Topic Teasers Vol. 99: The Emotional Payroll

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I’m an agile lead working with a traditional project manager on a hybrid project for an outside customer. Each time we all three meet, the PM brings out so many risk charts—and explains the potential pitfalls and recent statistics in such a negative way and with such an emotional tone and facial grimacing—that the customer is almost panicky when he leaves. Agile is all about embracing the potential for risk, but how can I speak to someone on my peer level about changing his behavior and message so that the customer feels appropriately informed while still confident in the team and our progress when he leaves?

A. Agile teams may work for some types of small software projects. However, other projects cannot possibly be completed successfully without careful preparation and constant monitoring of analysis checklists, risk registers and SWOT analyses. The information gathering techniques and diagramming techniques can also deteriorate the project if the correct ones are not implemented.

B. The suggestions in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) are only intended to be suggestions. In reality, no actual projects use them. Instead, a project manager will have the highest percentage of …

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I think somebody should come up with a way to breed a very large shrimp. That way, you could ride him, then, after you camped at night, you could eat him. How about it, science?

- Jack Handey