23 Jun 2014
June 23, 2014

Agile + Waterfall = Hybrid

June 23, 2014 Standards 0 Comment

This may work.

Not only cars, also projects can be hybrid.  An upcoming theme in the last couple of years are waterfall-planned and agile-driven projects, or hybrid, if you like. A rule of the thumb seems to be that going hybrid makes sense when software development and infrastructure deployment are equally represented. A number of interesting blogs, articles, presentations and books are available, but preciously little can be found on show cases, experiences and lessons learned. Do you know of any more?




P.M.S.S. “Sheetanic” on her maiden voyage.

Going for project success is obvious, but how can we know if a project is headed to a failure? If we define that a project will fail if:

– It does not deliver what is needed and expected;
– Goes far out of budget and post-delivery cost;
– Will or cannot deliver on time.

Then the question is how to prevent this from happening. Plenty is available on best practices how to keep your projects on track, but preciously little on how to detect that a project may be headed to failure. One of useful resources I found is Letting Go: When Should You Cancel a Failing Project? The warning signs listed there are:

  1. Poor or missing requirements: not being able to describe and decide what is needed.
  2. Unrealistic schedule / budget: both ways – overestimate or underestimate, mostly the latter.
  3. Scope creep: not being able to keep within the requirements and allowing the scope to grow.
  4. Bad attitude: thinking that the project is a waste of time, not committing, even being hostile?
  5. People leaving: abandoning ship is connected to above, but with knowledge going away.
  6. Product failures: the product worked on shows too many failures, defects and issues.

Another useful compilation in found is How to Spot a Failing Project naming these:

  1. Lack of interest – both customers and project team.
  2. Poor communication – formal or informal; also people not talking to each other.
  3. Lack of velocity – things not moving, not having a fast moving team.
  4. A “no bad news” environment – a culture where bad news is slow going upwards.
  5. Missing concrete signs – dashboard preventing the green-green-green and last minute red.
  6. Lots of overtime – working overtime, in free time, stress going up, health going down.
  7. Diversion of resources – people pulled off project, by management or themselves.
  8. Metrics missing – no use of standard metrics like cost ratio and schedule ratio.
  9. Milestones not met – from internal stepping stones leading to major ones like gates
  10. Scope changes – scope creep, seep or crush; requirements may change, though.

There’s more in 7 Signs Your Project is Headed for Failure focusing on vision:

  1. The “vision guy” leaves.
  2. There’s no Vision Guy in the first place.
  3. Everybody is “the Vision Guy.”
  4. Project goals less important than corporate politics.
  5. Nobody knows what success looks like.
  6. Expert input ignored.
  7. Anything risky rejected out of hand.

Do you recognise some of the above? Well, it is time you did something about it, then. But what? Stay tuned.

26 Apr 2014
April 26, 2014

To endorse or not to endorse?

April 26, 2014 None 0 Comment


What  is a social network endorsement worth? Just having revisited my own LikedIN page, I realized that I had received quite some from the people I know, worked with, or worked for. I have not given any endorsements as yet, although many of those folks who endorsed me deserved them as well. Somehow, I have a problem this reciprocal ‘liking’. If you do not fancy endorsements, you can choose to opt out. The opposite would be to get into endorsement generators or ‘endorsers’.  Yes, they do exist, just google them up. There is a nice blog item on this: To Endorse or Not Endorse? It will enlighten you.

15 Sep 2013
September 15, 2013

Your project does not work… Cargo Cult maybe?

September 15, 2013 Fun, People 0 Comment

But it doesn’t work.

Your project does not work and you cannot figure out why. Is it possible that your team and you are victim to the Cargo Cult science? … They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn’t work… Reading Richard Feynman’s commencement address given at Caltech in 1974 may give you some clues and inspiration.

McKinsey&Company report on twelve disruptive technologies that have a potential to change the global economy by 2025. Some of them are already here ad may be of importance to your business as well.