PM to Agile Coach: The artifact is not the end-all
When you work in the traditional PM world, it’s easy to slip into the thinking that the artifact is the thing – the end in itself. Let’s look at a typical artifact, the risks and issues log. In this world, it’s OK to capture risks and issues one week, document them the next, then update them once a week after that. A PM would call this “managing risks and issues.” And it’s a job PMs get kudos for doing because it feels like a value-added service for someone to manage risks and issues, but what they’re really managing is the log. And neither of these are truly value-added, anyway.
How long do you think it takes an Agile team to realize that the goal is not to manage a list but to kill the things on the list before they become impediments?
Probably about a half a sprint. The glorious, built-in time pressure of the sprint causes a team to focus on knocking down risks and issues, not building them up on a list. What a wonderful world it is!