User stories are a great way to capture product functionality and create cross-team clarity. But, how do you know if your user stories are well-defined or detailed enough? And, the answer, of course, is that it depends. Which probably doesn't help you much. So – what does it depend on?   The most…
Is it time to rethink the change management paradigm?     "If you want truly to understand something, try to change it. " — Kurt Lewin     What if the premise upon which the entire change management industry is founded is wrong? Change management is predominantly based on…
The success of an Adaptive Project Manager (APM) rests on their ability to maintain focus on how their project fits within an organization’s Value Delivery System.   For those who are new to the term, “Value Delivery System” (VDS) is how a couple of McKinsey consultants in 1988 (M. J. Lanning and…
It’s hard to argue that humankind’s progress is not the direct result of continuous iterative activity. “Iteration” when used as a verb means the act of repeating, like flipping through social media posts. When used as a noun, it means version, as in the latest iteration of a software application…
In Part 1 of “Working Iteratively” we established that “iteration” when used as a verb means the act of repeating, and when used as a noun, it means version. We also explored the premise that adaptive leaders understand achieving solutions or change is rarely a “one shot” activity. And that…
Project management is a practice that begins and ends with the perception of the environment and goals affecting the initiative being worked on. That perception is formed by the set of assumptions, methods, or notions the project manager and influential stakeholders believe to be true: their…
While project managers represent a wide spectrum of geographies, industry segments, purposes, and organisational structures and cultures, they all share one common activity: dealing with change. From the inception of a project to its close, project managers face constant streams of change from…
Why heroic leadership is not suited to a VUCA world.      The great leader speaks little.   He never speaks carelessly.   He works without self-interest  and leaves no trace.   When all is finished, the people say  “We did it ourselves. "  — Lao-tzu     What is effective leadership?  Is it:  A…
The latest edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) can be broadly described as a transition from a process-based perspective to a principle-based approach. This shift reflects a recognition that there are multiple ways to successfully manage projects, with no single method or…
“Psychological safety is not the same as a safe space. It is not a space where you will always feel comfortable and not have your views challenged. It is almost the opposite. It’s a brave space…” — Amy Edmondson.      The father of employee engagement, William Khan, defined psychological safety…
Dr Bruce Tuckman’s research into group dynamics is still a widely used model that maps out the stages a team goes through to get to high performance. Tuckman suggested that the stages a team goes through (forming, storming, norming, and performing) are the critical pathway for teams to…
A few years ago, I coached an agile video production team. It was a highly collaborative, tight-knit team with super specialised skill sets. The team churned through the work and delivered lots of high-value outcomes for the organisation.   However, what the team and I noticed was that there seemed…


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