Since I can’t remember where I poached this “checklist of maladies” from, I can’t give any attribution to its creator(s). I’m sorry for that, but I wanted to share it anyway:
I do, however, remember that the presenter was talking about agile processes gone awry.
It’s funny how these maladies have been around forever: pre-agile and post-agile. Resilient little cockroaches, no?
On the left side of the following figure, we have a typical mega-project structure with a minimal Overhead-to-Production personnel ratio (O/P). If all goes well, the O/P ratio stays the same throughout the execution phase. However, if the originally planned schedule starts slipping, there’s a tendency of some orgs to unconsciously exacerbate the slippage. In order to reign in the slippage via exercising tighter control, the org “promotes” one or more senior personnel out of the realm of production and into the ranks of overhead to help things along.
By executing the “promotion strategy“, the O/P ratio increases – which is never a good thing for profit margins. In addition, the remaining “unpromoted” senior + junior analysts and developers are left to pick up the work left behind by the newly minted overhead landlords.
So, if you’re in the uncomfortable position of being pressured to increase execution efficiency in order to pull in a slipping schedule, you might want to think twice about employing the “promotion strategy” to get things back on track.
The brilliant Fred Brooks famously stated something akin to “Adding people to a late project only makes it later“. In this infamous post, dimwit BD00 states that “Promoting personnel from production to overhead on a late project only makes it later“.
Hot off the presses, I just received a Groupon offer to take a $99 online Scrum Master certification course. Holy crap! Instead of paying $2000 and taking 3 consecutive days off from work, I can learn how to become a micro-managing process enforcer from the comfort of my own home; munching on chips while lounging around in my skivvies.
How can I refuse such a great deal? Just look at all those smart, well-dressed, professional, micro-managers in the advertisement staring at a burndown chart. It’s an especially nice touch that the marketing team put a pair of eyeglasses in Katherine Heigl’s hand.
From the course description:
CSMs understand Scrum values, practices, and applications and provide a level of knowledge and expertise above and beyond that of typical project managers.