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Articles by Ron Montgomery

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    March 5, 2014

    Servant Leadership & The Agile Leadership Transformation

    Do you Think Like a Servant Leader or Act Like The Smartest Guy in the Room?

    Leaders in countless I.T. organizations see themselves as “the smartest person in the room.”  They solve problems that exceed the grasp of their direct reports.  They position themselves as decision-makers and information traffic cops.   They established their reputations for brilliance early in their careers and were promoted quickly because so many I.T. organizations value subject matter expertise over “soft skills” and promote people accordingly.     So...Continue reading

    By Ron MontgomeryPosted in Leadership & Teambuilding on March 5, 2014

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    February 5, 2014

    5 Tips for Helping Agile Teams Avoid “Squirrel Moments”

    Here’s some great advice for any team trying to maintain focus.

    The “squirrel moment” arrives unexpectedly.  The instant message pops up with a question about functionality in a recently deployed release.  A new production support ticket arrives from the customer service team.  The product owner stops by for an ad hoc brainstorming session about a new feature that might be added to the backlog.   And the entire team stops what they are doing in order to meet the squirrel.  The squirrel provides welcome relief from the drudgery...Continue reading

    By Ron MontgomeryPosted in Project & Process Management on February 5, 2014

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    January 9, 2014

    Agile Organizations: 4 Communication Tips For Decentralized Teams

    Making Agile Teams Work in Different Buildings, Time-Zones & Countries

    One on one communication is a cornerstone of agility.  The Agile Manifesto devotes one of its four values and two of its twelve principles to this type of communication by stating the following: Value: “We have come to value individuals and interactions over processes and tools.”   Principles Supporting That Value: “Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.” “The most efficient and effective method of...Continue reading

    By Ron MontgomeryPosted in Project & Process Management on January 9, 2014

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    December 4, 2013

    Agile Transformation – Five Tips for Getting Team Members On Board

    Like any change initiative, agile transformations take time.

    The agile movement values collaboration among team members, self-organizing teams, and technical excellence. In theory, one would think that everyone would want to be part of an agile team. It just doesn’t work that way in practice and some team members will need additional support to become comfortable with this change. Following are five tips for getting team members on board with agile.   Tip #1 – Listen First   In the world of software development, most people have developed...Continue reading

    By Ron MontgomeryPosted in Project & Process Management on December 4, 2013

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    October 29, 2013

    Ripple Effects of Agile at Scale-5 Potential Impacts to Your Business

    Great advice for organizations preparing large-scale agile transformations.

    As organizations get started with agile, the impacts are small – similar to dropping a pebble in a swimming pool.  The effects are noticeable to the teams that are beginning to work on agile pilot projects, but imperceptible to the rest of the organization.  As an organization attempts to scale agile to an enterprise level, the impacts are similar to tossing a boulder into the swimming pool.  The ripples can be quite substantial and far-reaching.  These ripples are strongest close...Continue reading

    By Ron MontgomeryPosted in Project & Process Management on October 29, 2013

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    September 17, 2013

    PMO 2.0 - Positioning for Success in an Agile World

    Questions every PMO should be asking.

    The Program Management Office (PMO) function became common in the late 1990s as companies were launching projects to prepare for Y2K challenges.  These PMOs had the mission of coordinating and sometimes controlling these myriad Y2K initiatives.  These PMOs carried out their missions and moved on to additional challenges such as SOX, large-scale accounting, CRM, and ERP implementations.  They have established themselves as the “go-to” source for project management information and...Continue reading

    By Ron MontgomeryPosted in Project & Process Management on September 17, 2013

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    August 1, 2013

    User Stories – Simple, But Not Easy

    Define your needs so that Agile Software Developers will act.

    User stories are used in agile software development to provide concise descriptions of desired system functionality.  They are written from the perspective of the person who will use the functionality and they utilize the following structure:   “As a (list the type of user), I want to (identify the desired outcome) so that (identify the user’s intent).”  An example would be “As an investor, I want to see the unit value of my mutual fund so that I can see if I am...Continue reading

    By Ron MontgomeryPosted in Project & Process Management on August 1, 2013

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    July 25, 2013

    Ron Montgomery

    Management Consultant & Owner, OnPoint, LLC

    Ron Montgomery Management Consultant & Owner OnPoint, LLC   Biography   Ron Montgomery is a management consultant and owner of OnPoint, LLC, a firm that partners with clients to drive business value from technology projects.  Ron has 35 years of hands-on experience with projects that encompass business planning, software development, process improvement, and deployment of software solutions.   Ron launched his independent consulting career in 1994, and his clients include...Continue reading

    By Ron MontgomeryPosted in Project Management on July 25, 2013

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    July 9, 2013

    Agile Metrics – Measure What Matters

    If your goal is to produce working software, then your metrics must answer 4 key questions.

    By Ron Montgomery, Management Consultant & Owner, OnPoint, LLC The late management guru Dr. Peter Drucker said, “What's measured improves.”  As with most of Dr. Drucker’s observations, there is a lot of wisdom packed into this brief sentence.  All too often, organizations measure things that do not really matter and ignore those things that do matter.  In developing agile metrics, we need to begin with what matters.    One of the agile...Continue reading

    By Ron MontgomeryPosted in Project & Process Management on July 9, 2013

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    May 14, 2013

    Scrum Master: A New Career Path For Agile Processes & Organizations

    Things to consider before becoming a Scrum Master or adding one to your organization.

    By Ron Montgomery, Management Consultant & Owner, OnPoint, LLC The role of Scrum Master is often misunderstood, and for good reason.  According to the Scrum Alliance, “The ScrumMaster is a facilitative team leader who ensures that the team adheres to its chosen process and removes blocking issues.”  In most organizations, particularly those just beginning their agile journey, there is no exemplar or precedent for such a role.  How common is it for a leader to ensure...Continue reading

    By Ron MontgomeryPosted in Project & Process Management on May 14, 2013

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