A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a great event hosted by the PMI Melbourne Chapter ‘The Health Monitor – A way of Scaling the excellence and value of project management’ by Dom Price Head of Program Management at Atlassian.
Dom was absolutely fantastic and I sat there in the event feeling like we were been given a hugely valuable glimpse of what the future will look like!
In my view what Dom is trying to do at Atlassian is leading edge thinking, and if we all want to stay current & relevant we should be sitting up taking lots of notice!
Leonardo Di Vinci once said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”! It’s all too easy to make things more complicated the real genius is in finding ways to simplify things. And, for me there is no better example of this than Dom’s new project team ‘Health Monitor’.
In the talk Dom makes a statement (which he admits he cannot prove scientifically) but my guess is, none of us would disagree!
‘HEALTHY PROJECTS’ implies ‘HEALTHY TEAMS’
Are projects not just about teams of people working together to achieve outcomes? So, if we have healthy teams then by default should we not have healthy projects (or at the very least it’s a very big component impacting success)!
So the Atlassian approach has been to develop the ‘Project Health Monitor’ which says that, for Atlassian teams to be ‘Healthy’ there needs to be alignment on each of the following 8 factors:
Full Time Owner
Do we have one lead who
At least 80% of their time must
be allocated to the team. A
Do we have the right blend
of skills, competencies and
attributes in the team?
Is there a common
understanding of WHY
we exist? All aligned (not all
Value & Metrics
Are we clear what success looks
like from a business & user
perspective? Success must be
defined with a clear goal and how
it will be measured.
End to End Story
Have we all got a consistent
picture of what the end goal
might look like? Are we all
operating between the same
Are we all clear and agreed as
to how the customer will
consume the product? The key
assumption is that we will not
be there to explain it!
Do we have a common
understanding of the complexities/
risks/resources and effort involved?
Do we have a clear picture of who
we are dependent on and who is
dependant on us?
Are we making incremental
progress toward our goal? Are we
learning continuously, gaining in
confidence resulting in greater
The approach their taking is not to mandate this which I believe is very clever. Every team wants to be successful and if it’s good enough (& works) teams will want to use it!
This approach is a bit similar to the Atlassian ‘sales model’. No hard selling done, companies trial products for free and it they like what they see, they buy. How smart is this! This ensures the focus never strays from providing value and meeting the needs of the customer. Basically the products need to be good enough to be able to sell them selves, and with currently over 30 million users who use their products, more than 35,000 large and small organizations – including Citigroup, eBay, Coca-Cola, Netflix, Australia Post, Suncorp and United Airlines, I think the approach is working!!!
Personally I think the ‘Health Monitor’ is an absolutely fantastic simple & practical tool. A huge thanks to Dom and Atlassian for their generosity in sharing and I for one will be using and recommending this with my clients.