Agile Project Management

One thing that can be said about the success of Agile practices, in software development, is they have created many discussions on how to manage Agile teams. This has caused some companies to question what roles need to be filled in organizations to ensure project are as successful as they can be. Agile processes are a product of their time, there has been a growing trend in other management disciplines, like Supply Line management and production. Studies of organizations, in recent years, increasingly look to natural systems and self-organizing structures.


Flexible working

I've been reading about work life balance and flexible working. The Sloan Work and Family Research Network has a lot of statistics about working hours and the feasibility having flexible working hours. The research suggests that if employers provide flexible working patterns that:

  • At least 50% of employees report high levels of life satisfaction.
  • Studies suggest that employees with flexible working patterns suffer less from mental health problems

Balanced thinking

Recently a colleague gave me an article to read from a glossy management journal, the sort of journal I wouldn't normally read. The opening was promising, it talked about how many MBA students were business graduates. In the past students would have come from industry or they were graduates. It implied that this would make them worse leaders as there would be less depth of experience. The solution apparently lies in literature, if you know where to look. It ended up being more of an advert for a book. Not that leaders and philosophers through the ages have not faced the same problems. Something is getting lost here in the tradition of education, academia, I was taught once was often learning for learning's sake. Higher education can be as much about the learning environment than the course you’re on, and learning how to lead no more lies in a book than it does in the rest of the world. Don't get me wrong, I do think you can learn things from literature, but looking to a play for a leadership to make a choice would first mean you have to choose the right play.