Wednesday, February 07, 2018

A simple and effective project delivery framework

A few years ago I stumbled on the website of Olaf Lewitz. Olaf is a Certified Enterprise Coach that approaches Scrum a little different as most. He has written a guide to Scrum in a way that is capturing the essence of Scrum and I think he did this very well. He calls it Liquid Scrum.

I recognized a lot of my own way of project delivery during project recoveries in it, and the last few years I have applied the process with a few adjustments with much success on large software development and financial modeling projects in distress.

Note this is only the delivery part, there is a whole lot more to a successful project then just delivery.

Assumption

Everyone involved takes shared responsibility for success. Focused interests (see below) never imply that something is not within your responsibility.

Advice

Assume everyone is contributing the best they can. Focus your conversations on options you have right now, not on what should be or should have been. Choose wisely: decide using consent or better. As soon as the assumption is proven to be untrue, act fast. The team is more important than its individuals.

Constrain your system with a timebox

Set a timebox of two weeks. This will give you rhythm and enable you to see what emerges, and give you options to focus:

Options

1) Deliver.

2) Visualise what you do in a way that supports your understanding of how you do it.

3) Reflect daily on what you see, decide on choices you have. Adapt the rhythm if that makes reflecting more effective. Only execute these three options until you can reliably deliver every two weeks. Everything else may confuse you.

4) Experiment within the bi-weekly timeboxes. Detail the options you discovered to set clear goals up front and indicators for success and failure. Decide what to invest and how to limit risk. Never run an experiment without making explicit what you want to achieve or learn.

5) Focus on what to deliver.

6) Reflect on what you did, and how you did it, and discover options to get better.

7) Communicate what you are doing, and what you did, to people outside the team.

Focused Interests

Your system may get better faster at making a difference if you focus on these three interests:

1) Do the right thing. (Value)

2) Do things right. (Quality)

3) Get better and better every day. (Speed)

- Better at delivering faster.
- Better at doing the right things faster.
- Better at doing things right faster.
- Better at deciding which of these is important, right now.(some people call this effectiveness, and it’s blurry)

In many or most systems having people take explicit responsibility for one of these works well. By-the-book Scrum, for example, prescribes one voice for 1. (Product Owner) and 3. (Scrum Master). In most contexts, that’s good advice and a good choice to start with.

For me, project delivery is about continuous improvement, scope flexibility, team input, and delivering essential quality outcomes. Methodologies I use and adapt include Scrum, LeSS, eXtreme Programming (XP), Kanban, Systems ThinkingLean Software Development and Lean Six Sigma.
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2018 by Henrico Dolfing

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