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Showing posts from July, 2014

The #1 mistake in Agile Project Management

It’s been over 12 years since I read the life-changing Agile Software Development with Scrum by Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle. I’ve been a big proponent of Agile in every organization I’ve worked with since, including Microsoft and DocuSign. Now, in the position of directing 4 engineering teams that execute Scrum in parallel, I continuously see one mistake that almost all agile practitioners make: they think that taking the Agile approach means they don’t need a plan.

Engineers who use Scrum or Kanban often hesitate when it comes to long-term roadmaps. The most common rebuttal: “this is not agile! We’re going to plan one sprint, adjust our backlog, then re-evaluate in two weeks.” Of course this see-what-happens style of project management appeals to engineers, but it doesn’t work very well for big projects that require marketing, partnerships, customer rollouts, or other external coordination. This a frequent predicament.

Then the question arises: how do you reconcile Agile developmen…