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Manage   »   Project Management   »   Behaviour Courtesy

There are certain standards of behaviour that we expect from all our working colleagues. We expect a level of decency and respect and anticipate that certain behaviours will not be part of our working day. We avoid negative behaviours and naturally seek a way around them. If we were hit on the head by a hammer every time we entered the front door of our office we would very swiftly find and use an alternative entry route. Some of us would certainly seek out the owner of the hammer and stop them doing it, but we do not go back for more.

There is also a behaviour that we uniquely experience on the delivery of agile projects. It is something we call Agile One-upmanship. Agile One-upmanship is a simple though infectious behaviour. It involves a simple clash of methods when opposed individuals state or challenge that my agile approach is better than your agile approach or we do not do agile this way and related abrupt opposition. These behaviours begin with challenge and confrontation rather than dialogue and debate.

The job of the project manager or the agile coach includes the identification of such events and the elimination of the negative challenges without the crucial creative debate and agreement. This naturally demands an element of advocacy and persuasion. It also demands an amount of bravery to face the confrontation, opposition and defiance of your colleagues and team members. Agile project managers and coaches need these skills in bucket loads.

We use whiteboards. We leave important diagrams and messages on whiteboards. We do not expect our important diagrams and messages to be removed or defaced especially when we have the three letters PLO (please leave on) strikingly emblazoned on the whiteboard.

When we see the letters PLO on a whiteboard, it should not be taken as an invitation to exercise our whiteboard cleaning skills. Let us also talk about post-it notes. We use these a great deal especially in workshops. They adorn our walls with important data, messages and plans. Unfortunately, especially in warm rooms, the adhesive does not stick the post-it note permanently. So we see them occasionally separate themselves from the wall to cascade flutteringly to the floor. So, if you see a post-it note on the floor, it is just trying to escape. Pick it up and try to resist the obvious temptation to return it to its original location on the wall. Inform the owner, as we recommend the owners name is very permanently and very securely placed in the bottom corner of any arrangements bearing post-it notes.

The same behavioural guidance and courtesy applies to story cards. They manage to leap from walls too. If you see them trying to escape inform the owner who, we recommend as part of the Toolkit, has already taken a digital photograph of the precise positioning of the story cards. It is best that they are the owner and manager of their story card status quo.

OK. So we have the team operating courteously and now we need to establish how we will carry out the organisational process of Knowledge Transfer.

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Behaviour Courtesy


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