Sif E. Elharti's Blog

Even small acts can have a great impact…

Posts Tagged ‘maturity

Agile hidden mindset

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No need to convince you about the benefits of Agile methods and how they can help you build the software that your customer really needs in incremental and iterative way. mindYou can easily find a lot about this subject everywhere. In this paper, we will focus on some principles unmentioned openly in Agile Manifesto. This thought came to us from real failed and successful experiences about Agile implementations.

Values and principles, defined in Agile Manifesto, are not only some rules to follow in order to have the label: ‘We are Agile!’. We have a deep conviction that behind the scene there is a fundamental consideration for person as a human being. Indeed, the central actors for any organization are the people behind it. Thus, in order to be productive and to keep being productive for a long time, there is a real need to take care of the building blocks of your organization. You will agree, for sure, that foundations have to be considered first.

Therefore, here is a first draft about some principles we think are necessary to comply with Agile hidden mindset. We noticed that when some of them are missing, this leads to Agile implementation failure. We propose these principles under three sets: “as a person”, “as a team” and “as an organization” and we give no explanations in order to keep it open to your interpretations.

As a person

  1. I have fun while working
  2. I respect my life (personal one)
  3. I respect my customers and coworkers
  4. I learn that learning has no ends and I learn that I can learn from everything
  5. I wish for the others what I wish for yourself
  6. I’m brave
  7. I’m honest
  8. I believe in myself
  9. I challenge myself
  10. I keep in mind that I’m professional and that I have to act as a professional
  11. I never underestimate the others
  12. I regularly think about these questions: how am I doing? How can I become better?

As a team

  1. We talk the same language (exp.: be sure to share the some definitions)
  2. We are all for one and everyone for all
  3. We know that : 1 mind plus 1 mind gives 3 minds
  4. We interact positively
  5. We share: knowledge, ownership, responsibility
  6. We make team decisions
  7. We agree on objectives
  8. We challenge our team
  9. We believe in our team
  10. We are suggestive rather than directive
  11. We accept differences
  12. We regularly think about these questions: how are we doing? How can we become better?

As an organization

  1. We trust our employees
  2. We enhance belonging to the organization
  3. We respect your employees
  4. We share success, and we share failures also (with moderation)
  5. We share the same vision
  6. We regularly think about these questions: how is our organization doing? How can our organization become better?

Et Voilà!

For sure, as usual, your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Sif E. El Harti


Even small acts can have a great impact.


Written by selharti

February 8, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Project Management: Part 4 – Basic concepts Project / Program / Portfolio

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For a large organisation, projects can be gathered in two kinds of collections: Program or Portfolio.

The PMI definitions are as following PMBOK (4th Ed.):

A “Program is a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually. Programs may include elements of related work outside of the scope of the discrete projects in the program.”

 “A portfolio refers to a collection of projects or programs and other works that are grouped together to facilitate effective management of what work to meet strategic business objectives.”

 An easy way to figure it out is to imagine portfolios and programs as containers that can include projects.

Portfolio, program and project organization

A portfolio is at business strategy level. Its scope is larger than any program or project within the organization and has strategic goal to reach. Thus it contains a set of project or programs that complete each other for that purpose. Nevertheless, those programs and projects are not necessarily related or dependent.  The main raison for creating a portfolio is to centralize, synchronize and prioritize all the components needed to carry out the business goal.

A program is a component of a portfolio that groups a set of related projects that need to be coordinated to accomplish a larger target than the target of the projects individually.

Let’s apply this to an example:

Suppose a developing country “Alpha” has identified tourism as major axe to develop to enhance its economy. “Alpha” has identified also that a large number of pediments that act against this opportunity such as:

  • Bad infrastructure: few international airports with limited capacities, missing highways and roads.
  • No easy access to natural parks and historical sites
  • Limited high standing Hotels.
  • Poor marketing
  • Restrictive lows
  • Etc…

So “Alpha” creates the following projects (to keep it simple, we will stop at this infrastructure and hotels level)

  • Portfolio: “Welcome to Alpha”

    • Portfolio1.1: “Transportation program”

      • Program 1.1.1: Highway between cities “A” and “B”

        •          Project Highway Section 1 (“A” to “N”)
        •          Project Highway Section 2 (“N” to “M”)
        •          Project Highway Section 3 (“M” to “B”)

      • Project 1.1.2: Highway between cities “A” and “C”
      • Project 1.1.3: Enlarge the international airport of city “A”
      • Project 1.1.4: Add a road from city “B” to the historical site “H”
      • Project 1.1.5: Add a road from city “C” to the natural site “N”

    • Portfolio1.2: “Hotels”

      • Project 1.2.1: Build Airport hotel in city “A”
      • Project 1.2.2: Extend hotel “X” in city “B”
      • Project 1.2.3: Build hotel near the site “N”
      • Project 1.2.4: Build hotel near the site “P”
      • Project 1.2.5: Build hotel in city “C”

The role of the portfolio managers is to coordinate and prioritize all these programs and projects by providing all the necessary infrastructure, processes and assistance needed to facilitate the accomplishment of the main goal.

But one has to keep in mind that applying this model of projects hierarchy requires a maturity in the organization. In fact, a bad implementation or misunderstanding can lead to more chaotic results and can go against the original purpose for which it was undertaken.

See you later.

Sif E. Elharti,

Written by selharti

March 6, 2010 at 2:52 am

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