Managing a Project Successfully

  1. Define the project.
  2. List the tasks.
  3. Plan the running order.
  4. Add contingency.
  5. Consider crashing.
  6. Make a Gantt chart.
  7. Calculate resource requirements.
  8. Assess risks and prepare action plans
  9. Monitor progress using the Gantt chart.
  10. Monitor costs.
  11. Readjust your plan.
  12. Review.

Here is my take of each of the steps with an Agile twist:

ItemClassical Project ManagementCustomAgile
Define the projectClear scope and objectives set at the beginning, with detailed planning upfront.Clear scope and objectives set at the beginning of each sprint, allowing for some flexibility in implementation.Flexibility to adapt to changing requirements throughout the project, allowing for continuous improvement.
List the tasksTasks are clearly defined and prioritized in a detailed project plan.Tasks are clearly defined and prioritized, with some flexibility for adjustments based on evolving needs.Agile teams can quickly respond to changing priorities and customer needs, enhancing responsiveness and customer satisfaction.
Plan the running orderStrict adherence to predetermined project schedule and sequence of tasks.Adaptable planning to accommodate changing priorities or unforeseen circumstances.Agile planning allows for iterative and incremental delivery, enabling faster time-to-market and early feedback.
Add contingencyContingencies are included in the initial project plan but may be inflexible.Built-in flexibility to accommodate unforeseen challenges or changes in project scope.Agile teams can adapt quickly to unforeseen challenges, leveraging iterative planning and incremental delivery to manage risks effectively.
Consider crashingOvertime or resource reallocation may be used to meet deadlines, but with limitations.Flexibility to adjust resources or timelines within certain constraints to meet project deadlines.Agile methodologies provide various options for managing tight deadlines or resource constraints, such as reprioritizing backlog items or adjusting sprint scope.
Make a Gantt chartGantt charts are commonly used to visualize project schedules and dependencies.Gantt charts or similar tools may be used, but with flexibility to adapt as needed.Provides a visual representation of tasks and dependencies, aiding in communication and planning.
Calculate resource requirementsResource requirements are calculated based on detailed project plans and estimates.Resource requirements are assessed and adjusted as needed throughout the project lifecycle.Supports effective resource management and allocation, facilitating efficient project execution.
Assess risks and prepare action plansRisks are identified and addressed through proactive risk management processes.Risks are continuously assessed, with proactive mitigation strategies in place.Encourages continuous risk assessment and mitigation, improving project resilience and adaptability.
Monitor progress using the Gantt chartProgress is tracked using the Gantt chart, with deviations addressed through formal change control processes.Progress is tracked using the Gantt chart or similar tools, with flexibility to adjust plans based on real-time feedback.Provides visibility into project progress and helps identify potential bottlenecks or delays.
Monitor costsCosts are monitored closely against the budget, with any deviations addressed through formal change requests.Costs are monitored throughout the project, with adjustments made as necessary to stay within budget constraints.Enables effective cost management and budget tracking, ensuring project stays within budget constraints.
Readjust your planChanges to the project plan are managed through formal change control processes.Plans are adjusted as needed based on evolving requirements or feedback, with appropriate documentation and communication.Supports adaptive planning and decision-making, enabling teams to respond quickly to changing circumstances.
ReviewFormal reviews are conducted at key project milestones to assess progress and identify areas for improvement.Regular reviews are conducted to evaluate progress, identify lessons learned, and make continuous improvements.Promotes continuous learning and improvement, enhancing team performance and project outcomes.

It think the interesting journey in each of these steps is to figure out the “Custom” for the client and deliver what is right for them.



Agile Speakers meets for lunch

Lana, Daniel, Stefan and I kicked off Agile Speakers in 2024 at the Schlosswirtschaft Schwaige. The last session of Agile Speakers met for breakfast and we discussed Kural and Testing: Breakfast & Speak – Moss and Lichens. And the time before that we met for Wine & Speak and had Ineke, Mikaela and Vera present a wine and talk about different things Agile: How to fail like a Scrum Master? – Moss and Lichens

Stefan started off sharing ideas from his newsletter.

I liked his premise of using medical terms to explain and diagnose things in the testing world. The discussion around Incident (or Issue) to Defect and journey which takes us there. Is finding and fixing a bug enough? Should we be looking into why the bug happened in the first place? Is there a connection between the nature of the defects and and the nature of the product or service itself?

I liked the way Daniel noticed the Medical Metaphors!

For a more detailed reading of Stefan’s ideas you can read further here: Activity | Stefan Dirnstorfer | LinkedIn

I shared my learnings from the course on Resilience from the London Business School. We had representation from three different domains – Testing, Medical and Online marketplace and it was interesting to see how they reacted with stories from the Strategic, Operational and Behavioral resilience areas.

We talked about how Accenture had identified the trend towards successful outsourcing and how in the Testing domain AI supported test case automation is available. Will products and services survive if they do not keep an eye of the trends?

We talked about how Netflix had anticipated the disruption in online streaming and how in the Online marketplace domain Quoka did verticalisation (vertical specialisation) on pet products.

We talked about how the Covid vaccine was created by companies which had the right conditions for a strategic response based on years of research beforehand.

We talked about how chip manufacturers like Intel at some points need to take care of not just direct risks but also keep an eye on multi-chain risks.

Tech Stack Diagnosis and Resilience kept us busy for 2 hours in this Agile Speakers meetup! What will we discuss next time?

You can join us in the future here: Agile Speakers @ Moss and Lichens | Groups | LinkedIn