I sometimes encounter people with the role of “producer”.
Generally I think of them as “project managers for creative people and artists” but I did once ask a producer what they really do and they succinctly described all the roles of business analyst, Scrum Master/iteration manager, project manager and product owner.
Maybe a shorter description is that they make sure everything comes together on a brief before time, creativity and money run out.
Producers are often used to running running relatively small projects where they can deliver through hard work, luck, finesse and sheer determination; but they often struggle when they end up on larger and larger projects where their role becomes ever more critical while simultaneously becoming ever more vague and confused until they need to resort to PDD as the only way to bring the project home (PDD – Panic Driven Development).
Agile approaches often provide a structure and a discipline that allow the producer to manage the complexity and creativity on larger initiatives, but unfortunately most agile literature and training is aimed at IT development teams, rather than producers.
So how do a producer learn to become agile? I got asked this question recently and referred it onto Rebecca Yik – Executive Producer and accidental agile coach. She came back with the following advice:
Things I’ve learnt and can recommend as a Producer developing my Agile expertise
Blogs, Resources, Guides
- Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn
Tools – At the moment I’m reviewing/trialling online tools we should use
- Version One
- JIRA with Green-hopper
Groups you should join in Sydney Australia
- Agile Sydney http://www.meetup.com/Agile-Sydney/
To that list I (James again) would add one course that looks like it will be a really good one for producers: Passionate Product Ownership with Jeff Patton.
Of course both Rebecca and I are also available to help your journey – either with advice over coffee or fully-fledged coaching and consulting work.