Retrospective of Our Webinar on Feb 15, 2023
Dear Members and Friends of PMG-G,
Quite an interesting topic from an even more compelling guest speaker of a consultancy called Dr. Agile gave us the opportunity to listen and to have a dialogue about time management as no project works without it in either traditional or agile way.
Dr. Dror Zernik, CEO of Dr. Agile Ltd., Agile Expert-Coach, joined our group of participants of about 15 attendees to which Mona Rosenberg, founder of ‘THE CONNECTING DOT’ and our partner, came along, too.
“Gantt – the illusion of control versus Agile – the illusion of chaos”
Dr. Dror Zernik
For more than 20 years, Dr. Dror Zernik has been consulting various companies, ranging from start-ups in their early stages, through companies in their growth stages, all the way to large international enterprises, scaling up Agile, building management infrastructure, and accompanying strategic moves.
As an Agile Expert-Coach he accompanies Top-Level Managers and senior directors in diverse organizations, helping them to redefine the development processes cultivating effectiveness, high motivation and global alignment.
Dr. Zernik combines the formal Agile process with attentive mentoring to soft-skills that are crucial for leading change, with deep technological understanding. As a lead Agile Coach, Dr. Zernik established the transformation teams to enable ongoing improvement processes. He was a Researcher and a VP R&D in several international corporations.
Dr. Dror Zernik, SPC, CSM and CEO of Dr. Agile LTD
Dr. Agile is an Israeli Agile Transformation Leadership Company, based in Israel, with partners in EU, India and the US. We focus on leading the change process, but doing it responsibly: minimizing the noise and ensuring the business meets its goals. We have lead transformations in:
• Hi-tech companies (from young startups, through mid-size companies (400 employees) through Unicorns, all the way to global giants, e.g., Siemens, GE, Philips…
• Financial companies – such as (4 out of the 5) largest banks in Israel, credit-companies, insurance companies…
• Traditional industries – where Lean and Agile techniques were applied, such as Plastic, Food, and Pharma…
• …and many more
We are aligned to fine-tune the journey to meet our customers’ needs and concerns.
After a warm welcome from Robert Baumgartner, VP Finance + Sponsoring @ PMG-G, to all participants, defining our common ground rules of online events and shortly presenting the agenda of the evening Dror took over for introducing himself and his company which is a consultancy, accompanying its clients to execute transitions in meeting their business goals.
As a warm-up Dror started with a little poll about the industries for which our participants are working to manage their projects and how many projects they are running most of time in parallel. Of course, our result was not too astonishing as the majority of participants were working for large-technology driven and multiple project organizations, as well as manufacturing and even for a small startup. For multiple project organizations, answers like 4 projects at minimum up to 50 projects under control of a PMO came back as answers from our participants. So, the path of communication got clear to Dror so that he knew how to start with.
By starting with a definition of agile, Dror made sure that everyone understood the concept in running transitions from waterfall to an agile approach. In a next step he showed us a common Gantt chart in which activities and any interdependencies could be clearly seen over a timeline. But the more complex the projects and its dependencies get the fewer the clarity of the Gantt chart becomes visible to us which is a clear drawback of this kind of visualizations. So, he drew a question to us who’s actually the user of this kind of information that takes a lot of time to prepare. Not surprisingly enough, a common answer came back from our audience that’s mainly of the interest of any line managers to get an overview and confidence into the (waterfall) project. And here starts the illusion he explained as little changes can always be happening that need to go through the same development cycle – requirement definition, principle design, implementation, verification, and system integration – like the project has already gone through up to the stage when a change happened. As a consequence the project will be delayed, eating up the budget and may even fall short of quality either as everything is tried for catching up time in a rush so that short-cuts are quite common at that situation. And here comes agility into the play as it can be considered as many waterfall-like projects with a fixed cycle time (time boxing) at which the scope can vary, depending on available capacity and complexity of feature. So, instead of doing a running down a timeline with an end result which is not quite clear in half-a-year’s or a year’s time you develop products and/or services in an incremental way by experimenting with any little add-on that represents a minimum viable product (MVP).
In a 2nd part of his presentation Dror went into the agile way of controlling time, scope and budget during project execution. He pointed out that the backlog is treated as a communication vehicle for which product owner and product manager have to take care of filling enough stories into the queue, whereas the agile team is going to work on the stories to get them implemented, tested and shipped out as a sellable good. Here, he also showed us the different visualizations of execution in terms of burn-down and control charts and version report. Finally, he went into the topic of prioritization, team and leadership principle, refinement of continuous backlog, flexibility and predictability and how a milestone can be considered in an agile world. All in all, a praise on agile methods but with a good reasoning why he proposes this way of working to be more flexible in answering to change, and even more predictable by the end of the day as the traditional flow of working takes too much time while too many changes may occur that do hamper the whole project lifecycle and cracks the iron triangle.
Seeing his compelling presentation and listening to the dialogue with our audience we’d like to thank Dr. Dror Zernik very much for his time and contribution that did not happen without the support from Mona Rosenberg who paved the way of this extra ordinary online event from Israel for which we also thank her for making it happen. Also, big thanks to our participants for sitting down, listening to our event, and joining our dialogue after a long hard-working day as normal.
Our workshop took over one hour of speech and dialogue which enables you to claim for 1 PDU as distributed over distinct categories below. The acceptance of your claim fully lies on responsibility of the PMI – Project Management Institute. You should follow the PDU allocation below when logging on to CCRS: https://authentication.pmi.org
|Way of Working
If you’re not so sure how to claim your PDU’s on CCRS you can follow our guideline below:
As a member of the PMG-G you’ve the opportunity to retrieve the presentation from Dr. Dror Zernik with his valuable information at the member area of our web portal.
Looking forward to meeting you in our next afterwork talk of agile methods with Volker Hadas, VP Agility, held in German on Feb 28, 2023.
On behalf of the board of Project Management Group – Germany (PMG-G)
V.i.S.d.P. VP Finance & Sponsoring
Robert Baumgartner, SAFe 5 | PMI-ACP | Prince2