What caught our attention in April
When an unexpected shock hits, don't abandon the typical “base case / best case / worst case” planning. Instead, take inspiration from Nordic leaders and try these four strategies: stretching the types of scenarios under consideration, using vulnerabilities as a prism, building strong action guidelines an internal communication, and building crisis management into the organizational structure. (10 min read)
The new SAFe 6.0 puts flow on the center stage. But what is flow? Where is it needed? How is it measured? And how is it accelerated? The recently released SAFe 6.0 zooms in on this key concept, and describes how flow-based systems work and how to optimize them. (10 min read)
A better way to pilot emerging technologies: the Ikea drone project. Budget-centered business case approaches are biased against novel technologies, partly because they don’t factor in the value of learning gains and spillover effects. But without the discipline imposed by requiring a good business case, organizations that bring in new technologies via isolated pilot projects often find that these experiments go nowhere. (8 min read)
Is scope creep really a relic of waterfall planning? No. Scope creep can also occur in agile contexts - and it's even more likely than in traditional projects because there are more interactions with stakeholders. (4 min read)
To generate agreement when people disagree, negotiate the problem, not the solutions. In most cases it is much quicker to talk the other person through their needs and find a solution than to force them to accept yours. (8 min read)
How to determine the right structure for your PMO Find a PMO structure that works for your business, no matter your industry, size, or project management maturity.
Alternatives to 'Gemba walks' (or managing by walking around and listening) can help deepen your connection with your team. Location doesn't matter as much as you think it does. Creating new alternatives to 100% in-person work, may even help build deeper human connections with and among team members, regardless of their locations. (5 min read)
Six principles for having tough conversations: Don’t bury the lead; pause to give people a moment to process the news; offer understanding and take responsibility, while not expecting agreement; show empathy; end with openness; and follow through on your promise of support. (8 min read)
Thinking about risk is not just about maths and probabilities. John Goodpasture walks us through some of the key ideas of Peter L. Bernstein's "Against the Gods: the remarkable story of risk", one of the best books about the philosophy and foundation for modern risk management. (5 min read)
How to build an MVP that matters. Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a powerful tool, driving production and cutting waste, but it’s often misinterpreted as “the lowest quality thing I can build.” Robert Schlaff explain why that's the wrong way to think of it. (10 min read)
When managing a team, do not confuse Activity, Methods and Outcome. When your team gets bigger and you stop being able to see them all from your desk, 'activity' becomes less important, whereas outcomes rise to the top. (8 min read)
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation (1886)