First Class Impediments

About a year ago I put together a terrific tutorial on finding and managing impediments. It was something that I felt strangely passionate about. But I must confess that focusing on impediments felt a little weird. I’d refer to it as my “silly impediments presentation”. You don’t see many talks at major Agile conferences that discuss impediments. After all who really takes impediments seriously anyway?

Apparently, really good project leaders do.

In fact, it’s arguably the most important thing that good leaders do. Go ask your team what a good scrum master does. Dollars to donuts, I bet you get “remove impediments” for an answer every time. So I guess impediments are pretty important, perhaps equally important to some of the more glamorous subjects in the agile books (you know: planning, retrospectives, etc.). So it’s time that we made impediments a first class member of the project management conversation. After all, planning, stand-ups, and retrospectives won’t do much for you if you neglect impediments. You just end up stuck and reflecting on that fact.

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