Archive for the ‘Methodology’ Category

Producer and Project Manager — yes, and, Scrum Master!

April 7, 2014

There’s an old post out in the wild on someone’s untended blog that compares Producers and their mindset to Project Managers and their perceived mindset:

I decided for fun to add in a comparison to Scrum Master, below. And, to make matters worse to be completely in fashion, I translated from the “versus” to the improv-influenced “and,” as in “yes, and.” Don’t shudder; make suggestions below.

Here’s Jon:

I’m always fascinated by the subtle differences between a Producer and a Project Manager. To help distinguish the two, I’ve put together a quick cheat sheet:

Producer: Wanted to be a filmmaker but gave up on that idea after working in film for 6 months getting coffee for a bunch of thankless bastards at 4am, on a lobster boat, getting paid nothing.
Project Manager: Wanted to be a Project Manager after college.

Scrum Master: Woke up from the delusion of thinking they could or should tell everyone else what to do and figured out it is way more fun to help them do it.

Producer: Makes a project schedule when the project starts. Never looks at it again.
Project Manager: Updates the project schedule every day.

Scrum Master: Helps the team understand what their goal post is (the next “down”).

Producer: Spends the whole day walking and talking.
Project Manager: Sits in the office perfecting that Gantt chart.

Scrum Master: Helps cut through obstacles the team is facing.

Producer: Secretly enjoys cracking open Photoshop when the designers aren’t looking.
Project Manager: Does not have Photoshop installed.

Scrum Master: Doesn’t have to keep secrets from the team. If the team needs help, will crack open Photoshop and they love that that happens.

Producer: Knows enough code to be dangerous. But seriously, is lost without Dreamweaver.
Project Manager: Does not code. Or design.

Scrum Master: Most likely was a coder, is a coder, or will be a coder.

Producer: Swears every other word.
Project Manager: Uses words like ‘Mmmhhmm’ and ‘Nnnkaaay?’.

Scrum Master: Giggles with team a lot.

Producer: Goes to SXSW to booze it up with former co-workers.
Project Manager: Studies for the PMI exam.

Scrum Master: Goes to SXSW to participate in an accelerator for a product that the team came up with during off-hours.

Producer: Cozies up to team members to get them to do what they’re supposed to do.
Project Manager: Tells people what they need to do. Calls them to tell them they sent them an email. Pisses them off.

Scrum Master: The team actually wants to do what they’re supposed to do–so just needs to find out what’s in the way of individual team member’s work and help remove any blocks from getting the work done.

Producer: 2 days before the project is due, all hell breaks loose. No sleep for 48 hours. Spends the night making edits in the HTML and writing copy they forgot about.
Project Manager: Completes another credit toward the PMP certification.

Scrum Master: Has prioritized the work so everyone is super-happy throughout the project as they have seen work early on and improvements throughout.

Producer: Comes in at 10:00 AM. Pissed off cause they drank too much last night.
Project Manager: Schedules an 8:30 AM daily meeting.

Scrum Master: At stand-up every day and is fined by the team if late.

Producer: Mac
Project Manager: PC

Scrum Master: Post-it Notes and Sharpies

@kjscotland talk #agileday

September 19, 2013

Does the system have potential for the future.
Heuristics is focus of talk

Point is to get organizations to learn.

Dave Snowden

20130919-113947.jpg — rules is rules

Also Daniel Kahneman Thinking Fast and Slow

Roger Martin book: the knowledge funnel

Situations change so have to revisit the Algorithm.

The Black Swan logic.



Getting to shared understanding using ways to visualize work.

Definition of Done or Ready — are policies, makes constraints.

No constraints are chaos. People may have own set of policies, but no shared understanding. Want some constraints, but loose constraints.

Employee satisfaction if low you will not achieve potential because of high turn over.

Consciously explore the potential of a system. Amplify things we want to do more of. (retrospective).

Kanban as looking as limiting work in progress extended to the level of continuous improvement.


@mpoppendieck Notes from #agiledaynyc2013

September 19, 2013

Energized Workers: gap how to energize workers?
Reviewed Carol Dweck’s book on fixed vs flexible mindset

In martial arts, not competing, is about trying to get to next level

Who will be energized? Those who think working hard will get us to next level.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi FLOW book

– deeply engaged
– distractions disappear
– time evaporates

Question (mine): might this be meditative absorption and risk of losing awareness?

Thinking fast and slow. Deliberate. When you are expert might respond automatically.

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow

We use our system 2 mind to check up on System 1 mind.

[Makes me think of 70s study on Samaritan behavior when in a rush].

Practice in system 2 mind so you can behave in system 1 mind when an emergency cones along.

Moore’s Law: intel co-founder and number of transistors doubling every two years

Talking about Heroes using Agile tricks at Intel. And running out of tricks!

Four Steps to Great Product Teams
Lessons from the Chilean Mine Rescue in Harvard Business Review

– appropriate constraints
– capable, competent team
– rapid learning, many quick experiments, multiple options in parallel

September 19, 2013

4 levels to connect: talk, power, intent, energy

Emotional queues for our too transactional conversations.

Brother observed we tweet at each other+people say hi to ea other in elevator

Practice new language, practice having and owning a point of view.

Widen lens; narrow lens. Contemplate the opposite. Switch from problem to solution.

Position, relationship, expertise, body, charisma

Body Power: how comfortable do I feel in my own skin? Physical does count.

Focus is on position power. About knowing social position.

Intent: thinking how you want you want to affect your audience. Create the affect you desire. Pick a simple verb.

Choose the social role you play.

Examine your internal blueprint of what it means to be a professional. If you don’t consciously figure out, we will do subconsciously anyway.

Energy: connecting with big energy, example of chakras and NLP and using this to connect to others.