A Commonplace

What is a commonplace?



Sat, 3 May 2014 23:24:42

The Artefacts of Agile Governance - The Ghosts in the Machine

Somebody that I was talking to on Thursday was saying that if you have the tools then senior management can just look at the tools and see what's going on - I really don't think this is the case. My experience with these kinds of tools is that whenever anybody who doesn't have the full context of the project looks at a tool without a voiceover they get the wrong end of the stick.

You might call these things "artefacts of the reporting process." Some artefacts of the reporting process that I can think of from other jobs.

1) Using the velocity in ideal days to come to the conclusion that "each member of the team only does about two days' work a week"

2) Using the index cards on the walls to come to the conclusion "how good can they be with technology when they have to rely on post-its on the wall to manage their project"

3) Using the average clear up time for defects to come to the conclusion that "it takes up to 4 months to fix a defect" (in fact this average clear-up time include loads of defects that would never be fixed because they had been categorised as "minor.")

4) Using idea of prioritisation to come up with the idea that the team "only did the easy things and put off the hard things" (actually the total opposite was the case.

5) (following on from number 4) completely misunderstanding the term spike and imagining that it was one of those spikes that you put bills on - or that that it was the verb "spike" as used for "newspaper" stories.

One reaction to these kinds of "artefacts" is to think that the people you are talking to are idiots. But a more sophisticated reaction might be to think that these people only came up with these incorrect interpretations because you as project manager, or program manager, or ScrumMaster (Registered Trademark) let them come up with these incorrect interpretations. And then you might think, what if this job were being done by someone from a PR background rather than a technology background? Would they be letting the senior people on the projects that they're working on make these "rookie" errors, and by that don't I really mean wouldn't they be avoiding these rookie errors themselves? I wonder who the gurus are on PR? Can you read their books, do they have video courses? What regarded as the best university course in the world to go on if you want to be in PR? What's on the reading list?

And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. - Friedrich Nietzsche

When we put digital into everything, we have to realise that everything has to also go into digital, ethics, PR, sociology, in-group, out-group, fashion in all its crazy bloomings. Sex, politics. And what I'm thinking is that the more that we can accommodate that, the more we'll prosper.