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45

TL;DR: The main problem is the toxic culture of the company. You can't improve the team's behavior without addressing the toxicity of the environment. You need the company's leaders' full support on this. You can present them facts and solutions, but if they don't care (and from your question it is obvious they don't) and don't fully support you, then you ...


13

The team members understand perfectly how the company "works" and have no reason to change their behaviour. Why would they want to work harder for no reward just because you tell them? If the project is has delivered nothing but mission creep in 3 years, its real value to the company is zero. team members are acting like they are doing a favor to me ...


11

Senior Management Owns "Tone at the Top" Modern governance frameworks like COBIT, COSO, and others all describe some variation of "tone at the top". Basically, it boils down to the fact that in business, senior management owns all of the following: Responsibility for the project's success or failure. Responsibility for the design and operational ...


5

While I can't give you a specific idea about it being too early, I'd suggest strongly making sure that your team fully appreciates the concepts of agile development and also wants to have a useful process in place. Right now I am working on a team of 4.5 (3 full stack devs, an intern, and me, the PM/BA). I wanted to get us started with the agile concept ...


4

TL;DR You aren't doing Scrum. You're possibly doing something Scrum-like, but your boss needs to read The Scrum Guide, and the Scrum Master needs to take an active role in educating this manager about his role (if any) on the project. Analysis Who Manages the Product Backlog [M]y team's manager insists on putting stories in the sprint that are ill-...


3

I do not invalidate what any of the other said and there is obviously a problem of company culture. Yet I want to jump of this particular sentence you wrote : I am putting more resources such as external freelancers but the more I put the more they slow down. And it seems to me a perfect case of the Brooks law being verified: Brooks’ Law refers to ...


3

If the environment is as you describe, there is no chance whatsoever you can change your team's dynamics for your project, not in the time frame you are supposed to finish the project. What you are describing is an extremely disorganized, immature, ad hoc, and chaotic organization. And this is what was built from the organization's founders / leaders. And ...


3

There's no magical potion here. You simply need top down sponsorship that can engage regional sponsorship to influence change across the organizations. Without it, your chance of a successful transformation is closing in on zero. You need to recommend an organizational change component as a major part of this project, either doing it in-house or ...


3

TL;DR One way to think about project management is that it isn't necessarily about adopting a specific process, framework, or set of practices. Rather, it is most often a tool for managing expectations and making sure that project-related communications are effective. It is never too early to manage expectations, or to start communicating effectively. The ...


2

"Should a process be put in place?" Yes. Even with a team of two I've found that it is useful to put a process in place. To tell the truth, I put a process in place when the team size is 1 (just me). I make mistakes, and process is one of the tools I use to compensate for my fallibility. Should the process be adjusted based on the size of the team? Yes, ...


2

One of the principles of good project management is to tailor your approach to the needs of your project. Looking at it from this perspective you should always have a PM process, the question is more along the lines of how formal it needs to be for the current project. By all means develop a culture that embraces PM, but trying to implement and enforce some ...


2

To get to point B, you are going to have a process. The question really is, do you want to think it through and formally design it, with control points, rules, assignments, and expectations, or just wing it. There are benefits and costs/risks to both alternatives. What you will likely find is your performance will be less than desired. That will trigger ...


2

There is no silver bullet for this (either). And much of the answers that people are going to give are contextual to their organizations. I'm going to offer one viewpoint since we're in kind of a similar situation with most of our people doing sub-contracting and thus working very closely with our client organizations and not spending time with our own ...


2

Governance. You have no governance. The tension between conflicting priorities, existing projects, new projects, and constrained resources is not abnormal. In fact, it should be expected and welcomed because, absent this, your business is likely failing. What you are missing is the rules of engagement to create a capability where the business is ...


2

I don't believe finding some way of expressing the risks you see in a quantitative manner would resonate with the company culture you joined. Perhaps you should find an ally there who can rewrite your problem statement using the language that would be most tolerated there. I would also argue, however, that the company risk you see in their current set of ...


2

Try to dig into the Bruce Tuckman's Team-Development Model. Based on it I believe that current state of your team is "storming". I won't give you any particular advice as the situation is really complex and only you know all the background, however I feel that trying to understand and going through the techniques of how to move team from "storming" to "...


2

I realize that most of the time Scrum restricts the creative culture. I'm so sick and tired of people saying "Scrum does this" or "Scrum does that" when in reality, they could read a short few pages of paper and see that they are wrong. Your creativity is restricted because you do "design up front". Nowhere in Scrum does it say ...


1

I'm not in your shoes and I can't really judge what is happening. But as a developer, I have plenty of experience with project managers, good ones and bad ones. You have a team of developers working in a niche market, where people with domain knowledge can't just be hired off the street. At the same time, you have unclear, shifting requirements. If I had to ...


1

Fascinating, but you're working on gut feelings, at least that's how your story reads. What you need is facts. Risk management is not about I think the contractor will screw us, but about concrete information. E.g.: The contractor does not have the necessary skills The contractor's estimate does not include inevitable changes that will cost $xxx.xx These ...


1

What jumped out at me was the continuous scope change and expansion. I think you could remedy some of the issues creating lots of milestones. Each one should be about a week or 2 long. Track - very visibly - the upcoming 2 or 3 milestones. Post frequent updates, as an email or a GANTT chart or a Kanban board. This will hopefully help motivate the team to ...


1

I work for a mobile app development agency working as the "remote software development team" for about 75% of its clients. And although the majority of us work together 5 days a week in the same office building, it's just a couple of us working on the same project. So I get what you're saying. In order to ensure people connecting throughout the agency, we ...


1

You own the projected schedule. The only thing you can do is to provide honest, transparent estimates of the impact of the changes on the project schedule. Based on current priorities and labor allocations, Project X will complete in 2025, 7 years behind schedule. All other projects with lower priorities will never complete and have been shut down. The ...


1

I suggest you go to the top; somebody (or some group of VIPs) must have signed off on the order and approved this huge project. Assume they still care about it. Find out who that was and discuss your concerns with them. Come armed with clear facts and figures, not rumours and feelings. (Don't blame specific people; you don't know the corporate politics, ...


1

I see three possible solutions to your problem, each with varying degrees of difficulty and effectiveness. The first option is probably the hardest. You would need to convince the Team of two things. First, that the way things are currently being run is detrimental to the company; that a more Agile methodology will be much better (this is the easy part). ...


1

Assuming that the you are painting an accurate picture, that the manager is aware of this, and that the bottlenecks you describe is happening and clear, then the manager is enabling the team dysfunction. Step one would probably be to ask the manager to change their behavior.


1

What other people said--you really can't address this if management isn't committed to making your task possible. But you can be proactive in making the situation visible and helping management find a solution. One tool that can help is setting up a Kanban board. If you can visually show the backlog, what people are working on, then you have a good way to ...


1

It's simple. Be harsh and delete the entire story and make the person who wrote it to re-write it properly + report to the boss, CTO and the CEO. It is the only thing which works. Wise men build and destroy.


1

Your boss has probably identified the technical uncertainty you're facing. For him, it's a risk. That's why he wants the story started now; so that this risk can be fleshed out. Instead of committing to getting something done, embrace the uncertainty and commit to having something on which you can get feedback. Break this into a spike, with the rest of the ...


1

CodeGnome has a good summation of the root cause. Your boss doesn't understand or is not bought into how Agile works. That's a pretty big problem. That falls into agile adoption issues, which is a bigger question that you asked. The short term fix, for this sprint, is acceptance test. Take a few minutes with your boss and find out what would be his measure ...


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