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 Disengagement Interval DI  Disengagement Interval DI   Roles and responsibilities   Roles and responsibilities

Governance   »   Commitments   »   Fancy A Game of Cards

Now, you will liven this up little. All experienced project managers who use the Toolkit have, waiting in their top drawer, a set of standard playing cards. Get four or five members of the team seated and relaxed in a prominent and visible position in full view of senior business management. Now, remove the clear wrapping on your set of cards and deal out a game of poker (or your preferred card game). Explain to the 4/5 members of your team that they are about to get paid to play a game of cards. You can guarantee that they have never been paid to do this or even heard this sentence on a commercial project before. If they have heard it, it is unlikely to have ever actually taken place, as unlikely as a convent of silent order nuns staging a Karaoke Night. So, you want this to be effective and want your team members to make as much noise as they can, to laugh, give high-fives or whatever floats their boat. This will not be a very long game of cards. That is certain and very likely indeed.

The project manager will be asked, by whoever passes this lively card game, what on earth is going on. The project manager will already have printed out a copy of the e-mail. Show them the e-mail. This will demonstrate that the whole project knows there is a serious crisis and that this crisis is happening now. The project manager and the team have done everything in their power to ensure that the project continues. One of the Engagement Commitments has been broken and it is up to the owner of the Commitment to resolve it. They have until close of business and everybody, boy do we mean everybody, knows it was they who failed.

A group of people in a cost conscious organisation being paid to play cards are a group of people who will be talked about very swiftly. News of this gets round very fast indeed. Trust us, we have done it twice and it worked both times. do not worry as you are covered and you have done nothing wrong. There is a Commitment that the project will use the Toolkit. The Toolkit demands certain Commitments from its participants. If you have your Commitments agreed with your project partners, you are covered, it is fine. It is the instigator of the broken Commitment that is the cause of the project hiatus. It will get fixed soon… back to the cards.

Unfortunately, organisations very rarely wish to pay for important (often very costly) project team members to sit in their corporate offices playing cards, and enjoying themselves. This is especially true when they are doing this right in front of the noses of significant members of their organisation. So enjoy your game of cards, it will not be long before it is over. Be 100% certain, this works every time. Games of Scrabble or monopoly are too quiet and allowing your team to silently read or surf the web will not have the same striking effect. However, a jovial game of cards, especially when a wager is involved, seems to hit a nerve every time. A solution to the broken Commitment is found within the hour and your card game ends.

Next time, when it looks like one of the Commitments is about to go into Disengagement, you will reach into your top drawer, wave a pack of cards and the message is clear. Your project will not tolerate observers, passengers or a lack of Commitment. The punishment is public ridicule in full gaze of managements examination. Moreover, for onlookers who fully understand the process, it is further derision as they will realise the game of cards mean that your project has agreed an important Commitment that one participant has failed to deliver. As every minute passes and as the game continues unabated, the failure of that participants ability to repair their problem and their lack of management are charmingly apparent. These are very clear and powerful messages to senior managers to understand and evidence the performance of their team and the endeavours of specific individuals who try to pass blame in order that it may cloak and hide their own shortcomings and failures. Again the Agile Toolkit provides a mechanism to avoid this circumstance and to continue to deliver successful results by the efficient use of organisational resources.


 Disengagement Interval DI     Disengagement Interval DI   Roles and responsibilities    Roles and responsibilities

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Fancy A Game of Cards


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