A "People First" Blog.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Product and Project Management?

I wanted to write on this raining morning about the confusion I'm seeing when speaking with new clients and potential clients about their perceptions of behaviors. I noticed in one conversation that attempted to make a distinction between Agile and Waterfall methodologies. The conversation quickly turned to more of a delivery based discussion and not a behavioral discussion. I found this interesting.

The Question: Is it word play and semantics or is there legitimately a difference between Agile Product Development and Waterfall Project Management?

Here's how it played out for us.

1. Agile Project Management - Something real that emerged from traditional cost management and risk mitigation within an ecosystem still dependent upon traditional product and portfolio strategy and metrics reporting.

This perception is valid as it shows up in most environments that have shifted from the introduction to agile approach and teams that are achieving significant internal improvements in their internal processes, awareness, and self-governance. This was also called hybrid-agile, or Agile-Fall, etc... The up-line business that is gathering the reports and understanding the value delivered to the customer is still a PMO matrix environment and getting what it needs to "resource plan" and ERP plan (depending on the industry)

2. Agile Product Development - Lean Startups, small product teams focused on disruptive innovation and rapid market deployment. Typically we see the adoption of his 'pure' method of self-organized teams in lightweight governance and customer acceptance as the standard of delivery across the entire product portfolio. This environment appears as chaos to some perspectives and is less process intensive and more empirically formed. Another common term that identifies this type of adaptive environment is Emergent. This is often the environment and behavioral principles, response to problems agreements, and team empowerment we coach to/from in our own practice at Bevill Edge.

3. Waterfall Project Management - This approach is the most defined, older than the other two perspectives and very well documented. Based in logical workflow and risk based, predictable outcomes we know it from it's PMO and it's phases. These phases, of course include, silo INITIATION, REQUIREMENTS, DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, VALIDATION, and IMPLEMENTATION.  These are the fundamentals of phase gated controls, change controls, forecasted outcomes. If we take a closer look at the behaviors, we'll find limited input for predictable and controllable outcomes.

In the bottom of our discussion, there are some take-aways:

  1. There is no right or wrong way to work in these spaces
  2. In all spaces personal awareness and leadership allow a powerful work environment
  3. Behavior and Communication play a large role in our choice of method and vocabulary
    1. Product behavior and standard deviation may warrant a more rigid approach to deployment (houses, railroads, infrastructure, etc...)
    2. People behavior and emergent best practices may dictate a more self-governed mentor-like learning environment as a company grows into it's own or as a new product emerges in the marketplace
    3. Organizational behavior and cultural choices may empower or limit our ability to execute in any of these environments. 
In the end, the methods that are deployed to manage the work and deliver value to the customer are different at every company. This closing statement left room for Waterfall then to be an emergent methodology as we coach an organization and it's choices result in the best and highest work for this client and this product.

What are your considerations around the vocabulary and confusion that has emerged?



Scotty Bevill
CSM, CSP, CELC, CPC, PMI-ACP, PMP


Scotty is a CSM, CSP, PMI-ACP, PMP, CELC, and accredited Leadership Gift Coach, and active public speaker. After spending more than 14 years with the military and 9 years working with team structures, he focuses his time on improving organizations and mentoring individuals in scrum, agile, and leadership coaching around continuous improvement and product delivery.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Case of the Mondays

I sit here this morning thinking about contribution and I realize that some just aren't having that kind of day. I ask you this, "Why do you choose that for yourself?"

Monday is just a idea. There is no good or bad, only a choice to perceive good or bad. I wanted to share my perspective as I sit with my water and coffee on this glorious morning listening to the hustle of people. That's right; people. I mentor and teach the brilliance of people. I talk about how people are the purpose of life on earth for us. From businesses that are formed to improve mankind to the groups we create to share in this life.

In the last two years of my life, I spent my time working to understand the problem perspective. I love what I do so much that it's easy to get lost in my work and the contributions I can make to the people I interact with. As a coach, I get to work with people from my neighbor struggling with a difficult diagnosis and my dad hard-working his entire life and finding that he's human after all. (I have a bit of a superhero complex about my dad). I also get to work with you, the brilliance behind the 'how' of the world. The manager, co-worker, friend, sister, brother, cousin, and parent. We all have different perceptions of our roles throughout everyday. Creating a duality in this space creates a split conscious self making trade-offs in your own life. (Read Jessica's take on roles in our community blog here). The trick to a peaceful journey is being the same person regardless of the role you are playing.  The difference in my dad and my beautiful family next door is CHOICE. Faced with some of life's most challenges things, they choose everyday to live the life they want. And that is POWER, infectious power. And this brings me to this winter.

"The trick to a peaceful journey is being the same person regardless of the role you are playing."

As I work through my own experience as a human and learning new mastery techniques of problem confrontation, I realize that even a people centric-person like me is truly human at the end of the day. I became overwhelmed with the idea of failure. To apply what I'm learning, I put myself right in the middle of it and this has unseen consequences it appears. The more I saw the world through this filter the more I saw the "sheep" behaviors and the judgment of lifestyles that were not getting the results people wanted. I heard complaints about everything, from standing in line, waiting at red lights, to even kids making noise everywhere I went. The noise was so deafening I could no longer hear myself and the precarious situation I had found myself. What's more, I chose it everyday in the name of learning. I had lost my perspective. In my mind, the one core thing that I want to define me most is the contribution I make to humanity.

"What's more, I chose it everyday in the name of learning."

I awoke that day last winter and realized the my reality had become what I wanted to most impact in the world and not what I wanted it to be.  I was thinking in "out there" contexts. Oh, the arrogance of this perspective feels so powerful and alluring, but it's merely a hallucination and I was unconscious, again, in the name of learning. Well, I learned the feeling is fleeting, it isolated me from the connections that keep me whole as part of one consciousness. *DING* (the sound of spontaneous awareness). Damn, shame, nope, own it. Change now. I can, 100% Responsibility. Choose Love.

It was this same moment in the same day I took off my filters and opened my eyes to see what I had created. A moment of clarity and breakthrough; I saw my people once again. In all their glory and concerns, happiness and struggles, they are all living and part of what makes us the unique species on the planet. In this one moment, I counted my blessings for the people I get to interact with and started making different choices. In this one moment I could see so clearly what I wanted in my own life. This was fundamentally Love. Love of all things, places, and people. "I am awake", I thought to myself. The journey continues and it is my choice to process when asked to process, clean at every corner (you can learn more about this from Joe Vitale's book, Zero Limits), and to see the people the way I feel about them, as me.

"Love of all things, places, and people." - Purpose

You may be asking yourself what this has to do with Mondays. If you are, let me be more clear. If you choose to perceive Monday as bad, there is something else to see. There is no 'out there', there is only in you. Your brain can't actually see the world. It must process information flowing through your eyes and through nerves and process through your subconscious long before you get to interact with it; and that's only if you are aware. So what can we do? We can choose. Through repetition, repetition, repetition any life we want. Look to your left, look to your right, who do you see? Are they also having a "bad day?" I challenge you to genuinely say, "Good Morning" and mean it. With sincerity. Good morning is not a greeting, it's a wish for someone else. Every morning is an opportunity to see the world exactly as it should be because you create it. You aren't wrong for what you see and I promise there is more than you are allowing yourself to receive, especially on a Monday. You got this!


Scotty Bevill
CSM, CSP, CELC, CPC, PMI-ACP, PMP


Scotty is a CSM, CSP, PMI-ACP, PMP, CELC, and accredited Leadership Gift Coach, and active public speaker. After spending more than 14 years with the military and 9 years working with team structures, he focuses his time on improving organizations and mentoring individuals in scrum, agile, and leadership coaching around continuous improvement and product delivery.

Perception is Reality

Perception is reality.

I've heard this so much in my life and it was in the recent years I most understood it differently.

Simply Put, If you think it, you're right.


Scotty Bevill, CSM, CSP, CELC, CPC, PMI-ACP, PMP

Scotty is a CSM, CSP, PMI-ACP, PMP, CELC, and accredited Leadership Gift Coach, and active public speaker. After spending more than 14 years with the military and 9 years working with team structures, he focuses his time on improving organizations and mentoring individuals in scrum, agile, and leadership coaching around continuous improvement and product delivery.