Month: March 2016

Project Acceleration 3: What’s the Point?

In the last post on Project Acceleration, we looked at whether you had the foundation for making a major change, i.e. a solid understanding of the status of your project, in all dimensions. Now we look at another fundamental aspect of Project Acceleration: the objective or purpose of the need to deliver earlier.  Unless this is both clear and valid to the team, it is going to be hard to achieve.   Note, this post covers scenarios where the project team is asked to meet a specific new timeline with a new defined delivery date. If the purpose of the acceleration is just to “speed up the delivery process” without changing the delivery date, then a process that focuses on the operating tempo of the team is more applicable. Why Accelerate? There are many typical reasons for wanting to accelerate the project and deliver the project outcomes early. Recapture Already Lost Time: you are speeding up to either hit the original schedule, or at least to reduce the slippage from an earlier commitment.  This is a common use-case in the project delivery world.  Often as not, this commitment is made in return for getting additional time for an earlier milestone – a self-defeating trade-off of future gain in exchange for current permission. Respond to a Senior Management directive: e.g. “I don’t care what the reasons are, I want this delivered by 1st April”,...

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Zappos, Holacracy and Where to Now?

I saw this article on the state of Zappos and Holacracy via LinkedIn “trending” It’s very interesting and illustrates the biggest question that I had on reading about Holacracy and the various experiments: Zappos (ongoing), Medium (now abandoned), and others. That question was about the very detailed and rigid rules for implementing Holacracy and the unusual terminology.    Does it need to be so prescriptive and so rigid? Like many methodologies in theory, it’s very hard to deny the logic or value of each piece-part as you go through them line-by-line, assuming that you agree with their broader contextual assumptions.  But with Holacracy I feared that in practice, in the dynamic, messy, ebb-and-flow of the real world, these attributes would be a millstone not wings to make it fly?    Would people reject it at the surface because of this apparent complexity or foreign vocabulary.  Some people couldn’t read “A Clockwork Orange” (or wouldn’t) because there was a vocabulary to learn before it made sense.  Others reveled in the challenge.  I know many teams where it would be rejected on this basis alone.  And these days can you get people to read a long email or a 1,000 word blog post.  TL;DR is often the response. How would it play out to introduce these rules: witness Agile methodologies like scrum: some people get it, others are reduced to canonical...

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