Drunken PM

Drunken Boxing for Project Managers “The main feature of the drunkard boxing is to hide combative hits in drunkard-like, unsteady movements and actions so as to confuse the opponent. The secret of this style of boxing is maintaining a clear mind while giving a drunken appearance.” Yeah... just like that… but with network diagrams and burndown charts… and a wee bit less vodka.
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About this Blog


Recent Posts

Certified Agile Leadership Training with Olaf

Don Kim - I Think, Therefore I Plan

Agile Coach to Agile Gamer - Peter Saddington

Scrum in School - A Case Study of Grandview Prep's Transformation

Forecasting Tools Based on Team Performance with Troy Magennis

Øredev 2013 Presentation Videos (My Favorites)

I've written before about how much I value Øredev. One of the best things about the event is that each year they post the videos from the presentations.

Here are a few of my favorites from this year:


Anna Beatrice Scott (@doctoradancer)


Denise Jacobs (@denisejacobs)

The Creativity (R)



Fred George (@fgeorge52)

Implementing Programmer Anarchy


Roy “Woody” Zull (@WoodyZuill)

No Estimates: Let’s Explore the Possibilities

Mob Programming

J.B. Rainsberger (@jbrains)
Practical Tools for Playing Well With Others
Extreme Personal Finance
Agile Lightning Talks (J.B. Rainsberger, Dave Prior (Me), Woody Zuill

Adrian Howard (@adrianh)
Lean UX: Building Products People Want


Angela Harms (@angelaharms)
Does Pair Programming Have to Suck?

Jutta Eckstein (http://www.jeckstein.com/)

The Art of Learning and Mentoring

Jessica Kerr (@jessitron)
Functional Principles for Object Oriented Developers

Kate Sullivan (@DrGorgonzola)
New Frontiers for In-House Legal Practice
Posted on: December 26, 2013 12:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Øredev 2013: Resetting the Bar

Categories: Oredev, oredev 2013


If you have ever attended a professional conference, one of the most common things you hear goes something like this:

"Oh, I don’t actually get much out of the sessions. I really just attend to network. The most important part of these things is what happens in the hallways in between sessions."

In fact, this sentiment was one of the main things that led Harrison Owen to start Open Space  as a more (less) formal way of holding a conference.

One reason professionals often attend conferences is for self-validation. Being surrounded for a few days by peers who share the same knowledge base you do and attending sessions that confirm that you all do in fact know the things you need to know can be very reassuring.

If you reach the stage where that becomes boring, you, like many will bail on the sessions and spend time in the hallway chatting with your colleagues. This is the portion most people say they find most valuable. It is a great way to extend your network, check in with others on your ideas and ensure that your face and name are a recognized entity in your professional community.

The question is, is this really the best that professional conferences have to offer?

This fall I attended two events that changed the way I look at conferences. The first was DPM 2013, which I’ve already written about here. It exposed me to a segment of professionals in the PM field who are working towards what may become a new way of approaching work. It includes aspects of agile and traditional pm, but is really neither of those things.

This November, I had the good fortune to be able to present at Øredev 2013 and this is the event that has had the most significant impact on how I view conferences now. This was my 3rd time attending Øredev. It is always enriching and challenging, but this time, I found myself very reluctant to miss any of the session. Each talk I attended introduced me to a new batch of ideas, concepts and ways of working that were unfamiliar to me. Each speaker I watched present, challenged some assumptions or practices I hadn’t previously thought to question. As someone who was firmly in the “It all happens in the hallways” camp, this was a new experience for me. I was more concerned about missing something my brain needed than I was about hanging out in the halls networking. Any decent conference will offer an attendee a chance to learn something, but what makes Øredev stand out is that it requires something more than information consumption.

The best way to sum it up may be by paraphrasing a conversation I had with another attendee at Øredev following the "Tekhnasthai" keynote given by Anna Beatrice Scott. He said:

"As I was watching her and listening to her, I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated and angry. Then I realized that what was making me frustrated and angry was not her, or her message, it was that she was was challenging my beliefs about work and how to approach it."

IMHO, this is the type of bar against which conferences planners should be measuring themselves if their events are going to retain value going forward. And as attendees, we should use the same bar. Going to conferences where we can have our assumptions validated or where we can be passively fed is not enough. In order to grow the profession and grow in our practice of it, we should always be seeking out events that will push and challenge us and leaning into the scary bits.

Posted on: December 04, 2013 04:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Lessons from the Yurt Part 2 - Interview with Kathy Compton

Part 2 of my interview with Kathy Compton from Panda Transport

Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lessons From The Yurt  - An Interview with Kathy Compton from Panda Transport

Panda TransportThis is one of my all time favorite interviews!
Last fall I had the great fortune to meet Kathy Compton and Theirry Holoweck from Panda Transport at the Øredev 2010 conference. One of the really unique things about Panda Transport is that this two person band exists 1/2 in the US and 1/2 in France. In talking to them I realized that those of us who struggle with offshore have a lot to learn from the music world. Kathy has focuses in using vocal techniques and body language as ways  of making herself a more effective performer - to me, this ties directly back to a PMs ability to utilize body language, emotional intelligence, etc. to be more effective in our jobs. This part one of the interview. Part 2 will be posted in a week or so.

Posted on: February 08, 2011 11:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

ProjectPotion 18 - Dave Goes to Øredev

Posted on: December 23, 2010 04:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else."

- Yogi Berra



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