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Re: [XP] The nature of executive "pushback" to agile technologies?

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  • Ian Collins
    ... One problem is the VP who relies on his underlings for advice and those underlings often fear being disempowered by agile development (self managing teams
    Message 1 of 119 , Mar 1, 2007
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      Chris Wheeler wrote:

      >Forget agility for a moment. As a business executive, I may see an
      >opportunity that needs to be captured. Let's say it's Jan 2nd, 2007, and I
      >know that if we don't ship by June 1st, we will miss that opportunity.
      >
      >I go to my manager/team and I tell them that we need to capture that
      >opportunity, and to do that we need to ship by Jun 1st, with the following
      >features (a, b, c) that are essential to capturing that opportunity.
      >
      >What do I want to hear? I'll be honest - I want 'Yes, we will ship with
      >those features, on that date'. I want commitment and honesty from my team.
      >But overall, I want results.
      >
      >If I get 'Well, you can have this, but you can't have that', to me that's
      >the start of an antagonistic relationship. And from experience, this is
      >where agile teams get the pushback. From experience (YMMV), executives don't
      >want to be involved in the planning, and for bigger companies, they can't
      >be. They hire people for that. What they want is results.
      >
      >The only thing that works is saying 'Yes, we'll do it' and then using
      >agility to figure out how to deliver those feature in the time asked. I've
      >done that. That builds trust. Ultimately, the VP's don't give a dang about
      >the process you use if they get the results they want. But, if you want a
      >VP interested in your process, it's simple - don't deliver.
      >
      >
      >
      One problem is the VP who relies on his underlings for advice and those
      underlings often fear being disempowered by agile development (self
      managing teams anyone?). So the VP may not care about the process, but
      his opinions are influenced by those who do.

      I'm seeing this at the moment with a client, the team leader level
      management is keen to try XP, but their bosses fear loss of control and
      feed this up, suitably disguised, to the CIO. Unfortunately the agile
      battle has become associated with the attempts to move to opensource
      platforms, which muddies the waters.

      Ian
    • Steve Ropa
      Oh, darn. I was just thinking I should create a rule that automatically deletes anything that comes in! So close! Oh well. Sorting your email as it comes
      Message 119 of 119 , Mar 6, 2007
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        Oh, darn. I was just thinking I should create a rule that automatically
        deletes anything that comes in! So close! Oh well.



        Sorting your email as it comes in is an excellent way to triage what is
        important, what can wait, and what just doesn't matter.



        One approach I learned as a stockbroker (albeit with paper instead of email)
        is to automatically sort everything that comes in into its proper folder if
        it has one. Anything left in the inbox can wait until you have taken care
        of all of the sorted mail. Then, once a month, just wholesale delete
        everything in the main inbox. If it wasn't categorizable (not a real word),
        and you hadn't already acted on it, it couldn't have been important anyway.



        Anyway, I can tell that I currently have enough slack, because I can spend
        time arguing the merits of an empty inbox..



        _____

        From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John Roth
        Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 1:19 PM
        To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [XP] What is "bad" management?



        It depends on how you want to set up your workflow,
        and where the bottlenecks occur.

        One insight I've gotten from GTD is that, if you leave
        stuff in your inbox, it's got two rather bad effects.
        First, you go over it multiple times deciding whether
        it's something to be dealt with now, and second, it
        isn't where you need it when you're ready to deal
        with a project.

        That doesn't mean you clean out your mail client!
        If you want to hold mail related to a project on the
        client in a separate folder until you're ready to deal
        with it, that's fine. They have to be easily locatable
        from the central point of the project, and out of the
        way until then.

        John Roth

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Steve Ropa" <sropa@xavient. <mailto:sropa%40xavient.com> com>
        To: <extremeprogramming@ <mailto:extremeprogramming%40yahoogroups.com>
        yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 10:56 AM
        Subject: RE: [XP] What is "bad" management?

        > Which means we might have uncovered where I am not understanding. What is
        > it about my inbox that affects rapid turnaround on work effects?
        >
        >
        >
        > _____
        >
        > From: extremeprogramming@ <mailto:extremeprogramming%40yahoogroups.com>
        yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:extremeprogramming@ <mailto:extremeprogramming%40yahoogroups.com>
        yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Phlip
        > Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 10:22 AM
        > To: extremeprogramming@ <mailto:extremeprogramming%40yahoogroups.com>
        yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [XP] What is "bad" management?
        >
        >
        >
        > Steve Ropa wrote:
        >
        >> These are a lot of good suggestions if an empty inbox is a goal you have.
        >
        > Then we are back to the "Lean" notion of rapid turnaround on work effects.
        >
        > --
        > Phlip
        > http://c2.com/ <http://c2.com/ <http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?ZeekLand>
        cgi/wiki?ZeekLand> cgi/wiki?ZeekLand <-- NOT
        > a
        > blog!!
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >





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