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Tag Archives: success

Do you believe in magic?

Recently, I had the good fortune of seeing Sonny Rollins in concert. Any one member of Sonny’s band would hold the stage on their own.

Sonny Rollins was the drawcard but the concert was not just about him; the band collectively made it about the music, together as a whole, not any one individual. Obvious solos abound but mini-solos and subtle by-lines ran through the various cuts and all throughout you could see musicians seeing, feeling, expressing in response to the others. Two hours flew by like it was only 20 minutes – no breaks, very little jabber, just pure enjoyment.
Watching them reminded me how we strive to bring together our various operational and project teams.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Huh? I thought you were talking about Sonny Rollins? What does Jazz have to do with teams?”

Watch a good jazz band and you’ll see a team collaborating and sharing the whole. Watch a tight, outstanding, mind-blowing group and you’ll see magic happening and the outcome is on a whole different level.

How do some groups achieve magic? Watch and learn from the greats… you’ll see they LISTEN to each other and their whole blend. The spotlight is SHARED and they aren’t afraid to TRY. Innovation is part of their nature; dare I say habitual. They display emergent behaviour – complex patterns arising from simple interactions.

Jazz is characterised by improvisation, syncopation tied together by regular underlying rhythm(s). As the team lead or manager, we do whatever is needed to help maintain the underlying directional beat while the overall team contributes their various melodies, counter-melodies and rhythms. We don’t insist on keeping the spotlight or insist on being the only one driving the beat, but work alongside those that we lead. And like a jazz group, a well performing team adapts as the situation morphs and different voices emerge.

Magic doesn’t happen often enough and never happens on its own but the magic is there.

I believe in magic.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in Culture, Uncategorized

 

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It is more important to deliver value than to deliver on-time and within budget

I have placed a link below to an article written by Tom De Marco.  It raises some very interesting issues.  I think one of the most important issues it raises is pertinent to my thoughts on how important it is to have a proper, and is far as is practicable quantified, business case for any software project.   Please please please establish the business case before attempting to estimate the cost/effort of a project.  I also feel the article presents a strong argument for agile approaches (please note the small a) to the development process ….. processes that are nimble, flexible, collaborative, non-bean-counter-driven, focussed on delivery of value

Check out this article from Computing Now:

http://www2.computer.org/portal/web/computingnow/0709/whatsnew/software-r

Also: a reminder … have a look at this link (first posted by Shane)  http://www.cio.com.au/article/205313/why_projects_fail_part_three_wrong_targets

Posted by John Watson

 
 

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Don’t start until you know when you’ll be finished!

One of the best articles on project managemnt I’ve come across over the last couple of years is this one from CIO magazine: http://www.cio.com.au/article/205313/why_projects_fail_part_three_wrong_targets

The author makes some great points about making sure you understand what the project sponsor will measure success by.  He makes the distinction between a project that builds a brick making factory when the sponsor was expecting a factory making bricks – fully staffed with the ovens running and bricks going out the door. 

“The big difference between the ‘brick making factory’ and the ‘factory making bricks’ is that the latter is meeting the real objective of having a brick factory — generating revenue”

So often we see projects where the team doesn’t understand what the end goal actually is, and they spend lots of time and effort very efficiently solving the wrong problem.  They use the best methodologies, the right tools, have low defect rates, great user interfaces, have empowered teams and enjoy delivering the product – the surprise comes at the end when the customer says “you missed the target”.

How do we ensure that our participants get this message loud and clear?

Posted by Shane Hastie

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2009 in Project Management

 

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