Impediment List – Montreal Class

Here are the top impediments identified by the recent Montreal class.  There may be some similarities, (a different person might be trying to say essentially the same thing, but for his team).  Maybe your Team will recognize some good things to work on:

  1. Team too small
  2. Under-staffed
  3. Loss of communication (with) customer, stakeholders
  4. Not dedicated teams
  5. Tech Debt / Bug creep
  6. Scope too big
  7. Too many discussions without action
  8. Short deadline
  9. No scope / (no) clear requirements
  10. Bad estimates
  11. Lack of time
  12. (Lack of) product definition
  13. No internet connection
  14. Communication issues (Team)
  15. Time zones
  16. Priorities / specifications [I’m not quite not sure – ??]
  17. Interference (Other tasks / projects)
  18. Lost ownership
  19. Constant team changes
  20. Lack of support from Execs
  21. Unrealistic schedule
  22. Bad risk management
  23. Bad change management
  24. Scope is changing
  25. Scope creep
  26. Needs evolved (team not aware)
  27. Changing scope
  28. Constantly changing requirements
  29. Unrealistic amount of time
  30. No team communication
  31. No teamwork
  32. Lack of knowledge / skills
  33. No communication with client
  34. No feedback
  35. Short deadlines
  36. Imposed deadlines
  37. Micro-managing
  38. Lack of interests
  39. Limited budget
  40. Budget too small
  41. Unrealistic schedule
  42. Lack of tools
  43. Lack of communication
  44. Didn’t stick to method
  45. No methodology
  46. Scope too big
  47. Scope change

There are a couple of things I noticed.

First, I asked them to identify the key root causes that lead to project failure from their experiences.

Second, I asked “What are the biggest 1 or 2 impediments for your team now?”  Sometimes that identified new things with the first question.

This can happen for many reasons.  But one thing this tells me — if you ask the question a different way, you get different answers.

They hear it differently each of these ways:

  • what are the possible root causes for our failure (if we were to fail in this project)?
  • what are our biggest impediments now?
  • what do we need to change to double our velocity (without working any harder, nor more hours)?

You may mean the same thing, but they hear it differently. And respond differently.

Fix the most useful thing first.  Usually small incremental steps to improvement.

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