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Beware of the Dog, but Don’t Underestimate the Cat

Power Skills


BIO: Dave Davis, PMP, PgMP, PMI-PBA, PMI-ACP, DASSM, CSM, AHPP, ATP is a practitioner of and a recognized professional in project and program management, leadership, change management, and business acumen.  Dave has done many things in many areas and that information can be found in his bio at projectmanagement.com.  Regarding Agile, Dave has been a SCRUM Master and a Product owner on several initiatives.  He orchestrated several Agile teams while implementing Brilliant Factory at General Electric.  Dave is the Change Manager for implementing WorkDay and the entire HR process transformation.  He is currently using Discipline Agile principles at OhioHealth while integrating new hospitals into the OhioHealth network.  This includes workstreams for re-ip of devices, identity management and HR implementation, security mitigation, network migration, and implementation of EPIC.  Dave is currently mentoring the University of Dayton IT Capstone Project  on creating a PM Agile Toolkit for small non-IT Projects.


Distinguished project managers have an inane skill to anticipate obstacles and take appropriate action to prevent a problem from ever occurring.  This is due to effective analysis of the project status, applying critical thinking, and utilizing expert judgement. 


Timebox, whether you call it rolling wave planning, sprint planning, or context analysis, is a proven technique to determine the project against plan.  If the project is off plan, you decide a corrective action to take to correct the trajectory.  At this context evaluation point, it is easy to be focused on a big critical path delivery – which giving less attention to other signs that might impact the overall objective.


The session will explore these challenges using a dog and cat metaphor:  The dog will represent large well know concerns and threats that are visible and critical, much like a large canine that barks loudly and has a very intimidating look.  The cat will represent smaller concerns or tasks that are not as visible and appear to be easier and less effort.  The PMs analysis must take into account both the dog and the cat to determine the best tools to use in the next iteration and corrective action to bring things back.  Some of the cat items we will address include: are stakeholders actively engaged in product demos? are story points inflating at estimated parties, has the product backlog become stale?



Learning Objectives:

  1. The participant will understand timebox practices and how to determine the completeness of the previous timebox and the goal of the next time box.
  2. The participants will demonstrate multiple skills in order to effectively evaluate the current status of the project taking into account noticeable dogs and sneaky cat results that could pose roadblocks
  3. The participant will be able to identify warning signals that call for preventative action to avoid future roadblocks and issues.



This session  will explore defining an iteration goal and doing a realistic analysis of the current  project context and the appropriate action to take for the next goal.  It will also include reminders on exploring the smaller items (cats) along with the larger easier to identify big items (dogs) and the appropriate analysis.  Finally, we will explore ways the project lead can take action to avoid roadblocks or issues from ever occurring using their expert judgement and experience.

It is no longer possible to register for this event

It is no longer possible to register for this event


Type of category: Hybrid

Type of activity: Leadership

Date: February 15th, 2022

Hour: 6:30PM to 8:30PM

# of PDUs: 1.5


Members: $10.00

Non members and Guests: $20.00

Students: $10.00


Transform GSO

111 West Lewis Street

Greensboro, NC, 27406

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