Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness
At the end of each year, I like to take a step back and take the balcony view – to learn from the hind sights and gain some foresight.
It’s been a crazy year.
My book, Getting Results the Agile Way, has been a #1 best-seller for time management on Amazon. In fact, this morning it was also #2 for time management in the books category.
Companies are using Agile Results and Getting Results the Agile Way to do more with less, innovate faster, and create high-performance teams. And, more importantly, achieve work-life balance. In fact, this past year I’ve lead several sessions with key teams at Microsoft to help them improve their focus, execution, and motivation. Again, all while driving a theme of personal empowerment and work-life balance.
Getting Results the Agile Way is ultimately about helping you make more impact and write your story forward with skill.
I might not have mentioned it before, but I’m in the business of business transformation and I help customers make the most of the Microsoft platform in the context of their business. As far as my day job on Cloud Vantage and, now, back on the Enterprise Strategy team, I’ve spent the bulk of the year helping shape the Microsoft O365 story in the Enterprise. I’ve also helped many customers go through business transformation as they figure out how to go cloud.
As you can imagine, I learned a lot about what it means for a business to really get back to business, as they figure out their vision, mission, and values, their business model, and their capabilities. It’s a chance for businesses to figure out what they do best, what they want to do more of, and what they want to do less of. With cloud computing, you get an amazing opportunity to improve your business agility and streamline your IT, as well as enable more innovation in your process and products. I’ll share more on this in the future.
I’ve also learned a lot about change leadership and driving adoption and change throughout a business. This is actually one of the most important concepts for the years to come. The pace of change is insane. The actual bottleneck now isn’t the delivery of more features. It’s absorption. It’s figuring out what’s valued, and driving adoption. For many customers, they don’t need more features, they need to learn how to use what they’ve already got. For other customers, the bottleneck is learning how to go beyond the piece-meal technology, and move up the stack to higher-end scenarios. For example, with Office 365, it’s not about mail and instant messaging. It’s about effective meetings and ad-hoc collaboration. It’s about collaborative Business Intelligence. It’s about creating effective teams.
I could say a lot about what I’ve learned around scenarios for end-users, IT staff, and the IT platform itself. For example, there are some amazing scenarios for the IT platform including mergers and acquisitions, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD.) It’s been exciting watching these scenarios materialize with customers and help them transform their business and operate at a higher-level.
But the gap between what’s possible and where so many actually are is enormous. And that’s the opportunity.
This is where my years of scenario-driven and experience-driven development will rise and shine by helping businesses unleash their potential.
Speaking of opportunity, as I flip back over my blog posts for the past year, I realize how much more I could have written on topics such as Program Management, strategy skills, Office 365, productivity in the Cloud, etc. In fact, I think that’s actually good scope. One of my friends challenged me to help grow 1,000 Principal Program Managers.
I like the challenge. After all, I like to take on big challenges, and I mentor a lot of Program Managers around Microsoft.
I ended up writing about a few key themes this year including time management tips, execution excellence, and leadership skills. Kanbans are hot. I think more people are realizing the power of “pull” over “push” and how much easier it is to try and satisfy existing demand, than try to master demand generation.
I’ve done a roundup of my top posts. I limited it to posts that had at least 3,000 views. For example, my post on 10 Things Great Managers Do has more than 16,000 views, 10 Ways to Use Evernote More Effectively has more than 15,000 views, 25 Books the Most Successful Microsoft Leaders Read and Do has more than 10,000 views, and The Guerilla Guide to Getting a Better Performance Review at Microsoft has more than 8,000 views.
I was surprised by a few posts. For example, I thought The Microsoft Story would shoot way past 6,000 views. And one post I forgot I wrote, Kanban: The Secret of High-Performing Teams at Microsoft, has more than 18,000 views.
Like I said, Kanbans are hot
This is a short-list of the posts I think were my most important posts for 2012: