My Blogs & Vlogs

The Frog Prince

Apr 07, 2016 by Barc Category: Leadership, Management 0 comments Tags: Disney, Leadership

The news of Tom Staggs’ resignation from Disney after 26 years at the company came as a shock, at least to me.

 No official statement explaining his departure has yet been released, but in less than 24 hours, there’s plenty of speculation, including cost overruns at Shanghai Disneyland, fears ‘he’s not creative enough’, and Staggs’ own impatience at 5 years of CEO vetting by the Disney board.

 Everyone is suddenly trying to figure out if this guy was a prince or a frog.

 My experience says he was both.

One Standup Approach

Mar 04, 2016 by Barc Category: Agile, Scrum 0 comments

Everybody does Agile standups a little differently. I recommend you: 1) actually standup, 2) do them in person if possible, and 3) record due dates. Not exactly by the book, but it works

Why All The PowerPoint?

After a big software project goes haywire, the CEO often gets involved. Usually somewhere around the 18-month mark.

Most good CEOs start their involvement with an apology: “I’m so sorry I haven’t been more involved up until now. I haven’t supported you.”

Less introspective CEOs start by firing people.

If you’re lucky enough to work for a good CEO, there will be a mixed reaction to the mea culpa nonetheless. There’s a new sheriff in town, but painful change is surely nigh. The appeal of finally having the CEO’s ear wears off in about a day–right after he or she asks for a PowerPoint deck that recaps the goals and leadership structure of the project.

That deck should be somewhere on the wiki, but isn’t. If it’s out there at all, it’s out of date.

Great Product Owners Aren’t Visionaries

This week I’ve been thinking about the projects I’ve worked on that were successful--as well as those that weren’t--hoping to focus the coming year on the former. Not surprisingly, the past winners weren’t led by committees.

The Cut Line

Dec 20, 2015 by Barc Category: Agile, Development, Scrum 0 comments

How much should the team commit to?

I don’t come to you with my problems, do I?

Introducing himself to Bob Dylan at a party, Peter Grant extended his hand and said, “Hi. I’m Peter Grant, manager of Led Zeppelin.”

Dylan looked at him and said, “I don’t come to you with my problems, do I?” then turned and walked away.

This famous anecdote says a lot about Dylan’s dyspeptic personality (Dylan was our Kanye, but with a sense of humor), but it indicates more, and better, I think, about why Peter Grant was a great manager.

Peter Grant

Grant was a former South London wrestler who became one of the most powerful men in the music industry. The formidable 6 foot, 5 inch, ‘Genghis Khan of Rock’ struck fear into the hearts of anyone foolish enough to try to rip off one of his bands.

Across a long career, Grant managed the Yardbirds, Bad Company, Bo Diddley, The Everly Brothers, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, and the Animals, but his reputation was cemented in rock history with Led Zeppelin.

There were many rough edges to this ex-wrestler (who once beat up a security guard who mistakenly cuffed his son), including years of drug abuse and depression when John Bonham (Led Zeppelin’s drummer) died of alcohol abuse.

But, for now, let’s focus on Grant’s positive attributes, the ones we’d like to see in all our managers.

Crossing the Potomac

Sep 15, 2015 by Barc Category: Agile, Agile Executive, Blog 0 comments Tags: agile, scrum, teams

The Agile Alliance attracts over 2,300 project managers, consultants, and what are called ‘Agile Coaches’ from all over the world, who present over 200 presentations on how to fix troubled projects just like mine.

When Do You Know It’s Time to Let an Employee Go?

I’d like to give you a 100 point checklist that will absolutely assure you that you are doing the right thing when you let someone go, but it doesn’t exist.

Take the Blow

Jun 08, 2015 by Barc Category: Blog, Change Managment 0 comments Tags: conflict, mistakes, scrum

The Scene I turned, and wrote the number on the whiteboard. $1.5M In front of me in the small room was the SVP of a large Japanese auto company, his head of the PMO Jason, and all of Jason’s project managers. “Wait,” said the SVP. “$1.5m is the price for the entire project, correct?” I […]

Wherefore Art Thou Multimedia?

May 18, 2015 by Barc Category: Agile UX, Blog, Change Managment, Management 0 comments

It probably sounds passé now, but there once was a technology we thought would be a new way for telling stories, and maybe even creating art.

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