Individualism with John Hurney

John came to agile from going to school for law, then psychology, and then by happenstance into being a project manager. Doing everything wrong according to the book, and getting his hand slapped for it, but being the project team that was pulling in work from other teams.

Project management in Agile. Understanding the overall scope that the project fits into the larger context. Are they aligned to the business outcome of the project or the scope and the methodology. We also discuss the duality of the Project Manager and the Product Manager. Where do they overlap and how do we distinguish the accountabilities for each.

Waterfall projects and individualism. Often times in waterfall projects people are only concerned about their piece instead of the overall deliverable. It’s hard to have buy in when we only have focus on components. Lots of great examples in sports and business about how we fixate on individuals but it’s really powerful teams that deliver the most.

We talk a bit about not having assholes around. John gives a great analogy with horses and camels. Having people that may be high performers but are just jerks. What the repercussions are of having those types of people on the team and how rarely the affects are measured. Think Humble, Hungry and Smart.

I appreciate that you asked.

John tells the story of a self organization activity where a business unit reorganized into new teams with a little guidance. There was feedback about how it could have been improved but one of the largest pieces of feedback was how empowering it felt for them to make their own choices.