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CHOW – The Challenge of the Week

Challenge of The Week
Welcome to the Chow – the Challenge of the week!

This section will highlight some of the challenges we face in our work situations – sometimes bordering on the personal aspects as well.

These are situations that may not be classified as black or white. While there could be some good practices and patterns to handle these, the actual resolution will depend on the specific context and the disposition of the person solving the challenge at that time.

Over time, with your active participation, we hope that for every situation, we can get a broader perspective of how different people have managed the situation.

Please feel free to

  • share your perspective on how the situation can be approached
  • describe what has worked – and what has not, in your own experience
  • pose your own related or additional challenges to hear from others

The Challenges will usually be open for two weeks before the suggestions from PM Power coaches are published.

Recent Challenges

CHOW # 232 – Can a leader overcommunicate?

Jagdish came to me with a question – can a leader ever overcommunicate? I remember reading a mail from the CEO to all managers in that organization that they are going through a major shift in their business strategy and that all managers should follow the three rules...

CHOW # – 231 Adapter

CHOW # – 231 Adapter

You are part of a team that is programming in RUST. The team understands the benefits of RUST in the entirety. Your team is aware that Rust is blazingly fast and memory efficient. They are now boldly refactoring the application thanks to the type system and ownership...

CHOW #228 – Daily Stand-up over Email

CHOW #228 – Daily Stand-up over Email

You are coaching a team based in another location. You have made good progress with Kathy (Scrum Master), Mark (Product Owner) and the team MasterMinds. When you interact with the team after the Thanksgiving break, you notice that the team has started doing their...

CHOW # 227 – Prioritizing Work Items

CHOW # 227 – Prioritizing Work Items

Suresh, a scrum master, is preparing for the upcoming sprint planning session along with his product owner Ravi. One of their developers has suggested that the improvements to the search algorithm that she has identified, can be included in the next sprint and address...

CHOW #226 – Visual Cues for being Agile

CHOW #226 – Visual Cues for being Agile

Let me share one of my experiences with a Financial Organization that I was coaching last year. I was scheduled to meet one of the visiting leaders from US, Alan. He managed one of the key Business Units in the company and was known as one of the forward-looking...

CHOW# 225 – Leave your baggage behind

CHOW# 225 – Leave your baggage behind

Samson worked for five years and proved to be a good developer and a tech lead before being chosen to lead a project, with a lot of technical unknowns and challenges. Samson was very excited to lead the project and rolled his sleeves up and executed the specification...

CHOW #222 – Connect & Learn

CHOW #222 – Connect & Learn

Nilanjana is a data  engineering architect for an analytics platform at a large IT company whose main business is to serve FMCG companies’ marketing teams. She comes with strong foundation in databases and data engineering. With her guidance and technical prowess...

CHOW #221 – Code Review vs Pair Programming

CHOW #221 – Code Review vs Pair Programming

In a smaller project (small is a subjective term, one may consider what is a small project in their team), would it be better to do a 'Code Review' or 'Pair Programming' or Both? Suggested Solution: Many times, I've been part of 'Pair Programming' vs 'Code Review'...

CHOW #219 – A new manager’s dilemma

CHOW #219 – A new manager’s dilemma

Raju had joined a large company in its India operations as a director. Raju’s manager, the India operations head had told Raju that he was getting to build a challenging division.  A colleague of his Gagan was incubating this unit along with his primary unit....

CHOW #218 – A Knowledge and Skills Problem

CHOW #218 – A Knowledge and Skills Problem

Steve is the global CIO of a large financial services company that provides multiple financial products and services to a global clientele, both retail and institutional. Steve is a worried man. He picks up the phone and speaks with Mike who is a leading digital...

Chow #217 – How to handle conflict at workplace?

Chow #217 – How to handle conflict at workplace?

CyberZars is a leading software product development company in the Cyber Security domain. CyberZars practices Scrum/Xp for software development. One of their flagship product OpenConnect is developed by four scrum teams.  Chris is a Product Owner (PO) for one of...

Chow #216: How best to multi task?

Chow #216: How best to multi task?

Raveesh was the chief architect at 9to5 corporation. He company had seen significant growth in the last 4 years in a very niche market of Enterprise Application Integration. Their eBbus – or the enterprise business bus, was highly scalable and modular in design and...

CHOW #215 – A Crossword Puzzle

Here is a crossword based on our book, 'The Five Tantras of Enterprise Agility' . Have given the solution grid at the end. Now, be honest and don’t look at the answers before trying to solve the puzzle. If you manage to solve the puzzle (without looking at the...

CHOW #214 – Role Clarity & Clouded Minds

CHOW #214 – Role Clarity & Clouded Minds

In this large enterprise IT function, a cross-functional program level team was formed. Purpose of the team was to orchestrate flow of value end-to-end in collaboration with their Scrum teams, portfolio team and other key business stakeholders. Many middle managers...

CHOW #212 – Coach as a Problem Solver?!

CHOW #212 – Coach as a Problem Solver?!

You are an Agile coach, a new recruit in the organization - a Global In-house Center (“captive” software arm) of a major financial services organization. Prior to this job, you have been a Scrum Master and a coach for over five years in a fin-tech product organization...

CHOW #211 – Data-driven Coaching Plan

CHOW #211 – Data-driven Coaching Plan

Challenge The names, characters, dialects, and phrases are imaginary. Yesterday, I was one among the spectators, to an event performed at the local stadium. The event may appear to have a certain resemblance to a competition for the first-time visitor. But it was...

CHOW #210 – Culture Shock!

CHOW #210 – Culture Shock!

Mike Wallace is a recently-promoted Scrum Master for a project team. He has taken over when the team had been struggling with low Say/Do ratio and highly-fluctuating velocity. Mike and his team had gone into the causes for this situation in the past and incorporated...

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