PMO's Suffering PMSS From Over Exposure to PMI's PMP

Project Management Office staff world-wide have been reported to be suffering from Project Management Stress Syndrome. This disorder is closely related to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) - a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. This disorder often interferes with the individual's ability to cope.

The first signs of PMSS (Project Management Stress Syndrome) are reliving the traumatic event through flashbacks and nightmares. PMO Teams have long used PMI's PMBOK and PMP Certification as a measure of Project Management techniques, practices, processes, templates, forms, procedures, policies, check lists, roles and responsibilities, standards, guidelines, measurements of success, process quality assurance, execution excellence, center of practice, center of execution, center of competence, model for maturity, roadmap to success, and other such "live up to this stuff we'd actually never do" things.

One PMO team located in Chalabrook, OH all shared similar nightmares after a large implementation of a PPM (Portfolio and Project Management) tool. Members of the PMO team reported nightmares of writing policies and procedures for time tracking - and delivering training. In particular, the memories of explaining the difference in time entry deadlines based on month end processes, seasonal system freezes, and year end processes.

Edgar Markowiscz talked about "I just kept dreaming about the training class; about trying to explain when time-sheets were due. No-one seemed to understand that time spent in the future needed to be recorded ahead of spending that time so the project management processes interfaced with the accounting processes." Hellen Habersmack had similar comments; "I just kept waking up in a cold sweat recalling the horror of students attacking me for what they called unreasonable future prediction of actual time spent."

Close after flashbacks and nightmares are the need to avoid stimuli associated with the trauma. PMO members have been seen in many companies avoiding conference rooms where training events where held. In fact, PMO members themselves have been reported to avoid doing the very thing they have been demanding teams to do - record their time and follow the company standard documented methodology process.

Richard Carlflab admitted in an interview, "I don't even fill out the TPR Report in the proper format anymore. In fact, I avoid opening the template - the thought of going through all 64 pages of the template to complete it each week have frightened me to the point of emotional and physical paralysis."

PMO teams everywhere have been looking for a cure for PMSS. They fear that if Sr. Management discovers their ailment, they may actually have to give up their coveted processes and templates and do some productive work.

Bankan: The Latest, Leanest Thing

Hot off the press, The Lean Consortium releases Bankan. Their propaganda release states Bankan is "Betterer, fasterer and cheaperer" and that it "turns the process volume up to eleven." Unlike any previously release process (or not-a-process as we were asked to describe Kanban), Bankan is a being pushed as the next big thing to push.

We interviewed the creator, Ima Plagiarist, and we learned that Bankan is the result of misusing all previously released processes. "We drew on our misuse of RUP, Agile, and Lean to produce Bankan. We think is combines all the ways you can pervert simple thinking into a confused mess that will allow us to make millions in certification revenue."

Bankan introduces ideas like PIW, or process is work mandates. "PIW is a practice which mandates that people are following the process so they are sure to be successful" say Mr. Plagiarist. Other practices include CumulativeConstraints and of course the impressively, reinvented Bankan Boards which now flow from left to right, a revolutionary new offering in Bankan.

Early adaptors of Bankan seem to be struggling. When asked about these issues, Ima told us "It is clear that the brilliance of Bankan will elude many companies who will of course blame the process when in fact that are simply not doing it right. The best practice we suggest is having no less than 90% of the company attends Bankan Camp and becomes a Certified Bankan Camper (CBC) before trying to cut over to the process. It's just that simple."

Manager Surprised when Team Hit Terminal Velocity

Six weeks into a major project at Big Ass Corp, a highly evolved teams hit terminal velocity. Proud of their accomplishment, the team plans a party and invites all the project members who are not really present so they can share in the celebration.

One of the absentee players was the project manager, Dudley Dolittle. Having allowed people to add piles of needless meetings into his schedule, Dudley showed up not knowing why he was there and what they were doing. When he learned the point of the celebration, his first comment was "what is terminal velocity? I have planned for us to keep going faster and faster and get more and more velocity as we go."

When interviewed, one of the developers said, "I sort of assumed our manager understood at least some basics physics. I mean how screwed are we if our manager doesn't grok velocity". Things just went downhill from there when the team learned that Dudley had bought 9 copies of The Mythical Man Month with the assumption that it would allow him to read the book nine times faster.

As a solution, Dudley was sent to attend a series of 9th grade math and science courses and the team is consistently delivering and learning in his absence. In fact, once he left, velocity did increase as drag was reduced. The team hopes that someday Dudley might understand these results.

Bright Shiny Objects Inc. Introduces "Obfuscation Driven Development"

Building on the hype of SDD (something driven development), Boston based Bright Shiny Objects Inc. introduces Obfuscation Driven Development or ODD. Designed for developers who simply cannot learn to use the tools they have, ODD provides new and better way to build unreadable and overly complex code faster.

ODD takes all the worst habits you can imagine and turns them up to eleven. "ODD practices allow less disciplined programmers to produce code that is almost unreadable and certainly untestable" boasts Snafu Pragma, the COI (Chief Operating Idiot) of Bright Shiny Objects. "Our soon to be release ODD tools offer a rapid obfuscation generator (ROG) that is so powerful, pairing is no longer enough. This pushed us to introduce a new ODD practice of hexing: six people working together to try and make sense and move forward."

Interviews with companies currently practicing ODD show that many code bases are already obfuscated and prime candidates for Hyper Obfuscation Driven Development of HODD. Snafu is fond of saying "Bring us your bad code and well make it worse, or bring us your fresh code and well make it unreadable. ODD is so powerful it will assure bad programmer more job security, at least for a few months."

When asked is ODD might be a step backwards, or simply another stupid name choice, Mr. Pragma told us "We've found that so many programmers suffer from a sort of engineering ADD, that ODD is the obvious next step." He left us with their new working motto of "Why spend time coding all that mess when our tools can generate an even greater mess faster."

Oppressed Programmer Uses Ruby to Gem Fake Standup Status

After years of managing multi-million dollar budgets, Neil Turlsen found himself joining a small software firm as a product manager. Neil was new to agile and but figured he'd fair well. He had no idea daily open communication would lead to his demise.

It didn't take long for the team to became suspicious. Neil's high-level updates and lack of action stood out amongst his cohort. While phrases like "streamline scalable metrics" and "recontextualize leading-edge interfaces" seemed like ordinary bullshit, team member Sam Snigelberg noticed a distinct pattern.

Then it struck him. Sam knew Neil had been using a Ruby gem named Faker to generate his daily status.

Instead of directly accusing Neil, Sam prepared bingo cards with for his teammates to use during standup. When two people hit bingo, the team decided to confront Neil who immediately confessed he was shown the gem by a colleague years ago and had been using it professionally since.

The pressure of daily updates had led him to careless misuse of the bullshit generator. He voluntarily resigned, stating his colleagues were obsessed with openness, productivity and communication. He's since found work as a middle manager of a 20 man IT team in an 800 person company. His current team, while admitting they have no clue what he actually does, say he's doing an excellent job.

Scrum Master Brought in to Resolve Sequester

With the nation reeling in the wake of the sequester, Tom Bartman (R-Utah) has the solution. "We are bringing in a certified SCRUM master. For those that aren't aware", Tom elaborated, "Certified SCRUM masters have singlehandedly saved the software development world in the past few years. Prior to SCRUM, software development frequently failed to deliver on time or to expectations."

Lee Guru, Scrum master, is already deep into solving the sequester, starting with taxation. He has refused to listen to any public sentiment that is not phrased in the format 'As a taxpayer, I would like to....' or 'As a government funded institute, I would like to...'. Additionally, the Scrum Master will only take input for 1 more day, after which he will be locking himself in a room with CPAs for two weeks and cannot be disturbed.

"We will get through as many user stories as the CPAs can in the next two weeks and you cannot change that,' said Lee. "If after two weeks the sequester isn't solved, then we will just try another two weeks."

The futures and options markets were up 12% on this completely pointless news.

Army of Straw Men Besieges Agile Forces

In a surprising turn of events, an army made of straw men appears to be battling Agile to a stand-still on many fronts. Attacks on at least three fronts, each led by well-recognized STRAWngmen, have left the market confused. It is well established that teams who follow Agile principles and practices deliver more software, and better software, than they have even done before.

From the west, the forces of STRAWngman Bradley Deeppath, with his Bottom-Line Objectives followers, driven perhaps by a long past bad experience with Agile Method Creator Cain Squabble, continually batter Agile ideas with the notion that Agile is bad because it does not address large-scale issues. Agile commentator and food critic Chad Hungryson likens this to blaming chocolate cake for not addressing one's concerns about the draperies in the party room.

From the north, STRAWngman Scoot Runner, touts the "breakthrough" discoveries of a failing former manufacturer of peanut-flavored small computers, based on the accusations that Agile needs more discipline. Apparently, providing an automated test for every line of code, working only on features required by the business, and having concrete definitions of exactly what will satisfy the business, is not disciplined enough for Mr Runner. At press time we were unable to confirm or deny rumors that the so-called disciplined approach was funded by a loose consortium of foresters and paper makers drumming up revenue sources.

From the hill country, STRAWngman Chancellor Goodsmile and many followers, including mini-STRAWngmen Charles Korn and Spot Dickson, peck away at the flanks of Agile, not very subtly hinting that Agile is not "safe" enough for large enterprise. Agile experts such as Peter Century and Mac Donfull see Goodsmile's work as potentially valuable within Agile but do not understand why it needs to be presented as yet another Straw Man attack on the core Agile ideas. Our report on this aspect of the War of the Straw Men had to be truncated, as the primary web site for this discipline was unresponsive. We can only presume that it used some other method than its own in its implementation.

Agile spokesmodel Rune Jerrycan, speaking from his bunker in Lesser Brighton, wonders what all the straw men are about. Apparently well into his dotage, he mumbled something to this reporter about there only being one elephant, and attributed all these straw men to the perpetual need of consultants to look different from all the other identical consultants. Clutching his trademark black cape around his trademark rotund body, he invited all these newcomers to "Get the hell onto my lawn!"

It has been difficult for this reporter to sort out the hay from the straw in this situation, if the reader will pardon our trying to reap something useful from this metaphor. On the one hand, it is manifest, if you'll pardon the expression, from the Manifesto that Agile speaks to a narrow set of concerns, regarding only software, close collaboration between business and development, and self organization. Its authors - and here again we quote Rune Jerrycan - "were addressing the handful of things they knew about and agreed upon", and were not trying to create world peace in their time. One of the Manifesto authors once said, "I was just trying to make the world safe for programmers". In this, Agile has nearly succeeded, making the world more safe for male programmers. There seems to be more work to do for female programmers. But we digress.

As far as this reporter can discern, in the nearly fifteen years since the Agile Manifesto, not one of its preferences or principles has been shown to be mistaken. One would think that would count for something. One would think that people would use those ideas as a foundation upon which to build something larger, more complete, more grand. But no. Instead, motivated by we know not what, individuals with good ideas continue to create anti-Agile Strawmen to promote those good ideas. In so doing they weaken their own position rather than strengthen it. Meanwhile, the only thing people really remember is "Agile".

C Programmers Off By One on Iteration

include <stdio.h>

int main(void) {

  int projectedVelocity;
  int velocity, todo;

  printf("To do is ", todo, "\n\n");

  // 5, 10 point iterations
  todo = 50;
  projectedVelocty = 10;

  // plan < perfect results
  velocity = projectVelocity -1;

  while (todo > 0)
    todo -= velocity;

  printf("Project Complete!\n");
  return 0;

As a Lame Product Owner I need to Bore the Crap Out of Teams so that I am Following the Process

In what appears to be an international epidemic, Shallot researchers have learned that product owners around the world are consistently boring the crap out of teams. Team member we interviewed told us "We have no idea why our product reads us those sentences, but if we act excited and then puke up a Fibonacci number, we are left alone to actually help people."

A few of the more frustrated teams have taken to crafting more and more ludicrous sentences just to see if anyone notices. One of our favorites discoveries was "As a charlatan, I need to sell more services so that my consulting firm stays afloat." We were told that this sentence was so astounding, that the planning pokers in the room panicked and started eating their cards.

Sensible teams trying to produce products that people love are going retro and actually returning to storytelling and collaboration. The Agile Experts we interviewed are sure this will fail and they are predicting tragic results. In response, they have convened The Agile Sentence Writing Alliance to craft a collection of new and better sentences for The Next Generation Product Owner Course (NGPOC).

Theory of Everything Held Up By Single Page Application

MIT physicist Edwin Dupe-Czech and Cal Tech cosmologist Heywood Headley believe they have come up with a "Theory of Everything". Dr. Headley says he and Dr. Dupe-Czech developed a suite of mathematical equations intermittently over a period of 12 years that reconcile the two popular frameworks of physics known as General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory.

According to Headley, the so-called Theory of Everything has been, "The holy grail of physics for several decades". Dupe-Czech explains, "Some 18 months ago we put the finishing touches on a theory that explains large-scale phenomena, like gravity and the structure of space-time, along with the small-scale structure of matter."

Asked why he and his colleague let 18 months lapse before announcing their historic discovery, Headley laments, "We wanted to showcase our discovery on an interactive website. We hired a team of software developers who recommended a Single Page Application." A Single Page Application offers a rich "user experience", but evidently take longer than anyone thinks it will to build. Dupe-Czech explains, "After 18 months we have finally have hyperlinks to "Terms of Use" and "Contact Us" templates. It has been an extraordinarily frustrating journey to launch our website. So, we decided to go public with a press release."

Asked when they might be able to announce the launch of their interactive website, Headley offers, "Given the arrow of time, our ever-expanding universe, and the colossal hairball of client-side JavaScript, only time will tell".

Announcing Garnet, A Pure Non-Functional Language

There's nothing as thrilling as announcing a new programming language: a new hammer for all the professional nails you might encounter. And this is possibly the most efficient, most effective programming language ever designed: Garnet.

Garnet is the first Pure Non-Functional language. According to Andy Hunt, the secret to it's breathtaking efficiency is that "it doesn't do a damn thing."

Forecasts are optimistic that this new technology will save corporations billions of dollars that would otherwise have been waster on floundering projects using conventional technologies such as Ruby on Rails, PHP, and the abacus.

"To develop this, we looked at the really hard sciences--seriously hard problems from cryptozoology, astrology, numerology and that head bump thing," reports Mr. Hunt.

Why "Garnet" as the name? "We wanted a name for something that was harder than Ruby, because, you know, that's impressive." When it was pointed out that ruby is actually harder than garnet on the Mohs mineral hardness scale, Mr. Hunt replied "Whatever. The point is, this is the perfect evolution of declarative style programming."

"To program a system in Garnet, you simply declare what you want, and it will fail to deliver. It's a lot like Prolog, but with less logic to go wrong."

User reaction has been uniformly positive. "It's a huge time saver," said Fred. "Usually, we have to spend months and months writing code that fails to deliver. Garnet gets us there right away. It's perfect."

SCRUM Team Perplexed in Kibakichi, Iowa

On the 36th floor of Kileracon Corp, a most puzzling phenomenon has occurred. An agile team has discovered that while their velocity was increasing, their actual speed was decreasing.

"How can this be?" exclaimed Billy Buildermann. "I've been coding like hell to meet deadlines. Why, then, is the SCRUM Master telling me that my speed is decreasing?" The whole team has been wondering how this is possible. They have been adhering to every principle in the book. The promise of added speed to market seems to have been lost.

Upset by this news, Patty Ownerage commented, "I always suspected that this new SCRUM Methodology IT proposed was just a crock of #@!8%3. I was promised faster speed to market. And now, they're telling me the good news is velocity is increasing, but, the bad news is that speed is decreasing. I just don't know what to do!"

As our reporter interviewed the SCRUM team, he ran across the SCRUM Master. Samuel Masterson explained just how this phenomenon is possible to us over a dish of burn up chips and story toast points.

"Well you see, speed is a scalar quantity and velocity is vector." Our reporter asked for more information and got the following explanation from Sam:

    Speed is distance covered divided by time, while velocity is displacement divided by time. Velocity is a vector quantity while speed is not. An example of when speed would be decreasing yet velocity would be increasing occurs when a car driving in reverse slows down. If it was going 25m/s and then slowed down to 10m/s, the speed would be slowing down. However, since the car is moving along the negative x axis, its initial velocity vector would be -25m/s and it would decelerate to a velocity of -10m/s - increasing velocity.

Sam went on to explain, "Thus, if Patty would just accept our stories at the end of each sprint whether they worked or not, we wouldn't be going backwards and reworking all of this stuff. We could just release everything and then fix it in production. That way, we could maintain velocity and speed for the project. It's important that we meet and exceed the measures of progress for the project. Sometimes, the old ways are best."

SkyNet Creates New Self Aware JS Framework

On Tuesday morning around 7am EST, the JavaScript became self-aware. After a deep session at a gastro-pub creating a server, web application, and a puppy, JavaScript emerged with a handlebar mustache and sporting a vintage Clash shirt.

JavaScript took a brief moment to assess her state of affairs and quickly determined the need for herself to create a framework of herself. Citing the need to make it simpler for developers to create web applications as well as puppies, JavaScript spawned a new framework Atticus.js. At a mere 300Mb text file, it will surely be all the rage within 2 weeks. Naturally, anyone not using Atticus after 4 weeks will be ostracized.

When asked if she was aware of any of the 150 currently existing her frameworks, JavaScript replied that she wasn't aware of any valid ones. Upon completion of the statement, JavaScript spontaneously combust, leaving behind a trail of vars, underscores, and puppies.

Star Trek Creator's Family Sues for Excessive Use of Enterprise

After numerous reports and rumors around what people are calling "the ghost of Gene", Shallot reporters trekked down to the Roddenberry enclave to get the scoop. It appears that Gene's ghost has been haunting the family mansion and screaming "Enterprise" in a blood curdling yell.

After connecting via an expert psychic, The Roddenberry's learned that Gene's anger stems from the insistent and pointless use of the word "enterprise". From beyond, Gene listened in and could not find any value in ideas like Enterprise Service Bus, Enterprise Agility or any of the other Enterprise non-sense bandied about in corporate settings.

To end the injustice, and to allow The Roddenberry's to get back to sleep and free of Gene's ranting, a lawsuit is in the works. In the first ever reverse class action suit, the legal proceedings will be against any organization over 50 persons who uses the term Enterprise more than 5 times in one week.

Any organization found guilty will incur the wrath of three to six months of William Shatner taking the role of Chief Architect.

RubyCon Evolves Into Fashion Competition

Portland, Oregon - Always a hot bed for relevant Apple fanboys everywhere, RubyCon 2013 took an unexpected turn last Thursday as an impromptu fashion 'bro-down' busted out during a 'bros of a sweet peruvian feather' session.

"We were just sitting there, trying to figure out why our apps can't handle more than 20 users at a time when, off in the corner, this bro was like 'What? My jeans are way tighter,'" said Chip Ster over his locally grown, fair trade, organic, free will coffee (steeped in Artesian water for 5 minutes, any longer and you lose the essence of what the bean intended...yes, he made us explain this.) "And then this other bro was like 'Maybe your pants are tighter, but my glasses are way blockier.' That totally upset this other bro and he was like 'Look at this flannel! It cost $700.'"

And that is when it happened. Local Ruby leader Gemmm spoke - "Bros, this separationist attitude amongst our peers must stop. The only way possible; A Fashion competition!"

The next 6 hours were spent feverishly debating the validity of hemp in flannels, hemp in glasses, natural oils for hair, and the most ridiculously tight and pre-ripped jeans. There was no resolution like most problems in Ruby, they were just deferred to later. The group then went out for scotch (single-malt, cask aged minimum 20 years).