Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dealing with difficult people...


Today I got a very good opportunity to go through one of Margarat Meloni's online lectures about dealing with difficult people.

Im not so bad when it comes to dealing with difficult people..:-) been there done that !

But this lecture of Margarat is absolutely useful not only for project managers .. but for every corporate worker. She explains how someone shoul deal with "difficult Mammals" very professionally.

As project managers we work with different types of people every day.. People with different attitudes, different levels of knowledge, different level of maturity, different nationalities etc.. So working with all the people is not same every day. We find some jerks some times.. But she explains how we shouldn't be another jerk in such situations.

Some times we think people are difficult.. but may be we are difficult too.. But if you want to know how you get away with all these corporate difficult situations as professionals without loosing the focus on our goals and work.. I recommend you to go through the lecture.

Specially in Sri Lanka we dont find such PM soft skills improvement lectures easily.. So this may be an alternative to improve your PM skills... Just check that out...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Implimenting SCRUM in my new company

I changed the job.. So what ?????
Changing the job was sort of a nerve breaking decision
But ….I did it again !..
not too bad .. for the 3rd time of my career:-)
With this decision I had to let go many things what I had.. Instead I got very interesting challenges and another new bunch of cool guys to work with....!..
Ok So I started at the new company.. I’m lucky enough it’s a startup so the start was not that hard. Lots of things to do at once… understanding the team members, skills, Projects, conflicts, risks, problems , issues…way forward , new processes (and more than anything getting used to some HR processes which I have never got used to J ) you name it !
I really appreciate the project centric culture which we are trying to build at the new company. But this needs little time to mature… No matter what.. Healthy corporate culture is very important for the people to be focused on their projects and not on other unnecessary facts and politics which I have”0” tolerance level...
Did you ask what I like the most about my new company?? Its my Note book bag.. :D Kind a cute…
Anyway that’s a different story..
What I thought to write here is that the experience of introducing SCRUM as the PM Framework to a totally new organization.
Its really a good experience. I started with one small team.. Who was quite corporative to adopt to a new way of doing things.. We created a very simple product backlog with all the user stories which need them to go through their research work. The PM (New SCRUM master )was very corporative and he found few cards which we could number as the Planning Poker card set. We started to play.. it was bit harder at first time.. But when it comes to 4th or 5th User story level the team was progressing so well. I was so thrilled to see all the silent team members talking in the planning poker session to back their idea about the user story weight.
Once we finished measuring the product backlog team created the Sprint back log. This project has only one sprint and that’s also 10 days.. Im happy that we started with a very small product backlog.
At the time of Sprint back log planning I could see some instant improvements from the team members. They worked so hard and actively as a team to get the sprint backlog planned. They decided to have the scrum meeting at 9 AM every morning..
Ok the very first Scrum day came … I was waiting… to observe their daily scrum meeting..few guys came .. they were having BF.. it was around 9.45AM still some guys are missing.. I thought.. I made a BIIG MISTAKE… Forget about scrum !! It doesn’t work…
I waited patiently till all the team members get together.. Had a very straight forward discussion.. To my surprise every team member accepted the importance of daily meeting at a specific time.. and they decided to have the everyday stand up meeting at 9.30 AM..
Ok lets see..
The next day the situation was so much better.. Almost all the team members were at office on time ready to have the meeting.. I got a skype message from the SCRUM master to come and observe the meeting.. It was a great start.. From that day onward the team progressed very well.. Understood the value of SCRUM, and value of their own team members.. Working on time boxes etc.. Currently they are about to complete the burn down of the sprint and seems they had a very good sprint.
Ok .. I think 10% of things I wanted to do was done with it.. the next task is to standardized the templates, artifacts and document the process and add them to the company process library..
The Next team situation was so much different. The Project was already initiated and that’s bit of a complicated case which I will study more and write in my next post…

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