“Question everything,” in some form or another is a quote attributed to many different people throughout history. From Euripides to Einstein to countless philosophers, poets, and teachers, we’re always taught that sometimes the questions are more important than the answers themselves. How does this fit in the world of providing business and technology solutions?
Some weeks ago I was checking out the SEI collaboration portal and a link to an article about ‘Emotional Intelligence’ caught my eye. This term struck me as somewhat of an oxymoron because when I think of intelligence, I think IQ. As a person who is naturally curious about other people and what makes them tick, I was eager to read more.
Agile methods show great promise, delivering business value in environments where traditional (waterfall) models struggle. Despite a growing number of success stories, many projects can still be classified as failing or, at the very least, challenged. Over the years I’ve observed many teams with varying degrees of success. Of those most successful, I found a few common traits stemming from a fresh mindset both organizationally and individually.
No matter the size or complexity of your organization, keeping energy and motivation high among your teams is crucial to the success of your projects. Let’s face it, this important task can seem downright daunting. Many times our clients have taken note of the leadership we provide to their projects, and utilized some of the methods we employ to tackle this problem. So, we thought we’d share some of our own ‘motivational practices’ to assist you with your efforts.
In the first part of this series I focused on the best practices of understanding the intent of the assessment, the value that a dedicated project manager will add to the effort, and the importance of selecting the right firm. In the second part I will focus on the best practices of selecting the right framework, preparation of materials, and presentation of materials. These efforts are discussed separately however they are tightly coupled and rely heavily on good communication.
Preparing for an information security assessment is a daunting challenge – especially if previous assessments were not handled well. In most cases, adequate preparation and a mindset geared towards getting an honest assessment of the current state will yield significant benefits for the organization only if sufficient effort is spent on delivery.
Great teams sometimes fail because of a lack of delivery management. This is as true for an information security assessment as it is for a development project. In fact, some may argue that it is truer of an assessment because of the finality and timing of the final report versus the iterative nature of many development projects.
In part one of our series, we discussed the challenge of shifting leadership focus from “project management” to “delivery management”. In particular, we highlighted the importance of Leadership, Ownership, and Understanding of Delivery to make the transition. In this post we’ll explore the Activities and Communication required around delivery management.
Due to project complexity and the extensive interactions of large matrix teams, many projects don’t successfully identify all activities that need to be completed. A delivery management approach focuses on a careful examination of requirements and design to keep last minute discoveries from completely derailing a project timeline.
On one of my client projects, I was engaged to contribute on a mission critical project that almost failed. After attending several meetings, it became apparent that the project team was unable to make progress. The individual team members were competent, motivated, worked exceptionally well together, and the overall project plan provided more than enough time to complete the work. So, what went wrong? Why did such a team that looked so good on the surface come so close to failure?
In our first post of this series, we discussed how to identify opportunities where Agile can be used in BI\DW enterprise initiatives and how to begin planning for implementation. So you have an eager agile team, prioritized business functionality, a system design, an invested business owner, and a desire to make each iteration better than the last. Smooth sailing from here on out, right? Unfortunately, that isn’t usually case. Every project, including BI/DW projects, will have pitfalls and challenges. However, you can avoid these pitfalls and gracefully face these challenges with some lessons learned and best practices derived from the experience of teams who have successfully made the leap to agile BI/DW.