Archive for May, 2016

Please let me introduce you to a Swedish word (“Lagom”) to describe the perfect balance. Not too little, not too much. Just right. That’s also exactly what projects are all about, to get the perfect balance of cost, scope and time to produce a lagom quality in the result.

Being from Sweden myself lagom comes naturally, the word is positively charged and lack a lagom English translation. Lagom for me may not be lagom for you, hence lagom can be very complex to get right given many estimation parameters, just like a modern software development project.

So how do we deliver a lagom software project today, mixing both traditional and modern concepts? I would argue that managing stakeholder expectations is part of the key to lagom delivery, but maybe more importantly is that we have trust and clear communication. If we micromanage resources we don’t trust them, this often leads to obfuscation and not to lagom.

So how do we deliver high trust and clear communication, and manage stakeholder expectations? We use tools and technologies that support, integrates and facilitates the ambition. Because each project is different the solutions has to be flexible and lagom adaptable to continuous changes. But even more important is that we are humans, we all have different history and experiences that aggregates into potential human integration risks and different viewpoints on lagom.

So how do we manage human resources and human integration risks? We don’t. We aim for self-organizing teams and focus attention on the positive risks and synergies when people are coming together. This is a big part of the trust, we do best to trust our fellow humans and the ability to deliver and to collaboratively solve the issues. We benefit from clear and transparent communication between stakeholders to get the feedback needed in order for lagom delivery.

Friends, this is how I define lagom.