You are expected to deliver agile!
As we near the end of the year, it’s a great time to reflect on what is expected of Project Managers everywhere.
You do not have to look too far to see conversations online, and likely in your office where Project Managers are being told to “work agile and with agile teams” while in a waterfall process. Even PMI is pushing for agility in training and certification. However, there are mixed results in terms of where to start and how to deliver.
So where does a PM go to cope with today’s issues? How can they learn and apply the right techniques while having access to tools and techniques that will help them achieve today’s expectations?
Let’s review a few areas and provide answers to that very question!
Become involved in transformation projects
There are very few companies that do not have any sort of transformation strategy with a planned or unplanned goal or initiative. In fact, if you are in a company that does not, likely your company will have to adopt one soon or they may not be around in the next five to ten years.
You, as a PM, must look beyond your project to succeed in any work today; you will have allies in your day-to-day work if you focus on being part of the transformation plan and work with your colleagues who are budgeted to make the transformation happen. Learn how to be “Enterprise Aware”; this is a key principle in PMI’s Disciplined Agile and Transformation education and is now an essential asset to being an effective PM.
Gone are the days when we can run our projects in isolation without major impacts in the short and medium term.
Align to your PMO (Portfolio Management Office)
The key here is the word Portfolio, not Project, they are very different. The Portfolio Management Office is linked to the needs of the business, they are focused on getting funding aligned to the products and programs that the PM will deliver to. You must work with them to become “Enterprise Aware”.
Data has provided proof that effective transformations enabled by lean and agile practices must begin with the Portfolio Management Office to lead transformation and link to business agility. Working at the Project or Delivery team level including those in DevOps will frustrate and deflate those leading the change. The PMO is key to success and working in the PMO is aspirational for a PM.
Get to Know and Help Manage Value Streams
Do you wonder what value streams are? PMI defines them as a series of steps and actions that begin and end with the customer or the customer in mind. Value streams are essential to any business wanting to achieve its goals. You are not alone here, you must work with your Team Leads, (aka DA Senior Scrum Masters), DA Coaches and DA Value Stream Consultants. Part of your #futurePM role is for you to become a Value Stream Manager. Get ahead of the curve and jumpstart your PM mastery by focusing on this important dependency.
Become a Leader in Lean Governance
Project governance in general has failed to really govern because it impeded organizations, teams, and people from responding to change and adapting. Learn how to govern effectively with a Lean Governance approach to Project and Product Management
Become adept with the three “P” s – Portfolio, Product and Program – Management
It can take years to achieve, performing teams, solution complexity, cost of ownership and return on investment, including the added incalculable expense of poor technical debt management. This means today’s PM requires skills that are more diverse, and sophisticated than ever before. Program management is key to unlocking the ability to scale and support a growing product or service and provide the right approaches to the effective management of projects.
Utilize your best resources – the agile team
As mentioned earlier, working with your team leads, product owners and architecture owners while enabling and supporting an approach to “semi-autonomous teams” will reduce your stress and it will prove you’re an effective leader. Use your teams to do the management of the work and avoid micromanaging. Your key team members, the PO, TL and AO, are going to make your job a lot easier!