≡ Menu
Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management



I have a question for you: when was the last time you did an experiment on work you do? I mean if you are a developer when did you try something new: new practice, new way of doing things, maybe new technology to deal with a problem? If you are a project manager when you tried to do your stuff differently? Maybe it was a different way of running a retrospective or moving a planning meeting to a cafeteria or something completely different?

If you don’t have the answer at hand think about it for a while. It is kind of important.

If you think that there is expected answer you’re right. The expected answer is “today.” I expect you experiment all the time. I expect you challenge the way you work constantly. I expect you put rules to a question every now and then.

It’s a funny observation – as I go through different questions on PMSE I often see this pattern: “I follow this, this and that and I do have this issue.” Every time one of answer is: “challenge your rules.” You can bet this kind of answer will be there in a matter of hours.

This doesn’t come up as a surprise for me. This is the lesson I get over and over again. What you know is wrong. Well, it’s wrong in a way that it isn’t the best, or the most optimal, way of doing things. So if you want to keep you saw sharp you need to look for ways to improve your toolbox constantly.

Is there a better way to do it than experimenting?

So please do one thing today: do an experiment on your toolbox, your rules or the way you build things. Change something and see how it goes.

Then, make it a habit.

And if you ask what kind of experiment I did today there were many of them: I was experimenting with approach we have to training, with tools we use to build applications, with Kanban at portfolio level and with team organization. And these are only things I touched in some way today.

in: personal development

2 comments… add one

  • jfbauer May 20, 2011, 6:36 am

    Pawel, good thought provoking post for a Friday. I recently took a chance and did something different. For a project that I am on I decided to propose an in-house developed solution for a business need. The company culture is to look for vendor solutions first, in-house second. The initial non-technical (project leadership) feedback was that no one would support an in-house solution including the technical community. I rolled the dice and was pleasantly surprised to discover a wealth of grass roots support from technical people that everyone said prior would balk at the idea. The in-house solution was estimated to be only 10% the cost of the vendor solution. Ultimately management still went with the more costly vendor solution for a number of non-technical, non-cost based reasons.

    Instead of just rolling with the “this is how we always do it” entrenched mindset I figured it was worth a try to do something different. It definitely paid off personally and professionally to give it a try even though the final outcome was what it was.

  • Pawel Brodzinski May 20, 2011, 6:53 am

    @jfbauer – That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Experimenting is a state of mind, not a simple task. Glad to see such behaviors. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Comment