It's been said that every project comes with a fixed amount of disappointment, and it's up to you to decide how to deal with that - either discuss it honestly, as it comes up and there's still time to do something about it, or save it all up for the end. Agile techniques give plenty of opportunity for the upcoming disappointments to be made clear and to help present alternative options.
In the first part of the session, I'll talk through the main learnings I've found from years of projects. There are several situations that come up frequently, and through trial-and-error or background reading I've found approaches that help:
Following a discussion of the above points, we'll move onto groupwork - I'll ask the room to organise into groups based on how familiar and confident they feel with the situations I've described, and to write 3-slide lightning talks in their groups about ideas from their own experiences, areas they're still unsure of, and other sources of disappointment they've found.
After presenting these talks to each other, we'll finish with an overview of the issues raised in the session - I'm interested to find out how much my experience tallies with what the rest of the room has found, and whether there are other challenges that I haven't come up against yet.
Neil has worked in a variety of roles on waterfall, agile, and fragile projects, and is currently working as an agile project manager at the BBC. Previous project experience includes automating medical image analysis, specifying laboratory information management systems and building a motion-tracking toothbrush to study brushing technique. It’s people problems that are the most interesting, though.