This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Tools are so shiny and pretty

There is a great principle from the Agile Manifesto that says "people and interactions over processes and tools." (All of the values from the Manifesto are written this way - emphasize A over B.  It's not that B is inherently bad, just that A has more value or more importance.) 

Someone referenced a Nov 2015 post from Mark Kilby that talks about this, For Distributed Agile Teams, Tools Come Last. I really like how he describes the hierarchy of importance of these elements: People > Interactions > Processes > Tools. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the tools or processes before understanding why we are doing what we are doing in the first place.  This leads down the path of forcing the work to fit the tools and processes, rather than finding the right tools to do the job we need them to do.

In the way Mark Kirby writes on the topic, I see very similar things occur in project environments. A project gets launched/initiated, and people dive right into "running the project" and using the official tools and processes. But they don't step back to clarify what the project is: what is the value the project creates? what is the problem the project solves for customer/company? what are the internal deliverables? how are they connected? what actions need to be taken in what order?

No! All that stuff takes time, just get moving!  


Step back. Understand the project goals. Understand your colleagues goals. (Make sure they are aligned!) Decide how you want to work together to deliver success. Then make use of the tools you have available to achieve those ends. Don't start with the tools first.

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