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Re. Why are we still allowing the term "Agile Project Manager"

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  • Mark Jean
    From the thread, it s clear the prevailing view is that a dutifully agile Project Manager cannot earn the right to be called Agile Project Manager. And we
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 1, 2008
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      From the thread, it's clear the prevailing view is that a dutifully
      agile "Project Manager" cannot earn the right to be called "Agile
      Project Manager." And we should, shaking with contempt, "Ban That
      Term!!"

      Not only is an "Agile Project Manager" impossible - the very thought of
      allowing the use of that term is "hostile" (distasteful) to us - it
      goes against our sensibilities.

      Hello! This line of thought isn't logical - it's emotional & low-
      functioning (caveman / unenlightened).

      First off - "Project Managers" are often simply the person given the
      responsibility to "get something done" - eg, a "project." Often,
      these "managers" have little to no organizational power. If they're
      fortunate & cagey enough to get Scrum or other Agile approach in the
      door to help them be successful - great!

      But for the "Scrum Pure" intelligentsia to look down from up high &
      decry these feeble "Agile-Posers" is ludicrous & immature. Let go of
      control!

      "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two
      opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the
      ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940), "The Crack-Up"
      (1936)
    • David H.
      ... I am a little bit offended by the tone of this conversation? I happen to have a fully developed brain which I think is quite different in physiology from
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 1, 2008
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        >
        > Hello! This line of thought isn't logical - it's emotional & low-
        > functioning (caveman / unenlightened).
        >
        I am a little bit offended by the tone of this conversation? I happen
        to have a fully developed brain which I think is quite different in
        physiology from that of a cavemen. But now to the matter at hand.

        > First off - "Project Managers" are often simply the person given the
        > responsibility to "get something done" - eg, a "project."

        Good, I already have a term for that, Product Owner.

        > Often,
        > these "managers" have little to no organizational power. If they're
        > fortunate & cagey enough to get Scrum or other Agile approach in the
        > door to help them be successful - great!
        >
        Scrum Masters, by their very nature do not have any power per se. They
        only hold authority over the "Scrum" way of doing things. They are
        servant leaders, so I guess that applies to a Project Manager as well
        then in your view?

        > But for the "Scrum Pure" intelligentsia to look down from up high &
        > decry these feeble "Agile-Posers" is ludicrous & immature. Let go of
        > control!
        >
        I wonder to whom you are referring because I do not think that is what
        anyone said or intended to say. This was and still is a discussion
        about semnatics, the power of words and how to shape expectations.

        > "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two
        > opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the
        > ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940), "The Crack-Up"
        > (1936)
        >
        I do not quite undertand the relevance of this quote and I would
        strongly recommend you adjust the tone of your voice.

        Thank you

        -d

        --
        Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
        Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail accounts.

        "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
        benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu
      • Mark Jean
        David - It s true most companies don t have enough disruptions/distractions to deal with & are looking for more. Therefore, attempting to dictate to companies
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 1, 2008
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          David -

          It's true most companies don't have enough disruptions/distractions
          to deal with & are looking for more. Therefore, attempting to dictate
          to companies what terms they can & can't use isn't a great use of
          time. Neither is debating it. (EG, "lexicon happens." It's tough to
          control.)

          Conservatively, "PM" has a fair recognition rate in general business
          today. (Maybe 95%?) People have a sense - perhaps a wrong one -
          of what a "PM" does.

          The term "Agile PM" is actually helpful to bridging Scrum & XP into
          companies. Why? Because many people have heard something about
          this "agile" thing. So, the modification of "PM" to "Agile PM" makes
          inuitive sense. There's a "place" in the mind to put that term.

          I agree with you words have power. Why not leverage "Agile PM" & run
          with it? "Agile" will go a lot faster if its leadership would be o.k.
          with the temporary integration of Scrum into existing processes,
          terminologies & mindsets. This isn't about memes. It's about getting
          work done. Once Scrum's adopted, keep helping Scrum practitioners
          (through the training & certifation program) gently provide course
          corrections to their companies. (EG - be sneaky - and *embrace*
          holding two opposing ideas in the mind at the same time. You can
          function well with both.) This "pure scrum" thing smells
          like "memes" - which brings up "The Dark Side of Man" (great book).

          Regarding my "tone," it's in response to recommendations being made
          here to (often new) Scrum practitioners to "go against the grain."
          Having seen two people fired for attempting to introduce Scrum in
          the "go against the grain" manner, and also seeing Scrum flatly
          rejected by three other groups because it's "too out there" - it's
          clear (at least to me) writers to this list should focus more on the
          needs of new Scrum practitioners (user base) and less their own egos.

          It is unnecessary & somewhat irresponsible to advocate "disruption"
          to (usually struggling) PMs (who are also reading & learning Scrum) -
          or telling them they're "not worthy" of anything "Agile" because
          they're not disruptive enough.

          Disruption is for the financially independent, who don't care about
          working alone.


          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "David H." <dmalloc@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > >
          > > Hello! This line of thought isn't logical - it's emotional & low-
          > > functioning (caveman / unenlightened).
          > >
          > I am a little bit offended by the tone of this conversation? I
          happen
          > to have a fully developed brain which I think is quite different in
          > physiology from that of a cavemen. But now to the matter at hand.
          >
          > > First off - "Project Managers" are often simply the person given
          the
          > > responsibility to "get something done" - eg, a "project."
          >
          > Good, I already have a term for that, Product Owner.
          >
          > > Often,
          > > these "managers" have little to no organizational power. If
          they're
          > > fortunate & cagey enough to get Scrum or other Agile approach in
          the
          > > door to help them be successful - great!
          > >
          > Scrum Masters, by their very nature do not have any power per se.
          They
          > only hold authority over the "Scrum" way of doing things. They are
          > servant leaders, so I guess that applies to a Project Manager as
          well
          > then in your view?
          >
          > > But for the "Scrum Pure" intelligentsia to look down from up high
          &
          > > decry these feeble "Agile-Posers" is ludicrous & immature. Let go
          of
          > > control!
          > >
          > I wonder to whom you are referring because I do not think that is
          what
          > anyone said or intended to say. This was and still is a discussion
          > about semnatics, the power of words and how to shape expectations.
          >
          > > "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two
          > > opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the
          > > ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940), "The
          Crack-Up"
          > > (1936)
          > >
          > I do not quite undertand the relevance of this quote and I would
          > strongly recommend you adjust the tone of your voice.
          >
          > Thank you
          >
          > -d
          >
          > --
          > Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
          > Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail
          accounts.
          >
          > "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
          > benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu
          >
        • Michael Maham
          Also I d say the title of the original message Why are we still allowing the term Agile Project Manager ? has something to do with the tone. And, even
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 1, 2008
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            Also I'd say the title of the original message 'Why are we still allowing the term "Agile Project Manager"? ' has something to do with the tone. And, even agreeing with many of the points, I wonder in the back of mind:
            • who are "we" to determine what terms we "allow"?
            • what is the practical outcome, if we do decide not to "allow" the term?  how do we show our intolerance of the term?  Is anyone who asks on a forum like this given a standard "Go here: www.someagileFAQ.com#AgileProjectManager and come back if you have any confusion after reading that why we don't use the term"?  What about in real life when it comes up in an office?  Do we say "oh, we don't use that term". 
            • Or could we say, "If by Agle Project Manager you mean X, then, yes, that's a good idea and here's some qualities you see in people who are successful in helping teams.  If you mean Y, then that role doesn't provide value in a Scrum setting."?  Then we can have a clear conversation about what X and Y should be...but first we'd have to decide to "allow" the term.

            michael

            On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 2:44 PM, Mark Jean <blue_f18c@...> wrote:

            David -

            It's true most companies don't have enough disruptions/distractions
            to deal with & are looking for more. Therefore, attempting to dictate
            to companies what terms they can & can't use isn't a great use of
            time. Neither is debating it. (EG, "lexicon happens." It's tough to
            control.)

            Conservatively, "PM" has a fair recognition rate in general business
            today. (Maybe 95%?) People have a sense - perhaps a wrong one -
            of what a "PM" does.

            The term "Agile PM" is actually helpful to bridging Scrum & XP into
            companies. Why? Because many people have heard something about
            this "agile" thing. So, the modification of "PM" to "Agile PM" makes
            inuitive sense. There's a "place" in the mind to put that term.

            I agree with you words have power. Why not leverage "Agile PM" & run
            with it? "Agile" will go a lot faster if its leadership would be o.k.
            with the temporary integration of Scrum into existing processes,
            terminologies & mindsets. This isn't about memes. It's about getting
            work done. Once Scrum's adopted, keep helping Scrum practitioners
            (through the training & certifation program) gently provide course
            corrections to their companies. (EG - be sneaky - and *embrace*
            holding two opposing ideas in the mind at the same time. You can
            function well with both.) This "pure scrum" thing smells
            like "memes" - which brings up "The Dark Side of Man" (great book).

            Regarding my "tone," it's in response to recommendations being made
            here to (often new) Scrum practitioners to "go against the grain."
            Having seen two people fired for attempting to introduce Scrum in
            the "go against the grain" manner, and also seeing Scrum flatly
            rejected by three other groups because it's "too out there" - it's
            clear (at least to me) writers to this list should focus more on the
            needs of new Scrum practitioners (user base) and less their own egos.

            It is unnecessary & somewhat irresponsible to advocate "disruption"
            to (usually struggling) PMs (who are also reading & learning Scrum) -
            or telling them they're "not worthy" of anything "Agile" because
            they're not disruptive enough.

            Disruption is for the financially independent, who don't care about
            working alone.

            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "David H." <dmalloc@...>
            wrote:


            >
            > >
            > > Hello! This line of thought isn't logical - it's emotional & low-
            > > functioning (caveman / unenlightened).
            > >
            > I am a little bit offended by the tone of this conversation? I
            happen
            > to have a fully developed brain which I think is quite different in
            > physiology from that of a cavemen. But now to the matter at hand.
            >
            > > First off - "Project Managers" are often simply the person given
            the
            > > responsibility to "get something done" - eg, a "project."
            >
            > Good, I already have a term for that, Product Owner.
            >
            > > Often,
            > > these "managers" have little to no organizational power. If
            they're
            > > fortunate & cagey enough to get Scrum or other Agile approach in
            the
            > > door to help them be successful - great!
            > >
            > Scrum Masters, by their very nature do not have any power per se.
            They
            > only hold authority over the "Scrum" way of doing things. They are
            > servant leaders, so I guess that applies to a Project Manager as
            well
            > then in your view?
            >
            > > But for the "Scrum Pure" intelligentsia to look down from up high
            &
            > > decry these feeble "Agile-Posers" is ludicrous & immature. Let go
            of
            > > control!
            > >
            > I wonder to whom you are referring because I do not think that is
            what
            > anyone said or intended to say. This was and still is a discussion
            > about semnatics, the power of words and how to shape expectations.
            >
            > > "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two
            > > opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the
            > > ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940), "The
            Crack-Up"
            > > (1936)
            > >
            > I do not quite undertand the relevance of this quote and I would
            > strongly recommend you adjust the tone of your voice.
            >
            > Thank you
            >
            > -d
            >
            > --
            > Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
            > Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail
            accounts.
            >
            > "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
            > benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu
            >


          • Ron Jeffries
            Hello, Michael. On Tuesday, July 1, 2008, at 4:01:15 PM, you ... We are people who understand or are learning to understand that there are significant
            Message 5 of 5 , Jul 1, 2008
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              Hello, Michael. On Tuesday, July 1, 2008, at 4:01:15 PM, you
              wrote:

              > Also I'd say the title of the original message 'Why are we still allowing
              > the term "Agile Project Manager"? ' has something to do with the tone. And,
              > even agreeing with many of the points, I wonder in the back of mind:

              > - who are "we" to determine what terms we "allow"?

              We are people who understand or are learning to understand that
              there are significant differences between the Agile methods and
              conventional ones. We are people who understand that the words we
              use often carry connotations we do not intend, and who believe it is
              therefore important what words we use and what words we try to
              avoid.

              > - what is the practical outcome, if we do decide not to "allow" the
              > term? how do we show our intolerance of the term? Is anyone who asks on a
              > forum like this given a standard "Go here:
              > www.someagileFAQ.com#AgileProjectManager and come back if you have any
              > confusion after reading that why we don't use the term"? What about in real
              > life when it comes up in an office? Do we say "oh, we don't use that
              > term".

              > - Or could we say, "If by Agle Project Manager you mean X, then, yes,
              > that's a good idea and here's some qualities you see in people who are
              > successful in helping teams. If you mean Y, then that role doesn't provide
              > value in a Scrum setting."? Then we can have a clear conversation about
              > what X and Y should be...but first we'd have to decide to "allow" the term.

              Tyranny of the "or". There are other ways to go that do not sustain
              a term that is potentially harmful to our message but that do not
              show such obviously unproductive behaviors as "intolerance".

              Ron Jeffries
              www.XProgramming.com
              A lot of preconceptions can be dismissed when you actually
              try something out. -- Bruce Eckel
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