Tuesday, May 19, 2009

PMI EMEA Congress, Day 2

This morning I attended a session on stakeholder management by Kik Piney. He used a metaphor of Newton's laws of physics to compare with stakeholder management. One interesting idea of his was that of inertia. He suggested having an inertia field on the communications plan to indicate how resistant someone will be to change, as some stakeholders may be much more resistant than others. The force then to get them change will have to be greater.

Kik also talked about the understanding the reasons people might be resistant to change. Some people resist because they just don't know what's going on. Others might not like what's going on. Some may not like the way a change is happening or are resistant because they're not part of the change, just an outsider being impacted by it. Knowing why someone is resistant will help formulate the correct strategy to overcome that resistance.

Jesse Fewell, Dave Prior, Juliet Andrew, myself, and Mattias Petren

Also today, I lead a panel discussion on the challenges of implementing agile. We had some prepared questions as well as questions from the audience. One question that always seems to come up is can you do agile with a fixed price contract?

The answer is yes. I explained my approach of working on fixed schedule and delivering as much of the scope as I can in that time. The customer prioritizes what the team works on. At the end of the fixed time the customer can decide if they want to pay for more work or roll out the project as is. I've had the decision go both ways. The key to the approach is getting the customer to understand you aren't promising a specific amount of scope. You have to build trust with the customer, which comes once you start delivering value.

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