The meaning of the term 'Accidental Project Manager' was immediately clear to me the first time I heard it even though no one explained it to me. It implied to me someone who had become a PM quite accidentally, likely through being asked to do a job that required project management. I don't recall where I heard it but apparently the term goes back to 1988 and both Bob Graham at the Wharton Business School and J. Davidson Frame at George Washington University. The idea is that people fumble or stumble into the role of project manager without really understanding the role. It is quite possible they might be doing project management without knowing it is project management. Through a trial by fire process they get the job done, learn, and often develop tools and skills that are required for that job. Or they fail in some spectacular way.
- Once you form the scrum teams, try to keep the teams stable and bring the work to the teams.
- Have a clear product vision via the inception deck (thanks Jim Hlavaty)
- Scrum teams are design/build/test and should focus on SW development, not be a bunch of business analysts creating non-value add deliverables
- The product owner is critical!
- Scaling agile is possible, though it is critical to have coordination of the leadership, scrum masters and product owners, a centralized backlog, and appropriate tools such as VersionOne or Rally.
- A product team composed of product owner, analyst, lead architect, scrum master and development lead is important to success.
- Most traditional PMO progress reports are not important in an agile program. That doesn't mean that you stop doing them.
- No matter how agile you are, you will often have non-agile projects in the portfolio to deal with.
- Resource overallocation kills. Where possible, push to get a person on one and only one team.