Kiron Bondale

Think top-down and bottom-up for agile transformations

Kiron Bondale

A question which I’m asked regularly during my classes is what the best place is to start an agile transformation within a company?

2020 206

How are you planning for psychological safety within your team?

Kiron Bondale

I’ve delivered a number of presentations this year on the importance of building psychological safety within project teams and the role which project managers play. During these presentations I’m frequently asked the question “ How do I go about creating it?

2020 181

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How do you hold safe meetings when some team members are invisible?

Kiron Bondale

After I had finished presenting on how to build psychologically safe virtual teams at a conference earlier this week, one of the delegates asked me what suggestions I’d have to help her with a team where some of the members refused to turn their cameras on during video meetings.

2020 181

Don’t blame corporate culture for not cultivating psychological safety within your teams!

Kiron Bondale

While speaking on the topic of psychological safety yesterday I was asked whether it is possible to create safety within a team if the prevailing culture of the department or overall organization is toxic.

2020 187

Are Your Embedded Analytics DevOps-Friendly?

Does your analytics solution work with your current tech stack and DevOps practices? If not, any update to the analytics could increase deployment complexity and become difficult to maintain. Learn the 5 elements of a DevOps-friendly embedded analytics solution.

Planning for those project disasters that no one wants to think about

Kiron Bondale

Harvard Business Review published an article this week about how boards can prepare for unexpected calamities such as pandemics, natural disasters or cyber-attacks.

2020 228

Don’t neglect your “back to the office” plan!

Kiron Bondale

It would be an understatement to say that project managers have had to deal with a lot of change this year. Projects have had their budgets vastly reduced or been cancelled outright, and remote work has become the norm rather than the exception.

2020 195

Is a lack of psychological safety preventing you from delegating?

Kiron Bondale

Harvard Business Review published an article by Sabina Nawaz this week on some challenges managers face when they delegate work to their staff.

2020 181

But what will our staff do if we don’t focus on their utilization?

Kiron Bondale

Lean thinking encourages us to focus on maximizing value delivered to stakeholders rather than maximizing the utilization of the people, equipment or material resources contributing to value streams.

2020 181

All hands abandon plans!

Kiron Bondale

Articles have been written about the importance of doing just enough planning to develop confidence in what we are proposing to do as well as the perils of either too much or too little planning. But even a good enough plan can become obsolete at some point and we need the wisdom to know when it is time to jettison it. A common portfolio management anti-pattern is the inability of gatekeepers to terminate low value projects in a timely manner.

How Embedding AI-Powered Analytics Can Give You a Competitive Advantage

Embedding dashboards and reports aren’t enough. Futureproof your application by offering instant, actionable insights that will give you and your customers a competitive advantage.

Securing contingency reserves is the responsible thing to do!

Kiron Bondale

If you have ever taken a course in project management, you may have learned the differences between contingency and management reserves.

2020 181

COVID-19 and agile are strange bed fellows

Kiron Bondale

COVID-19 is like that car accident just up ahead which you know you shouldn’t be focusing on while driving, but which draws the attention of all around it. After doing a number of articles related to the pandemic, I’d planned to write about something completely different, but as my weekly blogging time drew near I realized that there was (at least) one more topic I needed to write about.

2020 192

How does psychological safety relate to holding space?

Kiron Bondale

I’m always happy to learn something new when it relates to the topics which interest me and even more so when it is something which I should have run across long ago. During an event this week, a participant shared that their secret facilitation power is holding space for the participants.

2020 188

Let’s flatten five agile fallacies!

Kiron Bondale

In 2015 I wrote an article intending to debunk some common myths about project management. Like many of you, I spent a reasonable amount of time during my first few years participating in online forums correcting agile misconceptions. Unfortunately, just like lopping heads off the Hydra, every time I’d address one myth, a short time later it would re-emerge. Recognizing the futility of trying to permanently suppress fallacies, I stopped responding to such discussions.

2020 150

6 Steps to Improving Your Application’s Analytics Experience

No one designs bad dashboards and reports on purpose. So why do so many applications have terrible analytics experiences? Download this ebook for secrets to creating dashboards and reports your users will love.

Change management helps when implementing risk responses

Kiron Bondale

A student in a project management class I taught shared the concern that it was very hard for her to get risk responses implemented. This is a fairly common problem and is likely one of the reasons that the volunteers who updated the PMBOK Guide, Sixth Edition added Implement Risk Responses as a new process within the Project Risk Management knowledge area.

Risk 217

Batches? We don’t need no stinking batches! (Or do we?)

Kiron Bondale

Emphasizing flow through the reduction or elimination of batching of work items is desirable but this is not always efficient or practical. So what are some of the factors which might force us to batch work items?

2020 181

Low psychological safety might be why planning assumptions remain unstated

Kiron Bondale

Scott Adams does a good job above of illustrating one of the many perils of low levels of psychological safety within a team. Dilbert is trying to raise reasonable doubts with his leader, the Pointy-Haired Boss, but his concerns are met with the threat of losing his job.

2020 173

Vigilance is vital to avoid velocity vices!

Kiron Bondale

After daily coordination events (a.k.a. Scrums, standups or huddles), velocity might be the most misused tool by teams new to agile and the stakeholders supporting them.

2020 181

How to Choose the Best Embedded Analytics Solution to Modernize Your Application

If you are looking to modernize your application to improve competitiveness, then one of the quickest wins you can have is to embed sophisticated analytics that will wow your existing and prospective customers.

Create a culture of appreciation within your virtual team

Kiron Bondale

Sabina Nawaz’s article “ In Times of Crisis, a Little Thanks Goes a Long Way “, which was published this week on HBR.org, is a great reminder of the need we all have to be appreciated. In a blog post from a few years back I’d written that team members need to possess sufficient Capacity, Capability and Commitment to contribute towards the success of the team.

2020 201

It is harder to sell when times get tough!

Kiron Bondale

While there are many cases where we might have to use our powers of influence and persuasion to sell stakeholders on supporting what we feel is the right thing, I thought I’d share three specific examples which might be a much harder sell than usual. While Fred Brooks wrote that “ Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later ” in his book, The Mythical Man-Month, in most cases this applies to any industry or domain. Does it always hold true?

2020 139

Early experimentation is key to reducing project risk

Kiron Bondale

Inspection and adaptation are two of the pillars of the Scrum framework but all agile methods recognize the wisdom of Deming’s Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle. While the Manifesto does not explicitly reference the scientific method, it is implied in the value statement “ Responding to change over following a plan ” and in its final principle “ At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

Risk 179

“Organize Around Products/Services” is a great addition to the Disciplined Agile principles

Kiron Bondale

The Disciplined Agile (DA) principles were recently refactored and as part of this refactoring, a principle was added: “Organize Around Products/Services” While it is just one of the eight principles, this new one aligns very well with lean thinking. It also addresses many challenges which leadership teams experience with agile transformations.

2020 167

4 Approaches to Data Analytics for Your Application

Selecting the right solution for your embedded analytics is crucial to the success of your application. But with so many solutions and vendors, how do you make this critical selection? Learn about the different approaches to analytics and the pros and cons for each.

How do you handle unresponsive key project stakeholders?

Kiron Bondale

It is a common challenge for anyone who has managed projects for a meaningful amount of time. One or more of your key stakeholders who are integral to the successful completion of the project appears unwilling to engage as expected.

2020 211

Three more team building lessons from gardening

Kiron Bondale

A few years back, I wrote an article in which I provided some gardening tips to developing good teams. I’m spending more time tending my garden these days so I decided to share a few more lessons for those wishing to cultivate a team building “green thumb” Fertilization should be regular, but situational.

2020 159

How open are YOU to changing your launch plans?

Kiron Bondale

During the last week PMI announced that, based on the feedback they had received from stakeholders, they would be delaying the significant changes to the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification exam which had originally planned to be launched in mid-December 2019 to July 1, 2020. When I first read this, I felt a burst of vicarious relief for those exam candidates who were likely experiencing a lot of stress with the original date.

2019 183

Go slow (to go fast later)

Kiron Bondale

The January 2020 issue of PM Network provide a case study for one of the 2019 PMI Project of the Year finalists, the Société de transport de Montréal’s (STM) eight-year project to modernize the underground Montréal rail system. I have a soft spot in my heart for this system, having spent most of my formative years in Montréal and having been a frequent user of its services while commuting to university and my first job.

2020 188

Task Management For Project Managers

How can project planning that stretches over months or years remain relevant and account for new ad-hoc activities that arrive every day?

Building virtual teams starts with effective kick-off meetings

Kiron Bondale

Remote teaming is not a new concept but physical distancing restrictions have forced many project managers who had never previously worked with teams of dispersed team members to quickly adapt. While this transition might create a few hiccups with a well established team it will much more challenging when we are working with teams whose members have never worked together.

2020 195

Agile advice from our ancestors

Kiron Bondale

Old sayings might not be the first thing which comes to mind when considering agility, there are many proverbs which are apropos. Two heads are better than one (or the similar Maasai proverb “One head cannot hold all wisdom.”) ”) : I’ve found this saying to be useful when presenting pair programming.

Agile 192

Are you an unbeliever?

Kiron Bondale

I was asked a very unique question by one of the learners in a project management course I taught this week: “ How do I motivate my team members when even I don’t believe in the project? “ While I’d been posed this question for the first time, it is not an uncommon challenge.

2020 165

Do not compromise on knowledge when filling the Product Owner role

Kiron Bondale

The product owner role is extremely challenging for most organizations to fill. It is also the role which has the greatest impact on achieving expected delivery outcomes. An average delivery team might still be able to successfully launch a product or service even if it is late, over budget or not at the highest level of quality. But if the product or service itself is lacking key requirements which stakeholders need, it will never succeed.

2020 159

The Rise of Embedded Self-Service Analytics

Speaker: Chris Von Simson & Nat Venkataraman

Can your users get the data and analytics they need without leaving your application? Watch this webinar with Chris von Simson of Dresner Advisory Services as he shares why user enablement has emerged as the theme in today’s embedded analytics landscape.

How will I get a job as a remote project manager if I’ve never been one before?

Kiron Bondale

While checking my LinkedIn feed this morning, I saw an update indicating that there are over 2,000 job postings for remote project managers on just one North American employment site. While this is encouraging news for those who have been laid off due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, the number of job seekers has also increased dramatically over the past two months.

2020 189

Use uncertainty poker to increase alignment on delivery approaches

Kiron Bondale

Part of tailoring our approach to delivering a project needs to consider its relative level of uncertainty. While it is not the only determinant of complexity, uncertainty is certainly a key contributing factor. And while there are other dimensions which need to be evaluated when deciding whether to utilize a predictive or adaptive life cycle, higher uncertainty would be a supporting factor for the latter.

2020 160

Don’t ignore appetite when it comes to risk response!

Kiron Bondale

I’ll admit to being hyperbolic with the title of this article, but a question posed today in one of the project management LinkedIn discussion groups managed to sidetrack what I was intending to write about this week. The author asked what needs to be considered when planning risk responses. The majority of the answers offered focused on characteristics of the individual risks themselves such as their probability, impact, ability to be responded to and so on.

Risk 139

Essentialism is agile

Kiron Bondale

I’m reading Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and many of the lessons within it echo the tenth principle from the Manifesto for Agile Software Development which is “ Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential “ In the past, I’ve mostly considered this principle as it relates to how we deliver value to our customers.

Agile 200

Managing The Project Budget - Developing Your Project Management Skills

This eBook describes the process of managing the project budget and its associated costs.