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How Agile lean development makes project manager's workflow changes

Hmostafa Rizk
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 17, 2009
Posts: 8
Traditional Project managers face change in the new lean and agile development methodologies with a shock, how project manager still that important role to have in lean development, and in what scale?
Mary Poppendieck
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Joined: Oct 04, 2006
Posts: 62
If a project manager is an administrator who assigns work and tracks tasks, the role would not be necessary in lean development. Instead, a leader who understands the reason for developing the software and takes responsibility for delivering value that will be appreciated by customers is very important. A leader who helps the development team understand the purpose of their work and make good decisions at a detailed level is also very important. For many years, good project managers have provided this kind of leadership, and these project managers will continue to be relevant and will also know what to do to help ensure the success of the teams they lead.


Mary Poppendieck
Author of Lean Software Development, Implementing Lean Software Development, and Leading Lean Software Development
Mohamed El-Refaey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 08, 2009
Posts: 119
I think that a project manager who is only an administrator is not preferred even in IT projects, as it is like a headache to the team; asks team members to estimate their work (what technical people hate most) ask them for time efficiency, and does not value their code. but i also think that project manager should be the project analyst, to be able to do his project management effective, and customer engagement manager with the client as well.


Best Regards, Mohamed El-Refaey
www.egyptcloudforum.com
Hmostafa Rizk
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 17, 2009
Posts: 8
I am with you about not having a real value or even credibility for a project manager who is only an administrator who runs with schedule and requests update... i see a project manager is someone who plays the role of customer engagement with clients, business analyst, and also do the project management activities for his project for the sake of client requirements, quality and time needs, and for the sake of his team professional development, team work, and new business experiences.

but i wonder if a project Manager is better to be a technical person, like originally a developer and chose to change his career to project management, as i see new trend for agile management staff to apply, is this proficient? does this degrade the need for having business project manager, with good technical background which helps him or her in communicating well in projects?

Also, in agile projects, how project manager shifts his paradigm, to still cover needed details as in the projects management process groups and knowledge area?
Mary Poppendieck
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Joined: Oct 04, 2006
Posts: 62
I believe that when you are developing a complicated software-intensive product, two kinds of leadership are essential - someone has to really understand the customer ans someone really has to understand the technology. I might call this market leadership and technical leadership. The leadership roles can reside in one or two people. One company I know of always pairs a brand manager with a technical lead when developing a new product. Another company has a senior technical person who also understands customers lead development efforts.

If there are two people providing market and technical leadership, they have to be "joined at the hip" so to speak. They must work very well and closely together. If there is one person, then that person really has to have both deep customer understanding and deep technical understanding, or find a partner to help out in the area where they don't have strengths.
Bear Bibeault
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Hmostafa Rizk
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 17, 2009
Posts: 8
So, what are the main qualities to hire people to work in lean, or agile companies...or what agile team members should have in common in terms of professional and personal qualities.. how do i feel sure i'm getting the right people on board for my agile environment
Mary Poppendieck
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Joined: Oct 04, 2006
Posts: 62
So, what are the main qualities to hire people to work in lean, or agile companies...or what agile team members should have in common in terms of professional and personal qualities.. how do i feel sure i'm getting the right people on board for my agile environment


In Fremont California in the early 1980's, GM had a terrible plant - so bad they closed it and laid everyone off. Two years later, Toyota and GM opened a joint venture called NUMMI, and they hired back basically the SAME people. But they changed the management style - dramatically. The plant went from having the worst quality and productivity in the industry to having the BEST quality and productivity in the US. Absenteeism (a measure of morale) and grievances just about vanished.

The people were no different - the MANAGEMENT simply had a different attitude. SO before you worry about what kind of people to hire, worry about providing good management.

I had a boss who told me this: "Hire for intelligence and attitude, and everything else will fall into place." That's about the best hiring advice I have ever heard.

Hmostafa Rizk
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 17, 2009
Posts: 8
Good.. so should this tell me that having different management styles in the place harmful specially when they don't have much in common
example, one style is never apply rules or discipline, give excuses to people, seek to be loved and never in dispute...another is have rule, give excuses but with needed discipline, seek to be respected, and funny with limit to not spoil the business relationship or work quality...another is be harsh, firm, no excuses, follow rules, policies, and procedures, few fun around (a very traditional kind)

and what to advice management with different manager styles in it, how shall these members align their activities and paradigm well, for the better of the place..i always see that people can change for better goal, i'm not so much found of laying off, to get right people is the best, laying off is kind of not preferred (as it is the place's fault to hire them from the beginning), but adjusting who are willing to is the best, but surely needs right plan, and the issue here is to get the RIGHT person to put such a plan , which is the MAIN thing, agree?
Mary Poppendieck
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Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2006
Posts: 62
Jim Collins makes the point in his book "How the Mighty Fail" that when a company is in decline, the decline can be reversed, but ONLY by a new and visionary person at the top. I would imagine this applies to most organizations.
 
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